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detest the unnatural son who could make sport of his parent's shame. who intoxicates himself does ill; but he who in cool blood, can take an indecent, or an injurious advantage of the intoxication of another does worse. The modesty and dutifulness of two of Noah's sons, exhibit a lovely and instructive example to youth; their ingenuous shame, their eagerness to conceal the infirmity of their father. They deserve to be blessed with numerous and thriving families, who have practised duty and obedience to their parents. This accordingly is the blessing entailed upon Shem and Japhet; and Ham's disrespectful and indecent behaviour towards his father, is in like manner punished in the entail of a lasting and heavy curse upon his offspring. Of all the precepts of the law, the fifth most obviously, directly, and certainly requites the breach or the observance of itself. Noah awakes from his wine, and meets the reproof of his intemperance, in the knowledge of what his sons had done unto him, when he was not himself. And what reproof so keen and severe to an ingenuous mind like his, as the reflection, that he had made himself an object of scorn and derision to one part of his own family, and of sorrow and pity to the other.
At length the period arrives that Noah must die; and he who had seen the world in three different states as it came from the hands of the Creator, unless as it was affected by the fall-covered over with the waters of a flood-and restored again through the mercy of Heaven, at last sinks into the grave, and ceases to have any farther interest in the world. He survives that great destruction, the deluge, three hundred and fifty years; lives to instruct a new race of men in the knowledge, the love, and the worship of the true God; lives to see his progeny increased and multiplied, and spreading on every side; lives to exhibit to a short-lived race of mortals an example of patriarchal dignity and longevity; and dies at the age of nine hundred and fifty years; short of the life of Methuselah only by nineteen. From that period, the life of man began gradually to decrease, till it shrunk into its present little measure. Whether life be long or short, "death certainly is the end of all men, and the living should lay it to his heart."
Noah and Adam may be compared and contrasted in various respects. Adam the father of the first world; Noah of the second. Adam by one wilful transgression, involved all mankind in ruin; Noah, by many repeated ef forts, in vain endeavoured to save mankind from impending destruction. The unbelief and disobedience of Adam affected all; the faith of Noah preserved a remnant. The grant of the whole globe was conferred on these two alone, of all mankind. For the crime of the one, the earth was cursed; through the sacrifice of the other, the curse was withdrawn. In both, their own ill behaviour was punished in the ill conduct and behaviour, and in the punishment of their children. Upon the guilty son of Adam God pronounces sentence, and executes judgment in person: the injured father himself, in the case of Noah, is made the minister of wrath to denounce the vengeance of God upon his own guilty son.
Adam and Noah were both distinguished types of Christ; and from this they derive their chief dignity and importance. Some interpreters, who wish to find out an evangelical meaning to every the minutest circumstance in the sacred records of the Old Testament, have alleged, that the import of the names of the antediluvian patriarchs, taken in their order, contain a prophesy of the Messiah: with which I shall present you, rather as discovering an honest zeal for the prevalency of gospel ideas, then as containing a solid and satisfactory argument, in support of gospel truth. Blessed be God, our most holy faith is built on a broader, surer, and more immoveable foundation than the uncertain and arbitrary interpretation of a few Hebrew names. But the speculation is at least innocent, and may perhaps have afforded some degree
of consolation to the pious minds which have adopted it. of the names alluded to, is this. Adam, man: Seth, placed: Enos, in misery: Cainan, lamentable: Mahalaleel, the blessed God: Jared, shall come : Enoch, teaching: Methuselah, that death shall send: Lamech, to the smitten, or miserable; Noah, consolation. But we are fully warranted by many clear, indubitable, and explicit applications of scripture, "to preach the unsearchable riches of the gospel of Christ," from the history of Noah. Shall I encroach upon your patience, and proceed to it now? or implore your candour for an attentive hearing of it, extended to its proper length, and displayed in its minuter circumstances, in a future Lecture? I must trespass no longer upon the former; but rather trust to the latter. And the more, that I cannot but wish both preacher and hearers might bring freshness of spirits, patience of attention, and thirst of improvement, to a subject of first-rate importance in the scale of divine truth. And now may He who, by an ark of Gopher-wood, saved Noah and his household from a deluge of water, deliver us, by the grace of his Son Christ Jesus, from that more dreadful deluge of fire, which scripture assures us shall come upon the "world of the ungodly." "Flee now to your strong hold, ye prisoners of hope :-behold now is the accepted time, behold now is the day of salvation." To the God of mercy through the Son of his love, be ascribed immortal praise. Amen.
