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VIII.

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LECT. This consideration, when we see the

force of it, will reconcile us to some strange things, which might appear very unreafonable, if they were to be considered only in themselves, not under the relation which they bear, and were intended to bear to higher and greater things. How monstrous would it seem in any other history, that a man should be buried in the body of a fish, and cast up alive again after three days upon the dry land! But if this strange thing happened, that it might afterwards be compared with the return of Jesus Christ from the dead, for the salvation of all mankind ; then the preservation of Jonah becomes

fit and reasonable ; it being of infinite con. · fequence to the world, that the fact of Christ's resurrection, when it should happen, should be admitted and believed ; and so the case was worthy of the divine interpofition, fonah was not preserved by a miracle for his own sake, but for a fign, to instruct the people of God in the truth of their salvation, and the peculiar means or mode of it. Two strange events of the fame kind are more credible

than

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than one; because the objection is removed LECT. which might arise from the fingularity of San the case. The resurrection of Christ is a true' fact, and a credible fact: for why? it was foreshewn by the preservation of Jonah; another fact of the same kind. And again, to take the matter the other way; the preservation of Jonah was a miracle, worthy of God, from its relation to the resurrection of Chrift; the most important fact in itself, and the most necessary to be believed, of all that should ever happen from the beginning of the world to the end of it. Jonah's deliverance was intended to do what the apostles were sent over the world to do, viz. to witness the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Our Saviour himself hath directed us to make this use of Jonah's history. The Jews required of him some miraculous fact as a testimony that he was the true Messiah: and he gave them this: as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; fo fall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the eartb*. Here the person

* Matthew xii. 39, 40.

of

LECT. of Jonah is a sign of the person of Christ,

and the belly of a devouring fish a sign of the power of the grave, by which he should be detained for the same time as Jonah

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was.

The lives of the other prophets had a like relation to the times and transactions of the gospel. From a paffage which is taken out of the 41st Pfalm, and applied to the treason of Judas; it appears that fome of the most remarkable circumstances in the life of the prophet David were prefigurative of other parallel circumstances in the life of Christ. It is obferved by our Saviour himself, that in the treason of Judas, that scripture was fulfilled, which faith, he that eateth bread with me hath lift up his heel against me. The familiar friend of David, whose treachery is here complained of, was Achitophel, to whom these words, in the letter of them, must be supposed to have referred: but if they were fulfilled, as our Saviour faith, in qudas, then they were prophetical; and the suffering of David

from

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from a traitor, foreshewed that the true LECT. David should be a sufferer from a person of the same character. Achitophel, a man entrusted with the chief management of David's affairs, took part against his master, and betrayed him to those who fought his life: and Judas in like manner, being first entrusted by his master, betrayed him'to the chief priests, that he might be put to death. But now let us mark the sequel; for both these traitors came to the same tragical end; they both hanged themselves, when they failed of the success which their ambition aimed at: and if Judas had studied the scripture as much as he studied the world, he might have foreseen his own fate in that of his brother traitor. Achitophel. Unless the character of David, as a prophet, had a relation to the person of Christ, how can we account for it, that the name of David is applied to him by Ezechiel * four hundred years after the natural David was dead? On what other principle could David speak such words in the 16th Pfalm, as could be verified only

Ezechiel xxxvii. 25.

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LECT. in the person of Chrift? Thou wilt not leave w my soul in bell, neither wilt thou suffer thine

boly one to fee corruption. Concerning this
paffage, St. Peter argued with the Jews,
that it could not be meant of David him- ,
felf, the memorials of whose death and
burial were still remaining among them.
That the Providence of God did exhibit
in the person of David a character prefigu-
rative of the Messiah, can never be doubt-
ed if we compare their characters toge-
ther: both were shepherds, prophets,
kings and conquerors; both were despised
and set at nought by their brethren; op-
pressed and persecuted by the powerful ;
ungratefully reviled, mocked at, and be-
trayed, by rebels and traitors; and both
were raised to the throne of Israel (called
the throne of David) in opposition to all
the power and malice of their enemies.
From this similitude of character, all men
might infallibly distinguish the true son
of David, when he should have fulfilled
his course, and attained the kingdom on
the holy hill of Sion.

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