« السابقةمتابعة »
any one ; to mingle himself with another, or unite himself to another, as a surety; and so the word is commonly used in scripture, as Gen. xliii. 9, and xliv. 32. Prov. xi. 15. Job xvii. 3. 2 Kings xviii. 23, and elsewhere. See Buxtorf. So that the words might well have been translated, “Who is this that hath niingled or united his heart as a surety to approach unto me!" It is here inquired with a note of admiration, Who is this that hath engaged his heart in surety ship to approach unto me! probably for two reasons, viz. because of the wonderfulness of his person, and because of the greatness of the undertaking; and whether we understand by the Israel, whose prosperity is here prophesied of, the Israelitish nation, or God's spiritual Israel, yet Christ, their Governor, is of themselves; he has taken on him the human nature ; he is of the human race, and is our brother, and he is a child of the church; he has sucked the breasts of our mother; he is one of the holy nation, the spiritual seed of Abraham, and he is also of the Israelitish nation, and he took on him the seed of Abraham in a literal sense. In the following verse is mentioned the consequence of Christ's approaching to God as his people's surety, viz. their covenant interest in God, “And ye shall be my people, and I will be your God."
 Jer. xxxi. 33. “ But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts, and will be their God, and they shall be my people.” I think the difference here pointed out between these two covenants, lies plainly here, that in the old covenant God promised to be their God upon condition of hearty obedience; obedience was stipulated as a condition, but not promised. But in the new covenant, this hearty obedience is pro-. mised if a man be but of the house of Israel, as by faith he becomes so. God promises expressly in this new dispensation that he shall perform a hearty obedience, and so bave God for his God. That old covenant they broke, as it is said in the foregoing verse. The house of Israel, these were called so under the Old Testament, could break that; but the new covenant is such as cannot be broken by the spiritual house of Israel, because obedience is one thing that God engages and promises; and therefore this is called an everlasting covenant upon this account, as is plain from chap. xxxii. 40. It is true the true saints, in the Old Testament, could not fall away any more than they can now, but they were not the Old Testament Israel; and, though God had engaged in his covenant with Christ that they should not fall away, yet he had not expressly revealed that to them. God had not in those days so plainly revealed the primary and fundamental condition of the covenant of grace, viz. faith ; but insisted more upon the secondary condition, universal and persevering obedience, the genuine and certain fruit of faith.
 Ezekiel, chapter i. Concerning Ezekiel's WHEELS. Divine Providence is most aptly represented by the revolution and course of these wheels: things in their series and course in providence do as it were go round like a wheel in its motion on the earth. That which goes round like a wheel, goes from a certain point or direction, until it gradually returns to it again; so is the course of things in Providence.
God's Providence over the world consists partly in his goyerning the natural world according to the course and laws of nature. This consists wholly as it were in the revolution of wheels. So the annual changes that appear in the natural world are as it were by the revolution of a wheel, or the course of the sun through that great circle the Ecliptic, or the ring of that great wheel the Zodiac. And so the monthly changes are by the revolution of another lesser wheel within that greater annual wheel; which, being a lesser wheel, must go round oftener, to make the same progress.
Ezekiel's vision was of wheels within wheels, of lesser wheels within greater, which all went round, as though running upon several parallel plains, each touching the circumference of its respective wheel, and all making the same progress, keeping pace one with another; and therefore the lesser wheels must go round so much oftener, according as their circumference was less.
So again the diurnal changes in the natural world are by the revolution of a wheel still within the monthly wheel, and going round about thirty times in one revolution of the other. The system of the universe may exactly answer what is here said of these wheels, and livelily represents God's providence in the government of the moral world. There is as it were a wheel within a wheel; the whole system is nothing else but wheels within wheels, lesser wheels within greater, revolving oftener. There is the sphere of the fixed stars, which is the greatest wheel, includes all the others, and is many thousand years in performing its revolution. This includes the circle of Saturn's course, which is a lesser wheel within the other, finishing its revolution in about thirty years. That includes the circle of Jupiter, a lesser wheel, revolving in about twelve years: that includes the circle of Mars, that the circle of the Earth, that of Venus, that of Mercury, that of the Sun, which revolves about its own axis. And some of the greater wheels include
lesser and of various kinds, as the great wheel of Saturn, beside those of the inferior planets, has annexed to it those lesser wheels of his satellites one within another, and then its ring, and then its own body about its axis. So of Jupiter, and so of the earth and moon. So some of the grand revolutions of Providence that are but parts of the grand system of Providence, have a particular system as it were belonging to themselves, wherein the great revolution includes lesser revolutions that are not parallel with any like them, continued from the beginning to the end of time, but begin their various revolutions with that particular great wheel that they are fixed to, and end with it. So it is with that great wheel, the continuance of the Jewish state; so it is with the continuance of the Christian church; so it is with the state of some particular kingdoms and empires; so it is with the motion of the air in the winds, it goes and returns according to its circuits; and so it is with the motion of the water in the tides, and in their course out of the sea, and into the clouds, springs, and rivers, and into the sea again. So it is with the circulation of the blood in a man's body, and the bodies of other animals, so it is with the life of man; it is like the revolution of a wheel; he is from the earth and gradually rises, and then gradually falls and returns to the earth again. Dust we are, and unto dust we return; we came naked out of our mother's womb, and naked must we go and return. The dust returns to earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. So it is with the world of mankind; it is the whole of it like a wheel; it as it were sinks and goes down to the earth in one generation, and rises in another, as it is with a wheel, at the same time that one side is falling to the earth, another part of the wheel is rising from the earth. Solomon takes notice of these things. Eccles. i. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. “One generation passeth away, and another cometh, but the earth abideth for ever. The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to the place where he arose. The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits. All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea' is not full, unto the place from whence the rivers come thither they return again; all things are full of labour; man cannot utter it."
