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prophecy is remarkable --- For the Lord saw the affliction of Ifrael very bitter; even quite Ahut up and quite forsaken, and no helper to Israel. And the Lord said not that he would blot out the name of Israel from under heaven; but he saved them by the hand of. Jeroboam the fon of Joalh.” These words may be compared with the song of Moses, Deut. xxxii. 26, &c.
We cannot consider this salvation by the hand of Jeroboam but as a sign of something further intended in these words. The Lord had said before by the prophet Ahijah, 1 Kings, xiv. 15. « The Lord Ihall smite Ifrael as a reed is shaken in the water, and he thall root up Israel out of this good land, which he gave to their fathers, and shall scatter them beyond the river, because they have made their groves, provoking the Lord to anger. And he Ihall give Ifrael up, because of the fins of Jeroboam, who did fin, and who made Israel to fin. Yet (as in the forecited place) he said not that he would blot out the name of Israel from under heaven.” God then enlarged Israel unto their ancient border, as a pledge that he would not blot out the name of Israel from under heaven. Where shall we find a preservation of this name suitable to the pledge or sign given, but in the coming in of the fulness of the gentiles, together with the restoration of all the children of Abraham, when all Israel will be fayed or restored ? For we have little account of thi ten tribes after the captivity. We find Jonah, then, first speaking relief to the corrupted house of Israel, when oppreffed, thut up, forsaken, and helplels, and that as a sign and pledge of a future deliverance and enlargement; and then afterwards we find him preaching repentance to the most popu. Jous city of the gentiles then in the world. So we find Jesus preaching glad tidings to the loft sheep of the house of Israel, to them who were fitting in darkness and in the shadow of death, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil," as an evidence of his power to give repentance and the remislion of fins to finners without difference: and then after his resurrection extending that repentance and remiffion of fins universally to all nations, consistent with the first gospel promise, that “ the seed of the woman would bruise the head of the ferpent,” even the son of God, who was made manifest that he might destroy the works of the devil.
3. But when we consider Jonah, as preaching repentance to che Ninevites, we must think of him as a sign: for seeing Christ says, he was a fign to the Ninevites, even as he himfelf was to be to that generation, and seeing we find the Nine
vites believed God, when they heard Jonah, we must confider the Ninevites as acquainted with the history of Jonah's commiffion to them, which indeed could not fail to give full proof that God had sent him.
4. In this history, when we view Jonah as a man, or an Ifraelite, acting according to his own temper and disposition, we see a lively picture of that temper of mind which appeared in the self-righteous Jews, in opposition to the Divine grace in the gospel. On the other hand, when we view the conduct of God towards him, and the use he made of him, we fee a lively sign of the freedom and extent of the Divine grace to sinners, which is manifested in the gospel of Christ.
5. The account we have of Jonah in the fhip going to Tarshish is very particular, and closed with a remarkable effect wrought on the minds of the idolatrous mariners. The first view we have of Jónah in the ship, (tho' it did not appear to the mariners till the cafting of lots) is of a-rebel againk God, involving all the partners of bis flight, (however unwittingly) in the same condemnation with himself; for they were in the utmost perplexity and danger, being ready to perish, having already forfeited their merchandize to the waves ; while the author of all this distress was fast asleep in the height of security, and utterly incapable, even when awakened, to contribute any thing towards their relief. Thus far we fee Jonah led by his own temper and purpose. Next we view him under another influence; for after lots were caft, and he was marked out by the lot falling on him, and the attention of the mariners by this means sufficiently drawn to him, as the cause of the evil that came upon them, he begins to appear to them in a new character, as the servant and prophet not of any fuch God as they served, but of Jehovah the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land ; and when the men, struck with new awe and fear, applied to him for directions, what they Thould do to him or for him, he freely gives up his own life for the preservation of theirs, ordering them to take him up and cast him forth into the sea, affuring them that upon this, the sea should be calm to them. They were very averse from making use of this expedient, and instead of expecting any benefit, by casting into the fea the only person among them who belonged to the God of heaven, they were afraid of perishing by. the displeasure of the true God, in becoming guilty of innocent blood; for they could not charge Jonah with an intention of doirg'evil to any of them: fo they rowed hard to bring the fhip to land; but finding this imposible, God refifting them by the violence of the tempeft, they at last with fubmision to the
will of God, did as Jonah bade them, saying, “For thou, o Jéhovah, haft done as it pleased thee.” Immediately upon this, "the sea ceased from its raging. Then the men feared Jehovah exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice to Jehovah, and made vows.” Thus every man forgot his own god, and instead of worshipping a variety of gods, as dividing among them the heavens, the sea, and the dry land, they all with one consent turned to Jehovah, the maker of all. They had been witnesses to a notable discovery of the sovereignty of the true God over the life of man, in connecting many with one transgressor, fo as to make them sharers in the punishment of his sin, and in giving a marvellous deliverance to many from the very brink of destruction, by taking away the life of one person ; who, according to their own confession, was with respect to them innocent, and who was the only person among them who knew and feared him. They had an awful proof of the Divine justice in its opposition to all fin, and of the fearful consequences of one act of disobedience to the will of God, as exposing many to destruction, and the impoffibility of escaping this destruction by the utmoft exertion of their abilities. They had likewise an astonishing discovery of the Divine mercy and compassion to miserable helpless men, when they beheld the wrath of God (appearing to them in a fearful manner in the violent raging of the sea) at once appeased, by swallowing up the victim
he had appointed, even his own prophet, and who was moved to give himself up for this purpose, and who prophesied a calm to them, immediately upon his being thrown into the fea; upon which they could no longer doubt of his acting in concert with the true God in this matter. It may also be observed, that hown ever averse the men were to this way of relief, being willing to undergo any labour and fatigue, rather than comply with it ; yet when they were brought to acquiesce in the fovereign will of God, they beheld such a discovery of the glory of the true God in the whole matter, as determined to worship and serve him. May we not in this matter behold a lively sign of that discovery of God in the gospel, by which the idolatrous nations were turned from idols, to serve the living and true God?
