Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

BEFORE leavened, their || kneading- and jewels of gold, and troughs being bound up in raiment :

CHRIST 1491.

ch. 8. 3.

BEFORE CHRIST 1491.

11. 3.

Or, dough, their clothes upon their 36 And the LORD gave ch. 3. 21. & shoulders. the people favour in the 35 And the children of sight of the Egyptians, so Israel did according to that they lent unto them the word of Moses; and such things as they required. they borrowed of the And y they spoiled the Gen. 15. 14. Egyptians jewels of silver, | Egyptians.

ch. 3. 22. & 11. 2.

W

ch. 3. 22. Ps. 105. 37.

EXODUS XII. 40-42.

Gen. 15. 13.
Gal. 3. 17.

Acts 7.6.

40 Now the sojourn- the LORD went out from
ing of the children of Israel, the land of Egypt.
who dwelt in Egypt, was

42 It is a night to be + Heb. anight

four hundred and thirty much observed unto the years. LORD for bringing them 41 And it came to pass out from the land of Egypt: at the end of the four hun- that is that night of the dred and thirty years, even LORD to be observed of all the selfsame day it came to the children of Israel in ver. 51. pass, that all the hosts of their generations.

* ch. 7. 4. &

b

of observations.

See Deut.

16. 6.

and

PRAYER. LET US PRAY, that we live in the Egypt of this world under the influence of the Faith in the true Passover; that we spiritually eat His flesh and drink His blood; that our hearts be sprinkled from an evil conscience; that, when the day of death shall come, we escape the sentence of those who, having been dedicated and offered to God, live in sin, and die without hope in the God of Israel.

ALMIGHTY GOD, the fountain of all wisdom, who knowest our necessities before we ask, and our ignorance in asking, we beseech Thee to have compassion upon our infirmities; and those things which, from our unworthiness, we dare not, and from our blindness we cannot ask, vouchsafe to give us, for the worthiness of Thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord.-Him we believe to be the true Paschal Lamb, who was slain for us, that we, while we remain in the Egypt of this sinful world, should have no other hope of deliverance from Thy wrath; and no other protection in the hour of death and in the day of Judgment, than that faith in Christ, the Lamb of God, which worketh by love; and produceth the fruits of righteousness and good works before the hour of that death. Thou knowest the thoughts of our hearts, and the motives of our actions. We feel and we confess, we acknowledge and bewail our manifold sins and wickedness, which we, from time to time, most grievously have committed by thought, word, and deed, against Thy divine. Majesty. Though we have been dedicated to Thy service, and have been offered up to Thee by our anxious parents in the day of our baptism;—and though we have often renewed the vows of that baptism at the table of the holy Communion, with Christ our Lord;-though we know that Thy mercy alone hath placed us among Thy people, and made us a part of Thy spiritual Israel upon earth,-we lament that we have departed from Thy covenant, and grieved Thy Holy Spirit. Yet we beseech Thee, cast us not away from Thy presence; take not Thy Holy

Spirit from us; but so long as Thy Providence shall ordain our continuance in this rebellious and sinful world, enable us to live the life of faith in the Son of God; and to give Thee our most humble and hearty thanks for the redemption of the world, and for the redemption of our own sinful souls, by the death and passion of our Saviour Christ, both God and man. Ever, ever may we remember, that for us, even for us miserable sinners, who live in the Egypt of sin and sorrow, He did humble Himself to death, even the death of the cross, that He might make us more and more the spiritual Israel, the children of God; and safely bring us forth out of Egypt, and lead us through the wilderness, and uphold us in the day of our death, and bring us to everlasting life.-Enable us, we pray Thee, so spiritually to eat His flesh and drink His blood, that our meditations on these holy mysteries be sweet and pleasant to the soul. May our sinful bodies be made clean from their sins, and be rendered the fit habitations for the Holy Ghost, by the sacrifice of His body. May our souls be washed through His most precious blood; that we may dwell in Christ, and Christ in us, and we be one with Christ, and Christ be one with us. As we are the members of His visible Church, may we spiritually be the members of His body, of His blood, and of His bones. So may we ever eat the Lord's Passover. And as the blood of the Passover in the land of Egypt was sprinkled upon the lintel and the two side-posts of the houses, but not sprinkled upon the threshold, lest it be trodden under foot; so protect us by Thy grace, so keep us stedfast in our faith in the death and passion of our Saviour Christ, that we never tread this holy faith under feet, nor count the blood of the covenant an unworthy thing. Oh! let that blood of Christ ever be so sprinkled upon our hearts and thoughts, upon our affections and our motives, that our consciences within us be cleansed from the guilt of the sins that are past; that our consciences be cleansed from the dominion and power of the sin which still cleaves to the robes of our human nature; that our consciences be cleansed from the terrors of the wrath to come, and from the fear of the destroying angel, when he shall pass over the world at the day of the Judgment of the living and the dead; when the endless difference shall be made between Egypt and Israel, between those who serve God and those who serve Him not. So may we patiently abide in the house of Thy Church; so may our souls patiently abide till the day of the death of the body, in these our houses of clay. So may we possess our souls in the full assurance of faith, and in the full assurance of hope, till the voice be pronounced, "This night thy soul is required of thee."-Lord, prepare us for that day of death, for the beginning of our immortality, for that other and better state, where is the true Israel, the redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, the angels of thy presence, Christ the Mediator, and God the Judge.-Save, oh! save us, we beseech Thee, on that day, from the fearful and sudden destruction which shall be the lot of those who though called by Thy name, devoted to Thy service, and professing to trust in Thy mercy, lived without faith in the Passover, without the sprinkling of the blood upon the conscience, without any sign or token to prove to their own souls, or to the angel that shall separate between Egypt and Israel; that they believed in Christ their Redeemer, and therefore departed from their iniquity. Save us from a death of calm, but false hope. Save us from the sorrow, misery, and despair of those whose souls shall depart from their body, with any other hope of mercy than Thou hast revealed in Thine own Holy Word. We ask all in the name and for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord; and in His words we sum up all our petitions, saying,

Our Father, &c.

The Grace of our Lord, &c.

the

NOTES.

On the evidence in favour of the truth of Christianity, derived from prophetic numbers. Exod. xii. 41, 42.

Mr. Davison, in his work on Prophecy, has deduced an invaluable argument in favour of the truth of Christianity, from the contrast between the indefiniteness of the denunciation of God's judgments upon the wicked nations of antiquity, which might have been spoken by a false prophet; and the definiteness, as shown in the accumulation of minute partieulars which characterize the true prophets of God. It would be easy, he demonstrates, for any zealous or angry person to say that destruction shall come upon Babylon, Nineveh, Tyre, &c.; but the prophet who was undoubtedly inspired could alone relate the numerous smaller circumstances which distinguish the ruin of one city or country, from that of another. A similar, but even more powerful argument, may be deduced from the various prophetic numbers which are assigned by the prophets, as the limit or termination to the periods of evil; or as the positive dates of predicted events. Thus we read of the seventy years of the captivity, and of the return of the Jews at the end of that period; of the seventy weeks, or four hundred and ninety years, between the decree for the restoration of Israel, and the death of the Messiah ; and in this passage, of the deliverance of the people from Egypt at the end of four hundred and thirty years; the promise which had been given to Abraham when God commanded him to leave Haran, and go into Canaan, was fulfilled. The Samaritan Pentateuch, and the Alexandrine copy of the Septuagint, read the words of the 40th verse, "The sojourning of the people of Israel and their fathers." The words of the Hebrew Bible omit the expression "their fathers;" and the phrase, therefore, "the children of Israel," must be interpreted to denote only "the Church of God," which was spiritually called Israel, or the "children of Israel." The four hundred and thirty years, therefore, here alluded to, included not only the sojournings of the actual descendants of Israel in Egypt; but those also of their fathers in Syria and Palestine, from the day of the command of God to Abraham to leave the house of his father, to go he knew not whither, but as he was commanded. Thirty years after this command, the promise was made to Abraham (Gen. xv. 13), that his spiritual children should be afflicted and oppressed by their worldly neighbours, and should be strangers in a land not in their own possession; which land was partly Canaan, before the going down of Jacob into Egypt, and partly Egypt, after his going down there,

for the space of four hundred years. The four hundred and thirty years began with the call of Abraham. The four hundred years began with the typical mocking or oppression of Isaac by Ishmael; and the whole period of the four hundred and thirty, and of the four hundred years ended at the hour when the children of Abraham (Gen. xv. 13), having been thus strangers in a land not their own; came out from Egypt with great abundance of jewels, and gold, and silver, and the nation that had afflicted them was judged and punished with the ten plagues, the last of which was the signal of their departure. The fulfilment of all these prescribed, prophetic periods, is matter of history. History is at all times the record of the accomplishment of some previous prophecy, which is obscure only to the persons who live before its fulfilment; and clear only to those who may compare the prediction with its fulfilment, after that accomplishment. And as it was with the periods of four hundred and four hundred and thirty years, of the seventy years of the captivity, and the four hundred and ninety years of Daniel, so shall it eventually be also with the one thousand two hundred and sixty years (Rev. xi. and xii.), with the one thousand two hundred and ninety days, or years (Dan. xii. 11), with the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days (Dan. xii. 12), with the five months (Rev. ix. 5. 10), with the day, month, and year (Rev. ix. 15), with the six hundred and sixty-six (Rev. xiii. 18), and with the two thousand three hundred (Dan. viii. 14). Whatever be our present apprehensions, or misunderstandings, or confusions; whether the days of Daniel or the Apocalypse are to be interpreted of natural days, or according to the ancient and only possible mode of understanding all these prophetic periods, by considering each day as a year-whatever be the present discussions among the followers of Mede, Faber, Cunninghame, Tyso, Todd, Maitland, and others--the time must come when the Christian shall study the prophetic periods by the light of authentic history; and see the fulfilment of these predictions as clearly as we now know that the prophecies of the four hundred and thirty, the seventy, and the four hundred and ninety years, have been all long since fulfilled. In the meantime, the Church must remain in the wilderness, and every individual member of that Church must watch and pray, and attend to his own prescribed duty in that part of the vineyard where the Providence of God has placed him. Duty is ours; faith is ours; the present is ours; all else is God's.

