The subject of which I want to treat next is sin, the great evil of our race, and repentance, its only
remedy. And I will take as my starting-point Esau, the grandson of Abraham, the elder son of
Isaac. You will remember that St. Paul, in his epistle to the Romans, treats Esau and Jacob as
typical, respectively, of nature and grace. Esau is the elder son by birth, but it is his younger
brother, Jacob, who is to be the inheritor of the promises. And St. Paul, anxious to maintain the
principle that God’s election is free, that it is antecedent to all merit or demerit on our part, points
out that in this case Jacob was preferred to Esau in a prophecy made before either of the two
children was born, when they had done neither good nor evil. That is t rue, and a valuable lesson.
But it is no less true that where God rejects, the ground of his rejection is to be sought, not in any
want of love on his part, but in some shortcoming on the part of the soul that is rejected. Let us
try, then, to trace Esau’s character and career – very little is told us about either – and take
warning for our own lives from the hints they give us.