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be had in reverence of all them that are round about him." The most devout soul has the nearest access to God, will fall lowest before God, because it knows most of Him, and therefore better understands the infinite distance between the Creator and the creature, and better appreciates his amazing condescension in permitting such creatures as we áre, to call upon his name, and enter into his presence. How great is the difference between the manner in which holy and upholy persons utter that great and fearful name the Lord our God. You may know frequently whether a person has any real devotion, by the manner in which His name is pronounced ; whether it occur in his word, in prayer, or in conversation. It is shocking to witness the hasty and irreverent carelessness, with which it is often uttered. : :
V.5.--Abram signifies " high or exalted father." - Abraham, “ father of a great multitude.” This promise of an innumerable posterity was now repeated to Abraham for the fourth time. · V. 7-14, The covenant mentioned in these - verses, is what is called Acts vii, 8. the Covenant
of circumcision, that is, the Covenant of which cir'cumcision was the token (v. 11.) on God's part of performance; on man's, of acceptance. It appears to have borne a two-fold signification : on the one hand, to have been a token of the promise to Abraham and his seed, of temporal blessings in the land of Canaan. On the other to have been a seal or pledge, or voucher of the spiritual blessings received by faith, namely, deliverance from the penalty and the dominion of sin. He received (says St. Paul) the sign of circumcision, a.seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had, yet being uncircumcised. And the expressions, “ cir. cumcision of the heart," (Deut. xxx. 6. Jer. vi. 10. and ix. 26.) and “putting off the body of the sins of the flesh;"? (Col. i. 11.) shéw that it also represented the purification of the heart from 'sini, that putting off of the old man, and putting on the new man, which is the peculiar blessing of the believer. As far as respected the temporal blessings of the land of Canaan, the mere external rite was sufficient. As respected spiritual blessings, it could be of no benefit to any but a believer; and the reason is plain; to the unbeliever it seals a pri'vilege, under a name and character, to which, on 'examination and proof, he will not be found to answer. “He is not a Jew, which is one outwardly, neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit and not in the letter ; whose praise is not of men but of God.” Regularly to bave received the outward sigu, satisfied men; it was all they had a right to demand in order to a participation in Church privileges, but to have the praise of God to be acknowledged by him, the circumcision of the heart was necessary. : . V. 14.-" The soul that doeth aught presumptu:
ously, whether he be a stranger, or born in the - land, the same reproacheth the Lord, and that soul shall be cut off from among his people.” Because he hath despised the word of the Lord, and hath broken his commandment, that soul shall be utterly cut off; his iniquity shall be upon him. (Num. XV. 30, 31.) Presumption in the Old Testament, answers to what is called wilful sin in the New. It is acting without the warrant of God's word. God · here appointed circumcision as the law of admis
sion to State and Church privileges among the ..Jews. If any Jew despised and neglected it, he was to be cut off from his people. So, God has set forth Christ, as the way of life in the New Testament; whoever despises and neglects the salvation
which is in him, is said by St. Paul, in Heb. x. to · be guilty of wilful sin. "If we sin wilfully, after
we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more (no other) sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment, and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.” And he draws out the comparison, and explains that he means by wilful sin, the rejection of Christ, in the 28th and 29th verses. “He that despised Moses law, died without mercy under two or three witnesses : of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the Covenant wherewith He (that is, Christ) was sanctified-set apart to be the Saviour of sinners-an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace;"—who enlightened his mind to perceive the truth, which after all he rejected.
V. 15, 16.--Abraham was now informed that it was Sarai, who was to be the mother of the seed to whom the promises were made; and her name was changed from Sarai, which signifies “my Princess" great to Abraham only—to Sarah, “ a Princess," great in the eyes of others, as a mother of nations, and the ancestor of kings. . * V, 17. One is at first ready to infer, from this verse, that Abraham doubted of the power of God, to accomplish his promise in a manner so contrary to the common order of things, as by giving to him, who was nearly an hundred years old, a child by Sarah who was ninety; but from the Epistle to the Romans we learn, that his laughter and his language, were pot those of unbelief, but of adoring, admiring gratitude. . It is in speaking of the promises here made (Rom. iv. 16–21.) that St. Paul calls Abraham the father~(or pattern, or instructor; Gen. iv. 21.) of all believers-(according as it is written in Gen. xvii. 4.-I have made thee a father, of many nations) before or in the sight of
Him whom he believed, even God who quickeneth
has the waride may go believing in hom
every thing seems contrary to it-still believing in hope of the fulfilment of what we with patience wait for,
Whatever spiritual good you stand in need of, ask it of God, believing that you will obtain your petition ; for his own word declares, " What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” Mark xi. 24,
veli. . PRAYÉR.
O LORD God, who hast said, ask, and ye shall have; seek, and ye shall find; help me now pleading the name of our Saviour Jesus Christ, to draw near unto thee. Thou, Lord, knowest what I have been, thou knowest what I am, how indifferent and careless about eternal things, how unstable, how destitute of repentance, how uncertain even to myself, whether I am approaching thee in earnest and sincerity, or not. Yet to whom can I go but to Thee? Who can shew mercy but Thee? What can help me but thy Spirit ? 0 Lord Jesus, who camest to save even the chief of sinners, have mercy upon me. Pour out thy Spirit upon me. Give me such a true view and feeling of the misery and danger of my neglecting Thee, as may make it my chief desire to obtain thy salvation. Make me to see myself in some measure, as Thou seest me, Take away from my heart, the hardness and insensibility to the declarations of thy word, respecting the awful situation of those who forget Thee; and make me to abhor myself for my iniquities, to remember continually that the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Lord, thou perfectly knowest my utter weakness, my love of the world, the deceitfulness of my heart. O make me sincere in desiring to be helped by Thee; make me willing to give up the plea