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members of the Sanhedrim, with the care of his person and burial, that it might the more evidently appear that he both died and rose again, and that all the scriptures, foretelling precisely these circumstances, were perfectly accomplished in him.
Believer; lay up these things in thine heart, and trust in the Lord at all times; for he is thine only refuge, and thine only help, in the time of need: and verily thou shalt not be disappointed of thine hope.
* Ps. lxxviii. 24, 25.
THERE are many emblems, used in the scripture, to
express the entire as well as certain dependence of the children of God for all their support and nourishment from him. Among others, it is a very principal one, which was made manifest to the Israelites, in their daily food the manna, while they passed through the wilderThis was prophetically styled bread of heaven, bread of the mighty:* and the apostle calls it, spiritual meat for food, that is, food having a spiritual signification. This signification our Lord himself explains. The bread of God is he, which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.-I am THE BREAD OF LIFE. In saying this, he affirms his divinity; for Jehovah only is and can be the nourisher of life: and this Moses sufficiently indicates under that sign of Christ the outward manna; JEHOVAH fed thee with manna, that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but [min 5xx bɔ by] upon the whole which proceedeth from the mouth of Jehovah [which is translated in the New Testament by, επι παλι ρημαδι, κι το λό by every word, or the whole word, &c.] doth man live.§ Christ is that wORD, that power, that life, that bread,
+ Cor. x. 3.
§ Deut. viii. 3. Mat. iv. 4.
which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.—If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever.-The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life;* i. e. because his divine life and power are in thein.
The people of God are as miraculously fed now, as ever they were of old. Christ is their spiritual life; and he nourishes the life, which he imparts, from day to day. He gives himself freely from above, as the manna also came freely down from the sky. They look up to him, and expect him; and they are not disappointed of their hope. He supplies all their need, spiritual and temporal; and makes every thing work together for their good. They live not by outward bread only, or any other natural means of life; but by all which springeth forth, in every instance of providence or grace, from him, who is the life of their souls. When they hunger most for him, as is the case of hunger in natural health, they are in the best and soundest condition; and he readily fills every hungry soul with his goodness: From day to day do they look up and ask for this their daily bread, without whose support their strength and hope must fail; but by whose nourishment, they are strong and lively in the ways of salvation, and ready for every good word and work. They can then do all things through this living bread, which strengtheneth them.
Appearances may be and often are against them, as they were to the outward sense of the Israelites in passing forty years through a dreary and miserable wilderness; but, as their bread did not fail and as their waters were sure, so is the case now with every one of God's people, John vi. 63,
in their pilgrimage through the world. His eye is ever upon them: his hand is ready to help them: and no enemy can overwhelm them. They may be and must be in strai and difficulties at times, but these are for proof and trial of faith, and not for destruction. When the Lord interposes in these, and discovers his particular goodness; then the believer should observe the token, should fix in his mind a memorial, a spiritual Ebenezer, and should say with thankfulness, "In this case also hath the Lord helped me; and this present token for good O may I remember in future difficulties, and by faith pray for and find the same deliverance." The Lord indeedis not slack concerning his promise, though we may be slow of heart to believe it. There is not an individual moment in a believer's life, which is not considered and provided for by him. Our ignorance, or want of spiritual sight, is no bar to his wisdom, nor bound to his providence; but he is carrying on the great design of our salvation, as much in the stormy rain of affliction, which may pierce and render us uncomfortable in ourselves, as in the sun-shine of prosperity, when all things appear gay and,chearful. He is not to be understood by our gross feelings, which have often too much of earth and sensuality in them, but by his own faithfulness and truth, which cannot alter, nor even be suspended for a moment. May we then use the words of Habakkuk in the faith of Habakkuk: Although the fig-tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines, the labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat, the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation!
NATURE, or the visible and material world, beautifully
accords in testimony with the declarations of grace; nor is this at all surprising, when we consider, that HE, who created the works, gave forth the word, and that all things were made by the GREAT REDEEMER, and for him. The natural objects are, therefore, frequently appealed to in the Scriptures, as illustrations, as symbols, as sensible proofs, of the production and progression of those spiritual acts, which the Lord exhibits in or for his people, in order to perfect their salvation. He that reads nature 'with an evangelic or spiritual eye, views it encompassed with rays of glory and goodness, which the sensualist and the worldling are so far from understanding, that they really have not the least conception of them. Though all the works of God, therefore, in various respects, show forth his praise yet his saints, and his saints only, can, with gratitude of spirit, bless him for them; because they only can speak of the glorious majesty of his kingdom, and talk of his power. They have felt this power of their Lord and Father in their hearts; and their mouths are opened by him to celebrate his goodness and his truth.
Under this term HUSBANDRY, the Spirit of God discovers to us another representation of his holy agency