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would give them the blessing of eternal life, and make them partakers of his everlasting kingdom.”
6. All the journeyings of the children of Israel through the wilderness in their way to Canaan, were emblematical of the experience of believers in their passage through this vain world to heaven. They were led by a pillar of cloud and fire, picturing to us Christ's constant careful guiding of his people. I will guide thee with mine eye. . They were miraculously fed, day by day, with manna from heaven, which S. Paul calls spiritual bread, because it prefigured the Lord Jesus, who, himself tells us, is the true bread from heaven; and who, my friends, must be received day by day into the heart, as the manna was gathered day by day. They drank of that miraculous stream which flowed from the rock, when struck by Moses, and which followed them in all their journeys; and that rock, says S. Paul, was Christ. Happy he whose soul is perpetually refreshed by that water which Christ shall give him, springing unto everlasting life. As Moses was a type to the Israelites of Christ as a lawgiver, so was Joshua a type of Christ as the captain of our salvation. Joshua fought their battles, triumphed over their enemies, and at length led them into the promised land, into Canaan, the lot of their inheritance, the end and object of all their wanderings. It is Christ under whose banner the Christian fights; it is Christ in whose strength he treads down his enemies; it is Christ who shall bring him safely through death into heaven; who, in the passage of that black river, the prospect of which so much troubles the pilgrims, comes to receive them to himself, that where He is, there they
may be also.
7. But there is one very remarkable history which I must not omit here; I mean that of the brazen serpent. You find, in Numbers xxi., that the Lord, being displeased with the continual murmurings of the Israelites, sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people ; and much people of Israel died. You find then the people confessing their sins, and Moses praying for them to the Lord. And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole, and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole; and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived. Now this brazen serpent represents Christ: so our Lord himself tells Nicodemus: As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up, John iii. 14: and it gives a somewhat different view of our blessed Saviour than those we have already taken. We are, as it were, these poor Israelites, wounded by that old serpent, the devil; and the poison of sin has run through the whole constitution of our souls and bodies, so that there is no health in us. By nature men feel not that they are diseased; they seem to themselves whole, and, in their own opinion, need no physician. But so soon as the Lord gives light and feeling to the dead soul-(He alone can!)—so soon that soul begins to find its malady and misery,—that it is ill of a disease which, if God in mercy do not prevent, must end in everlasting death. But how shall the soul be cured ? how shall sin be brought under ? Look to Jesus, as the Israelites did to the brazen serpent. Come to Him, as the maimed, and the halt, and the blind, and the lepers did, when He was on earth, saying, Lord, if thou wilt thou canst make me clean ; nay, with a stronger and more prevailing faith, Lord, thou canst, and thou wilt make me whole. And he shall be made unto you, says the apostle, sanctification; he shall purify your heart by faith. Say not, how shall this be done? How was it that an eye, cast in confidence on the brazen serpent, healed the wounded Israelite ? It was the triumph of faith. His name, by faith in his name, as S. Peter told the unbelieving Jews, made a lame man walk; and shall not his name, by faith in his name, make a sinner holy, an impure soul pure, a blasphemer a reverent worshipper of God? Alas, we are all of us sadly wanting to ourselves here; we have not, because we ask not.
I have now gone through some of the most remarkable histories of the Old Testament. Time forbids us to enter upon the types and shadows of the law and the prophets, and to show you, as I could willingly do, Christ there also, almost in every ceremony and in every prophecy. Allow me, for the present, to conclude with three observations.
1. The first is this : The Old Testament saints had, indeed, Christ revealed to them; but how
darkly, compared with that full Gospel light which we have in the New Testament! We are enabled most clearly, by the help of Christ and his apostles, to see the hidden meaning of these histories; but to the patriarchs and Jews they must have been very obscure;—they saw, indeed, through a glass darkly. See, therefore, your privileges : Many prophets, as our Lord told his disciples, many prophets and kings desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them. And in the Gospels and Epistles we see these things still more clearly than even the disciples themselves had then seen them. You may think much of the different appearances and revelations of God to Abraham and Jacob, and other holy men of old : my friends, could they have heard what you have heard this day-(how imperfectly set forth by me it matters not--it is the truth of God, from the bright revelations of the New Testament)—could they have heard it, could they have thus plainly heard of the blood of Jesus Christ cleansing from all sins,-of the communication opened by Him between heaven and earth,—of the life of faith—they would have rejoiced. See, therefore, and value your privileges. And be assured of this ; with greater privileges, if those privileges are not improved, goes greater guilt. You cannot hear these things, and remain as you
If they do not do you good, they must do you harm: if they are not a savour of life unto life, they will be of death unto death : if they do not raise you to heaven, they must sink you lower into hell. The way of salvation is plainly set be
fore you; and if you despise it, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sin, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
2. The second observation I would make is, that which indeed I made to you at the first, but which will now come upon you with double force, Search the Scriptures. Surely, if there are these things in the Bible, if we do not dream, if the whole of religion be not a fable, then the Bible must be worth searching into. And if you cannot read, it must be worth all the pains you can take to learn to read. If you were a condemned criminal, and your life depended on your being able to read the king's pardon, you would quickly learn to read. If you were full of disease, and the method of certain cure was in some book in your hands, you would quickly learn to read. If you were in abject poverty, and had the titledeeds to some estate which might be yours, you would quickly learn to read, that you might go over the different particulars of your estate. Now, in the Bible is your pardon from God; in the Bible is your method of cure from the loathsome disease of sin; in the Bible are all the blessings of the believer's inheritance; and will you take no trouble to be able to read your Bible? It is true, you hear parts of it every Sunday at church; and an inestimable privilege it is that there is so much of the Sacred Scriptures in our service: and perhaps, sometimes you might be able to get a friend to read from the Bible to you; but what is this scanty supply, compared with what you