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perience, what it was to lose a beloved Son ;-Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac; the Son born miraculously when Sarah was past child-bearing, as Jesus was miracubously born of a pure Virgin. The duration too of the action was the same as that between CHRIST's Death and Resurrection; both which were designed to be represented in it: and still farther, not only the final archietypical Sacrifice of the Son of God was figured in the command to offer Isaac, but the intermediate Typical sacrifice, in the Mosaic Economy, was represented, by the permitted sacrifice of the Ram offered up instead of Isaac.
8. The last reason I shall offer in support of this point, that the Command concerning Isaac was this Revelation of Christ's day, or the redemption of mankind by his death and sufferings, is the allusion which Jesus makes (in these words, Abraham rejoiced to see my day, &c.) to the following words of Moses, in the history of the command-- And Abrakam called the name of that place Jekovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, I.n the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.
To shew that Jesus alluded to these words of Moses, and had them in his eye, wheu he speaks of Abraham rejoicing to see his day, it will be proper to consider the true force and meaning of either text. The words of Jesus have been full
And, in the words of Moses-- Abraham called the name of that place Jehovak-jirek : as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen—we have the assertion of Jesus confirmed, that Abraham SCLE Christ's day, and was glad. 1. Jehovah-jireh signifies, as several of the best interpreters agree, THE LORD SHALL BE SEEN T. But with what propriety could this
* See p. 6. & seq.
+ “ Dominus videbitur, (says the learned Father Houbigant) ibt 19, Non videtur, ne ab futuro verbi aberremus. 2o, Non videbit, non As modo quia non additur quid sit Deus visurus, sed etiam quia in tota
name be given to it by Abraham, if, in this transaction, he had not seen the representation of the Lord's passion, which was to happen in a future age? And if he did see it, how apposite was the name! The Historian goes on-as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen; or more exactly to the Hebrew-for he said, in the mount THE LORD SHALL BE SEEN. In the first part of the verse, the sacred Historian tells us that Abraham called the mount, The Lord shall be seen; and in the latter part he acquaints us with the manner how Abraham imposed that appellation, nainely, by the use of a proverbial speech implying the reason of the name-To-day in the mount, the Lord shall be seen* Proverbial speeches, before the general use of recording abstract names and things by writing, being the best and safest conveyance of the memory of events to Posterity. Conformably to this interpretation of the text, the Historian on his entrance on the transaction calls the land of
Moriah, Moriah, to which Abraham went with Isaac (according to Jerom's interpretation), the LAND OF Vision, which shews that the worris of Jesus, Abraham SAW MY DAY, and was GLAD, evidently allude to this extraordinary circumstance; namely, the disposition of Abraham's mind on the occasion, expressed in his memorial of a new name imposed on the scene of action; the ancient way of commemorating joyful and happy events. In a word, Jesus says, Abraham saw his day; and Abraham, by the name he imposed upon the mount, declares the same thing. But as the vision was of a public, not of a private nature, he expresses himself in terins which signify what mankind in general shall see, not what he himself had seen—THE LORD SHALL BE SEEN. From a vague allusion, therefore, of the words of Jesus, to this history of the command in general, we have now fixed them to the very words of Moses, to which they more particularly refer.
« illa visione, hominis est videre, Domini, videri; propter quam
caus m Deus locum istum mox noinine visionis insigniebat. Nimi
rum Deus Abrahamo id ostendit, quod Abraham vidit & garisus “ est.” The near relation of these words of Jesus to those of Moses, was too strongly marked to be overlooked by this very judicious Critic, though he considered the transaction in no other light than as a 7'ype of the death and passion of Jesus.
Atque hoc illud est (says Father Houbigant) quod memoriæ sem, piternæ Abraham consecrabat, cum ita subjungeret hodie in monte, Dominus videbitur; illud hodie sic accipiens, ut accepit Paulus Ap. illud Davidis, hodie si vocem ejus audieritis; quod hodie tamdiu durat, quamdiu sæcula illa durabunt, de quibus Apostolus donec hodie cognominatur. Propterea Abraham non dicit, hodie Dominus videtur. Nam id spectaculum nunc solus videt Abraham, postea omnes visuri sunt, et ad omnes pertinebit istud, videbitur, generatim dictum, cum omnes Unigenitum in monte viderint generis humani victimam factam. Nec aliam sententiana series verborum patitur. Ex qua serie illi deviant, qui hæc verba, dirit enim hodlie in monte dominus-Mosi sic parranti attribuunt, propterea dicitur hudie in monte Domini-quasi ren:rret Moyses usurpatum sua atate proverbium. Nam si sic erit, non jam docebit Abraham, cui huic loco nomen fecerit Dominus videbitur; quam tamen nominum notationem in sacris paginis non omittunt ii, quicumque nemina rebus imponunt. Quod contra plane docebit Abrahain, si de eo Moysis sic narrat, vocavit nomen loci hujus, DEUS VIDEBITUR; nam dixit, in monte Deus videbitur.
