Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

creased; and also of the facility with which its fallen cities may be raised from their foundation, and forsaken cities, though not fallen, even cities still existing, though without inhabitants, and houses still standing, though without man, may be repaired or restored to dwell in.

The land of promise, rightly bearing that title still, when looked at as it is, appears indeed like an oak which the storms of winter have stripped of its leaves. But in taking up the covenant with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, it is not in that aspect that we would view it here; but rather would we look to what it has been, and to the substance that is in it still, in order to show what, in accordance with the Abrahamic covenant, and many precious promises of Scripture, it yet shall be, when that substance which is in it shall put forth its fullest foliage anew, even richer and more beauteous than ever; and the bare and naked land be covered and clothed again, like an oak of Bashan in summer.

The desolation of many cities, as illustrative of prophecy, might be told in a word; but the practicability of their restoration demands a closer inspection. Nay, the ruins would all need to be disclosed to view, as has been of late partially the case with some, before a complete idea could be formed of the amplitude of the materials ready for reconstruction. The ruins of Syria are not like those of many other lands; not like those of Egypt, for instance, often buried beneath the sand; nor like those of other countries, where broken fragments of once connected walls encumber the ground, incapable of being built up again. But better promises than Israel, or any other nation ever yet inherited, have in these pages to be kept ultimately in view. And we would here draw from the past, or describe the present, to show how, in respect to the land, all things are ready, or ripening fast for the completion-it may be at no

"

distant day, though other judgments yet intervene-of the covenant with faithful Abraham, to which no curses are annexed; and also how the past and still visible judgments which have come upon the land may be viewed as pointing to, and preparing for the time, when mercy shall rejoice over them, and the world, with all its families, blessed in the seed of Jacob, be a witness that the God of Israel is a covenant-keeping God, who will not suffer his faithfulness to fail, but overrules all things for the final accomplishment of his word, and for the ultimate manifestation of his glory.

MY COVENANT WILL I NOT BREAK, NOR ALTER THE THING THAT IS GONE

OUT OF MY MOUTH.-PSALM LXXXIX. 34.

CHAPTER I.

THE COVENANT WITH ABRAHAM RESPECTING THE LAND.-ITS PERPETUITY

THE name of "the land of Canaan" is nearly co-eval with the deluge. And the names of ancient cities, still attached to the same localities, serve at once to fix the site of the territory possessed by the Canaanites, when "the nations were divided after the flood." Sidon, the father of the Sidonians, was the eldest son of Canaan, the grandson of Noah. "The border of the Canaanites was from Sidon, as thou comest to Gerar unto Gaza,"1 &c. "The families of the Canaanites were spread abroad," and they speedily occupied extensive regions in Syria.

The dwelling of the families of Shem, of whom came the Hebrew race, was in the east.2 Abram dwelt in Ur of the Chaldees, beyond the Euphrates.

1 Gen. x. 19.

2 Ibid. 30.

3 Ibid. xv. 7.

B

From the time that God blessed Noah, after the deluge, there is no record that his voice was heard by man, till He appeared unto Abram, when he was in Mesopotamia. Four hundred years subsequent to the establishment of the covenant with Noah and his seed, the word of the Lord came unto the son of Terah, a descendant of Shem, "Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee; and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great ; and thou shalt be a blessing: and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him. And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot, his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came. And Abram passed through the land unto the plain of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land. And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, UNTO THY SEED WILL I GIVE THIS LAND: and there builded he an altar unto the Lord, who appeared unto him.""

A grievous famine prevailing afterwards in Canaan, Abram went down into Egypt, to sojourn for a season. After his return, as on his first entrance into Canaan, the promise was confirmed and renewed more amply than before:-" And the Lord said unto Abram, after Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art, northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward; for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy

1 Acts vii. 2.

? Gen. xii. 1-6.

« ZurückWeiter »