« AnteriorContinuar »
we have an access by one Spirit unto the Father; and, when indulged with this sweet access, we enter in and find pasture; but, when this sweet access is denied us, then we go out again, crying,
My leanness, my leanness; wo unto me!" until we are permitted to go in again. And the weakest soul in the household of faith is up to this going in and out; it is so conspicuous, that even his countenance proclaims it; for, when it is denied, like Joseph's fellow prisoner, he looks sadly; and when granted his face shines; the Lord being the health of his countenance and his God, Psalm xlii. 11. And this ascending and descending on the Son of man is expressive of the glorious raptures of the mind, when furnished with the law of faith, and influenced with the quickening Spirit of God; under which sweet operation the mind is much in heaven, meditating on heavenly things; and while the mind is stayed on these it is sweetly enriched and entertained. “ To be spiritually minded is life and peace.” And it is said that God hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ, Eph. ii. 6.
2. This ascending and descending is expressive of the exercise of grace upon God the Father, through the Mediator; for faith and hope both centre in God, through Christ, as saith the apostle Peter; “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, if faith and hope through Christ are both iu God, and if our affections are to be set above on the right hand of God, where Christ sitteth, this ascending and descending respects the heavenlymindedness of the saints when, in their most rapturous frames, and in their most devout and lively acts of devotion, and in the exercises of faith, hope, love, and joy, they approach God. And, when any minister of the spirit in his work is thus ascending, it is perceptible to spiritual worshippers, for such ascend and descend with him; so that many in the present day, as well as Nathanael of old, see this.. Fea, there are enemies that behold this, as well as spiritual worshippers; for the ascension of saints to heaven, after dreadful conflicts and persecutions, mentioned in the Revelation, is nothing else but souls ascending to God upon the out-pouring of the Spirit, which quickens the poor lifeless witnesses, after their long lifeless state of absolute silence.“ And, after three days and an half, the spirit of life from God entered into them: and they stood upon their feet, and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven, saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies beheld them;" if so, much more their friends.
THE LORD'S BOOK OF WARS, AND THE WARS
OF THE LORD.
NUMBERS xxi. 14.
" Wherefore it is said, in the book of the wars of the Lord, what
he did in the Red Sea, and in the brooks of Arnon."
It has been a matter of wonder with some where Jude got the prophecy of Enoch from, which is mentioned in the 14th verse of his epistle; and I have heard of some who formerly offered a large sum of money for that book, if it was extant, and could be procured; and that a gentleman was imposed upon by a spurious composition, which passed for Enoch's prophecy. I have read also, in Mr. Bruce, that he brought a book, called Enoch's Prophecy, from the city of Gondar, in Abyssinia. The account that he gives of it is as follows: • There are other books of less size and consequence, particularly the Organon Denghel, or, The Virgin Mary's Musical Instrument, composed by Abba George about the year 1440, much valued for the purity of its language, though he himself was Arminian. The last of this Ethiopic library is the book of Enoch. Upon hearing this book first page of
mentioned, many literati in Europe had a wonderful desire to see it, thinking that, no doubt, many secrets and unknown histories might be drawn from it. Upon this, some impostor, getting an Ethiopic book into his hands, wrote for the title, The Prophesies of Enoch, upon the front it. M. Pierise no sooner heard of it than he purchased it of the impostor for a considerable sum of money. Being placed afterwards in Cardinal Mazarine's library, where Mr. Ludolf had access to it, he found it was but a Gnostic book upon mysteries of heaven and earth, but which mentioned not a word of Enoch or his prophecy, from beginning to end; and from this disappointment he takes upon him to deny the existence of any such book any where else. This, however, is a mistake; for, as a public return for the many obligations I had received from every rank of that most humane, polite, scientific nation, and more especially from the sovereign, Louis XV, I gave to his cabinet a part of every thing curious I had collected abroad, which was received with that degree of consideration and attention that cannot fail to determine every traveller of a liberal mind to follow my example.
· Amongst the articles I consigned to the library at Paris, was a very beautiful and magnificent copy of the Prophecies of Enoch, in large quarto; another is amongst the books of scripture which I brought home, standing immediately before the book of Job, which is its proper place in the Abys
sinian canon; and a third copy I have presented to the Bodleian Library at Oxford, by the hands of Dr. Douglas, the Bishop of Carlisle.' And concerning the passage in Jude, he says as follows: * And, indeed, the quotation is, word for word, the same in the second chapter of the book.' Bruce's Travels, folio, Vol. I. p. 497-499. I will not tell my reader how much my ears have itched to hear the contents of that book.
But, as for the book in my text, I believe it to be no other than the writings of Moses, which contain several wars of the Lord, and especially these two that are mentioned:
1. What he did in the Red Sea.
2. What he did in the brooks of Arnon: both of which are recorded in the writings of Moses. If it be objected, that Moses wrote five books, and the book in the text is but one; it may be answered, that Moses himself called all his writings a book: “Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written. And the Lord said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.” The mind of Moses seems to me to be this: What I have written has been by thy command, and under the influence of thy Spirit; and thou hast proclaimed thy name before me, and I have written thine own proclamation, “The Lord God, gracious and merciful, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and sin.” And now,