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Lord; the envious brethren of doctrines, which, with almost a mi Joseph compared with the envious: countrymen of Jesus; and Judah by name proposing to sell Joseph, compared with Judas the traitor. We have the sale of Joseph to the Egyptians, illustrating that of Jesus to the Romans; and, more curiously still, the abiding of Joseph with the Egyptians, whither his brethren must come to meet him, the consignment of Christ to the Gentile church, whither the Jews must hereafter come to recognise their rejected Messiah. The comparison of Joseph between the two chief officers of Pharaoh-one to be delivered, and one to be hanged-with Jesus between the two malefactors, of similar fates, forms, with other circumstances, but an under-plot in the general master-piece.
The truth of the whole matter unquestionably lies in a short comThe interpretations of this nature which are adopted by Scripture itself, are infallible; but when they stand alone upon the authorities of human invention and imagination, or what is sometimes absurdly introduced as the analogy of faith, they are simply fallible, and often very simple indeed. No man of common sense will pretend on such points to any superior inspiration, or judicial authority over another. Here the right of private judgment takes its most legitimate stand. The Scriptures, no doubt, are suited to every turn of mind and taste. The very large place which the imagination occupies in the mind of man, cannot have been unknown to Him who framed the Scriptures for man. Hence we may justly admire that ineffable wisdom which has given faith enough for the dullest and most sterile understanding of "the wayfaring man," to guide him; and has superadded an abundance of most instructive and impressive analogies for every higher grade of intellect or imagination; not even refusing food to the most soaring and aerial of all minds, by the construction of narratives, occurrences, and
raculous closeness of application,may be made to fit into one another, and into "the analogy of faith." It is however, we repeat it, where these applications are warranted, are made to our hands by the words of inspiration itself, that we deem them either positively certain or absolutely wise and safe. And on the other hand, we may justly demur when on fanciful grounds, even the good and philosophic mind of Mr. Jones himself warns us of the importance of baptism prior to the reception of the Lord's supper, and introductory to all Christian privileges, (a most true doctrine,) by the man bearing a pitcher of water; who thereby points out, and leads to the house where Jesus was afterwards to admit his disciples to sacred communion, and deliver to them the emblems of his own most precious body and blood. And we are not able exactly to see the force of another amongst a thousand of his analogies taken from natural objects; namely, that the birds of the air, the land animals, and the fishes of the sea, represent respectively, first, the general exist→ ence of all spiritual creatures, whether good or bad; next, the present state and residence of man on land or the earth; and lastly, the future state of the same migratory being, when sunk in the darkness and depths of the unseen hades.
In a very different and most edifying rank of spiritual interpretation, are those views which lead us to place the whole Jewish regimen and history in the light of a type or figure of the Christian Church; and each circumstance occurrent in Egypt, in the wilderness, in Canaan, and the passages between, as, in sober application descriptive of the Christian's life, and daily experience. was the Gospel preached," and no less, the Apostle to the Hebrews intimates, "unto them." The word preached did, or not, profit both them and us, as being mixed, or not,
with faith. Their earthly rest was the glass, or reflection, of that heavenly rest yet remaining for the people of God. And, by parity of reasoning, their wilderness state represented our wilderness world; in which "the rebellious dwelt as in a dry land," and which conducted these to no land of promise; but in which the believer partook by faith, of spiritual food, and drank of spiritual drink, even of that rock which followed them; and "that rock was Christ."
