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longed to Esau. (Deut. xxi. 17.)
(Deut. xxi. 17.) After Isaac had given his charge to Esau to hunt for venison, Rebekah calls Jacob, tells him what she had heard, and bids him go to the flock and get two kids, and she would make savoury meat such as his father loved, that so she might transfer the blessing from Esau to Jacob, contrary to the intention of his father. Jacob dreads the experiment, for as Esau was a hairy man, and himself a smooth man, bis father, though blind, yet, by feeling him, would detect the imposition, and instead of bringing down a blessing upon himself, would have bis father's curse. Jacob's remonstrance with Rebekah, his mother, proves of no avail; and to silence all objections, as if confident of success, tells him, “Upon me be thy curse, my son; only obey my voice, and go fetch me them.” What a spirit of simplicity and grandeur upon so momentous a subject, is couched in these words of Rebekah! Jacob disputes the matter no further, but fetches the kids: his mother makes savoury meat such as Isaac loved, clothes him with Esau's garments, and skins of the kids of the goats upon his hands and upon the smooth of his neck. Thus accoutred, she gave him the savoury meat and the bread, which she had prepared, and sent him to his father.
“And he came unto his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I; who art thou, my son ? And Jacob said unto bis father, I am Esau thy firstborn: I have done according as thou badest me: arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my venison, that thy soul may bless me." Isaac doubts the truth of what he heard, and asks him, how it was he found it so quickly? To which Jacob replies, “Because the Lord thy God brought it to me." Upon this Isaac calls Jacob near unto him, that he might feel him whether indeed he were his very son Esau or not. By which it appears he strongly questioned the truth of what he heard; for his heart was fully intent upon giving the blessing to Esau, which he knew, by_seniority of birth, was his right. When Jacob went near to Isaac, he felt him and said, “The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.” And not being able by sight to discern him, because his hands were hairy like Esau's, be blessed him; but not before he expressly put the question to Jacob, “Artthou my very son Esau ?" To which he replied, “I am.” As soon as Isaac bid made an end of blessing Jacob, and before he was scarce got out of the presence of his father, came Esau his brother in from his hunting: who also had made savoury meat, and brought it to his father, and said, “Let my father arise, and eat of his son's venison, that thy soul may
Isaac said unto him, Who art thou? And he said, I am thy son, thy firstborn Esau.' Upon this Isaac trembled exceedingly, or as the margin of the Bible reads, trembled with a great trembling greatly, and said, Who? where is he that hath taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest, and I have blessed him ? yea, and he shall be blessed. What a solemn history have we here! How confounding to our reasonable notions of right and wrong! It affords much scope for comment, but I can enlarge but little. That the Lord designed the blessing for Jacob is evident, from the Lord's own mouth to Rebekah, for thus runs the testimony of Scripture: “For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand; not of works but of him that calleth, it was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger." (Rom. ix. 11, 12; Gen. xxv. 23.) Rebekah understood the prophecy, and her affections were anxiously on the look out for its accomplishment: and as there appeared now no human probability to Rebekah but that the blessing inevitably must be Esau's, and that a few moments’ delay would lose the blessing to her beloved Jacob for ever, she invents a stratagem of deception and falsehood, which she communicates to Jacob, and gets him to put into execution: and to our reasonable view of things, as the liighest pitch of aggravation to the whole, Jacob appeals to the Great Searcher of hearts, the Lord bimself, as having aided him in the haste he had used, and as being under his blessing and immediate direction therein.
(To be continued.)
A TRIED SINNER.
TO THE EDITORS OF THE GOSPEL STANDARD. Sirs,—As the apostle of old said, so I must say,—“Such as I have, give I unto you.” At the best, it will be too much mixed with sin; for I daily find it as Paul said, “When I would do good, evil is present with me. Ah, sirs! could you but see what a nest of unclean things there is in this heart of mine, I am sure you would say, Thou art vile indeed!" [ sometimes think that so vile a wretch as I feel myself to be, cannot belong to that happy people of whom it is said, “ Fear not, little lock; it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Nevertheless, at other times I hope that I have a precious Christ, more precious than I can describe to you. Then again, such coldness, such indifference, such unbelief, such callousness, do I feel within, that I often fear all that I have felt and rejoiced in has not been a reality. If the apostle felt but half what I feel, he might well exclaim, “O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from this body of sin and death ?” The little hope that now and then springs up seems ready to sink into oblivion under doubts and fears. I used to despair almost altogether, because I thought if I were a Christian, I should feel the sweetness of the precious promises made to disconsolate sinners in the word of God; whereas, often did I read them, and as often had I to close them again, not being able to feel that they were for me: till a short time ago, as the poet sweetly expresses it,
I heard my Saviour say,
Come hither, soul, I am the way," in the last verse of Isaiah liv.: “No weapon formed against thee shall prosper." O what a mighty support it was to my sinking soul. It raised me out of the horrible pit, and out of the miry clay. I could then say, “ Enough, my gracious Lord !"" 0, sirs, it was such a weapon for me that I cannot in any way describe to you. Could I but have left this wilderness, and this vile body, and died with it on my tongue! Satan could not then bring me in guilty ; but it was too sweet to last long; yet it has left a sweetness behind that now and then enables me to rejoice, though in the desert.
