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on fill tozward the South, Gen. xii. s. 'cill a Famine happening in that Country, the Providence of God so disposed of Things, that he and Let went into Ægift. And when he was there, he was by a very remarkable' Accident taken great notice of by baraoh himself. For Pharaoh admiring the Beauty of Surah, Abraham's Wife, takes her into his House : for which great Plagues were inflicted on him and his Houfold: And Pharaoh perceiving the reason of it, sends him away, with his Wife, and all that he had. By this it became notorious to haraoh and his Princes, that Abraham was under God's peculiar Care and Providence, and that therefore it concerned them to regard what he profeffed concerning Religion, and the Worfhip of God, Abimelech likewise, King of Gerok, sent and took Sarah : Upon which God appeared to him in a Dream, and declared to him that Abraban was a Prophet, and that he should prey for him; and this Abimelech told to all lis fervants, Gen. xx. 7, 8. and he calls upon God, by his Name Yehovah, ver... which Thews that he had knowledge of the True God.

After Abraham and Lot were returned into Canaan from Egypt, upon fome Disagreement between their Herds-inen, they parted from each other, Lot going towards Sodum, and Abraham to the Plain of Mamre in Hebron. And it came to pass, that there was War between nine Kings of that Country, four being Confederate on the one side, and five on the other. But the King of Sodom and his Confederates being defeated in Battel, Lot who dwelt in Sodom, was, with all his Goods, carried away by the Enemy. Of which when Abraham was informned, he armed his Servants, and with no more than Three hundred and eighteen Men, gained a signal Victory, retook Lot, and brought him back, with all his Family and Goods. And at his return he is met by the King of Sodom, and by Melchizedeck King of Salem, who being the Priest of

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the most high God, in a moft solemn manner blesseth Abraham, who gives him the Tenth of all his Spoil Which whole Action must needs render Abraham mightily renowned in all that Country. So much Mercy did God extend to the Canaanites, who, after they had filled up the meafure of their Iniquities, were to be rooted out, to make way for the Israelites to possess their Land; that Abraham, and Lot, and Melchizedeck, and their Families, were appointed as Monitors and Instructors to them in the ways of Righteousness and Piety: And when all this was ineffecual to their Amendment, Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by a most miraculous and visible Judgment, with Fire from Heaven, after God had declared, at Abraham's Intercession, that if there had been but Ten Righteous Persons in those Cities, he would have faved the rest for their fakes. Lot, with his Family only, escaped this dreadful Judgment; and his Wife looking back, out of fondness for the Place she had left, was turned into a Pillar of Salt ; which were so strange and so remarkable Judgments, that it must be a prodigious Obstinacy in Sin, not to be reclaimed and brought to an acknowledgment of God's Power and Authority by them.

The Moabites and the Ammonites were descended from Lot, and therefore it must be through their great Sin and Negligence, if they did not retain a true Notion of Religion : They had Possession given them of the Land they dwelt in, by God himself, by whom the former Inhabitants, a wicked and formidable Race of Giants, were destroyed before them, as the Canaanites afterwards were before the Children of Israel, Deut. ii. 9, 19. Our Saviour was descended from Ruth the Moabitess. And the Ammonites are distinguished from the Heathen, Ezek. xxv. 7.

But as Abraham has the peculiar Chara&ter given himn of, the Friend of God, and the Father of the Faith



ful; so his Power and Influence was very great. He is said, i both by Yustin, and Nicolaus Damascenus, to have been King of Damascus ; and the latter farther adds, that in his own time the Name of Abraham was famous in that City, and that a Village was nominated from him, being callid Abraham's House, or Palace. He was a mighty Prince among the childen of Heth, and was respected as such by them, Gen.xxiii. 6, 10. The k Oak of Mamre was had in


devotion by the Heathens. The Religion of the ancient Persians, is stiled in the East, the Religion of Abrabam; and the Book which contains it, the Book of Abraham; and the Indian Brabman, or Brahaman, are supposed to derive their Name from him. m Areus King of the Lacedemonians, in his Letter to. Onias the High-Priest, says, that it was found in writing, that the Lacedemonians and the Jews were Brethren, and that they were of the Stock of Abraham. The Saracens, and other Arabians, were descended from Abraham; and Circumcision, which was pra&is'd by so many Nations, being a Seal of the Covenant, and a Rite of Initiation, must be suppos’d to have some Notion of the Covenant it self communicated together with it. For there is - no probability that Circumcision, used as a Religious' and Mysterous Rite, could have any other Original among Heathen Nations, than from Abrabam; and the only Reason brought to prove that it had another beginning amongst them, is, because it was used upon a Natural Cause, and vary'd in the Time of Administration : but the Time might happen to be changed by some unknown Accident ; and it was always, I think, used upon a Religious account at first, whatever Natural or Moral Causes might be likewise aflign'd: and such the Jews themselves were

