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even so must the Son of man be lifted up; that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life." There is also an allusion to the brazen serpent, when Jesus said, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me ?.” The bite of the fiery serpents may be emblematic of the wound of the old serpent, which alone is healed by the blood of Christ. We all feel the effects of this wound, and it is only by looking up to Christ, that we can avoid the death that it would produce. The people in the wilderness, when they felt conscious of their sin, came to Moses and prayed for forgiveness. “ We have sinned,” said they,
against the Lord, and against thee; pray unto the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us 3." Just as the Christians, when conscious of in-dwelling sin, looked up to Jesus and cried, “ Thou Son of David, have mercy upon us * !” The efficacy consisted not in the serpent of brass, that Moses set upon the pole, but in the typical analogy, which God had appointed. Thus it could have had no meaning, and God would not have commanded it to be set up, had He not designed it to prefigure the lifting up of his Son upon the Cross. Hence we may conclude, that these circumstances were
John iii. 14, 15. 3 Numb. xxi. 7, 8.
2 John xii. 32. 4 Matt. ix. 27.
shadows of good things to come, and happened unto the Israelites for ensamples, typifying the Messiah, who brought blessings of a more enduring substance.
These conclusions naturally lead us to observe the ordained analogy between the Israelites and the Christians. Indeed, we have no hesitation in pronouncing the one people to have been typical of the other. The Israelites journeyed in a wildernessthe present life is but a desert, through which Christians are travelling with various success. And " that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought?," was emblematic of this world. The wanderings of the Israelites resemble the wanderings of the Christians. Their difficulties, their enemies, their being under the providence of God, their having had a promised land in view, viz. Canaan, which was typical of heaven, as their leader Moses was typical of our leader Christ, are but several parts agreeing with their respective counterparts. They were led by the Lord in the desert, as Christians are led by the Holy Spirit. “He found them in a desert land, and the waste howling wilderness; he led them
about ; he instructed them; he kept them as the apple of his eye. As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings, so the Lord alone did lead them; he made them ride on the high places of the earth, that they might eat the increase of their fields; he made them suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock !.” How marked is the resemblance ! The same hand, that fed the journeying Israelites is over all our ways, and the eyes of the same God, who giveth to us all more than we deserve, are open to discern the wants of all his creatures. Christians are spiritually fed by bread, as the Israelites were by manna. They drink of the living waters, by which their souls are refreshed, as the Israelites drank of the water, which gushed from the dry rock. In short, “ they did all eat of the same spiritual meat, and did all drink the same spiritual drink; for they drank of that spiritual Rock which followed them, and that rock was Christ 2."
There is another resemblance existing between the Israelites and Christians, which rests upon their conduct and belief generally. And the visitations
* Deut. xxxii. 10.
21 Cor. x. 4.
of heaven appear to have fallen for the like causes, upon both people. The reward invariably followed belief and obedience, and the punishment invariably followed sin. Under the old dispensation, the idolatry of the people received its punishment; and when the new dispensation discovered to a benighted world the one true Mediator, national misfortune, as of old, was emphatically announced as the ordained consequence of religious defection, and national prosperity as the reward of adherence to the faith delivered to the saints. By the divine decree a heavy calamity was entailed upon those who opposed the true worship; a visitation, which was intended to fall alike upon individuals and nations. The wrath of Jehovah was never withheld from the rebellious, and it invariably comes to pass that sinners, in these our days, sooner or later, receive the portion for their crimes. We have seen that their “transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward.” But whenever the repentant sinners turned unto the Lord, that instant He received them again into his favour. The case is the same with the Christians. The words of God are: “ Return unto the Lord with all your hearts; for
See an article entitled “ National Misfortune connected with Popish Influence," in the 4th No. of the Church of England Quarterly Review.
the Lord is not willing that any should perish ; but that all should come to repentance!. “Depart from evil, and do good, and dwell for evermore,” says the Psalmist “Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed, and make you a new heart, and a new spirit; for why will ye die, O house of Israel ?” asks the prophet 3. Innumerable are the promises in Scripture made to the obedient, and as innumerable are those threatenings against all who disobey God, evidencing thereby, that as the visitations of Providence marked the conduct of the Israelites when in the wilderness, so, although perhaps differing in kind and degree, others will be extended to revolting Christians.
The TABERNACLE was a tent in which the Jews performed their religious exercises. It was thirty cubits in length, and ten in breadth and in height *. It was divided into two partitions by a veil or curtain. The first was called “the Sanctuary,” or
Holy Place,” which was twenty cubits long, and ten wide; in which were placed the table of shew bread, the golden candlestick, and the golden altar of incense. The second was called “the Most Holy place,” or “the Holy of Holies,” the length of which
1 Sam. vii. 3. 2 Pet. iii. 9. ? Ps. xxxvii. 27.
3 Ezek. xviii. 31. 4 A cubit was about twenty-one inches.