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Property. sion ceasing, the property, which is founded upon such into general law. And therefore also in the earliest Property.

possession and intention, ought also to cease of course. ages, on failure of children, a man's servants born under
For, naturally speaking, the instant a man ceases to be, his roof were allowed te be his heirs; being immediate-
be ceases to have any dominion : else, if lie had a right ly on the spot when he died. For we find the old pa-
to dispose of his acquisitions one moment beyond his life, triarch Abraham expressly declaring, th:{t " since God
he would also have a right to direct their disposal for a had given him no seed, his steward Eliezer, one born in
million of ages after him ;, which would be highly ab his house, was his heir."
surd and inconvenient (A). All property must there Wliile property continued only for life, testaments Last wills
fore cease upon death, considering men as absolute indi were useless and unknown; and when it became inhe-or testa-
viduals, and unconnected with civil society : for then, ritable, the inheritance was long indefeasible, and the ments
by the principles before established, the next immediate children or heirs at law were incapable of exclusion by
occupant would acquire a right in all that the deceased will. Till at length it was found, that so strict a rule
possessed. But as, under civilized governments, which of inheritance made heirs disobedient and headstrong,
are calculated for the peace of mankind, such a consti defrauded creditors of their just debts, and preventeil
tution would be productive of endless disturbances, the many provident fathers from dividing or charging their
universal law of almost every nation (which is a kind of estates as the exigence of their families required. This
secondary law of nature) has either given the dying per introduced pretty generally the right of disposing of
son a power of continuing his property, by disposing of one's property, or a part of it, by testament; that is, by
bis possessions by will; or, in case he neglects to dispose written or oral instructions properly witnessed and au-
of it, or is not permitted to make any disposition at all, thenticated, according to the pleusure of the deceased ;
the municipal law of the country then steps in, and de which we therefore emphatically style bis will. This
clares who shall be the successor, representative, or heir was established in some countries much later than in
of the deceased; that is, who alone shall have a right to others. In England, till modern times, a man could
enter upon this vacant possession, in order to avoid that only dispose of one-third of his moveables from his wife
confusion which its becoming again common would oc and children; and in general, po will was permitted of
casion. And farther, in case no testament be permitted lands till the reign of Henry VIII, and then only of a
by the law, or none be made, and no heir can be found certain portion; for it was not till after the Restoration
so qualified as the law requires, still, to prevent the ro that the power of devising real property became so uni-
bust title of occupancy from again taking place, the doc versal as at present.

14 trine of escheats is adopted in almost every country;

Wills, therefore, and testaments, rights of inheritance, are creawhereby the sovereign of the state, and those who claim and successions, are all of them creatures of the civil or tures of the

civil or under his authority, are the ultimate heirs, and succeed municipal laws, and accordingly are in all respects reto those inheritances to which no other title can be gulated by them; every distinct country having differ- unicipal formed.

ent ceremonies and requisites to make a testament comOf the right The right of inheritance, or descent to the children pletely valid; neither does any thing vary more than Blackst. of inheri- and relations of the deceased, seems to have been allow the right of inheritance underdifferent national establish_Comment:

ed much earlier than the right of devising by testament. ments. In England particularly, tbis diversity is carri.
We are apt to conceive at the first view that it bas na ed to such a length, as if it had been meant to point out
ture on its side ; yet we often mistake for nature what the power of the laws in regulating the succession to
we find established by long and inveterate custom. It property, and how futile every claim must be that has
is certainly a wise and effectual, but clearly a political, not its foundation in the positive rules of the state. In
establishment ; since the permanent right of property, personal estates, the father may succeed to his children;
vested in the ancestor bimself, was no natural, but mere in landed property, be never can be their immediate beir
ly a civil, right. It is true, that the transmission of one's by any the remotest possibility: in general, only the eld-
possessions to posterity has an evident tendency to make est son, in some places only the youngest, in others all
a man a good citizen and a useful member of society : the sons together, have a right to succeed to the inheri-
it sets the passions on the side of duty, and prompts a tance : In real estates, males are preferred to females,
man to deserve well of the public, when he is sure that and the eldest male will usually exclude the rest; in the
the reward of his services will not die with himself, but division of personal estates, the females of equal degree
be transmitted to those with whom he is connected by are admitted together with the males, and no right of
the dearest and most tender affections. Yet, reasonable primogeniture is allowed.

