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glory, blind to the excellencies of the earth, deaf to the harmonies of nature, dead and insensible to the ebbs and flows, the wants and possessions of human life,
In the name of the author, I abide yours in him who is the great Prophet raised up unto us—the great High Priest that is passed into the heavens-Jesus the Son of God—the King Eternal, Immortal, and Invisible-dwelling in light none can approach unto—a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord pitched, and not man.
IRVING. Fairview Guernsey, county, 0., August, 1841.
FAMIL Y CULTURE,
CONVERSATIONS AT THE CARLTON HOUSE.-No. XXIII.
ABRAHAM'S TEMPTATION. Olympas. The Lord tempted Abraham; yet, saith James, "God tempteth no man to evil.” How then, Thomas, did God tempt Abraham?
Thomas. He tempted him by trying him-by trying how far he would obey God.
Olympas. God uses strong arguments, and therefore strong temptations. To what points in Abraham's character was the temptation addressed?
Reuben. To his parental affection. Abraham loved Isaac, and he loved God; and God seems to have designed to test which of the two he loved most.
Olympas. True; Abraham had great parental affection for Isaac, and much filial affection for God. Now the question was, Which of the two were the stronger his parental or his filial affection? But was there nothing more in it than this, William?
William. Abraham was a great man, and his example would be nfluential, and the Lord took this way of making it so.
Olympas. We had better take up the incidents in order. Let us have the commandment of God to Abraham in this case.
William. “And God said, Take now thy son, thy only son Isaac whom thou lovest, and get thee to the land of Moriah, and offer him there for a burnt-offering upon one of the mouniains which I will tell thee of.”
Olympas. Now observe how strong the trial is made by the very words of the precept—"Take thy son, thine only son, whom thou lovest."
Olympas. How old was this only son at this time, Eliza?
Eliza. According to the margin he must have been about 24 years old. This happened in the year of the world 2132, one hundred and twenty-four years after Abraham's birth. Now as Isaac was born in the 100th year of his age, Isaac must have been in his 24th.
Olympas. This, then, shows how long children were subject to their parents in the Abrahamic family and in the East in those ancient times. Was he his only son, Reuben?
Reuben. He was his only son by Sarah his proper wife; and, since the exile of Hagar and Ishmael, he was his only son and heir at hone.
Olympas. To what place was he sent, James, to offer this burnt. offering?
James. To Mount Moriah in the East.
Reuben Did not Abrahain live in the East? What means "the East” in this place?
Thomas. Abraham's home at this time was Beersheba, which was West of the land of Moriah some fifty miles.
Oylmpas. Describe this land of Moriah, Thomas.
Thomas. It is in the Septuagint called "the High Lands”- the high lands of Canaan. In Judea it must have been because the high lands East of Beersheba were there. It is also called “the Land of Vision” in my Latin Vulgate, and that farther indicates its height; for persons ascend mountains when they desire to extend their vision.
Olympas. It is also in the Chaldee called “the Land of Worship,” not only because orship was usually performed on hills and mountains, rather than in plains and valleys; but because it was afterwards made the place of worship. Indeed, we know thar the land of Moriah included Jerusalem and the hills around it, and that the spot where the Lord appeared 10 David, and where Solomon built the Temple, is called Moriah by high authority. By whoin, can any of you tell?
All silent! James, read the ist verse of the 3d chapter of 24 Chronicles.
James. “Then Solomon hegan to build the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, on Mount Moriah, where ihe Lord appeared unto David his father, in the place that David had prepared in the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite."
Olympas. The place is certainly identified; and as Mount Moriah
Thomas. I have heard vague references to this place before; but I know not on what authority. It does, indeed, seem that the question must stand between Calvary and the Temple Mount for the site of this mysterious and sublime event.
Olympas. Our notions of congruity prefer Calvary; but there is room for a doubt which of the two; and we ought not to suffer our notions of congruity to supply the place of divine testimony. Either spot is apposite enongh for this symbolic scene, and sufficiently connects it with New Testament incidents and developements. Did any one, Susan, accompany Abraham and Isaac on this occasion.
Susan. Yes; Abraham rose up early in the morning and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son and clave the wood for the burnt-offering, and rose up and went to the place appointed.
Olympas. When did he arrive, Susan?
Olympas. How, William, did Abraham proceed after the Lord sig. nified to him the spot?
William He left his ass and his servanıs; and, taking his son, departed to the spot preordained for this solemn and significant event.
Olympas. Who carried the wood, now the ass and the servants both being left behind, Susan?
Susan. Abraham laid it upon Isaac; and, taking fire and a knife, they went both of them together.
