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We are directed by St. Jude to apply
See Numb. xvi. 14.
ful governors in church and ftate with CHAP. prieftcraft and tyranny. The facred office of the ministry is invaded by self-conftituted teachers; and the powers that be are despised and infulted. The divine authority of both is openly queftioned; and the authors of this fchifmatical rebellion undertake to open the eyes of the people h. These enlightened fentiments, however, of Korah and his coadjutors, refpecting the origin of government, prove to be utterly difpleafing to him, from whom all rights both ecclefiaftical and civil are derived. The ways of God are not as the ways of man. A fevere vifitation from heaven speedily decides the point which was controverted between Mofes and his opponents. "The earth opened her mouth, " and swallowed them up quick." But as for those, who prefumed to minister to God, not according to his revealed will, but according to their own vain imaginations, their offering was an abomination in his eyes. "Fire came out from the Lord, " and confumed the two hundred and fifty "" men, that offered incenfe.”
He SECT. this type to the Chriftian church. II. fpeaks of certain men in his days, who defpifed dominion, and fpoke evil of dignities, and who "perished in the gainsay
ing of Korah." Against fuch he denounces a woe. "Clouds they are with"out water, carried about of winds-wan"dering stars-murmurers, complainers "who separate themselves, fenfual, having not the Spirit."
The Ifraelites, far from being intimidated by the exemplary punishment inflicted upon Korah, Dathan, and Abiram,
Some perfons have applied this alarming type to the whole body of feparatifts from the ancient apoftolical polity of the church: but, as I dare not anathematize such eminent characters as Doddridge and Watts, although verily perfuaded of the divine authority of Epifcopacy; I have fimply related the hiftory of Korah, and fubjoined St. Jude's comment upon it, leaving the Reader to judge for himself. It may not be amifs, however, to observe, in the words of Bp. Horne, that" internal gifts and graces may qualify a
perfon for an office, but they cannot put him into one." Sermons, vol. ii. p. 167.
Bp. Latimer and Bp. Reynolds are equally strong in cenfuring the prefumption of thofe, who take upon themselves the office of the miniftry, without being regularly ordained to it. See Bp. Latimer's Sermons, fol. 240. edit. 1584. Bp. Reynolds's Works, p. 427. Jones's Effay on the Church; and particularly Bp. Hall's Epifcopacy by Divine Right.
murmur the very next morning against CHAP. Mofes and Aaron. By thus vindicating the actions of those rebels, they incurred a fimilar degree of guilt. A plague is fent among them, and no means of human deliverance appear. In this emergency, Aaron took his cenfer, and ran into the midft of the congregation, to make an atonement for them. "He ftood between the "dead and the living, and the plague was ftayed." All thofe, who remained exposed to the fierce anger of the Lord, unprotected by the mediatorial interceffion of Aaron, inevitably perished. But all fuch, as were shrouded from the vengeance of God by the powerful atonement of the high-prieft, remained fecure, though trembling at the destruction which raged around them. Before Aaron, death appeared in all its horrors; behind him all was hope and fecurity. The plague approached exactly to the place where he stood, when, overcome by the myfterious virtue of the atonement which he made for the people, it ceased instantaneously.
There cannot be a more accurate defcription of the benefits conferred by the
SECT. mediatorial office of the Meffiah, than that which is contained in this inftructive portion of hiftory. The plague of fin rages the midst of us all, and we are all totally corrupted. In this miferable and helpless fituation, we are expofed to the just anger of God, which, by our own ftrength, we can neither avert nor avoid. To a finner, convinced of his criminality, and deeply feeling his need of a Saviour, the promised Redeemer now appears in the full, though benign radiance of mercy. The great HighPriest is both able and willing "to make "a full, perfect, and fufficient facrifice, "oblation, and fatisfaction, for the fins of "the whole world." To those, who trust in his merits, and rely upon the efficacy of his atonement, there is joy, peace, and comfort inexpreffible. The wrath of God is stayed, nor will it penetrate into the inclosure, before which the well-beloved Son has taken his ftation. The miferable confequences of the plague of fin are at an end, and his spiritual health is restored to the penitent finner, by the sprinkling of the blood of the covenant. Where Chrift is not, fin and death prevail; where he is, they are constrained to yield before the Almighty Conqueror. "He ftands between
"the living and the dead, and the plague CHAP. "is ftayed'."
8. The fuperior dignity which Elijah held over the other infpired teachers in Ifrael, along with fome peculiar circumftances recorded in his hiftory, feems to confer upon him the honour of being a type of the Meffiah. The authoritative manner of his teaching; his opposition to the priests of Baal; and his call of Elisha, nearly in the very fame words which our Lord used when calling his difciples; are all worthy of attention. But there are two events in his life, which more particularly demand our regard. As Elijah fafted forty days and forty nights; fo did our Saviour likewife prolong his abstinence to the fame period. And as the Prophet was fupernaturally taken up into heaven, in the fight of his fervant Elifha, to whom he left his mantle, conferring the fame miraculous powers, and the fame divine infpiration, which he had himself poffeffed; fo did Chrift afcend up on high in the prefence of his disciples, leaving with them a double portion of his Spirit, which both
See a beautiful Sermon on this fubject by Bp. Horne.