صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني
[ocr errors]

bingers' going before his face;' furnished with conspicuous badges and ensigns denoting their relation to him; it was proper that God should appear always to have had an express care and especial regard toward him. It consequently serves for our edification ; for that we duly comparing things, and discerning this admirable correspondence, may be somewhat in. structed thereby, and somewhat confirmed in our faith; may be excited to the admiration of God's wisdom and goodness, (so provident for our good;) may also be induced thereby the more highly to adore the Messias, and to esteem his design.

All these things' (saith St. Paul, having compared divers things concerning Moses to things concerning Christ) happened as types, and they were written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the world are come.' It is also (for illustration, and also for proof of these things) to be observed that, because those eminent servants of God were representatives of Christ, many things are spoken of them as such; many things are ascribed to them, which only or chiefly,

were intended of him ; their names are used as veils to cover divers things concerning him, which it seemed not to divine wisdom convenient or seasonable in a more open and clear manner to disclose promiscuously to all men, (why God should choose to express things of this nature in such a manner, we need not to determine ; it may be perhaps for reasons best known to himself, and above our ken or cognisance ; yet probable reasons may be assigned for it, yea some more than probable being hinted in Scripture ; it may be for a decent and þarmonious distinction of times, of dispensations, of persons; it may be from the depth of things to conciliate a reverence to them, and to raise the price of knowing them, by the difficulty of doing so; it may be to exercise and improve men's understanding, to inflame their desire, to excite their industry, to provoke their devotion, to render them humble; it may be to reward an honest and diligent study of God's word; it may be for occasion of freely conveying special gifts of interpretation ; it may be to conceal some things from some persons unfit or unworthy to know them, especially from persons haughty and self-conceited; it may be to use the ignorance of some as a means to produce some great event, ( If they had known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory :') it cannot be supposed necessary that all things should be plainly discovered to all persons; it is evident that some things are purposely couched in parabolical and mysterious expression ; it is particularly the manner of prophetical instruction frequently to involve things, the full and clear knowlege of which is not congruous to every season and every capacity: but to return from out of this parenthesis to our case.) That under the names of persons representing Christ (or of things we may add adumbrating his things) many things are intimated concerning him and his dispensations, may be collected and confirmed from hence, that many things are attributed to persons (and to things also) which do not agree to them; many things were promised, which appear never accom. plished, except after a very improper and hyperbolical manner of expression, or according to an enormous wideness of interpretation; such as doth not well suit to the nature of true histories and serious promises. Thus, for instance, are many things foretold concerning the large extent and prosperous estate of the Jewish church, which history and experience testify never (according to strictness of literal acception, yea not in any tolerable degree near the height of what the words import) to have happened. Thus also, as the Apostle to the Hebrews well argueth, effects are attributed to the Jewish rites and sacrifices, which according to the nature of the thing cannot belong to them, otherwise than as shadows and substitutes of higher things. Thus also what is with solemn oath promised to Solomon (concerning the vast extent and endless duration of his empire in righteousness, peace, and prosperity; together with his mighty acts and victorious achievements) doth not appear directly in any competent measure to have been performed. Thus also David, as St. Peter observes and argues in the second of the Acts, speaketh many things of himself, which cannot be conceived properly and literally agreeable to him. Such things therefore are reasonably supposed to be intimations of somewhat appertaining to the future more perfect state of things under the Messias; to concern him (who was to be the end of the law) and his dispensation, which was to contain the accomplishment of all things predicted and presignified. This is that which St. Austin signifies when he says, 'Which Christ' (saith he,' and what concerns him')— all the promises of that nation, all their prophecies, priesthoods, sacrifices, their temple, and altogether all their sacraments did resound, or express."

Neither are these things only said according to suppositions assumed in the New Testament, but they agree (as to their general importance) to the sense of the ancient Jews, who did conceive such mysterious references often to lie couched under the letter of their Scriptures. They supposed a midrash or mystical sense of Scripture, which they very studiously (even to excess commonly) did search after. It was, as Lud. Capellus affirms, † a confident and constant opinion of their doctors, that all things in Moses's law were typical, and capable of mystical exposition. And Philo's writings (composed in or immediately after our Saviour's times) are a plain confirmation of what he saith ; we have also several instances and intimations thereof in the New Testament. Neither probably would the Apostles in their discourses and disputations with the Jews have used this way of interpreting and citing passages of Scripture, if they in general had not admitted and approved it.

