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the patriarch with strong and strange sensations. You will not deem it strange that Abram fell on his face, in hu. miliation the most abject, and in extacy unutterable, when his ears were again saluted with the welcome sound **I am the Almighty God; walk before me and be thou perfect." Abram had been often prostrate in lowly adoration; he had often blessed the condescension of his Maker, when his names of goodness and purposes of kindness were uttered in his audience. But in no case do we meet the record of emotions so tumultuous as those which rushed into the bosom of our patriarch on this unlooked-for visit. Not when a hapless idolator in Chaldea he first received the intimation of his future greatness; not when he had first passed into the land of Canaan, and heard the glad voice of his Almighty friend among idolators and strangers; not when wrapped in the visions of God, he was awed before the syınbols of the Almighty's presence,
the smoking furnace and the burning lamp. All such visitations were calculated to impress the spirit of our patriarch with feelings of gratitude, veneration and security. But nothing under heaven comes home so fully to the human heart, nothing that is stupendous, nothing that is pleasing, nothing that is soothing, nothing that is awful, so works upon the feelings, as the returning kindness of those whom once we loved, and who, after years of painful separation and of desolated feelings, convince us that they never had divorced us from their hearts. All that ever elicited the gratitude of Abram, or gave strength and consistency to confidence and hope, never had so wrought upon the feelings of our patriarch, as did that single sentence of his returning friend which brought him prostrate on his face.
We can only sketch to you the more important particu
Lars connected with this new communication. You note among the first, the confirmation of a remark we sometime since made to you in relation to the scheme of prophecy. It was this, that the whole of the scriptural prophecies constitute one system or scheme of prediction, in which every successive revelation sheds additional light without mate. rially extending the field of view: precisely as the sun, when he first begins in the morning to approach our horizon, sheds a faint twilight that discovers the field and forest and the distant outline of the mountain-top-discovers all in their full dimensions; yet but dimly and partially. Additional light imparts additional distinctness, and every successive minute, from the first dawn of light, the greyness of the morning, the rudiness of sunrise, up to the yellow lustre of the risen day, multiplies the objects in your field of vision, and adds to their distinctness, without en larging the general field of view. The scheme of prophecy is like this augmenting light; every new communication adds something to the distinctness and particularity of our views.
In the present instance we discover no new purpose; 'but that originial purpose is more accurately defined. The long expected son is again promised to our patriarch; the honour of becoming a father to many nations is again confirmed; and it is confirmed with this additional assurance, that the covenant of his mercy so often renewed with Abram should be continued with his seed; and that they should inherit the blessings so long promised, not merely in right of the covenant made with Abram, but that covenant should be renewed and established with themselves "I will establish it in their generations for an everlasting covenant" "I will give them the land of Canaan for an
everlasting possession—and I will be their God.”
Before this annunciation the wealth of Canaan, and the mere patriarchal honours, dwindled into insignificance. Life-eternal life, the inheritance most dear to the father of the faithful, is guaranteed to his descendants. On the altar of Jehovah their oblations shall also flame, in the presence of Jehovah their hearts shall also bow; and he who now visits the tent of the patriarch, shall often cheer with his presence and irradiate with his light the myriads of his seed.
Who can read this amplification of the promise without glancing at the succeeding history of Israel. This whole bible is the record of Israel's history, the comment of ages on the promise made by God. Look at the condition of all the families of the earth: see how darkness covered the earth, and gross darkness the people: note the nations building temples to Baal and to Ashtaroth, to Chemosh and to Jupiter: see the wise, see the mighty, bowing before the moon as she rides forth in her brightness, or piling their altars to the lord of day:-Then bend your eyes upon the land of Canaan, and hear the professions of her solemn ser vice: “The Lord our God is one Jehovah:” Listen to the solemnities of her temple service, when her altar blazes high to the God of the whole earth, and clouds of incense fill the temple that crowns the hill of Zion. "Praise ye the Lord from the heavens: praise him in the heights. Praise ye him all his angels: praise ye him all his hosts. Praise the Lord from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps. Mark her venerable priesthood, the long line of Aaron's family: see her prophets often caught up in the visions of the Almighty, and note the floods of light that the prophetic spirit pours on God's eternal purpose, on Zion's lofty destiny, on the hope of all this world. Yes, let her tem.
ple and her priesthood, her prophets and apostles, tell how the God of Abraham was the God of all his seed. Let Israel dispersed but not destroyed, Israel now mixed with every nation under heaven but distinguished from them all, Israel deserted but not utterly forgotten, confirm to us the promise that in the recesses of futurity a day will yet be found that shall witness their return from all countries under heaven, when Jerusalem shall again be the city of their pride, and Canaan confirmed as the land of their descendants till her wealth shall contribute to the fires of the last judgment.--And let all the churches of the gentile world attest the faithfulness and fullness of this promise. You see Israel broken off from the church of the Most High, and gentile strangers adopted in her stead; you see Abram now hailed as a father of many nations, by those who professing the patriarch's faith evince the God of Abram to be their Father and their God. Still then you see the knowledge of the Highest, still you see the hope of life eternal, still you see the fruits of purity and piety connected with the church once headed by our patriarch. And it is there where he is hailed as the father of the faith ful, there where his faith and his piety are followed, it is there and there alone, among all people under heaven, that you hear that loud and joyful acclamation, in many a language, swelled by many a tongue, "Blessing and honour and glory and power to him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever." Thus is Abram's God the God of all his seed; and the covenant of his mer cy an everlasting covenant,
BIOGRAPHY OF ABRAHAM..(CONTINUED.)
And it came to pass after these things that God did tempt 4
braham, and said unto him, Abraham. And he said, behold here I am. And he said take now thy son, thine only song Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of." Gen. xxii. 1, 2.
ALTHOUGH," say the scriptures" Although affliction cometh not forth of the dust, neither doth trouble spring out of the ground, yet man is born unto trouble as the sparks fly upwards.” It is, my dear friends, the severe but necessary discipline under which God's goodness has placed all the families of the earth, that they may not be given up to utter forgetfulness of him. We know that uninterrupted prosperity and ease have a powerful ten. dency to intoxicate the heart, and to alienate it from its Maker. Such a result indeed speaks very unfavorably of the dispositions of human nature; as it ought rather to be the case that every new privilege and fresh source of enjoyment conferred by him should attach so much the more strongly our affections and confidence to the benign bes. tower. We do, however, know that such, in general, is not the fact. It is the pressure of calamity that cherishes