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of Scripture with each other, and its perfect harmony as a whole. They establish the truth of prophecy by its agreement with public history. They develope the rise, the progress, and the completion of the stupendous work of the redemption, and they account for many things in the life of man, which, independently of them, lie involved in dark
Above all, they render God familiar to our apprehension, bring down the Divine Majesty to the level of the human understanding, exhibit him in all the lights capable of making an impression on a carnal capacity, and open to us that everlasting kingdom where he dwells in glory ineffable, and whither he bids us prepare to take up our abode with him. Let us then praise him for bestowing upon us so great a boon as the volume of Scripture, and prize it as our best gift. Let us peruse it frequently and attentively, accompanied with devout prayer for his illuminating grace and guiding Spirit. Let us bring to the study of it an humble mind and a submissive heart, that we may readily believe what it teaches, and faithfully execute what it commands. And let us so demean ourselves in all our duties, that our lives may adorn society, and be found a true copy of the religion we profess. For “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”
TYPES OF CHRIST.
1 CORINTHIANS X. 3, 4.
AND DID ALL EAT THE SAME SPIRITUAL MEAT; AND DID ALL
AMONG the many types by which the Redeemer was prefigured under the old economy, and which, like faint outlines and glimmerings, shadowed out better things to come, there are three to which I would draw your attention as well befitting a devout consideration. These are, the Miraculous Sustenance furnished to the Jews in the wilderness; the Tabernacle in which the Shechinah or visible glory was wont to dwell; and the Brazen Serpent erected on a staff or pole.
I. The Miraculous Sustenance furnished to the Jews in the wilderness.
The Israelites, it is well known, spent forty years of toil and travel in the desolate wilderness. During all this long period they lacked nothing. Their raiment waxed not old, neither did their foot
In a wandering life passed in tents and encampments, and marched forward at uncertain and irregular periods, it was manifestly impossible for them to have raised their food by any natural process of sowing and planting, even had the barren soil on which they trod, afforded spots capable of being made subservient to such purposes. But every thing conspired to prevent any such recourse to the ground for food. Their marches were sudden and undefined, and the country every where around them presented a scene of desolation and barrenness. It was one great object of God in bringing them into the wilderness, to teach them, by a constant series of miraculous displays in their behalf, to put their whole trust and confidence in him. Accordingly, the want of the natural supply of food and raiment, things that are indispensable to the support of human life, was well calculated to make them feel their own insufficiency, and oblige them to rely upon him for immediate succour. He, therefore, gave them manna from heaven. Day by day they received this supernatural food. The manna fell every night around the camp in little patches like the hoar frost; and, on extraordinary occasions, when water was not to be found, and they were dying from thirst, he opened the dry rock for their relief, . and upon their parched lips, the life-sustaining stream.
Nothing could be more miraculous, nothing more demonstrative of his almighty power, and of his tender regard for the welfare of his creatures. Throughout the whole period of this long journey,
the manna never once failed, but the very day after they had crossed the river Jordan and entered Canaan, the land of milk and honey, the country of the promised inheritance and rest, it ceased, and never returned again to supply their necessities.
Now, that the manna with which the Israelites were fed was a type of Christ's body, and the waters which they drank a symbol of his spiritual gifts, we have the following clear and explicit testimony. “ Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven, but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.
I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If any man eat of this bread he shall live for ever, and the bread that I will give is my flesh which I will give for the life of the world. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.” St. Paul calls the manna “spiritual meat,” and the water “spiritual drink,” and the rock from whence the latter sprung he calls Christ; putting it beyond all question that they had attached to them a mystical character. So that one reason among others for obliging them to subsist by visible miracles, was, plainly, to teach them the nature of spiritual ordinances, and to lead them, by a contemplation of God's unceasing care and vigilance over them, to look up to him for invisible support. When they saw themselves subsisting by an order of things contrary to the established course of nature, and gathered up their food day by day as it fell to the ground from heaven, they could not possibly mistake the source of all this abundance, but must have been convinced, by every evidence of their senses, that they were upheld and fed by God. If God, therefore, gave them their food from heaven, did it not plainly demonstrate their dependence upon him for life, as well as his care and concern for their welfare? Could they thus partake of “the table he provided,” to use the Psalmist's phrase, and not experience a sensible connection with him as their Creator and Governor, their Redeemer from bondage, and their Guide to a land of inheritance and rest ? He might have made the manna to grow out of the ground; he might have caused corn and wine to spring up in the wilderness ; but this would not have been so decisive a mark of his especial concern for them, and would not have struck them with such irresistible evidence of his invisible power
To carnal minds sensible proofs are necessary, and it is by these that they are finally led to views of a spiritual nature. If, then, the Children of Israel were supported in the wilderness by bread and water miraculously furnished, and thus taught to look up to God who is the author of all being, and the fountain of all gifts; and if the