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from thence, least the Mould be consumed by the flame. This covenant, then, was requisite at this time, to preserve the knowledge of the true God in the world, as well as to be a testi-.. mony against these manifest covenant-violations.
3. NOAH, the preacher of righteousness, and principal covenanter in the preceding transaction, was now dead; and there were but few religious persons left behind to supply his place. The most l'emarkable among them were Shem and Melchisedec; and Heber, probably, was still alive likeways: But, left the true religion should die with these persons, this covenant was necessary to raise up a new covenanted feed, That the Covenant between God and his Church might ever be perpetuated. Thus God renewed the covenant with Noah's seed, in their generations, which he had struck with him in his own person; and he continued to be the LORD GOD OF SHEN, AND HIS SEED, from generation to generation *
* Gen. ix. 26. 27.
AS S it is better to adapt method to the sub
ject, than to repeat what has been already advanced, I Mall rather refer the reader to the preceding part than again insert the character of the Parties covenanting in this
Here I shall proceed,-1. To consider the Declarations which God made unto 1bram.-II. The Occasions of them.--And, III. Their Confirinations.
FIRST, I shall consider the gracious DECLARATIONS which God made unto Abram.
1. God promised to be Abram's SHIELD. He had lately broken the shield of Chedorlaomer, king of Elam; but he secured Abram against any such disaster : Said he, “ I am thy SHIELD." In all parts of the spiritual warfare, and in all the steps of thy peregrinations, my perfections are over thee as a covert, and round about thee as walls of protection. This promise is nobly illustrated by David : “He Thall cover thee with his feathers; and under his wings shalt thou trust: his Truth shall be thy shield aird thy buckler *."
What grandi Pfal. xci. 4.
encouragement had hé to engage every enemy, at God's command, under this armour It is sufficiently large to ward off every danger; absolutely impenetrable by all the fiery darts of the devil.
2. God announced himself to Abram as his EXCE EDING GREAT REWARD *. Abram
ges nerously despised the reward offered him by the king of Sodom; but God promised to confer on him a better and more durable substance. He promised to endue him with an interest in all the perfections of the Deity, as his portion; and also in all the persons of the Godhead. This R EWARD must be great, indieed; yea EXCE E DING GR E AT,
it far transcends the most enlarged desires and expectations of the immortal foul; and it is durable as the lasting ages of eternity.
3. God renewed unto him the PROMISE OF A SEED, which had been made in the prece ding covenant, as well as unto Eve and Noah. God promised to make him a great nation, while, as yet, he had not a single son. The patriarch, therefore, manifested some fretfulness, mixed with unbelief, in his reply; but God did not deny him an heir of his own body on this account. Though the accomplishment of the promise was delayed, as a chastisement, pero haps, of his unseasonable hesitation. Said Abram, Lord, what wilt thou give me, feeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus ? Behold, to me thou haft given no feed; and lo, one born in my house is mine heir.” But God said, * This shall not be thine heir ; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. And he brouglet him fortlı abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them : And he said unto him, So shall thy Seed be *." The faith of the patriarch, from first to last, was much excrcised about this promise: And much depended on the accomplishment of it. Wherefore, God saw meet to unvail it gradually unto him: And it made one advance in this transaction, as he was secured of a feed without adoption. But, as it deserves to be minutely surveyed on all sides, I may observe,That it includes a multitude of literal feed. This part of the promise received its accomplishment, especially, in the seed of Jacob : The sacred historian remarks, that they were as the SAND OF THE SEA. They were separated from the rest of the world, that this might be manifested; as well as for another, and still more important purpose. That this promise also includes an Extraordinary Seed,
* Gen. XY. I.
were, at first, separated, and afterwards kept together in a body, to be the channel through which this Extraordinary Seed Thould flow. And the patriarch's faith took up with the Messiah, even in this edition of the promise; as appears from the object of it : “ He believed the Lord, and it was accounted unto him for righteousness *."
" He believed the promise, that he should have a Seed, and a very numerous one; he believed the Messiah should spring from this feed; he believed in him as his Saviour and Redeemer ; he believed in him for righteousness; and he believed in his righteousness justifying him before God t." That this promise also includes a Spiritual Seed, -a race of believers, who should walk in the footsteps of faithful Abram: “Know ye, therefore, that they which are of the faith, the same are the children of Abraham I.” The Apostle fiurther witnesseth, “ That he is the father of all them who believe,--that righteousness may be imputed to them also. And the father of circumcision to then who are not of the circiumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised G.” The promise is already fully accomplished with respect to the two firit species of feed; as it respected a certain end which is now accomplished: