Billeder på siden

dren of liberty. These, says he (allegorumena) express another thing than what they, prima facie, set forth. They are the two covenants. So the rock or stream which followed the Israelites in the wilderness, was the speculum which to the eye

of this apostle reflected the Messiah. In like manner the manna which fell from above, and the water which flowed miraculously from the rock, are, ón account of what they represented, termed spiritual meat and spiritual drink.

Although the speculum and the enigma, or figurative, diction , approach to each other in some points of agreement, yet they also differ. The speculum generally reflects an antitype of the same name, that possesses all the truth which the other merely reflected. Thus the temple made of stone reflected—the temple made without hands--the material offerings of the law—the immaterial offerings of the heart--the Jerusalem on earth--the Jerusalem which is above-- the divine presence in the wilderness----the presence of the Lamb in the paradise of God. On the other hand, the enigma participates of the nature of the riddle: a mystery lurks under it. Thus in the prophetic stile, heathenism is described under the image of a barren wilderness, destitute of verdure and springs; and the change introduced from the preaching of the gospel, by the desert blossoming as the rose, and having given to it the glory of Le



banon, and the excellency of Carmel and Sharon.. The parched ground becomes a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water.* In a word, under the enigma may be comprehended all that various phraseology, employed in setting forth the things of the heavenly world. The city of the living God is presented to us with its gates of pearl, its streets of gold, its walls of jasper; we see the waters of life clear as chrystal; we see the blessed in white robes. All these are merely the veils under which the essence of the things described lies concealed, and altogether inscrutable to human search. The drapery is taken from materials of earth, but the body which it clothes, belongs to that state which no mortal eye can see.

It may also happen that things of earth are expressed in enigmatical phrases, which serve as veils to hide the things themselves from the view, in order to induce inquiry, and thereby subserve the glory of God, as in the case of the dreams of Pharaoh and Nebuchadnezzar; but with these, this disquisition is not at all concerned : for when the apostle speaks of seeing things in a glass, and under the veil of parable, he is to be understood as not meaning things in general, but the things

* Terræ desertæ & siticulosæ cultura & irrigatio ad desig. nandam uberiorem Divinæ gratiæ, donorumque spiritualium, effusionem, in stylo parabolico adeo solenniter & constanter usurpatur ut nulla egeat explicatione. Lowth, de sacra Poesi.


[ocr errors][merged small]

only of the heavenly kingdom. And when he speaks of knowledge vanishing away, he is to be taken as meaning that knowledge which is got through the medium of reflection, or under the veil of figure, which he calls in part, and which stands in contrast to that other which he terms that which is perfect. That which is in part, extends merely to the veils, which in themselves are only gilded and evanescent clouds, and which, on the fall of the body, instantly disappear, and disclose to view that which they covered, and which will now be seen in its naked reality, or, as the apostle terms it, face to face.

“ Now,” says the apostle, the word (arti) which he had before employed to mark time, is dropped, and another is adopted, not to express time, says Grotius, but opposition to tongues and prophecies. « Now there remaineth faith, hope, and love.” This, as to ascertaining the intermediate period, in the most satisfactory manner, is the key to the whole. Had the term now denoted the time at which the apostle spoke, his assertion would not have been true, that there remained only these three, because prophecies, gifts of tongues, and present knowledge of divine things, were then in their very zenith, and continued in the church above a century after. Two assertions the apostle employs, which bring this period to its exact place to that interval which takes place between death and the resurrection. ist. He says that it takes place when knowledge shall vanish away. This excludes the period from being understood of any term of time

If 2



earth. 2dly. It is when faith hope and love, and none but these, remain, which necessarily prevent it from being understood as the state which succeeds to the resurrection, as faith and hope can then have no existence.

It may now be inquired how these graces are exerted in that future world, and why love is termed the greatest of the three.

It is given as the highest commendation of the antient worthics, that they all died in the faith; i. e. still cherishing in the heart those expectations which they had entertained through life, and which not having received their accomplishment on carth, still lived in the soul, and with it went into the invisible state. St. Paul says, that this hope, as the sure and stedfast anchor of the soul, enters within the vail. This expectation being common to all the true seed of Abraham, is on that account termed the hope of Israel. They who have ceparted in Jesus, are said to be now “ inheriting the promises,” as being fully assured that what is contained in these, must fall to be possessed by them at the last day.

Ilope docs not materially differ from its associate, faith. What difference there is, appears to


[ocr errors]

lie in this, that the latter eyes the foundation of its trust, whereas the former principally directs the view to the object promised. The latter in thinking of a resurrection, attends to his truth and faithfulness, and rests there. The former expresses no anxiety on that head, but seeks to find its present happiness in fixing the view on the things promised, although they are yet at a distance. This hope goes along with the soul in death, and with it lands on the happy shore. This is strengthened by a passage in the 91st psalm, where Jehovah promises, that “ with length of days * he will v.16.


66 He

* (Orech Jamim.) This phrase occurs in the sacred volume nine times, and in all these instances refers to the extent of the intermediate state, and to no portion of time upon earth. In some passages this is exceeding clear. Psal. xxi. 4. (Messiah) asked life of thee (the life of the future age, Chald.) and thou gavest it him, even length of days through the hidden period.” So in Prov. ïïi. 2. Wisdom thus speaks; “Let not mercy aud truth forsake thee-write them upon the table of thine heart, for length of days, and years of life, and peace, shall they add to thee." It is almost superfluous to add, that this can by no means refer to earth, because such a state is here set forth by wisdom, as is the result of the moral character. Surely if it is divine wisdom which speaks, what she offers must be divine, and not that in which we see the wicked share as well as the righteous, namely, long life and and prosperity. We are also told, as the cumulo of her excellencies, " that all things we can desire are not to be compared unto her:" and it is added, “ length of days is in her right hand.” Surely if this referred to earth, what is alledged would



« ForrigeFortsæt »