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leave thee until I have done that which I have. spoken to thee of.
AFTER the flood, when the ark had rested ou the mountains of Armenia, Noah and his family, and with them the church aud true religion, settled in the countries adjoining to the Euphrates; the quarter where paradise, accordiug to the sacred account, had been placed at the first peopling of the world.
After the deluge, the raiubow was appointed by God, as a token of the purifier, whom he would raise up; and was given as a sign to NoaU and his descendants, that God would no more cutoff all flesh, nor destroy the earth, as he had done by the waters of a flood. The learned Mr.. Parkhurst says, as the bow, or light in the cloud, wonderfully refracted in all its variety of. colors, was, in its original institution, a token of God » mercy in Christ, or, more strictly speaking, of Christ the real purifier, and true light. We see with what propriety the throne of God, in Ezek. i. 28. and in Rev. iv. 3. is surrounded with the rainbow, and likewise how properly one of the divine persons is represented with a rainbow on. his head. Rev. x. i.
- At the dispersion at Babel, the sons. of Noah inhabited the world thus :—the posterity of Ham. moved southward; carrying with them the false religion of idolatry, which seems to have been begun at Babel, or Babylon, and the farther they strayed from the residence of the church and true religion, the deeper they sunk into ignorance. Wherever they went, whether to Africa, or to the Atlantic continent, they propagated the impious and sanguinary rites of human sacrifices. The whole continent of Africa was peopled principally by the children of Ham. Japhet's posterity possessed all Europe, and also the lesser Asia, Media, part of Armenia, Iberia, Albania, and those vast regions towards the north, which the Scythians anciently inhabited, and now the Tartars inhabit; and it is not improbable, says bishop Newton, that the new world (I suppose he means America,) was peopled by some of his northern descendants, passing thither by the straits of Anian. Shem, and his posterity, possessed a part of Asia, and in it those four great monarchies, the Assyrian, Babylonian, the Median, and Persian, were seated. And in this quarter of the world, also, the church of Christ was first settled; and the Hebrew nation, who had Abraham for their patriarch, or great father, rising, by degrees, till the reign of Solomon, formed a wise, wealthy, and splendid kingdom, long before the powers of Greece and Rome were heard of. From Abraham two very extraordinary nations descended, the Ishmaelites and Israelites; concerning whom there are some remarkable prophecies in the book of God. Abraham had the honor to be singled out and called by grace; and his calling out of Ur, of the Chaldees, into the land of Canaan, is the most remarkable era and event recorded after the confusion at Babel. The promise to him, which we before treated of, contains the foundation of the Jewish nation, priesthood, kings, and glory. He lived in the land of Canaan twenty-five years before Isaac was born. He saw iu him, in the promise of him, in his birth, in the command given to sacrifice him, and in his deliverance from death, Christ's day, and rejoiced.
Abraham, in his walking with God, as his reconciled father, received many singular tokens of his everlasting and covenant love. The Lord blessed him in all things. It was promised to him by God, who cannot lie, before he entered Canaan, "Iu thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed." After he had been in Canaan ten years, Hagar bore Ishmael. To prevent all mistake, the Lord God is pleased to reuew the former promise, and to limit it to Isaac: "For in Isaac shall thy seed be called." Gen. xxi. 12. Isaac, when, as Dr. Lightfoot thinks, he was about three and thirty years old, was, by God's express command, to be offered for a burnt-ofFering. By which command, his son's compliance, and his being tied, bound, and laid on the altar, the glorious Mediator was most solemnly set forth, his death divinely realized in this figure to Abraham's faith, and he had a most complete spiritual and intuitive view an dapprehension of Christ, in his person, as the Son of his Father's love, as set apart by his will, counsel, and covenant, to be the Lamb slain for sin, and as raising himself up from under the power of death, as the Almighty conqueror of it, and blessing his people with an everlasting blessing, having saved them in himself with an everlasting salvation. Abraham lived one hundred years in the land of Canaan. Isaac was an elect vessel of mercy, and also a very peculiar and personal type of Christ. The everlasting love and covenant of the eternal Three was made known to him, and the same promises renewed to him, which had been given to his father. The Lord appeared to him, probably in a human form, as a pledge of the incarnation of the essential Word, and said, with an articulate voice, "In thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." This was pronounced to him by the Lord after Abraham's death, see Gen. xxvi. 4. The land of Canaan, which was promised to him and his seed four hundred years before they took possession of it, was promised to Isaac also, Gen. xxvi. 3. He had two sons, whose families grew up, and were separated into two different nations. The blessing and promise of the glorious Messiah, was bestowed on Jacob, the youngest: to him blessings temporal, and also spiritual, the promise of the land of Canaan, and the promise of the seed, in whom all the nations of the earth should be blessed, were entailed; which promises were first made to Abraham, then repeated to Isaac, and then confirmed to Jacob; which the psalmist takes notice of, and celebrates the Lord's praises, saying, "He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations; which covenant he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac: and confirmed the same unto Jacob, for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant: saying, unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance." Psalm x. 5, 8—11. Jacob, a little before his death, under the influence of the Holy Ghost, as the spirit of prophecy, bequeaths the same blessing to his twelve sons, as the distinct heads and representatives of the twelve tribes which proceeded from them. The inheritance of the land of Canaan was to be shared and divided amongst them; but the blessed seed could only descend from one of them. And Jacob, on his death-bed, assigns to each of them a portion in the promised land; but limits the descent of the Messiah to the tribe of Judah. So that we have, though it be indeed in a brief way and manner, in the revelation and promise of Christ to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the whole substance and epitome of all contained in prophecy, and the original foundation and glory of God's people Israel set before us.