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rubbish around it, and we began to see that this was the principal object, and, finally, we saw that it was the only object of his mission, and the only effect of his redemption.
For, when we were entirely destitute of affection for the Divine laws, we were led to suppose that the justice and mercy of God were as remote from each other, as our inclination was from our duty. We, therefore, in our imagination, divided the Deity into two persons; for we could not conceive that attributes so opposite belonged to one and the same. We always supposed, that infinite mercy could reach us, although divine justice could not, and we therefore determined the distance between justice and mercy, by the distance between our affections and the commandments. We supposed that one person in the Godhead prescribed and executed the law, and that another pardoned our defects and rewarded our obedience, or suffered our punishment and fulfilled the law in our behalf. We did not then know that we were to be redeemed, and that our salvation was to be effected, by the union of justice and mercy in ourselves; that the law was, by the influence of his spirit, to be fulfilled in us; for we were then so ignorant of the nature of heavenly happiness, that we imagined we could obtain it without having anything to do with the commandments; and could not think of its consisting in the love of them. But when we had made some progress in the way of holiness, and had by this means gained such an affection for the commandments, that we should have continued to observe them if all the advantages which flow from obedience in this world, and all hope of recompense hereafter, had been taken away; still our minds vacillated between the happiness of an imaginary heaven, and that happiness which is found in doing the commandments. According to the state of our affections, sometimes we inclined towards the one, and sometimes towards the other. We recollect that in these states our views of the Lord were not settled; sometimes we believed he was mysteriously united to the Father, that the Father dwelt within him, and the Father was accessible through him only; and at other times we believed that he was a person distinct from the Father, and that he officiated as a mediator and intercessor in obtaining our salvation.
Thus we see, that, in all states, our views of the Lord depended upon, and were an image of that relation which existed between our inclination and our duty.
JOSEPH'S CHARGE TO THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL
TO CARRY UP HIS BONES FROM EGYPT.
BY THE REV. W. BRUCE.
Genesis 1. 25. "And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God
will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from
hence.” The Israelitish and Jewish people, like most others who are of an earthly and external character, were exceedingly solicitous about their bodies, and had a superstitious anxiety to have them buried beside those of their kindred. A belief in the resurrection of the material body, which prevailed among the Jews, as it does amongst Christians of the present day, had no doubt some influence in causing this care for their dust ; but it no doubt originated principally in that which is peculiar to the human race-a principle that abhors the idea of extinction, that extends its desires beyond the term of mortality, and which, when uninformed or unbelieving as to the nature or existence of a future state, either broods over the after-condition of the body, which it identifies with itself, or fondly cherishes the idea of living after death in the annals of fame. The brute creation has no thought of a futurity, because they have nothing within them that can exist in a future state; and if man had not an immortal soul, he would bave no more thought of, or thirst for, futurity, than the beasts that perish. When the true nature of the soul and of the spiritual world are unknown or uncared for, it is permitted of the Divine Providence that a belief in a resurrection of the body should exist; for by this belief, a future life of enjoyment, or suffering, is continued as a matter of faith, and as a motive to virtue and order.
But although the Hebrews and their descendants had no other view, naturally speaking, in providing for the safety of their mortal remains, than that they might rest and rise with their own kindred, yet as all the external customs of that nation were made, by Divine Providence, the symbols of internal things, so this is to be regarded as involving something internal or spiritual. Burial is significative of resurrection, because, when the body is laid in the earth, the spirit ascends, or has ascended, into heaven : as Paul observes, a natural body is sown, a spiritual body is raised. The angels have no idea of death, but instead of it resurrection; and when we on earth are mourning over the dead, they are rejoicing over the newly risen spirit. In order to make the burial of the Hebrew worthies emblematical of resurrection unto life, they were buried in the land of Canaan, because Canaan represented heaven. Abraham and Isaac were buried in Canaan, and Jacob, who died in Egypt, was also buried there, in compliance with his strict command before his death. Joseph gave a similar command to his brethren before his death ; but there is in his case something peculiar which is worthy of attention. When Jacob was dying, he charged his sons to bury him in Canaan; and immediately after the days of mourning were past, Joseph, with a great retinue, carried his body into the holy land. When Joseph took the oath of his bretbren, as recorded in our text, he did not speak of his body, but of his bones; nor did he require that they should be buried in Canaan, but only that they should be carried up out of Egypt; neither did he command that they should be carried up at his death, and by a special journey, which we may easily suppose would have been granted to him who had been ruler over all the land of Egypt, he required that they should be carried up when Israel should leave Egypt for ever, and take their journey to Canaan as their promised home.