Now these things being (cursorily) premised, we return into our way,


say that the Messias's being to suffer was in divers passages of the ancient Scripture prefigured. Supposing the thing itself should be, there is a peculiar reason why it should be so represented, thus expressed by Tertullian :I .The sacrament indeed,' saith he, of Christ's passion ought to have been figured in the (ancient) predications ; forasmuch as that the more incredible it was, if it should have been preached nakedly, the more offensive it would have been; and the more magnificent it was, the more it was to be shaded, that the difficulty of understanding it might cause the seeking of God's grace.' Supposing also it should be, the passages about Abel, Isaac, Josias, Jeremiah, (and the like,) may congruously be applied thereto; the elevation of the brazen serpent, and the killing of the paschal lamb, may appositely represent it; the Jewish

+ In Exerc. ad Zohar.

• Aug. ad Volus. Ep. iii.
# Tertull. in Judæos, cap. 10.

priests, with all their sacrifices, may also with reason be brought in and accommodated thereto : these things are not in. deed by themselves alone apt peremptorily to evince that it should be ; yet do they handsomely suit it, and adorn the supposition thereof, according to the notion we touched about the typical relation between the matters of the old world before the Messias, and those of the new one after him. But with a clearer evidence and stronger force we may affirm that the Messias's sufferings were implied in the afflictions of his representative king David, such as he in several Psalms (the 35th, 69th, 109th, 118th, and especially in the 22nd Psalm) describeth them: wherein divers passages (expressing the extreme sadness and forlornness of his condition) occur, which by the history of his life do not so well, according to the literal signification of words, appear congruous to his person ; wbich therefore there is a necessity, or (at least) much reason, that they should be applied to the Messias, whom David did represent. - Which being admitted, comparing then the passages we have there to what befell Jesus, we shall find an admirable harmony, there being scarce any part of his affliction in his life, or any circumstance thereof at his death, which is not in emphatical and express terms there set out. There we have expressed his low and despicable estate ; (* I am a worm, and no man ; the reproach of men, and despised of the people.')—The causeless hatred and enmity of the populacy and of the great ones toward him ; (* They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head; they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: they compassed me about with words of hatred, and fought against me without a cause.') The ingrateful requital made to him for all the good done by him, and intended by him; (* They rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love')-- Their rejecting him; (* The stone which the builders refused is become the headstone in the corner.') Their insidious and calumnious proceedings against him ; (Without cause have they hid for me their net in a pit, which without cause they have digged for my soul:' and, · False witnesses did rise up; they laid to my charge things that I knew not:' and, The mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me; they have spoken against me with a lying tongue.') Their bitter insulting over him in his affliction ; (* But in mine adversity they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together; yea the abjects gathered themselves together against me: • They persecute him whom thou hast smitten, and they talk to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded:' και επί το άλγος των τραυμάTWV Mov a pooéonkar, ' and to the smart of wounds they added,? say the LXX.) Their scornful reviling, flouting, and mocking him; (* All they that see me laugh me to scorn; they shoot the lip; they shake the head, saying, He trusted in the Lord that he would deliver him : let him deliver him, seeing he delighteth in him.' . I became a reproach unto them: when they looked on me they shaked their heads.” “They opened their mouth wide against me, and said, Aha, Aha! our eye hath seen it.' 'Επείρασαν με, εξεμυκτήρισαν με μυκτηρισμόν, έβρυξαν éréuè tous ódóvras airūvi • They tempted me, they extremely mocked me, they gnashed their teeth on me.) The cruel manner of their dealing with him ; ( Dogs have compassed me; the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me; they pierced my hands and my feet. I may tell all my bones: they look and stare on me.')—Their dealing with him when in his distress he called for some refreshment; (* They gave me gall for my meat, and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink')—Their disposal of his garments on his suffering ; ( They part my gar. ments among them, and cast lots on my vesture')—His being deserted of his friends, and destitute of all consolation ; ('I am become a stranger to my brethren, and an alien unto my mother's children: I am full of heaviness; and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none')—The sense of God's withholding his favor and help; ('My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me ?') His charitable disposition and behavior toward his persecutors; (* But as for me, when they were sick, (or as the LXX, when they did trouble me, 'Εν τω αυτους παρενοχλεϊν μοι,) my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled myself with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom ; I behaved myself as though it had been my friend or brother; I bowed down heavily, as one that mourneth

« السابقةمتابعة »