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SECT. purport of the ceremonial inftitutions. II. When the guilt even of unintentional violence had been incurred, the offender was directed to flee to one of thefe cities, from which he was not allowed to depart till the death of the high-priest.
This ordinance fhews the extreme hatred of God against any fin whatsoever; and proves that nothing but the death of our great high-prieft could expiate that taint of original corruption, from which all our hidden and involuntary offences derive their origin. Before the mediatorial facrifice of Christ, we were confined, without a poffibility of deliverance, in the city of deftruction. The mercy of God did not indeed fuffer the destroyer to go forth against us: but we remained prifoners of hope, till fet free by the meritorious oblation of the Lamb of God.
8. The laft peculiarity of the ceremonial inftitutes, which fhall be confidered, more particularly connects the Law and the Gofpel. The Jews were ordered to abftain from certain kinds of meats, which, upon examination, will be found ufually typical of fome vices practifed by the idolaters
laters; and, pursuant to the type, they cHAP. carefully withdrew from the company and fellowship of its antitype, the heathen nations. Thus the hog was a fit emblem of gluttony; the vulture, and the kite, of rapacity and cruelty; and the owl, of those deeds of darkness, which fhun the light. On the other hand, the kinds of food, which they were allowed to eat, were generally emblematical of fome virtue; as the ox, of patience and industry; the sheep, of meekness and innocence. Consequently, those animals may be confidered as typical of the Church of God, at that time confined to the Jews.
But, when the Gospel came, the wall of diftinction, between the Jew and the Gentile, was to be broken down. In place of the external cleanlinefs of meats, the fpiritual cleanliness of the foul is to be fubstituted; and, instead of rejecting unclean food, we are commanded to reject unclean actions.
Let us now advert to a famous typical prophecy under the Law, with its interpretation and completion under the Gospel. "There fhall come forth a rod out of the " ftem
"stem of Jeffe, and a branch fhall grow "out of his roots-The wolf alfo fhall "dwell with the lamb, and the leopard "fhall lie down with the kid: and the "calf, and the young lion, and the fatling together, and a little child fhall lead "them. And the cow and the bear fhall "feed; their young ones fhall lie down "together; and the lion fhall eat straw "like the ox. And the fucking child fhall play on the hole of the afp, and the "weaned child. fhall put his hand on the "cockatrice den. They fhall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth fhall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the fea. And “in that day, there shall be a root of Jeffe, "which shall stand for an enfign of the people; to it fhall the Gentiles feek: and "his reft fhall be glorious?."
It is fuperfluous to affert, that no fuch change in the nature of real wild beafts ever took place literally; this event therefore must have happened figuratively, or not at all. The prophecy above cited begins with announcing the advent of the
P Isaiah xi, I.'
Meffiah. Afterwards a wonderful alteration CHAP. is to be made in the temper of certain II. wild and favage animals, " becaufe (Heb.
') the earth fhall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, and the Gentiles fhall "feek" to the root of Jeffe. It appears, therefore, that the converfion of the heathens was to be the cause of this change in the wild beafts.
If, now, we turn to the New Testament, we fhall find, that the firft fruit of the converfion of the Gentiles was the devout centurion Cornelius. God, forefeeing the fcruples of Peter on this head, was pleased to remove his error, by the revelation of a vifion, manifeftly explanatory of this very prophecy of Isaiah. "He fell into a trance, and faw heaven opened, ❝ and a certain vessel descending unto him, "as it had been a great sheet knit at the "four corners, and let down to the earth: "wherein were all manner of four-footed
beafts of the earth, and wild beafts and creeping things, and fowls of the air. "And there came a voice to him, Rife, "Peter, kill and eat. But Peter said, Not "fo, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing, that is common or unclean. And
"the voice fpake unto him again, the se"cond time, What God hath cleansed, "that call not thou common. This was "done thrice, and the veffel was received up again into heaven ."
In this vifion of Peter, no mention whatfoever is made of the Gentiles, except under their types, the unclean animals. Peter at firft doubted, till the men, who were fent by Cornelius, had made inquiry for him all his difficulties then vanished, and the meaning of the vifion became evident. He tells Cornelius, "Of a truth I perceive, "that God is no respecter of persons; but, "in every nation, he that feareth him, and "worketh righteoufnefs, is accepted with "him." The prophecy of Ifaiah indeed is as yet only fulfilled in part. The lion and the bear, the leopard and the asp, have put afide their favage natures; but they have not hitherto lain down with the ox and the kid. Nevertheless, in the fulness of time, they fhall all make but one fold, under one one fhepherd, Jefus Chrift our
9 Acts x. 10.