15 as tbis foundation of the right of inberitance may seem, This one consideration may help to remove the Scruples it is probable that its immediate original arose not from scruples of many well-meaning persons, who set up a


beritable speculations altogether so delicate and refined, and, if mistaken conscience in opposition to the rules of law.property not from fortuitous circumstances, at least from a plainer If a man disinherits his son, by a will duly executed, removed: and more simple principle. A man's children or nearest and leaves his estate to a stranger, there are many who relations are usually about him on his death-bed, and consider this proceeding as contrary to natural justice; are the earliest witnesses of his decease. They became while others so scrupulously adhere to the supposed intherefore generally the next immediate occupants, till tention of the deed, that if a will of lands be attested at length in process of time this frequent usage ripened by only two witnesses instead of three, which the law




(A) This right, inconvenient as it certainly is, the law of Scotland gives to every man over his real estate, by authorising him to entail it on his heirs for ever. See Law, clxxx. 9, 10, 11. and TaiLziE.





PROPHECY is a word derived from gorilaise, and Definition,

Proportv. requires, they are apt to imagine that the heir is that wise and orderly maxim, of assigning to every Proper's

bound in conscience to relinquish his title to the devi. thing capable of ownership a legal and determinate Prupicey
see. But both of them certainly proceed upon very er-
roneous principles : as if, on the one hand, this son bad In this age of paradox and innovation, much has Thema .
by nature a right to succeed to his father's lands ; or been said of liberty and equality; and some few base soning of
as if, on the other hand, the owner was by nature contended for an equalization of property. One of those who
entitled to direct the succession of his property after the wildest declaimers on tlris subject, who is for abo-contend is
his own decease. Whereas the law of nature suggests, lishing property altogether, has inadvertently we sup- lizaciones
that on the death of the possessor, the estate should pose) given a complete confutation, not only of bis property.
again become common, and be open to the next occu own arguments, but also of the arguments of all who
pant, unless otherwise ordered, for the sake of civil have written, or, we think, can write, on the same side
peace, by the positive law of society. The positive of the question. After labouring to prove that it is
Jaw of society, which is with us the municipal laws of gross injustice in any man to retain more than is
England and Scotland, directs it to vest in snch person absolutely necessary to supply him with food, clothes,
as the last proprietor shall by will, attended with certain and shelter, this zealous reformer states an objection to
requisites, appoint; and, in defect of such appointment, his theory, arising from the well-known allurements of
to go to some particular person, who from the result of sloth, which, if the accumulation of property were not
certain local constitutions, appears to be the heir at permitted, would banish industry from the whole world.

Hence it follows, that, where the appointment is The objection he urges fairly, and answers it thus : “ It regularly made, there cannot be a shadow of right in may be observed, that the equality for which we are any one but the person appointed ; and, where the ne pleading is an equality that would succeed to a state cessary requisites are omitted, the right of the heir is of great intellectual improvement. So bold a revoluequally strong, and built upon as solid a foundation, as tion cannot take place in human affairs, till the general the right of the devisee would have been, supposing such mind has been highly cultivated. The present age of requisites were observed.

