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This the Apostle stiles a fort of baptizing of them into the Belief of Moses's Doctrine, in the next words, And were all baptised unto Moses in the Cloud and in the Sea: meaning, that that Cloud and that Passage thro the Red Sea, which were used as a means toK confirm the Ministry of Moses, was a Type of Baptism , signifying, that as the Israelites of old being faved from and by Water, were converted to the Belief of the Doctrine deliver'd by Mosest so we being born again of Water and the Holy Ghost, are thereby initiated and confirm'd in the Doctrine deliver'd by Christ. To which 'tis added, in the next Verse, that they did all eat the same spiritual Meat: meaning, that the Manna which fell down from Heaven, and was fed upon by the Israelites in the Wilderness, was a Type of the holy Sacrament instituted by Christ in the Gospel •, and their feeding on the former convey'd to them the fame spiritual and heavenly Nourishment, that we now receive by the latter: for which reason they are here faid to eat the same spiritual Meat.
And as the next words tell us, They did all drink of the same spiritual Drink j for they drank of that spiritual Rock that follow'd them, and that Rock was Christ: that is, as the Manna that was rain'd down on the Israelites in the Wilderness afforded them spiritual Meat, representing the spiritual Food we receive in the Lord's Supper ^ so the Wa. ter that issu'dout of the Rock upon Moses's smiting of it, of which we read, Exod. 17.6. afforded them spiritual Drink; typifying the Blood of Christ, which we drink in the Holy Sacrament. And this Rock is here faid to follow, them j which cannot be meant of the Rock it self, which was a fix'd unmovable Body, but of the Water that flow'd out of the Rock, and follow'd the Israelites many Years in their Journeying in the Wilderness: for in all their Change of Stations for almost thirty eight Years, we never read of any want of Water, tho they travel'd all that while in a dry unwater'd Wilderness •, of which no other reason can be given, but that the Water of the Rock like a River ran after them, and (as'tis here affirm'd) follow'd them. And that this Water was spiritual or facramental Drink, appears by the next words; And this Rock was Christ: not materially, but spiritually j for as the Sign is often put for the thing signify'd by it, so the Rock here is call'd Christ, who is meant and signify'd by it. The Resemblance whereof lies chiefly in these two things:
*. 1st, As
iy?, As the Rock yielded no Water before it was smitten with the Rod of Moses, so was Christ smitten upon the Cross, and his Side pierc'd with a Spear, before there issued from him that sovereign Stream of Water and Blood, of which he who drinketh stall never thirst more. Again,
zdly, As this Rock yielded Water not only at the Place where it was broach'd, but follow'd the Israelites in all their Stations in the Wilderness j so that Water which gush'd from our Saviour's Side, serv'd not only those that were present at his Sufferings, but hath follow'd Christians from the Day of his Passion to this Hour.
But how are the Israelites faid to eat the same spiritual Meat, and to drink the same spiritual Drink with us? Why, 'tis the fame, tho not in Sign, yet in Substance and Signification unto both: for they are Seals of the fame Covenant, they represent the fame Sacraments, and convey the fame Promises, Blessings, and Graces to both.
So far the Apostle sets forth the many and great Privileges, which the People of the Jews enjoy'd in common with us. They had the fame Sacraments, tho represented by different Signs and Symbols; by their Manna in the Wilderness, and the Paschal Lamb in the Passover: They did eat the fame spiritual Meat with us; and by the Water flowing out of the Rock, they drank the fame spiritual; Drink with us in the Holy Communion. And by both they had the fame Graces and Favours vouchfaf'd to them, tho couch'd and shadow'd out to them in temporal Blessings and Promises. And this is what the Apostle would have us know, or not be ignorant of, lest we should think too highly of our selves, or too meanly of them.
But how did these Israelites use these signal Favours and Blessings? And what follow'd thereupon? Why, that the next words tell us: With many of them God wai not wellpleas d; for they were overthrown in the Wilderness. By which it appears, that many of them nude a very bad Use of those great Blessings, and abus'd the Mercies of God to very evil Purposes '., as we shall see after. The fad Condition of those Persons is here set forth by two Expressions: (1.) That God was not well-pleas d with them. And, (2.) That they were overthrown in the Wilderness. Both which shew us the wretched and lost Condition of all unworthy Receivers of these Holy Mysteries.
(1.) The Misery of their Condition is here set forth by God's not being well-pleas d with themwhich Phrase
implies implies more than it seems to express: for it signifies not only God's not being well pleas'd, but his being highly displeas'd with them, that he was much incens'd, and that his Wrath was hot against them. Indeed it is the greatest Degree and Measure of Unhappiness, to be out of the Favour of God, and to be one of those, with whom God is not well pleas'd j for then nothing we fay or do is acceptable, but an Abomination to him. When God the Father declar'd his great Love and Favour for his beloved Son, he eXpress'd it thus, that in him he was well pleas'd; Mat. 3.17. signifying thereby the highest Happiness. And when he here declared his just Indignation against these ungrateful Israelites, he thus expresses it, that with them he was not well-pleas'd; which denotes the Height of Misery. And this is farther confirm'd to us,
(2.) By the Punishment that befel them, for they were overthrown in the Wilderness: that is, by the just Judgment of God for the gross Abuse of his Mercies, their Carcases drop'd in their Passage through the Wilderness, and two only, viz.. Caleb and Joshua, surviy'd to reach the promis'd Land of Canaan, Now Canaan was the Type of Heaven; the Wilderness signified the Passage through this . wild and barren World; to fall in the Wilderness, was to come short of the heavenly Canaan; and the Persons that did so were those, to whom God sware in his Wrath, that they should not enter into his Rest. So that the Sense of it is, that they who did not use aright the Pledges and Privileges bestow'd on them, were depriv'd of eternal Life. Thus we fee how the unworthy Receivers of that spiritual Meat and Drink in the Wilderness were punish'd with temporal Death in this World, and with eternal Death and Damnation in the next.
