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pottage? Nay you will then feel, that you would have been nothing profited even if you could have gained the whole world, should you have thereby lost your own soul. Why then should you part with a thing of such inestimable value for little and mean possessions, for the pleasures of sin for a season, or indulgencies that pall the appetite, and perish in the using? Oh that you may be enabled by the grace of God to form a right judgment of things which so much differ, and so at length to refuse the evil and choose the good.
But there are some who know the value and importance of spiritual blessings, and who covet earnestly the best gifts. Let these be the objects of your constant and increasing desire. Be willing to suffer every inconvenience, loss or pain, rather than give up your possession and hope of these. Buy the truth, but sell it not. Esteem the favour of God even above your necessary food. Labour not for the bread that perisheth, but for that which endureth unto everlasting life.
“ Blessed are they who hunger
and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.” Oh! think continually of the blessed privilege of being sons and daughters of the Lord almighty. And if you have a good hope that through grace you are already in possession of the birthright, hold it fast and never let it go. Let no one buy it of you. Let no one steal it from you. Let no one deprive you of it by any art or inducement whatever. It makes you an heir of God, and a joint-heir, not only with all the children of God, but with Christ himself. May you keep it, and may God keep you to the full enjoyment of it in his heavenly kingdom.
JACOB OBTAINS THE BLESSING.
GENESIS Xxvii. 36.
And he said, Is he not rightly named Jacob ? for he hath supplanted me these two times : he took away my birthright ; and behold now he hath taken anay my blessing.
This is the complaint of Esau against his brother Jacob on a second memorable occasion in which he was supplanted by him. We saw in the last sermon how Jacob became possessed of the birthright. I propose now to consider how he obtained his father's blessing. It is a transaction which does not reflect credit on any one of the parties concerned ; but it is our duty to note the sins and failings of the servants of God, that we may be warned by their miscarriages, while their various excellencies are held up as patterns for our imitation.
The history to which the text relates is this. Isaac being grown old, and his sight much impaired, and knowing not how soon his death might happen, was desirous to give his blessing to Esau, and calls him to him for
In order, as it seems, that the feelings of love and natural affection might be the more excited by an act of kindness on the part of Esau, the father directs him to kill some venison and to make him from it some savoury meat such as he loved. This Esau prepared immediately to do. But Rebekah overheard the direction, and being anxious to obtain the blessing for Jacob, set herself to defeat the intention of Isaac, by imposing Jacob upon him instead of Esau. She therefore instructed Jacob to fetch her two kids of which she told him she would make savoury meat such as his father loved, and this he should take to his father, and obtain the blessing for himself. But Jacob was afraid of detection; he reminded his mother that his brother was a hairy man
and he was a smooth man, told her that his father perhaps would feel him, and so discover the imposition, and that he should thereby bring a curse upon himself, and not a blessing. Anxious for the adoption of her plan she answered unhesitatingly, “ upon me be thy curse, my son, only obey my voice.” He therefore did as he was directed, the meat was prepared, she dressed him in a garment of Esau's, in which it seems there was some peculiar smell, and put the skin of the kids upon his hands and upon the smooth part of his neck, and thus he proceeded with the meat to his father. The aged man, being invited to eat of it, enquired who he was, and Jacob answered at once with three direct falsehoods, “I am Esau thy first-born; I have done according as thou badest me; arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my venison, that thy soul may bless me.” He was not Esau his first-born; he had not received any such bidding ; and it was not venison which he had brought him. Nor was this all ; for when Isaac naturally asked, « How is it that thou hast found it so quickly my son,” he