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fondness for that son. Her own affection for Jacob was equally excessive ; and induced her, in the pursuit of an object, in itself warrantable, to employ means, which cannot be vindicated. The co-operation of Jacob was indispensable to the success of her de. sign. It was necessary to proceed with expedition ; and no way suggested itself, which promi ed a favourable issue, except deceiv. ing Isaac. The deception was therefore resolved on; and the authority and influence of a mother were employed to persuade a son to deceive his father, by telling him a known, palpable falsehood.

When we see moralists, and even Divines, of great distinction, vindicating the lawfulness of such deception, uttered on specified occasions; it cannot be thought strange, that, at a period, when there were no Scriptures, and when even moral philosophy had not begun to have a name, Rebekah should be satisfied concerning the rectitude of her conduct, in a case so pressing, and in the pursuit of an object directly approved by God himself.

Jacob, it would seem, had more scruples, as well as greater fears. Rebekah, however, silenced them all; and persuaded him to act the unworthy part, which her plot had assigned to him. Through their united fraud the blessing was obtained.

Esau, deeply wounded by the unworthiness and success of the imposition practised against him, determined to revenge the injary, as soon as Isaac should be dead, by taking away the life of his brother. Rebekah, alarmed for the safety of her favourite son, persuaded Isaac to send him away on a visit to her brother at Padan-aram. Isaac accordingly called Jacob, and blessed him anew; and sent him to Laban, in Haran, on the border of the Euphrates. Jacob immediately set out upon his journey. He had proceeded but a little distance, when, night having overtaken him in a certain place, he laid himself down to sleep. Here be dreamed, that a ladder rose from earth to Heaven, on which the Angels of God were ascend. ing and descending. Above it stood Jehovah and said, “ I am Jehovah, the 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

way that I


the earth be blessed. And behold, I am with thee; and will keep thee in all places, whither thou yoest; and will bring thee again into this land : for I will not leave thee, until I have done that, of which I have spoken to thee.” Astonished at this vision, Jacob rose early in the inorning, and took the stone, that he had put for his pil. low, and set it up for a pillar. and poured oil upon the top of it, as an offering to God. A dhe called the vame of that place Bethel ; or the house of God. Having tinished this religious service, he vowed the vow, recited in the text. It is introduced with the conditional observation), “ If God will be with me, and will keep me in this

and will give me bread to eal and raiment to put on; so that I come again to my father's house in peace.” All this God had just before promised to do: and Jacob entertained not a doubt, that the promise would be fulfilled. It ought therefore to be rendered as, since, or seeing that, or, in more modern English, because God will be with me, and will keep me, therefore Jehovah shall be my God. Accordingly, the Hebrew particle here rendered if, has this meaning in a variety of places.

On this occasion, Jacob quitted his father's family, without any expectation of ever bemg a member of it again. In the common, colloquial English of this Country, he was going to set up business for himself; and, like other young men, was thrown upon the world. Here he was to take his chance, or in beiter language his allotments, as they should be ordered by Providence; and was to find health or sick ess, riches, competence or poverty, reputation or disgrace, friends or enemies, a quiet or troublesome life, and, .universally, prosperity or adversity; as God should determine.

For reasons, which do not appear, Isaac, when he sent Jacob away, gave him no portion ; as Abraham had done to his sons by Keturah, when he sent them away. Although Isaac was a man of great wealth ; yet Jacob was dismissed with nothing, but a scrip, and a staff. This heir of a princely fortune set out upon a journey, in an important sense the journey of his life, alone; on foot; to go to a Country, several hundred miles distant, through an immense wilderness, inhabited by beasts of prey, and haunted by savages of a still fiercer and more dangerous nature. Here his lodging was the ground; a stone his pillow; and the sky his covering. The issue of his enterprise was, in the meantime, incapable

of being foreseen. Whether he should ever reach the end of it was absolutely uncertain. If he should, it was equally uncertain what reception he should find from his uncle, or what success he should meet with in his future life. It will not be questioned, that in these circumstances Jacob needed the protection and blessing of God; or that the vision, which he saw, was in the highest degree fitted to yield him consolation, and inspire him with hope.

Thus comforted, thus inspired, Jacob began his journey anew with fresh vigour of mind, and with those supporting expectations, which were excited and established by the cheering promises, announced in his vision. But before he commenced his progress be uttered the vow, recited in the text, and founded on these promises. This vow consists of three distinct parts:

Jehovah shall be my God;" 6. This stone which I have set for a pillar shall be God's house ;

“Of all, that thou shalt give me, I will surely give the tenth unto Thee."

