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by Dr. John Thomas
The sons of the prince are joint-heirs with him; but the servants of the prince are only leaseholders for a certain number of years.
If the natural Israel are not restored to Canaan, the spiritual Israel, that is to say, the prince and his sons, would inherit a kingdom without subjects to serve them.
This would be like the Royal family reigning in Windsor Castle over the realm of Britain after all its inhabitants had expatriated themselves to the United States.
It requires more than a staff to make a regiment; so also it requires a multitude of people as well as princes, priests, and kings, to constitute a Kingdom in Canaan, or in any country.
Now, the children in Isaac become the children of the heavenly Jerusalem by believing "the exceeding great and precious promises" set forth in "the manifold wisdom of God".
They hope to see Canaan and Jerusalem under the new covenant, which will constitute them both heavenly.
They are even now said to have "come to Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, and toll the heavenly Jerusalem"; but it is as yet only in spirit, that is, by faith and hope: and as the city and land will be made heavenly by the Lord from heaven, their glorious attributes are in truth "above"; to believe, then, in what will be brought down to the city from above, is for the children of the promise in Isaac to stand related to "Jerusalem which is above, the mother of them all".
Hence, the apostle exhorts them, saying, "If then ye be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God.
Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
For ye are dead (to earthly things) and your life is hid with Christ in God.
When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory".
"PARABLE OF THE SEED.
Abraham was ninety-nine years old, and Ishmael thirteen when they were circumcised.
Isaac was born when Abraham was one hundred.
Between the circumcision of his household and the birth of Isaac, while he was yet living "in the plain of Mamre which is Hebron," the Lord appeared to him, and again promised Sarah a son.
At this crisis Sodom and Gomorrha were destroyed, and the Dead Sea formed.
After this catastrophe, Abraham journeyed from Hebron towards the south country, and dwelled between Kadesh and Shur, and sojourned in Gerar of the Philistines.
On his arrival there, he entered into an agreement with the king of the country, which they confirmed by an oath, by which he was permitted to dwell in any part of Philistia he pleased, and a certain well of water was restored to him, called Beer-sheba, which had been violently taken away by the king's servants.
After this arrangement, Isaac was born according to promise.
On the day he was weaned, Abraham made a great feast.
It was then Ishmael was detected mocking at Isaac, which caused his and Hagar's expulsion from the family.
These being cast out, Abraham planted a grove in Beer-sheba, and there "called on the name of the Lord, the everlasting God".
Having thus settled himself, "he sojourned in the Philistines' land many days".