mankind is greatly enlightened; but it is to be feared of things But, after all, there are some few things, which not is not yet enlightened enough. Hasty and undigested that are still in comwithstanding the general introduction and continuance tumults


take place, under the idea of an equalizaof property, must still unavoidably remain in common ; tion of property ; but it is only a calm and clear conbeing such wherein nothing but an usufructuary pro viction of justice, of justice mutually to be rendered and perty is capable of being bad : and therefore they still received, of happiness to be produced by the desertion of belong to the first occupant, during the time he holds our most rooted habits, that can introduce an invariable possession of them, and no longer. Such (among others) system of this sort. Attempts without this preparation are the elements of light, air, and water; which a man will be productive only of confusion. Their eficct will may occupy by means of bis windows, his gardens, be momentary, and a new and more barbarous inequa. his mills, and other conveniences ; such also are the lity will succeed. Each man with unaltered appetite generality of those animals which are said to be fere will watch his opportunity to gratify his love of power, naturæ, or of a wild and untameable disposition ; wbich or his love of distinction, by usurping on his inattentive 'any man may seize upon and keep for his own use or neighbours." pleasure. All these things, so long as they remain in These are just observations, and such as we have of. The Bett possession, every man has a right to enjoy without dis ten made to ourselves on the various proposed reforma-osizioni turbance; but if once they escape from his custody, or tions of government. The illumination which the au- heman di he voluntarily abandons the use of them, they return to thor requires before he would introduce bis abolition of ture. the common stock, and any other man has an equal property, would constitute men more than angels; for right to seize and enjoy them afterwards.

to be under the influence of no passion or appetite, and Of similar

Again, there are other things in which a permanent things

to be guided in every action by unmixed benevolence which have property may subsist not only as to the temporary use, and pure intellect, is a degree of perfection which we

but also the solid substance; and wbich yet would be can attribute to no being inferior to God. But it is propriated. frequently found without a proprietor, had not the wis. the object of the greater part of this writer's book to

dom of the law provided a remedy to obviate this in prove that all men must arrive at such perfection be-
convenience. Such are forests and other waste grounds, fore his ideal republic can contribute to their happi-
which were omitted to be appropriated in the general ness; and therefore every one who is conscious of be-
distribution of lands : such also are wrecks, estrays, and ing at any time swayed by passion, and who feels that
that species of wild animals, which the arbitrary con he is more attached to his wife or children than to
stitutions of positive law have distinguished from the strangers, will look without envy to the present inequa-
rest by the well-known appellation of game. With re lities of property and pewer, if he be an intelligent
gard to these and some others, as disturbances and quar- disciple of Nir Godwin.
rels would frequently arise among individuals contend Literary PROPERTY. See Copy-Right,
ing about the acquisition of this species of property by
first occupancy, the law has therefore wisely cut up in its original import signifies the prediction of future
the root of dissension, by vesting the things themselves events,
in the sovereign of the state ; or else in his representa As God alone can perceive with certainty the future proves
tives appointed and authorised by him, being usually actions of free agents, and the remote consequences of supernate-
the lords of manors. And thus our legislature has uni those laws of nature which he himself established, pro-ral.com
versally promoted the grand ends of civil society, the phecy, when clearly fulSiled, affords the most convincing with the
peace and security of individuals, by steadily pursuing evidence of an intimate and supernatural communion




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Prophecy, between God and the person who uttered the predic- lation in which they stood to him, were probably very Prophecy.

tion. Together with the power of working miracles, it gross; and we see them gradually refined by a series of
is indeed the only evidence which can be given of such revelations or prophecies, each in succession more ex-

a communion. Hence among the professors of every re plicit than that by which it was preceded, till the ad-
The pro ligious system, except that which is called the religion vept of him who was the way, the truth, and the life,
fessor of of nature, there have been numberless pretenders to and who brought to light life and immortality.
all religions
have pre-

7 the gift of prophecy. The Pagan nations of antiquity When a revelation was made of any important truth, Prophecy tended to had their oracles, augurs, and soothsayers. Modern the grounds of which the mind of man bas not facul- always ac. ite

idolaters have their necromancers and diviners ; and ties to comprehend, that revelation, though undoubt-companied the Jews, Christians, and Mahometans, have their seers edly a prophecy, must bave been so far from confirm- by mira

cles, and prophets.

