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(1.) A lamb in respect of its natural innocency and meekness, that suffers without resistance, was a fit emblem of our Saviour, “Whose voice was not heard in the street, who did not break the bruised reed, nor quench the smoking Alax. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth. He was brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before the shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth.” Isa. 53. 7.
(2.) The lamb was to be without spot, to signify his absolute perfection. “ We are redeemed with the precious blood of Christ, as a lamb without blemish, and without spot.” 1 Pet. 1. 17, 18.
(3.) The lamb was to be separated from the flock four days; the Lord Jesus nas separated from men, and consecrated to be the sacrifice for the world, after three or four years spent in his ministerial office, preparing himself for that great work.
(4.) The paschal lamb was sacrificed and substituted in the place of the first-born. The levitical priesthood not being instituted at their going forth from Egypt, every master of a family had a right to exercise it in his own house. Our Redeemer suffered in our stead, to propitiate God's justice towards us.
(5.) The blood was to be sprinkled upon the posts of the door, that death might not enter into their houses. That sacred ceremony was typical: for the sign itself had no resemblance of sparing, and certainly the angel could distinguish between the Israelites and the Egyptians without the bloody mark of God's favour: but it had a final respect to Christ. We are secured from destruction by the blood of sprinkling.” They were to eat the whole flesh of the Lamb, to signify our entire taking of Christ
upon the terms of the gospel to be our Prince and Savi
(6.) The effects attributed to the paschal lamb, viz. redemption from death and bondage, clearly represent the glorious benefits we enjoy by Jesus Christ. The destroying angel passed over their houses, and caused the Egyptians to restore them to full liberty. That which all the dreadful signs wrought by Moses could not do, was effected by the passover; that overcame the stubbornness of Pharaoh, and inspired the Israelites with courage to undertake their journey to the promised land. Thus we pass from death to life, and from bondage to the glorious liberty of the sons of God, by virtue of Christ's blood.
3. Reasonable persons represented our Saviour either in their offices, actions, or the memorable accidents that befel them. Joseph the beloved of his father, sent by him to visit his brethren, by them unworthily sold to strangers, and thereby raised to be their Lord and Saviour, was a lively type of him. Jonah three days and nights in the whale's belly, and miraculously restored, was a type of his lying in the grave, and resurrection. Moses in his prophetical, David in his kingly office prefigured him. The priestly office being the foundation of the other two, and that upon which our salvation principally depends, was illustrated by two glorious types, Melchizedec and Aaron. The one the highpriest in ordinary, the other the priest of God by extraordinary designation. I will briefly touch upon the resemblance between him and Christ. Although sacrifices were offered from the beginning; yet he is the first to whom that title is given, as called to that office in a special manner. The divinity of Christ's person, the eternity of his office, and the infinite value of his oblation were shadowed forth by him. Melchizedec is introduced into the sacred story, as one descending from heaven, and ascending thither, without any account of his birth or death. The silence of the scripture is mysterious : for the spirit conducted holy men in their writings. The levitical priests descended by natural generation from their predecessors, and had successors in their office, which were annexed to the race of Levi. But Melchizedec is represented “ without father and mother, without beginning and end of days,” whose priesthood was permanent in himself. For things and persons have a double being, real in themselves, and notional as they exist in the mind; so that no mention being made of his coming into the world, or leaving it, the silence of the scripture is equivalent to his continual duration. Now in this was an adumbration of Christ, who was the eternal Son of God, and really came from heaven to execute his office, and ascended thither. And although his oblation was finished on the earth, and his intercession shall cease in heaven; yet the effects of it shall be eternal in the people, and the glory of it in himself. The apostle observes another resemblance between the supreme quality of Melchizedec king of Salem, and Jesus Christ : he was king of righteousness and peace; he governed his subjects in righteousness, and never stained those hands with human blood that were employed in the sacred office of the priesthood.
And by those glorious titles are signified the benefits our Saviour conveys to his people. He is the true king of righteousness : by which is not intended the righteousness that justifies before God, in which respect he is called “the Lord our Righteousness, and is said “ to have brought in eternal righteousness,” for that respects his priestly office; in that quality he acquired it. But that title signifies his giving most righteous laws for the government of the church, and his dispensing righteous rewards and punishments, eternal life and death, by which he preserves the majesty of his laws, and secures the obedience of his subjects. And he is
King of peace,” by which we are not to understand his temper and disposition, nor our “ peace with God,” for reconciliation is grounded on his sacrifice, nor peace with conscience the effect of the other ; but that which depends on his royalty. As the King of peace, he keeps his subjects in a calm and quiet obedience; all their thoughts and passions are regulated by his will. The laws of secular kings are only exposed to the eyes, or proclaimed to the ears of their subjects; but his are engraven in their hearts. By the inward and almighty efficacy of his spirit he inclines them to their universal duty; and will bring them to eternal peace in his glorious kingdom.
