Imatges de pÓgina

xxii. 11; so also Isaiah's vineyard, Isaiah v. 1–7; Jeremiah's sending yokes to the kings of Edom, Moab, the Ammonites, Tyre, and Sidon, Jeremiah xxvii, 1–7; Ezekiel's pourtraying the siege of Jerusalem on a tile, or laying siege to a brazen pan, and from these instructing the Jews concerning the judgments which God was about to inflict on their city, Ezekiel iv. 1-3; xxiv. 3–14; are examples of the same nature, though of a different origin from that first-named, and intended for quite different purposes.

The mode of teaching by parables, is suited to almost every person engaged in the practice either of instruction nor reproof. It requires no particular ability, or any information beyond what is usually placed within the reach of every one who may find it convenient to his purpose. The propriety and effect with which he may employ it, will depend on the skill and wisdom which God has given him. Hence the superiority of our Saviour's parables above those of every other teacher, even those who partook most largely of the gifts of inspiration. He knew what was in man, and needed not that any should tell him of their concerns, their thoughts, or their desires; and, therefore, he related his allegorical histories with a suitability of event, and a force of application, which can never belong to those of any other person. The latter spoke only as men to men each knowing only in part; he reproved, exhorted, or encouraged, as one having authority, as one from whom no secrets were hid.

A type, then, differs from a parable in the time to which it refers : the one is strictly indefinite, and if usually delivered in the past tense, it is merely to accommodate it to the feelings of the hearers: the other necessarily relates to the future. It may be a memorial of the past; but it must also have a prophetic, as well as a retrospective view.

The person, therefore, by whom it is presented, if an historical, or enacted, if a practical or a ritual type, must act under a divine influence, or falsely assume to himself that authority, as in the case of Zedekiah, before referred to, and of Hananiah, Jeremiah xxviii.

Of these different modes of conveying instruction, every one, except the last, is equally open to all teachers, whether inspired or not. A type being a prophecy, is confined in its use to those who are sent by God to teach in his name, and foretell things to come. A man of wisdom and sagacity, reasoning upon probabilities, and the operation of known principles, might exhibit to those about him an image or emblem of circumstances likely to take place ;

but if an honest man, he could only do this as significant of his own opinion, which the event might entirely refute, as in some of the cases just mentioned.

The type, therefore, is the method of instruction entirely confined to the great Master's use; sometimes directly, but more frequently indirectly; or by those whom he is pleased to employ as his instruments in imparting knowledge to his people.

Two methods have been used by our divine Benefactor in the application of this mode of instruction: the establishment of ritual obseryances or ceremonies, in which the action expresses the substance of some doctrine, or is the

representative, in symbols, of some event of great importance to his church, and closely connected with the essential doctrines of it; which event is to be completed and fulfilled at a period subsequent to the establishment of these rites: or some action is so ordered by the Almighty, that the persons engaged in it, being at the moment ignorant of the intent of it, are yet so influenced, that when it is completed, it becomes a picture, type, or symbol of something highly important to the people of God, the recollection on record of which cannot fail of being profitable for instruction, edification, and consolation to them that believe,

Of the former kind, are sacrifices, and the institutions of the Mosaic worship: of the latter, the call of Abraham, and many particular acts of his subsequent life in Canaan; the deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt; the destruction of their enemies; their travel through the wilderness; their entrance into, and possession of the promised land.

The command for the first institution of sacrifice is not recorded ; but the very nature of the rite assures us of its divine origin. The establishment of every other legal observance is known, and we are able to trace the authority by which they were ordained to the immediate command of the Almighty. Thus God spake to Abraham, and ordered him to circumcise all the males of his household. The church of God then probably contained few members beyond those of his family. Of these latter, he was the proper head and representative. Without doubt, there were other individuals then faithfully serving God, and heirs of the spiritual blessings of the covenant, though not included in this small company, now chosen typically to represent the universal church. Abraham could not be mistaken in the authenticity of his command, and his authority was sufficient for the church over which he presided.

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The Mosaic ceremonies were instituted when the members of this church were become far more numerous, and when there was no human being who could properly be considered as their head and representative, and under circumstances that called for the most decisive public evidence, that the lawgiver was divinely commissioned to undertake and accomplish this duty. He was accordingly furnished with the most convincing testimonies of a divine mission. After an absence of forty years, he returned to Egypt, where he could only have been known to a few individuals of his own family, and even to them very imperfectly. He was armed with miracles, at first to be sparingly employed, and only in the sight of Pharaoh and his court, and accompanied with a declaration that severe judgments would follow the rejection of his demands, a fact which he assuredly knew would take place. The people in whose favour he was sent, at first gave him that welcome which might have been reasonably expected ; but when they found their burdens increased, instead of being diminished, or themselves delivered, as they had expected, their feelings became irritated, and their language that of despair-“The Lord look upon you and judge; because ye have made our savour to be abhor

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