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in church and state with priestcraft and tyranny. The sacred office of the ministry is invaded by self-constituted teachers; and the powers that be are despised and insulted. The divine authority of both is openly questioned; and the authors of this schismatical rebellion undertake to open the eyes of the people.' These sentiments, however, of Korah and his coadjutors, respecting the origin of government, prove to be utterly displeasing to him, from whom all rights both ecclesiastical and civil are derived. The ways of God are not as the ways of man. A severe visitation from heaven speedily decides the point which was controverted between Moses and his opponents. The earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up quick. But, as for those, who presumed to minister to God, not according to his revealed will, but according to their own vain imaginations, their offering was an abomination in his eyes. Fire came out from the Lord, and consumed the two hundred and fifty men, that offered incense.
The Israelites, far from being intimidated by the exemplary punishment inflicted upon Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, murmured the very next morning against Moses and Aaron. By thus vindicating the actions of those rebels, they incurred a similar degree of guilt. A plague was sent among them, and no means of human deliverance appeared. In this emergency, Aaron took his censer, and ran into the midst of the congregation to make an
See Numb. xvi. 14.
atonement for them. He stood between the dead and the living, and the plague was stayed.' All those, who remained exposed to the fierce anger of the Lord, unprotected by the mediatorial intercession of Aaron, inevitably perished. But all such, as were shrouded from the vengeance of God by the powerful atonement of the high-priest, remained secure, though trenibling at the destruction which raged around them. Before Aaron, death appeared in all its horrors; behind him, all was hope and security. The plague approached exactly to the place where he stood; when, overcome by the mysterious virtue of the atonement which he made for the people, it ceased instantaneously.
There cannot be a more accurate description of the benefits conferred by the mediatorial office of the Messiah, than that which is contained in this instructive portion of history. The plague of sin rages in the midst of us all, and we are all totally corrupted. In this niiserable and helpless situation, we are exposed to the just anger of God; which, by our own strength, we can neither avert nor avoid. To a sinner, convinced of his criminality, and deeply feeling his need of a Saviour, the promised Redeemer now appears in the full though benign radiance of mercy. High-Priest is both able and willing to make a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world. To those, who trust in his merits, and rely upon the efficacy
r Numb. xvi. 48.
of his atonement, there is joy, peace, and comfort inexpressible. The wrath of God is stayed; nor will it penetrate into the inclosure, before which the well-beloved Son has taken his station. The miserable consequences of the plague of sin are at an end; and his spiritual health is restored to the penitent sinner, by the sprinkling of the blood of the covenant. Where Christ is not, sin and death prevail ; where he is, they are constrained to yield before the Almighty Conqueror. He stands between the living and the dead, and the plague is stayed.'
IX. The superior dignity which Elijah held over the other inspired teachers in Israel, along with some peculiar circumstances recorded in his history, seems to confer upon him the honour of being a type of the Messiah.
The authoritative manner of his teaching; his opposition to the priests of Baal ; and his call of Elisha, nearly in the very same words which our Lord used when calling his disciples : are all worthy of attention. But there are two events in his life, which more particularly demand our regard. As Elijah fasted forty days and forty nights ; so did our Saviour likewise prolong his abstinence to the same period. And, as the Prophet was supernaturally taken up into heaven, in the sight of his servant Elisha, to whoin he left his mantle, conferring the same miraculous powers, and the
See a beautiful sermon on this subject by Bp. Horne. vol. ii. serm. 7.
same divine inspiration, which he had himself possessed ; so did Christ ascend up on high in the presence of his disciples, leaving with them a double portion of his Spirit, which both enabled them to work wonders, and gave them strength to accomplish their warfare.
X. Another striking type of the Messiah, as we are assured by our Lord himself, is presented to us in the character of Jonah.
This prophet, was thrown overboard by the mariners with whom he was sailing, in order that the wrath of God might be averted from themselves; while yet they acknowledged their victim to be an innocent person. A large fish swallowed him up: and, after remaining within its belly three days, he was at length cast out alive upon dry land.
In a similar manner, Christ was consigned to death, the just for the unjust : and, having entered into the dark chamber of the grave, he remained there three days, ere he was restored to the light and liberty of heaven.
There is a close analogy between the typical character of Jonah and that of Noah. The Ark was viewed by the ancients as a coffin and a sepulchre, to which Noah was consigned as one dead from the antediluvian world, and out of which he proceeded as one reanimated into the postdiluvian world. But a large fish was a most ancient symbol of the Ark: whence the belly of the fish and the dark interior of the Ark were viewed in the same light and spoken of in the same terms. The belly therefore of the fish was considered as a sepulchre, and was deemed a fit emblem of the central cavity of Hades. Such accordingly is the manner, in which Jonah himself speaks of it, when he prays to the Lord out of the belly of the fish. I cried, by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord; and he heard me : out of the belly of Hades cried I, and thou heardest my voice. I went down to the bottoms of the mountains : the earth with her bars was about me for ever : yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O Lord my God.' Thus it is abundantly evident, with what strict propriety, the deliverance of the prophet from the belly of the fish was made typical of our Lord's resurrection from the grave.
Nor was it of a figurative resurrection alone that Jonah partook, if there be any truth in a remarkable Jewish tradition. According to the Rabbins,
, he was that son of the widow, whom Elijah raised from the dead: so that here again we behold him an eminent type of our blessed Saviour.'
XI. The last type, which shall be considered, is that of David and Solomon; who, taken in succession, aptly represent the Messiah, during his laborious warfare upon earth and his triumphant reign in heaven. Many passages in the Psalms seem to confirm this supposition. What David primarily speaks in his own person, or in that of his son Solomon, must be applied secondarily to.
· Jonah ii. 2, 6.
Isidor. Hispal. de vit. et obit. sanct. $ 45. Doroth. Tyr. de proph. c. vi.