6. Jonah's prayer in the filh's belly, leads us to think of Christ, « who in the days of his Aeth, offered up prayers and supplications, with strong crying and tears, unto him that was able to restore him from death, and was heard for his reverence; especially as those prayers are uttered in much the same words with the prayers adapted to the Melliah in the Psalms. The noticing of this may likewise explain to us the correspondence
betwixt Jonah's being three days and three nights in the whale's belly, and Christ's being so long in the heart of the earth. For we shall find three nights intervening betwixt Christ's being mortally wounded for tranfgreffion, when he said “My foul is exceeding forrowful even unts death; and his rising again from the dead. And the prayers expreffing Christ's agony, the Pfalms, plainly point forth his condition in like exprefsions to that of being in the heart of the earth ; as when they point him forth as laid in the lowest pit, finking in deep mire, laid in darkness and deeps. See Psalm lxxi. 20. And the lower parts or heart of the earth, are phrases plainly used to signify the depth of misery; even as being set on high places, fignifies ex. altation and glory: for when Christ speaks of the destruction of his enemies, he says, "they that seek my soul to destroy it, shall go into the lower parts of the earth.” Psalm lxiii. 9. And it is plain that Jonah's prayer chiefly represents to us this part of Christ's humiliation and agony, the deadly force of which could not have been proved and manifested, if he had not thereby been brought down to the grave.
7. In the deliverance of Jonah we see a lively figure of Christ's being heard and restored from death for his reverend submission to the will of God. For upon Jonah's prayer, « the Lord spake unto the fish, and it brought up Jonah upon the dry land.”
8. Jonah, immediately upon his deliverance, is again commanded to go to Nineveh. He goes, and denounces the Divine wrath against their fins, according to his firft commiffion, threatening the oyerthrow of Nineveh. The Ninevites ima mediately repent. If we confider them
If we confider them as acquainted with the manner of Jonah's being sent to them, we can easily see how it came to pafs they believed God immediately on hearing Jonah; the argument upon which they repented, the view they had of God in their repentance, is indeed a moft natural inference from the former part of Jonah's ftory---“ Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger that we perish not ?” When we consider what an idolatrous city Nineveh, the head of the Affyrian empire, was, how came they all at once to lose their confidence in the many gods whom they boasted in as the promoters of their wealth and power, and their protectors in the violence that was in their hands, but by their being overawed with undoubted evidence of the supreme power of that God who fent Jonah? It appears also that they wete throughly satisfied of the difference of his character from that of all their gods: when, with the most submissive fear, they express their sense of his fierce anger against those things wherein they thought that they had the countenance of their own gods, even every one's way, now called evil, by which we may understand idolatry, and the violence in their hands, the means of promoting their wealth and power. They shew a reverend submisfion to his sove... reignty as to the absolute disposal of them and their city, fay-. ing « Who can tell if God will turn?” &c. as having no claim upon God, referring the case wholly to his will, who alone knew, what it became him to do. Yet they have hope from an apprehension that there was such a thing with God as turning froin anger; that, if it pleased him, he could shew mercy as well as he shewed wrath; that there was forgiveness
th him that he might be feared; and by this, they are encouraged to cry mightily to the God of Jonah, having been made sensible that no God could deliver out of his hand. At the fajne time they made a full acknowledgment of the justice of God in their destruction, not only by ceasing from what dila pleased God, but also disclaiming all title to live, and publicly expressing the forfeiture of their lives, by abstaining from all the support of life, and fitting in fackcloth and alhes, shewing the justice of their returning to dust; until they should obtain some intimation of a fresh grant of their lives from God. For whatever may be said of the forty days mentioned in the threatening, it is clear, that God gave such a plain intimation of his grace and forbearance to Nineveh as displeased, Jonah exceedingly, and this before the time was elapled, wherein Jonah impatiently waited without the city to see what would become of it.
9. Whence could the Ninevites have so awful and so just a view of the true God, and so opposite to the notions they had of their idols, as led them to this repentance, but from the instructions of Jonah? So Christ tells us they repented at the preaching of Jonah ; and from the words of Christ we also learn that Jonah, in what befel, him, was an instructive and perfuafive fign unto them of what he preached. He preached, then, what befel himself; and though his story could not be told without the shameful circumstance of his flying from the presence of the Lord, yet there was a grandeur in his character, that appeared to the Ninevites fo very striking as influenced their repentance; to which Christ points when he fays, “they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold a greater than Jonah is here."