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LIII. Ps. II. XVI. XXII. xlv. cx., and many other places. We need not, with Cocceius, bishop Horne, and other writers of this description, find Christ every where in the Old Testament; nor need we, as has been said of Grotius, come to the conclusion that he is to be found no where in it. There is some middle path between these extremes. If the Old Testament Scriptures have not predicted a Messiah, and have not indeed often predicted him, then the persuasion and the reasoning of Christ and his apostles, in respect to this subject, have no good foundation on which they can rest. If they have foretold a Messiah, why not leave them to speak out this great truth plainly, simply, without
ůnóvoia or occult sense ? For example; why, in the second and 45th Psalms, should we suppose the coro nation of David and the marriage of Solomon to be described or sung, by the first and literal sense of the words, and then that the Messiah is obscurely hinted at in the way of an occult sense ? Is not one greater than David to be found in the second Psalm, and greater than Solomon in the forty-fifth? So I must think. David was not crowned king on the holy hill of Zion; nor was he begotten of God on the day of coronation; nor had he the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession; nor were his 'enemies broken in pieces like a potter's vessel ; nor are all men invited to put their trust in him. Solomon was not most mighty in war ; nor did his right hand teach terrible things; nor was his throne for ever and ever; nor was he addressed by the title God (2758); nor did his children become princes in all the earth ; nor are all people exhorted to praise him forever and ever. Truly a greater than David or Solomon is here. No double sense is needed; none is even admissible. What advantage, in any respect, can be gained by the admission of one ?
All that can with strict propriety be said of these, and
of many other like cases, is simply, that the sacred writers of ancient times, when they come to disclose a future king Messiah and his extended and peaceful reign, borrow the costume of their picture from objects then before their own minds and those of their readers. From David and Solomon traits of resemblance are borrowed, in order to complete the sketch of a future and spiritual king. Not mere choice, but absolute necessity dictated this. How could the future be disclosed, except by language borrowed from that in present use, and by likenesses drawn from present objects? It is surely no good reason for finding a double sense, that a prophet has undertaken to disclose the future, by presenting it through similitudes of the present ?
This leads me to consider a second method in which the New Testament writers have cited and employed the language of the Old Testament, viz. by suggesting resemblances between past and future events.
This includes all which is properly called type in the Old Testament. Type means a resemblance of two things, not an occult sense of words. The epistle to the Hebrews has shown us, that many things under the old dispensation were, and were designed to be, typical, i. e. they bore a resemblance to objects or transactions of the new dispensation. It is through the medium of this epistle that we come more fully to learn, that many of the Jewish religious rites were typical. Indeed, we cannot well conceive how it should be otherwise. God has no pleasure in rites, forms, ceremonies, and sacrifices, in themselves considered, and for their own sake. To be worthy of him, they must shadow forth something of the future and Messianic dispensation. Thus the paschal-lamb was a type of the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world; the office of the high-priest was typical of the atoning and propitiatory office of Christ; and the like as to many other things.
But in all these cases, and in all like to them, there is nothing of a double sense to words. The words which describe the rites, sacrifices, or occurrences, of the ancient dispensation, are to be interpreted in their plain, usual, historical sense; for example, the institution of the passover in Ex. XII. When this is done, an interpreter, so far as the exegesis of mere language is concerned, has fully discharged his duty. But another question may arise, subsequent to this, viz., Whether the things thus described do not afford resemblances of future things under the new dispensation! Christ and the apostles have decided that they do; and even more than this is apparently decided, for they seem plainly to teach us, that many of the ancient rites, and transactions, and persons also, were designed to be types of good things to come. It is this which makes them truly types. Surely it is not every resemblance which fancy can draw, between an earlier and later occurrence or personage, that constitutes a type in a true and scriptural sense.
We must limit types of this character only to such things or persons, as were designed to afford resemblances that might convey instruction to the ancient church.
Will any one, who believes in the divine authority of the New Testament, call in question the fact that the paschal lamb, the Jewish sacrifices at large, the high-priest's office, and other things of the like nature, were designedly emblems of the future? If any do question this, I am not among the number. But then, in all these cases of types, there is only an emblem of the future, or a resemblance of something future, in the things or persons of ancient days, and no second sense to words which describe those things. If, moreover, the Jewish dispensation was designed to be preparatory to the Christian one, what less could be rationally expected than that there would be such a significancy
of its institutions ?
On the same ground, for substance, we may place a class of texts cited in the New Testament, which have generally been regarded as the most difficult of all. Let us select an example which comprises in itself all the serious difficulties that can attend the subject, in any part of the New Testament. In Matt. 2: 15, the writer refers to the flight of Joseph and Mary with the infant Jesus to Egypt, and their subsequent departure from that country in order to go again to Palestine. He appeals, for confirmation of the fact that all these arrangements were under the guidance of a superintending power, to a passage in Hosea 11: 1, which
says : “When Israel was a child I loved him, and called my Son out of Egypt.” As written by the prophet this is no part of a prediction, and is not designed to be one, but it is a simple declaration of a historical truth. Yet the Evangelist says, that when Jesus went down to Egypt, and was to be recalled from that country, that all this was a fulfilment (trangmois) of what the prophet Hosea had said, in the passage just quoted. What then are the elements of this case, and of all others like to it? Simply these; viz., that something transacted, done, performed in former days, or any event that happened, if they found an antitype or corresponding resemblance under the new dispensation, might be said to have a najgwois, i. e. a fulfilment. But who that ever has studied the New Testament references to the ancient Scriptures, does not know that the words fulfilment and fulfil have a wide latitude of meaning? Any thing which happened or was done in ancient times, and which for substance is repeated or takes place again under the new dispensation ; any thing later which presents a lively resemblance to another and earlier thing; may be, and often is, spoken of as a nhúgoois of that earlier thing. It matters not, now, whether the word by critical
and classical usage would bear this latitude of sense. Enough that such is New Testament usage.
God often calls ancient Israel his child, his son, because he was a special object of his love. The Hebrews were exiles in the land of Egypt, they were delivered from that state by a special providence, and brought to Palestine, the promised land. Jesus, the beloved Son of God in a higher and nobler sense, was an exile in Egypt, he was delivered from this state and brought to Palestine—and all by a special Providence. Angels interposed to accomplish his deliverance. Here then was a case, in which the Son of God in whom he was well pleased was brought to Egypt, and out of Egypt, in a manner not unlike to that recorded in ancient history. What happened in later times, happened in a higher and nobler sense than what happened in early times. And might it not be said, on this account, that there was in this case a idúgwois? It is said ; and why not justly said, and in a way full of meaning ?
But even here there is no occult sense of words, in the prophet. They are mere plain, simple, historical words. Yet the events to which they refer, bear a resemblance to subsequent events under the new dispensation ; and on this account the latter are named a filling up or fulfilment of the former. It is the want of right views as to the use of πλήρωσις and επληρώθη in the New Testament, which has misled so many interpreters of its quotations.
In a way not unlike to this last method of applying Old Testament Scriptures, we are accustomed continually to quote and apply maxims and sentiments from the classic writers, without ever supposing that the passages which we quote were actual predictions. Like occurrences or exigencies call to mind ancient declarations or narrations respecting similar events or occurrences, and those de