NOAH AND CHRIST COMPARED,
ISAIAH LIV. 7, 8, 9, 10.
For a small moment have I forsaken thee, but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee, for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer. For this is as the waters of Noah unto me; For as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee. For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord, that hath mercy on thee.
As the lesser streams fall into and are mixed with the greater; and as all the rivers empty themselves and are lost in the ocean; so the whole course of events, from the creation of the world, in their separate currents, and in their general and combined tide, flows towards one grand era, styled in scripture, the fulness of time; and terminates in one event, of infinitely greater moment than all the rest, the manifestation of the Son of God in the flesh." The patriarchal dignity, prophetic foreknowledge and penetration, the sanctity of the priesthood, and the regal majesty, all point out, all move towards, all centre, and settle in Him, who is "the everlasting Father," "the Prophet who should arise," "the Apostle and High Priest of our profession," the "Prince of the kings of the earth."
We are struck with a pleasing awe when we converse with the venerable men who lived before the flood. Adam the first of men; Enoch who walked with God: Noah the preserver and restorer of the human race.
But in tracing the history of their lives, a still small voice continually whispers us in the ear, saying, A greater than Adam, a greater than Enoch, a
greater than Noah is here: a voice from heaven proclaims, sinners, attend; "Behold my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased, hear ye him." Some, with more zeal and honesty, than wisdom and truth, have laboured to discover and to establish a resemblance between our blessed Lord and those who were types of him, in every the minutest circumstance of their lives, and in every expression they employ to describe their private and personal feelings and situations. This has been carried so far as to strain and stretch the penitential language of David in the fifty-first psalm, respecting the matter of Uriah, into expressions suitable to the character and condition of the Messiah, in certain supposed circumstances. Guarding ourselves against every thing like a forced construction and application of scripture; without hunting after fanciful resemblances, which tend to weaken and impair the truth, instead of strengthening and supporting it; we will endeavour carefully to point out and improve those which actually exist; namely, such as the Spirit of God directs us to form, by pointing them out to us in the written word; or such as by fair analogy, that is, from known and admitted facts, or from obvious and incontrovertible reasonings, we are warranted to form for ourselves.
Happily, the History of Noah is one of those, in the use and application of which, scripture has lent us much assistance. The very name of that patriarch was not given him without a meaning and design, which extended much farther than to his person, and the day in which he lived. "This same," said his pious father, "shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord hath cursed."* Noah signifies comfort, rest, peace. And when God is bringing his first begotten into the world, this is his proclamation by the mouth of his prophet, "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins."+ And that we may be at no loss to what period, and to what person these expressions are to be applied, it immediately follows, "The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it."‡ : Was Noah an expected deliverer from the curse pronounced upon the ground for man's disobedience? Alas! the curse continued nevertheless; nay the very blessings of life become accursed to every impenitent transgressor: but Christ" is our peace, who has redeemed us from the curse," not of the ground, but of the law, "being made a curse for us ;" and under whose dominion, when finally established, "there shall be no more curse."
"Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord;" and of Christ he saith, "Behold my servant whom I uphold, mine elect in whom my soul delighteth." "Noah was a just man, and perfect in his generations: "and of whom speaks the prophet, when he saith," he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth ?" and the Apostle, "who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth?" and again, "such an High Priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners.' Noah was a preacher of righteousness; and the spirit of prophesy puts these words into the mouth of the Messiah himself, "I delight to do thy will, O my God; yea, thy law is within my heart. I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: I have not refrained my lips, O Lord, thou knowest. I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart, I declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not
* Gen. v. 29.
concealed thy loving kindness, and thy truth, from the great congregation.”* Noah preached, and preached in vain, to a corrupted, hardened generation, ripe for the destruction of a flood; Jesus, with similar mortification and regret, preached to an impenitent, incorrigible nation, devoted to destruction by means of a Roman army. "Noah walked with God:" Christ says of himself, "I and my Father are one;" and "my meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work." But Noah, though righteous, could not by that righteousness save the men of his generation from the judgments of God: his faith and holiness availed himself, and those who with him feared, believed, and prepared; but could not save another and there is a supposed state of corruption so great, and a day of vengeance so awful, that though these three men, Noah, Daniel and Job, were in the land, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness: but the righteousness of the blessed Redeemer is of such infinite value and perfection, as to deliver, from spiritual and eternal death, an innumerable multitude of transgressors.
