« EdellinenJatka »
Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have eternal life.” If therefore any among the Israelites were blind, or voluntarily turned away their eyes, there remained no hope of salvation for them : so neither at this day for unbelievers, or for “ those that rebel against the light,” Job xxiv. 13. or for those, “whose minds the god of this world hath blinded, least the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, should shine unto them,” 2 Cor. iv. 4.
Yet as even a weak fight might be saving; sQ a faith still in a state of weakness, if it be genuine and sincere, rescues us from death : and as whoever was once bit and cured by the fight of the serpent, if again bit, he was to have recourse to the same remedy: so if after our restoration, we fall again into sin, the fame faith succours, as before,
C H A P. XI.
Of the Blesings of the Old Testament.
1. S the Old Testament is nothing, but the covenant of
grace, as it was dispensed before Christ came in the flesh, it is necessary, that all the blessings or good things, which were promised by the covenant of grace, as such, have likewise a place in the Old Testament. But the benefits of the covenant of grace are eternal salvation, and whatever has a necessary connection therewith ; such as, regeneration, vocațion by the word and Spirit of grace, faith, justification, fpiritual peace, adoption, and, in a word, all the particulars explained in the preceding book. Though most of these are much more eminent under the New Testament, yet all of them as to their substance, were conferred even under the Old, as this is evident from the nature of the thing, and from what we have proved before. We shall only treat of the good things peculiar to the Old Testament, especially under the Mosaic dispensation.
II. And they are five. I. The election of the Israelites for a peculiar people. II. The inheritance of the land of Canaan. . III. The familiar demonstration and inhabitation of the divine majesty. IV. The shadowing forth of divine mysteries, and daily sealing them by a religion of ceremonies. ' V. An almost uninterrupted succesiion of inspired prophets. III. It was certainly a great benefit, that God should choose
the people of Israel, above all other nations of the world, to have communion with himself in a most stedfast covenant. God himself declares this in these words, Deut. vii. 6. “ for thou art a holy people unto Jehovah thy God, Jehovah thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.” In consequence of this election, it was.. Ift, That Israel was called, “ the first-born son of God," Exod. iv. 22. That is, above all other people, whose souls the same God had made, and to whom he gives life and breath and all things; a singular people, his only beloved, Lord of all the rest, having a double portion of the blessing, an inheritance, not only earthly, but also spiritual. 2dly, That they should be the peculiar property of God, his 'treasure, tripiscic and as it were, his royal riches, which he boasts of in the world, and glories in as his Segullah, concerning the emphasis of which word, see what we have said, Book 3. chap. xii. g. 7. and chap. xiii. 9. 19. 3dly, That they again might glory in God, as in their portion. For, when God took them for a people to himself, he, at the same time, gave them a right to call him their God, and to have him for their portion : as these things are joined together, Deut. xxvi. 17. 18. “ thou haft avouched Jehovah this day to be thy God; and Jehovah hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people,” Jer. X. 16. « The portion of Jacob is the former of all things : and Israel is the rod of his inheritance, 4thly, That they should have a right to expect the Messiah, from the midst of them, as one of their brethren, Deut. xviii. 15, 18.
IV. In these things certainly, great was the “ advantage of the Jew, and much the profit of circumcision, much I say every way,” Rom. iii. 1, 2. Hence the apostle, Rom. ix. 4, 5. in strong terms amplifies that advantage of the Jews; “ who are Ifraelites, to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God and the promises: whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came." Yet none of these things, nay not all of them together, if we only consider the external confederation, was sufficient to them for salvation : for " they are not all Ifrael, which are of Israel: neither because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children,” Rom. ix. 6, 7. Very many of them, notwithstanding they were the children of the kingdom, were cast out, Mat. viii. 12. Yet in this election of the whole body of the people to the communion of a very close but yet external covenant, here was a certain type of thofe, who were actually chosen to grace and glory: and the godly among the Israelites, besides
these outward prerogatives, enjoyed the saving favour of God, and the privilege of the myftical covenant, in and by them.
V. The Second benefit or privilege of the Old Testament was the land of Canaan. This God had promised to Abraham and his feed, Gen. xii. 7. Gen. xiii. 15. and Gen. xv. 7. nay, and alligned it to them by oath, Gen. xxvi. 3, 4. Exod. xxxiii. 1. Ezek. xx. 6. This promise, confirmed by oath, God calls a covenant, dronxn, a testament, that is, the last and irrevocable disposal of his will, Gen. xv. 18. “ in that same day Jehovah made a covenant with Abraham, saying, unto thy feed have I given this land.” And because, in consequence of that teftament, the seed of Abraham was to possess that land, it is therefore called their inheritance, Lam. v. 2. Heb. xi. 8.
VI. But we are by no means to understand this, as if that typical inheritance made up the whole inheritance of the Old Teftament, or that we are to give such a confined definition of the Old Testament, as iit was only the will of giving the land of Canaan. Much less are we to say, that they who deny this, either admit no Old Testament at all, or confound it with the New. For, the Old Testament, as I have several times repeated, is nothing but the testament of grace, as proposed under the vail of types, which were abrogated. But heaven and salvation, and God himself are the inheritance of the children of God, by the testament or covenant of
grace: and as that testament is invariable, the substance of the inheritance cannot be one thing under the Old, and another under the New econo
of the same Teftament. The difference of the economies consists in this, that the same inheritance is held forth different ways : in the New Testament clearly and without any vail; in the Old, wrapt up in many types and earthly pledges; among which, after the covenant was made with Abraham, the typical inheritance of the land of Canaan was the most emirent. In the Old Testament it was conjoined with bondage ; in the New with liberty; to which the inheritance of the Gentiles is likewise added.
