« PreviousContinue »
CONCERNING FIGURES AND SIGNS.
In the ninth chapter of Hebrews, and 24th verse, it is written, "For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us."
I. Not only were the things made under the law by the express command of God, patterns of things in the heavens, (being figures, as it were, to be transfigured,) but I may say, that all things which are done by him, that are manifested to us, are figures of hereafter things. The creation of all things, for instance, in seven days* is evidently a figure of
In the eleventh chapter of Genesis, and 4th verse. observe that the seven days are pointed out to be as one day; for, as regarding an immortal state, it is, as it were, one day; whilst with respect to things, as at present here below, seven evenings and mornings are to be literally understood.
a to be renewed creation, and to be effected in that period: for (in the first place) I shall observe that the Evangelist saith, “ And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea." And further it is written, "And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold I make all things new." Secondly, for in Isaiah we find these words, which have (as may be seen) an ultimate reference. "And the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be seven fold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the Lord bindeth up the breach of his 'people, and healeth the stroke of their wound." Thirdly, as a figure of "the building up again the tabernacle of David which is fallen down, and the closing up the breaches thereof; and the raising up his ruins, and the building it as in the days of old*, that they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the Lord that doeth this." It is written in the sixth chapter of the book of Kings, "That Solomon in the fourth year of his
* Acts xv.-Amos ix. 11, 12.
reign laid the foundation of the Lord's house, and that in the eleventh year he finished it in all its parts; so was he seven years in building it." Now as this temple had only a resemblance of the tabernacle prepared from the beginning; and as days to come are frequently put for certain years which are past,—it must appear, therefore, that the last day will be as seven days*; and as in that day†, the breach is to be restored, we conclude that all things will be renewed-and that it will be in seven d days, as one day; as where it is written, "In that day, there shall be one Lord, and his name one."
II. Was not Adam a figure or type of him that should come after, which is "the Lord from heaven ?" who hath made the just to be coheirs with Jesus, the Son of Man after the flesh; as where it is written, "What is man that thou art mindful of him ? or the son of man, that thou visitest him? Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels. Thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in
* See Genesis ii. 4.
+ Isaiah xxx. 26.
that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour," &c. &c.
III. As another instance; the translation of Enoch was a figure of man's immortality; for that God made man to be immortal: Solomon saith, For righteousness is immortal."
IV. The preservation of Noah and his family in the ark was a figure of the future preservation of all that come within the scope of the new covenant,* which are the chosen people of God, being the seed of Abraham according to the promises, answering to them which fear him, arising out of every generation and nation, unto whom, through the merits of Jesus, he will impute no sin; also they whose transgressions will in the end be forgiven, of this same seed; as where it is written," For how shall
It may be observed that the ark of the covenant, which answered to what St. Paul calls "the holy places made with hands, which are figures of the true," was placed in the inner vail of the tabernacle.
I do for the Daughter of my people,” shall in like manner be saved, together with all that are gentile, contradistinguished from these, which are to be inherited by them; as in the fifty-fourth chapter of Isaiah we shall find that she which is called barren shall inherit the gentiles-again in the fourteenth chapter, Isaiah (after having spoken in the foregoing, of the destruction of Babylon,) saith, "For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land: and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob. And the people shall take them, and bring them to their place*: and the house of Israel shall possess them in the land of the Lord for servants and handmaids: and they shall take them captives whose captives they were, and they shall rule over their oppressors †. And it shall come to pass in the day that the Lord shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve, that thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How
* Isaiah xlix. 22, 23, and lxvi. 20.