Imágenes de páginas


children of Israel to eat', or as St Paul calls it", ' that spiritual meat which they did all eat, was not only, I say, a type of Christ, but Christ himself tells us, that He is that very bread, the bread of life 3, “the bread which came down from hea

ven “, “the living bread, of which, if a man eat, • he shall live for ever s;' and not only so, but he assures us, that this bread is his flesh, which he was to give for the life of the world : and he gives us this express declaration, ushered in with a ‘ verily,

verily, I say unto you, that except ye eat the • flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his blood, ye • have no life in you.' This, then, is our manna, even a sensible manna; and accompanied to us with such an invisible power and life, that if we eat of it, we shall not die, as the Jews did, who ate of manna in the wilderness, but shall live for ever. Hence it is called the manna which Christ promises 7 to give to him that overcometh;' and, as many of the primitive Fathers understand the term, this is that supersubstantial bread (we call it daily'ET 180C) which our Lord teaches us to

pray for 8. And by eating of this . hidden manna,' this 'bread of life, this « spiritual meat, this · flesh of derness of this world, we are united to God, and made fellow-citizens with the saints. Without this, our worldly food would signify little or nothing; for it is not by bread alone that man lives'. Our eating this worldly bread, without partaking of the sacramental bread of God, is expressed in the strong figurative language of scripture, as no better than eating ashes, feeding ourselves with wind, * with wormwood, with the bread of tears, with • husks that swine do eat; yea, feeding and fat• tening ourselves against the day of slaughter, that · death and corruption may feed upon us.'

the Son of Man,' in faith and holiness, we are strengthened for our christian warfare in the wil


i Exod. xvi. 15.

2 I Cor. x. 3. 3 St John vi. 35.

4 V. 41.

5 v. 51-58.

7 Rev. ii. 17. 8 St Matt, vi, 15.

O v. 53:

us.' Since then we have the advantage, the blessing of this heavenly bread, to be not only an ornament to our worship, but likewise to be the nourishment of our souls, is it any loss to us, or to the true worshippers of God, that we have not the monumental

pot of mannato boast of, when we have what is much better among us, the food, the precious food, of which the Jewish manna was but a figure, and that pot only a shadow or type? And in this interpretation we are warranted by our Saviour himself, who makes this return to the Jews of his day, when they boasted that their · fathers did eat 'manna in the wilderness, and desired to see some such remarkable sign from Him, Moses gave you • not that bread from heaven, but my Father,' says he, ‘giveth you the true bread from heaven, for the • bread of God is He, which cometh down from




1 Deut. viii. 3. St Matth. iv. 4.

heaven, and giveth life unto the world'; substituting himself in room of that manna, and thereby giving us the thing signified, instead of the sign, the eucharistic bread of the sacrament, instead of the Jewish manna in the wilderness,

II. Another of the ornaments of the Jewish conomy was ' Aaron's rod, which blossomed, and in which they glory, as being a sign or emblem of the divine approbation to the Aaronic priesthood. But, whoever will read the 6th and 7th chapters of the epistle to the Hebrews, will find this plea abundantly discussed, and the christian priesthood demonstrated to be of more excellency than the Aaronic, in as far as Christ, from whom the priests of the gospel derive the dignity of their succession, was made an · High priest after the order of Mel‘chisedec* ;' and, consequently, as St Paul argues', 'by so much was Jesus made a surety of a • better Testament.'

III. The same is to be said of the ark of the covenant, which was a third article of the sacred furniture of the holy of holies, and for which there is now no farther use under the christian economy; as now we are under the new dispensation, of which the prophet Jeremiah so fully prophesies“, and which, according to the divine purpose, St


1 St John vi. 31, 32, 33.
2. Psal. cx. 4. Heb. vi. 20. vii. 17-21.
3 Heb. vii, 22.

4 ch. sxxi, 31-34.


Paul' applies to the happiness of the gospel æra ; and at the same time observes, that the former covenant or dispensation, of which the ark spoken of was a memorial, was, on Christ's appearance, become old; and ready to vanish away.

IV. The · Urim and Thummim' calls alike for our notice, as it seems to have been a peculiar privilege of the Aaronic priesthood, by which the high priest was enabled to foretel future events, and to direct and advise such as consulted him, in difficult and important cases. And in such 'estimation was this privilege among the latter Jews, that, when it was removed, and no more to be had under the second temple, their doctors tell us, that the want of it was in some measure supplied by the voice from heaven, which they call Bathcol ; and which

gave rise to those strange consultations, and astrological enquiries, by Sortes and such like methods, to be found in some of the old christian histories. What the · Urim and Thummim' itself was, or how the high priest behaved at the delivery of these responses, has been variously conjectured by various writers; some explaining it one way, and some another; though it is feared none of them have hit on the true explication, nor is such an explication now to be expected. However, the use of the · Urim and Thummim' is to us sufficiently secured under the gospel, as far as is neces


1 Heb. viii. 7-13.


sary for furthering the ends of religion; and to such a degree as may well silence the Jews for finding fault with the gospel for such a defect. The prophet Joel long since foretold', That • in · those days the Lord would pour out his spirit' (the Urim and Thummim of old times) on all • flesh, and their sons and their daughters should

prophesy. And this prediction, the apostle St Peter, in presence of many men of Judea, and of all those that dwelt at Jerusalem“, proves beyond contradiction to have been literally verified and fulfilled by that miraculous event of the descent of the Holy Ghost, at the feast of Pentecost, which was designed to be a guide and assistant to the christian priests in those days, as the Urim and Thummim was to the Jewish priests before. This gift of the Holy Spirit is continued with the successors of the apostles in the government of the christian church to this day, although not in such an eminent measure as was given at that time, yet in such a measure as is useful for preserving the church, and warranting all its other spiritual administrations.

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Thus from the first writers in defence of christianity, we can adduce arguments to shew, that under the gospel we have the pot of manna, the rod of Aaron, the ark of the covenant, and the Urim and Thummim, realized in such a way, that the very


1 Ch. ii. 28.

2 Aces ii. 14.

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