Page images


ful governors in church and state with chap. priestcraft and tyranny. The sacred office of the ministry is invaded by self-constituted teachers; and the powers that be are despised and insulted. The divine authority of both is openly questioned ; and the authors of this schismatical rebellion undertake to open the eyes of the people h. These enlightened sentiments, however, of Korah and his coadjutors, respecting the origin of government, prove to be utterly displeasing to him, from whom all rights both ecclesiastical and civil are derived. The ways of God are not as the ways

of A fevere visitation from heaven speedily decides the point which was controverted between Moses and his opponents. “ The earth opened her mouth, - and swallowed them up quick.” But as for those, who presumed to minister to God, not according to his revealed will, but according to their own vain imaginations, their offering was an abomination in

“ Fire came out from the Lord, “ and consumed the two hundred and fifty

men, that offered incense."


his eyes.

We are directed by St. Jude to apply

h See Numb, xvi. 14.

M 2


sect. this type to the Christian church. He II. speaks of certain men in his days, who de

spised dominion, and spoke evil of dignities, and who “ perished in the gainsay*ing of Korah.” Against such he de

“Clouds they are with66 out water, carried about of winds-wan

dering stars-murmurers, complainers who separate themselves, sensual, hav

ing not the Spirit.”

nounces" a woe.

The Israelites, far from being intimidated by the exemplary punishment inflicted upon Korah, Dathan, and Abiram,

i Some persons have applied this alarming type to the whole body of separatists from the ancient apoftolical polity of the church : but, as I dare not anathematize such eminent characters as Doddridge and Watts, although verily persuaded of the divine authority of Episcopacy ; I have fimply related the history of Korah, and subjoined St. Jude's comment upon it, leaving the Reader to judge for himself. It may not be amiss, however, to observe, in the words of Bp. Horne, that“ internal gifts and graces may qualify a

person for an office, but they cannot put him into one." Sermons, vol. ii. p. 167.

Bp. Latimer and Bp. Reynolds are equally strong in censuring the presumption of those, who take upon themselves the office of the ministry, without being regularly ordained to it. See Bp. Latimer's Sermons, fol. 240. edit. 1584. Bp. Reynolds’s Works, p. 427. Jones's Essay on the Church;, and particularly Bp. Hall's Episcopacy by Divine Right.




murmur the very next morning against CHAP.
Moses and Aaron. By thus vindicating IV.
the actions of those rebels, they incurred a
similar degree of guilt. A plague is sent
among them, and no means of human de-
liverance appear. In this emergency, Aa-
ron took his censer, and ran into the midst
of the congregation, to make an atone-
ment for 'them. " He stood between the
“ dead and the living, and the plague was

stayed k.” All those, who remained exposed to the fierce anger of the Lord, unprotected by the mediatorial intercession of Aaron, inevitably perished. But all such, as were shrouded from the vengeance of God by the powerful atonement of the high-priest, remained secure, though trembling at the destruction which raged around them. Before Aaron, death appeared in all its horrors; behind him all was hope and security. The plague approached exactly to the place where he stood, when, overcome by the mysterious virtue of the atonement which he made for the people, it ceased instantaneously.

There cannot be a more accurate description of the benefits conferred by the

[blocks in formation]


SECT. mediatorial office of the Messiah, than that

which is contained in this instructive portion of history. The plague of sin rages

in the midst of us all, and we are all totally corrupted. In this miserable and helpless situation, we are exposed to the just anger of God, which, by our own strength, we can neither avert nor avoid. To a sinner, convinced of his criminality, and deeply feeling his need of a Saviour, the promised Redeemer now appears in the full, though benign radiance of mercy. The great HighPriest is both able and willing “ to make a füll, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, o oblation, and satisfaction, for the sins of “ the whole world.” To those, who trust in his merits, and rely upon the efficacy of his atonement, there is joy, peace, and comfort inexpressible. The wrath of God is stayed, nor will it penetrate into the inclosure, before which the well-beloved Son has taken his station. The miserable consequences of the plague of sin are at an end, and his spiritual health is restored to the penitent sinner, by the sprinkling of the blood of the covenant. Where Christ is not, sin and death prevail ; where he is, they are constrained to yield before the Almighty Conqueror. “He stands between

«the living and the dead, and the plague CHAP. s is stayed .”


8. Elijah,

8. The fuperior dignity which Elijah held over the other inspired teachers in Ifrael, along with some peculiar circumstances recorded in his history, seems to confer upon him the honour of being a type of the Messiah.

The authoritative manner of his teaching ; his opposition to the priests of Baal; and his call of Elisha, nearly in the very fame words which our Lord used when calling his disciples; are all worthy of attention. But there are two events in his life, which more particularly demand our regard. As Elijah fasted forty days and forty nights; so did our Saviour likewise prolong his abstinence to the fame period. And as the Prophet was supernaturally taken up into heaven, in the sight of his servant Elisha, to whom he left his mantle, conferring the same miraculous powers, and the same divine inspiration, which he had himself possessed ; fo did Christ ascend up on high in the presence of his disciples, leaving with them a double portion of his Spirit, which both

See a beautiful Sermon on this subject by Bp. Horne.


M 4

« EelmineJätka »