So it is in the course of things in God's providence over the intelligent and moral world, all is the motion of wheels; they go round and come to the same again ; and the whole series of Divine Providence, froin the beginning to the end, is nothing else but the revolution of certain wheels, greater and lesser, the lesser being contained within the greater; what comes to VOL. IX.
pass in the natural world, is in this respect typical of what comes to pass in the moral and intelligent world, and seems to be spoken of by the wise man in that forementioned place in Ecclesiastes, as the words that follow next after those that were mentioned respecting the natural world, do respect the intelligent world. Ver. 9. 10, “ The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be ; and that which is done, is that which shall be done; and there is no new thing under the sun," &c.
Things in their series and course in Providence, do as it were return to the same point or place whence they began, as in the turning of a wheel, but yet not so, but that a further end is oblained than was at first, or the same end is obtained in a much
further degree; so that in the general there is a progress towards ' a certain and final issue of things, and every revolution brings nearer to that issue, as it is the motion of a wheel upon the
arth, as in the motion of the wheels of a chariot, and not like the motion of a wheel by its axis, for if so, its motion would be in vain.
The entire series of events in the course of things through the age of the Visible Universe, may fitly be represented by one great wheel, exceeding high and terrible, performing one great revolu
In the beginning of this revolution all things come from God, and are formed out of a chaos; and in the end, all things shall return into a chaos again, and shall return to God, so that he that is the Alpha, will be the Omega. This great wheel contains a lesser wheel that performs two revolutions, while that performs one. The first begins at the beginning of the world, and ends at the coming of Christ, and at the ending of the Old Testament dispensation, which is often represented as the end of the world in scripture. The first revolution began with the creation of the world, so the second revolution began with the creation of new heavens and a new earth.
The course of things from the beginning of the world to the coming of Christ, may be represented as one great wheel performing one revolution; all things in the beginning of this revolution were from Christ the Creator of man, and the whole motion henceforward until Christ came was to bring things about to Christ again, and to so prepare the way for his coming, and to introduce him as the Redeemer of man, This wheel contains a lesser wheel, that performs two revolutions, while the great one does one; the first revolution ending at the calling of Abraham, at which time God did as it were plant the tree of his church anew, which he had planted at first in his revealing the covenant of grace to Adam; the second ending at the coming of Christ, the promised seed of Abraham and his antitype, in whom all the families of the earth are blessed, and in whom the church was planted anew, and in a far more glorious manner.
The course of things from the beginning of the world to the flood may
be looked upon as the revolution of a wheel; at the beginning of it, God created the world, and the face of the earth was covered with waters, and the world was all of one man and his posterity. At the end of it, the world was destroyed and reduced to the same state again; the world was covered with wa• lers, and the world of mankind was began anew with one man and his posterity. The course of things from the flood to Abraham, was as it were the revolution of another wheel, or another revolution of the same wheel, as at the beginning of it. The world was corrupt, and therefore one man and his family separat. ed to be the father of the church ; so it was again at the end of it. The space f:om Abraham to Moses was as it were another revolution of the same wheel; for, as God established his covenant with Abraham, and then separated his church from the heathen, in calling Abraham out of Chaldea and Syria, so in the end of it he agaio renewed his covevant, and again separated his church from the heathen world, by bringing them up out of Egypt. From Moses and Joshua, io Samuel, David, and Solomon, was another revolution of the same wheel, as in the begin. ning of it: God gave the spirit of prophecy to Moses, so he renewed it in Samuel, as in the beginning of it God gloriously con quered the enemies of Israel, and settled them in Canaan in peace, by the hand of Moses and Joshua: so in the end of it God gloriously subdued the enemies of Israel, and subdued the remains of the inhabitants of Canaan, and the nations round about, and gave them the full and peaceable possession of the land of promise, in the full extent of it, from the river Euphrates to the river of Egypt. The space from David and Solomon, to the return out of the Captivity, is another revolution of the same wheel; in the beginning of it, the temple was built, in the end it was built again, and the temple of worship, and the courses of the priests and Levites again restored, which David and Solomon had estabJished, and the church state of the Jews as it had been settled by David and Solomon, was again renewed. From the return out of the Captivity, until Christ came and established the Christian dispensation, is another revolution of the same wheel; at the beginning of it, God redeemed the church out of Babylon, at the end of it he redeemed his church from Sin and Satan, and accomplished that great redemption, or which the redemption from the Babylonish captivity was a great type.
The course of ihings during the Jewish state, was, as it were, the revolution of a great wheel. This course, as it respects the national state of that people, began with Abraham, Isaac, and