COPYRIGHT NOTICE
This E-Text   2005, 2013   Pass the WORD Services.
E-Text Copyright renews with each published update.

On-line at PTW: July 19, 2005
  Last update: January 23, 2013

bromleyornate.gif (2190 bytes)


 

The JOURNEYS of the Children of Israel, as in their Names

and Historical Passages, they Comprise

The Great and Gradual Work of Regeneration

By Thomas Bromley [1629 - 1691]

 


The JOURNEYS of the Children of ISRAEL, as they are Recorded in Numbers 33:  And in their Names and Historical Passages Comprise the great and gradual Work of REGENERATION.   In which Discourse, our various Straits and Succours in the Spiritual Wilderness, our Encounters with, and Victory over Sin and Satan, are distinctly Represented:  And all proportion’d to the Truth of Experience and Internal Teaching; as these correspond with the Authentick Suffrage of the Holy Scriptures.

 



T H E

A U T H O R

T O   T H E

R E A D E R.

Christian Reader,

MY design in this Treatise is not to resolve the Historical or Geographical Difficulties, which occur in these forty-two Journeys of Israel;  this hath been attempted by many others:   But to give an account of that divine Allegory, that spiritually Moral Sense relating to the Work of Regeneration, which I find comprised in the Hebrew Names, and Historical Passages of these Journeys.    I am not ignorant what a general prejudice is Cherished against Allegorical Expositions of the Scriptures;   which the Miscarriage and Extravagancy of some, in attempts of this Nature, may partly have occasion’d.    Yet Notwithstanding, in Works of this kind;   if we, 1. Keep close to the most pure unvarying Rules of Regeneration.   2. Produce nothing contradictory to any evident Scripture-Truth, or Immutable Principle of eternal Reason.   3. Have a real Foundation for such Expositions, either in the Hebrew Names, or Historical Passages of the Text.   4. Retain a due Reverence for the literal Sense, preserving that Inviolable:  I say these rules being observed, I see no Reason against Allegorical Expositions of the Holy Scriptures, and therefore no just ground of prejudice against them.

For doth not St. Paul, Gal.4. manifestly Assert, that Hagar and Sarah, Ishmael and Isaac, Mount Sinai and Mount Sion, did Allegorically represent the two Covenants, and their different spirited Children?    For of these he affirms, ver.24. Which things are an Allegory or Allegoriz’d, allaygoroomena, as in the Greek.     Of the same Nature is that Passage, 1Cor.ix.9.   Thou shalt not muzzle the Mouth of the Ox, that treadeth out the Corn:  Which being taken out of Deut.25, is alleged by the Apostle, to prove that such as preach and labour in the Gospel shall live of the Gospel, ver.14.    And that the Spirit of God intended this Figurative Sense in the Precept, besides the Literal, is manifest by Verse 10 where it is said,  for our sake, it was Written;   yea, that a Figurative Sense was chiefly there intended, appears evidently, by Verse the 9th and 10th.   Teaching Justice towards all that Labour for us, especially in the Doctrine of the Gospel, and this by the Emblem, of an Ox treading out the Corn.

2. 'Tis generally allow’d that at least a great part of the Ceremonial Law did Figuratively respect our Messias;  his Humiliation, the Attonement he made for Sin, internal Circumcision, Justification, and cleansing of our Souls, to fit us for the true, that is, Everlasting Rest:  all which is manifest in the Epist. to the Heb. particularly in the 9th Chap. where also, Verse 9th, we find the first Tabernacle call’d, A Figure for the time then present, in the Greek 'tis, Parabolay.    A Parable for the time present, which shadowed forth,

1st,  Things in Heaven, ver.24. where the Holy Places made with Hands, are said to be the Antitypa, Figures (or rather Copies) of the true, that is of Heaven itself, into which Christ is there said to be entered.

2dly,  God’s Church on Earth, in Type of which, and it’s Spiritual washing in the Blood of the Lamb;  'Tis said, Moses sprinkled with Blood, both the Tabernacle and all the Vessels of the Ministry, ver.21, This Gospel-Church is call’d, a Tabernacle that shall not be taken down; Isa.xxxiii.20, The Tabernacle of David, Acts 15.16.   That is of Christ reigning in the Love and Mercy, in and over his People:  In which there are three Degrees or Forms of Christians;  1. Little Children;  2. Young Men;  3. Fathers;  1John 2.12-14.   As there were three signal Parts, and distinguish’d spaces in the Tabernacle and Temple;  the outward Court, the Holy Place, and the most Holy, in which last, the Lord using to appear in a bright Cloud upon the Mercy Seat, and make known his Will thence, by a Divine Voice,  Levit.16.2,  I say in reference to this way, of God’s exhibiting himself, John saith; I write unto you Fathers, because ye have known him, that is from the beginning, 1John 2.13.     They being such, as were arrived at the third Dispensation, answering to the most Holy; and so being pure in Heart, did in an Eminent manner see God, walk with him, and were taught of him.

3dly,  Our Saviour esteemed Parables such fit Mediums, of both Concealment and Instruction, that he oft used them;  insomuch, that it was said of him, that without a Parable spake he not unto them: [Margin Note: Matt.13.34.]     Now Parables being Allegorical Similitudes, and the teaching of Christ being according to the Law and the Prophets, there is no Question, but they abound with such;   for 'tis said of Moses, he put a Vail over his Face;   and David though a Prophet cries out, Psal.119.18. Enlighten my Eyes, that I may behold the wondrous Things out of the Law.     The plain Precepts and literal Sense of many Places are obvious to all;  but under them, there are couched holy Mysteries, and marvelous things that require the particular Assistance of the divine Spirit, to understand them;  which caused the Psalmist so Pathetically to affirm; thy Testimonies are wonders, for so Pelaoth signifieth.    And this, the constant Tradition of the more learned Jews, conspires with the Truth;  which is well represented in that saying of Philo, viz. That the whole Law of Moses, is like an Animal, whose Body contains the literal Sense;  but the Soul, the more hidden meaning, wrapt up in the Sense of the Letter. [Margin Note: In libro de Vita contemplativa.]

4thly,  That much of the Historical Part of the Old Testament, contains a moral and spiritual Sense, in the significations of the Hebrew Names, may be manifest to those, who understanding that Language, and also the more deep Work of Regeneration, will impartially apply themselves to compare the one with the other:  The several Imports of the Hebrew Names, and the Context where they are found, with the Work of the New-Birth, gradually carried on by God’s Spirit in our Hearts.    Yea, if we do but unprejudicately reflect upon the abundance of Hebrew Names, and their Significations, comparing them with the Context, where they are met with;  though we have not those deeper Experiences in the Work of the New-Birth, yet in them, we may discern many excellent divine Truths, manifestly distinct from the literal Sense.    A clear hint of which is given in the Epistles to the Hebrews, Chap.7. ver. 1.2. where it being asserted, that Melchisedec was King of Salem, the Signification of these two proper Names is added:  And 1st, That of Melchisedec, which by Interpretation is, King of Righteousness, as the Text expresseth.     2d, That of Salem, or Shalem;  where also King of Salem is said to signify, King of Peace, according to the known Import of these Hebrew Words;  so that in this Assertion there is Comprized,   1.This Historical Truth, ver.2. that Melchisedec was King of Salem, 2. These moral or spiritual Verities; that he was 1st, King of Righteousness, then King of Peace, and both in Type of our Lord Jesus Christ;  by which it appears, there is a 3rd, Typical Sense couched in this Assertion;   for the Scepter of Christ's Kingdom, is a Scepter of Righteousness, Heb.1.8. who is also stiled by Isaiah, Chap. 9. 6. Sar Shalom, The Prince of Peace;  now, the divine Spirit itself, having in this Place, as it were, given us a Key, and opened a Door to such an Allegorical Exposition of the Hebrew Names;  how can we imagine, but that many other Historical Passages are in the same way to be interpreted?

