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gede the negations and childish conjectures of our modern unbelievers. Historic evidence will ever claim preference of unfounded conjecture.
V. Having so far illustrated the sacred history, we shall next contemplate the Messiah's economy in giving an early check to idolatry, by the call of Abraham, and by taking the Hebrews to be a people pecularly his own. It has been observed already, that when the whole world, with the exception of one family, were corrupted, God saved that family and drowned all the others. On the same principle of justice and mercy, he now preserved the posterity of Jacob from the general corruption. Agreeably to this he called Abraham from his father's house in Mesopotamia, who were partially corrupted with idolatry, and confirmed to him the promise of the seed, Gen. xii. 3. God led him to the land of Canaan or Palestine, and gave him the whole country by promise, because he was determined to destroy the inhabitants for their wickedness. During his emigration and wanderings, God made him the peculiar object of his providential care. He often appeared to him, and renewed and enlarged his covenant, and talked with him as with his friend. He made him a pattern of faith and piety to his family, and to his wicked neighbors, and to the church in all the succeeding ages. This covenant was likewise renewed and confirmed with Isaac, and with Jacob, and with Judah, who succeeded Reuben in the birthright, because he had defiled his father's bed, 1 Chron. v. 1, 2. It was lastly confirmed with David, to whom God promised to build a sure house; and that they should rule over his people for ever, Psalm Ixxxix.
VI. Conformably to this covenant, God increased the Hebrews, while oppressed in Egypt, in a very extraordinary manner, and delivered them precisely at the time he had promised to Abraham, Gen. xv. He divided the sea, and led them into the wilderness, amidst a cloud of miracles. On the fiftieth day, hix glory covered the top of Mount Sinai, attended with
cloud, and lightnings, and thunder, and earthquake;
and his voice distinctly pronounced the ten commandments. The people being sanctified, surrounded the mountain, and bounds were set, that neither man nor beast might approach it; which shows, that we cannot approach God by our imperfect endeavors to keep those precepts. The law is holy, but since the fall we kre unholy. It was given to display God's moral perfections, and to shew the number and magnitude of our offences. Hence, “ by the deeds of the law shall no flesh living he justified.”
The ceremonial law was a shadow of good things to come; so it is explained in the epistle to the Hebrews, and in many other places in the New Testament. The tabernacle, with all its emblematical apparatus, was a portable habitation, made after the model which God showed Moses on the mount, and it was figurative of the great body of saints, who are sojourning to a better world. The mercy-seat, in the most holy place, was a throne of gold, on which God dwelt in visible glory, and being surrounded by the cherubim, represented God sitting on his throne of grace in heaven, surrounded by angels and saints. The ark of the covenant was before him, to show that he is ever mindful of his promises. The candlestick with seven lamps, and the bread exposed on the table, were figurative of the light and food which the soul receives by approaching God. The holy altar, onwhich incense was burned, represented the prayers of the saints, Rev. v. 8. The annual atonement of the red heifer, which was burnt without the camp, whose blood the high priest sprinkled on the vail in the most holy place, represented the death of Christ, without the gate of Jerusalem, and his entrance into heaven, by his own blood, to appear in the presence of God for us, Heb. ix. 12, &c. The sin-offerings of individuals who had sinned, or made themselves legally unclean, consisted of bulls, sheep, and goats; of lambs, kids, and doves; and they teach us, that every sin has need to be expiated by a fresh application of the blood of Christ. The waters of purification sprinkled on
the unclean, and the washings in the laver, presignified the washing and renewing of the Holy Ghost, or that “holiness without which no man shall see the Lord." The holy fire, which fell from heaven and consumed the first sacrifice, which fire was always kept burning by the priests, adumbrated the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the love of God shed abroad in the hearts of all his saints, Acts ii. Rom. v. 5.
