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enemies of God's people, together, as was their design. They might have remained united in one vast powerful body, in opposition to the church of

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God. Thus it was in kindness to his church in the world, and in prosecution of his great design of redemption, that God put a stop to the building of the city and tower of Babel.

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A SHORT time before the death of Noah, Abram was born, in the tenth generation from Shem. Men were then divided into many nations, and were sunk into idolatry. Then the Lord said to Abram, “ Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee : and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great ; and thou shalt be a blessing : and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee : and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” a Then Abram went out, when seventy-five years old, and Lot with him.

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But there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram's cattle and the herdmen of Lot's cattle, about the pasture; for both of them had a great many cattle; and the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together. And Abram said unto Lot Let there be no strife, I thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren. Is not the whole land before thee? Separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the

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a Gen. xii. 1-3.

left.” b

Then Lot chose the beautiful valley of Siddim, where Sodom and Gomorrah were situated. But A bram dwelt in the land of Canaan.

7. ABRAM'S FAITH.

AND God blessed Abram, and said to him, “ Fear not: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.” a

But Abram was troubled because he had no son. And the Lord brought him forth abroad, and said to him,

“ Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and be said unto him, So shall thy seed be.” And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.b When Abram was ninety-nine years of age,

the Lord appeared to him, and said, “ I am the Almighty God: walk before me, and be thou perfect. . And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham ; for a father of many nations have I made thee.” c And God appointed circumcision as the seal of his covenant.

After that, the Lord appeared to Abraham in the plains of Mamre, as he was sitting in the door of his tent in the heat of the day. He lifted up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to 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, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant : let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree.” Then he hastened into the tent to Sarah, and said, “Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth.” And he went and fetched a calf tender and good, and had it dressed. And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them ; and they did eat.

b Gen. xiii. 8, 9. o Gen. xv. 5, 6.

a Gen. xv. 1-6.

c Gen. xvii. 1, 2, 5.

Then said the Lord to him, “I will certainly return about this time next year, and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard this behind the tent door, and laughed within herself. And the Lord said, “Wherefore did Sarah laugh ? Is any thing too hard for the Lord ?" Then Sarah denied, and said, “I laughed not;" for she was afraid. And he said, “ Nay; but thou didst laugh."

And the men rose up and turned towards Sodom, and Abraham went with them. And the Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do? For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.” d

The Lord then made known to Abraham that he was about to visit Sodom and Gomorrah for their sins. And Abraham pleaded for them, saying, “Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not

d Gen. xviii. 1-19.

spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein ? That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked : and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right ?" And the Lord said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous men within the city, then I will spare all the city for their sakes.” And Abraham said again, “ Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous : wilt thou destroy all the city for the lack of five ?" And so he went on to intercede: “Peradventure forty may be found there; or thirty; or twenty; or ten.” And the Lord said, “ I will not destroy it for ten's sake.” And the Lord went his way; and Abraham returned to his place.

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It was evening when the two angels came into Sodom. Lot, who regarded them as ordinary travellers, went to meet them, and courteously entreated them to stay the night with him, and they consented. But the men of Sodom were all night long going after abominable wickedness, until at last they were smitten by the angels with blindness, so that they could not find the door of Lot's house. And the men said to Lot, “Hast thou here any belonging to thee? Bring them out of this place : for we will destroy this place.”. And Lot told this to his sons-in-law; but they laughed at him.

€ Gen. xviii. 23 -33.

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