Which I hope is made apparent in the succeeding discourse, and may also receive some further Confirmation by briefly remarking on some few Scriptures, which amongst many others I have taken notice of:

The first of which is, ver.27, of the 9th Chapter of Genesis, God shall enlarge Japhet, and he shall dwell in the Tents of Shem, and Canaan shall be his Servant;  now Japhet signifies one that may be persuaded or allured, and here represents Persons in their natural State, not obstinate against divine Reproofs and the call of God;  but perswasible:  Such God shall enlarge or perswade (as in the English Margent {margin}) he will convince and allure them by his Spirit, to draw them from the Confinement and Bondage of Sin, to dwell in the Tents of Shem, that is, of Christ and his Followers:  For Shem signifies a Name, Glory, Honour, and represents Christ, who is the Glory of God:  In Whom, the Name of God, or God-head itself (which is sometimes signified by Hashem, The Name) eminently resideth.    'Tis then here insinuated that all that will be perswaded to relinquish their natural State, and the Tents of Sin, shall dwell inwardly in God’s Image, shall put on the Lord Jesus Christ, receive Protection from him, and also enjoy the Communion of Saints.    As in the last Clause;  and Canaan shall be his Servant;  here is represented the vile abject State of Sin, and obstinate Sinners;  for Canaan from the Hebrew Root, signifying, Depressing or Depressed, Bowed down, imports first, the natural bent of Sin, which depresseth and keepeth down that Soul, where 'tis indulged;  and therefore is itself to be rejected, pressed down, and brought under:  Yea, and shall be so, in all that shall be perswaded to forsake Sin, and live in the Spirit, dwell in Shem’s Tent;  for to such 'tis promised, Sin shall not have Dominion over you Rom.6.14.     The 2d, thing imported here is, that they who obstinately comply with, and persevere in Sin, (the Curvae in terras animae et coelestium Inanes) shall at length be depress’d, brought under and subdued by Christ, and the true Church, as the Canaanites were by the Children of Israel, and that partly in this World, viz. When the Kingdom and Dominion, and greatness of the Kingdom under the Heaven, shall be given to the People of the Saints of the most High, Dan. 7. 27.    And partly in that to come, when all they whom our Saviour pronounceth Cursed, (in Type of whom Canaan was here cursed by Noah) shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, Mat.25.41. Rev.20.15.     Now this Exposition calculated to, and comprised in the Signification of the Hebrew Names, doth not at all Thwart, but well correspond with the Historical Sense of this Place.

The 2d Scripture I shall reflect on, is Numb.11.26. where amongst the Seventy Elders, elected and qualified by God, to bear part of Moses's  Burden, and to be as Judges and Magistrates amongst the People;  two only were Named, and that not without a Manifest disposal of divine Wisdom:  For in their two Names Eldad and Medad, two signal Qualifications for Magistrates and Rulers are comprised;  for Eldad signifieth the Love of God;  shewing that Rulers should be signally endued with divine Mercy, Kindness and Love, acting nothing in Cruelty or Revenge, but shewing Mercy and Compassion, to all that justly need them:  That so they may as well resemble God in Goodness, as represent him in their Power and Office.     Now as Eldad imports the Love of God, so Medad, signifieth a Measure, representing Justice, in which Magistrates should so excel, as in their Actions to be a Measure, and Pattern to all others.    Medad may also be rendered the Measure of God, in that the Hebrew Jodh, is included in Medad, which being the initial letter of Jah and Jehovah, two of the Ten great Names of God, may afford cause to render Medad, the Measure of God, (which kind of Interpretation, is not only Cabbalistical, but Scriptural) now this sets forth unmixt Justice, another great Qualification of a Ruler, who ought to imitate God in impartial Justice, as well as in Goodness and Clemency, Measuring to every one what is their due, whether Reward or Punishment, according to God’s own Description of a Magistrate. He that ruleth over Men must be Just, ruling in the fear of God, 2Sam. 23.3.

This Eldad and Medad, seem’d also to be exemplary in Modesty, or Humility; another important Quality of a Ruler;  for this appears the cause of their not coming openly to the Tabernacle with the rest, as esteeming themselves unworthy of such Honour.   The resemblance of this at least was in Saul when on a like, but greater Occasion, he hid himself amongst the Stuff, 1Sam.10.22.

Now, were Christian Nations blest with such Rulers that were Exemplary and resembled him (who Stiles himself the Prince of the Kings of the Earth;   as well in Goodness, Justice and Humility, as they do in their Authority) we might expect a proportion of the same Spirit poured forth upon them, which was here upon Eldad and Medad, with the rest of the Seventy;  which would cause them to be so far from suppressing Prophecy, that they would exercise it themselves:  Which priviledge no good Man ought to Envy them, but rather for it the more to receive and Honour them, as remembering Moses's answer to zealous Joshua, who would have had him restrain Eldad and Medad from Prophecy;  to whom he reply’d, Enviest thou them for my Sake? Would to God all the Lord’s People were Prophets, and that the Lord would put his Spirit upon them, Numb.11.29.

The 3d Scripture is the 24th ver. of Deut.2.    Rise ye up, take your Journey and pass over the River Arnon : Behold I have given into thy Hand, Sihon the Amorite, King of Heshbon, and his Landbegin to possess it, and contend with him in Battle.     The literal Sense is manifest, the Spiritual or Moral is this;   all that profess themselves Travellers towards the Spiritual Canaan are here Excited, to rise out of any false and imperfect Rest in the Way, and to advance towards Perfection; particularly to pass over Arnon, that is the Abiding or Continual Curse, which stands in Power and Force, against all that have but the Form of Godliness, without the Life;  for such being in no true Work of Faith, Repentance and Conversion, are under the Law, and therefore under the Curse, Gal. 3.12.

But this Exhortation, chiefly concerns those who are in the real Beginning and Process of the New-Birth, that they should arise and shake themselves from the Dust;  proceed forwards and endeavour wholly to get through Arnon, that continued Curse, which in sore Chastisement, for Sin may sometimes touch them, see the 1Cor.11.30.  Rev. 18.4.

To such God saith, Behold, or Consider, I have given into your Hand Sihon, that is the Destroyer (viz.) Satan Himself;  the Amorite, i.e. The bitter envious One, that bitter Spirit; King of Heshbon, that is, of Reason or Reasoning; that false Reasoning which begets Enmity, and Bitterness in the Hearts of God’s People, one against another;  For this Reason, or Wisdom, descendeth not from above, but is Earthly, Sensual and Devilish, Jam.3.14,15.

This malignant Spirit, the Prince of the Power of the Air, we are to resist, and to contend with him in Battle, that he may not infect our Reason with Principles of Strife and Bitter Zeal;  but rather that we may begin to possess, gradually to inherit our own Cogitations and Reason, and to wrest them out of his Hand, who hath by Craft and Usurpation, subjected them to his Power and Influence;  and in this Contention against the Old Serpent the Destroyer, to recover our Reason and intellectual Faculties out of his Dominion, that we may say with the Apostle, The Weapons of our Warfare are not Carnal, but Mighty thro' God, to the pulling down of strong Holds, casting down Imaginations, or Reasonings, and every thing that Exalts itself against the Knowledge of God, and bringing into Captivity every Thought, to the Obedience of Christ, 2Cor.10.4,5.

The 4th Scripture is part of the 41st ver. of the 10th of Jos.    And Joshua smote them from Kadish-Barnea, even to Azza.    Them, that is the Canaanites, who represent the several Habits or Kinds of Sin, as Joshua figures Christ, (as I shall hereafter shew) who coming to destroy the Works of the Devil, mortifies and cuts off our Sin from Kadesh-Barnea, i.e. the Holiness of the of the unstable Child, or the unstable Holiness of the Child, even the Azza, Strength and Confirmation.     Christ proceeds in circumcising our Hearts, in subduing and destroying our Iniquities, from our weak Child's State in the Regeneration, (in which we are yet but unstable in Holiness) even to strength and confirmedness of Obedience, to Azza, to the State of young Men in the New-Birth:  Concerning whom, John expresseth himself thus; I have written unto you young Men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one, 1John 2.13.

The 5th is Joshua 19.ver.50. according to the word of the Lord, they gave him the City which he asked, even Timnath Serah, which he Built and dwelt therein: This City after it was thus repair’d by Joshua, is called (Jud.2.9.) Timnath-Heres, by Inversion of the Letters.