But the most memorable incident in the history of Noah's life, was the building of the ark for the saving of his house." Every circumstance relating to which, exhibited a figure of him who was to come. And first, they exactly coincide in respect of the design or contrivance. The plan of the ark was formed in the eternal mind, long before it was communicated to Noah; thus believers are "chosen of God in Christ before the foundation of the world." To human apprehension at first sight, and to human understanding enlightened by experience, and the astonishing improvements made in naval architecture, a vessel of such construction would be far from appearing the likeliest means of preservation from a calamity like the deluge. Not a seaman or ship-builder in Britain, but would pronounce it a clumsy piece of work, would affirm it could not possibly live at sea, and predict its foundering in the deep, even without the attack of a storm. Thus the cross was to the Jews, a stumbling-block, and to the Greeks foolishness; but to them who believe, Christ is the power of God, and the wisdom of God." We read of no other methods of safety being thought of, or attempted, by the thoughtless men of the antediluvian world. When the evil overtook them, they would naturally flee to such wretched refuge as despair pointed out; but whatever other means of salvation, in the great and terrible day of the Lord, human imagination may have devised, the scripture saith expressly, "Neither is there salvation in any other for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved :"+ and unavailing, in that day, will be the desponding invocations of impenitent sinners, to "the rocks to fall upon them, and to the hills to cover them from the presence of God, and the wrath of the Lamb."
As the ark was a type of the Messiah, being both designs of infinite wisdom; so do they also coincide in the end or purpose to which they were destined, the salvation of those who fled, and who flee thither for refuge. "Noah prepared an ark for the saving of his house ;" and "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life :" and "after that, in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe." Both of them fully and perfectly answer the end of their institution. The ark was at once a place of shelter from the storm; contained all necessary accommodation and provision; furnished opportunity and means of the most delightful communion and fellowship; and constituted the dearest bond of union and love. Who does not see in this, that wonderful person of whom prophesy thus speaks, "A man shall *Psalm xl. 8,-10.
+ Acts iv. 12.
John iii. 16.
§ 1 Cor. i. 21.
be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covet from the tempest: as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land."* In whom "it has pleased the Father that all fulness should dwell;" of whom "the whole family in heaven and earth is named;" who thus declares in his own person, "those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost," who enjoins them to love one another," and prays for them, that "they all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us.
The attractive influence of the gospel, and its blessed tendency to tame and subdue the high thoughts, and savage dispositions of the human heart, were beautifully prefigured by the instinctive call of providence to the brute creation to seek shelter in the ark, and by the placability and gentleness of their dispositions towards each other while they continued in it. The words of Isaiah are literally a history of the deluge, and they contain a prediction equally beautiful and striking, of the peaceableness and concord of Christ's kingdom; "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf, and the young lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea."+ Under the influence of Christ's Spirit, the fierce and the proud, the cruel and the resentful, the envious and the passionate, put on as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering ;" and learn to "forbear one another, to forgive one another."
Again; the figure shifting from the ark, to him who built and constructed it, according to the pattern given him of God, Noah himself becomes the type, and Jesus the person typified. The plan or design of the ark was of God; the execution was Noah's; in like manner, the plan of redemption, which was formed of old, even from everlasting, God was at length manifested in the flesh to execute, and in it he laboured and persevered, till bowing his head, "it is finished." What shall we say? The very waters of the flood have a figurative prospect of gospel times and gospel ideas. The deluge was a purifier of the old world, corrupted and defiled by sin; and "a few, that is, eight souls, were saved by water;" the antitype of which remarkable event, we are informed by the Apostle Peter, is our salvation by baptism; "The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us, (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience towards God) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ." When we behold the same element destructive to one and salutary to another, are we not led to think of that doctrine which is "unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved and in them that perish? to the one it is a savour of death unto death, and to the other, a savour of life unto life:" and of that other under which the Baptist represents the power and coming of the Son of God? "Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner: but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."§
The wind or spirit which passed over the earth, and assuaged the waters, points out to us not obscurely, the power of that Divine Spirit, who in the beginning" moved upon the face of the deep," and reduced chaos into order and beauty; and who, through the whole course of Providence "sitteth upon the flood;" even "the Lord on high, who is mightier than the noise of many
*Isaiah xxxii. 2.
Isaiah xi. 6,--9.
1 Peter iii. 21.
Matth. iii. 12.