« PreviousContinue »
supersit, nec lucus nisi ad signa veterum Geographorum, eaque non satis certa, demonstrari possit. Vitringa ad Isai. xxiii. p. 703. See also Prideaux Connect.
The city of Tyre, standing in the sea upon a peninsula, promises at a distance something very magnificent. But when you come to it, you find no similitude of that glory for which it was so renowned in ancient times. On the north side it has an old Turkish ungarrisoned castle ; besides which you see nothing here, but a mere Babel of broken walls, pillars, vaults, &c. there being not so much as one entire house left. Its present inhabitants are only a few poor wretches, harbouring themselves in the vaults, and subsisting chiefly upon fishing ; who seem to be preserved in this place by Divine Providence, as a visible argument how God has fulfilled his word concerning Tyre, that it should be as the top of a rock, a place for fishers to dry their nets on. Maundrel's Journey, p. 48.
In Genesis xvi. the angel said to Hagar-Thou shalt beur a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael ; And he will be a wild man; [as savage as a wild ass] his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him : and he shall deell in the presence of all his brethren.
Ishmael was the father of the Arabs, who are, and ever have been, such as Ishmael is here described, robbers, free-booters, and independent vagabonds.
In the same book, ch. xxvii. Isaac says to his son Esau, by thy sword shalt thou live. Esau was the father of the Idumæans, who were always a warlike people, ravaging their neighbours, and of a restless disposition. Such they were in the days of Josephus, who gives them this character: Θορυβώδες και άτακίου έθνος, αι τε μετέωρον προς τα κινήματα, και μεταβολαίς χαίρον, σρός ολίγην δε κολακείαν των δεομένων, τα όπλα κιν&ν, και καθάπερ εις εορτήν, εις τας σαρααξεις επειγόμεν... Turbarum avida, et incondita
gens, semperque ad motus suspensa, mutationibus gaudens, minimis petentium blanditüs arma movens, et in prælia
festinans, quasi ad festum. B. J. iv. 4.
The most extraordinary person who ever appeared amongst the Jews was Christ, who without human means, and with a few poor disciples, brought about a greater change, and accomplished a greater undertaking, than any Jew ever conceived and attempted. If he was the Messias, it is reasonable to suppose that the prophets, who so accurately and undeniably foretold the things relating to Babylon, Tyre, fc. would give some indications of this sacred person, which was of more importance to the Jews and to mankind; and consequently it is reasonable to think that we rightly understand in general the prophecies which are applied to him. If he falsely assumed the character which he took, yet, since he had the art and the success to make many of the Jews, and a great part of the Gentile world believe in him, it was to be expected that some caution would have been given in the prophetic writings to the Jews, that they might not be misled by him, nor expect any prophet after Malachi.
Passages in the Old Testament which have been applied to him, are of four sorts.
1. Accommodations :
1. Accommodations are passages of the Old Testament, which are adapted by the writers of the New, to something that happened in their time, because of some correspondence and similitude.
These are no prophecies, though they be said sometimes to be fulfilled; for any thing may be said
to be fulfilled, when mouth in para
it can be pertinently applied. For example, St Matthew says, All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in bles, I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world. The meaning is apparently no more than this, that what the Psalmist said of his way
of teaching, might justly be said of those discourses of Christ.
Thus the apostles frequently allude to the sacred books; and thus Pagan writers often cite passages from their old poets, to describe things * of which those poets never thought; and this is no fault, but rather a beauty in writing; and a passage applied justly, and in a new sense, is ever pleasing to an ingenious reader, who loves to be agreeably surprised, and to see a likeness and pertinency where he expected none. He has that surprise which the Latin poet so poetically gives to the tree;
Miraturque novas frondes et non sua poma. II. Direct prophecies are those which relate to Christ and the gospel, and to them alone, and which cannot be taken in any other sense. Upon these we ought principally to insist, when we would prove the truth of our religion from the predictions of the Old Testament; and of these there is a considerable number. Such are those which mention the calling of the Gentiles, the everlasting kingdom of the Son of man, to be erected during the time of the Roman empire, and the second covenant. Such is the cxth Psalm ; The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I
• Diogenes the Cynic was remarkable for this sort of wit, and many of his applications, or parodies of Homer are very happy and in: genuous.
make thy enemies thy footstool, &c. This is as plain as a prophetic description ought to be ; it is applicable to Christ alone, and it sets forth his exaltation, his royal dignity, his priestly office, the propagation of his gospel, the obedience of his subjects, the destruction of his enemies, and of the Roman emperors, who persecuted his church. But of this prophecy something more shall be said, when we come to the reign of Constantine.
III. A type is a rough draught, a less accurate pattern or model, from which a more perfect image or work is made. Types, or typical prophecies, are things which happened and were done in ancient time, and are recorded in the Old Testament, and which are found afterwards to describe or represent something. which befel our Lord, and which relates to him and to his gospel. For example: Under the law, a lamb was offered for a sin-offering, and thus an atonement was made for transgressions. John the Baptist calls Christ the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world, and St Peter tells Christians that they are redeemed by the blood of Christ as of a lamb. llence we infer and conclude that the lamb was a type of Christ; and upon considering it, we find that it has all that can be required to constitute a type ; for it is in many respects a very just and lively representation of Christ. The lamb died for no offence of his own, but for the sins of others; so did Christ : the lamb could not commit sin by his nature, nor Christ by his perfection: the lamb was without bodily spot or blemish ; Christ was holy and undefiled : a lamb is meek and patient; such was the afflicted and much injured Son of God. '
These types are useful to persons who have already received Christianity upon other, and stronger evi
dence, as they shew the beautiful harmony and correspondence between the Old and New Testament; but they scem not proper proofs to satisfy and convince doubters, who will say perhaps with the schoolmen, Theologia symbolica non est argumentativa.
Unless we have the authority of the scriptures of the New Testament for it, we cannot conclude with certainty that this or that person, or this or that thing mentioned in the Old Testament is a type of Christ, on account of the resemblance which we may perceive between them: but we may admit it as probable.
Joseph was a Nazarene, as the word may denote a separate person. And though he were not under a Nazarite's vow, yet as he was separate from his brethren, he is called Nazir *, a Nazarite, in the more general and lax signification of the word. And there is a very singular correspondence between him and Jesus. Joseph was the beloved son of his father; and so is Jesus too. But as he was hated by his brethren, so Jesus came to his own, and his own received him not. If the sun, moon, and stars did, in a figure, obeisance to Joseph; they did it to Jesus without a trope. Come, let us kill him, was the language of the brethren, both of Joseph and of Jesus.They were both sold for pieces of money; both became servants. The bloody coat of Joseph answers to the blood of Jesus. They were both forced down into Egypt; both were numbered with transgressors. Joseph is imprisoned with Pharaoh's butler and baker, one of them is saved, the other destroyed: Jesus suffers with two thieves, and one of them is saved also. Joseph sold corn, and saves his people; so does Jesus, the multiplier of loaves, and the Bread of Life. If Joseph exhort his brethren to peace, so did Jesus. If they bowed the knee to Jo
seph, Gen. xlix. 26.