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gifts, I think it may be possible to cast some light that might be profitable to the Zion of God, upon the figurative day.
It is not my design in what I am about to lay before the public, to pay particular attention to the whole law dispensation ; but to notice the dealings of God with his ancient people Israel, in a journey of forty years through the wilderness; touching upon some of the principal encampments until they were brought into the promised land. First, by way of choice. Second, by way of promise., And, Thirdly, notice the bondage they were brought under in Egypt, and their miraculous deliverance from thence.
And now, before I commence the subject, I shall inform the reader that I understand the land of Canaan, to be a type of a Gospel Church, and the Oracle, that is in the Temple at Jerusalem, which is in the land of Canaan, to be a peculiar type of heaven; and I have some faith to believe that when the candid reader has carefully perused the subsequent pages, they will be of the same mind.
Firstly, Then by way of choice we are informed in the 12th chapter of Genesis, 1st, 2d and 3d verses, that the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thée out of thy country, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee, and I will make thee a great nation, and will bless thee and make thy name great, and thou shalt be blessed, and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee, and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed. Now it is abundantly evident that God made choice of Abram amongst all the rest of his kindred, and commanded him to separate himself from his father's house, and promised him, in corsequence of obedience that he would distinguish him from all the nations of the earth; for in him should all the families of the earth be blessed, and he would make him a great nation, which is to be understood a separate people, and that of choice. But the choice that God made of his ancient people, is most clearly manifest in the important change of the name of Jacob to Israel. See Isai. xli. 8, 9, “ But thou, O Israal, art my servant: Jacob whom I have chosen; the seed of Abraham, my friend; thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, thou art my servant. I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away." Now, as I purpose to be short on this point, I shall observe that this Church was a figurative Church, and the choice mentioned was a figurative choice ; for this church, which was under the law, represented that under the gospel. And the choice spoken of, the doctrine of electing love, as saith Paul, (Eph. i. 4, 6.) according as he hath chosen us in him, before the foundation of the world; that we should be holy and without blame before him in love, having predestinated us to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ, to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.
From what has been noticed, it is abundantly evident that Israel was God's chosen people previous to their sojourning in Egypt, which was a state of bondage. And is it not evident algo, that God's elect were chosen in Christ Jesus before they were brought under the bondage and guilt of sin, by the fall of our first parents; as it is written, in Adam all die..
Secondly. As it respects promise, it pleased God, in order to make a revelation of himself in a figurative way, to establish a national church, and for this purpose he made promise to Abraham, that he should have a son and should call his name Isaac. Now Isaac being a child of promise, was dedicated to God on the altar at Mount Moriah, (afterwards called Jerusalem) from whence he received him from the dead as in a figure. We are hereby taught that Jesus Christ, who being the brightness of his Father's glory and the express image of his person, and who is the Child of promise, was given as a propitiation for sin, tor be revealed in due time, and to be made an offering for the sins of his people, that they might be redeemed from the bondage of sin and death, and brought into the glorious liberty of the sons of God. But as I purpose brevity, I shall come to the third thing under consideration, viz. to treat of the state of bondage, that the children of Israel were under in Egypt, and their miraculous deliverance from thence, together with the dealings of God with them through the wilderness, and their arrival to the promised land, and compare the figure with the substance. Now when Jacob dwelt in the land of Canaan, there arose a great famine in the land, and it is said, to cover the whole earth. But God having provided a plentiful store in the land of Egypt, (by the hand of Joseph as a type of Christ) for the supply of all the land, Israel by this means was brought down into Egypt, where they sojourned 430 years. Now when there arose a new king, which knew not Joseph, he made the lives of this people bitter with hard bondage. Now instead of their being humble, or by any means reconciled to leave the country, in consequence of their sufferings, they heaped dreadful imprecations upon the head of Moses, which bears no resemblance of a preparation for their journey; so, I think, we have a lively representation of God's elect, which in consequence of the transgression of his divine law, lost their first estate, viz. Paradise, and was drove, of necessity, to take up their abode under the curse of the divine law, and in bondage to the elements of sin, and under the reigning power of the kingdom of darkness, whose king has no vital union with the Lord Jesus Christ, nor regard for his kingdom ; therefore counts it his interest to afflict those who have fallen under his power and dominion; for his kingdom genders to bondage, and to use all the precautions possia ble to keep them under his government, and had it not been
för the promise God made to Abraham, of deliverance for his seed, we have no ground to believe that they would ever have escaped from that state of bondage they were involved in under Pharaoh. in like manner had not God made promise to his Son, that he should see the travail of his soul and be satisfied, and given his people to him in an everlasting covenant, I conclude there would have been no ground to escape from the bondage of sin, and the curse of the law. Now from what has been laid. before us, it appears evident that the state of bondage, that the children of Israel experienced in Egypt, is calculated to teach us the bondage we are under to the elements of sin and death.
Then, in the next place, I shall notice their miraculous delivery, as typefying the doctrine of free and sovereign grace.
When the time appointed for the deliverance of God's cho-, sen people was about to commence, he sent to them Moses, who he had qualified for this work, and appointed him as a leader and Commander in Israel, and when he had smitten Egypt with ten plagues, he brought them out: the last of which, demands particular attention.
