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dow of good things to come, could not be expected to set forth, in its fulness, the perfect image of those things.
There may also be, in different parts of Holy Scripture, various types, all having a reference to the character and offices of Christ and of the religion which he taught; but referring to them in different respects and with various degrees of precision. These partial types, at the same time that they illustrate the great object to which they all have respect, support and strengthen one another.
Above all, it must not be forgotten, that no doctrine is to be taught, as necessary to salvation, which is founded solely upon those passages of Scripture which are typical.
These wonderful manifestations of the counsels of God, as gradually displayed to the world, will be found in perfect accordance with the great truths which are distinctly revealed for our instruction, and upon which our faith and practice are to be built.
We examine the prefigurations and types of the Old Testament, as astonishing indications of Almighty power, disclosing the mysteries of futurity by means which human wisdom could never have devised, nor unassisted human agents have accomplished. We regard them as one of the various modes by, which our
heavenly Father has rendered visible, to his servants upon earth, his intimate knowledge of all future contingencies, and his ever watchful Providence over the affairs of men. We admire the wonderful harmony which is thus discovered in all the parts of the various dispensations, under which God's moral government has been displayed. We see the patriarchs of old time, and the Israelites by their public and private history, by their law, and by their prophets, alike having respect to Him, in whom all the promises of God are yea, and amen."
Pursuing with caution the traces laid down in the book of truth, we know that we are not following “cunningly devised fables.” We see, it is true, much which is obscure : much which we may wish to have more clearly developed :: much which our present powers of mind are perhaps unable to comprehend. Still we permit not this acknowledged uncertainty, in some points, to shake our well-grounded confidence in those things, which are clearly revealed.
Nay, difficulties, such as these, serve even to animate the hope of further intellectual attainments in some future state. af God, who has made nothing in vain, has yet endued man, with an insatiable curiosity, which is innocent, if exercised under due restraint. Now every thing around us is sedulously adapted to the circumstances of its condition. The wants and desires of all animated nature are confined to a limited scale: and no more is required. Man alone forms an exception to this general rule. In him alone do we recognize desires of what is utterly unattainable by the use of the faculties, which he has received from his Creator.
m 2 Cor. i. 20.
':n 2 Pet. i. 16.
How can this anomaly be explained ? Why is this contradiction found in the body and the mind of man himself? How is it that, in the midst of a creation, in which every other individual is endued with the very wishes which it is capable of gratifying, there should exist a being blessed with faculties superior to those of all other creatures, which never can be satisfied ? Why do we find the eye made to see, and the tongue to speak, and the feet to walk; but the active mind of man continually grasping after conceptions which it can never realize--vainly endeavouring to 1
seize what is incomprehensible, to circumscribe infinity ?
Analogy itself would lead us to the conclusion, that these high faculties were also intended to be satisfied: and, since experience shews that they can never be satisfied here, that man will be, at least, capable of perfecting his knowledge hereafter.
But weak is the degree of assurance which any mere reasoning can give, upon themes like these, compared with the satisfaction which the word of God affords. And upon this point that word speaks as one having authority ; “Now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”
2 TIM. II. 15.
Rightly dividing the word of truth.
It has been noticed, that the historical types of the Old Testament form only one of the various methods, by which the Spirit of God has, from time to time, declared his will, and revealed his designs to man. They were intended to foreshadow, by real events, other real events which were afterwards to be accomplished.
In this view they may be considered as a branch of prophecy : for, provided the information is clearly conveyed, it is evidently a matter of indifference, whether God's foreknowledge of future transactions be indicated by the words of inspired prophets, by the particular significant actions which they perform; or by the course of events in which they are naturally engaged.