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little farther, by way of confirmation of the observations made upon it.
The special and personal interest of the word Abba, derives another authority, from the customs and manners of the East. It is well known, that the ancient nations of the Arabs, retain many of the usages we read of in sacred history. And although they know nothing of the true religion of the patriarchs, yet in provincial acts and habits, they are much the same people that they were, two or three thousand years ago. Hence, among many proofs in point, which might be given in confirmation of this sameness of manners, the mode of salutation is one, in which there is nothing changed. We find among the patriarchs, the general expression was, “ Peace be to you.” (Gen. xliii. 23.) In the days of the Judges, the salutation was the same. (Judges xix. 20.) So in the days of David, (1 Sam. xxv. 6.) and in the days of our Lord, and by Christ himself. (John xx. 19.) In like manner the limitation of the word Abba is still the same as ever, not being brought into common use, but wholly restricted to relations, and of the nearest and tenderest kind. One proof more.
In the common acts of respect observed in the East, when servants do reverence to their masters, or superiors, it is always done by kissing the feet, or the garment. Hence the poor woman we read of, Luke vii. 38.
But when children meet their parents, and do reverence, they kiss the hand, or the head. Hence the father in the parable. (Luke xv. 20.) Moreover, the posture which is observed upon those occasions, differs materially according to the rank of the parties. From inferiors, in giving what is called the Asslem-mah, (Salutation) they always offer it, by laying their right hand upon their breast. Persons
of equality, or relations, do it by kissing the hand, head, or shoulder of each other. So Dr. Shaw relates in his Travels to Aleppo, page 301. Let the reader connect this with Jacob kissing his son, and the church's call unto Christ. (Song i. 2.) How beautiful and striking both cases ! How little the change made in those things, in a period of near four thousand years !
From the whole of these observations, I cannot but conclude, that the word Abba hath a peculiar sweetness in it, and is intended to intimate what a nearness and dearness of affinity there is, between Christ and his church. And I venture to believe, that our holy faith, not only warrants the use of it, but enjoins it, from the personal union, and oneness, of the Lord Jesus Christ with our nature. And under such high encouragement and authority, I confess, that I feel a disposition, upon every occasion, to adopt it, considering it the peculiar privilege of all true believers in Christ, to bring it into constant use, whenever they draw
nigh to a throne of grace. See Ammi. ABEDNEGO. This name was given to Azariah,
by the Chaldeans. (See Daniel, i. 7.) I should not have thought it necessary, in a work of this kind, to have noticed the change of name ; neither perhaps the name itself, more than many others, to be met with in Scripture, which I shall pass by ; had it not been for the purpose of making an observation
upon it; and which I hope will not be found improper or unprofitable. I humbly conceive, that the motive with the Chaldeans, for changing the names of the children of the captivity, was somewhat more than the naturalizing them. The Hebrew, and the Chaldee language were very similar. The Chaldeans perfectly understood the Hebrew names. And they
no less knew, how tenacious Hebrew parents were
their works.” (Psalm cvi. 35.)
name is mentioned by the Holy Ghost with pecu-
and redemption by Christ : and stands in the front of the Bible, the first deist the world ever knew. (Gen. iv. 3—5.) It may be not amiss to add, that the word Abel signifies vanity, a vapor, emptiness,
and the like. ABEL-BETH MAACHAH. We meet with this
name, 2 Sam. xx. 15. And as Abel means vanity, mourning, and emptiness ; so Beth, an house : and therefore the whole taken together implies; vanity
or mourning to the house of Maachah. ABEL-MAIM. The mourning of the waters.
(2 Chron. xvi. 4) ABEL-MEHOLAH, The mourning of sickness.
(Judges vii. 13.) ABEL-MIZRAIM. This name was given at the
floor of Atad, on the occasion of the funeral of Jacob. The margin of the Bible, renders it, “the mourning of the Egyptians.” (Gen. i. 11.) ABEL-SHITTIM, A place in the encampments of
Israel ; meaning the mourning in Shittim, in the
plains of Moab. (Numb. xxxiii. 49.) ABIB. See Month. ABIDE. To abide, in the language of Scripture, means somewhat more than merely the remaining in one place. It implies an adherence to a thing; or an union with, and connection with it. Thus Jesus saith, (John xv. 4.) “Abide in me and I in you.” So, speaking of the Holy Ghost, he saith, “He shall abide with you for ever.” (John xiv. 16.) And his servants, the apostles, use similar expressions, in the same sense. The apostles, Paul and John, describe the indwelling residence of the Holy Ghost, and a vital union with Christ, under this character of abiding. (See 2 Tim. ii. 13. 1 John ü. 27, 28.) It is a blessed consideration, in the view of this doctrine, that when Jesus saith, “ Abide in me, and I in you;” and a little after ;.“ Continue
ye in my love :” (John xv. 4. 9.) it is not a mere precept, without imparting with it ability. But it is, willing them into an ability, by virtue of a oneness with them, as the head of efficiency, to the members of his body. He directs the thing to be done, and he enables them to do it ; according to that blessed promise : “ Thy people shall be will
ing in the day of thy power.” (Psalm cx. 3.) ABIEZER. We read of several of this name in the
Scriptures. (Joshua xvii. 2. Judges vi. 34. 2 Sam.
Hazar, to help
the Lord, in his providence, made instrumental to
blood.” (1 Sam. xv. 32, 33.) ABIHU, Son of Aaron, whose awful death, by the
immediate judgment of the Lord, with his brother Nadab, is recorded Lev. x. 2. I refer the reader to that history, for the particulars of this visitation. Some have thought, that they were drunken, when