Even to go still farther backward into patriarchal history," Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day," said Christ, "and he saw it, and was glad." The patriarchal wanderings in the land they were afterwards to receive for an inheritance, could not but represent the pilgrim state of the Christian sojourner, whilst under hope of heavenly grace. "I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were," is the language of believers alike of every age and dispensation. Under each alike they have learned to "look for a better country, that is, an heavenly," and God hath builded for them a city." Under each alike there has been the one "born after the flesh," as well as the other, "born after the Spirit:" the seed of meek Isaac, or of mocking Ishmael: of praying Jacob, or rebellious Esau. Whether traces of the same anology are discoverable in antediluvian or diluvial history, in the grand primitive distinction between righteous Abel and murderous Cain; in the walk of Enoch with God; in the solitary testimony of Noah to the truth of God, and his consequent salvation in the ark, amidst the all-devouring flood, "the like FIGURE whereunto baptism doth even now save us,' is perhaps a question on which the closeness and brevity of those histories scarcely allow us to pronounce. As direct histories of the dealings and interpositions of God, whether individual, national, or universal, they are doubtless, with many more
in Scripture, sufficiently instructive,
Under these limitations we quite agree with Mr. Buddicom's opening observations, in Sermon I. vol. i.
"The LIVES of the ancient tribes were
not less prophetic, than their sacred oracles. Their whole condition forms one grand prediction and outline of human redemption, and of the righteous dealing
of God with mankind. While therefore we study and receive the ancient Scriptures in their literal and primary sense, and thus avoid the peril of enthusiastic mysticism, we must also bear in mind and apply the secondary and spiritual meaning of the Holy Ghost. We shall otherwise form inadequate and unworthy views of that gracious revelation, in which patriarchal, legal, and prophetical dispensations, have united to offer their powerful testimony to the great mystery of godliness, God manifest in the flesh.'
"A Christian, who reads the Old Testament as a mere history, will rise from the sacred employment, unaffected by his own immediate interest in the stupendous events of the Jewish Exodus; or by its momentous reference to his own spiritual condition, and to the terms upon which the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life will be imparted to the need of his soul. On the other hand, a fervent student of holy writ, comparing spiritual things with spiritual,' looks through the veil of the elder dispensation, and sees Christ 'the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.' such an inquirer, spiritual blessings are enwrapped in external distinctions; spiritual and everlasting plagues are hidden behind the curtain of temporal judgments. The miraculous deliverance of Israel, perspicuously, although figuratively represents the experience of a Christian in his eventhis unrenewed condition;-the method of ful journey. It shadows forth the evil of his escape;the manner in which his al
mighty Father and Redeemer try him, 'to prove what is in his heart, and to do him good at his latter end.' It exhibits the rebellion and idolatry of the human mind, under the very circumstances that invest God with attributes of unrivalled attraction. It proves the long-suffering of the Most High;-the tenderness of his neglected Son; the calls of his insulted Spirit; and the danger, lest they who despise them, should be eventually left beneath the irremediable infliction of the second death. It contrasts also with such a state, the unspeakable happiness of those who through faith and patience shall inherit the promises,' and repose, beyond the dark passage of the grave, in the rest that remaineth for the people of God."" pp. 4-6.
We shall give only one passage more from the following sermon, to shew that we do not think Mr. Buddicom is wholly free from the blame of faulty limitations and perhaps indistinct conceptions in the application of these important canons of interpretation. After describing the bondage of Israel "under the dominion of their powerful and implacable enemies in Egypt," he proceeds:
"We are here presented with a significant emblem of the natural condition of
The enemies of his soul have succeeded in establishing over him a dominion, at once the most subtle, and the most despotic;-a dominion not the less secure, nor the less fatal, because it is invisible, and has fixed its seat in the heart. All the relations in which he
stood to God have been mournfully changed by the first apostacy. "The creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly,' but by a kind of constraint, through the guilt of Adam, and the righteous condemnation denounced by God against him and his posterity. And gloomy indeed would be the condition of man, were he not subjected in hope; and were not ample means devised, that every one who receiveth Jesus Christ by faith, should be delivered from the bondage of corruption, into the glorious liberty of the sons
"Satan, the implacable enemy of our fallen race has established a dominion over human nature, of which the tyranny exercised by Pharaoh over the Israelites was a faint and shadowy representation. Then comes the law of God, like the taskmasters of Egypt, exacting a full uncompromising obedience to the letter and spirit of every injunction. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and all thy mind, and all thy soul, and all thy strength: and thy neighbour as thyself. These duties must be performed in all the extent of