And the Lord said unto Moses, yet will I bring one more plague upon Pharaoh, and upon Egypt, afterwards he will let you go hence. · Thus saith the Lord, about midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt, and all of the first born of the land of Egypt shall die. And when God was about to bring this awful destruction upon the land of Egypt, he said unto Moses and Aaron, this month shall be the beginning of months; it shall be the first month in the year to you. Speak unto all all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying in the tenth day of this month, they shall take to them every man a lamb, accord, ing to the house of their fathers a lamb for an house, the lamb shall be without blemish, and the whole congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening, and they shall take of the blood and strike it on the two side posts, and on the upper door posts of the houses wherein they shall eat it. Eat not of it raw nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire: and thus shall ye eat it, with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand, and ye shall eat it in haste, it is the Lord's Passover; for, I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the first born in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt, I will execute judgments, and the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where you are, and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you and none of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning. .
Now, inasmuch as it pleased God to manifest his peculiar regard unto his ancient people, by favoring them with a temporal salvation, by virtue of, (and their remaining under the cover
of) the lamb, while his awful denunciations of wrath was poured out upon the whole land of Egypt, it is evident he remembered his promise, and was now about to deliver his chosen people from their state of bondage and bring them into the possession of the promise made to their father Abraham. I am ready to think there cannot be found a more lively figure of the important work of free and sovereign grace on the heart than what now lies before us, and in order that this doctrine may shine in its pure lustre, I shall now make it my business to take up the figure, and compare it with the substances until I lead the reader to take a view of the chosen tribes beyond Jordan in the promised land.
The first thing then that deserves our notice is the paschal lamb, which not a bone of it was broken. The reader will observe that these people never took one step on their journey, until they had eaten the paschal lamb with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. When we compare this figure, we are taught that while in a state of unregeneracy, we make no progress towards a life of faith, whatever we may style our performances, or do not forsake our house of sin. Neither is there any reconciliation in the heart towards God: but our performances are so far from being a preparatory work, that, as the children of Israel charged Moses of being the cause of increasing their burden, so the unreconciled heart is ready to charge God with injustice in executing his perfect rule of riglit to cut them off as cumberers of his ground, and not accepting their dead sacrifices when they do not come in the name of Jesus, under the royal seal, so that the strong man armed keepeth his palace, and his goods are in peace so long as the fountain of the great deep of sin in the heart is not broken up.
Now the paschal lamb appears to be a lively type of Jesus Christ, who made himself an offering for sin, on an altar that had more honor than the gift; passed through the tire of divine wrath
(which was due to rebels) upon the accursed tree, that his fleshi · might be prepared food, as he saith, Except you eat the flesh of
the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Likewise, when he hung on the cross, they broke the legs of the thieves; but when they come to him, being already dead, they break not his legs, that the scripture might be fulfilled, not a bone of him shall be broken. Rcjoice then, reader, that Jesus is a whole Saviour; for in this figure we are pointed to God manifest in the flesh.
In the next place, the lamb was to be eaten with the loins girded, the staff in the hand, and unleavened bread, with bitter herbs; and it appears this was preparatory for their journey, and the blood of the lamb, sprinkled on the lintel and side posts of the door, proved a temporal salvation to them, while all that was not under the cover of the blood was exposed to divine wrath.
How beautiful is the doctrine of grace exhibited in this figure, the eating of the paschal lamb. In a spiritual sense, we are to understand the implantation of the seçd of divine grace in the soul, which is the only pre-requisite for the christian race; and this kind of food operates according to its own nature, by quickening the faculties of the soul, from a state of death to a divine life; (for he is a quickening spirit) and consequently preaches the doctrine of truth, so that the loins of the soul is girded with it. Who will dispute in this case, that the sonl believes what truth declares, although it preaches condemnation to the guilty sinner, and produces the bitter herbs of a genuine repentance, yet it is a staff in the hand to support them under the weight and burden of the guilt of sin, until they are brought to the knowledge of Jesus Christ as the forgiveness of sins, which in this figure we shall not find till we have crossed the Red Sea. · In addition to the lamb and the bitter herbs, there was unleavened bread that composed the paschal feast. This bread, in like manner, was to be eaten, and did represent Christ. It will be remembered, that it was unleavened bread. Now Christ was never under inherent sin, and never stood in need to undergo the change that the leaven produces in the meal. Hence with propriety he is called the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. And this is the bread that the soul feeds upon, when it is quickened by the power of the divine life, although the rational faculties at the same time is not apprized of what God is about to do, no more than the Israelites understood when they eat the pashcal lamb, what great wonders God would shew them. From these considerations, it is plain that the quickening power of divine life which gives the knowledge of sin, is the first and only cause of a genuine conviction, and is the only preparatory, by which we are led to the knowledge of revealed truth in the man Christ Jesus.
Now,when the children of Israel had eaten the paschal lamb, they journeyed through the wilderness a great distance to the Red Sea, though they might have gone nigher ; but not being prepared for war, the Philistines would not suffer them to pass · through their coasts, and Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, in testimony of resurection power, or to shew that Christ must rise from the dead, and again that Christ must come out of Egypt, as it is written, out of Egypt have I called my son. And to shew tliat as the children of Israel did not journey until they had eat the paschal lamb, so the spiritual Israel do not take one step until they are quickened by the resurrection power of divine life. Again; as the bones of Joseph were carried with them all the way through the wilderness, and buried in the promised land, so the spiritual Israel is accompanied with a risen Saviour through all this journey until they come to the militant rest or a Gospel church, and here the spiritual Joseph