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not be much surprised if heaven or earth were moved at different times to yield them almighty aid, when necessity required their concurrence; and no doubt Jonah himself had been connected with, or seen, other miracles wrought for him, either to confirm his call to the prophetic office, or to satisfy him in particular missions. Unwilling as he now appeared to be to go to Nineveh, it is more than probable that he had received some token from God on this very occasion, though he was a rebel against the Lord. But now a wonder greater than any preceding was wrought, to put the matter completely beyond a doubt; hence we do not find him raising any further objection in regard to his being sent to convey God's message to the Ninevites.
So to see supernatural things was the constant desire of the Jews in the days of our Lord; and to their demand he yielded, telling them that except they saw signs and wonders they would not believe ;* and even when the allusion to Jonah was made, it was to meet their request in this respect. All that they had seen, and all that had been done for them, up to this time, appeared to be lost: but now there was to be one more great and glorious sign given to them, such as had never been witnessed before, and the greatest that could be manifested by him; namely, his own resurrection from the dead : “An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas :” and this was to leave them without excuse; and, therefore, he * John iv. 48.
+ Matt. xii. 38.
said, “ The men of Nineveh shall rise in judg. ment with this generation, and shall condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and behold a greater than Jonas is here.”* Jonah's being cast into the sea, in connection with his mission to the Ninevites, and Christ's giving himself to die for the world, were events resembling each other,
2. In regard to their disinterestedness.
Self-preservation is so natural to the human race, and dictated by such a powerful law, that to save themselves from death or sufferings, men will generally have recourse to almost any expedient, and are often not scrupulous when the lives of others are to be sacrificed to save their own; but we find Jonah, by a remarkable act of self-denial, not only willingly consenting to be made a victim, to appease the raging sea, when such a sacrifice was proposed to him by others, but actually offering himself to die for their salvation. Whether he had any idea that he would be preserved from destruction or not we have no means of judging: it is probable that he had ; but it is quite clear that he expected an immediate favourable effect upon the. boisterous billows from his direction being followed : “ And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you.”+ All this risk, certain inconvenience and trouble, he was willing to submit to, for the good of those around him, and to accomplish the design of God in making him a more powerful sign to the Ninevites. In this particular his conduct strikingly re* Matt. xii. 41.
† Jonah i. 12.
sembled that of the Son of God, who, “though he was rich, yet for our sakes became poor, that we through his poverty might be rich ;"* who was made the offering to appease the storm of Divine vengeance, that we might enjoy the calm of eternal peace and heavenly joy. But his sacrifice was not a yielding to death when it could not be avoided; for he had power over his own life to lay it down and to take it again.t He deliberately immolated himself upon the altar, and became at once the Priest and the Sacrifice. He saw the edge of the sword of Divine justice, and exposed himself to it, and willingly submitted to all that he knew would come upon him, that he might furnish a proof of the Divine long-suffering and mercy. Both these events were alike,
3. In their importance, and the use that was made of them.
As to the precise way the Prophet employed the miracle of his own deliverance we have no means of judging, since it is never once referred to in his preaching to the people of Nineveh. That it possessed a typical character he may not himself have been aware; and if so, he could not make it the foundation of any evangelical doctrine ; and though it was capable of being used for other purposes, it is probable he only adverted to it as a proof that he was divinely inspired, and commissioned to preach to them, for which purpose it was amply sufficient, and would be deemed of more importance
other credential with which he may have been furnished. * 2 Cor. viii. 9.
† John x. 18.
So with the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Although it was the greatest miracle that ever he wrought, or was wrought for him, and affords us a variety of instruction, and is appealed to as a very convincing proof of the exercise of Divine power,—the accomplishment of prophecy—the acceptableness of the character of Christ, and the completeness of his work; yet one of the most important uses it is made to serve, in connection with the Gospel dispensation, is, that of an infallible evidence of the truth of Christianity. In this light it was referred to by our Lord himself; for when the Jews said unto him, “What sign showest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things ?” he “answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up." But, a' in the order of things was sure to be the cases it is especially used by the Apostles after him as unquestionably establishing the truth of their Master's mission : hence he is said to have been “ declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” The Son of God he was before ; but this truth, having been obscured by his appearance on earth, was now brought fully out, and by the Apostles proclaimed to the world. They designate themselves the witnesses of the glorious fact of the resurrection, and declare it to lay at the very foundation of the faith they preach. In many books of the Old Testament, and more or less in every one of the New, whether it be epistolary or historical, this truth is referred to as in itself a most stupendous miracle, and the irrevocable doom of those who
reject it pointed out. These events resembled each other
4. In the extent of their application.
The deliverance of Jonah took place not for a sign to Jews but Gentiles, and probably with a view to bring them into the Jewish church. They were men alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, uninterested in the inheritance which God had promised to his people; and this is the first instance of a prophet being sent to such characters. So the resurrection of Christ, although from the nature of the event itself, the place where it occurred, the circumstances connected with it, and especially on account of the covenant promise of God, first pressed home upon the Jews, yet the great event was brought before the Gentile world in a way peculiar to them, especially by the great apostle Paul. For it is worthy of observation, with regard to the preaching of that devoted servant of Christ, that though, when reasoning with Jews, he made constant reference to the Scriptures, on account of their being familiar with them, while to the Gentiles he introduced considerations drawn from reason and the light of nature, because this was a way more suited to their circumstances; yet in regard to the resurrection of Christ, there is no preliminary allusion, but this great fact is brought before them at once in all its overpowering force. That the Apostle did not keep this in the background, in reasoning with the Gentiles, when he had other proofs of the truth of Christianity at command, was not because it was more congenial to their reason