The Mystery of which is this, Timnath-Serah signifying The Image of Superfluity or Corruption, represents human Nature, the Souls of Men corrupted by Sin, labouring under the Superfluity of vain Thoughts, earthly Passions and Desires; Yet Joshua, that is Jesus, ask'd us, tho' defiled, of the Father for his Possession; Ask, and I will give thee the Heathen for thy Inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the Earth for thy Possession.     When he passed by, and saw us polluted in our Blood, He said into us live.    But as Timnath-Serah, after it was by Joshua repaired and built, was called Timnah-Heres, that is, the Image of the Sun;   so Christ by renewing and rebuilding us, and so fitting us for his own Abode, renders us conform to his own Image, Rom.8.29. who himself is the Light of the World, the Sun of Righteousness, by Reflection from whom, we also that were sometimes Darkness, become Light in the Lord, and so are changed into the same Image from Glory to Glory;  under which gradual change persevering, we that have born the Image of the Earthly, shall also bear (that is perfectly bear) the Image of the Heavenly, 1Cor.15.49.     For at last, the Righteous shall shine forth as the Sun in the Kingdom of their Father, Mat.13.43.   Thus is Timnath-Serah, The Image of Corruption;  our Depraved Souls turned into Timnah-Heres, The Image of the Sun, by that great Architect Christ Jesus, by whom the Worlds were made, and our little World, is restored and made fit to be an Habitation of God thro' the SpiritEphes.2.22.

The 6th Scripture is Judges 7 .1 where we may take Notice, that the Name of Gideon, well represents his Work, for Gideon signifieth a cutter down, or cutter off, and it was he that cut down the Grove of Baal, and with his little Army cut off so vast a Number of the Midianites;   who before the Battle, encamped by the Hill of Moreh, that is, of Rebellion, a Place or State, in which all the Enemies of the Lord pitch their Tents;  but especially, when they Im-body against his People, who often encamp in Harod, as Israel did here;  that is in Fear and Trembling, as Harod signifieth:   This being one of the Stations of Israel in the Wilderness, which though there called Haradah [Margin Note: Numbers xxxiii.24], yet signifieth the same thing, being a Dispensation not only witnessed by the Church Imbodied, in relation to external Dangers;  but also by particular Persons in their inward Work, in reference to their more deep Sentiments of Fear, whatever the occasion may be.   This State St Paul expresseth, where he asserts, I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling [Margin Note:1Cor 2.3.].    Gideon also may further signify, a cutter down of Iniquity, representing Christ in us, Circumcising us with the Circumcision made without Hands, in putting off the Body of the Sins of the Flesh, by the Circumcision of Christ, Col.2.11. more particularly destroying and cutting off the Medianites, that is, the Spirits and Habits of Strife and Contention, which are great Enemies to each of our Souls, and to the Israel of God;  in that they directly oppose our keeping the Unity of the Spirit in the bond of Peace, Eph.4.3.   'Tis also further to be remark'd, that two of the Princes of Median, that is, of Contention, which Gideon slew, Judg.7.25., were Oreb, that is a Raven, and Zeeb, that is, a Wolf;  which being Carnivorous Animals, represent those earthly Desires and irregular Appetites, which fomenting Strife and Divisions in the Church, are to be mortified and cut off by Gideon’s Sword, that is, by the Circumcision of Christ.    For as St James saith to the Jews, Jam.4.1. From whence proceed Wars and Fightings, (or Contention) come they not hence even of your Lusts that War in your Members?    Which therefore are not to be indulged, but cut off, as Oreb and Zeeb were by Gideon.

Who also slew Zebah and Zalmunnah, Kings of Median, Judg.8.5,21.     Now Zebah signifieth either, 1st, Actively, Slaughter or Killing, or 2dly, Passively, a Victim or Sacrifice:  As it signifieth Actively, it imports 1st, the Spirit of Persecution, which impels Men, either from a blind Zeal, to persecute and destroy the Saints, as St. Paul once did;  or from satanical Wrath and Malice, as the Heathen Emperors, and others have done.   2dly, As it signifieth passively a Sacrifice, it imports 1st, That the Spirit of Persecution is to be denied, mortified, and cut off;  and that it will in the End be destroyed, by the Sword that proceeds out of Christ's Mouth.    And 2dly, that all who are acted by it, to waste the Church of God, except they repent and return from it, with Abhorence, will at length themselves be made a Sacrifice, and undergo a worse Death, than Zebah did by the Sword of Gideon, Luke 18.7,8.

But to proceed, Zalmunnah signifieth, The Image of Commotion, or Unquietness;  representing first, some unquiet contentious dividing Principle, received into the Understanding, and too much indulged, and set up for some great Truth, as an Image to be Bowed to by all;  when yet being contrary to the Spirit of Peace, Love and Unity, it is to be denied, obliterated, and wholly destroyed by Christ in all that are his.    As also 2dly, will all such Persons be, that having not in themselves a Root of Innocency and true Simplicity, do adhere to such Principles, to the great Disturbance and Confusion of the Church of Christ.

For as these two Kings of Median slew Gideon's Brethren, each of which, resembled the Children of a King, Judg.8, ver.18. so will Zebah and Zalmunnah, the Spirit of Persecution, and of Unquietness and Turbulence, destroy and make Havock of the Members and Brethren of Christ, who have his Father’s Name or Image writ on them;  except such Spirits and Principles are judged and extirpated by him, who hath the sharp Sword with two Edges, who in Righteousness doth judge and make War, Rev.19.15.

There are scores of other Scriptures, I might have produced to have proved a Moral, or Allegorical Sense in the proper Names, distinct from the Historical, which without straining, might have evinced it as plainly, yea, some of them more evidently than those I have here Collected;  but these occurring more easily to my Memory, I set them down, having many Years since taken notice of them;  to which, I shall add the first of Michah, from the 10th ver. forward.

Where we may remark the Holy Spirit itself, briefly taking notice of, and reflecting upon the Significations of the Hebrew Names of Places there expressed, as in ver.10. In the House of Aphrah roll thy self in the Dust.    Now Aphrah (as Ophrah, Jos.18.23.) signifieth Dust, Mic.1,ver.11.  Pass thou away, O! Inhabitant of Saphir, having thy Shame naked;  here Saphir signifieth Beauty, or Pleasantness, a beautiful or pleasant Place.    The Hebrews take it for a City, from which Signification in Allusion to it's Name, the Inhabitants are called to a contrary State of Shame and Ignominy.

The Inhabitants of Maroth waited carefully for good, but evil came down from the Lord to the Gate of Jerusalem ver.12;   Now Maroth signifies, Bitterness, bitter Afflictions, according to the Import of which Name;  Evil, that is bitter Affliction, was from Heaven dispensed to them though expecting good.    As to ver.13, whatever the Historical is, about which Interpreters differ;  There is in it a Moral Sense, included in the Name Lachish, which was first a City of the Amorites, afterwards belonging to Judah;  of this Lachish, 'tis said, she is the beginning of Sin, to the Daughter of Sion;  now Lachish may be rendered, Existing or being to thy self, Importing Self-will, Self-love;   the same with that Lust which St. James described as the Womb, or the Mother of Sin, Where lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth Sin [Margin Note: Jam.1.15], so that this Lust, or Self-Love, is made here the Origin and source of Sin, as Lachish is said to be the beginning of it, to the Daughter of Sion.    In the Historical Sense, the Spirit seems also to allude to the signification of Lachish, as it had to the signification of other Names before:  And ver.14. The House of Achzib, shall be Achzib, or a Lie to the Kings of Israel;  for Achzib, signifieth a Lie, as all external things we irregularly rest upon, will prove to us.     So ver.15. I will bring an Heir to thee thou inhabitant of Mareshah;  this Mareshah (as Achzib before) was a City of the Tribe of Judah, which in Hebrew signifies, a Possession or Inheritance;  God threatens them he will bring an Heir to it, to wit, a Stranger of another Nation:  Here reflecting as before, on the signification of Mareshah:   an Inheritance and an Heir, being relatives mutually respecting each other.      Now the Divine Spirit, thus alluding to the signification of the Hebrew Names, in its Prophetick Exhortations and Comminations, cannot but confirm what I have before Asserted, and give further cause for our search into such proper Names, and the Context where we find them, lest we should lose any part of those Divine Truths, which tho' vail'd under the Literal Sense, yet are a real part of Scripture-Treasure, and therefore design'd for our Instruction;  gradually to wind up our Souls thro' the various Degrees of Truth, into a powerful Union with the Eternal Logos, that living Word which abideth for ever.

