« PreviousContinue »
H to the perfection of God's
The work of God perfect. an officer of Pharaoh, captain of (Continued from page 21.)
the guard, an Egyptian. He suf
fered a long imprisonment in ENUMBER IV.
gypt, through the stratagems of a
wanton and cruel woman, his masAVING already adverted ter's wife, and a train of other
miseries incident to a state of Nave. work in the difpenfation of his ry, in a ftrange land, exiled from grace to man, in three particulars, his country and friends. At in the events of his common proy. length, however, Pharaoh was idence-in the objects of divine led, by the mysterious operations mercy-and in the discipline which of divine providence, to advance God has chosen to train up his Joseph over all the land of Egypt, people for the heavenly inheri- and to place him next to his own tance ; I proceed to trace the same person ; in which elevated station, perfection,
he preserved to his family a pos4. In the instruments divine terity in the earth, and saved their wisdom has employed, in some of lives by a great deliverance. the remarkable salvations wrought Mofes was exposed in his infanout for his people, at various pe- cy, in an ark of bulrushes, and riods, which were intended as left to perish. He was exiled intypes of the great falvation of the to a barbarous land, from the land gospel ; and, especially, in that of his nativity, and from his nagreat falvation.
What I have tion and kindred, forty years ; chicfly in view is to show, that and was, as he himself testifies, “Out of weakness they were made low of speechand of allowtongue; Hrong," as the apostle Paul testi- but, by appointment and commiffies of some of them in the xi. fion from God, he was a most emchapter of his epistle to the He- inent type of Christ as a Saviour brews.
and as a lawgiver, and as a Media Joseph was hated by his breth- iator between God and his people, ren, who sold him as a slave to the in all the offices of prophet, priest Ifhmaelites, and they to Potiphar, I and king; and there arose not a VOL. III. No. 2.
prophet like unto Mofes, whom prevailed against the champion of the Lord knew face to face, until Gath, with a sling and a stone, and his great antitype appeared. cut off his head with his own
There were many circumstan- sword, and obtained for Israel a ces of apparent weakness in the glorious victory. Saulbeing ftung expedition of Deborah and Barak, with envy at the praise given to with the ten thousand men of the David, by those who lang to their children of Naphtali, and of the harps, and answered one another, children of Zebulon, against the saying, “Saul has slain his thouhost of Jabin king of Canaan, « sands and David his ten thouwith nine hundred chariots of iron; “ fands,” ever after fought his but they waxed valiant in fight, life, and never ceased perfecuting their victory was glorious, and him, till he had driven him from their deliverance complete. the inheritance of God. But the
Gideon's family was poor in Lord preserved David whithersoManaffeh, and himself the least ever he went. The kingdom of in his father's house ; yet, being Israel was his from the Lord ; and commissioned of God, he, with after the death of Saul, the house his three hundred men armed with of Saul waxed weaker and weaktrumpets, empty pitchers and er, and the house of David stron. lamps, vanquished the host of the ger and stronger. Many eminent Midianites, the Amalekites, and men were raised up to be helpers the children of the East ; slew of David, to turn the kingdom of the two princes of the Midianites Saul to him. And there came to Oreb and Zeeb, and their two him, from day to day, to help kings Zebah and Zalmunna. He him, until it was a great hoft, like also effectually taught the princes the host of God. Being estabof Succoth with thorns of the lished in his kingdom, he fought wilderness and briers, and brake and prevailed against all his enedown the tower of Penuel, and i mies, until he had recovered his flew the men of the city, for their border at the river Euphrates, and unbelief and cruelty.