Now these things (faith the Apostle in the next words) are our Examples, to the intent that we jliould not lust after evil things, as they also lusted: That is, they are lively Representations and Lessons of Instruction, to teach us to keep our selves pure from their Vices, to glorify God for, his Mercies, and not to gratify our Lusts as they did , and to learn by their Punishment to fear the Judgments of God falling upon us, if we follow and transgress after their Example. Whatsoever things were written aforetime (faith St. Paul in another place) were written for our Learning , to teach us to avoid those Rocks against which othershave split, and to obtain that Blessedness, which their Ingratitude gratitude depriv'd them ofr To which end, the Apostle warns us, in the following Verses, against many of their Sins, that unhappily occafion'd their Destruction : As,
ist, He cautions against Idolatry, ver. 7. Neither be ye Idolaters, as were some of them ; as it is written, The People sat down to eat and to drinks and rose up to play. Idolatry of all kinds is a Sin highly displeasing and hateful untd God; being a total falling away from him, and a preferring other things in our Love and Choice before him ; 'tis a robbing God of his Honour, of which he is infinitely tender and the giving his Glory to another, which can* not but highly provoke him: especially considering, that he! hath declar'd himself a jealous God, and hath threatned to visit this Iniquity upon the Persons and Posterity of those that commit it. And yet the Israelites often fell into this heinous and provoking Sin: an Instance whereof we have here in the molten Calf, whom they worihip'd with Luxury and Riot, with licentious Feasts, and leud Plays; Sitting down to eat and drinks and rising up to play; as we read, Exod. 32. 4, 6,8.
idly, He cautions against Fornication, ver. 8. Neither' let us commit Fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one Day three and twenty thousand. This was another Sin of the Israelites, of which we read, Numb. 25. i, where the People of Israel in their Abode at Shittim, are laid to commit Whoredom with the Daughters of Moab ; for which, as also for their joining in the Idol-Sacrifices, God sent a Plague among them, that destroy'd in one day Three and Twenty Thoufand of them. So far is Fornication from being (as some would have it) a Venial Sin, that needs no great Regard or Repentance, that it drew down the sorest and severest Judgments upon the Committers of it; and in* stead of a Pardon, brought a deadly and wasting Plague upon them: which should teach us to beware of defiling our Bodies, which are to be consecrated as Temples to the Holy Ghost ., and not to make the Members of Christ to become the Members of a Harlot.
idly, The Apostle, from their Example^ cautions against tempting of God, ver. 9. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of SerpentS, Of this Sin of the Israelites we read, Numb. 21. 5,6. where they are faid to tempt God by loathing the Manna that hi sent them, and asking Meat for their Lusts: for which rea-' son, the Lord sent fiery Serpents among them, and they bit the
People^ People., and much People of Israel died; ver. 6. From whence we may learn to beware of being w"eary of the Gospel, and of loathing the spiritual Food recommended in it, lest God let loose Satan, that old Serpent, upon us, first to sting, and then to destroy us. .
jthly, Here is a Caution against Murmuring, ver. 10. Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and, were destroyed of the Destroyer, This Sin of Murmuring) was the great and famous Sin of the Israelites, who were apt to murmur and complain against God upon all Occasions, even when he had done the greatest things for them. The Place here chiefly refer'd to, is Numb. 14.2,3. where we read, that all the Children of Israel murmured against Moses, and against Aarons and the whole Congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the Land of Egypt, or would God we had died in this Wilderness: Wherefore hath the Lord brought us into this Land to fall by the Sword, that our Wives and Children should be made a Prey? &c. Where they unihankfuHy twit and upbraid their Maker with all the Mercies he had bestow'd upon them ., which provoked God to fend a Plague among them, and to sweep them all away by his destroying Angel. Ver. 36, 27. & Chap. 16. 41, &sc.
Now all these things (faith our Apostle) happened unto them for Ensamples, and they are written for our Admonition, upon whom the Ends of the World are come: that is, all the Sins and Judgments on these Israelites, who receiv'd such wonderful Mercies at God's hands, and yet sin'd so foully, and were destroy'd so miserably, are so many Warnings to us Christians to beware of their Sins, lest we feel and fall by the fame Punishments. And these things are recorded and deriv'd down to us in the last Age of the World, on purpose that we mould amend and take warning thereby. From al] which the Apostle, in the next Verse, infers,
$thly, A Caution against Presumption j Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he sallthat is, since these Israelites, who had such great Advantages of standing, having the fame spiritual Meat, and the fame spiritual Drink with us, and from thence might be suppos'd to receive spiritual Strength enough to withstand all Temptations-, if they yet fell so foully into so great Evils both of Sin and Punishment, let none of us presume upon our Strength, but let us all look warily to our Steps, lest we fall into the like Enormities- We are apt indeed tp think too well of our