For such spiritually moral Expositions of Scriptures, that have a real Foundation in the Hebrew Names, and Historical Passages of it, are so far from Prejudicing the Scriptures themselves, or the Souls of those that read them for their true Improvement;  that on the contrary they conduce:

1st,   To enlarge our Portion in the use of the Scriptures, to lead us thro' the Letter, into a Spiritual and more interior Sense;  so that Instead of the Body of the Letter, we possess the Body and Spirit too, and may truly say with Isaac (when he had found the Well Reboboth, i.e. Enlargements) now the Lord hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the Land;   especially adding constant Obedience, to this Large Fountain of Practical Knowledge.   

2.  This way of Interpretation tends to habituate us to a constant Introversion in reading the Scriptures, and applying them to the inward Heart-work;  which by most is too much neglected;  Who mind Notions, and increase of Knowledge, more than true Improvement in the New-Birth.

3.  It opens to those who have a gift of Prophesie, an usual way of parabolical Teaching, from the History of the Old Testament;   which way of Instruction is very proper to influence the Phantasie {Imagination}, fix upon the Memory, and work vigorously upon the Affections:  Especially when accompanied with divine Virtue and Power from the living Word;  as our Saviour’s Discourses were, who spake so much in Parables, and sometimes interpreted them.

4.  It tends to impress the Scripture History more firmly upon our Memories, and to make us the more closely mind what we read, when we find such useful Truths, such practical Verities, so much conducing to the Internal Work, every where Interwoven with it.

5.  It conduceth to demonstrate the transcendant excellency of Scripture History, above others, which only contain a literal Sense; whereas this, besides the literal, comprehends a divine Allegory, a Moral or Spiritual Sense, unlocking the distinct Work of Regeneration, and every where turning us inward, to mind that Work, which is of so great Concern in reference to our eternal Hapiness.    And by this Sense within a Sense (as by a Wheel in the midst of a Wheel, Ezek.10.v.10) in the signal Contrivance of divine Wisdom, Eph.3.10. is stiled polupoykilos Multiform or Manifold, or as Tremelius more exactly renders it, plena Varietatibus, full of Varieties.    Clearly to this purpose writes Gregory in his Morals, L.20.cap.10 Sacra Scriptura omnes Scientias ipso Locutiones suae more transcendit:  Quia uno eodemque Sermone dum narrat gestum, prodit Mysterium. (that is) The Sacred Scripture transcendeth all Sciences in the very Manner of it’s Speaking: Because in one, and the same discourse, whilst it relates an History, it discloseth a Mystery. With this Testimony conspire Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Chrysostom and others of the Ancients.

6.  This way of Interpretation is not only profitable but Spiritually pleasant, affording fresh Scenes of wholesome Contemplation;  where otherwise we should least expect them:    By which many Scriptures abounding with hard Names, (and thence seeming to most readers a kind of Tedious and rough Wilderness) are changed into pleasant Gardens, and Springs of Water, yielding the most important, and therefore most delightful Varieties of the New-Birth.

One Instance of which for all, I will annex out of the 1st of Chron. chap.1. where we find the Names of the 10 Patriarchs in due Order prefixt to the succeeding Genealogies; which 10 Names I shall briefly reflect on, in that natural Order we there find them.

The first is Adam, which signifieth Red, Earthly, an Image representing our natural State in Flesh and Blood, unregenerated as we bear the Image of the Earthly, 1Cor.15.49.

The second Sheth or Seth, that is Set or Settled, as a Foundation:  Importing the beginning of Regeneration when the immortal Seed is laid as a foundation of pure Light and Life in us, 1Pet.1.23.

The third is Enosh, that is Sickly, Sorrowful, Miserable, or frail miserable Man;  this Name points at a further Step in the New-Birth, when from the true Light of Life, we discern and feel the Burden of Sin, and how Miserable we are made by it, and therefore as uneasy under it’s remains, cry out with St. Paul, Oh! wretched Man that I am, who shall deliver me from this body of Death? Rom.7.24.

The fourth Kenan i.e. Mourning, Lamentation, that which riseth from a deep Sense of the Sinfulness of Sin, in our selves and others.    And also from particular Reflections upon the Suffering of Christ, wounded for our Transgressions, on whom the Lord hath made to meet the Iniquity of us all;  to such that prophetick Benediction belongs, Blessed are ye that weep now, for ye shall laugh, Luke 6.21.

The fifth is Mahalaleel, (i.e.) Illumination of God, or the praising of God;  importing that Dispensation of Joy, and Praise for the Light of God’s Countenance:  for the Salvifick Rays of him (who is the true Helel, that bright and Morning Star) which after such deep Mournings for Sin, and the crucified Jesus, usually Irradiates the Soul, and transfuseth it with the Sense of divine Love, most free Grace, and infinite Goodness, so that the Soul under Kenan, the State of Mourning, may comfort itself with a secure expectation of Mahalaleel, the State of divine Light and Praise, ready to succeed, according to that of the Psalmist, Why art thou cast down my Soul, and why art thou disquieted in me?    Hope thou in God, for I shall yet Praise him for the Help (or Salvation) of his Countenance, Ps.42.5.

The sixth is Jered or Jared, i.e. Descending, Ruling;  in which there are two things considerable.     1st,  Christ's further descent into us, after his reviving appearance in us;  that is, his deeper Ingress into the Heart, to possess it’s Properties, and rule there encreasing his glorious Dominion, in great Sweetness, Meekness, Love, Humility and Righteousness.     2dly,   Our humbling our selves in the Sense of his abundant Goodness, and by that attaining to be so far exalted, as to reign with him over Self and Sin:  Which is to begin to share with Christ in his Throne, Rev.3.21.     And to enjoy that Empire inwardly which in a more external Sense (as to worship) is ascribed to Judah, Hosea 11.12. Judah yet ruled with God, or cum Deo forti. with the strong God, as Tremelius renders it.

The seventh is Enoch, that is, 1. Instructed, or Instructing.    2. Dedication, or Dedicated.

The first Signification implies that Dispensation, when being our selves taught of God, from divine Charity, and the strong Impulses of the Holy Ghost, we take all Opportunities of Instructing others in the Mysteries of the New-Birth:  This is the strong Man's State in Christ;  for not arriving at which, when they had been so long Converted, St. Paul reproves the Hebrews, Chap.5.12.    When for the time ye ought to be Teachers, &c.  See Acts 18.26.

The 2d, which is Dedication, imports, that divine Teaching, which is true Instruction, leads to a Dedication of our selves to God.    The Hebrew Root, whence come Enoch, or Chanoch, with Chanucha derived from it, are applied to the Dedication of the Temple and Altar. 2Chron.7.9.    Importing that State in Christ, or under the Dispensation of the Son, in which we wholly dedicate, devote and yield up ourselves to God, as living Stones in his spiritual House, 1Pet.2.5.      Confessing by the habitual renouncing of our own Wills, that we are not our own but are bought with a Price, and are therefore obliged to glorify God, in Body and Spirit, which are the Lords, 1Cor.6.19,20.

The eighth is Methushelah, the Emission or sending forth of Death.    This Name seems to have been prophetically given by Enoch to his Son, in reference to the coming Flood; which brake forth about the time that Methushelah expired.    In the internal Work it represents that continued suffering and dying State, which attends the Life of Christ, and our thorough Dedication to it;  which being mightily opposed by Satan and his fiery Darts, the Soul is made very sensible of it, our perceptive Faculties being render’d very quick, by the pure Life and Virtue of Jesus opening in them.     And here we come experimentally to Witness, that as many of us were baptized into Christ, were baptized into his Death, Rom.6.3.    That is, into a constant dying to our Wills, and a continued suffering with, and for his Life in us:  For we which live are always delivered unto Death for Jesus Sake;  that the Life also of Jesus, might be made manifest in our mortal Flesh, 2Cor.4.11.

The ninth is Lamech, that is, Impoverished, Smitten, Smiting, Slaying, which imports two Things.   1. Our arriving thro' Tribulation, at the deep Poverty of Spirit, when our Souls are stript of all Self-Confidence, having nothing to glory in, but the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ;  and that unmerited Grace and Love, by which we are impowered daily to submit to it.    2. Our becoming wholly conformed, at least internally, to the Crucifixion of Jesus, when we seem to be Striken, Smitten of God, as he was reputed, Isa.53.4. yet all this in meer Love, that the Body of Sin being destroyed, and the Veil of Flesh rent, we might ascend into deeper Union with the Deity; as knowing that having been planted together in the likeness of his Death, we shall be also in the likeness of his Resurrection, Rom.6.5.

