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ed of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is an heavenly, wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he hath prepared for them a city.” And the heavenly inheritance in the heavenly Canaan, or land of rest, which Christ has entered into, is that which the apostle all along in this epistle speaks of as the great subject matter of God's promises which the saints obtain through faith and patience. Chap. iii. 11. 14, and chap. iv. 1.3. 9, 10, 11; viii. 6, and ix. 15, and x. 34, and xii. 1, 2. 16, to the end.
3. Another thing, which may be strongly argued from this, is, that the happiness of the separate souls of saints in heaven consists very much in beholding the works of God relating to man's redemption wrought here below, and the stages of infinite grace, wisdom, holiness, and power in establishing and building up the church of God on earth. For what was that promise which the apostle here has special reference to, and expressly speaks of, that Abraham obtained after he had patiently endured, which promise God confirmed with an oath, and in which we Christians and all the heirs of the promise partake with Abraham, and in the promises of which to be greatly confirmed, we have strong consolation and great hope? The apostle tells us, verses 13, 14, “For, when God made promise to Abraham, becuse he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself'; saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.” This promise is chiefly fulfilled in the great increase of the church of God by the Messiah, and particularly in the calling of the Gentiles, pursuant to the promise made to Abraham, that in his seed all the families of the earth should be blessed, Rom. iv. 11. 13. 16, 17; Ieb. xi. 12.
When the apostle speaks of their inheriting the promises, he seems to have a special respect to the glorious accomplishment of the great promises made to the patriarchs concerning their seed row in those days of the gospel; as is greatly confirmed by chap. xi. 39, “ And these all having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise, God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect ;" plainly signifying, that they received not the promise in their life-time; the promise having respect to that better thing that was to be accomplished in that age, in which the apostle and those he wrote to lived, and that the promise they relied upon was not completed, and their faith and hope in the promise not crowned, till they saw this better thing accomplished. Rev. xiv. 13. “ They rest from their labours, and their works do follow them ;" follow with them, MES OUTWV, not to come many thousand years after them, as Mr. Baxter observes. Doddridge on Rev. xiv. 13.