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stances of the narrative to those spiritual facts and doctrines in which we are ourselves interested.
66 Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit; by which also he went and preached to the spirits in prison, * which sometime were disobedient, when once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing; wherein few, that is, eight souls, were saved by water. THE LIKE FIGURE WHEREUNTOp even baptism
* The different opinions which have been formed on this difficult passage may be found in Witsius's Economy of the Covenants, Vol. ii. p. 382 ; Pearson on the Creed ; Burnet and Beveridge on the XXXIX. Articles ; and Bp. Horsley's well known Sermon, &c. &c.
† “ The like figure whereunto, &c." or, “ the antitype Baptism. The word TUTTOS, type, denotes a thing that is so formed as to convey an exact image of itself, by impression on another substance capable of receiving the impression. Scripture it signifies a pattern, according to which a thing is made. Thus the visionary tabernacle, shown to Moses in the mount, is called TUTOS, type or pattern, because he was to make the material tabernacle exactly like it, Heb. viii. 5. In Scripture likewise TUTOS, a type, siguifies an example of moral conduct, to be followed or imitated, 1 Cor. x. 6, 11. The word aYTITUTOS, antitype, denotes the thing formed in imitation of the type or pattern. Thus, Heb. ix. 24, the Mosaic tabernacles are called AVTITUTA, antitypes or likenesses of the true tabernacle, or habitation of the Deity, because they were formed according to the TUTOY, pattern showed to Moses, which was considered as the true tabernacle.--Farther, because some remarkable persons and events, recorded in Scripture, were sa
doth also now save us (not the putting away the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience towards God) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ."
When St. Peter says, “ the like figure whereunto,” (or, the antitype to which) Baptism doth now save us," what does the pronoun relative rehearse, or, in other words, to what is Baptism the antitype? Doubtless, the relative agrees with “ water” in the immediate context, and indeed the word immediately preceding it. Noah and his family “ were saved by water, the antitype to which, baptism, doth now save us” under the new dispensation. But wherein consists the correspondence which the Apostle has noticed between the type and the antitype? The same outward “means” were employed in both
The water which bore up the ark was to Noah“ an outward and visible sign” of something beyond itself, and was “ ordained” to be " the sign and seal” of that which it signified. That of which it was the means, the sign and seal, was the Divine protection, before engaged
ordered by God as to be fit emblems or representations of future persons and events, (see Gal. iv. 24.) These persons and events are called types, and the things which they represented or prefigured, are called untitypes. Thus Rom. v. 14, Adam is called TUTOS, the type of Christ, who on that account is called the second Adam. Thus also the water of baptism is here called the antitype to the water of the flood." Macknight on the Epistles, on 1 Pet. iii. 31.
for the salvation of himself and his household. This was the thing signified, without which the means could have availed nothing. * The water was the the “means whereby” he “received” the promised boon of salvation and “a pledge to assure" him “thereof."
But what is it in the ordinance of baptism that answers to the thing signified by the water which bore up the ark of Noah. It is not the putting away the filth of the flesh,” which is all that water, applied to the body, can effect; “ but the answer of a good conscience towards God.” The effect on the heart in reconciliation with God, arising from the testimony of an enlightened conscience, is the salvation which is received now, and the pledge and anticipation of eternal salvation. Without this baptism cannot save.
But is there any correspondence between the ark which the waters of the deluge bore up, and in which Noah and his family were saved, and any thing in the antitypical salvation? Undoubtedly there is. We are saved efficiently “by the resurrection of Jesus Christ ; who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God, angels, and authorities and powers being made subject unto Him." He, like the ark of Noah, passed through the waters of a deluge, a deluge of Divine wrath occasioned by sin, which must have proved destructive to all mankind, had not his mediation been provided, and which will prove
* See Bp. Burnet's Expos. of the 27th Article.
destructive to all who are not in him, the only ark of safety. But the ark outlived the deluge, and rested at length, with its refugees within it, on Mount Ararat. In like manner, the Saviour rose from the many
waters which threatened to overwhelm him, and will prove an ark of salvation to all who believe in his name, by landing them in safety on Mount Zion,
There seems to be something still further and deeper in the mystery of redeeming love, implied in this analogy. The deluge of water which drowned the world, and threatened with destruction the ark which rode triumphantly over its billows, was itself the means of security to Noah and his family by bearing that impenetrable structure on its tumultuated surface. The waves dashed against the typical ark, and doubtless often ran over it ; but they could not sink it. Thus the wrath of God which will overwhelm all who are out of Christ, and which spent itself on Him without submerging Him, because his person was Divine and his atonement all-sufficient for the satisfaction of Divine justice, is itself overruled to promote the salvation of sinners who believe in him. “ All thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.” God caused to meet on him the iniquity of us all.” He was made answerable for its guilt; and by that act of infinite justice a
way was made for the revelation of mercy in the justification of the guilty.
Other parallel circumstances which may be traced between the type and antitype are many. The recital of a few of them will show still more fully the correspondence to which St. Peter has referred.
The occasion of providing the ark which Noah was commanded to build, was the sin of man. This had provoked Divine displeasure, and produced the irrevocable decree of excision.--"I will destroy man whom I have made from off the face of the earth.” Awful determination! How great must be God's abhorrence of sin, which led to so extensive and tremendous a result! Similar statutes are on record concerning sinners in every age of the world. “ The soul that sinneth shall die.”—“The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.”—“ The wages of sin is death.”—“Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things that are written in the book of the law to do them.” In these immutable decisions of the Divine will the whole posterity of Adam are involved. God however whose bowels of compassion yearn with pity over the fallen sons of men, has provided, as he did in the days of antediluvian wickedness, an hiding place for all who with penitent hearts repair to it. Sin, in both cases, is the meritorious cause which occasioned the necessity of sueh a