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With regard unto the last, it will receivé a gradual accomplishment while the fun endurcth.
4. God promised DELIVERANCE unto his feed from that Egyptian bondage, which was then foretold ; and from the pilgrimage in which Abram was then engaged : “ Know of a surety, that thy seed shall be strangers in a land that is not their's, and thall serve them, and they shall afflict them four hundred
years. And also that nation whom they shall serve will I judge: and afterwards shall they come out with great substance *." To state the inatter of this promise in a clear point of view, it may
be observed, That the four hundred years commenced with the affliction of Abram's seed in the person of Isaac: For, in the fifth year of his life, he was macked; or, as the Apostle terms it, perfecuted by Iamael. This declaration does not say that they should serve four hundred years; but that they should be afflicted, and serve, and be strangers; for that space of time. Some part of the time they were strangers, as in the life of Ilaac, and Jacob, and Joseph: Some times they served without great affliction, as when Jacob served for a wife : Some part of the time they were afflicted without service, as Ifaac by Ishamael, and Jacob by Efau : And, lastly, they both served and were afflicted, as when under the Egyptian talk-masters. The four hundred years specified terminated in their deliverance from Egypt. The particulars which constitute that fum will be ascertained when we consider the occasions of the Sinai Covenant. The promise itself tended greatly to try Abram's faith, on the one hand; and to encourage him in his peregrinations, on the other. Though his seed should be greatly afflicted; yet they thould also be graciously delivered in due time. This deliverance must also be considered as an eminent type of salvation to genuine Israelites, from worse than Egyptian bondage, through our Lord Jesus Christ.
* Gen. XV. 13. 14.
5. God covenanted to bestow the land of Canaan on this covenanted feed. “ 'The fame day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy feed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river,
, the river Euphrates *." Here I may observe, that this covenant included the promises above specified, as well as the promise of the land of Canaan. The original text, as Calvin well observes, shews that the covenant is of this extent: For it runs thus, “ The same day, the Lord cut a covenant with Abram.” Now, the CUTTING meant is the CUTTING of the sacrifices in twain, for ratifying the foregoing promises. This deserves the more particular consideration, as not a few confine the Abrahamic covenant unto the earthly Canaan. But, in this view, fpiritual blessings were of the first and greatest consideration in it; while temporal blessings were only appendages of it, or typical glasses subjoined to it.-Again, i may add, That this promise was requisite, as a means of accomplishing others in this covenant. It was a means of accomplishing that promise, in particular, which respected the Messiah : For, if he were to spring from Abram, it was requisite that the feed of Abram should be kept together in a body, that they might be known; and in a separate state (left they should be confounded with the rest of mankind) until that end was accomplished. Had they not been in a fixed habitation, apart from the nations of the earth, they could not have been in a condition to receive those ordinances which served, at once, as a partitionwall, to distinguish them from their neighbours, and as a glass to bring the Messiah into their view.--Finally, I fhall observe, that this inheritance was a figure of the heavenly inheritance. As Canaan was the place of rest, after a wilderness journey, so is heaven to the weary traveller: After he has finished his course, he enters into his reft. Nor were there any reason for conferring it on Israel, besides God's good pleasure: As it is still the FATHER'S GOOD PLEASURE to give this heavenly kingdom: Like Canaan, the heavenly country
* Gen. xv. 18.
land of Canaan is bounded, on the north, by mount Lebanon ; on the soutlı, by the wilderness of Paran, Idumea, and Egypt ; on the east, by the mointains of Arabia ; and on the west, by the GREAT SEA, or the Mediterranean. These were the li. units of it till the reign of David, who extended it to the river Euphrates on the east. The pofleflion was enlarged as the people encreased. It is only as it stood in the days of David, that it agrees to the promise here made to the patriarch. The length of this land, from
fouth to north, is near seventy leagues; that is, from Dan to Beer-sheba : The breadth, from the Mediterranean Sea to its eastern borders, scarce thirty. But the breadth of it, from the river of Egypt, or Sichor, on the fonth-west part, to the river Euphrates, on the northcast part, is much greater. Reland. Palestin. cap. iii. &c.
is the pleasant land : In it alone is to be found the tree of life, which yields all manner of
If the carthly Canaan was a land of brooks, and fountains of waters; the heavenly Canaan is watered with the river of the Water of Life, pure as crystal. If Canaan was the glory of all lands, as it had the seat of God's worship in it, and the symbols of God's presence; How much more glorious is the heavenly Canaan? as there the King Eternal and Immortal ever reigns, in light inaccessible, and full of glory ! - I might also have observeri, That this promise is also co11 ceived in such terms as if it were already accomplished, though the accomplishment was fome hundreds of
The reason of this manner of expresion seems to be, God
had already made a deed of conveyance to Abram; and this was an enlargement of those preceding grants. He might say, then, that he had given this inheritance already, by promise, though not in actual possession. Another reason for this manner of speech is, the prophetic style in which God speaks of things future as past; because his word is as certain as the accomplishment of it.
SECONDLY, The OCCASIONS of this Covenant may next be considered.
1. It obtained after Abram had been guilty of dissimulation concerning Sarai, his wife. Some have endeavoured to excuse the patriarch in this matter, indeed; but that is impossible : No real, or supposed danger, can ever be a sufficient reason of imitating the devil, who is a liar from the beginning. Now, God renewed the covenant with him, after this fall
, to declare the stability of his purpose, and the freedom of his grace.
God prevents faints, as well as smers, with the blessings of his goodness. The treachery, even of his own people, cannot evacuate his covenant; nor debar them from access to himself by covenant-renovation.
2. THIS covenant-renovation obtained after God had given him a most signal victory over the four confederate kings who sacked