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from his example that we must never be forgetful of this our high and holy calling, but through our whole lives remain steadfastly intent upon the final enjoyment of it. We may learn from him to subordinate all the circumstances of the present life to this one great concern. Every purpose and plan should be laid with a view to promote every means should be adopted, and faithfully persevered in, which may help to further it; and in short every thing that we undertake or do should express our firm and unvarying conviction of the reality, the importance, the glory, and happiness, of heaven. We should choose our places of residence, we should follow our appointed occupations, we should order and conduct all the affairs of our private, social, and public lives, as those who are fully persuaded of these things, and intensely desirous to obtain them. It is the want of that influential faith, which the Apostle, on account of its influence, describes as being the “substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen,” that makes us so negligent of divine things. A
practical unbelief rules in the hearts of most men, even though there may be an acknowledged admission of the great truths which have respect to the eternal world : and this unbelief will exclude us from an entrance into the kingdom of heaven, even as it excluded the Israelites, who came out of Egypt, from an entrance into Canaan. For “ to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not.”
I cannot now enter into the narration, which is given with most beautiful simplicity in the remaining part of the chapter, of the manner in which Abraham's servant executed his commission. We see from it how well he knew, and how entirely he depended upon, the God of his master. We see his piety in the prayer
which he offered for guidance and success, and in the praise which he presented when his journey was made prosperous. You will read it at your homes, and there you will see how Abraham's desire on account of his son was fulfilled, and how Rebekah became the wife of Isaac.
I will however observe to you that, when
have read the whole, you may see a not unapt representation of the commission given by our Lord and master Jesus Christ to his servants in reference to yourselves. The spiritual marriage and union that is between Christ and his church is often spoken of in the holy scriptures. By one of his prophets God declares, “I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in loving-kindness, and in mercies.” parable of the Gospel he represents himself
a certain king which made a marriage for his son ;” and the Apostle Paul says to his Corinthian converts, “ I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” We come on the same errand to you, even that we may induce you to unite yourselves unto Christ in the bonds of a holy and spiritual contract. We would engage your first and best affections to him. We would tell you of his greatness and his glory, and his goodness ; we would tell you of the unsearchable riches of Christ, as Abraham's servant told of the greatness
and riches of his master; and we would gain you over, if it were possible, and win your whole souls for our adorable Lord.
Believers, you may consider yourselves as already standing in such a relation unto Christ as the wife does unto the husband, yea, and you may also look upon him as being unto you what the husband is unto the wife. He « nourisheth and cherisheth" his church; and having loved his own that are in the world, he will love you unto the end. The marriages which we form upon earth are dissolved by death, but this is perfected by that solemn event. But oh! remember, that as the husband is the head of the wife, so is Christ the head of the church. Be therefore subject unto him in all things. Let reverence, love, and obedience be ever manifested by you. In every thing regard his honour as dearer to you than life. Forget not at any time the duty, which you owe him, and let your whole lives be truly and affectionately devoted to the fulfilment of all his will and pleasure.
ESAU DESPISES THE BIRTHRIGHT.
GENESIS xxv. 34.
Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of
lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.
In the last Sermon we endeavoured to shew the pious regard which Abraham had to the promises which God had given to him, and his anxious solicitude that his family might remain with full expectation of their fulfilment in the country which had been so promised to him and his seed; and we saw the measures which he took, under these views and feelings, for the marriage of his son. We have now an account of the children of that marriage; and while we shall see in them, as in the case of Ishmael and Isaac, another instance