The tenth and last is Noah, that is, Rest, or Consolation.    This imports the third Dispensation, that of the Spirit, after the Labours of Regeneration and full Conformity to Christ’s Death;  for Lamech said of Noah, Gen.5.29.    This same shall comfort us; so saith our Saviour, I will pray the Father, and he shall send you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever, even the Spirit of Truth, John 14.16,17.    Now this Spirit shall comfort us (as it was said of Noah) or make us to rest, (as in the Septuagint) from our Work, and the Toil of our Hands, by making internal and external Obedience easy, by shedding abroad the Love of God in our Hearts;  that noble Principle which is there diffused by the Spirit, Rom.5.5.    Which will also comfort us, concerning the Ground which the Lord hath cursed:  For if the Spirit of him that raised up Christ from the Dead dwell in us; he that raiseth up Christ from the Dead shall also quicken our mortal Bodies, by his Spirit that dwelleth in us: [Margin Note: Rom.8.11.]     So that Vivification, and Transmutation of the terrestrial Body is ascribed to the Spirit, by which therefore Christ will affect this great Work, expressed in other Terms, Phil.3.21.   Who shall change our vile Bodies, and fashion them like to his glorious Body, according to the working (or Internal-working, energian) whereby he is able to subdue all things to himself.

Thus we see these Ten Names, which in meer Reading of them cannot be very pleasant to any, or profitable, except to very reflecting Persons; yet affording a delightful and most useful Epitome of the Great Work of Regeneration.    The Dispensation of the Father being comprised in the four first, ending in Kenan, Mourning:  As Moses representing the same, left Israel in Abel-Shittim, the Sorrow for Scourges;    for the Law is our School- Master unto Christ. Gal.3.24.     The next represent the Son’s Dispensation and End in Lamech, i.e. Smiting and Killing, importing our full Conformity to the Death of Christ;  that of the Spirit is exhibited in that one Name of Noah;  which being the Crown and Complement of the Work, carried on in the two former Dispensations, (and infallibly following them in all that are made conformable to Christ’s Death) needeth not so distinct a Representation by various Names, as the two former:  For if we have been planted together, in the likeness of Christ's Death, we shall be also in the likeness of his Resurrection.    And if our Perseverance thro' the internal Baptism of the Father and Son, be secured, that of the Spirit must succeed by a necessary Connexion.    Therefore saith our Saviour, John 14.15.   If ye love me keep my Commandments, and I will pray the Father and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.    And tho' this Promise particularly respects the Gift of the holy Ghost, which was in that Age, in an extraordinary manner effused upon Believers, many of which were not prepared, by having passed thro' the two former Dispensations;  yet it sheweth the Order of the Spirit’s Dispensation, that of effectual unselfish Love:  In that 'tis said, If ye Love me keep my Commandments, and I will pray the Father, &c.     Where perseverance under Obedience to the same, that genuine Obedience, that floweth from Love, is made a mean to the then Disciples, of receiving the Blessing of the Comforter;  as Perseverance under the Baptism of the Father, and Continuance under the Baptism of Christ's Suffering, are a necessary Means, and Reparation for the Dispensation or Baptism of the Spirit, our Immersion into the Love of God;  which with it brings Rest, and eternal Consolation;  for in that Dispensation Christ will write upon us the Name of God, and the Name of the City of God, which is the New Jerusalem:   That is, He will make us Partakers of the divine Nature, and of the divine Body, which is the Tabernacle of God, called our House which is from Heaven2Cor.5.2.     With which our Souls being cloathed, and into which fully entered; we shall more securely Sail into the eternal World, that spiritual Land of Peace, than they in Noah’s Ark, thro' the boisterous Waves, to the Mountains of Ararat, where the Ark rested, Gen.8.4.

But to draw towards a Conclusion, one great Reason of my endeavouring to evince a Moral and Mystical Sense, in the proper Names and Historical Passages of those Scriptures, I shall in the subsequent Discourse reflect upon;  I say one chief Reason is to unfold, and illustrate the distinct Work of Regeneration, our gradual passing thro' the Work of the Trinity, in our Souls;   that three-fold Baptism before mentioned, which we must all Witness, e're we can arrive at our ultimate Perfection, the Resurrection-State.

The Confusion that many are under, in their Apprehension about this great Work, caused their sticking in the first Budding, and Appearing of it, and occasions others to grow dead, fall into dangerous Relapses, for want of Continued Watchfulness, and a true Understanding of the Necessity of forgetting those things that are behind, and stretching after those things that are before, if by any means, to attain the Resurrection of the DeadPhil.3.11.13.    Which Contention of the Soul, for the great Prize, St. Paul being under, proposed himself as a Pattern to others in saying, Let as many as be perfect be thus minded, ver.15-17.    And after, Brethren be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so, as ye have us for an Example.     The Same Apostle compares our Progress in Regeneration, to a Race.    Know ye not that they that run in a Race, run all, but one receives the Prize?  So run that ye may obtain;  [Margin Note: 1Cor.9.24.]   and every Man that striveth for the Mastery is temperate in all things;  now they do it to obtain a corruptible Crown, but We an Incorruptible.     Here St. Paul manifestly alludes to the Grecian Games and Exercises, (with which the Corinthians were well acquainted, the Isthmian being celebrated amongst them) and so excites them by reflecting on the exact and strict Preparations and more earnest Contention of the Racers or Combatants, to acquire a fading or leafy Crown;  to be much more concerned, and more strenuously to labour in their Christian Race, that they might arrive at ton Stephanon aphtharton, an unfading, or incorruptible Crown;  for as the utmost Endeavours of the Exercises were necessary for their gaining the Victory:  So our following God fully, our pressing after, or prosecuting the Mark, as St. Paul phraseth it, is requisite for all those that shall arrive at Perfection, and be invested with the Crown of Life.

For short of this, we do not fully comply with God's great Design of Sending his Son, who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all Iniquity, Tit.2.14.     To which great End, that the Corinthians in their Endeavours might be conformable, the same Apostle exhorts; let us cleanse our selves from all Pollutions of Flesh and Spirit, perfecting Holiness in the fear of God, 2Cor.7.1.     There are pollutions of the Spirit, as well as of Flesh, and we are vigorously to endeavour the Extirpation of them both:  And for that End, are constantly to comply with the Spirit of Jesus, whose Work in us, in Purging and Redeeming from both these, especially the latter, is distinctly described in Joshua's vanquishing the Seven Nations, and various Kings of the Land of Canaan.     The clearing of which, will be the second Part of this Discourse, and further demonstrate that important Truth I here assert; and which Grotius comparing the Writings of the Apostles with those of Moses, and the Prophets, together with the Judgments of the Fathers, could not but own, Praeter sensum literalem esse et sensum mysticum, qui in litterali fundatur, et utrumque spiritus sancti Intentioni convenire, et ita a Christo et Apostolis in novo Testamento Explicari.    Which speaks thus in English, That besides the literal, there is a mystical Sense founded in the literal, each of which agreeth with the Intention of the holy Spirit, and is so explicated by Christ, and his Apostles in the New Testament.

With which Testimonies exactly representing the very Truth, I shall close up this Preface, commending the Reader to the Guidance of the Holy Spirit in the strait Way of Self-denial, in which, we shall be gradually taught of God, mortified to Sin, and replenished with that Divine unselfish'd Love, which is the end of the Commandment, the Bond of Perfectness, the sacred Cement of all holy Souls, the supream Habitation;  for God is Love, and he that dwelleth in Love, dwelleth in God, and God in him;    Into which the living Word direct us, yea, by it we shall be so guided in following God fully, and continuing faithful to the Death.


 

 

The  J O U R N E Y S  of the Children of I S R A E L,

as they are Recorded in Numbers 33d.

WHERE we find them distinguish’d and wrote by Moses, from the Mouth of the Lord, for so the Hebrew, ver.2. may well be rendered.     The Chaldee Reading, according to the Word of the Lord:   The Greek Bible hath, by the Word of the Lord:  The Syriack, from the Word of the Mouth of the Lord:  Our English, by Commandment of the Lord:  Who himself thus divided and named these Journeys, several of which, in the History of Moses [Margin Note: Chapter 21.], are not to be found, and others that are there, are here passed over without mention.     So that God himself being the Dictator, and Moses but his Amanuensis {a person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another}, makes this Record the more considerable;   which by the Interpretation of the Hebrew Names (made to speak English) will be more apparent, and tend to confirm what St. Paul asserts of those things that befell Israel in the Wilderness: That they all happened unto them in Types, and are written for our Admonition upon whom the ends of the World are come. [Margin Note: 1Cor.10.11.]

