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There are abundant proofs in the Old Testament history of the manner in which this promise was fulfilled to Abraham, and his immediate descendants. And whoever shall take notice of the history of the Jews, even since their dispersion, will not fail to perceive that many judgments from God have speedily fallen upon those nations, which have most heavily afflicted them, while his mercies have been manifested, in a proportionate degree, to such as have shewn them pity and kind
6. The sixth and last particular of these gracious promises to Abraham has a most merciful regard to the whole world: “In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed."
Apply this to our own case. What know we at this day of divine truth, what of the mercy, grace, and salvation of God, what of hope, and peace, and joy in him, but through Abraham and his seed? From whence come our Bibles but from those faithful depositaries of the heavenly records? To whom do we owe the Gospel, but to the descendants of Abraham? More especially, from what stock
sprung the Redeemer of the world, but from the stock of Abraham? He, in a peculiar sense, is the seed of Abraham, and in him all the families of the earth are blessed; for he has opened a way, by which any individual of the human race, of whatever tribe, age, or climate, may have access to God, and receive salvation. If then the religion which we profess be a blessing, if all its heavenly effects upon society, if christian tempers, affections, hopes, and prospects, if the unspeakable gift of the blessed Jesus be a blessing, then are we blessed in Abraham; for of him, as concerning the flesh, Christ came. What, in short, are all the privileges which we at this day enjoy through the Gospel, but this very blessing of Abraham which is come upon us Gentiles? Nay as if every thing relating to this distinguished patriarch and his descendants were to confer a favour upon the rest of the world, behold, even their rejection brings a blessing with it. "Through their fall, salvation is come unto the Gentiles." "The fall of them is the riches of the world:" "the diminishing of them is
the riches of the Gentiles:" "the casting away of them is the reconciling of the world." "As touching the Gospel they are enemies for your sakes:" "ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief." And if their fall has been such a blessing to the world, what will their recovery be? If their rejection of Christ has had so merciful an influence upon others, what will their reception of him produce? If their dispersion be so striking a proof of the truth of the prophetic writings, what additional testimony thereto will be afforded by their restoration ? This will be such an instance of the divine power and grace, as will compel the assent of all nations, and bring them to the obedience of faith. It will be the precursor of Messiah's millenial reign, in which "the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth, as the waters cover the sea," when peace and love shall every where prevail, and righteousness, and the fruits of righteousness, abundantly flourish. For "if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of
the Gentiles, how much more their fulness ?" "If the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?"
My Brethren, be it your care to secure a portion in the blessing of Abraham. He was justified by faith: and "the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith." In like manner will you become justified, and inheritors of the same promises. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ: for Abraham's faith, which was imputed to him for righteousness, had a special regard to the coming and the redemption of the divine Saviour. "Your father Abraham," saith that divine Saviour himself, "rejoiced to see my day, and he saw it, and was glad." If you believe in Christ, and exultingly welcome and rejoice in his salvation, righteousness will be imputed to you also. Thus you will become a spiritual son of Abraham for " if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." "Know ye therefore that they
which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham;" and " they which are of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham."
But ever take notice, in contemplating the character of Abraham, how uniformly productive of the most unreserved obedience was
that faith by which he was justified. "Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?" His was an influencing, operative, and practical faith. It disposed him to do every commandment of God. We have seen him, in the present sermon, proving the credit which he gave to the testimony of God, by an instant acquiescence with the command to forsake his country. We shall soon see other proofs equally decisive. This is the living faith. There is a dead faith, which brings forth no fruit, and which profiteth nothing. It neither justifies, nor sanctifies. It has no righteousness imputed, nor blessing attached, to it. It comes not from God, neither does it lead to him. If therefore there be in any one a faith that is unproductive of holy affections, and is unaccompanied with a ready and willing