had extended his dominion from David was the youngest in his sea to sea. Add to this, he was father's house, and while his breth
a great prophet ; and the sweet ren were employed in the army, psalmist of Israel; he made great he was occupied in the humble bu- preparations for building the temfiness of a shepherd, and kept his ple ; was a second lawgiver of the father's sheep. Being sent by his Jewish church and people ; added father to the army, on an office of to the ritual of divine service, and kindness to his brethren, and ma- set in order the future temple working fome enquiry of what should ship. be done to the person who should Christ chose for his constant at. kill Goliath of Gath, who had de- tendants and companions, during fied the armies of Israel, he was his public ministry, certain illitedespised and sharply reproved by rate fishermen of Gallilee an obhis eldest brother, for his suppo- scure part of Palestine, and aftersed weakness and impertinence ; wards commissioned them to bear but, animated with zeal in the his name among the Gentiles and cause of God who had been de kings and the children of Israel : fied, and in the exercise of faith, And we can be at no loss for the he accepted the challenge, and reasons of his choice, so contrary
to all the maxims of human wir was through life compared with dom, fince the scriptures have told infirmity. He was despised and us, " That this treasure was put rejected of men ; a man of for: in earthen vessels, that the excellen- rows and acquainted with grief, of of the power might be of God.”. He bore our griefs and carried
The great apostle of the Gen- our forrows, yet he was esteemed tiles was subject to more and great. Aricken, smitten of God and afflia er infirmities and afflictions than 'ed. His visage was so marred any other apostle or minister of more than any man, and his form Chrift ever was, since the first pro- more than the sons of men. mulgation of the gospel, which, Though he was the heir of all in the xi. Chap. of his ad epistle things, yet he had not where to to the Corinthians, he recounts, lay his head; and during his pubwith fome amplification. He lic ministry he was supported prin. adds to these in the xii. chapter cipally by the charity of a few what he calls a thorn in the flesh, pious friends. His last scene of a messenger of Satan, given to sufferings was extreme ; he was buffet him, lest he should be ex. falsely accused by the rulers and alted above measure, through the principal men of his nation before abundance of the revelations made the Roman governor, was arraignhim ; which he besought the ed and condemned, tho' acknowlLord, thrice, that it might de-edged to be innoncent by the part from him, and received for judge who pronounced fentence; answer, “ My grace is fuffi- he was set at nought by the fol"cient for thee : for my Arength : diers, clothed in mock majesty, " is made perfea in weakness.” crowned with thorns, scourged, This confideration completely sata i spit upon, compelled to bear his isfying his mind, he adds, “ Most own cross to the place of execu" gladly, therefore, will I rather tion, crucified between two thieves, "glory in my infirmities, that the and in his expiring moments, he
power of Christ may reft upon was reviled as an impostor, and his "me.”
thirst was mocked with vinegar Above all, the man Christ Je mingled with gall. But his fuffus was born in a low condition ; ferings and death were voluntary, he sprang indeed from the ancient he submitted to them in obedience and honorable stock of David, but to the will of his Father ; being at a time when the family of Da- found in fashion as a man he bevid was become obscure, and his came obedient unto death, the tabernacle was fallen down. He death of the cross ; he was wounwas born in a stabie and laid in a ded for our transgressions, he was manger, though his birth was an bruised for our iniquities, the nounced by a choir of angels, and chastisement of our peace was up. by the vifit of the eastern Magi, on him, and by his stripes we are who paid theirhomage to the new-healed. He was made fin for us, born king. His reputed father who knew no fin, that we might Joseph worked at the trade of a be made the righteoufsnefs of God carpenter, and lie is thought to | in him ; and being made perfect hare followed the same employ: through sufferings, he became the ment. In his infancy he was author of eternal salvation unto compelled to fly into Egypt from all them that obey him. Though the persecution of Herod, and this man was made a curse for
and was compaired with infirinity | wise in their own craftinefs, and through his whole life, yet the the counsel of the froward is carsecond person in the adorable ried headlong. He is the king Trinity took him, from his mirac- anointed of God, like fpiritual ulous conception in the womb of David, whom God had decreed his virgin mother, into a personal to set, and in spite of the vain imunion with himself. God repeat- aginations and impotent rage of edly bore witness, by a voice from his enemies, hath set upon