We shall now endeavour to explain these particulars : and first, Joseph's bones.
Joseph was a type of the Lord, and represented the Lord particularly as the Word, or the divine truth; and has reference to an internal principle. But as bones are always significative of what is external in man, so the bones of Joseph signify the external of that which is represented by Joseph himself. It may seem to some contrary to analogy, that bones, which are, generally speaking, within the body, should signify the external of that which is signified by the body itself. But it may be remarked, that the bones are to the body what a foundation is to a housethe groundwork on which it is built, and on which it rests; and are, therefore, the most external, because the lowest. Some of the bones are indeed literally external to the body, as the ribs, which enclose the heart and lungs, and the scull, which contains the brain : and there are many animals whose bones are all external
to their bodies, for with many animals their bones form a shell that surrounds the fleshy substance of the body. Bones, therefore, always signify, in scripture language, what is respectively external and destitute of life: and whether we consider Joseph as representing the Word, the church, or the man of the church, his bones are significative of what is external; and the bones in the present instance being separate from the body, they represent an external principle separate from its internal.
If we view this subject in its connection with the Israelites, who are to carry up the bones, we shall see more clearly the mystery which it involves.
The children of Jacob or Israel are to be considered as forming the church of God on earth; and as a church, to be really so, must consist of those who are not only in the forms of religion, but who possess an internal principle of truth and holiness, so this internal principle was represented by Joseph. But as inankind had been gradually receding, from the time of the fall, from inward purity and righteousness, and coming into more outward and even idolatrous worship, a complete change was seen necessary to be effected with them, which should consist in a total removal, from their knowledge and possession, of every thing of internal religion, and the establishment amongst them of a system of external worship and ceremonies. The rituals of the Israelitish dispensation did not, however, originate with the Israelites themselves. These had formed the externals of worship in the latter ages of the ancient or Noetic church; but in that church the people did not, like the Israelites, place all holiness in the external rites, and all religion in their performance. They had learned by oral tradition from the most ancient church, that the various animals and productions of nature were symbolical of the various principles of the human mind; and the worship of the most ancient people being described, though in the language of pure allegory, by the offering to the Lord of innocent animals and useful things of the vegetable kingdom ; the men of the succeeding or ancient church, when their internal principles had become obscure, began to sacrifice the animals themselves. This gross form of worship appears to have taken its rise after that change produced in the state of the church, figuratively described by the Lord confounding the language of the earth. Previously to this, it is said the whole earth was of one language, denoting that the whole church, which the earth sigoifies, was of one doctrine; and as that was the doctrine of charity, we cannot suppose that where that heavenly principle universally prevailed, there could be any such carnal practice as the killing of animals in order to please God. During the universal prevalence of that doctrine, men would be satisfied with offering “the calves of their lips;" but after the Babel confusion, the worshipers of God offered the calves themselves. As this church was spread over the greater part of Asia, its remains continued in the rites of the heathen nations, who, we find, almost all practised sacrifice, as well as the Hebrews, who were descended from Eber. In the end of the ancient church, religion had sunk into idolatry ; and from the simplest of the idolators a reninant was chosen to form the representative of a church. This representative church had its commencement with Abraham at the time he departed out of Chaldea to go into the land of Canaan, at which time the Lord appeared to him in Haran, and said, “ Get thee up out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee; and I will make of thee a great nation.” The great nation promised to spring from him was the Israelitish ; and among that nation the representative church, or rather the representative of a church, was finally established. The representative of a church could not, however, be established with that nation till after a total vastation of all that they knew from the ancient church respecting internal worship. The progress of this vastation is successively described in the history of the Israelites, even to their establishment in the land of Canaan; and all the sufferings they underwent were necessary to separate from them the remains of internal things, to prevent them from mixing the holy with the profane, and thereby becoming guilty of profanation. One stage of this separation of internal from external principles with the Israelites is described representatively in the circumstance recorded respecting Jacob, their immediate parent, that his thigh was put out of joint in struggling all night with a man. By this was represented, that internal and external principles with that nation were disjoined ; but it was necessary that the external principle should not only be disjoined from the internal, but that the internal should cease to exist with them and the external alone remain ; and these were represented in the case of Joseph. The extinction of the internal was represented by Joseph's death, and the continuance of the external alone, was represented by the Israelites preserving and carrying his bones out of Egypt, and through all their pilgrimage, to the land of Canaan. By the time the Israelites quitted Egypt, this extinction with them was in a good measure effected; for we find that when