Olympas. What an awful and solemn scene! Abraham with a knife in one hand and a torch in the other; Isaac the son of many promises, the darling of his hoary hairs, with a bundle of cleft dry wood upon his shoulder, climbing the hill by his side; and, in mute astonishment and contemplation, slowly ascending to its summit, to the identical spot marked out by the finger of God. At last, breaking silence, Isaac said, My father, behold the fire and the wood; but where is the lamb for a burnt-offering?" Abraham not fully comprehending his own words, as a relief to his own soul and the solicitude of his beloved son, said, "My son, God will provide himself a lanb for a burtoffering.” At length they arrive at the spot which God had told him of, and there Abraham with his own hands erects the altar, lays the wood in order, binds his son, and lays him in full length upon the altar and upon the wool, and, stretching forth his hand, seizes the knife to slay his son. Just as he lifted up his hand to heaven to s'rike the fatal blow, the angel of Jehovah calls to him out of heaven, saying with great energy of voice, "Abraham! Abraham! lay not thine hand upon thy son, neither hurt him in the least; for now I
know that thou fearesi God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thy only son, from me.”—And what next occurred in this soulsubduing scene? Tell us, Reuben.
Reuben. The venerable patriarch, lifting up his eyes, descried a ram caught in a thicket by his horns, which he took and offered for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.
Olympas. And what afterwards became the name of that memorable spot where this mystical transaction occurred?
Thomas. Abraham called it JEHOVAH-JIREH, which continued to be its name till the time of Moses-till Israel obtained the Land of Pro. mise.
Olympus. And what, Eliza; mean the words Jehovah-jireh?
Eliza. The margin says, “The Lord will provide"_In the Mount of the Lord it shall be seen."
Olympas. "In the Mount of the Lord it shall be seen”– What a singular, and apparently dislocated phrase! Can any of you explain it?
All silent again! It is, indeed, a singular phrase; and very great and learned critics have debated its meaning, both as respects (the Mount of God,” and the phrase, “It shall be seen.” Houbigant and other interpreters and critics read it, "In this Mount the Lord shall be seen.” According 10 the Septuagint which I now hold in my hand, it reads, “And Abraham called the name of that place, The Lord hath seen,' that at this day they might say, on this mountain, the Lord was seen." The difference between Howbijant and the Seventy is not so easily decided. The latter, indeed, is more consonant to the general construction and idiom of the Hebrew, and certainly with the New Testament allusion to this passage.
Abraham both heard and saw the Lord on that Mount; and as certain was the Lord Jesus both heard and seen on the same Mount God provided for Abraham on that Mount a lamb for a whole burnt-offering, instead of his son; and on the same Mount, in after times, in the seed of that same Isaac, God provided a whole burnt-offering in the sacrifice of his Son, instead of the seed of Abrahan.
Abraham's son was ransomed by a lamb which God provided, and Abraham's seed by faith are how ransomed by the Lamb of God, whom most emphatically God did provide—who suffered in their stead, as Mount Moriah's Lamb suffered in the stead of Isaac. The type is all fulfilled in the antityre.
Thomas. We wish to know what portion of the New Testament authorizes the translation, "In this Mount the Lord was seen;" and we desire to understand why Isaac submitted so voluntarily to the
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hand of his father. Indeed, there are several questions we desire to ask on this most interesting narrative.
Olympas. Say on. But in regard to the allusion to the New Testa, ment, which seems to me to justify the view that I have expressed of the Mount of Vision, our Lord's own words, following the Septuagint, seem to authorize the opinion, and 10 explain the difficulties which I expected to rise, and which I now see are rising in your minds. Abraham believed that God would bless the world in his son Isaac in some way. He greatly desired to understand in what way. Though not comprehending it at its first intimation, he rejoiced that one day he would understand it. To this transaction he alludes in a conversation with the infidel Jews in Jerusalem, saying, “Abraham rejoiced that he should see my day, and he did see it and was glad." This doubtless is the true and natural version of the passage. He saw it on this occasion: for it was in this trial of his faith, and in this Mount Moriah, that the Lord revealed to Abraham what he desired to understand:-first, in the silent voluntary resignation and submission of his son to death; then, in his figurative resurrection to life; for Paul is here our guide, when he says, “By faith Abraham offered up's his only begotten son Isaac, concerning whoin it was said, “In Isaac shall thy seed be called;" accounting in his own mind that “God was able to raise him from the dead, from which indeed he received him in a figure.” Thus the Lord was seen in the person of Isaac, in at least nine very essential points. 1st. Isaac and Jesus were both the children of promises preceding their birth. 2d. They were both born supernaturally, or by miracle. 3d. They were the only offspring of the same parentage; and consequently, 4th. the only heirs of their inheritance. 5th. They were both in the prime of life doomed to die; but neither of them on his own account-Isaac, as a proof of his father's faith in God and love to him; Jesus, as a proof of God's faithfulness and of his love to us. Cih. Each of them carried the wood of his own offering, and voluntarily submitted to the will of his father without the least resistance. 7th. They were both respired and raised from the dead—the one in figure, and the other in fact. In the Sth place, not a little remarkable, each rose on the third day from the pronunciation of the sentence of death upon him. And in the 9th place, each after he rose from the dead returned to the place where he was before, to his father's house, and afterwards became the father of many nations. Do you, Renben, now comprehend these nine capital points of typical coincidence between Isaac and Jesus our Savionr?
Reuben. I do not know that I can repeat them, but I will try.1st. They were both the children of prophecy, and promises. 21.