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55 master. And her brother and her mother said, Let the dam« sel abide with us [a few] days, at the least ten; after that she

56 shall go. And he said unto them, Hinder me not, seeing the Loud hath prospered my way: send me away that I may go

57 to my master. And they said, We will call the damsel, and

58 inquire at her mouth. And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And, having an high opinion of the piety ofAbraham's family,from what she had seen

59 in his serrant, she said, I will go. And they sent away Rebekah their sister, and her nurse, and Abraham's servant, and

60 his men. And they blessed Rebekah, and said unto her, Thou [art] our sister, be thou [the mother] of thousands of millions, and let thy seed possess the gate of those which hate them. Probably Kliezer had told thein there ivas such apromiee made to ЛЬгсишт and his seed, and here they turn it into a

61 prayer and a blessing. And Rebekah arose, and her damsels, and they rode upon the camels, and followed the man: and the servant took Rebekah, and went his way.

62 Artó Isaac came from the way of the well Lahairoi ; for he

63 dwelt in the south country. And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the even tide, to converge -with God and himself by {¡ions thoughts and ejaculations, andfervant pray er: and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and behold the camels [were]

64 coming. And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she

65 saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel. For she [had] said unto the servant, What man [is] this that walketh in the field to meet us? And the servant [had] said, It [is] my master:

66 therefore she took a veil, and covered herself. And the ser~

67 vant told Isaac all tilings that he had done. And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and took Rebekah, and by the solemnity of marriage she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother's [death] which was about three years before, and for which he »till grieved. This чиая very suitable to Isaac's character, tvh» teems to /lai'c been as blameless a person as any ive read of.

REFLECTIONS.

1. "ТЖ7"Е see what great blessings good servants are to a V V family; and servants may here see what they ought to be. Abraham was so well convinced of Eliezer's piety and fidelity, that he trusted him with this most important concern, for he was old, and could not go on the business himself. Here is a good example to servants. This man -was eminent for piety; he abounded in prayer and devotion, called upon God in every step he took, and praised him for every mercy he received. He was much acquainted with the methods of Providence; joined with pleasure, undoubtedly, in the religious exercises of Abraham's family, and carried his religion with him wherever he went. He delivered his master's orders with all fidelity and diligence, and with a great deal of prudence and caution: he did his busiiiess with dispatch ; he minded it more than his meat or drink -t he would not eat till he had told his errand. He regarded hiä master's profit and comfort, more than his own pleasure. He knew his master would be anxious to know what success he met with, and that affairs wanted him at home; he was therefore in haste to return. Let servants learn from this example, first, to serve their master in heaven, by prayer and devotion; and to show all goodßdclity to their masters on earth, by being diligent in their business, and not trifling over their work, or staying Unnecessarily on their errands. Let them all remember that they have a master in heaven, to whom they are accountable for that part of their behaviour which their earthly masters cannot see. Thus they will adorn the religion they profess, and be a credit and comfort to the families where they live. If we desire to have such servants, we should do as Abraham did ; command виг cliildren and household to keefi the way of the Lord, and to do justice and judgment.

2. Let us be excited, by the example of Isaac, to give ourselves to prayer and meditation. Isaac did not go into the field to amuse himself, but to converse with God and his own heart. Like him, let us often retire from the world, and leave its company and cares behind us. Let us examine our hearts; set God before us; and remember in our private walks and chambers, that we are not alone, for God is ivich us. Let our walks in the fields be improved to such purposes; there we see the beauties of creation, and the goodness of God. After the business of the day, it is delightful to refresh ourselves with pious meditations, and to take a review of God's goodness and dealings with us. Thus we shall be likely to meet with mercies and comforts in our walks, as Isaac did ; and shall be training up for that world, where they neither marry nor are given in marriage.

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CHAP. XXV. 1—18.

Alterations in families of distinction are much taken notice of, and the common topic of conversation. Here are several particular* relating t6 Abraham's Jamily worthy of our attention; namely, his second marriage; the distribution of his goods; his death: and burial; and some account of the descendants of Ishmael.

1 'I 'HEN again, after Sarali's death, and Isaac's marriage,

I Abraham, wanting a companion in his old age, took a wife, called a centubine, and her name [was] Keturah. She was born in his house, and perhaps the chirf of his maidservants.

2 And she bai'e him six sons, namely, Zimran, and Jokshan, S and Medan, and Midian,* and Ishbak, and Shuah.f And

Jokshan begat Sheba, and Dedan. And the sons of Dedan

4 were Asshurim, Letushim, and Leummim. And the sons of Midian were five; Ephah, and Epher, and Hanoch, and Abidah, and Eklaah. AH these [were] the children of Keturah.t

5 And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac, as being his

6 only heir, and the child of promise. But unto the sons of Hagar and Keturah,\\ the concubines which Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts, money and goods, and sent them away from Isaac his soli, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country,* that they might not interfere with him or claim the land.

t And fhese [are] the days of the years of Abraham's life 'which he lived, an hundred threescore and fifteen years ; his

& latter days were spent in silence and peace. Then Abraham gave up the ghost, yielded his spirit calmly and cheerfully to God, and died in a good old age, that is, in an holy old age,, free from the calamities and infirmities which often attend that period, an old man artd full [of years jt] and was gathered to

9 his people, to his pious ancestors in the other world. And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah. in the field of.Ephron the son of Zoar the Hittite, which [is] K> before Mamve ;f The field which Abraham purchased of the.

