« AnteriorContinuar »
the friends who have voluntarily promoted its distribution, and we are quite disposed to leave its future progress under their patronage,—believing that those exertions will not be diminished, if our labours continue approved as highly as they have been pleased to express.
The only departure from our first design, which now occurs to us, is that of not having kept up a regular supply of the productions of ancient writers sound in the faith. We have been debarred in great measure from fulfilling this engagement, by a determination to give a monthly supply of as much original matter as possible; and the extreme length to which some of our correspondent's favours extend, has often precluded the possibility of that intention being achieved. These considerations, though they may have little weight with our friends, are productive to us of, at least, one pleasing reflection: that we have thereby been enabled to lay before them a greater number of communications, written expressly for our use, than any religious periodical, of the same limited dimensions, extant. We hope to commence, with our Fifth Volume, a series of papers of the desired description, which will be worthy the best attention of our readers, and give satisfaction to those friends by whose kindness we are reminded of ' the failure,' and entreated to supply 'the defect.'
Brethren!" pray for us t and the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ."
* There are Three that bear record in heaven, the FATHER, the WORD, and the HOLY
GHOST: and these Three are One." 1 John v. 7.
* Earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." Jude 3.
(For the Spiritual Magazine.J
JOSEPH, A TYPE OF CHRIST.
In a great many particulars Joseph was a type of the dear Redeemer. First, he was the peculiar favourite of his father, who loved him above all his brethren: and we read of Jesus being his Father's elect in whom his soul delighteth—his beloved Son in whom he is well pleased. Joseph is commissioned by his father to go to seek after his brethren; he finds them, but they hate him, and consult to kill him. And our ever to be adored lmmanuel has a large commission from his Father to seek after all his brethren; he comes to his own, but they receive him not; and all his children while in a state of nature, hate Jesus, they will not come to him, they will fain fly out of his hand; they despise his grace, mock his ministers and his mercy, would be glad to annihilate his cause in the world, and sorely afflict his saints.
Secondly, Joseph in his humiliation and exaltation typified Jesus. He was sold, he was tempted, he was thrown into prison; he prophecies—he is taken from prison—he is highly advanced—the king honours him—provides him a bride—puts all the people under him to be ruled, and all the produce of the earth he is to dispose of. Surely we can here trace the humiliation and exaltation of the Son of God in the conduct of Herod, the Pharisees, the Jews, and Judas; the temptations of satan, the poverty he experienced, the sorrows and sufferings he endured when made sin and a curse: but God hath highly exalted him; many millions in heaven and upon earth bow the knee before him, a glorious bride is provided for him, he is made Vol. IV.—No. 38. B
most blessed for ever: he loves his church as the gift of his Father and his own purchase; and he goes after them, riding in his gospel chariot, and wins them to himself by his all-conquering grace.
Thirdly, in his reception of, and conduct towards his brethren he was a type. He knew his brethren, he spake roughly unto them, he made himself known unto them, his bowels yearned over them, he entertained them, washed and clothed them, gave them provision for the way, cautioned them not to fall out by the way, placed all his family near to him, and presented them to the king. And Jehovah Jesus knows all his brethren from eternity, they are drawn or driven to him in time, he makes known himself unto them, frequently speaks roughly to them when he chastens them out of his law, frowns upon them in his providence, as in Naomi's case, and appears to pay no attention to them; he answered not a word to the Syrophcenician woman: but his blessed bowels yearn over his brethren when they come crying to him; he feeds their hungry souls with the provisions of his house, he washes them clean in his most precious, heart-healing, sin-atoning blood; clothed in fine linen, clean and white, the royal robe of his perfect righteousness, and the glorious garment of his salvation, all his brethren are dressed and adorned; their temporal and spiritual needs are all provided for; his holy heart is a fountain, an ocean or mercy for the miserable, abounding grace for the guilty, health and cure for sin-sick souls : this fountain contains an abundance of all good for daily supplies, and heaven, and endless happiness at last, where Jesus will introduce them to the King of kings, with a "Lo! 1, and the children thou hast given'me." : Fourthly, in the relationship, and in Joseph's acknowledgment of jt, we may trace the features of Jesus:—" I am Joseph your brother." His high station did not make him forget his brethren; nor do the glories of heaven, the seat of majesty, the worship of angels, the pongs of the redeemed, nor his essential and personal glories, make him forget his family in this world: but he is Jesus our brother, born for our adversity, and is not ashamed to call us brethren : Jesus our husband most affectionately loves his bride; Jesus our faithful friend, who never will leave nor forsake one of his friends, he has paid every farthing of his people's debts, he has given himself for them: Jesus pur complete and everlasting Saviour, saves freely. As Joseph returned all his brethren's money, gave them their corn freely, and plenty of provision for the way; so with our redemption, righteousness, daily strength, needful wisdom, succour and consolation, it all comes gratuitously without buying, frequently without begging. "I give unto them eternal life." And as all the produce of the country was under the command and controul of Joseph, whoever wanted a supply, the uniform orders were, "go to Joseph!" and the gospel directs all seeking souls to Jesus; God the Holy Spirit exalts him as the only way of peace, pardon, communion, and comfort: Jehovah the Father draws to his dear Son, for Christ says, "No man can come unto me, except the Father which hathisent me draw him."
