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righteousness of life."* Noah was marked from his infancy as the comforter and deliverer of the remnant who feared God, and kept themselves from the pollutions of the world; our Lord was called Jesus, because he came to save his people from their sins; and his birth and mission were announced by an authority higher than that of an earthly parent, by a messenger sent from heaven especially for that purpose. "And there were in that country shepherds, abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night; and lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and. they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not, for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be unto all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." "And suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace; goodwill towards men." "And behold, there' was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that * Luke i. 75. + Luke ii. 8--11. ↑ Ver. 13, 14.
he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ: and he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when his parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace according to thy word; for mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people. A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.'
Noah was a just man, and perfect in his generation; and Noah walked with God."+ The Son of man came to fulfil all righteousness. He did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth. The patriarch prepared an ark, in obedience to the supreme command, and according to the divine instructions for the salvation of his house, the members of which believing and obeying him, were saved.. Jesus came to deliver his family, the church, as he declares, "Lo, I come to do thy will, O God."‡ "Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation to all them that obey him."§ The former was a chief or prince, a man of
* Luke ii. 25, 32. ↑ Heb. x. 9.
+ Gen. vi. 9.
§ Heb. v. 8, 9.
power and authority, who stood between God and the people, yet he was rejected, and by the operation of the divine judgment, was reduced to the station of a private man, head of his own family only. The latter was born king of the Jews; his name was " Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace." He was He was "the brightness of his Father's glory, and the express image of his person, upholding all things by the word of his power, yet he was despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;" and was found in fashion as a man, and made of no reputation, yet is he the head of all things to his church. The high birth and noble parentage of the patriarch, prefigured the illustrious descent and exalted rank of the Redeemer, who, though in the likeness of sinful flesh, and in "all points, tempted like as we are," was "yet without sin," possessing and exercising manhood in all the noble, excellent, and godlike perfections with which it was endued when it came out of the hands of the Creator, and so he was exalted, distinguished, and illustrious beyond what any other of the sons of men can attempt, much less attain. The divine nature, united to this perfect humanity, rendered him a person inestimably glorious, far transcending the highest dignity that could have been en
joyed or obtained by Adam or any of his natural descendants, had they preserved their original perfection and innocence. Noah, as a prophet, foretold the destruction of the wicked, and the security of the righteous; and that a sinful generation under the punishment of their iniquities, should see the peace and safety of the church triumphantly rising above the judgments which should destroy the ungodly. Christ predicted the punishment of the impenitent Jews, the unbelievers of his day; but more fully and awfully those of every generation of sinners; yet that these whilst they felt the wrath of God, should see the church risen from the earth, the scene of her sufferings and persecutions, enjoying the security and repose of heaven.
When God had delivered his servants from the general judgment, and they had entered on the possession of a new world, with a partial remission of the curse, and an extension and confirmation of blessings, these were bestowed after a sacrifice, of which the Lord had smelled the sweet savour; the joys of heaven, the happiness of eternity, are given to the redeemed, even in the glorious presence, only for the sake of the sacrifice of him who hath delivered them from death and judgment, by his own oblation of himself once offered, the incense of which
ascends before the throne of God as "a sweet smelling savour," most acceptable to him, and obtains and assures to them for ever the blessings of the kingdom of heaven.
The ark presents a picture of the church of God, in her militant state here on earth. It contained the family of Noah: all who then professed to believe in and obey God. These represented the whole assembly of the firstborn, living at any one period; and the fabric was constructed according to rules and proportions given by divine revelation, and which have been proved to be perfect in their kind. The church is God's building, the vessel of his mercy; prepared for the salvation and comfort of all who believe in and obey him; and as Noah neither entered, nor permitted any of his family to enter into it without the commandment of the Almighty, who then shut them in, so none can enter into, or become members of the church of God but by his invitation and acceptance. When he has admitted them, he will close the door against all their adversaries. These may direct their assaults and persecutions against them, may pursue them with the most malignant enmity, but they are sheltered from all hostilities, in the refuge which their Redeemer has provided for their protection and security.