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The rock must be smitten by a rod. Had Moses been left to choose his implement he would have taken a hammer, and, perhaps, a lever; but he must take his rod. The rock would not have yielded water to the stroke of any other instrument than the rod which smote the wat. ers of Egypt. The celebrated Nile had to yield to the power of that rod. This rod was an emblem of the Sovereignty of God over Israel; therefore it is called the rod of God, which the Lord gave unto Moses as his deputy governor to lead Israel, and to work miracles before their eyes. It was also symbolic of the royal law given through Moses, which, prior to the fall, was a rod of life; but after the transgression it turned into a rod of iron and a stinging serpent, to sting and break in pie. ces the offender; but afterwards when Christ endured the curse, and made honorable the law, it turned into a guiding and correcting rod. I have already stated that the rock would have yielded water under no other stroke than the stroke of the rod. Jesus would not have sub. mitted to any other death than that under the law of his Father, and according to the council of God. He would not allow himself to be cast over the brow of the hill. He would die in his own way: not any kind of death, but that which was appointed. When Isaac was about to be offered up by his father, the wood, and the fire, and the knife, must all come from Abraham's house. Jesus would not stoop to receive the mortal cup from
other hand than that of his Father--would die no other place but on the place of sculls without the camp--and at no other time but his own hour and in no other man. ner than by hanging on the tree, under the curse of his Father's law. The nails, the scarlet robe, the crown of thorns, and the piercing spear, which Jesus encountered in his sufferings and death were all of his Father's house; and he said, Thy WILL BE DONE. The Shepherd of
Israel would bow under the stroke of none other but that of the Lord of Hosts, his own Father; a cradle, a cross, and a grave of his Father's appointing must Je. sus have.
The rock must be smitten in a public manner, in the light of the sun, and in the presence of all the elders of Israel, that they might sanctisy and fear God in this thing. The rock is smitten to give water to man.
This was intended to premonstrate the publicity of the death of Christ, which took place on one of the public feasts of the Jews, in the presence of the whole nation, and on the summit of Calvary, and also to denote the gospel proclamation of Christ crucified to Jews and Gentiles, as the true propitiation and object of faith, to be looked upon, to the softening of the heart, and the flowing of the tears of repentance. Zech. 12.
The spirit of grace directs the eyes of men to the cross, upon which the prophet Isaiah, with kostiness of style, describes the Saviour as passing from Calvary to the tomb, from the tomb to Heaven, and thence back again upon the same cross, in the preaching of the gospel among ail nations, crying, “Turn your faces this way.” “Look unto me, all ye ends of the earth, and be ye saved,-drink of the living waters; for I am God, and there is none else beside me; a just God, and a Saviour. Isa. 43: 11, 12, 13,
-45: 21, 22, 23. The rock must be smitten in the presence of God.Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb. Ex. 17. 6. I will stand there to guide the stroke and see the water flow. He stood upon the rock in Horeb, though invisible, in the glory of his loving kindness, his mercy and his power, to open a fountain of timely succour to men and beasts about to perish. But when the rod of the curse of the law, the sceptre of God's moral government, smote the Son of his love, he
stood forth in the fulness and perception of the mighty scheme of his infinite purpose and council, amid the confusion and tuinult of rending rocks, the rent veil, the opening sepulchres, the mantled sun, and the trembling earth, as if all the wheels of nature had been consoun. ded at the sight. God, clothed in the excellency of his potentiality, eternity, immortality, grace, justice, love, and piety, stood upon the rock that day to prosper the work of man's redemption, and opened the way for the outflowing of the voice of life to a dying world. From this place he hands to man the cup
According to the order of God, the rock was to be smitten once; but Moses smote it thrice-once by the command of God, and twice of his own, when in an agitated state of mind. The rock once s mitten, was afterwards to be spoken to only. Backsliders crucify afresh the Son of God. His sacrifice was one sacrifice, once slain and offered, and in one day-once he entered into the holy place. His once offering up of himself finish. ed the transgression, and put an end to all the burnt offerings, meat and drink offerings, and the peace offerings of the law. The beasts and birds, the flour, wine and oil, are of no more service in these respects. All, all for the salvation of man was found in him.
II. We notice the water flowing out of the smitten rock.. This was, indeed, a timely mercy to a host of people at the point of perishing in the desert. It shad. owed forth, however, a far greater mercy,--the flowing of the spiritual drink from the death of Christ. These were living streams of love, and merit, and graces of life, springing up from three infinite depths, moved to their centre, for the covering of the deeps of human woe,—The love of the Father, the merits of the Son, and the gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit. Here are
three depths of wonder. The first a well of the water of life, the second a fountain for sin, and uncleanness, the last rivers of living waters. This is the spirit of life.
The waters flowed in great abundance, filling all the camp of Israel with the hope of plenty from the natural stores of God. Notwithstanding the great number of men and beasts to be supplied, and the greatness of their thirst, yet, here is abundance for all; the flowing streams run in every direction to meet the sufferers, and speak in the language of their rolling murmurs to each, saying, "Open thy mouth, and I will fill it." Look to the cross; see there the flowing streams of the waters of life, in the plenteousness of grace sweeping over Mount Olivet, and cleaving it in sunder, to make way for the rivers of life to flow through the moral wastes of earth--that God might be glorified among the Gentiles.
The water flowed in the presence of the whole assembly. The agent was invisible, but his work was manifest.
The water from the rock rolled down the uneven cliffs with a pleasant rippling sound. O, how magical in the ears of the thirsty! Far more pleasant still, is the rippling sound of the streams of mercy from Jesus' wounds on Calvary. O, how charming the sound of those rolling streams in the ears of the dying thief !-, He asked to be washed from the soulness of his stains, and to have his burning thirst quenched by the living waters. His suit was granted and more.
The water flowed from the rock, not pumped by human labor, but by the hand of God, drawing water for the people; and on the cross he opened the fountain for sinners. In that day there shall be a fountain
opened. * But notwithstanding that God opened the fountain it is you that must drink of it or die of eternal thirst,
We have the authority of Dr. Pocack of Scotland, who visited this rock, to state, that the water flowed from twelve different channels through the rock, the deep traces made in it by the water, being visible to this daybut these twelve streams--one for each tribe, were all one water out of the one rock. This may denote the virtue of the death of Christ flowing in living streams through the ministrations of the twelve apostles; it was one Christ, one grace, one merit they all preached.
This flowing was not resistible by human energy.Who can hinder the flowing of water, which God him self draws? Edon and Moah, Sihon and OS, would try in vain to arrest the progress of these waters. The prince of this world, Caiaphas, the Jews--all the pow. ers of earth and hell combined, were not able to prevent salvation's current to fiow to the world from the cross of Christ. He must suffer, and repeniance and remission of sins must be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
III. This full stream of typical water following Israel, as also the manna, for the space of near furty years, through the wilderness, may be considered as one of the principal miracles of God, under the old Testamont; and a most lively representation of the river of salvation continually ilowing from the smitten rock on Golgothia. Who can describe the aspect of the camp of Israel when the people, realy to perish with thirst, were javited to approach a fiaty rock to quench their thirst, insteal of a fountain of water? What fallen countenances and murmurings of impatience were there, when they looked at Moses as he ascended the craggy cliff' with a dry rod in his hand! They beheld him lifting up his rod--the rock is smitten,---See! instantly the waters gush out, and roll down the clitis in twelve, pure, crystal streams! Who can conceive the sudden