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upon trial, proved that he had understandingly engaged on the ground of the faith of God; which, in its principle, was the engagement of God to Christ, that laying down his life, according to the divine will, he should receive it again; and also, that this ground of the faithfulness of God, was sure to bear him through. "And he that "had received the promises offered up his only
begotten son; of whom it was said, that in "Isaac shall thy seed be called: Accounting "that God was able to raise him up, even from "the dead; from whence also he received him " in a figure."
The ram caught by his horns in a thicket, in that place, and taken by Abraham and offered for a burnt-offering in the stead of Isaac, presented a view of the required righteousness; and was an explicit acknowledgment by him, that his complete justification as being in full favour with God, pronounced there from heaven, was not by his own righteousness, or his work of faith in offering Isaac, but wholly by mediatorial interposition. Indeed he had not done the required work, he had merely shewn his good will to it; nor would he have done it, had he actually have slain his son; for, as has been shewn, the work required in the redemptioncovenant, was the taking away of sin, the spoiling of principalities and rulers of the darkness of this world, and the salvation of men, by the laying down of life, and taking it again; a work which both declared the Son, and anifested the Father; and which, therefore, none but the Son of God could do. He did enough, however, to maintain fellowship with the great Sponser of the covenant.
Abraham being justified by the grace of God, on the ground of the faith or righteousness of Christ; he having shewn the most perfect good
will to the great interest, which is a requisite, ever existing in the nature of fellowships; God was pleased to express to him, and that with an bath, the same promises which he had thus made to Christ, that he would bless him, and multiply his seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea-shore; and that his seed should possess the gate of his enemies; and that in his seed should all the nations of the earth be blessed. And all who are blessed with faithful Abraham, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the lan, but by the faith of Jesus Christ; when they have received circumcision, and done all the carnal ordinances imposed by it; or have been baptised, and done all the spiritual duties enjoined thereby; like him, have resorted at last. to the ample provisions made ready to their hands, and bestowed upon them without any act of theirs, as spontaneously as was the breath of life, in the free and sovereign gift of Christ; For the just shall live by his faith.
The place pointed out for this transaction was the Mount Moriah, the holy place of the tabernacles of the Most High; in which, at the entrance of the sanctuary, or first tabernacle, the holy altar of burnt-offering was set up, exhibiting, unceasingly, the requirement of the law, as a flame of fire, according to the nature of the mediate, or angelic ministration, until what was signified by the name Abraham called that place JEHOVAH JIRETH, was there seen. The Lord did see, or provide himself a lamb for a sacrifice, which was there offered once for all; and the purpose of this enclosure, or separate place, being thus answered, it was thrown open, and the way into the holy of holies, or the holiest of all, was made manifest; which things, through the darkness of the anti-christian apostacy, more impenetrable than the middle wall of partition, but few men can now receive,
but they will be well understood at the sound of the seventh trumpet, when the temple of God shall be opened in heaven, and there be seen in his temple the ark of his testament.
THE distinction respecting the divine will, which lies at the foundation of the divine system, as including a service work, and a compensating reward, and, consequently, a state both of humiliation and of exaltation of the subject of that will, forms necessarily a distinction and separation in the church; for, as the covenant between Christ and the church, like that of marriage, makes the parties one in state and interest; such an union with Christ, while under the bond of the service work, must necessarily place the church with him in a subject state; as also, he being rewarded and glorified, it must place the church in a state of freedom and exaltation. As Christ, under the law, was the servant and bond man, it follows that his married wife, in that state, was the handmaid and bondwoman; but, having accomplished the service, he is the King's son, and is therefore free; the church, also in this state, is the King's daughter, and is free indeed.
This great subject, so important to be understood, in order to entertain just views of the divine economy, is represented to us by the marriage of Abraham......." It is written, that Abra"ham had two sons; the one by a bondmaid, "the other by a free woman. But he who was of
the bondwoman, was born after the flesh; but "he of the free woman was by promise. Which things are an ALLEGORY; for these are the two covenants; the one from Mount Sanai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth "to Jerusalem, which now is, and is in bondage "with her children. But Jerusalem, which is above, is free, which is the mother of us all....... "For it is written, Rejoice thou barren that bear"est not; break forth and cry, thou that travellest "not: for the desolate hath many more children "than she which hath an husband.......Now, we, "brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of pro"mise. But as then he that was born after the "flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so is it now......Nevertheless, what "saith the Scripture? Cast out the bondwoman "and her son: for the son of the bondwoman. "shall not be heir with the son of the free woIman. So then, brethren, we are not children of "the bondwoman, but of the free."
It is evident that this Allegory represents the two churches, viz. that under the dispensation of the Law, and that under the dispensation of the Gospel. The same thing is represented, also, by the vail and the middle wall, which formed a partition in the sanctuary, and made the holy house to consist of two distinct apartments. Under the figures of Hagar and Sarah, and their respective children; and the names of Jerusalem which now is, and Jerusalem which is above, and which, immediately upon the overthrow of the anti-christian apostacy, shall descend from God out of heaven, and the children that belong severally to these cities; the whole state of the church of God is here, in a few words, brought into view.......The tabernacle, and afterwards the temple, set up among the tribes of Israel, was a most perfect pic
ture in miniature of the city of God: the whole work was made exactly according to a pattern shewed Moses in the mount, of which the building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens, is the glorious original. The temple which Ezekiel saw, and measured upon a large scale, and which compared so well with the pattern of Moses, is expressly called a city, Ezek. xl. 2. "In the visions of God brought he me in "to the land of Israel, and set me upon a very "high mountain, by which was as the frame of A CITY, on the south." In this sanctuary, however, there was not such a distinction as holy and most holy; for the vail, under this view, was taken away; the Lord of Glory had entered in at his gate, to make it the place of his throne, and the place of the soles of his feet, where he would divell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever; and had made in himself, of the train, one. "This "is the law of the house; Upon the top of the "mountain, the whole limit thereof round about "shall be holy: Behold this is the law of the "house," Ezek. xliii. 12. And from this circumstance that both sanctuaries, together with the court of the house, are here united in one, arises the largeness of these measures. Before the vail was taken away, on the one side, and the partition wall on the other, the sanctuary measured but twenty cubits square, with a porch of twenty cubits by ten; but this sanctuary is to measure five hundred reeds square.
The church, under the law, gendered to bondage; the incessant requirements, under that dispensation, like an intervening vail, and the continual services, like the smoke of the altar, covered and clouded the Glory of the Gospel.......In a natural view, it was impossible to penetrate șo thick a vail, and to pass through so tremenduous a cloud, and, by that way, to ascend the mount,