 

Verse 5th, The Children of Israel removed from  R A M E S E S,  &c.
The first Journey

To complete the Number of Two and Forty Journeys, as they are best and by most reckoned;  we must consider that the first is here implied in the Names of Rameses, tho’ not particularly exprest:  For Rameses being the Name of a City and Country in Egypt (see Hierom, in his Hebrew Questions) they must assemble and rendezvous near this City, or in some particular Place of that Country, before they could March together in one Body towards Succoth, which assembling in one Place from their several Habitations, wherein they were dispersed, may be esteemed their first Journey:  Tho' Rameses in the History   [Margin Note: Verse 5.], seems only to express the Term from which they began to Journey:  But the holy Spirit in that Name, seems to Eye the Mystery couched in it;  Rameses importing, The melting or dissolving of Evil, and so was a very fit Word to shadow forth, and express the beginning of Regeneration:  For as soon as we begin to forsake Egypt, i.e. The earthly Life and it’s Corruptions, the turbid Waters of Sibor, Jer.2.18. and in good earnest look towards Heaven, Sin begins to melt and decay;  Conversion begins in Sins Consumption:  For Christ was manifested to take away our Sins, and in him is no Sin, 1John 3.5.     So then placing this as the first Journey, we shall find them just Two and Forty to Moses’s Death, the End of the Wilderness, and the rising of Joshua to lead them into Canaan, just as the Evangelist, Mat.1.17. enumerates forty-two Generations, from Abraham to Christ, the Spiritual Saviour;  and St. John alloweth a Time, Times, and half a Time, that is three Prophetick Years and a Half, interpreted by 1260 Days, or forty-two Months, for the Churches abode in the Wilderness, Rev.12.6,14.

 

Ver. 5th, And Pitched in  S U C C O T H.
The second Journey.

This Station was so called, because there the Israelites marching out of Egypt;  first began to erect Booths or Tabernacles, Lev.23.43.    Succoth signifying Booths, Tents or Tabernacles;  which being slight moveable Houses, easily set up, and as easily taken down:  Representing our beginning to own our selves loose from the World, and as Pilgrims upon Earth, journeying to find out that City which hath Foundations, whose Builder and Maker is God. Heb.11.10.    The Word also signifieth Coverings, Protections, importing the Defence and Protection of such holy Pilgrims by divine Presence, accompanying them through all Straits, according to that promise, Isai. 43.2. When thou passest thro’ the Waters, I will be with thee; when thou walkest thro’ the Fire, thou shalt not be Burnt:  Where there seems an Allusion to Israel's marching thro’ the Red-Sea, and the scorching Sun-Beams in the Wilderness;  and also to God’s Presence amongst them, in those visible Symbols of it, The Pillar of Cloud, and of Fire, which in the next Journey God exhibits for their further Encouragement.    By all which, we are instructed to expect, as the like Trials, so proportionable succour in that narrow Wildernessed-Way, which leadeth unto Life.    For he that dwelleth in the secret Place (or help) of the most High, shall lodge under the Shadow of the Almighty [Margin Note: Psalm 91.1.], or as 'tis in the Chaldee, under the Shadow of the Clouds of the Glory of the Almighty, see Mat.17.5. , Acts 1.9.

 

Ver. 6th, They next Pitched in  E T H A M.
The third Journey.

Etham, was the Name of some Place, which was at the Entrance of that Desert, which is sometimes called the Wilderness of Etham, sometimes of Shur, Exod.15.22.    Etham signifieth, 1st, Perfectness, Integrity, Sincerity.   2. Their Plow-share; importing 1, A State of Integrity, when we resolve to follow God without any reserve, which in some kind is to be perfect.     In this Notion, the Word Perfect is sometimes used, as by St. Paul, Let us therefore as many as be perfect be thus minded [Margin Note: Phil. 3.15.].     Where an absolute or final Perfection is not meant;  for as to that he had before said, ver.12. Not as tho' I were already Perfect:  But Perfectness in the Way, real Sincerity, which consists in following God with our whole Hearts;  pressing towards Perfection without Reserve, according to the Measure of Grace received, as St. Paul did:  To which he animates others in Saying, Let as many as be Perfect be thus minded.

In this Sense, the Hebrew Words, Tam and Tamin are oft used, as when 'tis said of Jacob, Gen.25.27. That he was a plain Man dwelling in Tents. In the Hebrew, 'tis Tam, a Perfect Man (so rendered in that place by the Interlineary and Chaldee Versions) that is, he had an honest sincere Heart to God and Man.    In this Sense is Tamin taken Psal.119.1. Blessed are the Undefiled in the Way. In the Margent {margin} 'tis, The Perfect is Sincere;  which certainly comprehends all that serve God without Reserve, that live up to their Light in real Sincerity, whatever Dispensation they are in:   For in the same Place they are described, to be such as seek God with their whole Heart, and have respect to all his Commandments.    In this Sense, Israel’s encamping at Etham, represents Souls arrived at a State of real Integrity, designing with all their might to comply with God’s Will, and labour after Perfection.    As a means to which, they seriously turn into the inward Work comprised in Etham, as it signifieth Metaphorically in a 2d Sense, A plow-share, or their Plow-share;  importing, a morally spiritual Introversion to cultivate our Souls, (which as to their unregenerate Part are as a Wilderness) that they may not bear the Thorns and Briars of earthly Lusts and Passions, but bring forth Fruit to God;  according to the Prophet’s Admonition, Hosea 10.12.  Sow to your selves in Righteousness, reap in Mercy, break up your fallow Ground;  for it is time to seek the Lord 'till he come and rain Righteousness upon you.    This introverting to cultivate and dress our own Hearts, will make us true Labourers in God’s Vineyards or Husbandry as St. Paul phrased it, 1Cor.3.9. Ye are God’s Husbandry or Tillage, as in the Margent.    In the Greek The-uu Georgion, a comprehensive Word, which may imply, that we are God’s Vineyard, and Tillage also.    In Which Work proceeding, as in a true mean to that great end Perfection, we shall be fitted for the internal Guidance and Protection of our Emmanuel, represented by the Pillar of Cloud, and Pillar of Fire, which are first mentioned in this Station, as appearing to Conduct and Obumbrate {to overshadow or provide shade} Israel, Exod.13.21.

From which Symbols of divine Presence the Israelites enjoyed. 1st, Direction in their Way.    2d, Protection from their Enemies, Exod.14.19. and also from the scorching Beams of the Sun, Psal.105.39.     And 3dly, Encouragement and mental Support from such evident Signs of God’s Presence.    By which, we are taught, that in following God fully, and sincerely endeavouring after Perfection, we shall find Christ made to us, 1st, Wisdom and Light to guide and shew us the right Way, John 8.12.    2dly, A Defence and Protection, to shield us from our spiritual Enemies, and all unsupportable Trials [Margin Note: Isa.32.2.].     3dly, A Constant Spring of True, that is, Divine Comfort and Refreshment.[Margin Note: John 14.13.]

 

Ver. 7th,   Removing from Etham, they turned again to P I H A H I R O T H.
The fourth Journey.

Which imports, the Mouth of Liberties, this was Eventually. 1. A Place of Liberty, and Escape from Pursuing Pharaoh, thro’ signal Mercies.    2. Of great Danger and Difficulties to the Israelites, had they been left to themselves, whence that of the Lord, Exod.14.3.    Pharaoh will say of the Children of Israel, they are intangled in the Land:  Which is spoken in reference to their Encamping in this Place, ver.2.     The Mystery of which is this. Pihahiroth signifying, the Mouth of Liberties;   imports  1, That true Liberty from the Captivity and Snares of Sin and Satan, which we attain by turning seriously into the Internal Work of the New-Birth, in watching over our Hearts, and living up to our Light in all Integrity.  2d, That undue Liberty we are in Danger of Relapsing (especially some) by mistakingly reflecting upon free Grace, and our real Participation of it, bringing us so far; thro’ which, Satan hath imposed upon many, diverting them to a false Rest and Security, after the beginnings of a true Work:  But this is a dangerous State;  for as Pihahiroth was situate before Baal-Zephon;   so is the State of false Liberty, in Satan’s Territories, who is the Great Baal-Zephon, The Lord of Hiding and Watching against the Church of God:  For 'tis he that conceals himself, under the form of an Angel of Light, 2Cor.11.14. but is internally that roaring Lyon, which goeth about seeking whom he may Devour, 1Peter 5.8.    'Tis further said, they pitched before Midgol, which signifieth a Tower, Greatness, Magnificence:  Insinuating, our Temptations from the State of Glory and Honours of this World, which we must renounce to follow Christ; who was thus tempted in the Wilderness;  but refusing the Temptation, became Victorious, and so a signal Pattern to all his followers, Mat.4.8,9,10.

