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;" In that judgment, then, shall the men of Nineveh rise up with this generation, and condemn it ? “They repented at the preaching of Jonas.” The first day, in which they heard the terrors of the Lord, was the first also which witnessed their contrition and amendment. But, “ behold, a greater than Jonas is here:re greater in his office, greater in his power. The judgment, which he threatens on the disobedient, is more fearful: the reward, which he promises to the obedient, more glorious: the motives to repentance more noble : the means of grace more full and more effectual.
We all profess to look to the resurrection as the consummation of all our hopes. But we can never reflect too frequently, that those promises of God, animating and encouraging as they are, are made only to the sincere, the penitent, and the reformed. To “ them who, by patient continuance in well doing, seek for glory, and honour, and immortality." If we would attain the promises, some change, analogous to the resurrection for which we look, must be begun, even in this life. We must be planted in the likeness of his death, if we would be planted in the likeness of his resurrection. We must die to sin, and rise again unto righteousness: we must cease to do evil, and learn to do well. We must mortify our members which are upon the earth. We must here endeavour, by the use of all the means which the Providence of God has granted, to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, to be made like our heavenly Saviour in humility, in piety, in the devotion of every thought and wish to the will of God, if we would look with confidence to a happy resurrection hereafter.
• Matt. xii. 41.
Rom. ii. 7.
s Rom. vi. 5.
THE ALLUSION MADE BY OUR LORD TO THE MANNA GIVEN IN THE WILDERNESS
TO THE ISRAELITES.
JOHN vi. 32, 33.
Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you,
Moses gave you not that bread from heaven ; but my
Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from
heaven, and giveth life unto the world.
THE mode in which Christ here makes allusion to the manna, which the Israelites ate in the wilderness, is different from that in which he refers to the brasen serpent, and to the miraculous preservation of the prophet Jonah. In the passages which contain those references, our Lord himself suggested the historical facts as subjects of comparison with the events, which he predicted at the same time. The selection, therefore, and the application, were both made on his own authority ; ratified by the miracles which he had previously wrought, and confirmed by the completion of the accompanying prophecy. It has already been
argued, that such a selection of those facts points them out as events designedly prefigurative of the corresponding events in the death and resurrection of Christ.
But the same reasoning will not precisely apply to the subject of our present consideration. Upon attentively perusing the discourse, in which Christ compares his person and his doctrine, with all its consequences, to the bread which came down from heaven, it will be ceived, that the subject was suggested by the observations of the Jews themselves, who first referred to that miraculous fact; and it will, perhaps, appear more probable, that the allusion which our Lord was thus led to make, and the comparison which he instituted, were intended rather to enforce his doctrine by an apposite illustration, than to infer a preconcerted connection, between the sending of the manna, and his own coming into the world.
Still, as this allusion has often been considered to point out the manna as a designed type of Christ, was made the foundation of a direct prophecy, and is, at least, an instance in which Christ founded his own instruction to the Jews upon a well known event in their history; its discussion may, without impropriéty, be introduced in this part of our present enquiry.
A brief review of the passage, in which the allusion is contained, compared with some other discourses, in which our Lord introduced similar illustrations, will be the easiest method of ascertaining the general import of the reference, and will shew how naturally it arose out of the subject in question.
Jesus had performed, in the desert of Bethsaida, one of his most mighty works, the only miracle which is recorded by all the four evangelists. He had fed five thousand men with a few barley-loaves, and two fishes. He had again convinced his disciples, that he was the Son of God, by walking upon the water, and calming the boisterous wind: and, having landed on the coast of Gennesaret, near to Capernaum, gave additional proof of his miraculous power, by making perfectly whole as many as were brought unto him, from the villages, or city, or country. The day following that on which the people had been miraculously supplied with food, they who had witnessed the transaction, having in vain sought Jesus in the desert, took shipping and came to him to Capernaum: and having found him in the synagogue, they addressed him with surprise and reverence, and " said unto him, Rabbi, when
b Matt. xiv. 36. Mark vi. 56.
a Matt. xiv. 33. c. John vi. 59.