Fifthly, in the advice that Joseph gave to his brethren not to regard their stuff, and in his concern for their welfare: "You shall dwell in Goshen; I will nourish you, lest you come to poverty." There is a sad propensity in the saints to regard this world too much, an over anxiety about the morrow, a fear lest want and distress should overtake them: like king Amaziah, who hired an hundred thousand mighty men of valour out of Israel for an hundred talents of silver, but a man of God comes, and advises the king to send them back for the Lord was not with them. And Amaziah said to the man of God, "But what shall we do for the hundred talents of silver, which I have given to the army of Israel?" And the man of God answered " The Lord is able to give thee much more than this.'' 2 Chron. xxv. 9. Every lawful means is to be made use of to obtain the bread that perisheth, and the ordinances of God's house are to be observed by his saints; but it is the blessing of the Lord alone that maketh rich, temporally and spiritually; and our covenant God has promised to provide, to nourish all his little ones; they shall live upon his fulness, dwell near him, often be visited by him, very frequently hear from him, and at last they shall die in his holy arms! And does he not say to us, "Set your affections on things above, and not on things on earth; love not the world, regard not your stuff, see that ye fall not out by the way; love as brethren, and love one another?" And Joseph further commands his brethren, to tell his father of all his glory in Egypt, and that God sent him there. And should not this be the employment of all the saints and servants of the Most High God, to be talking of the glories of Jesus, his essential, personal, Mediatorial, and relative glories? of his unsearchable riches? the riches of his grace to pardon guilty sinners, the riches of his mercy to spend on miserable men and women. How much mercy was drawn out of this magazine on the day of Pentecost! How the large supply out of the riches of his goodness must be imparted every moment, and yet it remains an everflowing, an overflowing fountain; and immense treasures of riches of glory are provided to be spent upon all who are kings and priests unto God. Time and eternity joined will not last longenough to speak, to receive, and to enjoy the unsearchable riches of Christ! May the writer and reader of this, be more than ever engaged in setting forth the matchless beauties, the boundless grace, the infinite compassion, the perfect righteousness, and complete redemption of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is indeed a fruitful bough, a tree of life; and they are a happy people who sit under his shadow. "Happy are the people whose God is the Lord."
Sixthly, we may trace a feature of our blessed Redeemer, in the lovely conduct of Joseph, in covering the faults of his brethren, as well as in the forgiveness manifested—" cause every man to go out," were the orders, while he made himself known to his brethren:— "I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt." But this hint is dropped in private; their failings are not to be blazed abroad, for they were brethren. How very opposite this to the conduct of many, who love to find out the faults of friends, and to publish them; and many members of christian societies, delight in divulging church secrets. But not so with the great Head of the church: he shed his heart's blood to wash away and to cover all the sins of his saints, imputes his perfect righteousness to his brethren, and the inwrought garment of sanctification, all combine to cover, and conceal from view, the many sins and infirmities of his chosen children. And when Jesus makes himself known to his people, they are troubled at his presence; when he reveals himself in his holy law, it fills the soul with fear and dread; and when his grace, gospel, and Spirit, reveal salvation to the heart, it excites astonishment and gratitude; it calls up all the sacred passions of the soul in a way of admiration, that God Almighty should display his distinguishing favour on the rebellious sons of Adam.
We may see in this chain of beautiful providences how all the trials of the saints are ordered by the Lord. Joseph's brethren may hate, but God loves ; they may consult to kill him, but Joseph's God will frustrate all their consult and he shall live; they try to keep him down, his Lord will raise him up; his enemies may bring their charges, but the wonderful Counsellor will bring him through all, and he shall be acquitted, and his head lifted up above his enemies. His cruel brethren thought they had sold him for ever, and they should hear no more of him, but he is brought forward by the secret and sovereign hand of heaven, and appears a very eminent servant in the church of God, and a lively type of Jesus. "Be not angry that you sold me, for God sent me before to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance." And the same sentiments the apostles preached when they were let out of prison: " for of a truth against the holy child Jesus whom thou hast anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel were gathered together for to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done." Acts iv. 27—29. But God raised him from the dead. That righteous branch, that fruitful bough, whose branches spread over the wall; they began to shoot forth in Eden's garden, and they have continued to bud forth and spread over all the election of grace, in all places, over our persons and all our services, as the poet sweetly observes—
"And since my Saviour stands between,
In garments dy'd in blood;
When I approach to God.
What wond'rous grace, what mysteries',
In this appointment shine:
And his obedience mine!