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Works of Jonathan Edwards, Volume Two
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THE CHRISTIAN PILGRIM;

OR

THE TRUE CHRISTIAN’S LIFE A JOURNEY TOWARDS HEAVEN. 231231    Sept. 1733.

HEB. xi. 13, 14.

And confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things, declare plainly that they seek a country.

The apostle is here setting forth the excellencies of the grace of faith, by the glorious effects and happy issue of it in the saints of the Old Testament. He had spoken in the preceding part of the chapter particularly, of Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Jacob. Having enumerated those instances, he takes notice that “these all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers, 232232    Heb. xi. 13. ” &c.—In these words the apostle seems to have a more particular respect to Abraham and Sarah, and their kindred, who came with them from Haran, and from Ur of the Chaldees, as appears by the 15th verse., where the apostle says, ” and truly if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.”

Two things may be observed here:

1. What these saints confessed of themselves, viz. that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.—Thus we have a particular account concerning Abraham, “I am a stranger and a sojourner with you.” 233233    Gen xxiii. 4. And it seems to have been the general sense of the patriarchs, by what Jacob says to Pharaoh. “And Jacob said to Pharaoh, The days of the years of my pilgrimage are an hundred and thirty years: few and evil have the days of the years of my life been, and have not attained to the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage. 234234    Gen. xlvii. 9. ” “I am a stranger and a sojourner with thee, as all my fathers were.” 235235    Ps. xxxix. 12.

2. The inference that the apostle draws from hence, viz. that they sought another country as their home. “For they that say such things, declare plainly that they seek a country.” In confessing that they were strangers, they plainly declared that this is not their country; that this is not the place where they are at home. And in confessing themselves to be pilgrims, they declared plainly that this is not their settled abode; but that they have respect to some other country, which they seek, and to which they are travelling.


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