Haring touched on the principal parts of the tabernacle, and branches of its service, we shall next speak a word of the Jewish political law. The God of Israel, by forming his people into a theocracy, and giving them peculiar precepts of holiness; by delivering them from Pharaoh, supporting them in the wilderness, and giving them the promised land, designed to make them a type of his true Israel, whom he redeems, preserves, and causes to pass over the Jordan of death, into the promised rest, Heb. iii. 9. God designed also to check idolatry, to shame and reform the apostate nations, by showing them the health, peace, and prosperity of a nation, who retained the knowledge, and adhered to the worship of the true God, as revealed to Noah and the patriarchs: and all these blessings would have been enjoyed by the Jews, had they kept their covenant with God.
But by rebelling against the Lord, they brought upon them. selves the curses, which their law had denounced.He further designed to strengthen the evidences of our most holy religion, by making the past dispensations a basis to the present, that it might be acknowledged by all, that Christianity is as old as the creation. He designed finally, by these laws, to instruct them in the doctrines of a future state. This was particularly signified by the most holy place. It was exemplified by the translation of Enoch, and by the pere grinations of the patriarch Abraham, who looked for a better country; that is, a habitation in the heavens. It is true, the carnal Jews did not understand the full object of their ritual and political laws; but the faithfal saw in them a dawn, at least, of the gospel glory
Hence we read, that sacrifice was offered by faith, Heb. xi. 4 to 17:—that Abraham saw the day of Christ, John viii. 56:-that Moses esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt, Heb. xi. 23, 26.
In addition to these divine emblems, we must add a few observations on some of the typical persons.Adam is called “the figure of him that was to come,”
14. In regard to his creation in innocence, and his being the father of the human race, there is a striking contrast between him and Jesus Christ, 1 Cor. xv. 22. Isaac, the beloved son of Abraham, and his only son by promise, by being voluntarily bound, laid on the altar, after having carried the wood; delivered from death, and made the father of Israel and Edom, strikingly represented Jesus, the only begotten of the Father, who was raised from the dead, and made the father of all his saints. Joseph, who was sold by his brethren, persecuted for chastity, and elevated from the prison to the right hand of Pharaoh, is, if possible, a yet more expressive type of Jesus Christ. What a gracious and instructive providence superintended the farailies in the ancient world! What displays of goodness, mercy, and justice, are here depicted! May they teach us to confide in the divine care, to abstain from the vices which consumed the wicked, and to imitate those who had the testimony, that they pleased God.
GRADUAL REVELATION TO THE HOLY PROPHETS CONCERNING THE PERSON
AND OFFICES OF CHRIST.
HAVING considered the history of grace to the establishment of the Jewish nation, and the principal types and emblems of Christ, we shall now proeeed to some
the more distinguished predictions, which respect
his person and offices. The study of these is of the greatest importance to the support of our faith, and the increase of our comfort. They prove, that Christianity is not a novel invention, but correctly founded on the types and rituals of divine institution, and on revelations to the holy prophets, since the commencement of the world. In the understanding and application of these, our Lord instructed his disciples previously to his passion. But he did not complete these instructions till after his resurrection. To two of his disciples, who were going to Emmaus, he appeared by the way, and expounded to them those scriptures, which speak of his sufferings and entrance into glory. Their eyes were holden that they should not know him, lest being elated with the joy of his resurrection, they should have neglected the force of his arguments. While attending to the discourse of the supposed stranger, the light of truth shone upon their understanding, and the love of God enkindled their hearts. “They said one to another,” after he had disappeared, “ did not our hearts burn within us while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures ?” Luke xxiv. 32. 0 that God would favor us with similar instruction and comfort, while we proceed to review the same predictions !
1. Gen. iij. 14, 15. “ And the Lord God said unto the serpent-I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” The seed of the serpent is sin, and all its consequences sorrow, pain, and death. The seed of the woman is Christ, who assumed the human nature of the virgin Mary, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Hence, by bruising his head, is meant our Saviour's expiation of sin on the cross, his destruction of it in our hearts by regeneration, and his abolishing death by a resurrection to eternal life, of which his own is the pledge. Bruising his heel is figurative of serpents biting the heel, and it refers to the successful combination of Satan and his children, to crucify the