* Hie father of the Midianites, of whom we read chap.iua.>ti. 35. lsa. x. 16.

f These children settled in Arabia and Syria; and became the heads of (amities or tribes. Job probably descended from some of'them, as Bildad seems to have done from Shuah.

£ We rend afterward of the five kings of Midian ; so that probably a small kingdom, rtne from each of these.

If Though Sarah was dead when he married Keturah, yet it seems she was but a half Wife, because her children did not inherit.

• That Is, Arabia, which lay east of Canaan. Hence the* are sometime* called chit. Arm of the tail. All the rest w..s given to Isaac, agreeable to the marriage settlement wills Kebekah.

t Full of dap. Samar. Pent.

f Ishmael seems to have had a great respect for his father, and perhaps often saw &iax.; wd Bow at least, if tat before, Isaac and Ue were reconciled.

'tons of Heth: there was Abraham buried, and Sarah his wife.

11 And it came to pass after the death of Abraham, that God blessed his son Isaac, applying and confirming to him the promises made to Abraham; and Isaac dwelt by the well Lahairoi; near the place where the Lord appeared to Hagar when shefied from Sarah.

12 Now these [are] the generations of Ishmael, Abraham's son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah's handmaid, bare un

13 to Abraham: And these [are] the names of the sons of Ishmael, by their names, according to their generations: the firstborn of Ishmael, Nebajoth ;* and Kedar,t and Adbeel,

14 and Mibsam, And Mishma, and Dumah, from whom came the

15 Idumeans, and Massa, Hadar, and Tema, from whom ElipliaT,

16 Job's friend, came, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah: These [are] the sons of Ishmael, and these [are] their names, by their towns, and by their castles; twelve princes according to

J 7 their nations.f And these [are] the years of the life of Ishmael, an hundred and thirty and seven years; and he gave up the ghost and died; and was gathered unto his people.

J8 And they, IshmacPs sons, dwelt from Havilah unto Shur, that [is] before Egypt, as thou goest toward Assyria, almost across the north part of Arabia: [and] he died in the presence of all his brethren ; the original is, he fell, that is, his lot fell, in the midst of his iretliren, eta tie angel foretold to Hagar.

REFLECTIONS.

1.. » ■ • H E death of Abraham may convince us of a future X state. He was an eminently pious and good man; ,« friend of God, and his peculiar favourite; and, according to our Lord's reasoning, the covenant made with him extended to spiritual and eternal blessings. When God promised that he would be a God to Abraham, it intimated, that he was to live for ever in a future state; and that both soul and body were to be happy there. We can never think that so good a man as Abraham was lost in the cave; no; his desire to be buried there, spoke his hope and expectation, not only that his seed should possess the earthly Canaan, but that he should possess an heavenly one. So Paul interprets it, of seeking a better country, that is, an heavenly. The faith of this patriarch was remarkable; he looked to things unseen and eternal ; and (irmly believed that God had provided for him a better city. His removal from this world, after so many appearances of God to him and for him, after the

* Hence Arabia is often called by the ancient,, Nabatea.

t Another part of Arabia; and hence we read of dwelling in the tentl of Kedar. Twelve heads of houses or tribes ; and they continued so till near lonr tiundred years after Christ. Thus the promise nude w Hagar, that htr ntd ihtuli nit ic numbered fcr wdtuudt, was fulfilled.

covenant so firmly established, and so many promises made, lead us to conclude, that he went to dwell with God, in that state where all his pious servants shall be happy with him, and where he was. gathered to his own people. Let us firmly believe in a future state, which is so much more clearly revealed in the gospel, and give all diligence to prepare for iU It is called Abraham!* bosom, because he was so intimate a friend of the most High, and therelore admitted to peculiar nearness to God; and our Lord tells us, that many shall come from the rast and the west, from the north and the south, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in th* kingdom of their heavenly Father.

2. We learn that there is very little in worklly grandeur. Isaac lived obscurely in tents, a solitary pastoral life, and yet was the friend of God and the heir of heaven; while Ishmael had a large and spacious country, numerous descendants, towns and castles, and his sons were all princes. One would be ready to conclude, Surely this is the heir of the promise. But when we judge by appearance, we generally judge falsely; not many wise, •not many noble and mighty arc called. It is so now: the best men often fare worst as to temporal things. It was so formerly, •under a more equal providence! no wonder it should be so now, •when we are called to live by faith and not by sight; and are to •wait for our good things till hereafter. While Ishmael was so c;reat, and made such a figure among the nations, Isaac and his family were little, and lived retired and obscure; but yet, to him •were the best blessings promised; in his seed was the covenant established ; while Ishmael, with all his wealth and power, was a stranger to the covenant of promise. Thus many, even now, liave their riches and honours, while they are enemies of God and children of disobedience. On the contrary, holy souls, who live in retirement, in order that they may converse with God and their own hearts, have most ease and comfort; and the thoughts of having God for their God, is a noble source of joy, and a spring of unutterable delight. Shall we then foolishly choose or wish for our portion to be among the princes and lords of the earth, and envy their grandeur and power, when we see that those are happiest who want these things? Shall we seefc to be rich and great, when so many better blessings are promised to us? Let us not act so stupid a part; but seekßrst the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and other things, all other important blessings thall be added to us : that, like Isaac, we may dwell comfortably in the communion of God's church and people, and be preparing for the heavenly Canaan, where Isaac has his residence, and aj^ the holy people of old their çterual dwelling.

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