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in the vej;y terms of the promise, the seed is limited to one person, which is Christ, see GaL iii. 6, 7, 8.
I will take a general survey of the trials, faith, and death of this great patriarch, and so conclude.
He entered the promised land, being called by the Lord so to do, in faith. Soon after he was in it, though the Lord had appeared unto him, saying, "Unto thy seed will I give this land," yet a famine is brought upon it, and he goes down into Egypt to avoid it. Here he falls into a denial of his wife, saying, she is my sister, which was a means of deceiving the Egyptians, who were greatly taken with her beauty, and she is taken into the king's house; but through the interposition of divine providence her purity is preserved, and she is returned to her husband. Upon this he leaves Egypt, and returns back to Canaan, which was the glory of all lands. It had fountains, springs, depths, and water brooks, mountains, and vallies, mines, corn, wine, oil, honey, and various fruits, and was watered with the rain of heaven, and cared for by the Lord whose eyes were always upon it, from the beginning even to the end of the year. We may from hence consider the blessed change made in the state of a renewed person in a day of the Lord's power, when he delivers from a state of darkness, and translates into the kingdom of his dear Son. When Abram came again into Canaan, he revisited the place where he had first erected an altar to the Lord, raised a fresh one, and offered sacrifices again, and called on the name of the Lord. This place was afterwards called Bethel, the house of God. His raising altars, and offering sacrifices on them, was expressive of his faith in Christ, and the sense he had of the mercies bestowed on him. There being a long space of time, near two thousand years to intervene between the giving and the accomplishment of the promise, " In thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed." In the incarnation of Christ Jesus there was therefore several intermediate promises given, all tending to this great and ultimate issue. Temporal blessings were heaped on Abram to confirm his faith and confidence in God. Many divine repetitions of the promise concerning Christ, and Isaac, as the type of him, with many appearances of the Lord, are made, that Abram might go on, and abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. These many great and precious promises were given, not as a reward to his obedience, but to excite and encourage it; and his free and cheerful obedience, was a fruit and evidence of a strong faith in the promiser. When four kings came against the five kings in Canaan, and carried them and Lot captive, Abram hearing of it, arms himself, and his allies, and overcame them, and restored the kings of Canaan, and his kinsman Lot, and his and their goods. Qn his return from the slaughter of the kings, he was met by Melchizedeck, who blessed him. This illustrious person was a type of the person and priesthood of Christ. He was, says Dr. Owen, the only type of the person of the Son of God, which was ever given, who is to his church and people both their king and priest; he is also the bread of life, and the wine of everlasting consolation. And like as the king of Salem met Abram on his return from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him, hereby confirming his right to the land of Canaan, bestowed on him before by promise, and now obtained by conquest, so the Lord Jesus is pleased to meet and bless his people, as their king and priest, and confirms their title to the heavenly inheritance. When the Lord called Abram, he said to him, " I will bless thee, and thou shalt be a blessing." And in the course of his divine procedure he opens, explains, and applies it to his heart. Though Abram obtained victory over Chederlaomer, king of Elam, who was the eldest son of Shem, and so heir of Canaan, by Noah's prophecy, yet it seems as if some fears arose in Abram's mind, lest they, though vanquished, might recover strength. It pleased the Lord, therefore, who knew what passed in the mind of his servant, to appear unto him in a vision, as God-man, and by an audible voice addressed him, saying, " Fear not, Abram, I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward." Abram had now been some years in the land of Canaan, and as yet he had no son. Therefore on this occasion, he replies, " Lord God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless?" In answer to him, the Lord is pleased to give him further assurances that he should have an heir, one that should come forth of his own bowels, and that of him there should descend such a numerous issue, as should be like the stars in heaven for multitude. To all this Abram gave full credit. "He believed in the Lord, and he counted it to him for righteousness." The word of God was the ground and foundation of Abram's faith. The Lord Jesus Christ was the object of his faith. The righteousness of Christ, apprehended by his faith, was imputed to him: and thus he was justified without works, and when he was in uncircumcision. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had being uncircumcised; that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumsised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also." Rom. iv. 10, 11. On this occasion, the Lord gives him a divine command to take an heifer of three years old, a she goat, and a ram, each likewise of three years old, and also a turtle dove, and a young pigeon, and having divided them, and laid one half opposite the other, except
the birds which were not divided, a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp, passed between the pieces, and hereby the Lord gave Abram an answer to his question. The Lord had,said, " I am the Lord that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it; and the patriarch replied, " Lord God, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?" And by this vision he gives him a confirming proof. Here was a sign given to confirm his faith. And because it was a long time before the promise should be fulfilled, the Lord informs him of the circumstances of his posterity during that long interval. It .was from this time to the Exodus from Egypt, four hundred years. There he gives a precise account of the land given by promise. Yet as Sarai his wife still remained barren, she being impatient for the accomplishment of the promise, in this despair of having a child, she gave Hagar, her handmaid, to be a secondary wife to her husband; she conceived, which made way for domestic jars, which gave pain and grief to Abram's mind; he had now been ten years in the land of Canaan, and was now eighty-five and Sarai was seventy-five years old: and Ishmael was born in the year of the world 2093.
Hagar on being with child, it is likely was pert to her mistress, who resenting it, she left her master's house, and in the wilderness of Shur, the angel Jehovah, stiled in the Chaldee