Imagini ale paginilor

with Wickedness now, as it was with water afterwards : And mankind in general were drowned in this deluge ; almost all were swallowed up in it. And now Satan made a most violent and potent attempt to swallow up the church of God; and had almost done it. But yet God restored it in the midst of all this flood of wickedness and violence. He kept it up in. that line of which Christ was to proceed. He would not suffer it to be destroyed, for a blessing was in it. The Lord the Redeemer was in this branch of mankind, and was afterwards to proceed from it. There was a particular family that was a root in which the great Redeemer of the world was, and whence the branch of righteousness was afterwards to shoot forth. And therefore, however the branches were lopped off, and the tree seemed to be destroyed; yet God, in the midst of all this, kept alive this root, by his wonderful redeeming power and grace, so that the gates of hell could not prevail

against it.

Thus I have shown how God carried on the great affair of redemption ; how the building went on that God began after the fall

, during this first period of the times of the Old Testament, viz. from the fall of man, till God brought the flood on the earth. And I would take notice upon it, that though the history which Moses gives of the great works of God during that space be very short ; yet it is exceeding coinprehensive and instructive. And it may also be profitable for us here to observe, the efficacy of that purchase of redemption that had such great effects even in the old world so many ages before Christ appeared himself to purchase redemption, that his blood should have such great efficacy so long before it was shed.


From the Flood to the Calling of Abraham,

I PROCEED now to show how the same work was carried on through the second period of the Old Testament, that from

[merged small][ocr errors]

the beginning of the flood till the calling of Abraham: For though that mighty, overflowing, universal deluge of waters over, threw the world ; yet it did not overthrow this building of God, the work of redemption. But this went on yet ; and instead of being overthrown, continued to be built up, and was carried on to a further preparation for the great Saviour's coming into the world, and working out redemption for his people. And here,

I. The flood itself was a work of God that belonged to this great affair, and tended to promote it. All the great and mighty works of God from the fall of man to the end of the world, are reducible to this work, and, if seen in a right view of them, will appear as parts of it, and so many steps that God has taken in order to it, or as carrying it on ; and doubtless so great a work, so remarkable and universal a catastrophe, as the deluge was, cannot be excepted. It was a work that God wrought in order to it, as thereby God removed out of the way the 'enemies and obstacles of it, that were ready to overthrow it.

Satan seems to have been in a dreadful rage just before the flood, and his rage then doubtless was, as it always has been, chiefly against the church of God to overthrow it ; and he had filled the earth with violence and rage against it. He had drawn over almost all the world to be on his side, and they listed under his banner against Christ and his church. We read, that the earth 6 was filled with violence ;” and doubtless that violence was chiefly against the church, in fulfilment of what was foretold, I will put enmity between thy seed and her seed. And their enmity and violence was so great, and the enemies of the church so numerous, the whole world being against the church, that it was come to the last extremity. Noah's reproofs, and his preaching of righteousness, were utterly disregarded. God's spirit had striven with them an hundred and twenty years, and all in vain ; and the church was almost swallowed up. It seems to have been reduced to so narrow límits, as to be confined to one family. And there was no prospect of any thing else but of their totally swallowing up the church, and that in a very little time ; and so

[ocr errors]

wholly destroying that small root that had the blessing in its
or whence the Redeemer was to proceed.

And therefore God's destroying those enemies of the
church by the flood, belongs to this affair of redemption : For
it was one thing that was done in fulfilment of the covenant of
grace, as it was revealed to Adam : " I will put enmity bear
tween thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed,
it shall bruise thy head.” This destruction was only a destruc-
tion of the seed of the serpent, in the midst of their most vio-
lent rage against the seed of the woman, and so delivering the
seed of the woman from them, when in utmost peril by them.

We read of scarce any great destruction of nations any where in Scripture, but that one main reason given for it is, their enmity and injuries against God's Church : And doubtó less this was one main reason of the destruction of all nations by the flood. The giants that were in those days, in all likelihood, got themselves their renown by their great exploits against Heaven, and against Christ and his Church, the re. maining sons of God that had not corrupted themselves.

