Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

with that attribute, and especially longed to see the glory of it, as was before observed. And at the same time God tells Moses that he will be gracious to whom he will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom he will show mercy, because he had wonderfully manifested the sovereignty of his mercy in forgiv ing as he had done, a people that had so exceedingly transgressed as the congregation of Israel had done in making the golden calf, and also that Moses might not be lifted up by God's bestowing such unspeakable favours on him as he had done, and now promised to do in answer to his request, but might be sensible that it was not for his worthiness, but his own sovereign pleasure. And another reason is, that the glory of God's goodness is that part of God's glory, of which such a poor, feeble, corrupt creature as man is can best bear the sight, while he lives and remains such; for it is the most mild and gentle attribute, and the manifestation of it affords a cordial and support to enable him to bear it.

[88] Levit. xii. 6. "She shall bring a young pigeon or a turtle dove;" which typifies repentance as well as love. Ezek. vii. 16. "They shall be as doves in the valleys, each one mourning for his iniquity." This is a proper sacrifice for original sin that the child brought in the world with it by the parents' means, a sacrifice both for the parents and children's sin.

[204] Levit. xxiii. 34, 35, 36. Matth: i. Luke ii. The Feast of Tabernacles-The Birth of Christ-Lord's Day. Bedford, in his Scripture Chronology, makes it appear exceeding probable that Christ was born on the feast of tabernacles; as also Mather on the Types. And besides what Mr. Mather on the Types observes of this feast, and of the time of Christ's birth, there are the following things observed by Mr. Bedford.

1. He shows that in this month, about the same time of the year that Christ was born, the world was created; thus the beginning of the new creation and the old, the creation of the first Adam and the second, are at the same time of year.

2. That Moses, this type of Christ, came down from mount Sinai, which was a type of heaven, on the first day of this month, and declared that God was appeased, and the people pardoned, and his face shone as if the divinity had inhabited the manhood, so that the Israelites could not look upon him, and he then gave directions that they should immediately set about building the tabernacle, (which was hitherto hindered by, and because of, the golden calf,) seeing that God would now dwell among them, and forsake them no more: upon this the people bring their offerings, which were viewed and found to be sufficient. And then

immediately they pitch their tents, knowing that they were not to depart from that place before the divine tabernacle was finished. And thus they set about this great work with all their might, at this time of the year. Hence the fifteenth day of this month, and seven days after, were appointed for the feast of tabernacles, in commemoration of their dwelling in tents in the wilderness, when God dwelt in the midst of them.

3. That Christ was not only born at the feast of tabernacles, and so circumcised on the last day, or eighth day of that feast, which was a great day, and probably appointed out of respect to the circumcision of Christ that was to be on that day; but also that the feast of tabernacles in which Christ was born fell out on the first day of the week, and so the eighth day of the feast on which he was circumcised, also fell on the same day of the week.

4. That the feast of the dedication of the temple of Solomon, (which was a type of the body of Christ, as well as the tabernacle,) was not only held on the feast of tabernacles, the feast on which Christ was born; but also that that feast happened to be on a Sunday, as the day of Christ's birth was, and so the last and great day of the feast was also held on a Sunday. Vide Scripture Chronology, book iv. chap. iv.

5. I would further observe, that on that day the Godhead did, in a sensible manner, descend in a pillar of cloud, to inherit the temple, as in the incarnation of Christ, the Godhead descended to dwell in flesh. See No. 396, Note on Zech. xiv. 16, &c.

[315] Numb. x. 10. Concerning the Festival of the New Moon. The change of the moon at her conjunction with the sun, seems to be a type of three things.

1. Of the resurrection of the church from the dead by virtue of her union with Christ, and at the coming of Christ; for the moon at her change, that lost all her light, and was extinct, and seemed to die, revives again after her conjunction with the

sun.

2. Of the conversion of every believing soul, which is its spiritual resurrection. The soul in its conversion comes to Christ, and closes with Christ as the moon comes to the sun into a conjunction with him. The soul in conversion dies to sin, and to the world, crucifies the flesh with the affections and lusts, dies as to its own worthiness, or righteousness whereby it is said in scripture to be dead to the law, that it may receive new life, as the former light of the moon is extinct at its conjunction with the sun that it may receive new light. In order to our coming to Christ aright, we must not come with our own

brightness and glory, with any of our own fullness, strength, light, or righteousness, or happiness, but as stripped of all our glory, empty of all good, wholly dark, sinful, destitute, and miserable. As the moon is wholly divested of of all her light at her conjunction with the sun, we must come to Christ as wholly sinful and miserable, as the moon comes to the sun in total darkness. The moon as it comes nearer the sun grows darker and darker; so the soul the more it is fitted for Christ, is more and more emptied of itself that it may be filled with Christ. The moon grows darker and darker in her approach to the sun; so the soul sees more and more of its own sinfulness, and vileness, and misery, that it may be swallowed up in the rays of the Sun of Righteousness.

3. The change of the moon at her conjunction with the sun, signifies the change of the state and administration of the church at the coming of Christ.

The sun is sometimes eclipsed in his conjunction with the moon, which signifies two things: viz.

1. The veiling of his glory by his incarnation; for as the sun has his light veiled by his conjunction with the moon in its darkness, so Christ had his glory veiled by his conjunction or union with our nature in its low and broken state: as the moon proves a veil to hide the glory of the sun, so the flesh of Christ was a veil that hid his divine glory.