ing the truth of revealed religion in general, that it The ill-founded pretensions of pagauism, ancient and could not gain credit itself, but by some extrinsic evimodern, have been exposed under various articles of dence that it came indeed from God. Hence we find this work. (See Divination, Magic, NECROMAN- Moses, after it was revealed to him from the burning cy, and MYTHOLOGY). And the claims of the Ara bush that he should deliver his countrymen from Egypbian impostor are examined under the articles Alco- tian bondage, replying, “ Behold, they will not believe RAN and MAHOMETANISM; so that at present we bave me, nor hearken to my voice ; for they will say, the only to consider the use, intent, and truth, of the Jewish Lord hath not appeared unto tbee.” This revelation and Christian prophecies.

certainly constituted bim a prophet to Israel; and there The word Previous to our entering on this investigation, it may cannot be a doubt but that he perfectly knew the divine in Scrip be proper to observe, that in the Scriptures of the old source from which he received it: but he very naturally ture has vorious mean

Cand New Testaments, the signification of the word pro and reasonably concluded, that the children of Israel ings.

phecy is not always confined to the foretelling of fu would not believe that the Lord had appeared to him,
ture events. In several instances it is of the same im unless he could give them some other proof of this pre-
port with preaching, and denotes the faculty of illu ternatural appearance than bis own simple affirmation of
strating and applying to present practical purposes the its reality. This proof he was immediately enabled to

doctrines of prior revelation. Thus in Nehemiah it is give, by having conferred upon him the power of work*Ch. si. said, “Thou hast appointed prophets to preach * ;” and ing miracles in confirmation of his prophecy. Again, ver. 7.

wlioever speaketh unto men to edification, and exhorta when Gideon was called to the deliverance of Israel, ti Cor.

tion, and comfort, is by St Paul called a prophet to the angel of the Lord came and said unto him, “ Thé ch. xiv.

Hence it was that there were schools of prophets in Is Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour: go in this
rael, where young men were instructed in the truths of thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of
religion, and fitted to exhort and comfort the people. the Midianites.

Have not I sent thee ?” Here was a
In this article, however, it is chiefly of importance to prophecy delivered by the angel of the Lord to en-
confine ourselves to that kind of prophecy which, in courage Gideon's undertaking: but be, being probably
declaring truths either past, present, or future, required afraid of some illusion of sense or imagination, demand-
the immediate inspiration of God.

ed a sign that he was really an angel who talked with 5 Scienco Every one who looks into the history of the world him. A sign is accordingly given him, a miraculous and reli must observe, that the minds of men have from the be. sign, with wbich he is satisfied, and undertakes the work gion gra- ginning been gradually opened by a train of events still appointed him. dially ac

improving upon, and adding light to each other; as From these and many similar transactions recorded and of it. quired.

that of each individual is, by proceeding from the first in the Old Testament, it appears that prophecy was never self can be elements and seeds of science, to more enlarged views, intended as evidence of an original revelation. It is no proof and a still higher growth. Mankind neither are. nor indeed, by its very nature, totally unfit for such a pur

lation. ever have been capable of entering into the depths of pose ; because it is impossible, without some extrinsic knowledge at once; of receiving a whole system of na- proof of its divine origin, to know whether any prophetaral or moral truths together ; but must be let into cy be true or false, till the era arrive at which it ought them by degrees, and have them communicated by little to be fulblled. When it is fulfilled, it affords complete and little, as they are able to bear' it. That this is the evidence that he who uttered it spake by the spirit of case with respect to human science, is a fact which can- God, and that the doctrines which he taught of a relinot be questioned; and there is as little room to que- gious nature, were all either dictated by the same spirit, stion it with respect to the progress of religious know or at least are true, and calculated to direct mankind in Jedge among men, either taken collectively or in each the way of their duty. individual. Why the case is thus in both, why all are The prophecies vouchsafed to the patriarchs in the It was in. not adult at once in body and mind, is a question which most early periods of the world, were all intended to tended to the religion of nature is equally called upon with reve keep alive in their minds a sense of religion, and to di- preserve a lation to answer. The fact may not be easily accounted rect their views to the future completion of that first sense of refor, but the reality of it is incontrovertible.

