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If it be assumed, that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are given by inspiration of God, the arbitrary arrangement of the historical types, contained in them, may vary with the particular design with which any enquiry into them is conducted.
But when the historical types of Scripture are considered, in connection with prophecy, as affording a corroboration of the other proofs of inspiration, it is desirable to arrange them in an order suggested by that connection, and by the degree of proof which they are capable of affording.
I. The first division will contain those which are the most nearly connected with verbal prophecy: those, if any, which are declared to be prophetical at the time the type was represented; or at any other period previous to the appearance of the antitype.
The first part of these is very important, as establishing, upon the most incontrovertible grounds, the connection subsisting between the type and antitype, and consequently the authority of the Scriptures in which they are contained. But it cannot be expected to contain many types. Historical types, by their very nature, indicate future events more obscurely than verbal prophecy, or than those symbolical actions which were performed for
the express purpose of foreshewing a particular event. The connection of the type and antitype may, after the events prefigured have come to pass, be clear and intelligible, and evidently preconcerted; and, if it be so, that fact is sufficient for the purpose which they were designed
But it is by no means necessary, in order to prove this connection, that it should be declared at the very period when the per* son appeared in the character of the type. The difficulty, indeed, of conceiving how his practical free-agency could be reconciled with the extraordinary Providence, under which he is avowedly placed, will be nearly in proportion to the degree of knowledge, which he appears to possess, of this peculiarity in the circumstances of his life.
Accordingly, upon searching the history of the Old Testament, we discover but one, or, at most, but two persons, who, during their lives, were declared to prefigure the events which should occur in the Christian dispensation. These persons are Moses, and Joshua the high priest, in company with his fellows,' as recorded in the book of Zechariah the prophet.
1. The well known prophecy, which Moses received at the giving of the law, and delia vered to the people of Israel before his death,
referring to a prophet whom the Lord God should raise up unto them of their brethren, like unto him, at once points him out as a person who, during some part of his life, was aware of his own typical character.
The existence of the prophecy is indisputable: the assertion of its fulfilment in the person of Christ is express :' and the completion wonderfully accurate.
This one fact alone establishes, upon sure grounds, the existence of historical types in the dispensations of God's Providence; and sets in a clear point of view the intimate connection which subsists between the interpretation of types, and that of verbal prophecy.
2. The other typical person, who was declared to be so, during his life, was Joshua, the high priest of the Jews, during the rebuilding of the temple.
When Zechariah the prophet' was enlightened by the Spirit of God, to declare to the Jews, desponding at the interruption of their work, that the temple and its service should really be restored, the information was conveyed to the propheto by a vision, in which Joshua the high priest appeared, arrayed in the new vestments of his sacerdotal office, and with a fair mitre set upon his head. In order to shew the typical meaning of this vision, the high priest and his fellows are declared to be men of wonder, or men who appeared as signs and types. And in order to determine the person, who was to be the corresponding antitype, there follows immediately the prophecy, “for behold I will bring forth my servant THE BRANCH;” a person distinct from Joshua, and already well known to the Jews by the prophecies of Isaiah and Jeremiah, as the Messiah, the promised seed of David, the rod that should come forth out of the stem of Jesse, and the Branch that should grow out of his roots.
a Deut. xviii. 15.
b Ezra v.
c Zech. iii.
Now the restoration of the temple, and the establishment of the high priest, took place as was predicted. In this action, then, of his life, Joshua was the declared type of the Messiah : and it will remain to be considered who was the person who fulfilled the type, and completed the accompanying prediction.
If it should appear, from the writings of the New Testament, that this person was Jesus of Nazareth, we shall have an additional rea, son to conclude, that he alone was the object so often prefigured and predicted by the law and the prophets.
Ver. 8. See Bp: Chandler; Defence of Christianity, Chap. iii. Sect. 1.
Isaiah xi. 1. Jer. xxiii. 5.
The fulfilment of prophecy establishes also, more indirectly, the claim of other persons to the character of historical types.
Thus the prophecy made by David of an eternal priest after the order, or likeness, of Melchizedec,' points out that extraordinary per
as designedly prefiguring some future priest, and king. And those prophecies which appear to allude immediately to David or Solomon, but are applied in the New Testament to Christ, will give occasion to enquire, how far such application implies the existence of designed connection between their lives, and that of Christ.
II. The second division of types, will contain those which, although not prophetical in the type, nor ratified by any subsequent prediction, were stamped as authentic by the seal of completed prophecy, in him who professed to be the antitype. 3; } .LESZ
* The history of the Old Testament records some particular fact; without expressly stating, that it had a designed reference to any thing which should hereafter happen. The history of the New Testament records the application which Jesus Christ made of this fact to him: self, during his ministry upon earth. But the application is made by Christ with respect to
f Psal. cx. 4. Heb. v. 6. vii. 15.