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eight souls, were saved by water. The like figure whereunto, even baptism doth also how 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.” That 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 abundant, 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; suffie cient to bury the highest mountains of sin. The ark that was the refuge and hiding place of the church in this time of storm and flood, was a type of Christ, the true hiding place of the church, from the storms and floods of God’s wrath. III. The next thing I would observe is, the new grant of the earth God made to Noah and his family immediately . after the flood, 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 accepting 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 sac. rifice, 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. “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.
living thing that moveth upon the earth.” Which grant was not founded on the covenant of grace; for it was given to Adam while he was under the covenant of works, and therefore was antiquated when that covenant ceased. The first grant of the earth to Adam was founded on the first covenant; and therefore, when that first covenant was broken, the right conveyed to him by that first covenant was forfeited and lost. And hence it came to pass, that the earth was taken away from mankind by the flood : For the first grant was forfeited ; and God had never made another after that, till after the flood. If the first covenant had not been broken, God never would have drowned the world, and so have taken it away from mankind : For then the first grant made to mankind would have stood good. But that was broken ; and so God after a while, destroyed the earth, when the wickedness of man was great.
But after the flood, on Noah’s offering a sacrifice that represented the sacrifice of Christ, God in smelling a sweet savor, or accepting that sacrifice, as it was a representation of the true sacrifice of Christ, which is a sweet savor indeed to God, he gives Noah a new grant of the earth, founded on that sacrifice of Christ, or that covenant of grace which is by that sacrifice of Christ, with a promise annexed, that now the earth should no more be destroyed, till the consummation of all things ; as you may see in Gen. viii. 20, 21, 22, and chap. ix. 1, 2, 3, 7. The reason why such a promise, that God would no more destroy the earth, was added to this grant made to Noah, and not to that made to Adam, was because this was founded on the covenant of grace, of which Christ was the surety, and therefore could not be broken. And therefore it comes to pass now that though the wickedness of man has dreadfully raged, and the earth has been filled with violence and wickedness thousands of times, and one age after another, and much more dreadful and aggravated wickedness than the world was full of before the flood, being against so much greater light and mercy; especially in these days of the gospel : Yet God’s patience holds out; God does not destroy the earth ; his mercy and forbearance abide according to his promise ; and his grant established with Noah and his sons
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abides firm and good, being founded on the covenant of grace. * . IV. On this God renews with Noah and his sons the covenant of grace, Gen. ix. 9, 10. “And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you, and with every living creature that is with you,” &c.; which was the covenant of grace; which even the brute creation have this benefit of, that it shall never be destroyed again until the consummation of all things. When we have this expression in scripture, my covenant, it commonly is to be understood of the covenant of grace. The manner of expression, “I will establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you,” shews plainly, that it was a covenant already in being, that had been made already, and that Noah would understand what covenant it was by that denomination, viz. the covenant of grace. V. God’s disappointing the design of building the city and tower of Babel. This work of God belongs to the great work of redemption. For that building was undertaken in opposition to this great building of God that we are speaking of: Men's going about to build such a city and tower was an effect of the corruption that mankind were now soon fallen into. This city and tower was set up in opposition to the city of God, as the God that they built it to, was their pride. Being sunk into a disposition to forsake the true God, the first idol they set up in his room, was themselves, their own. glory and fame. And as this city and tower had their foundation laid in the pride and vanity of men, and the haughtiness of their minds, so it was built on a foundation exceedingly contrary to the nature of the foundation of the kingdom of Christ, and his redeemed city, which has its foundation laid in humility. Therefore God saw that it tended to frustrate the design of that great building that was founded, not in the haughtiness of men, but Christ's blood; and therefore the thing that they did displeased the Lord, and he baffled and confounded the design, and did not suffer them to bring it to perfection; as God, will frustrate and confound all other buildings, that are set up in opposition to the great building of the work of redemption.
In the second chapter of Isaiah, where the prophet is foretelling God’s setting up the kingdom of Christ in the world, he foretells how God will, in order to it, bring down the haughtiness of men, and how the day of the Lord shall be on every high tower, and upon every fenced wall, &c. Christ's Kingdom is established, by bringing down every high thing to Tmake way for it, 2 Cor. x. 4. 5. “For the weapons of our warfare are mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds, casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God.” What is done in a particular soul, to make way for the setting up of Christ's kingdom, is to destroy Babel in that soul. They intended to have built Babel up to heaven. That building that is the subject we are upon, is a building that is intended to be built so high, that its top shall reach to heaven indeed, as it will to the highest heavens at the end of the world, when it shall be finished: And therefore God would not suffer the building of his enemies, that they designed to build up to heaven in opposition to it, to prosper. If they had gone on and prospered in building that city and tower, it might have kept the world of wicked men, the enemies of the church, together, as that was their design. They might have remained united in one vast, powerful city ; and so they might have been too powerful for the city of God, and quite swallowed it up. This city of Babel is the same with the city of Babylon; for Babylon in the original is Babel. But Babylon was a city that is always spoken of in scripture as chiefly opposite to the city of God. Babylon, and Jerusalem, or Zion, are often opposed to each other, both in the Old Testament and New. This city was a powerful and terrible enemy to the city of God afterwards, notwithstanding this great check put to the building of it in the beginning. But it might have been, and probably would have been vastly more powerful, and able to vex and destroy the church of God, if it had not been thus checked. Thus it was in kindness to his church in the world, and in prosecution of the great design of redemption, that God put a stop to the building of the city and tower of Babel.
VI. The dispersing of the nations, and dividing the earth among its inhabitants, immediately after God had caused the building of Babel to cease. This was done so as most to suit that great design of redemption. And particularly, God therein had an eye to the future propagation of the gospel among the nations. They were so placed, the bounds of their habitation so limited round about the land of Canaan, the place laid out for the habitation of God’s people, as most suited the design of propagating the gospel among them : Deut. xxxii. 8. “When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.” Acts xvii. 26, 27. “And hath made of one blood all nations of men, for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation ; that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him.” The land of Canaan was the most conveniently situated of any place in the world for the purpose of spreading the light of the gospel thence among the nations in general. The inhabited world was chiefly in the Roman empire in the times immediately after Christ, which was in the countries round about Jerusalem, and so properly situated for the purpose of diffusing the light of the gospel among them from that place. The devil seeing the advantage of this situation of the nations for promoting the great work of redemption, and the disadvantage of it with respect to the interests of his kingdom, afterward led away many nations into the remotest parts of the world, to that end, to get them out of the way of the gospel. Thus he led some into America; and others into northern cold regions, that are almost inaccessible. VII. Another thing I would mention in this period, was God’s preserving the true religion in the line from which Christ was to proceed, when the world in general apostatized to idolatry, and the church were in imminent danger of being swallowed up in the general corruption. Although God had lately wrought so wonderfully for the deliverance of his church, and had shewn so great mercy towards it, as for its sake even to