and greatest prophecy wbich was made to Adam im: ligion a

mong men. The reve Accordingly, the great object of the several revela- mediately on his fall : but in order to secure credit to lations of tions recorded in the Old Testament was evidently to those prophecies themselves, they were always accomthe Old

keep alive a sense of religion in the minds of men, and panied by some miraculous sign that they were indeed Testament

to train them by degrees for the reception of those given by the God of truth, and not the delusions of gradual.

simple but sublime truths by which they were to be sa fanaticism or hypocrisy. Prophecy, in the proper sense
ved. The notions which the early descendants of A. of the word, commenced with the fall; and the first
dam entertained of the Supreme Being, and of the re- instance of it is implied in the sentence denounced upon
Vol. XVII. Part II.


of a reve.


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Prophecy. the original deceiver of mankind; “ I will put enmity as some well-meaning though weak advocates for Chris. Propbeer

between thee and the woman, and bettveen thy seed tianity have imagined, as a prediction pointing directly
and her seed: It shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt to the cross of Christ.
bruise his heel.”

As this propliecy was the first, so is it the only conProbable This prophecy, though one of the most important siderable one in which we liave any concern from the effects of that ever was delivered, when considered by itself, is ex creation to the days of Noah. It was proportioned to the first

ceedingly obscure. That Adam should have under the then wants and necessities of the world, and was the prophecy on our first stood it, as some of his degenerate sons have pretended grand charter of God's mercy after the fall

. Nature parents. to do, in a literal sense, is absolutely impossible. He had no certain help for sinners; her rights were lost

knew well that it was the great God of heaven and with her innocence. It was therefore necessary either
earth who was speaking, and that such a Being was to destroy the oflenders, or to raise them to a capacity
incapable of trilling with the wretchedness of bis fallen of salvation, by giving them such hopes as might ena-
ereature. The sentence denounced upon himself and ble them to exercise a reasonable religion. So far the
his wife was awful and severe. The woman was doom- Jiglit of this prophecy extended. By what means Goil
ed to sorrow in conception ; the man to sorrow and intended to work their salvation, he did not expressly
travel all the days of his life. The ground was cur declare: and who has a right to complain that he did
sed for his sake; and the end of the judgment was, not, or to prescribe to him roles in dispensing bis mercy
“ Dust thou art, and to dust thou shalt return.” Had to the children of men ?
our first parents been thus left, they must have looked Upon the hopes of mercy which this prophecy gives the core
upon themselves as rejected by their Maker, delivered in very general ternis, mankind rested till the birth of removed
up to trouble and sorrow in the world, and as baving no Noah. At that period a new prophecy was delivered from the
hope in any other. With such impressions on their minds by Lamech, who foretels that his son should confort stond.
they could have retained no sense of religion ; for reli them concerning the work and toil of their bands,
gion, when unaccompanied by hope, is a state of frenzy “because of the earth which the Lord had cursed.” We
and distraction : yet it is certain that they could bave no are to remember that the curse pronounced upon the
hope from any thing expressly recorded by Moses, ex earth was part of the sentence passed upon our first pa-
cept what they might draw from this sentence passed rents; and when that part was remitted, if it ever was
on their deceiver. Let us then endeavour to ascertain remitted, mankind would acquire new and more lively
what consolation it could afford them.

