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"And in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed."-" I am the Lord 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 this 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 the earth be blessed." This is a recapitulation of all the promises, and a fresh confirmation of them, as they had been given to Abraham, the father of Isaac, and then to Isaac his son, and which were now renewed by the Lord, and engaged to be fulfilled to Jacob. And from henceforth, Jehovah Alehim sustains the title of the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. A learned man says, after the sons of Noah went off in tribes, and separate societies, each subject to its respective chief, the bulk of mankind, with their governors, apostatized from Jehovah, and forgeting of whom they held their possessions, they became the abject slaves of ambitious princes. Yet one remained faithful: Abraham being heir of the eldest line from Noah, was chief prince, as well as chief priest, and is called, in his treaty with the sons of Heth, the prince of the Alehim: therefore the high privilege of producing the Purifier, the heir of all things, was strictly entailed upon his seed, so that there were the most



fit and equitable reasons for singling out the He brews from all the nations of the earth, for the progenitors of him who should be, and now is, the universal monarch. Our Lord says, in Matt. xxviii. 18, “ All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth." Christ sits enthroned in the holy heavens, the capital of his dominions. His power is from the Alehim alone. He rules by the persuasive influences of the Holy Spirit, and by his own irradiating power. All judgment is committed to him, to be exercised in due time even upon the loftiest mortal kings, who will then have no claim to distinction, but according as they have used their authority to promote or frustrate his gracious designs upon earth. His kingdom is not indeed derived from this world; but what is much more glorious, it comprehends the whole circuit and system of created things.

The name Abraham, given him by the Lord God, signified, according to Mr. Romaine, the excellent, or father of many nations, even of all the nations, and kindreds, and people, who are the faithful in Christ Jesus; hence we may see the propriety of the Lord's revealing himself to Jacob, under the title of the Lord God of Abraham, thy father: it was to inform him that what he had been to Abraham he would be to him. Jacob was now above seventy, and a number of sons were to proceed from him. His grandfather Abraham was five and twenty years in the land of

Canaan before the birth of his sou Isaac, and his birth was beyond all natural expectation; it was wholly the fruit of faith in God's promise," Sarah shall conceive and bare a son." I conceive his being born of a barren woman, was a forerunning item, that the birth of the Purifier, the Messiah, the seed in whom all the families of the earth were to be blessed, was to be wholly supernatural. Isaac also was married twenty years, and his wife was barren, and he was sixty years old; yet, in God's time, he hath two sons, and one of them is the progenitor of the Messiah. And this I also consider as pointing out that the conception and birth of Christ would be singular, and wholly beyond nature. Isaac was blind forty years before his death, yet the eyes of his mind were spiritually illuminated to take in most glorious views of Jesus and his salvation.

Jacob was now on his journey to Mesopotamia for a wife, so that the renewal of these promises, which had been delivered to his grandfather, and father, must be as life to his mind. The land of Canaan, which was the land on which Jacob now lay, was typical primarily of the kingdom of Christ upon earth, also of gospel times, and of the rest from the dominion of sin which the people of God enjoy; and ultimately of the kingdom of Christ in heaven, the saints everlasting rest in glory. This land Jehovah promises to Jacob, together with a numerous

seed, "The land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed." Observe, the Lord makes himself known first in his covenant, and covenant relation to him, and then out of the riches of the same grace by which he became the Lord his God, he promises to bestow all good things on him, "I am the Lord 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." This was assuring him of success in his pursuit, and that he should be fruitful; yea, he was to have a numerous offspring. So it follows, " and thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth," i. e. innumerable. "And thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south," and fill and inherit the whole land of Canaan. In which a prophecy of the spreading of the gospel and church of Christ in all parts of the world, may be implied and contained, and the patriarch's faith might be enlightened to view and conceive it in its utmost extent and latitude; for Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, were prophets, and the promises given them contained good things to come, which were to be fulfilled in the person and kingdom of the Messiah. Hence in their pilgrimage it is recorded, when they were but few, so as to be soon numbered: Abraham, and his family, three hundred and eighteen born in his house; this was their number when be armed them to battle

against Chedorlaomer, and the kings with him. They, doubtless, increased, but still Isaac's family was comparatively small; and Jacob's, though he multiplied into the number of threescore and ten persons, when he went down into Egypt, was soon counted. Yet when these progenitors of the Hebrew nation were very few, and strangers in the land of Canaan, it was given them by promise for an inheritance; when they went from one nation to another, up and down the land of Canaan, where were seven mighty nations, Deut. vii. and from one kingdom to another people, as Abraham went down into Egypt because of a famine in the land of Canaan, and after that to Gerah, to Abimelech, king of the philistines, on the same account; so did his son Isaac; and so also Jacob and his family were put on removing out of Canaan to Egypt, on account of a famine in it; yet in all their removals, the Lord" suffered no man to do them wrong; yea, he reproved kings for their sakes, saying, touch not mine anointed, my separated ones, and do my prophets no harm." Here they are called prophets, Psalm cv. 12–15.

The Lord promises Jacob that his descendants should be innumerable; should possess and inherit the land; should suddenly and swiftly spread abroad and fill it; and adds to all this, the blessing of eternal life, "And in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed."

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