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the true and spiritual design and application of what Ezekiel had couched under the types and parables of the first covenant.
The subsequent prophets, therefore, adopt the typical method and language, and continue the emblematic art and designations of the Abrahamic covenant, and of the early promises, and present to us the full-length draught and the finished picture of what the Patriarchs had indeed the firm conviction, and the earnest, ardent, longing desire and expectation, but saw only in the sketch and the distance. The literal Jews are hence no more to say to themselves, "we have Abraham to our father;" God has, indeed, of the stones, raised up children to Abraham, and they henceforth, by our Lord's own decision, and they ONLY" are the children of Abraham, who do the works of Abraham," and "if they had believed Moses they would also have believed Christ, for he wrote of him." They can, therefore, no longer claim by blood, or by descent, to be the sons of God, and the heirs of the promises. Nor let us permit the veil, which intercepts the light and obscures the vision of the literal seed of Abraham and of Israel, when Moses and the prophets are read, and which is done away in and by Christ, to conceal from us the genuine sense of Scripture, and the true and legitimate object and completion of prophecy. "There is now neither Jew nor Greek, neither bond nor free, neither male nor female, for all
are one in Christ, and if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." And all others say they are Jews and are not, but the synagogue of Satan *, "for he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart in the spirit, and not in the letter." The ties which unite mind to mind are infinitely closer and stronger than those of blood; moral union and religious friendship have greater weight and influence on virtuous minds than the affinities of nature, and the associations of life. The disciples of the prophets were called their sons, though they were neither connected with them by nature, nor united to them by interest; the true sons of Abraham, therefore, by both reason and Scripture, are the followers of his faith and obedience, compared with whom, his literal seed are Ishmael, the sons of the bond-woman and not Isaac, the sons of the freewoman; they are Esau, who sold his birth-right, and is therefore hated, and not Jacob, who purchased it, and is therefore loved. They are Israel after the flesh, and not the Israel of God. They are, in fine, Israel to whom "blindness in part" has happened, and not Israel" who seeth God and
The Greek comment of Andreas Cæsariensis on this text, is written in the true sense and spirit of our Lord's answer to the Jews, and of his Apostles' interpretation, our ovv Lovdaιo ουτε Ισραηλ οἱ εν απιστια εμμενοντες, they are therefore neither Jews nor Israel who persist in unbelief."
knoweth God." And these spiritual and true Israelites, in the usual and consecrated language of the prophets, are the holy people of God, and occupy as ever the holy land, and the pleasant land; they dwell in the holy city of Jerusalem, in the holy mount of Sion, or in the mountains of Israel: and who these holy people and this Israel are, St. Paul will tell us; "Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision; for we are the circumcision which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and put no confidence in the flesh." The twelve tribes of Israel are, agreeably to this sense and interpretation, represented by the prophets as completely organized and marshalled, as in the journey through the wilderness to Canaan, and to endure in the latter times, or under the Gospel dispensation, the afflictions and calamities of the former Israel and the ancient church. They are once more by cruel bondage and wrongs compelled to take refuge in the wilderness, from the face of another Pharaoh or serpent. A remnant of them is afterwards led captive to Babylon, and endures there greater hardships and calamities than before; their city is trodden down by Gentiles, their temple is profaned by idols, and in their holy of holies "the abomination of desolation" is set up.
If we consent to adopt that import and exposition which the covenants and promises to the Patriarchs require and exemplify, and which the
New Testament has suggested and sanctioned, the design of prophecy is rendered simple and uniform, and its sense and completion distinct and indisputable; the Catholic church is the body, whereof that of Israel was only the shadow, and supplies the true key, the just sense, and the adequate object and completion of the law and the prophets. But prophecies which concern it, from its great enlargement, spiritual nature, and indefinite construction, must necessarily be more spiritual and general, more abstract and intellectual than those which concerned the religion and the church of the Jews; and they are suited to the more spiritual constitution and character of that religion and of that church with which they are associated, and which they defend; to the mental conflict in which they are engaged, and to the more refined disputants and more subtle and intellectual enemies of truth and righteousness, against whom they are designed and provided. And their typical investment and vivid material colouring, their reference to the past, and at the same time their prefiguration of the future, conspire together to perplex the reader, to obscure the prophecy *.
The principles of this section, soberly and justly applied, will serve to elucidate the celebrated
For the general doctrine of types, see Glassii Philologia
prophecy of our Lord, concerning the destruction of Jerusalem, and to disentangle it from that great confusion and perplexity in which it has been generally found, and confessed to be involved, and in respect of which Doddridge truly observes, that, "parts of it have been admirably illustrated by many learned commentators, but the whole scope and connexion of it by none." Some of whom have contended for an exclusively literal interpretation throughout: as Dr. S. Clarke; or at least to the 36th verse, as Grotius, Hammond, Whitby; whilst others have conceived some obscure reference to the end of the world, of which the destruction of the Jewish capital is made somehow the type. But they do not shew any natural and intermediate link to unite them, in order to account for the close and intimate combination of those two events, which seems to pervade and to perplex the prophecy; and, forget
Sacra, Chandler's Defence, Vitringa's Preface to Isaiah, Macknight's Eighth Essay, Waterland's Preface to Scripture Vindicated, Lowth on Ezekiel, Bishop Lowth's Eleventh and Twelfth Prelections, Horne's Preface to his Psalms.
One of the best sustained typical prophecies is perhaps the viiith Psalm, which seems at first sight to indicate nothing more than the dominion of man over the world around him: St. Paul however teaches us in more places than one, that it is entirely typical, and that it foresignifies the victory and dominion of the second Adam, including always his members and brethren the church, over the devil, and sin, and death, and ultimately over the future and eternal world.