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for them, he is now the God of us all, on account of what he promised and hath performed in Christ Jesus for them and for us. If, when he settled Israel in Canaan, “his judgements” were manifested to “all the earth,” were they not manifested also when the Christian church was established, and the idolatrous powers of the world were overthrown by the Gospel? - * : * , o 8. He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations. 9. Which covenant he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac : 10. And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant: ll. Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance. Upon bringing the ark to mount Sion, David teacheth Israel to bless and praise God for his having “remembered his covenant,” made with an “, oath” to their forefathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, that he would, in due time, settle his people in the land of Canaan. Now, it is very observable, that in the hymn uttered by Zacharias, the father of St. John the Baptist, on the subject of our redemption by Christ, thanks are given to the Lord God of Israel, because he had “remembered his holy cove“ mant, and performed the oath which he sware, to “our forefather Abraham.” And what was, that 2 Why, “that we being delivered out of the hand of off our enemies, should serve him without fear, in “holiness and righteousness.” But when, or where did God promise any such thing to Abraham, except when he told him, that “his seed should be in bond8 . . .
“ age four hundred years,” but that “ the nation,” which detained them in bondage, should afterwards be “judged,” and that they should be “brought “ out,” and come to “Canaan,” Gen. xv. 13. where they were to “serve” him P. The case seems to be this: Zacharias, under the immediate influence and direction of the Holy Spirit, tranfers the language of the old dispensation to the affairs of the new one; he celebrates the redemption of the world, by Christ, from sin and death, in words which literally describe the redemption of Israel from Egypt by Moses; to teach us, that we should regard one as a sacramental pledge and figure of the other; that there is another bondage, in which the people of God are held; another Moses, who is to deliver them ; another land of promise and of rest, where they are to be settled. This the Hebrews might have known, as St. Paul tells them, Heb. iv. from a passage in the xcvth Psalm, where, long after they had been in possession of Canaan, David speaks of another “ day” of probation, and another “rest.” The Jews have since had a melancholy proof of the same thing, by being dispossessed of that earthly inheritance, which they falsely deemed to have been perpetual, and vainly regarded as the end of all the promises, made to a “ thousand generations,” that is (a definite number being put for an indefinite), to them, and to us, and to “as many as the Lord our God shall call,” while the world shall last. * . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
12. When they were but a few men in number; 3yea, very few, and strangers in it. 13. When they
went from one nation to another, from one kingdom to another people. How wonderful was the display of God's wisdom, and power, in his choosing a single family, and that a small one, the members of which were literally “strangers and pilgrims upon earth;” in his promising to that family, in those circumstances, a large and fertile country, where the thrones of many princes were then firmly established; and, lastly, in his putting them into actual possession of it, at the time appointed Thus the family of the holy Jesus was at first, but small ; “the members of it were “a few, yea, a very few ;” they were sojourners in a land not theirs; “they went from one nation to an“other;” nay, they were accounted the “refuse of “the world, and the offscouring of all things.” But, “Fear not, little flock,” saith he unto them, “for “it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the “kingdom :” Luke xii. 32. Let us view Israel brought into Canaan, nor doubt but that believers shall inherit the kingdom of heaven, and succeed to the thrones of apostate angels. 14. He suffered no man to do them wrong; yea he reproved kings for their sakes; 15. Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm. The patriarchs, during their peregrinations, were often in imminent danger; as Abraham on account of Sarah; Gen. xx. Isaac, in a similar case; Gen. xxvi. Jacob from Laban; Gen xxxi. and from his brother Esau; Gen. xxxiii. Yet, destitute as they were of earthly help, the mightiest kings could not hurt them. Their “ways pleased the Lord, and “he made even their enemies to be at peace with “them.” Prov. xvi. 7. They were the typical “prophets, and Messiahs, or Christs”,” of Jehovah; and kings were forbidden to lift up a hand against them. How doth the same kind Providence watch over the body and the members of the true CHRIST; how often hath it interposed to protect and preserve them from the powers of the world. 16. Moreover he called for a famine upon the land; he brake the whole staff of bread. When Jacob had escaped other perils, we find him and his family likely to perish with hunger: Gen. xlii. “Famine” is here finely represented as a servant, ready to come and go, at the “call” and command of God; for calamities, whether public or private, are the messengers of divine justice. “Bread” is the “staff" which supports life; when that staff is “broken,” the body fails, and sinks to the earth. The word of God is the staff of spiritual life, the food and support of the soul; and the sorest of Heaven's judgements is that mentioned by the prophet Amos, ch. viii. 1 1. “Behold, the days come, saith the
* Ideo autem Christisive Uncti dicuntur, quod essentet sacerdoteset reges: summâ quippe potestate praediti, nullique obnoxii. Hinc foedera aequo jure pacta cum regibus: hinc bella suscepta, et quidem nutu suo, auspiciis, ut aiunt, suis. Gen. xiv. 21. Hinc Hethaei ad Abrahamum : “Audi nos, Domine: Princeps Deies “apud nos:” Ibid. xxiii. 6. nemini obnoxius, nisi Deo. Quo jure Isaacus et Jacobus usi sunt: Gen. xxvi. &c. Ad haec prophetae erant: ut hic, et Gen. xx. 7. Quos omnes titulos unum Christi nomen complectitur. Christi autem dicuntur, in typo Christi ipsius ab eis orituri. Bossu ET.
“Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land; “not a famine of bread, nor a thirst of water, but “of hearing the words of the Lord.” Such a famine was sore in all lands, when Christ made his appearance in the flesh; whose advent, with the blessed effects of it, is wonderfully shadowed forth in the prophetical history of the patriarch Joseph. 17. He sent a man before them, even Joseph who was sold for a servant : 18. Whose feet they hurt with fetters; he was laid in iron. Joseph and Jesus were both envied, hated, and sold by their brethren; both suffered by a false accusation; the former was laid in irons, the latter crucified, and confined in the prison of the grave, fast bound with the bands of death. The wickedness of man, in working its own will, did unwittingly accomplish the counsels of God. “As for you,” saith Joseph to his brethren, Gen. I. 20. “ye thought “evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to “bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much peo“ple alive.” And how doth St. Peter address the brethren of that other Joseph P “Him, being de“livered by the determinate counsel and foreknow“ledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands “ have crucified and slain—And, now brethren, I “wot that through ignorance ye did it—But those “things which God before had showed by the mouth “of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he “ hath so fulfilled.” Acts ii. 23. and iii. 17. 19. Until the time that his word came: the word of the Lord tried him. Joseph continued in prison, “until the time that