their requirement; as the tale of bricks was exacted from the groaning Israelites. If the demand be not fulfilled, woe and punishment await the offenders. Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.' Every sin committed, every duty neglected, is a transgresion of the law; and the wages of sin is death." Does the law then promise no strength to enable men to fulfil its enactment? Absolutely none. No such encouragement annexed to the covenant of works is to be found in the Bible. That covenant exhibits the injunction, and insists upon the performance, with the most unyielding severity. Under the covenant of mercy in Jesus Christ, duty is required, but grace and sufficiency are also offered. I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep under the legal covenant is represented by my judgments, and do them.' But man the case of Israel in Egypt: Go there
fore and work: for there shall no straw be
given you, yet shall ye deliver the tale of bricks.' Now the law is spiritual;’ but man, from the corruption of his nature is carnal, sold under sin and unless he obtain help from without, can no more fulfil the bidding of his taskmaster the law, than the Israelites could make up the amount of their stipulated burdens. Man may follow after the law of righteousness, but cannot attain unto the law of righteousness,' while he endeavours to fulfil the covenant of works. As many then as are of the works of the law are under the curse'-in a state of bondage, misery, and death. Nay 'the strength of sin is the law;' because that law, pronouncing the sentence of condemnation against every transgressor, enables sin to bring death upon mankind, and to imbitter its agonies with the dread of eternal punishment." vol. i. pp. 26–29.
We venture to suggest on this passage, whether, according to any proper mode of interpretation, it is possible to link together the taskmasters of Egypt with the law of God,-that law, which is holy, just, and good; and which, in all its holiness, justice, and goodness, Mr. Buddicom sets forth under its full evangelical terms, as a law of love. Amongst the innumerable boundaries between, we should imagine, consideration, that the heavy tasks so incongruous an analogy, is this of Egypt were, when performed, a fruitless exertion, or but to the honour of false deities, and to the disgrace of the slavish builders; and such is sin. But the yoke and bur
den of Divine love rendered only heavy by the corruption of man, would, when accepted and borne by the human heart, become its glory and its joy, the fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
We had marked for notice some few passages of a mixed nature, indicative of Mr. Buddicom's weighty style of general instruction. And from no part of his volumes could they have been better selected than from the early discourses on the Opposition of Pharaoh, and the Discouragements and Fears of the Israelites. One passage we are disposed to give, as marking the writer's style of experimental remark on the latter subject, from Sermon VIII., "Behold, the exceeding great and precious promises made by the God of truth and love in the Gospel of his redemption, adoption, and salvation! Sometimes indeed, these assurances vainly solicit the hearts of Christians, in moments of alarm and discouragement, because the course of Providence contradicts their hopes; and the expected deliverance seems far removed. Their spirit therefore faints within them, as they contemplate the trials and afflictions by which they are visited. It was thus with the children of Israel in Egypt. The gracious assurances of their heavenly Father were repeated to them: but coming in the hour of darkness, disappointment, and sorrow, they were received with unbelief and despondency; although, at that very hour they ought to have been most dear and most encouraging. It is comparatively easy to commit our way to God, and to repose with confidence upon the assurances of his power, his presence, and his love, in the brightness and sunshine of peace and prosperity. At such a time, the course of Providence coincides with our wishes, and we readily own the wisdom as well as the mercy of our heavenly Father. But when he comes to us in gloom and sorrow; when he draws nigh to us as Jesus approached the disciples in the storm and darkness that beset them upon the sea of Galilee, we mistake his errand and cry out for fear. Then we refuse to walk any longer by faith. Then unbelief assumes its power over us, and we hearken not to the voice of our Lord, speaking to us in mysterious mercy. Then the very promises, which a little while before formed our chief joy, lose all their sweetness, all their power, and all their value. Infidelity steps between them and our hearts, and makes us insensible to all their comforts. The wonders of approaching redemption had been foretold to Israel-the opposition of Pharaoh had been declared the
people had believed, had bowed their gratefully and gladly accepted the offered heads and worshipped, in token of having mercy. Yet, alas! the first opposition which the rebellious king gave to the bidding of God, overwhelmed them with unbelieving terror and despondency. Their unworthy dread of Pharaoh immediately overcomes and destroys the confidence and faith, which every possible consideration ought to have interwoven with the very frame of their minds. They had expected an immediate deliverance: and, lo! increasing difficulties were laid in the way; new burdens were added, and new woes were to be endured. So at least they interpreted the course of Providence; and therefore they hearkened not for anguish of spirit.