The suin then of the Argument is this--Jesus expressly says that Abraham saw, and rejoiced to see, his day, or the great Sacrifice for the sins of mankind by representation --The records of sacred History must needs verify his assertion-- But there is no place in Scripture which presents the least traces of this Revelation, except the history of the Command to offer Isaac. This history not only easily and naturally admits of such a sense, but even demands it-And reciprocally, this sense gives all imaginable light to the History; and removes the greatest difficulties attending the common interpretation of it. Hence, we conclude with certainty, that the command to Abraham to offer up his son was only an INFORMATION IN ACTION, which, at Abraham's earnest request, God was graciously pleased to give him of the great sacrifice of Christ for the Redemption of mankind. The thing to be proved. Two great ends seem to be gained by this interpretation: The one, to free the Command from a supposed violation of natural
Lawi Law; The other, to support the connexion and dependency between the two Revelations; for this interpretation makes the history of the Command a DIRECT Prophesy of Christ as Redeemer of the world; whereas the common brings it, at most, but to a TYPICAL intimation. Now the Defenders * of the common interpretation confess, that “the evidence of direct Prophecies. is superior to that of Typus.”
The only plausible Objection which can be made to my explanation, I conceive to be the following-—“That what " is here supposed the principal and proper reason of the
Command, is not at all mentioned by the sacred Histo
rian; but another, of a different nature; namely, the “ Trial of Abraham's faith and obedience-And it came
to pass after these things, God did tempt Abraham, " and said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac--And so when the affair is over, the same reason is again in“ sinuated :-By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord,
for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not “ withheld thy son, thine only son, that in blessing I " will bless theet," &c.
1. To the first part of the Objection I answer, That the knowledge of God's future dispensation in the redemption of mankind by the death of his Son, revealed, as a singular grace, to the Father of the Faithful, was what could by no means be communicated to the Hebrew People, when Moses wrote this History for their use; because they being then to continue long under a carnal Economy, this knowledge, of the END OF THE LAW, would have greatly indisposed thein to a Dispensation, with which (as a Schoolmaster, that was to bring them by degrees, through a harsh and rugged discipline, to the easy yoke of CHRIST) Gon, in his infinite wisdom, thought fit to exercise them [. But he who does not see, from the plain reason of the thing, the necessity of the • Dr. Stebbing.
+ Gen. xxii: 16, 17 See note [H] at the end of this Book,
Historian's silence, is referred, for farther satisfaction, to what hath been already, and will be hereafter said, to erince the vecessity of such a conduct, in other momentous points relating to that future Dispensation.
In the mean time, I give him St. Paul's word for this conduct of Moses, who expressly tells us, that he obo scured some parts of his history, or put a veil over his face, that the Israelites might not see to the end of that Law which wus to be abolished. And what was that end, if not the Redemption of mankind by the death and sacrifice of Christ?- Moses (says he) put a veil over his face, that the Children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished. But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away, in the reading of the Old Testament ; which veil is done away in Curist*.
But it may be asked, perhaps, “ If such Revelations could not be clearly recorded, why were they recorded at all?” For a very plain as well as weighty reason; that when the fulness of time should come, they might rise up in Evidence against Infidelity, for the real relation and dependency between the two Dispensations of Moses and of Christ t; when from this, and divers the like instances it should appear, that the first Dispensation could be but very imperfectly understood without a reference to the latter.
But had not the sacred Writer designedly obscured this illustrious Revelation, by an omission of the attendant circumstances, yet the narrative of such a converse by action was not in its nature so intelligible or obvious, as that where God is shewn conversing by action, to the Prophets, in the several instances formerly given I. And the reason is this. Those informations, as they are given to the Prophets for the instruction of the People, have necessarily, in the course of the history, their ex
2 Cor. iii, 13, 14. And see note [I] at the end of this Book. # See note [K] at the end of this Book.. I See Book IV. $4.