Imágenes de páginas

condemned as guilty, and destroyers of ourselves whensoever we yield. No temptation has befallen any of us, but such as has been borne heretofore by others, and trampled upon in the strength of the Lord. And whilst we have such histories to read as the one now before us, it must ever be undeniable, that it is, in all cases, possible to keep from sin; and always clear that to do so, at any sacrifice, is as much our interest as our duty. We see what Joseph came to in consequence of his integrity. But what would he have come to had he let it go? We cannot gather this from the facts of the history, but other passages of Scripture instruct us fully. "Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin." Had Joseph yielded to his tempter, he would have become her slave, and the slave of his own corruption, and have been unfitted altogether for honourable station or useful employment. For "no man can serve two masters"." Fleshly lusts especially war against the soul, and take away the heart; and as to yielding to them, "This," says Job, "is an heinous crime; yea, it is an iniquity to be punished by the judges, for it is a fire that consumeth to destruction, and would root out all mine increase '.

Then, be not satisfied with admiring Joseph as a conqueror in the spiritual conflict; but pray for his faith, and set the Lord always before you as he did. Live in constant communion with God, and in daily searching of Holy Scripture. Meditate on the truths there delivered to you; give yourselves wholly to them, and your profiting shall appear unto all men.

One observation may be made on the behaviour of the profligate woman, who would have been Joseph's seducer from the way of godliness; and it applies to all who, in whatsoever way, would do the same evil work. She had no real regard or good will for him: when her own passion could not be gratified, she at once showed herself to be the foe which, indeed, she was from the first. And so it is always. The Scripture says, "Thou shalt

8 John viii. 34.

"Matt. vi. 24.

1 Job xxxi. 11, 12.

not hate thy brother in thine heart;" and, therefore, "thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him2:" that is, not let him commit it if you can help it, when he is going to do it of his own mind. But if it be hatred not to check your neighbour in such courses, what must it be to lead him into them? The Apostle says, "See that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently 3." But love, and impure desire, whatever may be pretended to the contrary, are farther removed from one another, than the east is from the west. I conclude, then, in the words of the Apostle, which, probably, were selected by our Church, to be read on the same day with this history of Joseph, because of the light they throw upon it. "Be ye followers of God as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour." But (for the two can never go together), "But fornication, and all uncleanness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints. Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things, cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light +."


2 Lev. xix. 17.

3 1 Pet. i. 22.


Eph. v. 1-8.



EXOD. xiv. 30, 31.

"Thus the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore.

"And Israel saw that great work which the Lord did upon the Egyptians and the people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord, and his servant Moses."

No attentive reader of Holy Scripture can have failed to observe the wonderful manner in which the doctrines of the New Testament are illustrated by the types and prefigurations of them in the Old: as for instance, the doctrine of atonement, by the Jewish sacrifices; and the nature and necessity of sanctification, by the ordinances concerning leprosy. There is, however, another sort of types in some respects still more wonderful than those contained in the ceremonial observances of the law: I mean the historical types (as they may be called) with which the Old Testament abounds. In these we have a very extraordinary view of the Godhead, as seeing the end from the beginning; and a most amazing demonstration of the unity of design which runs through the whole of Holy Scripture, and makes the vast variety of providential dispensations therein recorded, to be so many necessary parts of one grand and consistent plan of mercy. We behold the Almighty so over-ruling the transactions of one period

of time, as to render them exact symbols or prophetical representations of other transactions of still higher interest, which have been at length accomplished subsequently in their season; and thence we may collect fresh and forcible evidence of the truth of our religion, and enlarge our acquaintance with the wisdom, faithfulness, and love of God.

These are considerations of great importance to the inquiring reader of the Bible, and considerations evidently of great practical utility. But my principal end in adverting to the subject of types at present, is to employ one of them according to its obvious design; that is, to make use of it as an illustration of evangelical truths and doctrines. Of all the historical types of the Old Testament, the most remarkable and the most complete, is perhaps that which is afforded us in the narrative from which the words of the text are taken. The history of the fortunes of God's people Israel, from the period of their being enslaved in Egypt to the time of their settlement in Canaan under their great captain Joshua (or Jesus, as he is called in the Acts of the Apostles' and in the Epistle to the Hebrews), was certainly intended to be, and truly is, a most accurate and full-length picture of the method of man's redemption; a picture in which our condition as children of wrath, and our character as perverse and wayward sinners, and God's dealings with his Church, his patience and love towards her, and his fiery indignation against all her adversaries, are represented in the liveliest colours.

The record divides itself into two periods: the first of which concludes with the deliverance of Israel from bondage, by the destruction of Pharaoh's host; and the latter, beginning with their entrance upon their journey through the wilderness, finishes with their full establishment in the promised land.

I purpose now to make some observations upon the account given us of the first of these periods, with particular reference to the typical signification of the events recorded.

1 Acts vii. 45.

2 Heb. iv. 8.

In the history of Joseph and his brethren, we learn the occasion of the first settlement of Abraham's posterity in Egypt. Previously to this, God had promised to their forefather an inheritance for his descendants in the fertile land of Canaan, which the family fully expected in due season to receive. But I begin with the period of Israel's distress. After Joseph and his brethren were dead, their children multiplied so prodigiously, that it is said, the land was filled with them. At this time there arose a new king over Egypt, who knew not Joseph. Joseph had not been more the support of his own house than of Egypt. He had saved the people from destruction by famine, and at the same time had greatly strengthened the government by his wise policy. But his services were now forgotten. And the new king affected to look with dread upon the great and growing prosperity of his family. He persuaded the Egyptians that these strangers were likely to do the nation an injury; and they readily concurred with him in a most iniquitous plan, by which he hoped to break the spirit of the Israelites, and to check their further increase. He reduced them to a state of most bitter slavery, and at the same time issued an edict by which all their male children were to be put to death. Israel doubtless would soon have become extinct under such usage as this, had they not been upheld by Divine protection. But the God of their fathers had his eye upon them and upon their enemies. He so ordered it that the people multiplied more and more. He rescued Moses from the effect of Pharaoh's edict; and having marvellously provided for his education in the Egyptian court, he commissioned him, in process of time, to be their deliverer. "I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; and I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey. Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest

« AnteriorContinuar »