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«eet thjeoi hfjfia, the teoujoor, and. bowed himself toward

And said, My Lord, if now I have found . favour inv tl^> sights, pass npt aw^y,. I pray thee, from thy servant. Jjgt.a little w,a£er, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your fyk>Wl rm y«WWlw*>sndpr-the tree:

Apd, I wi^.fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye ySiPf-hearts*; alter that ye shall pass on : for therefore are ye, come,. to. yo#r servanj, And they said, So do as thou

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Ariel,. Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Mak&ready quickly three iaeasures of fine meaJakrvsad. it, and make cakes upon the hearth.

Arid. Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetched. a calf tcnde; and good, and gave it unto a young man; and. hehasted- to dress ilj,.

And he tO;ok butter and milk, and thexalf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them upder the tree, and they did eat.

And they said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife? And he said, Ejehold in the tent.

And he said, I will certaiply return unto thge according to the time of life : and Sarah, thy wife, shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent-door, which was behind them.

Now Abraham and Sarah were old, and well stricken in years: therefore Sarah laughed within herself.

And the Lor D said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am oki?

Is any thing too hard for the Lor D ? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.

Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay, but thou didst laugh.

ANNOTATIONS

ANNOTATIONS And REFLECTIONS.

On this occasion, the appearance of the Lord Gofe was different from that manifestation of the dhntiie Prifence, which Abraham had been accustomed to behoW. And the Lord was attended by two Angels; btft Doth the divine and angelic natures were Veiled under the human form, so that Abraham had first supposed he -tat* three €f avellers.

The "purpose of this visit, in respect to Abraham^ was'th* the :L«xr> might name the 'eXact little when, Jsaae fchoald be bom; iabd it is- remarkable, tfiat 1thfc Lbfct> fna3e tfcrs'promise, in the presence of two of hit holy angeTs, calling fee* as witteisses tb S&i 'to the ioTe'mm'ry bf Hrs engagement.

Sarah, '"who had never kfco'wto "bf any people having Children when s6 fat actvaneeo- lh iite a's 'she and her husband 'vfert, tni 'Dot knSWitfg (as we may tupp'ose) that it was the Lord Tftirh'self that prdmised to Sena them a soft, 'could ndfc at first believe such an eVent 1& be possible ; but it pleased 'ihe Lord tb streflgihe'h'her flith, by ah assurance, that hbthinjj was too hard rot Sim to bring to pass; and her h'e'Sft "paid a ready zisent to this important truth. Terrified lest the Lbfe'S (as He now appeared to be) should take offence at her presumption, Sarah committed another fault, by uttering a falsehood. The Lord knew that this was fio more than the effect of human weakness, suddenly feeling the consciousness of sin, and having no time for recollection: He therefore took pity on her inGrmity; an3, instead of punishing her, gent'y informed her, that the most secret "ions were known to His omniscience, leaving her own heart to reproach her for the* tins she had committed.

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From this passage of sacred history we »e instructed that hospitality to strangers is very pleasing in the sight of God. It is needless to expatiate on the benevolence which displayed itself in Abraham's solicitude, to afford his guests all possible refreshment. In that early age of" the world there were no inns; and, therefore, these supposed travellers, had they been men, would have suffered great inconveniencies, from walking in the heat of the day, if they could not have gained admittance into some family. The present state of the world does not require an exact imitation of Abraham's and Sarah's conduct on this occasion; but it shews their characters in a most amiable light; and should incline every one to indulge such sentiments as actuated them, which will produce a regard to the necessities of strangers, and an inclination to assist them with every reasonable accommodation. . We cannot expect the Lokd personally to visit us in the manner He did Abraham and Sarah; because (as has been before observed) we live under a different dispensation; but the Lord has assured us in the Holy Scriptures, that if we comfort and refresh the weary traveller, for His. take, He w ill esteem it an instance of kindness done to Himself, and recompence it accordingly*. A cup of cold water only, given to a stranger, may bring a blessing to ourselves ; therefore when we behold a fellow creature exposed to the scorching heat, or the pinching cold, without the means of refreshment, let us call to mind the love that is due to-our Lord, and extend it to those whom he condescends to appoint as his deputies and representatives to receive it.

The Apostle, Peter, admonishes wives to take example from Sarah, who, we are told, honoured her

♦Matt. x. 42. Mark 41.

husbandy husband, calling him Lord*. This admonition' makes part of the marriage ceremony among Christians! it therefore concerns all women who enter into the state of wedlock; for having solemnly promised to obey, like Sarah, they cannot, without breaking a covenant entered into in the presence of God, exalt themselves above their Lords, and refuse that subordination which God originally appointed, when the woman was made an help meet for man. .

/ . .

SECTION XXII.

ABRAHAM INTERCEDETH FOR SODOM:

From Genetit, Chap, xviii.

And the men rose up from thence, and looked towards Sodom: and Abraham went with them to bring them on the way.

And the Lord said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do; ...

Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?

For I know him, that he will command his children and his houshold after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.

And the Lord said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous 4 I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.

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And the men turned their faces from thtnce, and went toward* Sodom.- but Abraham stood yet before .the LorD.

Aid Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?

Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city, wik 'thou also destroy and not spare the place for the <ifty righteous that are therein?

That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous shall be as the wicked, that be far from thee s shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?

And the Lord said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.

And Abraham answerefl and said, Behold now I tave taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes,

Percdventure there shall lack five df the 'fifty righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city: for lack of five? Ai.d he said, ff I find there forty and five, I will not destroy it.

And he spake unto him yet again, and Baid, Peradrenture there shall be forty found there. And he said T will not do it lor forty's sake.

And he said unto him, O let not the Lord be angry, and I will ••speak: Peradventure there shall be thirty found there. And be said, I will not do it if I find .thirty there.

And he said, Behold now I have taken upon me to> speak unto the Lord: Peradventure there shall be twenty found there. And he >said, I will not destroy it for twenty's sake.

And he said, O let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: Peasdventure there shall

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