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ESSAY VI. On justification......Sect. I. Of justification, as explained by
PREFACE..... Sect. I. Of the introduction of the Christian religion into
ESSAY VII. ON THE MEDIATION OF CHRIST......Sect. I. Of his media.
PREFACE TO PHILIPPIANS..... Sect. I. Of the founding of the Christian
PREFACE, in which the character and manners of the Colossians are de-
OF ST. PAUL'S
EPISTLE TO THE GALLATIANS.
On the Covenant which God made with Abraham the Father of the Israelites.
OUR Lord, John v. 39. thus exhorted his Jewish hearers; Search the scriptures, (the writings of Moses and the prophets) for in them ye think ye have eternal life : and they are they which testify of me. Also, at his first appearance to his disciples after his resurrection, he said to them, Luke xxiv. 44. These are the words which I spake to you while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms concerning me. And that they might know what things were written in these books concerning him: 45. He opened their understandings that they might understand the scriptures; he gave them the knowledge of the meaning of those passages of the scriptures which relate to himself, that they might be able to confirm the gospel which they were to preach, by testimonies taken from the law and the prophets. Accordingly the apostle Paul, who, like the other apostles, had the true meaning of the Jewish scriptures communicated to him by inspiration, hath on these writings founded those enlarged views of the doctrines of the gospel, and of the divine dispensations, which he hath delivered in his epistles, in so much that his explications of the Jewish scriptures, and the conclusions which he hath drawn from them, make a principal part of the gospel revelation.
The passages of the writings of Moses, which Paul hath explained in his epistles, and which deserve our especial attention,
are those in which God's transactions with Abraham the father of the Israelites are recorded: namely Gen. xii. 1.-3. xii. 14, 15, 16. xiii. 14.-16. xv. 1.-7. 18. xvii. 1.-8. xviii. 19. xxii. 10.-18.
In the first of these passages we are informed, that God commanded Abram to leave his country and kindred, and go into a land which he would shew him. And to encourage him to break his connections with his idolatrous kindred and acquaintance, God said to him, Gen. xii. 2. I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee and make thy name great, and thou shalt be a blessing. 3. And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed. Having received this command, Abram obeyed and went out, not knowing whither he went, Heb. xi. 8. He went out, notwithstanding he did not know whether the land into which he was going, was a good or a bad land; or whether it was far off or near.
On leaving Haran, Abram it seems was directed to go to CaFor on his coming to the plain of Moreh in Canaan, Gen. xii. 7. The Lord appeared to Abram and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land. Some time after this, when Abram separated from Lot, Gen. xiii. 14. The Lord said to Abram, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art, northward, and southward; and eastward, and westward, 15. For the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. 16. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.
All this while Abram had no child; for which reason, eight years after he left Haran, when God said to him, Gen. xv. 1. Fear not Abram I am thy shield and exceeding great reward, he replied, What wilt thou give me seeing I go childless? Being now above eighty years old, the performance of the promise to make of him a great nation, appearing every day more and more improbable, he became uneasy at the delay. Wherefore, ver. 5. God brought him forth abroad, early in the morning, 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. 6. And he believed in the Lord, and he counted it to him for righteousness. 7. And he said to him, I am the Lord who brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it; and ver. 18.