Juftin. 1. 36. C. 2. Nic. Damal. apud Joseph. Antiq. 1. 1. c. 8. * Hieron. de Loc. Hebr. · Hyde Hift. Relig, vet. Pers. c. 2. P 1 Mac, xii. 20, 21. Joseph. Antiq. 1. 12.5.

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wont " to affign, as well as that of their Religion ; and it is poffible, that in fome Places, the Religious Cause of its Observation might be forgot, and the Natural or Moral only retain'd.

Besides the other Sons of Abraham, which were, many, Isaac and ilmees must have been very instrymental in propagating the true Religion ; and we can suppose none educated under Abraham, or belonging to him, but they must have been well qualified for that. Purpose, and must more or less, retain the Impressions they had receiv'd from him ; this being the Character which God himself gives of Abraham, I know him, that he will command his Children and his Houshold often bim, and they thall keep the way of the Lord, Gen. xviii

. 19. The Jews make particular mention of the Care which bath Abrahan and Sarah took in instructing Profelytes;, and Maimonides writes, that Abtaham left a Book behind him upon that Subject. Ifmael was the Son of an Ægyption Mother;[Gen. xvi. 1. and his Wife was an Ægyptian: his Sons were Twelve in number, and of great Power, being ftiled Princes, and their Dominions were of a large extent, Geris XXV. 10, 1801. Ifaac was to marry none of the Daughters of Canaan, but one of his own Kindred'; and, a Messenger is sent into:Mefopotamia, to bring Rebekah from thence, God directing and prospering-him in his Journey. Which Alliance and Affinity renew'd with the Chaldeans, could., isot fail of a good effect, for the preservation and advancement of Religion in those Countries. But a Famine being again in the Land, Isaac removes tol Abimelech King of the i hitistines, unto Gerar, and by him the Beauty of Rebekah was admired, as Sarah's had been by Phar raoh in Ægypt, and here by Ahimelech : but tho? .he

in Philo de Circumcis. Maimon. More Nevochi Par. 3. c. 49. Ludolf. Hift. Æthiop. lib. 3. cap. 1. n. 3. o De Idolatr. 6. 1. $9.




had said she was his Sister, (as Abraham said likewise of Sarah) meaning in that latitude of the word usual in those Countries, whereby Women were callid the Sisters of all to whom they were nearly related ; yet the Providence of God so order'd it, that no Attempts should be made to her Dishonour, but the King of the Philistines had a great Regard and Reverence for Isaac and his Wife: the Blessing of God was visible in all his Undertakings; he became much mightier than the Philistines, and therefore they envy'd him ; which occafion'd his Remove to Beersheba, whither Abimelech, with his Friends and Attendants, came to enter into a striat League and Covenant with him, professing that they saw certainly that the Lord (that is, Yehovah the True God) was with him, and declaring him to be the blessed of the Lord, Gen. xxvi. 11, 14, 16, 26. And for the fame reason, the Phili-ftines had formerly desired to make a Covenant with Abraham, saying, God is with thee in all that thou doft, &c. Gen. xxi. 22.

Esau, at the Age of Forty Years, marry'd two Wives of the Daughters of the Hittites; Gen. xxvi. 34. which, tho' it griev'd Ifaac and Rebekah, who would have had him marry with their own Kindred, yet must give the Hittites farther Opportunites of acquainting themselves with the Religion and Worship of the Hebrews; but he marries besides a Daughter of Ishmael, Abraham's Son, Gen. xxviii. 9. which confirm’d and strengthen’d the Alliance between the true Believers. Efau was the Father of the Edumites, and of a numerous Off-spring of Dukes and Kings, Ger. xxxvi. 2, 31. And according to the Cu and Design of the Book of Genesis, the Generations descended from Esau had not been so particularly fer down, unless they had retain'd the Knowledge and Worship of the True God. This was Mofes's Message to the King of Edom : Thus faith thy Brother Ifrael, Thou knowejt all the Travel that hath befallen us, how

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