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An Address to the Public, and Especially the Clergy

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    THE ORIGINAL PROMISE

    The first promise made to Abram and his seed, is recorded Genesis 12:6, 7. “And Abram passed through the land unto the place 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.”APEC 41.3

    Again, after Lot and Abram separated, the Lord appeared again to Abram, and said,-Genesis 15:14, 15, “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 seed forever.”APEC 41.4

    After the promise of God to Abram that, he should have a son, and the offering up of a sacrifice, the Lord made a covenant with Abram, Genesis 15:18, “saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river Euphrates.”APEC 41.5

    Also at the time the Lord gave to Abram the covenant of circumcision, and changed his name from Abram to Abraham, because he should be a father of many nations, he gave him a renewal of the same promise. Genesis 17:8. “And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”APEC 41.6

    Once more; after Abraham had offered up Isaac, the Lord appeared and promised, chapter 22:18, “And in thy seed shall the nations of the earth be blessed.”APEC 42.1

    On the above promises, it may be proper to remark.APEC 42.2

    1.That the land was given to Abraham and to his seed. Yet, Stephen said, Acts 7:5, “He gave him (Abraham) no inheritance in it, (the land of Canaan,) not so much as to set his foot on; yet he promised to give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child.” So that the promise to Abraham must either fail; or be fulfilled in futurity, because he has never yet possessed the land of promise.APEC 42.3

    2. It was given to Abraham and his seed for an everlasting possession. But the promise can only be fulfilled in an eternal state. For the word everlasting is to be taken in its literal, grammatical sense. Nothing would be gained by saying, it is to be understood in an accommodated sense, and only extends to the end of the world. For in that sense, it is not true; neither Abraham nor his seed have possessed it even up to the present time; and Abraham not at all. Yet he is to have it for an everlasting possession. It must, therefore, be fulfilled in another state of existence.APEC 42.4

    But the same promise was renewed to Isaac and Jacob, Genesis 26:3, 4. “Sojourn in this land; and I will be with thee, and will, bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, will I give all these countries; and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father. And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.”APEC 43.1

    We learn from this, as well as the other texts quoted, that the seed to whom the promise was made, was the seed in whom all the nations of the earth should be blessed. But who doubts but Christ was that seed? Yet, he never yet possessed so much of that, or any other land, as to lay his head on.APEC 43.2

    Genesis 28:13, 14. “And behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed. And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth; and thou shalt spread abroad to the west and to the east, and to the north and to the south; and in thee, and in thy seed, shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” The same remarks are appropriate here as on the foregoing text.APEC 43.3

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