his ho heaven, that he was his beloved ly hill of Zion ; and who, by the fon, in whom he was well pleased : immutable purpose of God, shall his miraculous works bore witness reign, until he has subdued all his to the same truth, and he was de- enemies under his feet. He is the clared to be the son of God with Lord of angels and of men. He power, according to the spirit of is the head of all principality and holiness, by the resurrection from power, and might and dominion the dead. He is the great teach and every name that is named. er who came from God. He is He is the constituted judge of the great prophet like unto Mo- the quick and the dead; in him ses, whom, according to his pre- dwelleth all the fulness of the diction, God hath raised up. He Godhead, bodily. He is the heir is the great high-priest after the of all things. He is the brightorder of Melchisedec, who has en- ness of God's glory and the extered into the holiest through his press image of his person. He own blood, having obtained eter- is the beginning, the first begotnal redemption for us. He is the ten from the dead, who in all scope of the Mosaic ritual. He things hath the pre-eminence. is the person to whom allthe proph. He is the Saviour of the body ets bear witness from the begin- | the church, the mediator between ning ; so that the spirit of proph-God and man, and the intercessor ecy is but the same thing as the with the Father for all whom the teilimony of Jesus. He is the Father hath given him, and by antitype of all those worthies whom alone they have access to whom God in former ages had God. He formed in the souls raised
up to accomplish any great of all who love him, there he and excellent things in favor of maintains his kingdom of truth, his people. He is the promised peace and righteousness. He is feed of the woman destined to in himself, by the Spirit the Combruise the head of the serpent. In forter, the principle and earnest, his sufferings and death, in which and will be the confummation of nothing was viĝble but weakness eternal life within them. He is and wretchedness, he vanquified the eternal word, by whom all him that had the power of death, things were created and in whom that is the devil ; and as David they subfift. He is the Wonderkilled Goliath with his own fword,ful, the Counfellor, the Mighty he overthrew the devil with the God, the Everlasting Father, the cross the supposed fatal instru- Prince of Peace. He is the mement of his own triumph. Thus dium of divine communication to the weakness of God is stronger, creatures. He alone hath declarand the foolishness of God is wi-ed the nature and counsels of God, fer, than his foes, whether men and hath unscaled the book of his - devils ; and thus he takeththe eternaldecrres: and he is the Lainb
of God, who is feated in the and satisfies the defires of every fame throne with God the Father; living thing, and from the testiand the holy inhabitants of Heav- mony of fcripture, that the gooden will ascribe equal blessing and ness of God is proved by his honor and glory and power unto works of creation and common the Lamb, for ever and ever, as providence : Also, to show, that unto him that sitteth on the throne. the objection arising from the exBut nothing can express, not even istence of fin and misery in the the word of God itself, to our world has no weight, because it apprehensions, the fulness of his cannot invalidate proof which is excellency and glory. Let praise shown to be conclufive, because then fit filent on our tongues....... men as finners deserve all the suf
ferings which they endure in this We may now accompany the life and much more, and because Pfalmift in his words on this fub- the fystem of divine operation is je& addressed to God, in the 8th not yet fully unfolded, or brought Psalm : “ Out of the mouth of to its ultimate issue : that, on the “ babes and sucklingshaft thouor- contray, they, in truth, increase “ dained strength because of thine the evidence of God's goodness : “ enemies, that thou mighteft ftill that sufferings do this as tending " the enemy and the avenger :” | either to guard the body from or, as they are quoted by Christ fatal mischiefs, or the soul from in the xxi. Chap. of Matthew, that utter destruction which is the "Out of the mouth of babes and end of a course of vice, and to keep "sucklings thou hast perfected the earth from being filled with " praise."
violence, and so they are premonThus I have endeavored to itory : or to show the divine prove the moral perfection or righteousness, as governor of the goodness of God, from that facul-world, and avenger of all wickedty common to men by which we ness, and so they are either cordiscern the difference between rective or vindictive: that fin does right and wrong in moral con- this, because the finner alone is duct-from the nature of the to blame for his fin, and not its actions, conscience approves, as cause, whatever that may be, and promoting ; and of those actions, it is necessary to give occafion to which conscience disapproves, as the displays of the divine rightinjuring the common interests of eousness, and of course is as imfociety ; combined with the con- portant, as an event, as those diffideration, that God has connect.plays themselves. Further, I have ed delight with the practice of endeavored to trace the perfection the former, and remorse with the of God's work in its being fitted practice of the latter, by a law to show not only that he is good, which gives a foretaste of its own but that none other is inherently fanctions from the absurdity of and essentially so, and that all the supposition that God, if a perfection whether natural or mormalevolent being, would give a al in creatures emanates from him, faculty to creatures to discern his as streams from the fountain ; in own moral deformity, and so to the various degrees of being and lay them under obligation to hate excellence imparted to creatures him—from the laws, by which in their first formation, with a Cod governs the natural world, particular view to what fuperf.