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fiery serpents ; in consequence of which many were slain. And the Lord sent! fiery serpents among the people; and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. As this sort of worship prevailed so much, it was very proper to punish those apostates who had lapsed into it, by the object of their adoration ; at the same time to deter others from giving into it for the future. After thiş punishment had sufficiently taken place, it pleased God to order a bražen serpent to be made ; and to be elevated upon a perch or standard, and he directed Moses to tell the people, that whoever looked up to that object should live. ? And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole ; and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall {ive. * And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole; and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.

By this the people were taught, that their trust in Thermuthis, Agathodæmon, Hermes, or any serpentine divinity, was vain. All their resource was in another power ; who was re

Numbers, ch. xxi. ver. 8, 9.

wn.

presented before them. But even to this em blem no adoration was to be paid. They were only to look upon it, and be saved. The miracle therefore was well calculated to affect the people before whom it was displayed and with this we might rest satisfied. But it had certainly a farther allusion ; and all the world is concerned in the happy consequences pointed out in this typical representation. It was undoubtedly an intimation of our being cleansed from all taint by our looking up to the person denoted under this emblem ; and of our being preserved from utter death. It was not the design of providence to discover fully the meaning of these mysterious and wonderful works, which were exhibited in those days. But to those, who live in more enlightened times, the purport cannot be mistaken. Had it pleased Gọd to have explained his meaning by his prophet upon the spot, I presume, that in express terms it would have amounted to this : “ You have been devoted " to serpent-worship; and I pụnish you by " these very reptiles, which you have idly " adored. You have esteemed the serpent the “ emblem of health, life, and divine wisdom; " and under this symbol you have looked up

; "to an unknown power, stiled Thoth and

“ Agathodæmon, the benign genius. For these " things you suffer. But I will shew you a " more just and salutary emblem, by which “ health and life, as well as diyine wisdom, are “signified. It is a type of the true Agatho“ dæmon, that human divinity, the physician " of the soul ; by whom these blessings are "one day to accrue, Behold that serpent “ upon a perch, or cross; whoever looks. up.

to him, shall be saved from the present ye4 nom of the serpent, as well as from pri" meval infection. This is an emblem of that " benign power, that good genius, by whom “ the world will be cured of every inherent 66 evil.”

Objection. . But it may be said,---Can we suppose, that the God of Israel would explain himself by the * ! This was the opinion of some of the fathers: and particularly of Justin Martyr. Musngios gee die T8T$, ws ngosons, εκηρυσσι (Μωσης) δί και καταλυειν μεν την δυναμιν τα οφεως, τε και την παραβασιν υπο τη Αδαμ γενεσθαι εργασαμενε εκηρυσσε. σωτηριαν δε τους πισενεσιν επι τετον τον δια τα σημεια τετε (δoικνυμενον) τετ' επι τον σαυρεσθαι μελλοντα, απο των δηγματων τα οφεως απερ εισιν αι κακαι ngažuis. Zi 5. . Dialog. cont. Tryph. $ 94. p. 191. Some such word as disxyvązvoy seems to be wanting.

emblems of Egypt? I answer; most undoubt, edly. The revealing of his mind by Egyptian symbols was like writing in the charac ers of that country. It was in a manner speaking their languages and therefore at: tended with great fitness and propriety. - 1 have mentioned, that there was nothing reprehensible in the characteristics themselves. The only crime was in the misapplication: They had their meaning; and those who had any knowledge in the wisdom of the Egyptians, must have understood their immediate purport. This emblem therefore was very properly introduced. 1..!;! ;!9329 1,3,3,95

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The true Purport of the Emblem. : From the circumstances with which this curious history is attended, we may perceive, that, when the serpent was lifted up before the eyes of the Israelites, it was not intended merely as a sign and means of their recovery; but its salutary purport had a relation to the whole world. It was certainly an intimation of our being cleansed from all taint and impurity, and saved from final ruin. Our Sayioạr plainly speaks of it as a type of himself; and interprets it in the same manner; as al. luding to our redemption, and to our being preserved from absolute death. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness; even so must the Son of man be lifted up: than whosoéver believeth in him should not perish, but have etern . The resemblance, I believe, was too striking not to be perceived by the Jews ; especially when, after our Saviour's resurrection, his history and doctrines became more generally known. It afforded an argument much in favour of Christianity, and this probably was the reason, why not a word is said by Josephus concerning the brazen serpent in the wilderness. He promised in his' Antiquities, which are copied from the Bible, to leave out pothing material. Yet this important history is passed by, and seems to have been designedly omitted.

"As mention was incidentally made some pages above concerning the history of this serpent, erected by divine order before the people; I have treated of it first, though second în time, on account of the light which it may afford to the other.

' John, ch. iii. ver. 14, 15.

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