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reality, as well as the efficacy, of the sacrifice of Christ.

In all the animal sacrifices, then, of the levitical law, we observe many remarkable restrictions and ceremonies, all expressly enjoined on the authority of God's command. Many of these restrictions were, in themselves, inconvenient, and some of the ceremonies apparently trivial: yet, they were united in one compacted scheme, and observed from age to age. Some of the rites are agreeable to the notions which all nations have held respecting sacrifice: others are peculiar to the levitical dispensation. But, as long as we continue to reason upon the origin and intention of animal sacrifice, without any assistance from above, we find ourselves but wandering in a mighty maze, without a plan to direct our footsteps. Even in the books of the Old Testament, the obscurity which envelopes many of the sacrificial ordinances, is but partially dissipated. We, therefore, refer to the word of God, revealed in the New Testament; and there we find a lamp unto our feet, and a light unto our path. We perceive much, which was before uncertain, fixed, much which was imperfect, completed. We learn, that all this train of sacrifices was designed to prefigure, by various means, the one great sacrifice offered by Christ; that they

all perpetuated a symbolical representation of the same important events, which the prophets delivered by word, or by sign; and other holy men exhibited by the real actions of their ordinary lives: that, in this one sacrifice, the true expiation was made for the sins of men; and then the obligation of making any other offering for sin for ever ceased. We are thus enabled to discern the mutual connection between the various parts of the scheme, devised by Divine wisdom, for the salvation of fallen man: and should be led to adore the mercy which has thus provided a remedy for sin, commensurate with the magnitude of the evil.

With what humility, then, should we contemplate our own unworthiness, and the exceeding sinfulness of our fallen nature, which could only by such a sacrifice be restored to the favour of God. With what gratitude should we reflect upon the mercy of our Redeemer, who “ came into the world to save sinners :'m and with what earnestness should we labour to be made partakers of such inestimable benefits. “By him, therefore, let us offer the sacrifice of praise continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to his name.”' Let us give all diligence to add to our “faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge, and to knowledge

m

1 Tim. i. 15.

n Heb. xiii. 15.

temperance, and to temperance patience, and to patience godliness, and to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness charity :"0 forgetting not “to do good and to communicate" to the necessities of others, “ for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.”

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o 2 Pet. i. 5, 7.

p Heb. xiii. 16.

LECTURE XVII.

THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL TYPICAL OF THE PERSON & OF CHRIST : AND THEIR HISTORY PREFIGURATIVE OF THE INSTITUTIONS OF CHRISTIANITY.

1 Cor. x. 1, 2, 3, 4.

Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be igno

rant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud, and in the sea ; and did all eat the same spiritual meat ; and did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was

Christ. THERE is something very remarkable in the instruction deduced in the New Testament from the history of the Israelites. Christianity having been founded upon Judaism, it was perhaps to be expected, that the attention of early Christian writers should be directed to all those, who, “having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise :"a that the examples of holy men, who lived under the law, should often be produced for a warning, or an encouragement to those who had received the Gospel. All this, accordingly, we

A. Heb. xi. 39.

do find. But we find much more.

We find various passages of the New Testament, in which, while reference is made to the history of the Israelites, for the purpose of enforcing moral and religious improvement, some kind of connection is intimated between those historical transactions, and the things which should come to pass in the latter days.

These intimations are given in different parts of Scripture with different degrees of clearness. If we look for decided assertions, that the history of the Israelites prefigured the several parts of the Christian scheme of revelation, we perhaps expect more than we shall discover in Scripture. The connection is rather to be inferred from the general mode, in which the inspired writers of the New Testament treat of the Jewish history, than to be proved from any one broad affirmation. Still there are intimations enough to induce us to enquire, whether the same people, who in their religious rites so clearly prefigured the offices which Christ sustains, and the sacrifice which he offered, might not also prefigure, in the astonishing events of their national history, some circumstances of the dispensation which Christ introduced: and our enquiry will shew, that there is, at least, a high degree of probability that such a connection subsists.

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