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fon on earth who can wish to enjoy more than what was promised tc Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the covenant which God made with them. They were believers, and Abraham is the father of all them who believe. In this covenant is contained all bleflings, temporal, spiritual, and eternal.
There is one thing concerning the covenant, or prom. ise of the land of Canaan which is worthy of notice, which proves that Abraham's title to that land stands good now; and that is, that the covenant made with the posterity of Abraham at mount Sinai, cannot ditannul or make this promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob of none effect. Their title to it is the same as though that covenant, which is now done away, had never been made. Paul says, Gal. ii. 16, 17, 18, Now, to Abra. ham and his feed were the promises made ; he faith noi, and to feeds, as of many ; but as of one, and to thy seed, which is Christ. And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ: The law which was four hundred and thirty years after cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. For if the inlaeritance be of the law, it is no more of promise ; but God gave it to Abraham by promise.” This proves that there never has, nor never will be any dispensation to prevent the complete accomplishment of all which God has promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and Christ his feed, as it respects the land of Canaan. All is not yet accomplished, therefore it is yet to be done.
Leít some should think there is not enough faid to prove that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, will at a future period rise, and live in the land of Canaan, under the reign of Christ, I will here mention a few things which I think cannot be contradicted by any reasonable per.
In the firit place, God promised the land of Canaan to Abraham for a possession, as well as to his feed. Gen. xiji. 15“ For all the land which thou feelt, to thee will I give it, and to thy feed forever.” It is a certain fact, that Abraham never come in possession of what God promised; for Stephen fays, Acts vii. 4. Sa “ Then came he (Abraham) out of the land of the Chaldeans, and dwelt in Charran; and from thence, when his Father was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell; and he gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to fet his foot on ; yet he promised that he would give it to him for a posseflion, and to his feed after him; when as vet lie had no child." This shews that Abraham did not poffefs that land while he lived, but was a stranger in it all his days.
It is evident from Paul's writings, that the Patriarch died without receiving the promises respecting this country, and that they considered the promises afar off, even at their death. Heb. xi. 8, 9, 10, 13, 14, 15, 16, “ By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out inw a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whether he went. By faith he fojourned in the land of promise as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles, with Ifaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promises; for he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. [See Genesis xxiii. 4, “ I am a STRANGER and a sojourner with you.” Gen. xxxvii. 9, “ The days of the years of my PILGRIMAGE are an hundred and twenty. Chronicles xxix. 15—Plalm xxxix. 12, and cxix. 19.] For they that say such things, declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had an opportunity to have returned ; but now they desire a better country, that is an heavenly ; wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for he hath prepared for them a city."
One thing here is remarkable, and that is what is said in verse 16, “ But now they desire a better country, that is ün heavenly; wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he hath prepared for them a city:” Paul mentions the whole of what took place before their
death in the past tense ; but in this verse, he speaks in the present time.; “but now they desire a better coon. try." Why now? It may be that they were risen from the dead at the time when Paul wrote this Epistle.'
When Jesus gave up the Ghost on the Cross, it is said, Matthew xxvii. 52, 53, “And the graves were opened, and many bodies of the saints which dept arose, and came out of their graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many."
It is poflible, that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, were a. mong the many which arose, and being alive now are defiring that better country, and are with Jesus, waiting for the time when they shall come into posseffion of what God has promised them in the land of Canaan.
What Jesus Christ said to the Sadducees concerning Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as a proof of the resurrection, seems to agree with this account. Matthew xxii. 31, 32, “ But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Ifaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead but of the living.” What Christ said in these verses, silenced the Sadducees. What he said reads thus to me. If God is the God of these three men, he must and will fulfiil all the promises to them which he has confirmed by an oath ; they died, not having received the promises ; and of course, they must have an exist. ence to receive what God has promised them ; their spirits live, and God cannot fulfill all he has promised unless their bodies rise from the dead; there must be a resurrection, or God will not prove himself a God of truth. Chrif in this way proved the resurrection to those who had before denied it, so that they acknowl. edged it by their filence.
Another thing 'proves that they will yet possess the land of Canaan, that is, that in Abraham as well as in liis seed, all the families of the earth shall be blessed ; that time has never been, and therefore it is yet to be. One proof more is, that neither Abraham nor his poc
terity, have ever yet peaceabl; posse fled ail the country which God said they should possess. - I will mention only one thing more to prove that Abraham and his feed will peaceably possess and enjoy what God promised; and that is, that the blessings promised to Abraham's seed, as it respects the land of Canaan are entirely withheld from the feed of Abraham; the Jews; they have been cast out of that land for almost two thousand years, though Paul declares that all these promises remain and that in a future day they will be delivered out of their present scattered, distressed fituation. Rom. xi, 26, 27, 28, 29, “ There shall come out of Zion the deliverer, and shall turn away ungodli. ness from Jacob. For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their fins. As concerning the gospel they are enemies for your fakes; but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father's fakes. For the gifts and calling of God are without repen. · tance."
The covenant of promise made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, remains as firm this moment as it did the night God Thewed Abraham the stars of heaven as a proof of a numerous feed ; as when he told Ifaac not to so into Egypt; but to dwell a pilgrim in the promised land, as when Jacobs dreamed of the ladder, and heard the promise, “ unto thee will I give this land.” The covenant is never called an old one ready to vanish a. way. It is never called the first covenant nor a faulty one; nor a broken one, all these things refer to the cov. enant made with the posterity of Jacob at mount Sinai. Had this been faulty, there would be room for another. Had it waxed old, it would vanish away. While I view this covenant which is made and will certainly be fulfilled in due time, I cannot but exclaim, O liow wonderful are the ways of God to man ! In the words of Paul on this ubjcct I cannot forbear saying ; " O the depth of the friches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord ?
Or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first give en to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things; to whom be glory forever Amen.".... Rom. xi. 33, 34, 35, 36.
These few prophecies and remarks may shew the read. er fome of that light which the scripture prophecies af. ford those who take heed unto them as a light shining in a dark place.