Imágenes de páginas

the antitype: such as are declared to be types, either by express assertion, or by implicit allusion, after the events have occurred, which they were ordained to prefigure.

The connection is established solely on the authority of revelation, the existence of that revelation being founded upon previous proof.

Under this division may be classed the numerous types contained in the levitical sacrifices, and in the law of Moses, so fully developed by the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews.

Those passages of Scripture in which the whole people of Israel, during the various events of their national history, are represented to have, in some degree, prefigured the person of Christ and the institutions of his religion, will also suggest several instances.

It is true that types of this nature are liable to be confounded with those events, in the history of the Old Testament, which are employed by the writers of the New Testament, merely in order to elucidate the doctrines which they inculcate.

If, however, an instance alleged as a type, should to any one appear to be only an accommodation, such an application of Scripture history is neither fanciful nor useless. There are to be found many passages in the Holy Scriptures, in which the first teachers of Christianity, applied those methods of illustration, which were familiar to their new con; verts, as the readiest mode of conveying instruction, and touching their hearts.

If to us, who are familiarized with a different style of reasoning, any of their applications should appear inconclusive, or the connection difficult to be traced, we must beware that the error rest not with ourselves: that we be not mistaking the object of the Sacred Writers; and endeavouring to deduce from them that which they never intended ;—that we do not look for argument, where they propose illustration merely.

The Scriptures were given as the foundation of all that we are to believe, and all that we are to hope. But it requires no long study to discern, that their aim is not so much to reach the heart of man by first convincing his understanding, as practically to influence his conduct by engaging his affections. There doubtless are found in Scripture the most convincing proofs of a Divine original. Upon these it is built firm and stedfast. And these evidences must be diligently examined by all who would be ready to give to those who ask them, a reason of the hope that is in them.” There

p 1 Pet. iii. 15.

is found, in the volume of inspiration, matter of unlimited enquiry. In its extensive regions there are heights, which surpass the most exalted flights of human intellect, depths, which the most profound research can never fathom.

But, in the inspired writings, there is also found much which must be felt as well as understood. And this influence upon the heart of man is often conveyed, in Scripture, by an appeal to the modes of thinking and acting established among the people, to whom it is immediately addressed.

These accommodations may not be adapted to stop the mouths of gainsayers. Their cavils are to be met, and the authority of the Scriptures is to be established, upon different grounds.

But the humble and faithful believer in the inspired word will hesitate before he denies the justness of an application, which he knows to be made by God himself. To him, the continued allusion made, in the writings of the New Testament, to the history and laws of the Old Testament, will be a source of delight and satisfaction. It will disclose to him, in the transactions of all ages, one great, pervading, intelligent, superintending mind, carrying on the most merciful and magnificent designs for the recovery and salvation of fallen man. And he will learn to distrust that spirit of cavilling and doubt, which would reduce all things to the fallible decision of his erring reason.

IV. There will still remain those numerous alleged types, which are not expressly mentioned, nor even alluded to, in the Scriptures, but have been inferred from the narratives contained in them.

But whatever probability may attach to these, and however useful the application of them may be for reproof or for instruction in righteousness, the connection between the two events, assumed to correspond, can never be established with the degree of certainty which is required, before they can be produced in corroboration of the writings in which they occur. A fertile imagination may discern a similarity of circumstances, while the proof of preconcerted connection is entirely wanting.

If we consider the history of Joseph, sold by his brethren, deposited in the earth, and thence restored to life, reduced to the extremity of distress, in that distress foretelling the delivery of one of his fellow-sufferers, and the destruction of the other, and, finally, raised to great glory, and making his brethren par.. takers of his exaltation; we may perceive many points of resemblance between his life and the life of Christ. But since it is no where asserted

? Pascal, Pensées, Partie II. Art. IX. §. 2. Prosper de


in Scripture, either openly or by allusion, that Joseph is a type of Christ, we can establish no conclusion upon such a similarity.

When Aaron the high priest, arrayed in the robes of his holy office, puts on incense and makes atonement for the people, standing between the dead and the living, and the plague is stayed :" we cannot fail to recognize a striking correspondence between this action, and the offering made for the sins of the whole world, by the great High Priest of our salvation. But unless it can be shewn, that the character of Aaron is in Scripture considered typical of Christ, we shall fail in establishing a designed correspondence in the particular events.

Similar objections may be made to bringing forward the history of Sampson as typical." Undoubtedly there are strong features of similarity between his history and that of Christ. Born in consequence of a miraculous revelation, separated as a Nazarite from the womb, rising in the night and carrying away

Promiss. et Prædict. Part I. c. xxix, quoted by Pearson on the Creed, Art. V. It has been thought that Stephen alludes to Joseph as a type of Christ, from a comparison of Acts vii. 51, 52. with Acts vii. 9. But the inference appears very slightly founded. See W. Jones, (of Nayland,) Vol. III. Lect. 8.

r Numb. xvi. 47.

* Jortin, Eccles. Hist. Vol. I. p. 186. Vitringa, Observat. Sacræ, Vol. II.

« AnteriorContinuar »