Page images

be considered as one body. If I mistake not, when the Apostle fays, the promises were made to Abraham and to his feed, he points to the formula of the covenant, which we have Gen. 17. 7, I will be a God unto tbee and to thy feed ofier thee, On this occasion the Apostle declares, that seeing all the families of the earth were, in their proper time, to become partakers of this blffing, it was necessary, they should be accounted to the seed of Abraham, and united to him in one body, and, as he speaks Eph: 1. 10, gathered together in one in Chrift. But this is not done by circumcision, or the other jewish ceremonies. For besides that the promise was made to Abrabam, while he was yet uncircumcised, and 430 years before the giving of the law; these ceremonies are the middle wall of partition, which separate the Israelites from the Gentiles, and therefore cannot be the band of union. But this incorporation or coalition is effected by the spirit of faith, which indissolubly unites believers to Christ the head, who is the principal feed, and with one another mutually: and thus they all form together one spiritual feed of Abraham, a whole Christ, with his myftical body. For, here we take the word CHRIST in the same sense, as i Cor. 12. 12. Seeing therefore, as is evident, the promises were made to the fpiritual seed of Abraham alone, exclufive of all others; but that spiritual seed ought to have also the same spiritual stock and origin; it must needs form one mystical body, whose head undoubtedly is Christ, from whom allthe other members have the honour to be called. Well therefore did the Apostle urge, that by the appellation feed, an union was intended, not precisely of perfon, but of fome mystical body, united by faith under the head Christ. See on this place Drusius, Cameron. Gomarus, Diodati and others, who explain it of Christ and his myftical body:

XIX. But we are not to overlook a notable diver. The blere sity of expression, that occurs here. God several sing in


Abraham tires repeats to Abraham, in thee 10771 fall be blefed
and Christ
in differ.

all families of the earth, Gen. 12. 3 and Gen. 18. 18. ent rer. But of the feed of Abraham it is said, and in him fball pects. all nations of the earth ignanm blefs themselves, Gen.

22. 78, which is repeated, Gen. 26. 4g of the feed of
Yaac. But surely, we are one way bleffed in Abra-
bam, and another in his feed, Chrift. In Abraham
as the type and exemplar; in Christ, as the merien
orious caule and real bellower of the blefling, Epb.
1. 3. We are not only blessed, but alfo blefs our felves.
in Christ, acknowledging and prailing him, as the
fountain and source of the blefling, flowing down to

: , , that wko
bleffetb bimself in the earth, foall bless himself in the

God of truth, Ifa. 65. 16. Mests gá los istort External

XX. The corporal or external prodhifes made toi promiles. Abraham are chiefly three. (1). The Imultiplication of

bis seed by Isaacs' Gen.'Iza 116, and Gena 5. 15, and
Gen. 17. 2. and Gen. 22. 16. (2). The inberitance of
the land of Canaan, Gen. 121. 17, Gens 13.:15, Gen.
15. 17, and Gen. 17. 7) which was fulfilled in the
12 tribes of Israel, especially under: David and
Solomon; and afterwards, during the fecond temple,
when all Palestine and Jdumea were conquered and
subdued by the Jews. (3). The deliverances from the
Egyptian bondage, Gena 15. 13. 146. But- we are co?
observe, that these external promifes were types of
fpiritual and heavenly things. For, the multiplication
of the carnal seed denoted the great number of spirit
ual children, both from among the Jews and thew
Gentiles, that was to be brought to the faith, Reval
7. 9. And Canaan was a pledge of heaven; and the
deliverance from Egypt, dignified the deliverance of


ve zaw fundoida + Or in the God Amen; fo that our author with great pros priety, quotes this pairage, as it is very evident that, the blefled: feed is called amen, even the AMEN, the true and faithful witness.

[ocr errors]

Rev. 3. 14.

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]


the church from sin, from the world, the devil and

XXI. But we ought not to omit the fundamental Abraham doctrine of justification by faith alone, which, at that justified by

faith. time, was very much illustrated by the example of Abrabam, and the divine declaration concerning him. For, thus it is said, Abraham believed in Jehovah, and be counted it to bin for righteousness, Gen. 15.6. This testimony is the more to be observed, because the Apostle frequently uses it, in order to affert the righteousness of faich, Rom. 4. 3. Gal.

