« AnteriorContinuar »
wnbelief and disobedience. Hence* Iflimael was circumcised, as well as Isaac; nor were the sons of Keturah, and those of die hired servants, on an inferior footing, till they relinquished the service of God*
In sine, Abraham must be considered* in this transaction, as having the Messiah in his loins. Now, as he paid tythes to Melchisrdec, for Levi, who was then in his loins; so he, received promises for the Messiah, bis extraordinary feed, then in his loins like ways*.
SECONDLY, We may now consider the Pa R T s of this Covenant. With respect unto . the AU-sufficient Jehovah, I may observe,
I. Hfc promised to " multiply Abraham's feed exceedingly,—to make him exceeding fruitful,—to make nations of him, and kings come out of hlmf'" And the prediction has been circumstantially verified, both in his natural and spiritual progeny. Erom Abraham, according to the flesh, sprang not only the Ishtnaelites, and Edomites (as well as the Israelites) • but also, the Saracens, Arabians, and~ Midia'nites, He was fruitful to a miracle, even in his old age. Forty-six years before the death of Sarah, when God announced the birth of Isaac j he exclaimed, " Shall a child be borri
to him who is a hundred years old!" Yet, after the deadi of Sarah, Keturah bare him no fewer than fix sons.—:—-As. to his spiritual progeny, nations have been born at once, and a people brought forth in one day; and, in the lowest state of his spiritual family, it shall be said, This man and that man was born in it, and the Highest himself shall establisli it. In respect of the Royalty promised to the patriarch, it has also been most punctually fulfilled. There sprang from the patriarch, not only a race of famous kings, in the Davidical line, not to mention the princes of Midian and Ishmael; but also Messiah The Prince, with all his royal nation: For all his subjects are made Kings and priests unto God and his father*.
2. Jehovah engaged to be a God unto Abraham, and his Seed after him "j". This blessing is all-comprehensive, and inutterably precious: It includes all things pertaining unto life and godliness, whether it be a life of grace or glory. All the perfections of God, and each perfection in the Godhead, are made over to Abraham and his Seed. Divine wisdom is engaged for the device of their salvation; divine power for their protection and defence, as also for the performance of all those promises which contain the blessings of salvation; divine
* Rev. i. 6. f Gea. xvii. 7.
mercy mercy pledged for their remission and acceptance; holiness for their enjoyment of evcrv promised blessing. JulHce, for the destruction of all their enemies: And, in one word, grace for their holiness and consolation while in this world, as well as their reward in the world to
come. The Father is the portion of the
spiritual Seed, in his electing and adopting love, and in his giving love: He gives his Son to be a suffering surety and himself in him as the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.— The Son is the portion of the spiritual family, in all the fulness of his grace and righteousness The Holy Ghost, in respect of his personal inhabitation, and special influences and' saving operations. Hail, happy people, whose God is Jehovah! Such as-are filled with the fulness of God, How durable their portion !—■ How substantial their bliss!
3. As an appendage unto these grants, God was pleased to renew the promise of Canaan: "And I will o;ive unto thee, and unto thy Seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger,—all the knd of Canaan, for an everlasting possession *." Besides what has been observed on a former covenant, I shall examine the two following questions, relative to this inheritance: First, How could God fay, I will give the land wherein thou art a stranger Unto
* Gen. xvii. 8.
X 2 THEEJ Thee; seeing he gave him no inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on? It .might be answered, That Canaan was given to Abraham, in person, in point of right; and to his Seed after him, in point of possession and enjoyment.—Secondly, "Why is Canaan styled An Everlasting Possession? I would reply, Though it was certainly among the'number of iemporal enjoyments, as well as other lands; yet it might be styled An EverLasting Possession as it prefigured that inheritance which is incorruptible and undefiled, and which fadeth not away. Nor is it uncommon, in the sacred style, to affirm those things of the type, which, in their fullest emphasis, are only true of the antitype.
With respect to Abraham, he was enjoined, ,
1. To Walk Before God *. The patriarch's life was a life of pilgrimage; but aH. the steps of it were under the immediate inspection of Jehovah. Though he wandered over many distant lands^ yet he never wandered out of God's sight. God saw meet to put him in mind of his situation at this time, because he seemed sqmetimes to have forgot it, by sinning against him. To Walk Before God, is, to maintain an impression of God's
* Gen.'xvii. »,
, * .• . omiuV omniscience on the conscience, so as to adventure on no action but such as it would dare to own when sifted before the supreme judge. This precept is of much the fame import with the fust of the ten commandments delivered from Sinai: Said God to Abraham, " I am God all-sufficient, walk before me." Said he to Ifrael, "I am the Lord thy God, Thou shalt have no other Gods before me."
2. He was commanded .to Be Perf Ect *. He was already perfect in respect of his justification;'for he believed God8 and it was accounted to him for righteousness. But, though he was the friend of God, and the father of the faithful; }et he had not already attained, neither was he already perfect in respect of his sanctification: Otherways this precept1 had been superfluous. Perfection, however, must be the scope of all his desires. He is not a faint that can be satisfied with any thing siiort of it: For iatisfaction with any lower terms' amounts to a regarding of iniquity in the heart; and if we regard iniquity the 'Lord will not hear us f.
* Gen. xvii. r,
f. Should the serious reader desire to fee more on Abraham's perfection, he may consult a Treatise of the Covenant of Grace by Mr John Ball, p. 73—89. The author of the Marrow of Modern Divinity frequently mentions this little piece with pleasure and respect: And, I humbly judge, both the learned and unlearned may read it with prosit.