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mysteries revolve around the Sun of Righteousness. The more simply we receive his word, the more shall we find his presence in the sanctuary of his own truth, giving union, and life, and quickening power, to every sentence of inspired Scripture. And thus, while we grow in a deeper insight into the hopes of the Church, and the coming glory of Israel, we shall also advance in humility, and grace, and love, and holiness. The grace and the glory of Christ will shine more and more brightly upon our hearts, and our souls will be filled with fervent longing for his appearing and kingdom. He is the desire of all nations, the Prince of the kings of the earth. From Him all prophecy proceeds, in Him it centres, and to Him it returns, as the great fulfiller of its glorious promises. It is the light of his holy and gracious countenance which can alone restore peace, and beauty, and gladness, to the stormy waves and gloomy wilderness of this fallen world. Then will the dullest Christians look back with amazement on their past apathy and indifference to these hopes of Israel, which are linked so closely with their own. For “In that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness. The meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord, and the
poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.". May we, by faith, now anticipate that blessed time; may we rest on the promise of our Lord, and wait for his appearing, that Israel's redemption may be to us a day of joy and of gladness, and may usher our happy and ransomed souls into his everlasting kingdom !
* Isaiah xxix. 18, 19.
THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT.
BY THE REV. J. W. BROOKS, M.A., VICAR OF CLAREBOROUGH, RETFORD, AND CHAPLAIN TO THE RIGHT HON.
LORD FITZGERALD AND VESCI.
GALATIANS III. 15–17.
“ Brethren, I speak after the manner of men ;
Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.”
The covenant with Abraham, mentioned in the text, is in reality that which Christians are wont
to call “ the covenant of grace,” and “the new covenant,” though this fact has unhappily been greatly lost sight of. Christians of former days have separated from the original compact the portion which more immediately concerned the deliverance of their own souls; and those of later generations have apparently become unconscious, not only that there exist other articles intimately connected with this matter, but that this important concern itself has its foundation, in the way of covenant, in those promises which were made with the fathers more than 2,000 years before Christ. Let me first, therefore, briefly draw your attention to two or three circumstances concerning the time of the Abrahamic covenant which are involved in the text, and which it is indispensable to a right understanding of our subject, that we should in the outset be fully agreed upon.
1. First, the Apostle declares that the Covenant of promise was given to Abraham, and confirmed of God in Christ, 430 years before the giving the law.
2. Secondly, he states, that the Sinai Mosaical covenant, promulgated in the time of Moses, did not disannul, or in any way supersede, the stipulations of the covenant with Abraham. All that it did, therefore, was, to introduce a
temporary and intermediate dispensation, which placed the covenant of promise in a state of suspension.
3. Thirdly, the mention of Christ, as the party with whom this covenant was confirmed, points to the time when the Mosaical or temporary covenant was abolished, and the covenant of promise formally brought into operation, viz. at the death of Christ; as is expressly declared in the Epistle to the Hebrews, where the Apostle says: 66 For this cause Christ is the Mediator of the New Testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, (meaning thereby the Mosaical),* they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead : otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.”+
4. Further, I beg you to observe, that if the covenant could not be disannulled by the introduction of the law, still less could it be so by the abolishing or removal of it. The Apostle
* See verse 19. The Mosaical covenant is called the first Testament, and the old Testament, not because it was first given, but the first that came formally into operation.
+ Heb. ix. 15–17.