 

Ver. 8th,  From Pihahiroth, they passed through the Sea to M A R A H.
The fifth Journey.

Their passing through the Sea, speaks to us the Baptism of Sufferings, the more to wean us from the Pomp and Pleasures of this World.    For 'tis said of the Israelites, they were all baptized into Moses in the Sea, [Margin Note: 1Cor.10.12.] that is, made Disciples to the divine Light thro’ Trials and Afflictions.    But Israel being here Miraculously delivered, and the Egyptians signally overthrown, speaks as Blessing, from the more severe Attributes of God, to his Children;  so Destruction from them, upon his and their Enemies, which caused that great Triumph and divine Song.     But as in the desert State, such Joys seldom last long;  so this Mirth, was soon changed into Mourning [Margin Note: Exod.xv.].     From the Sea, they after three Days come to Marah, that is Bitterness, so called from it’s Waters, Exod.15.23., lively Emblems of new and great Afflictions, which in our internal Work, frequently follow such transporting Joys, as Israel was under on the bank of the Sea, seeing their Enemies Dead, themselves Living and Safe.    These Waters of Marah are to prove us, to reduce us to Resignation and true Contentation;   which when we attain, we possess what was Figured by the Wood which God shewed Moses, and cast into the Waters, by which they were made sweet and potable, Exod. 15.25.    So will great Afflictions be rendered to us, when we can heartily Acquiesce in God’s Will, as believing it best;  that great Lesson which St Paul, thro’ Labour and Patience had so happily learnt, Phi.4.11.

 

Ver. 9th, They removed from Marah, and came to  E L I M.
The sixth Journey.

After God’s proving them at Marah, they came to Elim, viz. Powers, Strengths, God’s strong Angels.    Marah was a Bitter, this a pleasant Station, a Place of reviving and strengthening. Isai. 40.31.    They shall be assisted by the Angels:  'Tis said, Jacob went on his way and the Angels of God met him [Margin Note: Gen. 32.1.].     So we proceeding in the strait Way, in constant Self-denial, shall have protection from, and may have Perception of the holy Angels: For are they not all ministering Spirits, sent forth to Minister for them, who shall be Heirs of Salvation? Heb. 1.14.    The chief of which, the Presidential Angels that govern the World under God, might be represented by the Seventy Palm-Trees, which was the number of the Sanhedrim, or Seventy Elders, and of the Seventy Disciples, which Christ sent forth by two and two before his Face [Margin Note: Luke 10.1.].     Both which Numbers might be pattern’d and calculated according to the Order of the Angelical Government:   The Jews generally Believing, that things Beneath are representative of things Above, and that there are Seventy Angels attending the Throne of Glory, set and made Presidents over the Nations;  as may be seen in Rabbi-Menachem, on Gen. 46.    In this Place also were twelve Fountains of Water, signifying, Refreshments derived from the holy Ghost to the whole Church, represented by the twelve Tribes of Israel; as also the instrumental Conveyance of those Streams of Light, Life and Comfort, thro’ the twelve Apostles of our Lord and Saviour, whose pure Doctrine and Choice Examples do much assist the Christian Travellers, those holy Pilgrims, in their Journey towards the good Land;  as these twelve Fountains did the Israelites in their way to Canaan.

 

Ver. 10th,  Removing from Elim, they encamped by the R E D-S E A.
The seventh Journey.

Here they Encamp by that Sea, thro’ which before they had passed:  To shew, that being apt to forget both the signal Judgments, and Mercies of Heaven;  have therefore need of Providences to make us remind them;  both to humble and encourage us, in reflecting upon, and presentially contemplating the stupendous Effects, both of the severe and benign Attributes of God:  That so we may duly Revere and Praise him;  who divided the Red-Sea into Parts;  for his Mercy endureth for ever, Psal.136.13.     This is here called in the Septuagint the Red-Sea, as also Exod.13.18.  Acts 7. 36.    In a Figure representing the Blood of Christ, and our Redemption by being washed in it [Margin Note: Rev. 1.5.].    But the Hebrew Name, which is I am Suph {as shown in the Leeds printing}or Jam Suph {as shown in the Germantown printing}, imports The Sea of Sedges, Reeds or Bulrushes;   by which Weeds, Swimmers are oft entangled and drown’d.    It Signifies also the Sea of Ending or Consuming;  both denoting the Consumption and Destruction of our spiritual Enemies figured by the Egyptians, who were there Absorpt, and consumed in pursuing Israel.

 

Ver. 11th,  Removing from the Red-Sea, they encamped in the Wilderness of S I N.
The eighth Journey.

Sin in the Hebrew signifieth, a Bramble, after the Syriak, Enmity.    Here Israel conceived Enmity against their Leaders;  for they murmured against Moses and Aaron, for want of Food, Exod.16.2,3.    Such Sinful Sentiments and Fleshly Enmities, are like Briars and Thorns in Man’s Heart, tormenting them in whom they rise, and provoking God, against whom they are directed, Isai.27.4.     This Station of Israel, speaks our Proneness to Discontent, under the strainings of the Flesh;  our Inclinations to murmur against Providential Severities, and so may warn us to endeavour Resignation and Contentment in God’s Will, as best.    For these things concerning Israel are written for our Admonition, upon whom the ends of the World are come [Margin Note: 1Cor. 10.11.].    In this Wilderness it was, that God vindicated his Righteousness and Mercy, and rained Manna from Heaven [Margin Note: Exod. 16.14.];  now Manna signifies, Numbered, Prepared;  for so it was by special Providence of God:  And so figured, the Bread of Life, the internal Food of our Souls, the Virtue of the living Word, which God provides for spiritual Travellers, that have renounced this World, and are simply following the Light of Life:  The very Hairs of their Head are Numbered, so is their Food and Refreshment measured and prepared by God for them.     The same that feeds the Angels, pure substantial divine Nourishment, is appointed and numbered out by God for them:  In Signification of which, 'tis said, he gave them of the Corn of Heaven, Man did eat Angel's Food.

 

Ver. 12th, From Sin they removed to D O P H K A H.
The ninth Journey.

Dophkah signifies, knocking as at a door, Cant.5.2.   And hints to us, God’s importunity (by such signal Mercies as the raining Manna) to enter deeper into our Hearts.    That Christ (God-Man) may dwell in our Hearts by Faith;  of whom, as he is the Bread of Life, Manna [Margin Note: Exod. 16.] or Man,(as 'tis in the Hebrew) was a real Figure, 1Cor.10.3,4.  Rev.2.17.     'Tis also he that saith, Behold I stand at the Door and Knock [Margin Note: Rev. 3.20.], that so he may come in, and we at length be filled with all the fullness of God, Eph.3.19.      Dophkah may also signifie, our Knocking, earnest Prayer and Intercession to improve God’s Mercies, to persevere under Trials, and to be blest with future good things;  according to that of our Saviour, Ask, and it shall be given you, seek, and ye shall find, knock, and it shall be opened unto you.     Who confirm’d this Command with his own Example;  in the Days of his Flesh, offering up Prayers and Supplications, with strong Crying and Tears, unto him that was able to save him, and was heard in that he fear’d, or from his fear, that is delivered from it, as may be rendered, Heb.5.7.

 

Ver. 13th. Departing from Dophkah, they encamped in A L U S H.
The tenth Journey.

