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55

according to the promise he made to our ancestors,

to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”


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55. To Abraham and to his seed If you read these words in close connection with the close of the former verse, there appears to be an improper change of the case. Instead of τῶ ᾿Αβραὰμ καὶ τῶ σπέρματι, it ought to have been (πρὸς)τὸν ᾿Αβραὰμ καὶ τὸ σπέρμα,, as he spake TO our fathers, TO Abraham and TO his seed6363     Without attempting to make clear to the English reader the nature of this difficulty, which a Greek scholar will readily enough comprehend, it may suffice to say that the words, as he spake to our fathers, should be read as a parenthesis, and the words now under consideration will then be connected in the following manner: So as to be mindful (or, in remembrance) of his mercy to Abraham, and to his seed, for ever. Ed. But, in my opinion, there is no such close connection. Mary does not merely explain who the Fathers were to whom God spake, but extends the power and result of the promises to all his posterity, provided they are the true seed of Abraham. Hence it follows, that the matter now in hand is, the solemn covenant which had been made, in a peculiar manner, with Abraham and his descendants. For other promises, which had been given to Adam, and Noah, and others, referred indiscriminately to all nations. As many of the children of Abraham, according to the flesh, have been cut off by their unbelief, and have been thrown out as degenerate from the family of Abraham, so we, who were strangers, are admitted to it by faith, and regarded as the true seed of Abraham. Let us therefore hold that, in consequence of God having formerly spoken to the fathers, the grace offered to them belongs equally to their posterity; and also, that the adoption has been extended to all nations, so that those, who were not by nature children of Abraham, may be his spiritual seed




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