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meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground,
And said, My Lord, if now I have found · favour in thy sight, pas not away. I pray thee, from thy servant, . Let a little water, I pray you, he fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree:
And, I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on : for therefore are ye come to your servant. And they said, So do as thou hast said,
And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth.
And Abraham ran upto the herd, and fetched, a calf eender and goods and gave it unto a young man; and he hastędy to dress it.
And he took butter and milk, and the calf which he bad dressed, and set it before them; and be stood by them under the tree, and they did eat.
And they said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife! And he said, Behold in the tent.
And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life : and Sarah, thy wife, shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent-door, which behind them.
Now Abraham and Sarah were old, and well stricken in years: therefore Sarah laughed within herself.
And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying. Shall I of a surety bear a child, which
Is any thing too hard for the Lord ? At the time appointad 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 On this occasion, the appearance of the LORD Golob was different from that manifestation by the divine Presence, which" Abraham had been accustomed to behold. And the Lord was attended by two Angels; but both the divine and angelic nätutes were veiled under the hunan form, so that Abrahain had first supposed he tatu three travellers.
The purpose of this visit, 'in respect to Abraham, Was that the Lord might hate the exact time when Isaac should be born, and it is remarkable, that the LORD 'made this promise, in the presence of two of hii holy angels, calling them as withesses to add to the solemnity of His engagement.
Sarah, who had never known of any people having children when 'o fat advanced in life as she and her husband were, and not knowing (as We may suppose) that it was the Lord Himself that promised to send them à son, could not at first believe such an event to be possible ; but it pleased the Lo'ko to strengthen het faith, by an assurânce, that nothing was too hard for Him to bring to pass; and her heart paid a 'ready assent to this important truth. Terrified lest 'the Lorð (as He now appeared to be) should take offence at hier presumption, Sarah committed another fault, by uttering a falsehood. The LORD knew that this was no more than the effect of human weakness, suddenly feeling the consciousness of sin, and having no time for recollection : He therefore took pity on het infirmity; and, instead of punishing her, gently informed her, that the most secret. nions were known to His omini. science, leaving her own heart to reproach her for the Bips she had committed, F 3
From this passage of sacred history we are instructed chat 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 bis 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 ad. mittance 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 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 LORD personally to visit us in the manner He diq Abraham and Sarah ; because (as has been before ob served), 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 sake, He will 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 blessirg 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 ample from Sarah, who, we are told, honoured her
* Matt. x. 42.
Mark is, 41.
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 en. tered 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.
ABRAHAM INTERCEDETH FOR SODOM:
From Genesis, 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 nay 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 griev. Ous 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,
# 1 Pet. iii. 6.
And the men turned their faces from thenee, and went towards Sodom : but Abraham stood yet before xhe LORD.
And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?
Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city, wilt 'thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein ?
That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteons with the wicked ; and that the righteous shall be as the wicked, that be far from thee : shall not the Judge of all the earth do righe:
And the LORD said, If I find in Sodom fifty righ. teous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.
And Abraham answered and said, Behold now I have taken upon me to speak unto the LORD, which am but dust and ashes,
Peradventure there shall Tack five of the 'fifty righteous : wilt thou destroy all the city for lack of five ? And he said, If I find there forty and 'five, I will not destroy it.
And he spake unto him yet again, and said, Perad. venture there shall be forty found there. And he said I will not do it for 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 he said, I will not do it if I find thirty there.
And he said, Behold now I have taken upon me to speak upto 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 : Perdventure there shall