2. It signifies his death. The sun is sometimes totally eclipsed by the moon at her change; so Christ died at the time of the change of the church, from the Old dispensation to the New. The sun is eclipsed at his conjunction with the moon in her darkness; so Christ taking our nature upon him in his low and broken state died in it. Christ assumed his church and people, in their guilt and misery, and in their condemned, cursed, dying state, into a very close union with him, so as to become one with him; and hereby he takes their guilt on himself, and becomes subject to their sin, their curse, their death, yea, is made a curse for them; as the sun as it were assumes the moon in her total darkness into a close union with himself, so as to become one with her, they become concentered, and become as it were one body circumscribed by the same circumference, and thereby he takes her darkness on himself, and becomes himself dark with her darkness, and is extinct in his union with her. The moon that receives all her light from the sun eclipses the sun, and takes away his light; so Christ was put to death by those that he came to save; he is put to; death by the iniquities of those that he came to give life to, and he was immediately crucified by the hands of some of them, and all of them have pierced him in the disposition and tendency of that sin that they have been guilty of; for all have manifested

and expressed a mortal enmity against him. It is an argument that the eclipse of the sun is a type of Christ's death, because the sun suffered a total eclipse miraculously at that time that Christ died.

The sun can be in a total eclipse, but a very little while, much less than the moon, though neither of them can always be in an eclipse; so Christ could not, by reason of his divine glory and worthiness, be long held of death, in no measure so long as the saints may be, though it is not possible that either of them should always be held of it.

The sun's coming out of his eclipse is a figure of Christ's resurrection from the dead. As the sun is restored to light, so the moon that eclipsed him begins to receive light from him, and so to partake of his restored light. So the church for whose sins Christ died, and who has pierced Christ, rises with Christ, is begotten again to a living hope by the resurrection of Christ from the dead, is made partaker of the life and power of his resurrection, and of the glory of his exaltation, is raised up together, and made to sit together in heavenly places in him. They live; yet not they; but Christ lives in them, and they are married to him that is risen from the dead. God having raised Christ, Christ quickens them who were totally dark and dead in trespasses and sins, and they are revived by God's power, according to the exceeding greatness of his power that wrought in Christ Jesus, when he raised him from the dead.

The moon is eclipsed when at its full in its greatest glory, which may signify several things.

1. That God is wont to bring some great calamity on his visible church, when in its greatest glory and prosperity, as he did in the Old Testament church, in the height of its glory in David and Solomon's times, by David's adultery and murder, and those sore calamities that followed in his family, and to all Israel in the affairs of Amnon, and especially Absalom, and in the idolatry of Solomon, and the sore calamities that followed, and particularly the dividing the kingdom of Israel. So he did also on the church of the New Testament after Constantine, by the Arian heresy, &c. God doth thus to stain the pride of all glory, and that his people may not lift up themselves against him, that he alone may be exalted.

2. That it is often God's manner to bring some grievous calamity on his saints, at times when they have received the greatest light and joys, and have been most exalted with smiles of heaven upon them; as Jacob was made lame at the same time that he was admitted to so extraordinary a privilege as wrestling with God, and overcoming him, and so obtaining the bless

ing. And so Paul, when he was received up to the third heaven, received a thorn in the flesh, lest he should be exalted above measure, he had a messenger of Satan to buffet him; so grievous calamity it was that he laboured under, that he besought the Lord thrice that it might be taken from him. Sometimes extraordinary light and comfort is given to fit for great calamities, and sometimes for death, which God brings soon after such things; so when God gives his own people great temporal prosperity, he is wont to bring with it some calamity to eclipse it, to keep them from being exalted in their prosperity, and trusting in it.

[337] Num. xi. 10, 11, 12, &c. "Then Moses heard the people weep throughout their families, every man in the door of his tent, and the anger of the Lord was kindled greatly. Moses also was displeased; and Moses said unto the Lord, Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant, and wherefore have I not found favour in thy sight, that thou layest the burden of this people upon me? Have I conceived all this people; have I begotten them, that thou shouldest say unto me, Carry them in thy bosom, as a nursing father beareth the sucking child, unto the land which thou swearest unto their fathers?" Ver. 15. "If thou deal thus with me, kill me out of hand, and let me not see my wretchedness.” Moses, though God gives this testimony concerning him, that he was very meek above all men upon the face of the earth, yet could not bear the perverseness of the congregation of God's people. How much therefore does Christ's meekness go beyond that of Moses! Moses was not willing to bear the burden of all that people upon him; but Christ, the angel of God's presence, is willing to bear them all with all their frowardness and perverseness. Moses said, "Have I conceived this people, have I begotten them, that thou shouldest say, Carry them in thy bosom, as a nursing father beareth a sucking child, unto the land which thou swearest unto their fathers ?" But Christ willingly thus carries his people in his bosom unto the promised land, for they are his children; he has begotten them, and he never casts them off for their frowardness; he willingly obeys his Father when he commands him, saying, Carry this people, &c. Isai. lxiii. 8, 9. "For he said, Surely they are my people, children that will not lie; so he was their Saviour. In all their affliction, he was afflicted; and the angel of his presence saved them in his love and in his pity he redeemed them, and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old." Deut. i. 31. "And in the wilderness, where thou hast seen how that the Lord thy God bare thee, as a man doth bear his son in all the way that he went, until ye came into this place." Isai. xl. 11. "He shall feed his flock like a shepherd; he shall gather the lambs with his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and

« ElőzőTovább »