VII. That this inheritance was typical, both reason declares, and the scripture attests. For, as the whole habitable world cannot be the happiness of the soul, and is subject to vanity, by reason of sin, there is no country, considered in itself, of such value, as to deserve to be called the inheritance of the people of God. And certainly, God's covenant-people have fomething more to expect from him, than what even the wicked may possess. Nor is there so vast a difference between Syria Egypt and Canaan, if we consider only the fertility and pleasantness of countries, as that the possession of the Israelites, un
less something higher was implied, should be so much commended, as to be the * envy of all other ‘nations. In fine, if their happiness consisted in the fields which they poffefsed, what became of those pious persons, who, at the risk of this life, and this earthly inheritance, willingly laid down their lives for the love of their God? and what was the reason, why Moses just on the confines of death, exprefled fo great a desire after that land, at least to see it with his eyes, Deut. iii. 25. but ber cause he eagerly wanted some way or other, to taste that pledge of heaven which he was debarred from entering into.
VIII. But scripture also very plainly declares the same thing. When the ungrateful Ifraelites had, by ther murmurings, provoked God, he fware in his wrath, “ as truly as I live, they shall not see the land, which I sware unto their fathers,” Num. xiv. 21, 23. It is thus expressed Pfal. xcv. II. “ unto whom I sware in my wrath, that they should not enter into my rest.” Which Paul, Heb. iv. 1.-11. refers to the Messiah, and to the spiritual and heavenly reft, purchased by Christ : intimiting, that the quiet pofleffion of the land of Canaan, into which Jesus, or Joshua the son of Nun, introduced the children of those rebels, was a type of the spiritual rest, purchased for the elect by Jesus the Sor of God, and of Mary.
IX. The analogy or fimilitude confifts in the following particulars. Ist, The land of Canaan was eminent for its situation, pleasantness, fertility, and for the excellent fruits of the earth, above
very many other countries of the world; whence it is so often called “ a goodly land, a land flowing with milk and honey,” a phrase used even by poets as well Greek as Latin ; the pleasant land, Pfal. cvi. 24. Zech. vii. 14. and in a word, the glory of all lands, Ezek. xx. 15: where the inhabitants
were made to fuck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the finty rock, and butter of kine, and the pure blood of the grape,” Deut. xxxii. 13, 14. It therefore represented the delightful pleasantness and abundant plenty of the spiritual blessings in the kingdom of Christ, both of grace and of glory: concerning which Jeremiah prophesied, chap. xxxi. 12. “ therefore they fhall come and fing in the height of Zion, and Mall flow toge ther to the goodness of Jehovah, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock, and of the herd; and their soul shall be as a watered garden, and they thall not forrow any more at all :” compare Joel iii. 18. X. 2dly, The land of Canaan was, in a peculiar manner,
Jehovah's The author's words are tam irvidiofe prædicanda fit which could not, I conceive, be rendered, but by a paraphrafis.
Jehovah's land, Hosea ix. 3. where himself intended to dwell, Pial. lxxxiii. 12. Whence it is called “ the place where Jehovah had made for himself to dwell in,” Exod. xv. 17.
16 and his holy habitation,” ver. 13. But it is called so, not only because God was to have a temple in that land, and to display fome peculiar fymbols of his presencebut also because in that land, he was to send his Son to them, and to anoint him in the midst of them, both king and Lord by pouring out his Holy Spirit. The Ifraelites therefore in their land, which in a peculiar manner was the land of God, had a pledge of the revelation of the Messiah in the midst of them. That 772'30 chýrwors, inhabitation of God in Canaan was a symbol of what John describes, Rev. xxi. 3.“behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell (tabernacle) with them.” And in the last place, Jerusalem, which was the throne of glory in the land of Canaan, Jer. iii. 17. was a pledge of heaven, which is the habitation of the holiness and glory of God, Ifa. lxiii. 15.
XI. 3dly, The land of Canaan was given to Israel in virtue of the testament of grace, not for any
merit or worth of theirs, but by the mere favour of God, Deut. vii. 7, 8. “ not because ye were more in number than any people--but because Jehavah loved you, and because he would keep the oath, which he had swore unto your fathers, hath Jehovah brought you out with a mighty hand;" compare Deut. iv. 37, 38, Ezek. xvi. 60. and Ezek. xxxvi. 32. Thus also the inheritance of heaven comes to believers from the most free grace of God aione, and the most free testament of God the Father and of Christ, Luke xii. 32. Eph. ii. 8. But yet Israel was to travail through a large and great wilderness, and to conflict with the Canaanites, in various and severe battles, before they could enter upon the poflession of the promised land. They also, to whom a full right to heaven is freely given, through the grace of Christ, are to walk in that narrow way, beset with briars and thorns, and to fight valiantly against the enemies of their falvation, and take the kingdom of heaven by violence.
XII. Lastly, though Mofes indeed, brought Ifrae! out of Egypt, yet he could not bring them into the promised land : that office was reserved for Joshua. And certainly when the law is subservient to the covenant of grace it tends to drive the elect out of themselves, by making them acknowledge their vileness and mifery: nevertheless it is by Jesus only, that we are introduced into a state of grace. Moses is to begin the work and prepare the soul, and lead the people round through the wilderness: but it is the office of Jesus to put the last hand