hopes that in God's good time they should be freed from
At that awful juncture, they must bave been sensible the whole. But it has been shown by Bishop Sherlock *, * Use and
that their fall was the victory of the serpent, whom by that this declaration of Lamech's was a prediction, that Intent of
experience they had found to be an enemy to God and during the life of his son the curse should be taken off Prophecy.
to man. It could not therefore but be some comfort from the earth: and the same prelate bas proved with
to them to bear this enemy first condemned, and to see great perspicuity, and in the most satisfactory manner,
that, however he had prevailed against them, he had that this bappy revolution actually took place after
gained no victory over their Maker. By this condem. the flood. The limits prescribed to an article of this
nation they were secured from thinking that there was kind will not permit us even to abridge bis arguments.
any malignant being equal to the Creator in power and We shall only observe, that the truth of his conclusion
dominion; an opinion which, through the prevalency of is manitest from the very words of scripture; for when
evil, gained ground in after times, and was destructive God informs Noah of his design to destroy the world,
of all true religion. The belief of God's supreme do he adds, " But with thee will I establish my covenant :"
minion being thus preserved, it was still necessary to and as soon as the deluge was over, he declared that he
give them such hopes as might induce them to love as “ would not again curse the ground any more for man's
well as to fear him; and these they could not but con sake; but that while the earth should remain, seed-time
ceive when they heard from the mouth of their Creator and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter,
and Judge, that the serpent's victory was not complete and day and night, should not cease.” From this last

over themselves ; that they and their posterity declaration it is apparent that a curse had been on the should be enabled to contest his empire ; and that earth, and that seed-time and harvest had often failed; though they were to suffer much in the struggle, they that the curse was now taken off; and that in conseshould yet finally prevail, bruise the serpent's head, and quence of this covenant, as it is called, with Noah and deliver themselves from his power and dominion. his seed and with every living creature, mankind should

This prophecy therefore was to our first parents a not henceforth be subjected to toil so severe and so gelight shining in a dark place. All that they could nerally fruitless. certainly conclude from it was, that their case was not It may seem surprising perhaps to some, that after so A future desperate ; that some remedy, some deliverance from the great a revolution in the world as the deluge made, lise not evil they were under, would in time appear; but when or God should say nothing to the remnant of mankind of then expla where, or by what means they were to be delivered, they the punishments and rewards of another life, but should citive to could not possibly understand, unless the matter was make a new covenant with them relating merely to froitfurther revealed to them, as probably it was at the insti ful seasons and the blessings of the earth. But in the tution of sacrifice (see SACRIFICE). Obscure, how- scriptures we see plainly a gradual working of proviever, as this promise or prophecy was, it served after dence towards the redemption of the world from the the fall as a foundation for religion, and trust and con curse of the fall ; that the temporal blessings were first fidence towards God in hopes of deliverance in time restored as an earnest and pledge of better things to from the evils of disobedience : and this appears to have follow; and that the covenant given to Noah had, been the sole purpose for which it was given, and not, strictly speaking, nothing to do with the hopes of futuri


e Prophecy, ty, which were reserved to be the matter of anothe inherit it rere found to be a foundation for religion Prophecy.

covenant, in another age, and to be revealed by him, and confidence in God, a miraculous sign was given him
whose province it was to “ bring life and immortality that they came indeed from the spirit of truth. This
to light through the gospel.” But if Noah and his removed from his mind every doubt, and made him give
forefathers expected deliverance from the whole curse of the fullest credit, not only to them, but also to that
the fall, the actual deliverance from one part of it was other promise, “ that in his seed should all the nations
a very good pledge of a further deliverance to be ex. of the earth be blessed."
pected in time. Man himself was cursed as well as the What distinct notion he had of this blessing, or in
ground; he was doomed to dust: and fruitful seasons what manner he hoped it should be effected, we cannot
are but a small relief compared to the greatness of his pretend to say. “ But that lie understood it to be a
loss. But when fruitful seasons came, and one part of promise of restoring mankind, and delivering them from
the curse was evidently abated, it gave great assurance the remaining curse of the fall, there can be no doubt.
that the other should not last for ever, but that hy He knew that death had entered by sin; he knew that
some means, still unknown to them, they should be God had promised victory and redemption to the seed
freed from the whole, and finally bruise the serpent's of the woman. Upon the hopes of this restoration the
head, who, at the deluge, had so severely bruised man's religion of his ancestors was founded ; and when God,

