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by the resurrection of Jesus Christ," is the antitype of the wonderful deliverance experienced by the patriarch Noah and his family.
I am, my dear friend,
THE POST-DILUVIAN COVENANT AND
MY DEAR FRIEND,
As “ the church of the living God” was founded in a promise of redemption made to Adam immediately on his fall, and in typical sacrifice immediately instituted to illustrate that promised redemption; so, on its restoration after the Deluge, there was a renewal of the revelation of Jesus Christ, and of the illustrative memorial. The ark of deliverance was itself a figure* of the spiritual salvation which had been promised, and Noah a type of the Saviour who was to come and effect it. His name and his office furnished anticipations of Him, by whom mankind were to be rescued from the deluge of wrath to come.
The new edition of the covenant of redemption (if I may so call it) which was furnished on the exit of Noah and his family from the ark, was again confirmed and illustrated by animal sacrifice; and a new symbol* was appointed, which had a primary relation to the temporal deliverance just before vouchsafed, but which had also an ulterior relation to the spiritual redemption of which the temporal deliverance was a figure. Both the temporal and spiritual redemption resulted from the covenant of peace, entered into in favour of fallen man by the adorable Persons of the Godhead, which covenant was revealed in the gracious name of Aleim assumed by Jehovah in relation to it, and which it is the grand object of the holy volume to illustrate and confirm.
* 1 Pet. iii. 21. “ The like figure"—the antitype of which, &c. Ω και ημας αντιτυπον νυν σωσει βαπτισμα The one had a correspondence with the other.
The new enunciation of this covenant, after the flood, is thus expressed: “ And the Aleim spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying, “And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you and with your seed after you; &c.'” Gen. ix. 8, 9.
In order that we may take a comprehensive view of the meaning and intention to be ascribed to this re-established covenant, it is necessary to consider the parties on whose behalf it was now revealed. “I establish my covenant with thee, and with thy seed, &c.” Noah, as an eminent type of Christ, and a signalised link in the chain of connexion between Eve and her seed, the woman-born son who was to crush the Serpent's head, is first mentioned, as interested in it, and as the channel through which its blessings were to flow down to his posterity. The seed of the patriarch may be understood in a larger or a more restricted sense. In the larger sense all the external blessings of the covenant, the shell which hid the kernel of a spiritual salvation, were insured to all the natural posterity of Noah.* They, and with them the animal world, were secured by it from any future universal destruction till the economy of redemption should be closed; and provision was made for the eternal salvation of all who should seek after that salvation in the appointed way of Divine revelation. But a participation of that which is the kernel of the covenant, was limited to the spiritual seed of Noah,—to those who, through grace, should embrace the atonement it provided. This distinction may be traced through every period of the dispensation of mercy. It appears in that of which Abraham was the typical father. His seed according to the flesh are distinguished from those among his seed who were partakers of his faith. The former inherited from their relation to him many and great blessings; but to the latter was limited the blessing of eternal salvation. The case is much the same under the New Testament. Now this limitation is plainly pointed out in Noah's patriarchal benediction on Shem, (Gen. ix. 25—27.) occurring in his prediction of the future destinies of his descendants to the end of time,-a prediction of the most wonderful character, comprehending an epitome of all subsequent prophecy, and of all ecclesiastical history.
* See Letter XXV.
t It is not said in what manner this revelation was made to Noah : but may we not suppose, with a high degree of probability, that the mode was similar to that which was employed in the discoveries of the Divine will before made to Adam, and afterwards to the other patriarchs, -by a personal manifestation of the Son of God? It does not appear to have been made by secret inspiration, but by words spoken to the outward ear.
This prophecy of Noah should be considered as an elucidation of the covenant which way renewed to him and to his seed; and as it will not be irrelevant to our object to consider it more closely, I shall transcribe it, and offer you a few remarks on it.
“ And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. And he said, --Cursed be Canaan, a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren-And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.-God shall enlarge Japhet, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem, and Canaan shall be his (their) servant.”—Who, I may ask, can read this prophecy, allowing it to