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sprung the Redeemer of the world, but from the stock of Abraham ? He, in a peculiar sense, is the seed of Abraham, and in him all the families of the earth are blessed; for he has opened a way, by which any individual of the human race, of whatever tribe, age, or climate, may have access to God, and receive salvation. If then the religion which we profess be a blessing, if all its heavenly effects upon society, if christian tempers, affections, hopes, and prospects, if the unspeakable gift of the blessed Jesus be a blessing, then are we blessed in Abraham ; for of him, as concerning the flesh, Christ
What, in short, are all the privileges which we at this day enjoy through the Gospel, but this very blessing of Abraham which is come upon us Gentiles ? Nay as if every thing relating to this distinguished patriarch and his descendants were to confer a favour upon the rest of the world, behold, even their rejection brings a blessing with it.
Through their fall, salvation is come unto the Gentiles.” “ The fall of them is the riches of the world :” “the diminishing of them is
the riches of the Gentiles:" “the casting away of them is the reconciling of the world.” “As touching the Gospel they are enemies for your sakes :” “ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief.” And if their fall has been such a blessing to the world, what will their recovery be? If their rejection of Christ has had so merciful an influence upon others, what will their reception of him produce ? If their dispersion be so striking a proof of the truth of the prophetic writings, what additional testimony thereto will be afforded by their restoration ? This will be such an instance of the divine power and grace, as will compel the assent of all nations, and bring them to the obedience of faith. It will be the precursor of Messiah's millenial reign, in which “ the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth, as the waters cover the sea,” when peace and love shall every
where prevail, and righteousness, and the fruits of righteousness, abundantly flourish. For “ if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles, how much more their fulness ?” “ If the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?”
My Brethren, be it your care to secure a portion in the blessing of Abraham. He was justified by faith : and “ the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.” In like manner will you become justified, and inheritors of the same promises. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ: for Abraham's faith, which was imputed to him for righteousness, had a special regard to the coming and the redemption of the divine Saviour. “ Your father Abraham,” saith that divine Saviour himself, “ rejoiced to see my day, and he saw it, and was glad.” If you believe in Christ, and exultingly welcome and rejoice in his salvation, righteousness will be imputed to you also. Thus you will become a spiritual son of Abraham : for “ if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." “ Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham ;” and “ they which are of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham."
But ever take notice, in contemplating the character of Abraham, how uniformly productive of the most unreserved obedience was that faith by which he was justified.
“ Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect ?" His was an influencing, operative, and practical faith. It disposed him to do every commandment of God. We have seen him, in the present sermon, proving the credit which he gave to the testimony of God, by an instant acquiescence with the command to forsake his country. We shall soon see other proofs equally decisive. This is the living faith. There is a dead faith, which brings forth no fruit, and which profiteth nothing. It neither jnstifies, nor sanctifies. It has no righteousness imputed, nor blessing attached, to it. It
comes not from God, neither does it lead to him. If therefore there be in any one a faith that is unproductive of holy affections, and is unaccompanied with a ready and willing obedience, let him know that such a faith bears no similarity to the faith of Abraham. But that faith, which so receives the Lord Jesus as to be wholly dependent upon him, and sincerely devoted and obedient to him, that is the faith, which justifies the sinner, and saves his soul from merited condemnation.
Comply then with the Call which is given to you; and thus, like Abraham, believe in God, and manifest your faith by your deeds. You are bidden to renounce the world, the flesh, and the Devil. You are called to the profession of Christ, and his service. Be obedient. Break off all intercourse with sin. Forsake the vanities of the world. Set your faces towards heaven with full purpose of heart. Let nothing be permitted to hinder your entering upon a Christian course, nor to divert your steps from the way that leadeth to his heavenly kingdom. That is to us the promised land : that is the Canaan presented to our view and hope. Still a blessing appertains to those who obey the voice of Christ in the Gospel. They are blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in him.