"How faithfully does their history display the spiritual lineaments of those who are unable to retain a hold of the promises row! The everlasting word has declared, of God, in the hour of affliction and sorthat the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion, and everlasting joy shall be upon their heads: that they shall obtain joy and gladness; and that sorrow and sighing shall flee away.' And yet, how often does a longsuffering and gracious God deign to remonstrate with us, when he sees us sinking into doubt, and murmuring, and despair, as he leads by the hand through the paths of affliction, in order to try us, and do us good at our latter end? How frequently does he expostulate with us, and say, 'I, even I am he that comforteth you: who art thou that thou shouldst be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass: and forgetest the Lord thy Maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth; and hast feared continually every day because of the oppressor; as if he were ready to destroy: and where is the fury of the oppressor? God limits not the accomplishment of his promises to the calm and prosperous exterior of his providences; but frequently visits his dearest and most devoted servants with dispensations, which seem rather calculated to frustrate than to establish his purposes. The slavery of the Ishmaelite merchants, and the prison of Potiphar, conduct Joseph to the side of Pharaoh's throne, as the second in the land of Egypt. Jonah is cast on shore by a whale, while the mariners arrive at their port in the ship. The blind man, in the Gospel, is cured by the very means which seemed to make the recovery of sight more hopeless. Such visitations of hidden wisdom, and disguised love, are meant to prove and increase the efficacy and vigour of real faith. They are to be accounted among the best privileges and blessings of a Christian; and in moments like these, he is most effectually upheld by the sure, but secret energy of his Saviour's Spirit. It was thus with
Genesis, and Buddicom's Christian Exodus.[ APRIL
affliction. The archers sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him; but his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob." vol. i. pp. 157-159. "The Case of Pharaoh," in the following sermon, would have been more completely "considered" if reference had been made to the very important view taken of it by St. Paul, in his 9th chapter to the Romans. The views, however, of Mr. Buddicom, clearly lead to the rejection of any intimation, as deducible from St. Paul's words, of a sovereign and irresistible decree of reprobation in force against the hardened monarch. The very allusion indeed used by the Apostle in that place to the potter and the clay, though sometimes interpreted into such a decree, yet has always appeared to us to make against it when compared with Jeremiah xviii, from whence that allusion is borrowed. There we find the very illustration used to shew the sovereignty of God, not in originally forming his work according to one given and irrevocable purpose; but in moulding and fashioning it according to his will, after it had taken, through its own "marring" of itself, a different form from that originally proposed. A due consideration of this distinction, we apprehend, with a collateral distinction between that free agency which is essential to responsible beings, and that independence, on the contrary, which belongs to no creature, and least of all to fallen creatures, would dissipate many of those "clouds" to which Mr. Buddicom alludes in the following portion from the opening to the sermon in question.
"Clouds of gloom or fear have often gathered around the minds of those, who were honestly endeavouring to understand and obey the word of the Lord. The judicial obduracy of impenitent sinners ranks among the greatest mysteries on which the mind can dwell. It is as high as heaven, what can we know? deeper than hell, what can we understand? It must be classed among the most intricate counsels of Him whose judgments are unsearchable, and his ways past finding out.' We
We find ourselves hurried towards
"The most fearful event that has oc-
minister of Christ to substantiate the facts