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wast not cleansed, therefore thou shalt not be purged from thy filthiness any more, till I have caused my fury to rest upon thee."

The holy Patriarch wrestled in faith with the temptations above-mentioned, and prayed, or at least wished to do so, and to hold converse with the Lord. The following was probably his train of thought and anxious inquiry: Art thou then really my God and Father, or art thou so no longer? Have I deceived myself in firmly believing, that notwithstanding all my unworthiness, thou lovest me, that I might be so much the more to the praise of the glory of thy grace, after seeing and tasting it, and when I loved and praised thee on account of it? Certainly it can never be. But the feeling of it is now so much obscured, and so doubtful, that I can no longer rejoice in it; especially now, in this my time of trouble, when I so particularly need it. O look upon me therefore in mercy, and cause thy face to shine! Cast a friendly ray into my darkness.'


In this manner probably he prayed: there wrestled a man with him." Wonderful occurrence! What terror must it have inspired! Jacob justly thought himself quite

alone. All at once he suddenly feels himself

laid hold of by some one.

Who it is he knows

that it is not a wild

not; he is only conscious beast seeking to devour him, but a man. This man does not appear to be his friend, but his foe-perhaps one of Esau's four hundred men. Whoever it is, he struggles with him. He lays hold of the terrified patriarch in such a manner as if he would either push him away from his place, or throw him upon the ground. Jacob defends himself; he grasps his antagonist, whom he does not yet know, and refuses either to move from the spot, or to let himself be thrown down. He exerts all his strength, and the conflict lasts" until the breaking of the day."

Who was this man? Jacob did not know at first; but by degrees it became apparent to him who he was. If we form an opinion of him from the circumstance of his seeing that "he prevailed not against Jacob," we shall think very differently of him on reading what immediately follows:-" he touched the hollow of his thigh, and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint," for to this, a more than human power is requisite. When he says, Let me go," he appears


inferior to Jacob, and de

pendent upon him. But when Jacob entreats his blessing-he exalts him far above him, and even above his father Isaac, who had already blessed him in the name of God. When the man gives him the name of Israel, and explains to him the meaning of that appellation, by telling him with whom he had been wrestling, and over whom he has prevailed—“ with God and with men "-every veil falls away, and the man presents himself to us in his true form. Although he declines mentioning his name, in reply to Jacob's simple question, yet he reveals it the more clearly by the act of " his blessing him there." But when the sun arose in Jacob's comprehension, upon the whole affair, he called. the place Peniel; for," said he, "I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved."

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'Extraordinary occurrence! Who can fathom it ?' What! does this appear so strange to you, although you have seen the Son of man under such entirely different circumstances? Remember that it was predicted of old, that His name should be called "Wonderful.”

This man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. This man had for a time, assumed a human body, in order to wrestle

with Jacob bodily. He seized him with his hands, and held him fast with his arms, in order to expel him from the place, or else throw him upon the ground. Can we suppose that complete silence was observed during the conflict; and that nothing more was spoken than what we find recorded? We can scarcely imagine it. But may we venture to fill up the gap which Moses has left here, by our own suppositions, if they are religious, founded on the word of God, and conformable to faith and experience? Why should we not? It is at least certain, that if any thing was spoken during the struggle, it was nothing consolatory and encouraging on the part of the angel of God; but in character with the act of wrestling, which was no token of friendship. But what is it that the Spirit discovers to the individual, and with which he upbraids him? Is it not his sin? And had Jacob no sin? Might it not have been said to him, Away with thee from this holy place where angels linger!' Might not the whole catalogue of his guilt have been unfolded to him in all its particulars; and might it not have been most clearly proved to him, that in himself there did not seem the

slightest ground for that love which God had toward him; but that it must be sought and found in quite a different place? In this way, in a spiritual manner also, his hip might have been disjointed, and the last idea of his own worthiness, &c. destroyed. If Satan upbraids a soul with sins; if he appears at the right hand of a Joshua in unclean garments, to accuse him; we are well aware what his intentions are to distress, to plunge into immoderate grief, to cast into despair, and entirely to destroy. But the Son of God does not act thus. He does it only to humble us, and to allure us to himself, in order afterwards to comfort us the more. How did he act towards Saul? Did he not call out to him, "Thou persecutest me ?” How towards Peter? Did he not thrice inquire if he loved him? How did he conduct himself towards the Syrophenician woman? Did he not almost call her a dog? And did not the angels of the seven churches receive almost all of them a particular and emphatic reproof? We know for what purpose. As soon as Paul perceived that Satan had his hand in the matter, he advised the Corinthians to comfort and forgive the sinners

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