(1.) From hence we have an irrefragable argument of the truth and divinity of the gospel : for it is evident by comparing the ancient figures with the present truth, the copies with the original, the pictures with the life, that eternal wisdom contrived them. For no created understanding could framé so various representations of Christ, and all exactly agreeing with him at such a distance before his appearance. And if we compare the predictions with the events, it is most clear that only the divine knowledge could reveal them. For otherwise how was it possible, that the prophets so many ages before the coming of Christ should predict those things concerning him, that exceeded the foresight of all the angels of light ? What intelligence could there be between Moses, and David, and Isaiah, that lived such a distance of time from one another, to deliver such things as meet in him as their centre ? And these prophecies are conveyed to us by the Jews, the most obstinate enemies of christianity, who although they reverence the letter, yet abhor the accomplishment of them : so that there can be no possible suspicion that they are feigned, and of a later date than their titles declare, Their successive fulfil.
ing is a perpetual miracle to justify the truth of our religion. Our Saviour used this method for the instruction of his disciples. “ These are the words which I spake unto you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the Prophets, and in the Psalms concerning me,” Luke 24. 44. As by dissecting a dead body we see the order and position of parts in the living ; so by searching into the legal types, we may discover the truth of evangelical mysteries. Accordingly St. Paul framed a powerful demonstration from the scriptures, to prove that “ Jesus was the Christ.” In his writings he decyphers the riddles of the law, and removes the veil to discover the face of Christ engraven by the divine artificer. Briefly, by showing the consent between the two testaments, he illustrates the old by the new, and confirms the new by the old. Now what religion is there in the world, whose mysteries were foretold by the oracles of God, and figured by his institutions above two thousand years before it was exhibited ? Whose doctrine perfectly accords with the most ancient, venerable and divine writings ? Can that religion be any other than divine, which God did so expressly predict, and pourtray in such various manner, for the receiving whereof he made such early preparations in the world? Certainly without offering the greatest violence to our rational faculties, none can disbelieve it. He degrades himself from the dignity of being a man, that refuses to be a christian.
(2.) From hence we may understand the excellent privileges of christians, not only above the heathens who by divine desertion were wholly“ strangers to the covenant of mercy, but above God's peculiar people. The Messiah was the expectation and desire of heaven and earth. Before his coming the saints had some glimmerings of Light, which made them inwardly languish after the blessed manifestation of it: but that was reserved for believers in the last ages of the world. That ancient promise (the morning-blush of the gospel-day.) “ That the seed of the woman should break the head of the serpent, and the serpent bruise his heel," signified the bloody victory the Messiah should obtain over satan ; but how little of it was understood ? One may as well from the sight of the root foretel the dimensions of a tree, the colour, figure, and taste of its fruit, as from that prediction have discovered all the parts of our Mediator's office, and the excellent benefits resulting from it. The incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension of Christ, are in the types and prophecies of the old testament, as corporeal beings are in the darkness of the night; they have a real existence, but no eye is so clear as to enlighten the obscurity. The most sharp-sighted Seer might say, “ I shall see him, but not now.” The ministry of the law is compared “ to the light of a candle,” 2 Pet. 1. 12, that is, shadowy, and confined to a small place: that of the gospel is like the sun in its strength, that enlightens the world. The prophets who were nearer the coming of Christ, had clearer revelations, but did not bring perfect day: as some new stars appearing in the firmament, increase, but do not change the nature of the light. Isaiah, who is so exact in describing all the circumstance of our Saviour's death, and his innocence, humility, and patience, that he seems to be an evangelist rather than a prophet; yet the Ethiopian proselyte, who certainly was a proficient in the Jewish religion understood not of whom the prophet spake. We see what they were ignorant of, not that our sight is stronger, but our light is more clear. The doctrine of the Messiah saved them, but it was then seen at a distance, and under a veil of ceremonies after the Jewish fashion, that concealed its native beauty. The manifestation of it is more evident in the accomplishment, than while the object of future expectation. The passover had respect to their deliverance from Egypt that was past, and therefore easily apprehensible ; but it was also a type of the Lamb of God that was to take away the sins of the world, and in this relation not so clearly understood. Our sacraments have a relation to what is past, and excite the memory by a clear signification of his sufferings. The full discovery of these mysteries were reserved as an honour to our Saviour's coming. He expounded the silent types and speaking oracles by an actual accomplishment, and real comment in his person, life and death. He is the sun of righteousness, and sheds abroad a light that excels that of all the prophets in brightness, as well as his person transcends theirs in dignity. And how should the evangelical light warm our hearts, with thankfulness to God for this adntirable privilege? The dim foresight of the Messiah two thousand years before his coming, put Abraham in an ecstacy of joy; how should the full revelation of him affect us ? Many holy prophets and kings desired to see the things that we see. • They embraced the promises, we have the blessed effects;