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quantity he had collected, any one should exceed the measure allowed, others and not himself were to receive the advantage of his excess. Besides which, there must have been many who could make no provision for themselves; consequently their obtaining it from the hands of others tended to promote union and harmony among the people.
The same thing is true in regard to the Gospel, and amongst the disciples of Christ: “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.”* Each is bound to assist those who cannot help themselves, for no man is to look "
on his own things, but every man also on the things of others;" + and hence Paul endeavours to promote union amongst the Corinthians, by referring to this very type of which we have been speaking. All our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and did all eat the same spiritual meat, and did all drink the same spiritual drink.
3. Each person was to gather for himself; at least, where he possessed ability to do so.
And this circumstance not only had a tendency to bring every man into contact with the miracle which had been wrought for the people, but it was designed also to excite his interest in his own support, and to show that this interposition of the Divine power and goodness was not meant to supersede human exertion ; and in that amazing scheme by which God's mercy saves us, though all we can do must fail * 1 Cor. xii. 13.
| Phil. ii. 4.
to merit the least blessing, yet it is necessary in the order of means.
THE YEAR OF JUBILEE.* There were few institutions among the Jews more interesting or profitable than the Jubilee. It occurred every fifty years, was ushered in with the sound of trumpets, and continued for one whole year. During this period the husbandman was forbidden to sow his seed, or plough his field. That only which the earth produced of itself was allowed to be partaken of; and while the produce so brought forth was the common property of all, it was especially the right of the poor. It was a time of rest, and besides the general cessation from labour, all debtors were declared free from their creditors. Hired servants and slaves obtained their liberty, and all inheritances that had been alienated reverted back to their original proprietors.
This institution may be viewed as at once an evidence of the wisdom of the great Jewish legislator, and a proof of his Divine legation; for it is impossible to consider it without perceiving that the advantages it afforded to the nation were both numerous and great. While it prevented the ruin of families by preserving the balance of property, its tendency was to promote brotherly love amongst all classes of men, and a true concern for each other's welfare was likely to be maintained. It checked their covetousness taught them the proper use of this world's possessions, and gave them greater facilities than
* Lev. xxv. 8.
they otherwise would have had to attend to their spiritual concerns.
But whilst the Jubilee was a proof of the wisdom displayed by Moses in his dispensation, it was no less a demonstration of his Divine appointment to the office he sustained; for though it is true that the God of Israel who ordained this could have compensated for the loss occasioned by the intermission of labour which he commanded during this year, by making both the year preceding, and that following, seasons of peculiar abundance, as he did on some other occasions, yet he does not appear to have done this, or to have given the Jews any reason to expect that it would be the case. The direct tendency of this institution, then, was to lead them to trust that Providence upon which they had so many times been cast, and the sufficiency of which they so often proved; nor would any man have committed himself in the way that Moses did, if he were not well satisfied himself, and prepared to prove to others, that he was acting under the authority of heaven.
But the question is, was the Jubilee intended to have any typical reference? That it is not expressly declared to have been figurative is true, and yet there are several places in the Scriptures where it is alluded to in such a manner as to show that such must have been its design. Thus, in Isa. xxvii. 13, it is said, “ And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts of the land of Egypt. That there is an allusion here to the
trumpet of Jubilee, will not be doubted; and though the prediction may refer to the deliverance of the Jews out of Babylon, and the proclamation announcing that event may be compared to the trumpet of Jubilee, still it is most probable that it has relation to the preaching of the Gospel in the days of the Messiah, and by that Divine personage himself. So again in Psa. lxxxix. 15, « Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound.” The joyful sound, there can be no doubt, is the sound of the Jubilee trumpet, with which the Jews were familiar, and they were blessed in consequence of knowing it; but when the connection in which these words are found is considered, it will appear that they had a reference to the Gospel; for there is mention made of the righteousness of God, which, as a subject of joy, seems more suited to the Gospel dispensation and the redemption by Christ, than to anything that could be found in connection with the event of the Jubilee.
But the most striking allusion to this institution is that contained in the 61st chapter of the prophecies of Isaiah: “The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek, he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound: to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all that mourn: to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise
for the spirit of heaviness, that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.'
That these words may, in an inferior sense, have had a reference to the deliverance of the Jews out of Babylon, and were in some measure fulfilled in the Prophet himself, when he proclaimed that happy event, may be admitted, although some good authorities have denied this, and maintained that the prediction never was fulfilled in the days of Isaiah, and that the characters which the speaker seems to assume in this text are such as were in no answered by any known circumstances in the life and actions of that Prophet, or any other personage in ancient Jewish history.*
What seems, however, especially to show that the Jubilee had a typical character, is the circumstance that these words of Isaiah were quoted by our Lord, and applied directly to himself; for the Evangelist Luke, iv. 16, assures us that he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath-day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the Prophet Isaiah; and after reading the portion above referred to, observed, “ This day is the Scripture fulfilled in
ears.” Now that our Lord sometimes applied Scripture to himself, when all that was meant by his doing so was, that it admitted of an application to him, is true; but whether he would do so here may fairly be questioned, for this was the
* See Horsley's Sermons, page 104.