from whom this blessing on all men was expected, did
Upon this assurance mankind rested for some genera- expressly promise a blessing on all men,

and in this protions, and practised, as we have every reason to believe, mise founded his everlasting covenant-what could Aa rational worship to the one God of the universe. At braham else expect but the completion in his seed of last, however, idolatry was by some means or other in that ancient promise and prophecy concerning the victroduced (see PolYTHEISM), and spread so universally tory to be obtained by the woman's seed? The curse of through the world, that true religion would in all pro- the ground was expiated in the flood, and the earth rebability have entirely failed, had not God visibly inter stored with a blessing, which was the foundation of the

posed to preserve such a sense of it as was necessary for temporal covenant with Noah ; a large share of which 13 the accomplishment of his great design to restore man God expressly grants to Abraham and bis posterity parromise to kind. This he did by calling Abraham from amidst ticularly, together with a promise to bring, by their braham.

his idolatrous kindred, and renewing to him the word means, a new and further blessing upon the whole race
of prophecy : “ Get thee out of thy country (said he), of men. If we lay these things to heart, we cannot
and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, suppose that less could be expected from the new pro-
unto a land that I will shew thee. And I will make of mise or prophecy given to Abraham than a deliverance
thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy from that part of the curse still remaining on men:
name great; and thou shalt be a blessing. And I will Dust thou art, and to dust thou shalt return. In virtue
bless them that bless thee, and curse bim that curseth of this covenant Abraham and his posterity had reason
thee; and in thee shall all the families of the earth be to expect tlrat the time would come when man should
blessed." These magnificent promises are several times be called from his dust again. For this expectation they
repeated to the father of the faithful, with additional cir had bis assurance who gave the covenant, that he would
cumstances of great importance, such as, “ that he should be their God for ever. Well might our Saviour then * Sber-
be multiplied exceedingly; that he should be a father tell the sons of Abraham, that even Moses at the bush lock's Use
of many nations; that kings should come out of him ;" showed the resurrection of the dead, when he called the and Intent
and above all, that God would establish an everlasting Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and

of Prophe-
covenant with him and his seed, to give him and them the God of Jacob *."
all the land of Canaan for an everlasting possession, and These promises made to Abraham were renewed to To Isaac
to be their God."

Isaac and Jacob ; to the last of whom it was revealed, and Jacob. Upon such of these promises, as relate to tempo not only that all the nations of the earth should be ral blessings we need not dwell. They are much of blessed in his seed, but that the blessing should spring the same nature with those which had been given be from his son Judalı. It is, however, by no means evifore to Lamech, Noah, Shem, and Japheth ; and all dent that any one of those patriarchs knew precisely by the world knows how amply and literally they have what means (A) the curse of the fall was to be entirely been fulfilled. There was, however, so little probability removed, and all men called from their dust again. It in nature of their accomplishment at the time when they was enough that they were convinced of the fact in ge

were made, that we find the patriarch asking, “Where neral terms, since such conviction was a sufficient founGenesis by he should know + that he should inherit such an ex. dation of a rational religion ; and the descendants of . 8. &c. tent of country ?” And as the promises that he should Abraham had no other fourdation upon which to rest


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(A) This they certainly could not know from the promises expressed in the very general terms in which they ere recorded in the book of Genesis. It is, however, not improbable that those promises, as they immediately received them, were conceived in terms more precise and particular ; and, at all events, Dr Warburton bas proved to the full conviction of every man who is not a determined unbeliever, that Abraham was commanded to sacri. fice his son Isaac, not only as a trial of his obedience, but also that God might give him what he earnestly des sired, a scenical representation of the means by which mankind were to be redeemed from death. The learned writer thinks, and his reasoning compels us to think with bim, that to this transaction our Savivur alludes when Le says, “ Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day, and he saw it and was glad.”

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