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GENESIS xii. 1, 2, 3.
Now the Lord had said unto Abram (or as he was afterwards called, Abraham) Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew 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.
I HAVE lately, in some Lectures, given you an insight into the first part of the Bible. There are three things, about which
I have been discoursing to you-namely, the making of this world by God, called the creation, the sin of Adam, the first man, called the fall of man-and the deluge or flood. These three things you must try to remember. They will make you able to understand your religion better—that is, the religion of Christ, the religion which you believe when you call yourselves Christians. I shall go on with telling you some things This world was made about 5826 years ago. The fall took place not very long after the creation: the deluge or flood, about 1600 years after. You will remember, I hope, a great deal concerning the deluge, such as the building of the ark by Noah, and the saving of Noah and his family in the ark, when all the rest of the inhabitants of the earth were drowned. You would think, that after this dreadful destruction, people would have done all they could to please the Lord. You would think that, as they began to multiply, they would never forget the deluge, never for
get how terrible God is in his anger. And so, I make no doubt that they did for some time. But, at length, it had no more effect upon them, that it has on people at this day. We all can read about it, or hear about it: and yet it does not prevent people from provoking God to anger every day. The truth is, man is prone, inclined to evil from his birth: and nothing but God's grace, helping our prayers and endeavours, can prevent us from being as wicked as the most wicked. So it is now: so it was in the times immediately after the flood and so it will be, till the Lord Jesus comes to judge the world. Now, there was one kind of wickedness, to which the people of those times were very much inclined. This was, what was called idolatry, that is, making idols or images of wood and stone, and worshipping them as Gods. Some worshipped the sun, the moon, the stars: others worshipped dumb animals: others worshipped great men after their deaths: but all were fond of worship
ping idols. These images they kept in their houses, and worshipped. What foolishness and nonsense. But what will not the heart of man do, when it departs from God? And as their faith was wrong, you may be sure that their lives were not right. They did many abominable things, besides worshipping images of wood and stone. God saw all this wickedness going on: he saw men growing worse from day to day he saw that if he did not take some steps to prevent it, the world would become ripe very soon for destruction. It was his intention to send his Son Jesus Christ into the world at some future time to preach a holy religion, and to die on the cross for the sins of the world. But if things went so, even this would do no good. What therefore did he determine to do? He had declared that he would not drown the world again. The time had not come for it to be destroyed by fire. Now, I will tell you, how he contrived to keep one people, at least, true to him,
whilst all the rest were false. This people
was the Jews.
You have all heard of this
race of people. They are found, at present, in all countries. They are found in this. And though they are in all countries, they have not the name, which the people of those countries have. In England, they are not called Englishmen: they are called Jews. In this country, they are not called Barbadians: they are still called Jews. Wherever they are, they are called Jews. The reason of this I shall tell you at another time. Go where they will, they are always despised. This is the punishment which God has inflicted on them for crucifying Jesus Christ. However, they were once the favourite people of God. They were the people, whom God, at the time I speak of, chose from the rest of the world to make them the true worshippers of him, while all other people were the worshippers of idols. The founder of this nation, the father of them all, was named Abraham. Of him I am now to give you an account.