The two last of these resolutions may be paraphrased in the following manner.

“I will regularly worship God in his house, and elsewhere, according to his commandment;" and

6. I will consecrate the tenth of all my property to pious and charitable purposes."

These resolutions of Jacob are undoubtedly the best, which were ever formed on a similar occasion; and a perfect pattern for all succeeding young men, when beginning to act for themselves, and commencing their own proper business for life. No subject of thought, no scheme of practice, can be more perfectly suited to such an occasion as the present. I persuade myself therefore, that this audience, particularly the youths, for whose instruction this discourse is especially intended, will readily accompany me with their solemn attention, while I attempt summarily

1. To illustrate the Import of these Resolutions; and

II. To rxhibit Reasons, why they should be adopted by all young men, at this period of life, and particularly by themselves.

All the observations, made in this discourse, on both these sub

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jects, will be immediately addressed to those, for whose benefit, in a peculiar sense, they were written. Yet it is hoped, that others will find such an interest in them, as to make a profitable application of them to their own circumstances.

1. I shall attempt summarily to illustrate the Import of these Resolutions.

I have chosen to call the several parts of this vow Resolutions, rather than to consider them in the nature of distinct vows, particularly, because in the New Testament we are not, in the appropriate sense, required to make vows. They are no where forbidden; nor any where exhibited as unlawful. Whenever they are made; it is undoubtedly an indispensable duty exactly to perform them. Should any person consider the Christian Profession, or the assumption of the Christian Covenant, as a vow; I have no contention with him on that subject. That it is our duty to make this profession cannot be questioned by a believer in Divine Revelation ; nor that the engagements, into which we then enter, are equally obligatory with those, made in vows, appropriately so styled. If these be considered as vows ; they are to be excepted from the general remark, which I have made; as not being in the number of those, to which I referred. From making this profession, my young friends, nothing can excuse you. Generally, I should advise you to make resolutions, rather than vows. They will produce the same beneficial effects on your conduct: they will be safer: they will be less perplexing; and in all probability will furnish less reason for future anxiety and distress.

The first of Jacob's resolutions was that Jehovah should be his God.

To choose JEHOVAH, as our God, is to choose Him, as our Lawgiver and Ruler, whose pleasure we determine voluntarily, and universally, to obey ; to choose Him, as the only Object of our worship, as the supreme Object of our love, reverence, and confidence; and to choose Him as our final portion and supreme good. It is, also, to make this choice, without any balancing; and without admitting any rival to Him in our affections, our worship, or our obedience.

You will see, from this explanation, that this resolution of Jacob completely involved those, which followed it. You will see, that this was the stem, of which they were only the branches; the foundation, on which alone they were established.

The second of these resolutions was, that the place, which had beer the scene of all these solemn transuctions, should be to him the House of God: the place, where after his return, he would, so far as his circumstances should permit, employ himself regularly in the worship of his Divine Benefactor.

The third of these resolutions was a solemn determination to consecrate the tenth of all his substance to pious and benevolent purposes : such, as God had generally commanded ; and such, as from time to time he might point out, as being agreeable to bis pleasure. Jacob perfectly well knew, and has here expressed his full conviction, that the silver and the gold belonged to God; and that He gave them with a design, that they should be employed in his service. Equally well did he know, that Faith without works is dead; that his goodness, or kindness, could not extend to his Maker; that it could extend to his fellow-saints, and his fellowmen extensively; and that He, who giveth to the poor, lendeth to the Lord. We give our property to God, when we give it to those, to whom He requires us to give it. Inasmuch as ye have shewn kindness, saith the Final Judge, to one of the least of these my brethren; ye have shewn it unto me.

From these observations it is evident, that in this vow Jacob consecrated himself, and all that he possess. ed, to the service of his Maker; chose Him for his portion; gave himself up as a child to God; and determined to employ, wholly, in his service himself, and all that was his.

Such were the resolutions, formed by this distinguished Patriarch, so peculiarly the object of the Divine favour, when he entered upon the business of life. You, my young Friends, are now in a situation, substantially the same with that of Jacob. You are now terminating your residence in the place of your education. Many of you may be considered as having already finished your residence in the place, so naturally and so eminently endeared to the human mind, the house of your Parents. The business of life lies immediately before you : an object always solemn ; deeply interesting to man; engrossing intense thought; exciting strong emotions ; involving extensively your hopes, and your happiness ; controlling your usefuluess to yourselves, and

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