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12, 16. Prodigalis considered first the call of Abraham, and the obedience of his faith; in which act he found that carnal reason was wholly excluded. 66 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went." By faith he obeyed, and went; while Abraham and his reason were kept entirely out of the secret; for he obeyed, and went out, not knowing whither he went; which reason would call a wildgoose chace. Abraham received a promise of the land of Canaan, and that he should be heir of the world, Rom. iv. 13, and yet God " gave him none inheritance in it, no not so much as to set his foot on," Acts vii. 5. Abraham had a good estate behind him in Ur, and had left that to wander in a strange land, where he had all in hope, but nothing in hand. If reason had been consulted in this matter, her determination would have been this, One bird in the hand is worth two in the bush; and therefore, like Balaam, she would be for getting herself back again, Numbers xxii. 34.

When God made Abraham a great prince, and his lady a princess, reason would have expected the palace of Salem; but, instead of that, the king of that city blesses him as the less, for "without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better," Heb. vii. 7; gives him refreshment, takes tithes of him as his sovereign and high priest, but gives him no invitation to the city, much less to the

palace. All these riddles Abraham's faith had to explain; which would have remained as obscure to human reason as Samson's riddle did to the Philistines. If we plough not with Christ's heifer we shall never find out his riddles. Abraham's leaving his own country was to teach him that this world was not his home; his travelling in pilgrimage was explained by faith, that this was not his rest, because it is polluted, as the land of Canaan was with filthy inhabitants; his promise of the land of Canaan, and of the world, faith construes to mean an heavenly country, Heb. xi. 16; and a new world to come; Abraham's not inheriting Salem, after he had received the promise of the whole land, and was made a prince in it, faith led him to understand that he must seek Jerusalem that is above, as that city that hath foundations, whose maker and builder is God, Heb. xi. 10.

These things Abraham had in view, and his faith brought them to live in his soul; an earnest and a foretaste existed in Abraham's heart by faith, and thus his faith was the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen. The way that these things were to be obtained was shewn to Abraham in the offering up of his son, as typical of Christ, which reason would have called murder instead of obedience. Abraham communed with his God in the promises that he had revealed to him, and enjoyed much sweetness in the blessings contained in them; and by his faith he lived in a state of perfect reconciliation

and friendship with his God, and endured his pilgrimage like Moses, as seeing him who is invisible; which, to reason, is no better than a plain contradiction, and is called enthusiasm to this day.

As Abraham lived, so he died; faith attended his last moments, and, like a divine and constant friend, lent her supporting aid in the moment of dissolution, and handed the redeemed soul to the centre of all happiness; he died in faith, and received the end of his faith, the salvation of his soul. His shield is now his everlasting portion, he enjoys Canaan in the best sense, and Salem is his royal city in every sense; and he, like Melchisedec of old, is no less than a king and a priest in it.

Ahimaaz. These contemplations must be very sweet to Prodigalis, as well as teach him to keep reason in her proper place; that, in matters of divinity, wisdom may be asked of him that giveth liberally and upbraideth not; besides, he must see the necessity of being kept by the mighty power of God, when he saw the various stratagems of Satan, and the advantages that he had hitherto gained over him.

Cushi. It is a wretched fault in Christians to neglect prayer in these times of trouble; they often fall to reasoning, disputing, and contriving, instead of supplicating; this is their loss, and the devil's gain. This is evident in Jonah, when God commanded him to denounce his judgments on Nineveh. He begins to reason on the goodness of

God, and of his slowness to anger, and then concludes, that, if God repented of the evil, his reputation would fall to the ground; he then began to contrive which way to save his reputation, and Satan told him by a flight to Joppa. Jonah tells you, that "they that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy." You hear nothing of Jonah's prayer till he got into the fish's belly; so far from it, that neither the importunity nor the example of the heathen mariners could draw one petition from Jonah. The sailors called every man upon his God, and desired Jonah to try his interest with his; but he would rather sink than supplicate, so stubborn is the sinner when carried away with a lying vanity, in defence of his own supposed merit, worth, or reputation. However Prodigalis found Satan too subtle an attorney for him, and therefore he was glad to become a pauper upon the crown of heaven, where his inheritance lay, and where it was well secured by his Saviour, under whose direction only he could gain the suit, who is by profession an Advocate, and by nature and repute wonderful in counsel and excellent in working.

Ahimaaz. I greatly admire the instructions that Prodigalis got by his last trial; for I am fully persuaded that he that denies the sufficiency of his own reason in divine matters, shall ever appear the most reasonable man; while, on the other hand, those that exalt it against divine revelation, appear of all flesh the most unreasonable. Divinity is the great beautifier and ornamenter of nature; and to

deify human nature in contempt of divinity is to leave her exposed to infinite and everlasting contempt and deformity; for it is thought by some, that an enemy to God will not appear at the general doom in a human shape, sin will deform them, and make them not unlike evil angels; and, if so, it is not without a meaning that the wicked are called serpents, which is Satan's name, and was once the shape that he assumed; nor is it without a meaning that the saints shall appear as the angels of God in heaven. Pray how did Prodigalis go on after this happy deliverance; did the old Attorney attack him again?

Cushi. There is no fear of that; Satan will never give up tempting long together. Prodigalis found it as his blessed Lord and master did in his days; "And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season," Luke iv. 13; that he might come again at another seasonable opportunity. Prodigalis walked some time very comfortably, and enjoyed much sweetness in his soul, from the rich mercy of his Lord; who not only brought him to repentance at first, but still delivered him out of his troubles and difficulties, and kindly sealed the pardon of his manifold infirmities home upon his conscience. This comfortable gale continued some few weeks with Prodigalis, and he expected it would continue to the end of his voyage; but, instead of that, it began gradually to abate as before, which he was much grieved at. The Bible, that had afforded

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