XXII. The faith of Abraham had, for its general Theobobject, all the promises made to him." He gave glory ject of that to God, and was fully persuaded, that what he had promised he was able also to perform, Rom. 4. 20, 21. He therefore believed, and, by faith, embraced the promises of the heavenly and eternal blessing, of the birth of a lon from his barren wife, of the multiplication of his feed, both the spiricual and carnal, of the calling of the Gentiles, &c. But more especially he believed that promise, whereby God engaged to be bis Zbield and exceeding great reward, Gen. 15. 1. That is, lhe relied on God, as the averter of every evil, and the bestower of every good. But in a most especial manner, he believed the promise concerning that seed, who was to be the repository and the cause of the blessing; and he 'expected, that the Son of God would manifeft himself in the flesh, which he would assume from his posterity, and thus his faith was in Chrift: for, he rejoiced to see Christ's day, and he faw it and was glad, fobn 8. 56.::;;.

XXIII. But this faith, this believing, was imputed Imputed unto him for righteousness. Not that the faith of to him is Abraham was by a gracious estimation, accounted


by God in the room of perfect obedience, which the
covenant of works required: but that by his faith,
he laid hold on, and spiritually united or appropriated


[ocr errors]

page, the

to himself, the promised feed, by virtue of which
union, all the righteousness of that seed was reputed
to be his righteousness. Thus in the book of God's
accounts, the great bleflings of God are written on
one page, as so many talents bestowed on men: and
the sins of men, not rendring to God the thanks due
for so great benefits, as, so many debts: and lastly,
the condemnatory sentence, by which they are de-
clared guilty of eternal death. But as man's own
righteousness could not stand on the other
satisfaction and merits of Christ for the elect are
inscribed, and likewise their faith, as the gratuitious
gift of God, and that by which the elect are united.
to Christ, and become partakers of all his righteous-
nefs. And thus upon balanceing the account, from
their faith it appears, that all their debts are cancelled,
and that they have sufficient to give them a right to
eternal life.' Thus faith is imputed for righteousness.
See what we have considered at large book III. chap.

VIII. Sct. 42.
The doc. XXIV. The promises made to the father, and
trine of

especially that concerning the feed, in which all predeli.

nations of the earth were to bless themselves, were nation.

not only confirmed to ISAAC the fon of Abrebem
Gen. 26. 4, but also the doctrine of gratuitious
reprobation and most free election, was evidently
published in the oracle concerning his fons, Jacob and
Efau. For, Jehovah said to Rebeccah, when with
twins, two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of
people Mall be separated froin thy bowels; and the one
people shall be stronger than the other people, AND

The hifto XXV. We find, in scripture, that this prophesy
rical ful. was two ways fulfilled, the one historically the other
fillment of mystically ; both regarding as well the stocks chem-
the pro- felves, as the nations, which were to arise from them.
phesy con-

As to the stocks and heads of the nations, the elder Jacob and served the younger, that is, Jacob appeared more


[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]


worthy than Esau (1). In respect of the birth right,
which Esau fold. (2). Of the inheritance of the land
of Canaan, from which Efag was excluded, as ihmeel
and the other children of Abraham had been formerly.
(3). Of communion in the covenant of God, which
Esau, by his profaneness, ħad forfeited. If we con-
sider the nations, they were often at war, and there
was a time, when the Edomites seemed to prevailover
the Ifraelites, Edom pursued his brotker with the sword
and cast off all pity, Amos 1. 11. See Numb. 20. 18,
19. But at last the Israelites proved conquerors,
when David put garrisons throughout all Edom, and
the Edomites became David's servants 2 Sam. 8. 14.
And they continued so, untill the reign of forama
under whom they again shook of the yoke, 2 Kings
8. 20, according to the prophecy of Isaac Gen. 27.
40. But afterwards, under the second temple, they
were again conquered, and entirely subjected to
the Israelites

. See Jofeph. Antiq. Lib. 13 c. 17
XXVI. But these things had likewise a further Ànd the
prospect; for, as the inheritance of the land of Canaan mystical
was a type of the heavenly inheritance, and the nati,
onal covenant included the spiritual covenant of
grace; so also the exclusion from the national coveri-
ant and typical inheritance, was a sign of the exclu-
fion from the covenant of grace and the heavenly
inheritance. So that Efau and Jacob are here instances
of the most free reprobation, and gratuitious election
of God. And that this was the mystical sense of this
prophecy, the Apostle shews Rom.9. 1o and following

XXVII. God renewed the fame promises made to Promises the father and grand father to JACOB Gen. 28. made to 13-15; Tho' Jacob declared his twelve sons, the Jacob and

Judah. patriarchs, to be the heirs of these promises; yet, by the inspiration of the Spirit of God, he gave the cribe of Judah such prerogative above the rest, that not only kings, but also the prince of kings, even the Meshabis was to descend from it, Gen. 49. 10, the VOL. II.



[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »