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to the true Mediator “all his heart's desire ;” and particularly when he asks in behalf of his people “ life of him, even length of days for ever and “ever p?” Did he accept of the typical facrifices, and of the smoke of incense, as making atonement? Were these of any worth in his fight? No, surely; but in as far as they prefigured the perfect atonement and ever-prevalent intercession of our glorious Surety.
ix. The ancient people of God were preserved from destruction, by a conllant exercise of almighty power, by the hand of that Angel whom he promised as their leader. This glorious Angel, as has been formerly observed, was no other than our Lord Jesus Christ, acting as “ the Mef“ senger of the covenant ;” and, according to the character of that difpenfation, siguratively manifesting the nature of his office with respect to all who are Ifraelites indeed. Concernir.g him the Father declared ; “ Behold, I send an Angel “ before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to
bring thee into the place which I have prepa“ red 4.” It was this Angel of God's presence, who “ saved them, ---bare them, and carried them “ all the days of old ," He exercised unremitted watchfulness over them. Hence it is said ; “ He will not suffer thy foot to be inoved.
Behold, he that keepeth Ifracl shall neither “ slumber nor sleeps." His tender care of his people is represented under the most expreflive Ee 3
metaphors p Psal. xxi. 2. 4. 9 Exod. xii. 20. r lia. Ixii. 9. stol.cxi. 3 4. would
metaphors. He appeared as the “ Shepherd of “ Israel, who led Jofeph as a flock.” He had promised to Abraham that to his feed he would give “ all the land of Canaan for an everlasting “ poffeffion".”—He accordingly “ led them on “ safely, so that they feared not ;—and he brought “ them to the border of his sanctuary, even to “ this mountain which his right hand had pur“ chased ." “ He led him about, he instructed
him, he kept him as the apple of his eye. As an eagle stirreth up her neit, fluttereth over her
young, taketh them, beareth them on her wings; “ fo the LORD alone did lead him." It was the privilege of the literal Israel, as being externally “ an holy people,” to be preserved by Christ; as Mofes fings : “Yea, he loved the people ; all his “ faints are in thy hand x.” As really as his mer- . cy was conspicuous in their redemption, his power was displayed in their continued preservation: “ Thou in thy mercy haft led forth the people “ whom thou haft redeemed : thou hast guided "them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation 1."
Often, as the punishment of their iniquities, he suffered them to be for a time led captive by. their heathen foes, whoin he “ left to prove IT“ rael.” But when they cried unto him, he still delivered them? The lamp that God lighted up among them, often became, through their own wickedness, like “ a smoking flax." But he
t P'al lxxx. i. u. Gen. xvii. S.
v Pial. Ixxviii. 53. 54. w Deut, xxxii. 10 -12. x Deut. xxxii. 3. y Exod. xv. 13.
z Judg. iii. 1. 9.15. vi. 6. 14. &c.
would not suffer it at any time to be totally extinguished, because it was ordained for his annointed. Their preservation, indeed, seems to be solely the effect of one continued miracle. Nothing but the wonderful operation of divine power could have preserved them in Egypt, when the whole nation conspired for their destruction. During forty years were they miraculously supported in the wilderness.
The heavens gave them bread, and the flinty rock supplied them with water. Had their nourishing dew been withheld, or the rock been dried up, for a few days; the whole people must have perished. Although supported by ordinary means, after they were brought to Canaan, their deliverances were often entirely miraculous ; and their continued preservation, in the midst of so many powerful nations, that still sought to destroy them, can scarcely be viewed in any other light.
Now, as we are certain that this tender care was no ways merited by Israel, it is no less evident that all the glory that redounded to God, from the displays of his mercy and power, in their outward deliverance, cannot reasonably be viewed as an object in itself suficiently worthy of the means employed. If we do not view their wonderful preservation as strictly typical of the prefervation of a people formed by God for himself, in a far superior way to fhew forth his praise ; we must be for ever at a loss to perceive infinite wisdom in this series of miracles. It would seem to be but a waste of mercy and of power, if they
were never meant to subserve some higher end. But for our fakes especially were these things done, and for our fakes were they written), that we might know that our help cometh only from the Lord.
The very language, which is used in the Old Testament with respect to the preservation of this peculiar people, is in the New, appropriated to them who believe. The same Angel of the covenant stablishes his saints, and keeps them from evila. He could testify to his Father, that, while he was in the world, he had kept them in his name b. While about to leave it, he said to them; “I go to prepare a place for you. And“ I will come again, and receive you unto my“self, that where I am, there ye may be also " As“ the good Shepherd, he calleth his own sheep
by name, and leadeth them out: and when he “ putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before " ”
them.” Concerning them he graciously faith; “I give unto them eternal life, and they shall
never perish, neither shall any pluck them out “ of my hand d.” When they are begotten again, it is “ to a lively hope,-to an inheritance" far surpafling that which was its figure, “ an inheri"tance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fa“ deth not away, reserved in heaven for them, “ who are kept by the power of God, through “ faith unto falvation.” That gift of the Spirit, of which we have already spoken, is evidently
described a 2 Thes. ii. 3. b John xvii. 12. c Jolin xiv. 2. 3. di John X. 3. 4. 28.
ei Pet. 1. 3.-5.
described in language borrowed from the typical • mercies of Ifrael. It is “the earnest of our inhe
ritance, until the redemption of the purchased
possession f.? All who are “ fanctified by God “ the Father,” are “ preserved in Christ Jesus ?." He does not entirely deliver them from their spiritual enemies. He “ slays them not, left his “ people should forget !.." Paul, as a renewed perfon, thus declares his experience; “ I fee ano“ther law in my members, warring against the “ law of my mind, and bringing me into capti“ vity to the law of fin which is in my mem“ bers.” Hence his people complain of wretchedness. But by faith they are assured of deliverance through Jesus Christ their Lord i. Grace in their souls is often as “ a smoking llax." But so gracious is their almighty Redeemer, that the
smoking flax shall be not quench, till lie fend “ forth judgment unto victory k."
If a miracle be fomething entirely beyond the power of nature, what is the preservation of the children of God but a continued miracle. As they were at firs“ born from above,” the whole of those supplies that are necessary for the support of this life come from the fame quarter. They feed on “ the hidden manna.” They'drink of " the pure river of the water of life.” They continue in a wilderness, where there is neither bread nor water for their souls. They are encompañed with pits, and snares, and beasts of prey; constantly fighting with enemies, and ef
pecially fEph. 1. 14. & Jude i.
i Rom. vii. 23 -85
1: Pral. lis. II.
kyatth, xii. 20.