Images de page

David prays,

upon them that loved and feared him. Hence

“ Thou that dwellest between the cherubims, shine forth;" and again, “Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us.” Now, the tabernacle and temple being,

1. A type of Christ;

2. A type of heaven; so Christ calls his human nature a temple. “ Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. But he spake of the temple of his body.” And as the holy of holies was called the dwelling-place of the Most High, so in Christ dwells all the fulness of the godhead bodily. And as out of the holy place God sent answers to his people's prayers, and the wonderful displays of his power, by sending them help from the sancțuary, and strengthening them out of Zion; so Christ gave answers to all that prayed to him, and manifested forth his glory in the miracles that he wrought in answer to the cries of poor sinners. And as God often shined forth from between the cherubims, so our Lord Jesus Christ shined forth upon his disciples through the vail of his flesh upon the mount, when he was transfigured before them.

Moreover, as the tabernacle and its most holy place was a type of heaven, for so says Paul; “Seeing then that we have a great high priest that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.” Again; the vail was a separation between God and men; and even the real worshippers of God were kept at a

distance by it; which had never been the case if man had not sinned. It is sin that separates between God and the soul, God being angry at it, it being a breach of his laws; and, to show his anger, he hides his face, and dwells behind the vail. But God sending his Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and sin being condemned in his flesh, and removed, God, as well pleased, rents the vail, and shines again in Christ. At the death of Christ the vail of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom, and the most holy place laid open, to show that the way into heaven itself was now clearly revealed. God had long made darkness his secret pavilion; offended justice revealed nothing but wrath in a broken law against the unrighteousness of men; but Christ having trodden the wine-press of his Father's wrath, and appeased his anger by his sacrifice, God being well pleased, and reconciliation being made, we have access to God through the vail of Christ's flesh; for God shines into our hearts, to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, 2 Cor. iv. 6. God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself; in Christ God is well pleased. When Christ was pierced on the cross full atonement was made, the vail of his flesh was rent, the killing spear brought on death, and death is a rendering or separating the soul from the body; and the ransom price being paid by the Redeemer, God in Christ is well pleased, and shines into our hearts, and enlightens us to see his

glory in the Saviour's face. This draws us to Christ, and God accepts us in him, and suffers us to draw nigh again; “For through him we both have an access by one Spirit unto the Father. Under the influence of the Holy Spirit is this access granted; faith, hope, and love, pass through this vail to God. And this is the access that is granted to all believers, “Who by him do believe in God that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.” Now Paul calls this a new way,

in opposition to every way whereby men think of entering by the covenant of works. The glory of God was upon Adam while he stood, and he had access to him, and communion with him; but he sinning, and we sipping in him, that glory was lost by disobedience; “For all have sinned,

, and come short of the glory of God,” God's glory is now seen in the face of the Sun of righteousness; and through this sacrifice, called the vail of his flesh, God shines again propitious.

Paul calls this a living way. Christ is our life, yea, the resurrection and the life, through whom we enter; and he that finds Christ as the way, finds favour with God, in whose favour is life. " Whoso findeth me, findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord.” Moreover, he is the Spirit of life that guides us into tủis way; and he that believes hath everlasting life already in himself. And it is in the exercises of faith, hope, and love, that he goes in and o’t upon this new and living way; and there is life in all those three graces; so that we may well call this a living way, and say, with the wise man, that in this way of righteousness there is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death, Prov. xii. 28. Faith, hope, and love, are admitted, through Christ, to centre in God. Prayers, praises, and thank-offerings, go through this vail; and all grace, and gracious answers to prayer, and every good and perfect gift, and all the spiritual blessings of the covenant, flow to us in this same channel. And, as this is the living way, the sins that attend our most holy things shall not pass to God through a mediator; nor shall any wrath or curse from God pass through Christ to them that believe; for God has sworn that he will not be wroth with us, nor rebuke us.

“A highway shall be there, and a way; and it shall be called, The way of holiness.” Having showed, as well as I can, the highway, I shall now show this way, which is called The way of holiness. Christ is the highway of life; and this is the way of holiness; there shall be a highway, and a way. This holy way is regeneration, and nothing else.

“Then answered Peter, and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, that ye which have followed me, in the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. This following Christ in the regeneration signifies two things.

1. In the days of Christ the old dispensation passed away, and all things became new. The new covenant took place, new ordinances were brought in, and the Gentiles, a new people, were called to the fellowship of Christ; a new heart and a new spirit were given; and service in the newness of the spirit was required; and all service in the oldness of the letter was rejected. Here is a new birth of things, a regeneration of ordinances and institutions. Now, the apostles followed Christ into these things; but the scribes and pharisees abode by the old types and shadows, until God put a final stop to their proceedings by the Roman sword. And though their heart is still inclined to the offering of sacrifices, yet they are prevented by two things:

1. Their genealogies are all burnt, so that they are at no certainty who is and who is not of the tribe of Levi; and they are threatened with the destruction of Korah and his company


any stranger, who is not of the seed of Aaron, offer incense, Num. xvi. 40.

2. There is an interdiction that lies in the way of sacrificing, which is, “Take heed to thyself, that thou offer not thy burnt-offerings in every place that thou seest; but in the place which the Lord shall choose in one of thy tribes, there thou shalt offer thy burnt-offerings, and there thou

« PrécédentContinuer »