Billeder på siden

general which is called his Footstool, but only Canaan; and in Canaan it felf, fuch places where God was pleafed to manifeft himself more particularly prefent. Thus the Ark is called God's Footftool; as David tells the People of Ifrael, As for me, I bad it in my heart to build an House for the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord, and for the Footftool of our God, 1 Chron. 28. 2. And in the 95th Pfalm, v. 5. Exalt ye the Lord our God, and worship at his Footstool, for he is holy. Our Saviour applies this Title to the whole Land of Canaan; Matth. 5. 45. Swear not by the Earth for it is his Footstool: That is, the Land of Ganaan; for the Jews never fwore by any other Earth. In this fenfe the Temple is called God's House, where he is faid to dwell, and to place his Name there, and to fit between the Cherubims: And the Ark of the Covenant is God's Prefence: Jerufalem is the Holy Mount, the City of the great King. But it is only the Relation between Canaan and Jerufalem, and the Temple and Heaven, which is God's House and Throne; and the Communications of the Divine Grace and Prefence from his Throne to his Footftool, from Heaven to Earth; which is the Rea fon and Foundation of all these glorious CharaEters. And cut off Canaan from Heaven; take down this Ladder, which preferves the Communication between Heaven and Earth; that is, make Canaan a mere temporal and Earthly Inheritance, and it is no longer the Fooftool, or the House of God; no more than Ur of the Chal dees, or Egypt, or any other part of the Earth deferves that Title. And yet, what Jacob adds is ftill more exprefs and fignificant: This is no other but the Gate of Heaven. 'Tis a very near relation to Heaven indeed, to be the Gate of it: For a Gate is of no other Ufe or Value, but

to give us Entrance and Admiffion into Heaven. And therefore the Promise of that Land, which is the Gate of Heaven, muft include the Promise of Heaven, or it fignifies little.

This I take to be an evident Proof, that the promised Inheritance and promised Land, was not confined to a mere Temporal Canaan. But the true Representation of the Cafe is this: God entred into Covenant with Abraham, to be his God, and the God of his Seed; and promised, that, when the Time appointed was come, he would give them Poffeffion of the Land of Canaan for an Inheritance; where they fhould live feparate from the reft of the World as his Peculiar People, under his immediate Care and Government, and enjoy the special Marks of his Favour and Presence, while they lived; and when they died, if their Sins did not stop up their way, they should be translated into his immediate Prefence, and exchange a Temporal for a Heavenly Canaan. This was a Promise and Covenant worthy of God; this made Canaan indeed the House of God, and the Gate of Heaven. This was a good Reafon for the Patriarchs to live and die in the Faith and Hope of God's Promifes; which they expected the Performance of, to themselves in another World, and to their Pofterity both in this and the next.

Thus, to proceed, this gives us an Account alfo of Efau's Prophaneness in defpifing his Birthright; for that is the Name the Apostle gives it, Heb. 12. 16, Left there be any Fornicator, or prophane Perfon, as Efau, who for one Morfel of Bread fold his Birth-right. The Story of which we find, Gen. 25. 29. and following Verses. The Birth-right, which he fold, was, to be the Heir of the Promifes; of that Promise God made to Abraham of

[blocks in formation]


the Inheritance of the Land of Canaan. Reason of his felling it was, that coming out of the Field faint, he defired his Brother Jacob, that he would feed him with that red Pottage which he had made. Jacob took the Advantage of this, he required him alfo to fell him his Birthright. And Efau faid, behold I am at the point to die, and what profit fhall this Birth-right do to me? And Jacob faid, fwear to me this Day; and be fore to him, and he fold his Birth-right unto Jacob. Thus Efau defpifed his Birth-right. From which Account it appears, that Efau understood no more by the promised Land, than a Temporal Inheritance, which would do him no good, now he was ready to die. This was a prophane Contempt of God's Covenant and Promife, and of his own Intereft in it; but the Foundation of it was that grofs carnal Apprehenfion he had of the Covenant it felf; which was great Impiety and Prophaneness, to think thus meanly of God's Covenant and Promise; as if God had with fo much Solemnity made a Covenant, which was not worth having. And if this be Prophaneness, then it is certain God's Covenant with Abraham was not a mere Temporal Covenant, nor the Promised Inheritance a mere Temporal Canaan.

But there is fomething farther to be confidered, which I think nothing can give a reafonable Account of, without acknowledging Canaan to be a Type and Figure of Heaven. For it may be thought very unaccountable, why God, who had promised by Covenant to give the Land of Canaan for an Inheritance to the Seed and Pofterity of Abraham, fhould defer the Accomplishment of this Promife for fo many Ages. For it was four hundred and Thirty Years


before the Ifraelites went out of Egypt; and they spent forty Years in the Wilderness, before they enter'd into Canaan; so that there paffed four hundred and feventy Years from the beginning and making this Promife, to the accomplishment of it. There may indeed be fome Account given of this Delay. For when God had promised a whole Country to the Pofterity of Abraham, it was reasonable enough to defer the actual Performance of it, till they were grown a great Nation, and numerous enough to people fuch a Country, and to drive out the Inhabitants of it; which will account for fome part of this time. But ftill it is a great Difficulty, why, in the mean time God should suffer fuch a beloved People, with whom he had enter'd into Covenant, to be oppreffed fo many Years with cruel Bondage in Egypt; and afterwards, when he had deliver'd them out of Egypt with a mighty hand, fhould make them wander forty Years in the Wilderness; till all thofe, who came Men out of Egypt, except Caleb and Jofbua, were dead. And I can refolve this into no better Caufe, than the Typical State of the Jewish Church.

God no doubt had other wife Reasons to juftify his Providence in expofing the Children of Ifrael to fuch hard Bondage in Egypt; and the History of Mofes tells us, why all that Generation of Men died in the Wilderness. But there were more myfterious Reasons than this; fuch as to make Ifrael a Figure and Reprefentation of the miferable Slavery and Servitude of Mankind under the Dominion of Sin, and the Tyranny of wicked Spirits; that Kingdom of Darkness represented by the Egyptian Bondage; and to be a Figure of the Redemption of Sin


ners, in the Deliverance of Ifrael out of Egypt; and of the Difficulties and various Tryals of the Chriftian Life in this World, and the Spiritual Supports and Comforts of it; and the Danger of Infidelity and Difobedience, for which God fwore in bis wrath, that they should not enter into bis reft. All which we fee very lively Figures of, in what happened to Ifrael in Egypt and the Wilderness. For this was the miferable State of Mankind; they were enflaved for many Ages to wicked Spirits, whom they worshipped for Gods. Chrift delivers us from this Slavery by Signs, and Wonders, and Miracles, and a Divine Power. But after this we ftill live in the Wilderness of this World, where we are stung by fiery Serpents, the Temptations of the Devil and wicked Spirits; and have no other Cure but to look, by the Eye of Faith, on the brazen Serpent upon the Pole, that is, our Crucified Saviour. And all the Support and Nourishment we have, is the Manna from Heaven, and Jefus Chrift, that Bread of Life, which came down from Heaven, and the Water out of the Rock, which Rock was Christ. Now if all this was Typical, as I could fhew you at large, from all the Allufions and Applications of the New Teftament, that the Egyptian Bondage was a Figure of the Slavery and Servitude of Sin, from which we are delivered by Chrift; and the Church in the Wilderness, a Type of the Chriftian Life in this World; then their Entrance into Canaan must be a Type of our Entrance into Heaven: And confequently, Canaan was a Type and Figure of Heaven, the true Promifed Land, and Promised Inheritance.


« ForrigeFortsæt »