We read that just before the world shall be destroyed by fire, the nations that are in the four quarters of the earth, shall gather together against the church as the sand of the sea, and shall go up on the breadth of the earth, and compass the eamp of the saints about, and the beloved city ; and then fire shall come down from God out of heaven, and devour them, Rev. XX. 8, 9. And it seems as though there was that which was very parallel to it, just before the world was destroyed by water. And therefore their destruction was a work of God that did as much belong to the work of redemption, as the destruction of the Egyptians belonged to the redemption of the children of Israel out of Egypt, or as the destruction of Sennacherib's mighty army, that had compassed about Jeru"salem to destroy it, belonged to God's redemption of that city from them.

By means of this food, all the enemies of God's church, against whom that little handful had no strength, were swept off at once. God took their part, and appeared for them against their enemies, and drowned those of whom they had


[merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


been afraid in the flood of water, as he drowned the enemies
of Israel that pursued them, in the Red Sea.

Indeed God could have taken other methods to deliver his
church : He could have converted all the world instead of
drowning it; and so he could have taken another method than
drowning the Egyptians in the Red Sea. But that is no argu-
ment, that the method that he did take, was not a method to
show his redeeming mercy to them.

By the wicked world's being drowned, the wicked, the enemies of God's people, were dispossessed of the earth, and the whole earth given to Noah and his family to possess in quiet ; as God made room for the Israelites in Canaan, by casting out their enemies from before them. And God's thus taking the possession of the enemies of the church, and giving it all to his church, was agreeable to that promise of the covenant of grace : Psal. xxxvü. 9, 10, 11. « For evil doers shall be cut off; but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while and the wicked shall not be ; yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.”

II. Another thing here belonging to the same work, was God's so wonderfully preserving that family of which the Redeemer was to proceed, when all the rest of the world was drowned. God's drowning the world, and saving Noah and his family, both were works reducible to this great work. The saving Noah and his family belonged to it two ways. As that family was the family of which the Redeemer was to proceed, and as that family was the church that he had redeemed, it was the mystical body of Christ that was there saved. The manner of God's saving those persons, when all the world besides was so overthrown, was very wonderful and remarkable. It was a wonderful and remarkable type of the redemption of Christ, of that redemption that is sealed by the baptism of water, and is so spoken of in the New Testament, as 1 Pet. ii. 20, 21. " Which sometime were disobedient, when once the long suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

eight souls; were saved by water. The like figure whereun. to, éven baptism doth also now save us, (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience towards God) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” Thát water that washed away the filth of the world, that cleared the world of wicked men, was a type of the blood of Christ, that takes away the sin of the world. That water that delivered Noah and his sons from their enemies, is a type of the blood that delivers God's church from their sins, their worst enemies. That water that was so plentiful and abundatit, that it filled the world, and reached above the tops of the highest mountains, was a type of that blood, the sufficiency of which is so abundant, that it is sufficient for the whole world; sufficient to bury the highest mountains of sín. The ark that was the refuge and hiding place of the church in this time of stormi and flood, was a type of Christ, the true hiding place of the church, from the storms and floods of God's wrath.

HII. The next thing I would observe is, the new grant of the earth God made to Noah and his family immediately after the food, as founded on the covenant of grace. The sacrifice of Christ was represented by Noah's building an altar to the Lord, and offering a sacrifice of every clean beast, and every clean fowl. And we have an account of God's ac çepting this sacrifice : And thereupon he blessed Noah, and established his covenant with him, and with his seed, promising to destroy the earth in like manner no more ; signifying how that it is by the sacrifice of Christ that God's favor is obtained, and his people are in safety from God's destroying judgments, and do obtain the blessing of the Lord. And God now, on occasion of this sacrifice that Noah offered to God, gives him and his posterity a new grant of the earth ; a new power of dominion over the creatures, as founded on that sacrifice, and so founded on the covenant of grace. And so it is to be looked upon as a diverse grant from that which was made to Adam, that we have Gen. i. 28. 66 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it ; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every

« ÎnapoiContinuați »