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JEHOVAH, the God of your fa“thers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, " and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: “this is my name for ever, and my memorial un“ to all generations a.” As he uses this language in the present time, especially in the stricteft connexion with that wonderful name, I AM THAT I AM ; while it proves the unchangeableness of his love to these patriarchs, as still existing in a separate state, it proclaims the same unchangeable love to all their spiritual feed.
The Redeemer of his Church indeed affumed various defignations of the same kind, according to her situation, and the progress of his work. When by an awful display of his justice he had separated the family of Noah from all the other inhabitants of the earth, it appeared proper to his infinite wisdom to separate one branch of this family from the rest. He therefore took the character of " Jehovah the God of Shem b;" as the promise was to run in the line of his posterity. After being known by this character for several generations, when all the posterity of Shem were more or less corrupted, he separated one individual, not merely from the other families of this race, but from his father's family, as his true worfhipper, and the ancestor of that illustrious personage in whom all the families of the earth should be blessed. He revealed himself as “ the God of “ Abraham.” Only one of all the fons of Abraham being the child of promise; he also called
a Exod. iii. 15.
b Gen, ix, 26.
himself “ the God of Isaac:" and with these two he conjoined the name of Jacob, as he loved him, while his brother Esau was rejected. In the history of Jacob, we have a striking instance of his zeal for preserving the doctrine of the divine unity. When Laban and he entered into a covenant, Laban used this form of swearing ;
“ The “ God of Abraham, and the God of Nahor, the “ God of their Father, judge betwixt us.” But “ Jacob sware by the fear of his father Isaacc." that is, by the object of his fear. Jacob would not swear in the terms used by Laban. For he mentioned “ the God of Abraham,” as at the same time the God of Nahor, and of their father Terah. Now, we are told that Terah the father of Abraham, and the father of Nahor, "served “ other gods, on the other side of the flood,” or great river Euphrates d. Laban sware by “God of Abraham,” before he was separated from his father's house : Jacob would swear only by that God of Abraham, who was worshipped by his immediate father Ifaac, who had called Abraham from idolatry, and given him the
promise of salvation in the feed of Isaac *. Vol. II. с
When c Gen. xxxi. 53.
d joh. xxiv. 2. * Here the remarks of a very ingenious writer merit our attention. Speaking of the pretensions made by other nations, allied to the Israelites, to the promise of the Mefliah, he says: “ It is there jealousies, and these “ pretensions,—that gave rise to the custom of calling God, the God of 4 Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob: for though he might " as well bave been called the God of Adam, the God of Enoch, and the * God of Noah, forasınuch as all these patriarchs were also depofitaries of to the promise of the Melliah : yet it is probable that God was called fo, be
When God had separated a peculiar people for himself, to express the nearness of their relation, the pleasure he had in them, especially as emblems of his fpiritual seed, and to distinguish himself from all false gods, he took the name of " the “ God of Ifrael.” He did not borrow a new de. fignation from any individual among them: for he viewed Israel, in their collective capacity, as “his son, his first-born.” He ftill delighted, however, in recognising his relation to their pious progenitors; and in assuring them, that he would “ perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to “ Abraham, which he had sworn from the days of "old"
Thus was God pleased to link one revelation with another; that he might, in the most expreffive manner, teach his people the importance of the doctrine of the divine unity, and thew them the necessity of being on their guard against imposture'; while lie at the fanc time gave them the most satisfying evidence that they had nothing of this kind to fear, when addressed by the God of their fathers. Such care did he manifest in this refpect, that, in different instances, he in this manner connected the diftinê revelations that he made to the same persons. When he appeared to Abram in the plain of Mamre, he reminded him that, although his situation was changed, he was still under the protection of the same God. tie said to him; “ I am JEHOVAH that brought
he o cause of the particular promises that had been made to Abraham, re.
condly to Isaac, and lastly to Jacob, and in opposition to the pretensions " of some people near neighbours to the Israelites, and jealous of their
bopes: T God of Abraham, and not of Lot, as the Ammonites and “ Moabites, Lot's pofterity, pretended; the God of Ifaac, and not of ish" mael, as the Ishmaelites pretended ; the God of Jacob, and not of Ejau, " as the E-lomites, who were the offspring of Esau, pretended.” Allix's Reflections upon the Books of the Holy Scriptures, Vol. i. p. 80.
• Mic. vii. 20.
Dee Cul of Ur of the Gbaldees, to give thee this si land, to inherit it f." When he commanded Jarob to leave Mesopotamia, and return to his own kindred ; that he might have no doubt as to the certainty of the call, and that he might know that it was the fame God who had “ fed him all “ his life long,” and that his power was the same in all places, and at all times, he referred him to what had taken place many years before, saying ; “ I am the God of Bethel, where thou andintedst " the pillar, and where thou vowedst a vow unto
me 8.” Afterwards, he made himself known to Jacob by the fame peculiar character. He said to him ; " Arife, go up to Bethel,-and make “ there an altar to God that appeared unto thee, “ when thou fleddest from the face of Efau thy “ brother,"
When the glorious consequences of the ascenfion of Christ are foretold, it is in this language : “ The princes of the people are gathered toge“ther, even the people of the God of Abraham," In conformity to this, and to illustrate the unity of the object of worship, and the unity of his work for the redemption of the Church, Peter declares to the Jewish council; “ The God of
“ Abraham, g Gen. xxxi. 13
h Gen. xxxv. 1. i Psal. xlvii. 2.
f Gen. xv. 7.
“ Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God “ of our fathers, hath glorified his son Jesus k.”
He had been known, for a long succession of ages, as “ the God of Israel,” and as his Redeem
He had claimed this character, as attested by many temporal and typical redemptions; and efpecially as JEHOVAH, “ who brought up the chil“dren of Israel out of the land of Egypt ;” and afterwards, in reference to the deliverance from Babylon, as he “ who led the feed of the house “ of Israel out of the north country !.” In the language of prophecy, he had said to his own Son, as the glorious Antitype, and as the Representative of that fpiritual Israel whom he had chosen to be his peculiar treasure ; “ Thou art my ser“ vant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified m." Now although, in the New Testament, he is called “ the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Ja
cob," and also “ the God of Israel "," in order to illustrate his unity both of essence and of operation ; yet, the spiritual redemption being accomplished, he is especially designed in relation to this. The God, and the Father, of Israel especially delights to be known as “the God and Fa“ther of our Lord Jesus Christ,” that true Israel in whom he hath been so signally glorified.
viu. That JEHOVAH is the only true God, hath appeared from a variety of proofs, recorded in Scripture-history, of his power in changing the beart. He, even he only " knoweth the hearts
k Acte iii. 13.
1 Jer. xxiii. 7, 8,
m Isa. xlix. 3.
n Luke i. 68.