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CHAPTER XVIII. The Nature and Design of a Sacred Type. Which of
the Jewish Sacrifices the Principal Types of the Sacrifice of Christ.
THE preceding explication of the Jewish Sacrifices, as considered in themselves without reference to the Sacrifice of Christ, brings us to the remaining part of our subject, which divides itself into two branches. We have to inquire,—first, which of the sacrifices as types, in a more eminent degree than the rest, prefigured the sacrifice of Christ as the antitype secondly, what there was in all the Jewish Sacrifices, especially in those which more peculiarly typified the Sacrifice of Christ, from which we may learn the proper efficacy, and the true nature and design, of his Sacrifice.
To facilitate our investigation of the first of these topics, we shall make some preliminary remarks, shewing the nature of a type; explaining how a type differs from a simile, and from symbols in general; and comparing the type and the antitype with each other.
A Type, in the theological sense of the term, may be defined as a symbol of something future, or an example prepared and evidently designed by God to prefigure that future thing. What is thus prefigured, is called the Antitype.
The first characteristic of a type is its adumbration of the thing typified. One thing may adumbrate another, either in something which it has in common with the other; as the Jewish victims by their death represented Christ who in the fullness of time was to die for mankind :-or in a symbol of some property
possessed by the other ; as the images of the cherubim placed in the inner sanctuary of the temple beautifully represented the celerity of the angels of heaven, not indeed by any celerity of their own, but by wings of curious contrivance, which exhibited an appropriate symbol of swiftness :
way in which the thing representing can be compared with the thing represented; as Melchizedec the priest of the most high God represented Jesus Christ our priest. For though Melchizedec was not actually an eternal priest, yet the sacred writers have attributed to him a slender and shadowy appearance of eternity, by not mentioning the genealogy or the parents, the birth or death, of so illustrious a man, as they commonly do in the case of other eminent persons, but, under the divine direction, concealing all these particulars.
The next requisite to constitute a type, is, that it be prepared and designed by God to represent its antitype. This forms the distinction between a type and a simile. For many things are compared to others, which they were not made to resemble for the purpose of representing them. For though it is said that “all “flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the
no one can consider the tenderness of grass as a type of human weakness, or the flower of grass as a type of human glory. The same remark must be applied to a metaphor, or that species of simile in which one thing is called by the name of another. For though Herod from his cunning is called a for, † and Judah for his courage a lion's whelp, yet no one supposes foxes to be types of Herod, or young lions types of Judah. The reason of the difference is, that these resemblances were not
+ Luke xij. 32
Gen, xlix. 9.
“ flower of grass,
I Pet, i. 24,
formed with the design that one should be represented by the other.
Our definition of a type includes also, that the object represented by it is something future. In this we follow the sense in which the word has long been used, and the scripture also, which exhibits nothing as a sacred type but what by divine appointment represented something future. Those institutions of Moses which had the nature of types are called “ “shadow of things to come:"* and those things which
happened unto the fathers for types,” are said to have been" written for our admonition, upon whom “ the ends of the world are come.”+ In the same sense the Mosaic law, which abounded with numerous types, is declared to have had “a shadow of good “things to come." I And those things, which by the command of God were formerly transacted in the tabernacle, are described as prefiguring what was afterwards to be done in the heavenly sanctuary. Hence it appears that a type and a symbol differ from each other as a genus and species. The term symbol is equally applicable to that which represents a thing past, or present, or future; whereas the object represented by a type is invariably future. So that all the rites which signified to the Jews any virtue that they were to practise, ought to be called symbols rather than types : and those rites, if there were any, which were divinely appointed to represent things both present and future, may be regarded as both symbols and types ; symbols, as denoting things present; and types, as indicating things future.
II. In comparing the type with the antitype, the first thing to be observed is, that the antitype succeeds * Col. ii. 17. † I Cor. x. 1. 11. Heb. x. 1. & Heb, ix. 11, 12. 23, 24,
the type and removes it from its place, so that, as soon as the antitype comes, there can no longer be found any room or use for the type. The next and principal thing to be remarked is, the difference between the type and antitype; that the efficacy which is really possessed by the antitype, exists in the type only in appearance, or in a much lower degree. For though a type, as we have already stated, often possesses some quality in common with its antitype, yet that quality is always considerably weaker in the type than in the antitype; as the death of those victims by which the Messiah’s death was prefigured, had far less efficacy with God and men, than what belongs to the death of Christ. The efficacy of the thing adumbrating was nothing more than a symbolical representation of the value contained in the thing aduinbrated, or so slender a degree of it that it could only be considered as a shadow. Hence the apostle says: “ For the law, having a shadow of good things
to come, and not the very image of the things, can never, with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually, make the comers thereunto
perfect.” Here as he uses the phrase the very image of the things to denote the things themselves, so he declares the Jewish sacrifices, which were types of the sacrifice of Christ, to have had only a shadow of that efficacy of which his sacrifice. possesses the reality. And this was the season why those sacrifices never perfectly purified the persons by whom they were offered; as is evident from the language of the same apostle :t “For if the blood of bulls and goats, " and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, "sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh; how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the “ eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God,
Heb, X, 1.
it Heb. ix, 13, 14,
purge your conscience from dead works to serve “the living God?" The argument on which this inference proceeds, is, that the efficacy which was found only in a figure or in a very small degree in the type, is possessed in reality and in a far superior degree in the antitype. This is more expressly an. nounced in a subsequent passage, which declares “the
patterns of things in the heavens” to have been
purified with” the sacrifices that were offered among the Jews,“ but the heavenly things themselves with “ better sacrifices."* Hence, as the shadow is opposed to the substance, or the representation of a thing to the thing itself, so the law. of Moses, which enjoined many typical rites, is opposed to the gospel of Christ, which contains the things prefigured by those types. Thus when it is said, “ The law was given by Moses, “ but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ;"† the substance of the things themselves exhibited in the gospel is opposed to the typical shadows of the law, This principle is asserted in another place: “no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, " or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon,
or of the sabbath days; which are a shadow of
things to come: but the body is of Christ.” On this passage St. Jerome remarks : There is therefore no judgment in this which is a shadow and ceased on the coming of the substance, because where the
truth is present there is no need of a figure. And Photius ; 'The body is of Christ, that is the truth.' This may be confirmed by what the apostle had said just before: “In him dwelleth all the fullness of the
+ John i. 17.
Col. ii, 16, 17.
* Heb. ix, 23.