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and not man's.

And Isaac spake of it only in a way of prophecy, as that special blessing which God had given to Abraham, and also to Isaac, and now to Jacob. It was not what Isaac simply wished might come to pass; but what God had sworn to perform. And hence he calls it by way of emphasis, and in a distinguishing manner-the blessing of Abraham.

I intreat the reader not to overlook this, because it is the very hinge on which all that followed in the patriarch's life turned. It was a sure blessing; a fixed, unalterable blessing; and had not the smallest dependance for fulfilment in the will or pleasure of Isaac. And herein it differed from all other blessings. For all that the fondest earthly father can do is but to wish well to his children. He hath no power to make them so. Nature's feelings, in her highest charities, can arise no higher than nature. In every instance therefore, the father's blessing is rather to be considered what he hopes for his children,—not that he can bless them; rather what he desires, than what he wills; for he can will nothing absolutely for them; and especially things of a spiritual nature.

And that Isaac himself had a clear apprehension of those truths, is very evident from what he said upon the occasion. For, with all the partiality he had for his eldest son Esau, to whom his natural fondness would have prompted him, had he dared it, to have given Jacob's blessing; yet when he discovered the unalterable purpose of God herein, he attempted it And when Esau cried out; "Hast thou but one blessing my father? Isaac knowing that there is but this one, even Christ, and who is comprehensive of every other; the tender affection of Isaac induced him to look round, and see what temporal gifts, by way of softening, was left him to give to his son Esau. "Thy dwelling (said he to him) shall be

no more.

the fatness of the earth, and the dew of heaven from above. And by the sword shalt thou live, and shalt serve thy brother. And it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck." (Gen. xxvii. 38—40.)

[ pray the reader to observe, that there is not one word said of any thing of a spiritual nature. The fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven, but not the blessing of the Lord of the whole earth, nor of the God of heaven. Herein indeed is contained the vast distinction. The Lord's blessing, the blessing of Abraham, is the whole pith, the marrow of all blessings. And as it marked all the difference then between Jacob and Esau, so is it equally manifested in the present day. While the spiritual seed of Jacob sit down to the full enjoyment of all spiritual blessings in Christ, the Esaus content themselves in their temporal domains in the fatness of the earth, and the dew of heaven. And in what a multitude of instances, as Isaac prophesied, have they herein the dominion! So Lord, let it be. And let none of thy spiritual children glean in their fields. The Lord hath said to his people: "Thy bread shall be given, and thy water shall be sure."-Enough with Christ. (Isaiah xxxiii. 16.)

But we must not stop here. For in order to enter into the full scriptural sense and meaning of the blessing of Abraham, and the immense events folded up in the bosom of it from all eternity, and reaching forward to all eternity, we must trace back the subject, not only to the very first ages of the world, but before the world was made; and behold in the person of our most glorious Christ, the whole comprehended in him, when from everlasting he stood up at the call of Jehovah in his Trinity of persons, the glorious head, husband, and representative of his body the church, "the fulness of him which filleth all in all.”

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It is blessed, yea, very blessed, to behold the Son of God, in this glorious and endearing character. For when God the Father, as his own personal act, chose Christ to be the head of his body the church, he chose the church also in Christ. Hence Christ and his church are one. And the church hath all communicable holiness, blessedness, happiness, and glory in him. The church is said to have given to her eternal life; but all in Christ. And to be blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places, but all in Christ. And this is the blessing of Abraham. So then, the blessing is Christ himself; his glorious person, and his Almighty work of salvation. Himself, and all his fulness, suitableness, and all-sufficiency made over to the church, by covenant engagements from Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, in Jesus Christ. And hence we hear our glorious Christ, in the days of his flesh, when speaking to his Father, he saith; "That I should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given me. And the Lord adds: And the glory which thou hast given me, I have given them; that they may be one even as we are one. I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them as thou hast loved me." (John. xvii. 2. 22, 23.)

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And this explains to us the wonderful subject, as wę trace it all along from the very first dawn of revelation, in the garden of Eden, all down to gospel days; and through the whole of the eventful, mysterious subject, in the person, incarnation, miracles, sufferings, death, resurrection, ascension, of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the coming of the Holy Ghost. From the first promise which came in with the fall, that "the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head;" (Gen. iii. 15.) and which seed was Christ, we behold in regular succession from age to age, the

whole uniformly carried on, marking the chosen in Christ, through every generation. Hence the promise ran in those words: "the blessing of Abraham." For thus we read: "Now the Lord had said unto Abraham, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy Father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee. And I will make of thee a great nation. And I will bless thee, and make thy name great and thou shalt be a blessing. And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee, and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” (Gen. xii. 1-3.) And in farther confirmation of the same, at a subsequent revelation made to the patriarch, the Lord said: "I will establish my covenant between me and thee, and thy seed after thee in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee the land wherein thou art a stranger." (Gen. xvii. 7, 8.) And which are in part the very same words with which Isaac blessed Jacob, when in a way of prophecy, he pronounced the blessing. And thus the same is emphatically marked, as the blessing God promised Abraham, and his seed after him, to all the successive generations of the church. I stay not to quote passages in proof: but I pray the reader, by way of establishing in his own mind, under grace, the glorious truth, to consult the following Scriptures:— Gen. xlix. 25, 26. Deut. xxxiii. 1. 13. 1 Chron. iv. 10. Psa. cxxxiii. 3. Isa. xxxii. 1, 2. Jer. xxiii. 5, 6.

And when we look for the traces of this blessing in the times of the gospel, we perceive with what a redoubled light the glorious truth breaks out afresh after the descent of the Holy Ghost. The apostle Peter, under the Lord the Spirit's unction, speaking to the people of Israel, thus expressed it; "Ye are

the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed, shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. Unto you first God, having raised up his son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities." (Acts lii. 25, 26.) And still, if possible, in yet stronger terms God, the Holy Ghost, by the apostle Paul, when speaking of the complete redemption by Christ, expressly calls it by the very words "The blessing of Abraham." He saith that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ. And then he adds, "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." Thus identifying the person of our most glorious Lord, as the very blessing promised to Abraham, and to all the chosen seed in Christ. And what endears the whole, is the blessed confirmation the Holy Ghost gives in the same Scripture, that the whole church of Christ is alike included in it, “whether they be Jew or Greek, whether they be bond or free." For thus the Lord decidedly speaks on this grand point: "If ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." (Gal. iii. 14-20.)

If I have expressed myself plainly and scripturally on this momentous doctrine of the blessing itself; (and which I have done as briefly as possible,) I hope it will prepare the reader, under divine teaching, for the very interesting subject which follows; and which indeed ariseth out of it in the visions with which the Lord was pleased to reveal himself to the patriarch Jacob, at Bethel, on this grand doctrine. Founded in this charter of grace, all that followed in the history of Jacob, in the eventful circumstances of his checquered life; (and truly chequered they were,) owed

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