If, sirs, you think this may be felt and enjoyed by a carnal man, do tell me so, through your valuable work. Often do I tell a precious Saviour what hardness I feel within ; but almost as often does Satan break in, at some point or other, and mar my sweetest moments. Many a time do I groan, being burdened with guilt and misery. Dear sirs, I cannot describe it to you, but I think at times I could bear it a deal better were I assured that I belonged to that happy people, redeemed out of every nation, kingdom, people, and tongue; for I feel that if his precious Majesty should see fit to send me to hell, I could not but acknowledge he had done right. Bless his precious name, where shall I
? Without him I can do nothing. O that I could but enjoy him, and feel my union to him. I know he died for sinners, and where is there a greater sinner than I am ? I can truly say there is nothing to compare to him—that my soul, when in her right mind, desires to have short of him; and whether these are the feelings of a hypocrite or not, they are my feelings; yet part with the little hope I have, I cannot, no, not for ten thousand worlds. He is precious to such a worthless wretch as I. I want to be found in Christ, to live in him, to die in him, and to stand in him
pray at all.
at the bar of God; and this is my petition, if I know how to
But often when I attempt to address him at a throne of grace, is my too prone heart wandering after some forbidden object. I cannot tell you of all the various ways and turns that Satan takes to rob me of my joys; for should my
soul be warm in the wrestle with the God of Jacob, scarcely are the last words out of my mouth, ere pride' says it is well done. O this cursed pride! This is one part of my bondage and grief. I must and can hope in nothing short of a whole Christ; for if my salvation were to be left to myself, my very feelings tell me I should perish eternally. But it is some consolation to me to know that it is through much tribulation the saints must enter the kingdom; not that I like the way, but that the dear Lord has marked it out for his family.
Another course that Satan takes to overcome me with is, he says that I have sinned against the Holy Ghost; and you know, sirs, as well as I do, that such a sin can never be forgiven, neither here nor hereafter. I cannot say that I know what kind of sin that is, and I often think I had better not know, lest, if I did, I should the more easily commit it, if I have not committed it already. Dear sirs, do tell me whether you think I had better know; for I often fear if I do not know, I shall be kept in bondage until death.
Being afraid of wearying you with my crooked ways, I must conclude. Yours, (I wish I could, without wavering, say, in the bonds of grace,) Manchester, Aug. 12, 1835.
A SAINT INDEED.--No. II.
(Extracted from Letters.) My dear Friend, for Jesus' sake,-I have this morning received your kind letter. I have no difficulty whatever in reading your letters, and shall consider your correspondence a favour, whenever your time will allow you to write to us.
Our dear brother is alive in every respect, but to the world, and to that he is as dead as a living man can be. 1 have never myself witnessed in any one such a settled peace as he is favoured with. At his particular wish, I spent the whole of last Wednesday with him, and never shall I forget the day. Jesus was indeed with us, and a sweet bedewing from the sacred Spirit, I believe, we mutually felt. Nothing but Christ and him crucified is his theme; nor do I think ten minutes, except while we took our meals, were spent through I said,
the day but on the dear Redeemer, and his precious love made known by the Holy Spirit. Of the Holy Ghost's work, he is blessedly tenacious, and often said to me, “ The reason I love your company so much is, because I feel sure, while I am talking with you, that you have tasted, and felt, and handled, the good word of life;" and believe me, my dear friend, I feel it no small mercy to have so much regard as he expresses, from a dear saint of God, living so near the throne as he is. He has lost his eyesight, but nothing moves him. In speaking of the sweet manifestation of the love of God to his soul, he said, “ I have been so favoured, not once, nor twice, but over, and over, and over again; and now the Lord has taken my sight; and I say, Amen, amen! If he will restore it, I shall rejoice, but if not, here am I, Lord ; do with me as thou wilt. He farther said, “ Jesus is my constant theme." I replied, “ Yes, sir, that will do for your morning and evening song." He said, “ Ah! it will : I wake with it in the morning, and when I lay down at night I say, Here I am, Lord, made willing to be disposed of as thou wilt for me to live is Christ, to die is gain-unspeakable gain, everlasting gain. You can't think how I anticipate the day when I shall see his face, and never, never sin ; and I think the time is drawing near.' “ Have you any particular reason, my dear friend, for thinking so ?” He replied, “ Only my own feelings.” I said,
you feel as if you were on the very threshlod of heaven ?" He replied, “I do, Mrs. -; I really do! A few more setting suns, and we shall see him as he is; and then we'll try which of us can sing the loudest; won't we?”. I said, “We will, sir.” “Ah," he rejoined, “but I shall sing the loudest of all the choir of all the choir !"
His hands have been so paralyzed as to be quite useless ; but now he can take a biscuit, and eat it, of himself. With the exception of such a trifle as that, Sally has to feed him like a child. I suppose his mind is in that sweet state," that his attention cannot be gained to any worldly affairs; but with this, I, of course, have no concern. On spiritual matters, he is quite collected, and I really do feel it a little heaven below to be in his room. His medical attendant says he is better in health. He can sit up a whole day, and take a little meat comfortably, eating what is given him; but would never, I think, ask for meat or drink, if it were not given him.
Now, my dear brother, I have filled my letter about our much-esteemed friend. He expressed his love to you in much warmth, last Wednesday; and added, “ Perhaps I may yet see him again under my roof; but if not, I shall meet him in