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Many express scriptures testify the Lord's appearance to Isaac, of bis blessing him; and they also fully testify that Isaac was a true believer in Christ Jesus, and depended wholly on him for life and salvation. This is very evident from his building altars, which were to offer sacrifices on. And doubtless, he had a most glorious season of grace on mount Moriah, when the angel Jehovah called out of heaven to his father, and swore by himself, saying, "In blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies. And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed." Gen. xxii. 16—18.
The words of my text, which are now before us, very particularly concern what is related in the account which the Holy Ghost has been pleased to give us of the life of Jacob, the father of the twelve tribes of Israel. I will here recount the following particulars concerning dates, that we may see how time ran on and run out with these great patriarchs. Abraham was seventy-five years old when he left Haran and entered Canaan. From the confirmation of the covenant to him, as recorded in the fifteenth of Genesis, and his taking Hagar to wife, to the birth of Isaac,was fifteen years. From the birth of Isaac to the birth of Jacob, was sixty years.
And Jacob was, when he had this vision, related in the text before us, seventy-seven years old, according to Ainsworth. From the birth of Jacob to his going down into Egypt, was an hundred years. From his going down to Egypt to his death, seventeen years. From the death of Jacob to the death of Joseph, in Egypt, fiftythree years. From the death of Joseph to the birth of Moses, seventy-five years. From the birth of Moses to the going out of the children of Israel from Egypt, and the giving the law, was eighty years. The whole number cast up into One sum total; is four hundred and thirty years. • ..; ,
The occasion of Jacob's journey from his father's house at Beer-sheba to Haran, a distance of near five hundred miles: and Beer-sheba was from Bethel about forty-eight miles, which was his resting-place, was having obtained his father's patriarchal blessing, and the promise of the Messiah devolving by it on him, his father is truly concerned that he should marry into.his mother's family, who retained more knowledge of the true Jehovah,.'.the covenant ones, the Three in Jehovah, than others out of Isaac's family did. The nations had fallen away from the supreme Alehim, by whom Abraham was chosen, and his race set aipart for a peculiar people, to keep up in remembrance the true doctrine of the essential Three* in one Jehovah. Some learned men suppose that the form of the cherubim set up at the east of the garden of Eden, was preserved downwards in private families with anxious diligence, by Laban, Jacob, Micah, and David, who called them Theraphim, the healers of their maladies; that Abram was priest before the faces, or emblems, of the great ones; and that when Isaac was superannuated, Esau exercised the office of priesthood, until Jacob obtained the blessing, and then by a transfer of the right of primogeniture, Jacob acted as A priest.
The sacredv record informs us, that Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him, "Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan. Arise, go to PadanAram, to the house of Bethuel, thy mother's father, and take thee a wife from thence, of the daughters of Laban, thy mother's brother. And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people: and give thee the blessing of Abraham to thee, and to thy seed with thee; that thou mayest inherit the land wherein thou art a stranger, which God gave unto Abraham." Gen. xxviii. 1—4. In these words, the aged father opens his heart, proves himself to be full of the Holy Ghost and of faith, confirms the patriarchal blessing before bestowed, and solemnly invokes the blessing of the holy and essential Trinity on his son and his posterity, and thus sends him away to seek a wife in the same family from which he obtained his. Here is great grace, faith, and spiritual simplicity. Having received this instruction, blessing, and direction, Jacob left his father's house, and went towards Haran, in Mesopotamia; and thus, to use the prophet Hosea's words, he "fled into the land of Syria for a wife, where, for a wife, he served and kept sheep." By the providence of God he came to a certain place, where Abraham had, in his time, built an altar, and called on the name of the Lord, and which, from the vision, and manifestation of Christ to him, he named Bethel; it was eight miles from Jerusalem, and having travelled forty-eight miles, he tarried here all night, because the sun was set: and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and laid down to sleep. And thus being brought to my text, I will repeat it. "And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set upon the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And behold the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed. And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth; and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee, and in thy seed, shall all the families of the earth ber^ blessed. And behold I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again to this land: for I will not leave thee until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of."
In these words, we have the following particulars. Here is,
First, the supernatural dream and vision by which Christ was pleased to reveal and manifest himself to Jacob.
Secondly, the Lord's pronouncing himself to be the Lord God of Abraham and Isaac.
Thirdly, the renewal of the promise given then to Jacob concerning the land of Canaan, and the multiplication of his seed; with a particular recital of the promise of the Messiah, "And in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." And,
Fourthly, the Lord's promise to be with, to keep and bring Jacob back again into the land of Canaan, which he was now going out of into Padan-Aram, in Mesopotamia, assuring him that he would not leave him until he had accomplished his promise to him. .,
My first head of discourse, and that tthich I shall particularly treat of, is concerning Jacob's supernatural dream, in which he had a vision of the Lord Jesus Christ, and a revelation and manifestation of him. "And he dreamed, and