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Son into their hearts, whereby they cry, Abba, Father :"_from fear of Satan, for God will bruise him under their feet: from fear of the law, for Christ hath not only redeemed them from the curse of the law, but hath fulfilled it on their behalf:—and finally from fear of death, for they “ know whom they have believed; that he is the resurrection and the life;" that " whosoever liveth, and believeth in him, shall not die eternally ;” and that “ blessed are the dead, who die in the Lord.” Thus contemplating their freedom from all the condemnation, punishment, and miseries which would otherwise fall upon them after death through sin and the law, they triumphantly exclaim, O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin ; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

I must here conclude these observations with a brief address.

1. First, to those who are not true and spiritual members of the church of Christ.

You, according to the language of the allegory, are born after the flesh, and therefore are not the children of God, nor heirs of his promises and kingdom. You rest your salvation, in reality, upon your own works, and therefore, belonging to the covenant of the law, you are under its curse.

You are inclined to despise and ridicule others on account of their religion, and therefore you bear the likeness of Ishmael, and will be cast out of the family of God. You are in bondage under the rule of Satan and sin, and therefore must suffer their eternal doom, except you be made free by the grace of the Gospel. Now this is a perilous condition, from which you must earnestly pray and diligently seek to be delivered. You will obtain that deliverance by a faithful reception of the christian covenant. If you become the true members of Christ by a living faith in him, then you will be made the children of God; and “if children, then heirs, heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.

2. Secondly, to those who through a true and living faith in Christ are members of


that new and better covenant which is made in him as its head with all the faithful. Consider your privileges. Behold what manner of love the father hath bestowed upon you that you should be called the sons of God. Contemplate the inheritance that is reserved for you, an inheritance with the saints in light, incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away.

Endeavour to live up to these privileges. And if by the mercy of Christ, and the power of divine grace you are already “ delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the sons of God," abhor the very thought of ever using that liberty as an occasion to the flesh, or of sinning, because you are not under the law, but under grace. Maintain the sacred character of sons of God by the holiness of your lives, and the excellencies of all your deeds; and so wait, till an entrance be abundantly ministered to you into the everlasting kingdom of

your God and Saviour.



GENESIS xxii. 2.

And he said, take now thy son, thine only son

Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt-offering upon one of the mountains, which I will tell thee of.

We are here presented with a most remarkable display of the power of faith. Well has the transaction thus recorded established the character of Abraham as the father of the faithful. Here may we see how his faith wrought by his works; and hence may we learn, how we should walk in his steps, if we profess the same faith. In expounding the chapter before us, we shall endeavour to consider,

I. The trial of Abraham's faith.
II. The patriarch's behaviour under it.
III. The issue of the trial.

I. We have, first, to consider the trial of Abraham's faith.

We read, in the first verse, that “God did tempt Abraham.” The word tempt is not to be understood as expressing any evil suggestion or excitement of the same nature as those which proceed froin Satan, and our own depraved desires.

In that sense we know that “God cannot be tempted with evil neither tempteth he any man.” The word means that God did try Abraham. He placed him in such circumstances as afforded occasion of proving the strength of his faith, and the promptness of his obedience. In this manner our blessed Lord was tried, when he was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil : and on that trial it manifestly appeared, that Satan had no part in him. In this manner Joseph was tried, when he was brought into such a situation as caused him to be tempted by his master's unworthy wife : and in that instance it

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