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restoration, may be admitted,—though the loud complaint which they uttered, and almost their whole conduct, would seem to make this questionable; but, however that may have been, they do not appear to have had any idea of such an interposition as this. From the acquaintance which Moses must have had with all the region in which the rock was found, and from the very manner in which God speaks to him, it may be inferred that it was known to him; and if water were ever found there before, or had there been any in that neighbourhood, a Divine direction to strike the rock would have been unnecessary; but it was altogether a new thing-an unexpected and unheard-of circumstance; hence it was spoken of afterwards among the miracles which God wrought for his people, that “ He clave the rocks in the wilderness, and gave them drink as out of the great depths."*
Still more mysterious was the origin of our salvation through Christ; for though it is true that, since the fall did not destroy the relation in which man stood to God as the creature formed in his own image, it might have been expected that his infinite wisdom would devise some plan for our recovery, still that which has actually been employed could never have been conceived of. That God's own Son should be smitten for murmuring rebels, and his bleeding heart supply a stream for their life, was an interposition which was the wonder of both heaven and earth: “ Which things the angels desire to look into.”* The rock was designed to show,
* Psa. lxxviii. 15. + 1 Pet. i. 12.
III. The ample and continued supply yielded by Christ for the wants of his people: “ Behold, he smote the rock, that the waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed."* That it was a large supply, the number of the persons who partook of it is a sufficient proof; nor was it for a short time only that this blessing was afforded, but the miracle was of long continuance: “ They drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ."
But the sufficiency that is in Christ is absolutely infinite in its nature. It has sufficed for the complete pardon, justification, and salvation of his people in every age of the world, and still is inexhaustible. It flows as freely and fully as on the first day the fountain was opened ; and all that is required of those who partake of it is, that they should appropriate it to themselves, through the channels of ordinarces and means of grace.
It is no less fresh than full. Unlike the broken cisterns which men hew out to themselves in this world, that can hold no water, this is ever sufficient : “ The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin.” “ He is able to save to the uttermost all that come to God by him.” There is no want to them that fear him. Of the stream issuing from Christ we may constantly partake until we enter into the Canaan above, and then our present portions shall be succeeded by the perfect and eternal supplies of Heaven.
* Psa. Ixxviii, 20.
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“ They did all eat the same spiritual meat, 1 Cor. x. 3. It is evident, from what is said in the connection in which these words stand, that the meat spoken of was some food of which the Israelites partook during their journey from Egypt to Canaan. It also appears, from the term “spiritual,” that it was of a symbolical character; but what it was, it must be confessed, there is nothing in these words themselves to lead us to determine with certainty; yet it is regarded as a settled thing amongst commentators, and writers on the types, that the reference is to the manna.
The fact is, however, that although there is sufficient evidence that the manna was a type of Christ, it is not so much from the words of the Apostle above quoted that this appears, as from what is recorded by the Evangelist John, taken in connection with them; and it is rather by inference that this is learnt than by any express statement on the subject. Thus, when on a certain occasion, the Jews, cavilling with our Lord, and demanding of him some proof to establish his authority, reminded him of the miraculous supply of manna which Moses had given to their fathers, and referred to the words of the Psalmist, in which it is called “the bread of heaven,”—so challenging him to produce a similar testimony to his heavenly mission,-he replied: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my
Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world."* His meaning was either that Moses was not the person who gave them that supply, since it came from God, in whose name he acted; or else that the bread of which their fathers partook did not come from heaven at all, only from the clouds ; or, what is still more probable, that it was a · supply which, though suited to the emergencies of the occasion on which it was obtained, was not adapted to the wants of the immortal soul, as was the case with that heavenly provision which his own sufferings and death furnished.
That our Lord here compares himself to bread is very evident; and though he does not, either here or elsewhere, declare that as such he was typified by the manna, yet since he dwells upon it as applicable to him,-repeatedly calls himself the bread that came down from heaven, as the manna was considered to have done, and uses the term true, which seems to imply that there had been something figurative preceding, the inference seems to be pretty plain that the manna was typical of him.
Every one who attentively considers the subject now before us, must perceive that there are many particulars in which the type of the manna bears a resemblance to the rock. For instance, the miracle in each case was wrought to meet a very great exigèncy. On both occasions the supply was obtained in great abundance. In the one as well as the other there was afforded every facility for obtaining what was necessary;
* John vi. 32.
and in the former as well as the latter the provision was suited to all cases, conditions, and circumstances. It cannot be concluded from this, however, that they were not both types, or that the same truths were not taught by both, any more than it would follow that two gospels or different epistles were not inspired alike, because they teach the same doctrine to the same people. Indeed, rather may it be regarded as an evidence of the contrary; for if Paul was obliged to say, “ To write the same things to you to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe," how much more was it necessary for the ancient church, more especially in the early part of its history, to have the same subject brought before it frequently, and in the same form? But still, as was before observed, * since in each type there was some one or more truths taught with greater fulness, it will be our concern here to give the chief prominence to such as it is presumed this was particularly designed to inculcate.
There are few types that contain more points of resemblance to their antitype than have been supposed to exist between the manna and Christ. For instance, it has been said the manna fell from heaven,-so Christ came down from above. Its being bruised, in order to be eaten, signified our Lord's being put to suffering and grief; and even the circumstance of its putrefying, if gathered before actually wanted, has been thought to denote that when the doctrines of the Gospel are hoarded up in idle speculation, they breed the worms of various
* See page 27.