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Esau had wantonly relinquished his birthright for a mess of pottage ; scorning the honour of the blessing promised to his grandfather Abraham.

Now, we find throughout Scripture; and, indeed, it is as plainly apparent in the daily occurrences of human life; that God “ scorneth the scorner.” His mercy is granted to those “ who love him, and keep his commandments;" but is withheld, justly withdrawn, from the impenitent.

Esau was a hunter; a man careless of eternal glory, in being one from whom, after the flesh, the Universal Redeemer was to be born: and, therefore, was justly punished in the loss of that great privilege. He was also cruel, and a man of violence, for he sought to slay Jacob.

With respect to one objection too hastily made upon this transaction between the brothers; I will briefly, and I hope satisfactorily, reply to it. Human life is but temporary, and it is a state of trial : nor can short-sighted man always discern how God “ trieth the very secrets of the heart.” Such a trial, and a severe trial, indeed; pious Abraham; and why should his grandson, the careless Esau, be spared ? Does not God recall the sinner to obedience by his judgments ?

parents feel; had been given even to

as all

Greater trials were endured by that Just One, whose victory has opened to us the gates of everlasting life. And so horrible were his mental, as well as bodily tortures; that even Christ Jesus, on the Cross, ex: claimed ; “ My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken, me!” Jacob himself was, therefore, but an instrument; and, as no message was sent to induce him so to act, most probably an unwitting instrument in the hands of God. As Rebekah, their mother also became; when compassionating Jacob's tender heart, and, perhaps, resenting the heedless ingratitude of her first-born Twin Son: she enabled Jacob to obtain the blessing from their Father.

And unless the hand of God were in all this transaction, how could mortals control his will; how ensure, by deceit, for deceit it undoubtedly was on their parts ; I ask, the coming of the only-begotten Son of God in the very seed of Jacob?

Not only did Jacob retain Isaac's blessing,

how ensure,

after his father discovered the trick put upon him by Rebekah; but Isaac added no mark of anger to his promise once given. He saw that God had so decreed; he knew the will of God, because he was prophetically inspired by the Holy Ghost at that very moment.

For while to Jacob was the glory of the Messiah promised, and confirmed: to Esau also great dominion was foretold. Both of which prophecies were fully accomplished, as the Bible testifies; and with the first only our present discourse is connected. .

But, moreover, we have a still stronger reply for the objector to the truth, or wisdom of God, on this very subject. And, alas ! it too plainly shews how lightly objections are taken up, and promulgated; how carelessly treated, without enquiry, by presumptuous man.

We may triumphantly refute him ; for so was it decreed by God, before Esau, or Jacob, were born into the world.

“ Isaac entreated the Lord for his wife, because she was barren : and the Lord was entreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. And the children struggled together

within her; and she said, if it be so, why am I thus ? And she went to enquire of the Lord. And the Lord said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people, and the elder shall serve the younger.

Therefore, when Esau wept bitterly at Jacob's supplanting him; or, as it now appears from Scripture, obtaining God's own promise to himself :-Isaac his father answered, and said unto him ; “Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above. And by thy sword shalt thou live, and shalt serve thy brother; and it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck.”

I have been more particularly careful to refute this objection, so intimately as the subject is connected with our Messiah’s first, and last Advent; because a public attempt was made to deceive our Countrymen in this very circumstance. It has been justly remarked, how easy it is to raise objections ; but I will as justly reply, how difficult it is to

support them.

Here, the mere turning back to the second preceding chapter would have solved the difficulty at once : but that does not suit an objector's purpose. He raises cavils merely to decry Christianity; and thus furnishes us with a too easy Triumph in our noble cause.

A cause enough to animate the soul of man; a cause on which depend his everlasting hopes; a cause for which Christ died, “ who rose again the third day from the dead;” and who will raise up us also, who

gird up our loins to the battle," and manfully fight the good fight of faith.”

On this rock, then, will we plant his glorious Cross; and in that Sign will we conquer.

Yes, on the everlasting rock of Ages, will we throw open to all Nations ; never, never, to be closed till Eternity begins, till Time itself shall be no more: yes, in the name of Jesus Christ, and by his delegated authority; on this rock will we throw

open

the everlasting gates of heaven to all believers.

Thou, blessed, thrice blessed Lord, and

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