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Sect. II. had said, “ Ye shall see greater things
“ than these.” And the psalms, formerly
“ To perform the mercy promi-
The “ mercy promised to our fa- thers” was, therefore, a spiritual mercy; and the “ covenant" made with
them was a gospel covenant ; for other- Sect. II. wise, God could not be said, by raising up Christ, to have « performed that “ mercy,” and “ remembered that co“ venant.” Accordingly, we are elsewhere told, the Gospel was preached “ to Abraham *;" and the covenant made with him is styled “ the covenant - of God in Christ b." The Gospel, then, was prior to the law, and was the patrimony of all the children of Abraham. “ The law, which was four hun« dred and thirty years after,” whatever might be it's intention, could not dispossess them of this their inheritance ; it could not « disannul the covenant, “ and make the promise of none effect.” But if, on the contrary, it was designed to keep up, and further the knowlege of them; if it was a standing prophecy; if it was “a schoolmaster,” by it's elements training up and conducting it's scholars “ to Chrift;" then certainly nothing was wanting on the part of God. The Jews minded earthly things; but to infer from thence, that they were never
Sect. II. taught the knowlege of things heavenly,
would be a method of arguing too hazardous to be ventured upon; since, from the behaviour of many, who profess the Christian religion, it might as fairly be concluded, that their Master promised nothing but “ loaves and fishes.” Ifraelites might set their hearts too much on “ fields and vineyards,” forgetting or neglecting better things, as men are apt to do, who are blessed with prosperity in this present world. But when they did so, they did wrong: prophets were sent to reprove the error, and judgments to convince them, that Canaan was not the end of the “covenant,” nor a plentiful harvest the mercy promised.”
6. « THE oath which he sware to
« our forefather Abraham ---"
The amazing condescension of God in vouchsafing, for man's satisfaction and assurance, to confirm his promise by an oath, is finely touched upon in the epistle to the Hebrews. " When “ God made promise to Abraham, be“ cause he could swear by no greater, he
“ sware by himself, saying, surely bleff- Sect. II. « ing I will bless 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 “ Thew 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“ sible 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 affurance of an oath! O the infidelity of his creatures, who distrust that affurance b!
That he would grant unto “ us, that we being delivered " out of the hands of our ene“ mies, might serve him without fear,
a Heb. vi. 13.
to beatos nos, quorum caufa Deus jurat! O miserrimos, 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 bleffing I will blefs thee, “ and in multiplying I will multiply
thy feed as the stars of heaven, and
as the fand which is upon the sea “ Thore ; and thy seed shall possess the
gate of his enemies ; and in thy seed « Ihall all the nations of the earth be « blessed ." The objects of the bleffing here promised are the faithful children of Abraham, whether Jews or Gentiles; the “ seed,” in whom they are blessed, is Christ; the manner in which he obtains the blessing, is by “ pofsefs
ing the gate of his enemies," that is, by subduing them, and feizing their strong holds; the blessing itself confifteth in a redemption from bondage under those enemies, and an admission into
a Gen. xxii. 16.