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« sware by himself, saying, surely bleff- Sect. II. « ing I will blefs thee, and multiplying “ I will multiply thee. ---- For men “ verily swear by a greater, and an oath “ for confirmation is to them an end of “ all strife. Wherein God, willing to " shew to the heirs of promise the im“ mutability of his counsel, confirmed “ it by an oath; that by two immuta“ ble things, in which it was impof“ fible for God to lie, we might have “ a strong consolation, who have fled “ for refuge, to lay hold upon the hope “ fet before usa.” O the goodness of God, who hath given his creatures the assurance of an oath! O the infidelity of his creatures, who distrust that affurance !
7. “ --- That he would grant unto
“ us, that we being delivered
a Heb. vi. 13. bo beatos nos, quorum caufa Deus jurat! O miserrianos, fi nec juranti Domino credimus! Tertull.
8. - In
8. “In holiness and righteousness
« before him, all the days of “ our life.”
The promise, made with an oath to Abraham, was made, after the intentional facrifice of Isaac, in the following terms ; “ By myself have I sworn “ --- that in blessing I will bless thee, “ and in multiplying I will multiply “ thy seed as the stars of heaven, and “ as the fand which is upon the sea “ fhore ; and thy feed shall possess the “ gate of his enemies; and in thy feed « shall all the nations of the earth be “ blessed ?." The objects of the blessing here promised are the faithful children of Abraham, whether Jews or Gentiles; the “ feed,” in whom they are blessed, is Christ; the manner in which he obtains the blessing, is by “ pofseff“ ing the gate of his enemies,” that is, by subduing them, and feizing their strong holds; the blessing itself confisteth in a redemption from bondage under those enemies, and an admission into
.a Gen. xxii. 16.
the service of God. Such is the fub- Sect. II. stance and intention of the promise made with an oath to Abraham, as explained by Zacharias, and fulfilled under the gospel. In the mean time, between the promise and it's accomplishment it pleased God to interpose a difpensation, which exhibited a visible representation of this great and important transaction, in the case of the children of Israel, or the posterity of Abraham according to the Aesh, who, after having been long detained in cruel bondage by Pharaoh and the Egyptians, were « delivered out of the hands of “ their enemies;” and delivered for this purpose, that they might serve God with a prefigurative service, calculated to, laft « till the feed should come, to « whom the promise was made.” For thus Jehovah faith to Moses, “ When “ thou hast brought forth the people “ out of Egypt, they shall serve God “upon this mountain.” So that when, at the transfiguration of our Lord upon mount Tabor, Mofes discoursed with him on the subject of “his decease,”, a Exod. iii, 12.. : ;
Sect. II. or, as it is in the original, his ExoDUS, m « which he should accomplish at Jeru
“ falem," may we not imagine to ourfelves the deliverer of Israel addressing the world's Redeemer in some such words as these --- By my hand the Lord God of Ifrael did once vouchsafe to bring forth his people from the afflicting bondage of Egypt; but thou shalt turn the multitude of the Gentiles from the power of Satan to God. I saw the Lord make a path through the waters, for his redeemed to pass over ; but thou shalt find a more wonderful way through the waves of death; and though the floods shall compass thee about, yet shall thy life be brought up from corruption. I beheld the chariots of Pharaoh and the mighty host of Egypt plunging in the deep, when the morning appeared ; but thou shalt "triumph over principalities and powers, and see them overwhelmed in the lake of fire. I led my people through the wilderness, and gave them a law which had “ the shadow of good “things to come ;” but thou shalt conduct thine through the world, and teach them to 6 worihip in spirit and
“ in truth.” I went before Ifrael to Sect. II. the borders of the promised land; but thou art the true shepherd of fouls, and they who follow thee shall “ pass from “ death unto life."
Zacharias concludes his divine song with an apostrophe to the infant Baptist, as one who was designed by providence to be the precursor of such a Saviour, and the publisher of such falvation. .
“ for thou shalt go before the
- his ways;
10. “ To give knowlege of salvation
“ unto his people for the remif.'' fion of their fins ---”,
"The law prophesied until John," who succeeded it in it's office of pointing out the Messiah, and spake the language of it's institutions, when he said, « Behold the Lamb of God, which << taketh away the sin of the world.”