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heaven, and was brought into a new world; so the church of Christ in this world is tossed to and fro like a bark on the water, passes through great tribulation, and appears to be overwhelmed. Isai. liv. 11. “O thou afilicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted! behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and will lay thy foundations with sapphires.” At last, through God's care of it and mercy to it, it rests in heaven. The ark, in the midst of the flood, rested on a mountain strong and high; so the church, when ready to be overwhelmed, rests on a rock higher than she.

[354] Gen. vii. 8, 9, and 14, 15, 16. Concerning the resorting of all kinds of birds, and beasts, and creeping things to the ark before the flood. The particular animals that were gathered together to the ark and saved there, when all the rest of their kind were destroyed, were those that God had pitched on, and in his sovereign pleasure chosen out of the many thousands and millions that were of their kind, and yet they were of every kind, as it were of every nation of birds and beasts. So that here was a lively image of that gathering together of the elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other, that there was before the destruction of Jerusalem, and before the terrible judgments of God that came on the earth at and before Constantine's time, and that will be before the great destruction of God's enemies that will be about the time of the destruction of Antichrist, when the harvest of the earth shall be gathered in before the vintage, and the gathering together there will be to Christ before the great, and general, and last destruction of the wicked by the general conflagration, when the world shall be destroyed by a deluge of fire. There are elect of every nation that shall be gathered in before the final destruction of the wicked world, as is osten said in scripture, especially in the book of Revelation. The doves and other birds then flocked to the windows of the ark, representing that flocking of souls to Christ which shall be as doves to their windows. They flocked together, the eagle, the vulture, and other rapacious birds, together with doves and other such birds, without preying upon them ; representing times of great ingathering of souls to Christ, wherein the wolf dwells with the lamb, and the leopard lies down with the kid, &c.

(346] Gen. viii. 7, 8, &c. Concerning the raven and the dove, that Noah sent forth. The dove is an emblem of a gracious soul, which, finding no rest for its foot, no solid peace or satisfaction in this world, this deluged, defiling world, returns to Christ as to its ark, as to its Noah. The carnal heart, like the raven, takes up with the world, and feeds on the carrions it finds there. turn thou to thy rest, O my soul, to thy Noah, so the word is, Ps.

But re

cxvi. 7. “O that I had wings like a dove to flee to bim," Ps. lv. 6. The olive branch, which was an emblem of peace, was brought, not by a raven, a bird of prey, nor by a gay and proud peacock, but by a mild, patient, humble dove. It is a dove-like disposition that brings in to the soul earnests of rest and joy.

[166] Gen. viii. 21. “And the Lord smelt a sweet savour, and the Lord said in his heart, I will not,” &c. It was not for the acceptableness of that sacrifice that made God promise that he would no more curse the ground, but the acceptableness of the sacrifice of Christ represented by it.

[347] Gen. ix. 5, &c. “ And surely your blood of your lives will I require it- -whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed.” We have an account of murders before tbe flood, but nothing that looks as though murder was wont then to be revenged with death by men, in an established course of public justice. Lamech, when he had been guilty of murder, seems not to have been executed for it by men. And by the story of Cain, it should seem that God took the punishment of murder then into his own hands. In all probability, a little before the flood, when we read that the earth was filled with violence, the earth was filled with murders, and that those giants who then became such mighty men, and men of renown, were guilty of many murders, and that it was in the earth as it was in corrupt times in Israel, and the land was filled with oppression and violence, in other respects their hands were full of blood, Isai. i. 15, Jer. ii. 34, “And the land was full of blood,” Ezek. ix. 9. By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they broke out, and blood toucheth blood: the like in many other places. And there being no human laws for putting murderers to death, therefore God did in a remarkable manner take that work into his own hands in the destruction of those murderers by the waters of the deluge; but now establishes it as a rule henceforward to be observed, that murder shall be revenged in a course of public justice.

Another reason why God now does expressly establish and particularly insist on this rule is, that God had now first given them leave to shed the blood of beasts for food, which had not been granted till now, which liberty they would have been in danger of abusing, to make shedding of blood appear a less terrible thing to them, and so taking encouragement the more lightly to shed men's blood, had not God set up this fence.

[238] Gen. ix. 12, 13, 14, 15. Concerning the rainbow that God gave for a token of the covenant to Noah. The author of Revelation examined with Candour, supposes that the rainbow was never seen before Noah saw it, on occasion of his revealing his covenant to him, and


“ The tradition of antiquity concerning the rainbow, seems strongly to confirm this opinion; for Iris, which is the name of the rainbow with the Greeks, is said to be the daughter of Thaumas, i. e. Wonder, and the messenger of Jupiter, to carry his great oath to the other gods when they had oflended. Now this seems to be a fable plainly founded upon the solemn covenant now mentioned, which God made with men after the deluge, the covenant of God on this occasion plainly implies the oath of God, as you may learn from Isai. liv. 9, where God declaring his resolution of mercy to the Gentiles, useth these words, . For this is as the waters of Noah unto me, for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth, so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee.'

[348] Gen. ix. 12, &c. Concerning the rainbow, the token of the covenant. This is on many accounts a token of God's covenant of grace, and his special promise of no more overthrowing the earth with a flood in particular.

It was a most fit token of the covenant of grace of which this particular covenant was a part, and also an image, as appears by Isai. liv. 8, 9, 10. Tokens of things that appertain to the covenant of God do as fitly confirm this promise, as they did the promise mentioned in the vii. chap. of Isaiah, ver. 14. It is light which is the symbol of God's favour and blessed communications to those that are the objects of his favour, and a symbol of hope, comfort and joy, excellency and glory. It is a very pleasant light, excellently representing that grace and love that is manifested in the covenant of grace, and that sweet comfort and peace, and that excellent grace and glory that is the fruit of that love.

