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braham's life : Twenty-four years after his call from Ur of the Chaldees : And seventeen years after the last covenanting in which Abraham had been engaged. In the interval between the first and second instances of covenanting, God paid many visits to the patriarch; but, between the second and this third instance of it, we read not of so much as one. It is not improbable, that God hid his face from him, for such a long space of time, as a further chastisement of his dissimulation and adultery.
Now, These thing's rendered covenant-renovation extremely proper at this time. To demonstrate, that neither the fun of cove. nanters, nor God's paternal chastisement of them do make the covenant-promises of none effect. Though God visit the iniquities of his covenanted children with the rod, and- that for a very long time; yet he will not remove his loving kindness from them, nor suffer his
faithfulness to fail. To rectify Abraham's : mistake respecting the promised Seed. For.
ly he was fufpicious, that the blessed Seed might spring from his steward, and not from himself: Now he might be ready to imagine, that he would spring from the bond-woman, and to take Ishmael for his ancestor : But this transaction taught him, to look for the ac. complishment of the promise by the free-woman.-- The renovation of the covenant was delayed till this time, and no longer, that the
faith of Abraham might be tried with waiting God's time, on the one hand ; and his impatience also chastised, which impelled him to grasp at comfort, before it was given him, on the other. The patriarch was taught to look over human ability, unto divine fovereignty, for all he had to expect by this covenant. Had the promise of making Sarah a mother been given at an earlier period, less of God · would have been seen in the accomplishment of it; but now there is no room to asçribe that event unto any other.
IN surveying this Transaction, I shall follow 1 the same method as in the foregoing Part.
FIRST, I must give a short view of the PARTIES covenanting.
1. The first party is denominated " THE ANGEL OF THE LORD." He is the very same angel who stopt the slaughter of Isaac : “ And the angel of the Lord called to him out of beaven, and said, Abraham, Abrahami And
he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing to him for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not with-held thy fon, thine only fon from me.--And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time *." He who spake unto , Abraham the second time, is the very fame perfon from whom the patriarch did not withhold his son, even his only fon; of consequence, he can be no other than the uncreated ANGEL OF THE COVENANT : For Abraham never in- . tended to offer Isaac unto an inferior one t. The name ANGEL imports mission; or he who is fent. When it is applied to the Son of God, it denotes his being the fent of God for the
* Gen. xxij. 11, 12, and ver. 15. . + Dr Willet imagined it was a created angel who announced this promise unto the patriarch ; but the reafons he assigns for his opinion are by no means decisive : “ This angel (says the Dr) was not Chrift ; for the angel addeth, by myself have I sworn, faith the Lord, he 1peaketh then in the person of the Lord, as being not the Lord himself; but Christ, being God, would have spoken in his own person.” Granting it was the Father who swore, Why might not Christ, as the meslenger of the Father, reveal his purpose ?-Why may he not speak in the name of the Father, saying, THUS SAITH THE LORD? But there is no necessity to understand this fwearing of the Father. This was cominon style when a di. vine person spoke unto the prophets, Jer. i. 7,8. For a further illustration of this subject, see Donch. de Tribus Elohim, p.31. Dr Owen on Heb. vi. 13, 14.
salvation of men*. When this Angel deals with men, by way of fæderal transaction, he reveals the Father's will, as a prophet; and they restipulate obedience unto him, as a king.
2. The other party is Abraham, and his son Isaac. Abraham is the only person men· tioned in the sacred history, indeed; but Isaac
seems to be also included, as he was taken along with his father unto mount Moriah. Be
* “ Vox 7 2 nomen est officii, significat eniin LEGA“TUM, NUNCIUM, MISSUM. Quidam ab 7507 deducunt, “h. e. IVIT, AMBULAVIT, tranfpofita litera 17 et eadem “ in x mutara, ut fit, qui mandatum habeat a fuo Domie “ no, eundi ad aliquid annunciandum vel efficiendum. “ Alii dici putant, quasi 75 7793 QUID TIBI? h. e. quid “ novi adfers ? Sed hæc allusio potius eft, quam vera no
tatio. Connodins significatio à nomine 7x50 dedu. “citur (quod ab inufitato gas efle volunt) quod fignificat "OPUS, INDUSTRIAM, MINISTERIUM. Ad opus enim “ mittentis perficiendum 78392 LEGATUS mittitur. Tri. “ buitur autem in fcriptura facra, 1. Hominibus, Gen. “ xxxii. 3. II. Sacerdotibus, Prophetis, Ef. xlii. 19. “ Mal. xi. 7. ch. iii. I. III. Spiritibus Cæleftibus, Gen. 66 xxviii. 12. ch. xxxii, 1. Pfal. xxxiv. 8. IV. Tandem “ xut' to your Filio Dei, fecundæ Trinitatis personæ tri“ buitur, ut in allegatis fupra locis, notatquc (uti ipfum “ ostendit etymon) sanctiilimum ejus officium, quod fcil. “ miffus fuit a Deo Patre ad exsequendum redemtionis “ opus, uti explicatio habetur, Efa. lxi. 1. feqg. Cum. " que Christus sit autòs, IDEM, heri, hodie, et in secula, “ Heb. xiii. 8. igitur in veteri etiam Testamento, ejus, “ quod obiturus erat, muneris fpecimen quoddamn edidit, “ dum patribus et piis V. T. in visibili forma apparens, ~ divinæ voluntatis internuncium egit, operaque divina “ inter illos præftitit.” Glass. Onomatolog. Messiæ Prophet. apud nomen ANGELUS. .
fides sides this, the Psalmist observes, that the cor venant was confirmed to Isaac by AN OATH*: Now, this is the only instance in which God interposed with an oath to him, so far as we know. Isaac had been solemnly declared a covenanter when he was but eight days old ; and now, when he had arrived at the age of twenty-five years, it was proper to renew his covenant-engagements in his own person. And, in this respect, he became an example unto every person, early dedicated unto God, in every succeeding period; teaching them to make a grateful return for their privileges, by a solemn renovation of their engagements unto the Lord.
SECONDLY, The next branch of the subject is the PARTS of this Covenant. They consist in a cluster of promises, on the part of God, which are expressed ; and correspondent duties, on the part of Abraham and Isaac, which are implied,
As to the divine promises contained in this covenant, they were either,
1. Such as had been made in former transactions, and renewed in this one : For example, The promise of BLESSING the patriarch t; as also the promise of MULTIPLYING him, which
' * Pfal.ev, 9. + Gen, xii. 2. cainp. with Gen. xxii. 17.