SECTION XCV.

NUMBERS XXXIII. 1-5. EXODUS XII. 37-39. 43, TO THE End.

TITLE. The study of Scripture is only the anticipation of our employment in our immortality hereafter. The Israelites begin their journeys from Egypt through the wilderness to Canaan. Their numbers and order. Their first journey from Rameses to Succoth. They keep their first Sabbath, after leaving Egypt, at Succoth. The command to observe the Passover is renewed, and extended on that Sabbath.

INTRODUCTION. We place a map of the world in the hands of a child, and we tell him, those dark lines are Europe, those are Asia, those are the oceans, those are the mountains, the lakes, and the rivers upon earth. Very often, too, whatever be our knowledge of the lands and seas which are represented, we consult the same map for our own use; and we become more accurately acquainted, by its means, with the position and extent of the places in which we are interested. Just so it is with respect to the Holy Scriptures. The events, and actions, and circumstances, related in the Old Testament, are the dark and shadowy lines on a map, pointing out and relating the way from earth to heaven, from the Egypt of sin to the world of rest, to those Christians, in whose hearts are these highways (Psalm lxxxiv. 5-7), who, passing through this barren desert of the world, make it a well of life, and go on from strength to strength, till they appear before God in His heavenly Zion. As there is no real likeness between the dark lines on the map and the actual lands and seas it represents, but the map is a designed resemblance, or type, or model of them all, so is the history related to us in the Old Testament. It is the divine analogy, the intended shadow, the well-drawn outline, the designed model, of the redemption of Christ, of the life of the soul, of the progress of the Christian, of the gradual attainment of spiritual strength, till he arrives at the stature of the perfect man of the purifying of the second nature within him, till that which is born of God has become in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. And as the youngest child may learn the way through the wilderness by means of these emblems; so the most learned, advanced, and experienced Christian, may consult the map of the road, and improve in his knowledge of the ways of God, and of the windings, and intricacies, and depths, and mysteries of his own heart. The same earthly bread nourishes the body of the infant and of the old man; the same heavenly bread nourishes and strengthens the soul: and as we shall all, if by God's grace and mercy we attain to the better and higher immortality which He has promised to His people, look back with delight both to the way He has led us, and to the Holy Scriptures which, like the pillar and cloud, have guided us through the wilderness; so we may with confidence

declare that the study of the revelation in the Old Testament, of the doctrines and truths which are more fully developed in the New Testament; and the study in the New Testament also of the blessedness which shall be more fully developed to us after the death of the body, form unitedly together the most delightful and joyous anticipation here upon earth of the very employments which shall occupy our minds, and call forth our praises to the Creator, the Redeemer, and the Sanctifier, in the glorious immortality which is before us. Oh! how little do the undervaluers of Christianity, who limit their knowledge to mere literature, their aspirations to mere poetry, and the exercise of their talents to the mere learning which qualifies them to adorn society, understand the best literature, and the only intellectual happiness; when they would quench their thirst for true mental elevation in any other fountains than in these well-springs of present and future satisfactions! Impressed with these convictions, I shall not hesitate, with the inspired writers of the New Testament; with the Fathers of the Church who succeeded them; and especially with the most learned Jerome, the translator from the Hebrew, the author of that version of the Bible which has ever been so highly valued by the Universal Church; with the Reformers, and with the holy and good men of all churches, in all times, to interpret the events and the wanderings in the wilderness, not only as historical facts which really took place, but as intended resemblances, or germs, of future developments of other and higher truths. He who reads and criticises on the Bible as merely a detail of narratives, like the histories of Greece and Rome, does not understand the revelation of God He denies the truth of the positive affirmation of an inspired writerthat they were not written and not recorded as mere facts, which might be read and forgotten, without considering the more spiritual and recondite meaning involved in them. They happened to the Israelites, and were therefore written, he assures us, as types, and for our instruction who live under the Christian dispensation. In this light then I shall view them. In the next section we will consider all the circumstances relating to the Passover, which is acknowledged by all to be the shadow of the true Passover, Christ our Saviour. In the present we proceed with the history.

to man.

The section begins with the enumeration of the forty-two journeys of the Israelites, in the book of Numbers. We shall place one of the verses from this chapter of Numbers at the head of each section. The first journey was from Rameses to Succoth, the city of loud rejoicing, to the tents or tabernacles which they first pitched in the wilderness.

Their number was six hundred thousand, besides women and children (Exod. xii. 37); and with them, a great multitude of Egyptians, and others, not of their own nation, who were, probably, converted to the worship of the God of Israel (ver. 38). This large multitude is said to have gone out with their armies (Numb. xxxiii. 1; Exod. xii. 17, and vii. 4). It is called the hosts or armies of the Lord (Exod. xii. 41); and it is said to have gone up out of Egypt, not, as it is too often supposed, like a confused and tumultuous rabble, without order, discipline, or regularity, but "harnessed;" that is, in calm and peaceful array, as soldiers in their ranks, or religious pilgrims in a procession. The word

« ForrigeFortsæt »