It is light manifested in all the variety of its beautiful colours, which represent, as has been elsewhere shown, the beauty and sweetness of the divine Spirit of love, and those amiable sweet graces and happy influences that are from that Spirit.

It it a pleasant sweet light in a cloud, which is the symbol of the divine presence, and especially of God manifest in the flesh, or in the human nature of Christ, and therefore fitly represents the pleasant grace and sweet love of God as appearing in Christ God man. The light of the sun is more beautiful and pleasant to our weak eyes appearing thus in a cloud where the dazzling brightdess of it is removed, and its pleasantness retained and illustrated, than when we behold it in the sun directly. So the divine perfections, as appearing in Christ God man, are brought down to our manner of conception, and are represented to the greatest advantage to such weak creatures as we are, and appear not glaring and terrifying, but easy, sweet, and inviting. The light of the rainbow in a cloud, teaches the like mystery with the light of fire in a pillar of cloud in the wilderness, even the union of the divine nature, or God dwelling in flesh.

It is a pleasant light in the bosom of a dissolving cloud, that is wearied with watering, and is spending itself for the sake of men, and in order to shed down its fatness, its nourishing, benign, refreshing influences on the earth, and so fitly represents the beauty and love, and excellent fulness of Christ, as it is manifested in his dying for men. The drops of rain fitly represent Christ's blood, and also his word, and the blessed communications of his Spirit, which come by his death, and are compared to the rain in the scripture.

As the cloud fitly represents the human nature of Christ's person, so also it doth Christ mystical, or the human nature of the church. In the rainbow the light of the sun is imparted to, and sweetly reflected from a cloud, that is but a vapour that continues for a little while, and then vanishes away in an empty, unsubstantial, vanishing thing, driven to and fro with the wind, that is far from having any light or beauty of its own, being in its own nature dark.

The multitude of drops from which the light of the sun is so beautifully reflected, signify the same with the multitude of the drops of dew that reflect the light of the sun in the morning, spoken of, Ps. cx. 3. (See notes in the place.) They are all God's jewels, and, as they are all in heaven, each oue by its reflection, is a little star, and so do more fitly represent the saints than the drops of dew. These drops are all from heaven, as the sanits are born from above; they are all from the dissolving cloud, so the saints are the children of Christ, they receive their new nature from him, and by his death they are from the womb of the cloud, the church: Jerusalem which is above, is the mother of us all; the saints are born of the church that is in travail with them, enduring great labours, and suffering, and carnal persecutions, so those jewels of God are out of the dissolving cloud. These drops receive and reflect the light of the sun just breaking forth, and shining out of the cloud that had been till now darkened and hid, and covered with thick clouds, so the saints receive grace and comfort from Christ's rising from his state of humiliation, suffering, and death, wherein his glory was veiled, and he that is the brightness of God's glory was as it were extinguished, as was signified in the time of it, by that eclipse of the sun. The light which in the sun, its fountain, is one and unvaried as it is reflected from the cloud, appears with great variety, so the glory of God, that is simple, is reflected from the saints in various graces. The wbole rainbow, composed of innumerable shining beautiful drops, all united in one, ranged in such excellent order, some parts higher and others lower, the different colours, one above another in such exact order, beautifully represents the church of saints of different degrees, gifts, and offices, each with its proper place, and each with its peculiar beauty: each drop may be beautiful in itself, but the whole as united together, much more beautiful. Numb. xxiv. 5, 6." How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob! and thy tabernacles, O Israel ! as the valleys are they spread forth, as the gardens by the river's side ; as the trees of lign-aloes which the Lord hath planted, and as the cedar-trees beside the waters.” Ps. xlviii. 2. “Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth is mount Zion.” Ps. 1. 2. “Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined.” Ps. cxxii. 3.“ Jerusalem is builded as a city compact together. Part of this bow is on earth, and part in heaven, so it is with the church. The bow gradually rises higher and higher from the earth towards heaven, so the saints from their first conversion are travelling in the way towards heaven, and gradually climb the hill, till they arrive at the top. So this bow in this respect is a like token of the covenant with Jacob's ladder, which represented the way to heaven by the covenant of grace, in which the saints go from step to step, and from strength to strength, till they arrive at the heavenly Zion; so in this bow the ascent is gradual towards the top in the way to heaven; the beginning of the ascent is sharpest and most difficult; the higher you ascend the easier the ascent becomes. On earth this bow is divided, the parts of it that are here below are at a distance from one another, but in heaven it is united, and perfectly joined together. So different parts of the church on earth may be divided, separated as to distance of place, have no acquaintance one part with another, and separated in manner of worship and many opinions, and separted in affection, but will be perfectly united in heaven. The parts of the rainbow, the higher you ascend, the nearer and nearer do they come together, so the more eminent saints are in knowledge and holiness, the nearer they are to a union in opinion and affection, but perfect union is not to be expected but in heaven.

This beautiful, pleasant light, appears after the heavens have been covered with blackness, and have poured out rain on the earth, seeming to threaten its destruction by a deluge; so it is a fit simbol of his mercy after his anger, the turning away of his anger, his mercy appearing in the forgiveness of sins. So the glorious gospel follows the law, and Christ's glory follows his sufferings, and comfort in the hearts of the saints follows sorrows of conscience ; yea this light is light in darkness, it is a beautifnl light reflected from the dark cloud, showing God's love in his anger, his love appearing in his frowns. God's love never so greatly appeared as in the sufferings of Christ, the greatest manifesta

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