« AnteriorContinuar »
1 ted. They came in along with hinij on the
fame foundation; he as a father, and they as
children.' Jollification is alfo promifed In
Abram, as the type of the Meffiah, and the, channel through which he fliould come into the world; he being one of his anceftorsi Hence the words^ IN Thee, are explained, in an after tranfiuTtion, by In Thy Seed• *• Now, the feed chiefly intended was Chrift-j".
On the Part of Abram, he bound himWf,
1. To "get out of his Own country J.'* There is little room to doubt but the country, at firft inftartce intended) was Ur of the Chal-> dees. Some have imagined) indeed, it was Haran; but on what foundation I know not* Stephen's expofition is certainly infallible: Said he, " The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mefopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran§." Ur is with much greater propriety ftyled the country of Abram than Charan; as he was bom, brought up, and dwelt in it till he wasmoi'e than (even* ty-four years of age: Whereas he only fat down before Charan for a few months. The duty commanded was neaeflary at this time, as his native country was a land of Idolatry
» Gen. xxii. 18. f Gal. iii. 16.
• * Q. and
ami wickedness j and God deemed it unsafe for his Church to dwell among such neighbours; lest she should learn th«ir ways, on the one hand; or be persecuted by them, on the other. It was also proper, that the condition of Abram'might be a representation of the condition of God's children in this world. Likeas he left his native country, and became a pilgrim on the earth; so must they leave this world, as a portion, and journey to the better country. And his faith looked through the type to the substance: "By faith Abraham^ when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the fame promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God*." Though New Testament believers are not always bound to leave their native country literally: Yet one reflection naturally occurs from the consideration of Abrain's conduct; namely, When persons cannot accomplish the duties incumbent on them in their present situation, then they have a just call in providence to change it, and to embrace the first opportunity which lawfully offers for- that purpose: For example,
* Heb. xi. 8, 9, 10.
if fcrvants are in fiich bondage as deprives them of time to perform the duties of religion, whether public, private, or fecrct, they have juft reafons for changing mafters, fo foon as they lawfully may: If perfons dwellings are fo remote from public ordinances as to render their attendance infrequent, they have a proper call to change their habitations: And, in fo doing, they will either have their lodes (unto which they may be brought by keeping the line of duty) made up to them, by the fpecial interpofition of heaven; or, if they are not, they will be fanclined to them for their good. No one ever loft at God's hand.
2. He was enjoined to " get him out from his own kindred *." A man's heart naturally glows towards his country, and ftill more towards his kindred. Thefe make that precious and pleafant to him. Yet, dear as thefe relatives were to the patriarch, he muft forego the comfort he expected in them, and feek more fublime enjoyments in God himfclf. Society with idolaters is far from equalling fellowship with the living God: Therefore, Abraham wifely rclinquifhed the former, and purfued the latter. The ties of-nature yield to ties of grace.
3. He is commanded to " get out from his father's houle'f"." From hence fonie conclude,
* Geji. xii. 1. f Ibid,
O 2 that that this command could not be given when he came from Ur; for then he brought his fa-. ther along with him, but here he is bid come out from the house of his father. But the phrase, 1 apprehend, means -Nahor and his family. Nahor was probably Terah's firstborn; and the representative of his house: A leaving, of Nahor, then, and the rest of his connections, might, with propriety enough, be styled a Leaving Of His Father's House; even although Terah came along with Abram, and took the lead in their peregrinations. The cafe seems to stand thus, The God of Glory appeared to Abram in Ur, and called him to depart from it j which call he at once believed and imparted to his father, who seems to have also believed it; being converted by it, and persuaded to obey it: But, as he fell sick, and died at Haran, on the way between Ur and Canaan, Abram was retarded in his journey for about the space of fix months. And, after he had buried him, he went on his way. Dr Owen, an author to whom I am frequently, and unspeakably obliged, takes another metlvod of accounting for this matter, to the following purpose: l(r "What was the design of Terah, in his attempt to go for the land of Canaan, is not absolutely certain. The especial call of Abram unto that country could not be the bottom of it: For it is most probable, yea, indeed, undeniable, that this he had not until after the death of Terah. It Nvas, therefore,
fore, an aol of theirs, in anfwer to the providence of God, in a fubferviency to that future call, that lie might be in morereadinefs toyield obedience unto it than he could have been in the land of L'r. It is noticeable, that Tcrah died in Haran." The Dr would carry Abram'* call down after the death of Tcrah; that is, after the patriarch dwelt in Haran. But, fays Stephen, " The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham w H En he was in Mefopoumia, Before he dwelt in Charran; and faid onto him, get thee out of thy country, and from tliy kindred, and come into the land *toeh I will 11 lew thee. .Then came he out of the bid of the Chaldeans, and dwelt in Charran. And from Thence, when his father was dead, he removed him into the land where ye now dwell*." The call to leave his father's luwfe is explained, by Stephen, by Leavinc His Kindred. Nor can duy thing be more evident, than that the proto-martyr placed this appearance and call before Abram's fojourning & Charran; and, of confequence, before the death of Tcrah.—-Others imagine there was a double call given to Abram; one, mentioned by Stephen, while the patriarch was yet in Ur; the other, recorded by Moles, when he was in Haran: And that there were not fewer than five years diftance between them. This opinion has many favourers, bnt a very Iknder foun<«
• Acts vii. ?, i, 4.