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Thus it was promised to him, that Christ should come of him, according to the flesh, who would bless his beloved ones, by turning them every one from their iniquities. This brings me,
Fourthly, to consider the Lord's promise, to be with, to keep, and bring Jacob back again into the land of Canaan, which he was now going out of to Mesopotamia, assuring him that he would not leave him until he had accomplished his promise to him: "And behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again to this land; for I will not leave thee until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of." Which promise is an application of the whole vision to him, and his peculiar case. God's covenant presence is an invaluable blessing, the promise of it is esteemed by saints to be such. And now Jacob was going to PadanAram, in Mesopotamia, so called, because it lay between the two rivers Euphrates and Tigris, it must have been a most acceptable promise to him; also what is added to it, "And will keep thee in all places whither thou goest:" this was a divine security to the patriarch. Jehovah Jesus engaged to keep him at all times, in all places, and to be with him in every case and circumstance which might befal him during the whole of his journey, and all the while he should be absent from his father's house, and out of the land of
Canaan. To all which, the Lord adds, "And will bring thee again into this land, for I will not leave thee until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of." So that all the Lord could be to his servant, in affording him his sanctifying presence, in being with him, in keeping him, in bestowing all good upon him, in bringing him back again into the land of his nativity, and fulfilling all he had promised, is spoken of and declared for the support of Jacob's faith, and for the comfort of his mind. He might well set forward with a cheerful heart, and go on his way rejoicing; the Lord having promised him to do him good, and having given him his word to be the ground of his faith, and the foundation of his hope in him.
Thus Jacob having been favored with the revelation and vision of the essence and personalities of the essential Three, and having been illuminated with a view, in a visionary manner, of the incarnation of the Second Person in the essence, who was one day to be made flesh, he was divinely refreshed in his mind, and satisfied. On awaking out of his sleep, he said, "Surely the Lord is in this place: the glory of Jehovah dwelleth in this place. This is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven;" referring to the visionary ladder, which, as it had exalted his thoughts to things above, so it was
also a standing representation, on which he saw the angels of God ascend and descend, and by which the Lord had conversed with him. It was, therefore, to him, the house of God, and the gate of heaven.
Being thus confirmed in the faith of the unity of the Godhead, of the personalities of it, of their covenant transactions, and that one of them was the Prince of Life, and that his grand-mother Sarai's name was changed to Sarah, to point her out as princess, or queen, mother of the Prince of Life; he set up a stone, or pillar, and anointed it, and called the place Bethel, the house of God. The stone represented Christ, the Rock of Ages; the anointing it with oil, was to shadow forth Christ, the anointed of God. The name given to the place, a learned man renders, a place of worship for the irradiator;' and the patriarch vows, if he comes back in peace from the heathen country, to demonstrate his adherence to the Alehim, the eternal Three, who are engaged by will, counsel, covenant, word, and oath, to save all who believe on Jesus Christ. This place before had been called Luz, from hazel or almond trees, which grew there. Jacob lived to see all these promises fulfilled: he was preserved in the true faith and worship of God; had twelve sons, who became heads of the twelve tribes of Israel; returned from Padan-Aram to
Canaan; had a vision of Christ in human form, obtained of him the name Israel; built an altar at Bethel, and called it El-Beth-El; and entailed the blessing of the Messiah on the tribe of Judah. He lived to see his father Isaac, who died in the year of the world two thousand two hundred and eighty-eight, aged one hundred and eighty. Abraham was one hundred and seventy-five years old when he died, which was five years less than the age of Isaac; and Jacob was one hundred and forty-seven years old when he died. May the Lord bless what is here laid before you. Amen.
ON THE APPEARANCE AND MANIFESTATION OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST TO MOSES, AT THE BURNING BUSH AT HOREB.
EXODUS iii. 15.
"And God said, moreover, unto Moses, thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, the Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial to all generations."
IT is truly pleasing, and exceedingly satisfactory and profitable to a spiritual mind, to view and trace out the several revelations, visions, and declarations, which the holy and essential undivided Three, in the One incomprehensible Jehovah, were most graciously pleased, at sundry times, and in divers manners, to vouchsafe to make of their distinctive personalities, and their oneness of essence, with their covenant transac