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Providential character of the standard of the Chris.
tian religion, Hesitancy in receiving Paul by the church at Jeru
salem.--Acts ix. 26, The incestuous man in the church at Corinth.
1 Cor. v. Law-suits unbecoming between Christians.-1 Cor.
Abuse of the Lord's Supper at Corinth.--1 Cor. xi.
salem. Cor. xvi.
sake of his health.-1 Tim. v. 23, Trophimus left sick by Paul at Miletum._2 Tim.
Heb. i. 14,
amination of Dr Thomas Brown's philosophy on
the subject of Providence,
359 360 362 364 366 367 368
Matt. v. 45,
PAGE 370 372 374 379 381 385 388 389 390 393 395 397 398 399 401 403
HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE,
AS MANIFESTED IN SCRIPTURE.
ABRAHAM DRIVEN BY FAMINE INTO EGYPT.
Gen. xii. 10.
PLENTY and scarcity are equally from the Lord; and though famine is one of the scourges with which he afflicts his enemies, his own people also are the objects of his designs in such visitations. The famine with which the land of Canaan was visited on this occasion appears evidently to be intended by Providence to bring his servant Abraham into trial. Abraham was obliged for subsistence to go down into Egypt ; and in Egypt he was tried in a peculiar manner, by the fear of losing his life, on account of the beauty of Sarah his wife. This had a very wise and important purpose. It afforded an opportunity of proving that the strength of the faith which Abraham afterwards displayed, was not from any peculiar vigour of mind, or any natural
fortitude which he possessed superior to other men. On the contrary, there never was an instance of greater pusillanimity than that which Abraham manifested on this occasion. From fear of losing his life, he exposed the honour of himself and of his wife, in a manner that the least courageous person, possessed of any delicacy of feeling, would not imitate. No danger could excuse him. The certainty of death would not justify such conduct. It was still worse when the event showed that his fears were groundless; and his suspicions were not only dishonourable to his God, but injurious to the court of Egypt. His sin and cowardice were the greater, as he endeavoured to prevent danger by the aid of falsehood. He taught his wife to represent herself as his sister, in a way that led to the conviction that she was not his wife." And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there ; for the famine was grievous in the land. And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon : Therefore it shall come to pass, wlien the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife : and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive. Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee. And it came to pass, that, when Abram was come into Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very fair."-Gen. xii. 10-14.