These two last Journeys are not expressly mentioned in the preceding History, but seem implied, Exod.17.1.     Alush (from Lush) signifying, Kneading, Leav’ning, mixing Water and Leaven with Meal, representeth God’s Kingdom within us, which, Mat.13.33. is compared to Leaven hid in three Measures of Meal, 'till the whole be Leavened.    After earnest Intercession (figured by Dophkah) the kingdom of Heaven begins (in Alush) a fresh to stir in us, and to attract us into the Interior, in Stillness to observe how the Dew of the Living Word infuseth itself, and the Leaven of the Kingdom changeth us secretly and gradually into it’s Nature.    This is a thriving Dispensation, when we begin to live more at Home, that is within, and diligently to remark the transmuting Operations of that Kingdom in us, which consisteth not in Word, but in Power.

  

Ver. 14th,  Departing from Alush, they encamped in  R E P H I D I M.
The eleventh Journey.

The desert State is very mutable, from Alush they arrive at RephidimThe Remission or Weakening of Hands, and also the Healing and Strengthening of Hands:  Which contrary Significations were both fulfilled here.    For 1. The People had no Water to Drink, as 'tis exprest, ver.14 and Exod. 17. 1. which discouraged them, and in a moral Sense so weakened them, that they did Murmur, Chide, and were ready to Stone Moses and Aaron [Margin Note: Exod. 17.];  which represents the Soul under Impatience, tempted to turn from the Light of Life, by the total Withdrawment of all sensible Consolation.     But divine Goodness so far condescended, as to come down upon the rock in Horeb, (that is in Drowth, Wastness or Desolation) and thence afford them Water for their Refreshment, Exod.17.6. whence their Hands were again strengthened, their Hearts revived, their Faith renewed.     The spiritual Sense of which, as to us, the Apostle describes, 1Cor.10.4. They drank of that Spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.     When we are in extream internal Drowth and Desolation, ready to question whether God be Good to us, (however he is in himself or to others;) then Christ the Rock of our Salvation, (in the appointed Moment) opens in us a stream of Consolation, a Rivulet of divine Refreshment to convince us, that God is faithful, who will not suffer us to be tempted above what we are able to bear;  but will with the Temptations make a way to escape, 1Cor.10.13.

It was here also that Amaleck fought with Israel:  But Joshua sent by Moses, with some chosen Men, overcame them, Exod. 17. 8,9,13. Amaleck [Margin Note: Gen. 36.12.] signifieth the smiling People, the locusts People, or the hidden locusts.    These being the Posterity of Edom, represent, the low earthly Spirits, Desires or Temptations which assault us in our spiritual Journeys: especially those who are weakest, and lye most behind in their Work, and so are nearest the earthly Spirit.    For these Amalekites fell upon the hindermost of Israel, and smote them which were most feeble, and weary:  Therefore God threatened to blot out the Rememberance of Amaleck from under Heaven, ver.14.    As we are to crucify the Flesh, with the Affections and Lusts thereof, and to mortify our members that are upon the Earth  [Margin Note: Col. 3.5.].    The Fleshy Spirits, Lusts, and Passions, Locust-like devouring the Fruits of the Spirit, where they are not resisted:  But by the Conduct of Joshua, i.e. Jesus, we shall subdue them;  for he came to save us from our enemies, and from the Hands of all that hate us [Margin Note: Luke 1.71.]:   Who as our great Protector was adumbrated by that Altar, Moses erected in Rephidim, naming it Jehovah Nissi, The Lord is my Banner.

 

Ver. 15thDeparting from Rephidim, they pitched in the Wilderness of S I N A I.
The twelfth Journey.

Sinai imports the same with Sin, that is a Bramble or Enmity, only that Jod is added to it, which in Numeration signifieth Ten;  and so may denote the Ten commandments, there delivered as the Hebrew observes.    For it was in a Mount of this Wilderness, where God gave the Law, Exod.19.3. and upon which the Lord descended in fire, v.18,     And when we arrive at this Station in our inward Work, we shall know and feel that Fire in which the Law was given;  we shall have a manifest Sensation of that Property of God, we shall call his Justice, by it’s peculiar Operation in us, by which we shall understand that in Heb.12.29. Our God is a consuming Fire;   the immediate Operation of which is Zeal, and Enmity against Sin;  for Sin by his Commandment (especially that eternal Fire, whence Commandments came) appears exceeding Sinful, Rom.7.13.    Here 'tis easy through our internal Mixtures, to run into a Spirit of Bondage, and by Reason of the great dread of Sin to count that so, which is not;  and thro’ Enmity against it to run into a Spirit of judging, exercising too great Severity against others, for any thing that appears to us Sinful.    Against which Mistakes Christ advanceth these Precepts:  Judge not that ye be not judged [Margin Note: Mat. 7.1.], Judge not according to Appearance, but judge righteous Judgement.    But the true Improvement of this Eshdath, or Fire of the Law (as Ainsworth renders it or the Fire-Law, as the Interlineary Deut. 32. 22.) I say it’s true Improvement is to turn inward, to mark it’s secret consuming of our own Iniquities; That so judging ourselves, we may not be condemned with the World. 1Cor. 11. 31,32.     It was out of a Bramble-bush, on some Part of this Mountain where God appeared to Moses in a Flame of Fire, Exod. 3.2. and Moses wondered to see the Bush burning and not consumed.    This Bush adumbrated {pre-figured} Man’s Soul, yet under the fall Mich. 7.4.    The Flame in it, the divine Fire there inkindled for Purification, Isa.31.9.    This comes not to consume, but to refine and perfect us.    This internal divine Burning, we shall be better acquainted with, as we vanquish and extricate our Souls from the animal Life, by which we shall understand Feelingly the ways of him who still dwells in the Bush, Deut.33.16.    Where Moses affords a Key to the proceeding Allegory;  for Shocheni Sineh is in the present Tense, Verbatim to be rendered, (as Junius and Tremellius) dwelling in, or inhabiting the Bush:  The Interlineary, for the good Will, Habitatoris Rubi, of the Inhabitants of the Bush.    And that Jod is added extraordinarily in Shocheni, is as Vatablus hath it, ob Mysterium admirandae istius Apparitionis, for the Mystery of that admirable Apparition, see, 2Cor. 6.16.    And when we come Internally through this Journey, we shall experimentally know this celestial Burning, Issuing from the holy and righteous God;   and that every one must be salted with fire, Mark 9.49.     Here it was notwithstanding God’s glorious and dreadful Presence, that they made a Calf, and worshiped God thro’ it; which was so great a Sin, and so manifest Idolatary, that God himself called it worshipping the Calf, and Sacrificing to it. ver.8.    The Occasion of which was, Moses's being so long in the Mount, and so withdrawn from their sight, ver.1.     For they said, We know not what is become of him [Margin Note: Exod. 32.5.].    This shews the Proneness of the Church, in the Absence of pure divine Light, that guides certainly, to forsake the pure spiritual Worship of God, and set up their own Inventions as God’s Ordinances;  some in Opinions, calling them Articles of Faith, others in Forms of Worship to which they would have all bow.    Now in their too high prizing of, and exacting Reverence to such golden Images, which are but Men’s Inventions, they become guilty, at least of mystical Idolatry, and do greatly provoke the living God.    In this Case the exhortatory Conclusion of St. John’s 1 Epistle, chap.5. may be Counsel to all:  Little Children keep yourselves from Idols {1John 5.21}.    This also shews the Law made nothing perfect;   the Fire of Mount Sinai cannot wholly destroy, nor wholly restrain Sin, tho’ we come to the internal Baptism and powerful Sensation of it.     Therefore we must not dwell here;  the true Light will call us away to march forwards, as God did Israel, when they had been almost a Year in Sinai; for he said, ye have dwelt long enough in this Mountain, turn you, take your Journey, Deut.1. 6,7.

 

Ver. 16th,  From the Desert of Sinai
they removed to K I B R O T H    H A T T A A V A H.
The thirteenth Journey.

Kibroth Hattaavah, signifieth the sepulchers of Concupiscence, or the Graves of Lust, as in the English Margent:   accordingly the vulgar Latin reads, venerunt ad Sepulchra Concupiscientia.     The Greek, they encamped en Mnaemasi taes Epithymias.     The Chaldee Paraphrase, In the Graves of those that lusted.     The Place was so named by the Lord himself, in regard there they buried the People that lusted, Numb. 11. 34.     Here the People lusted for Flesh, ver. 13,18.     Remembered the Flesh, Onions and Garlick of Egypt, preferring them before God’s Manna, ver. 6.    So God in Judgement sent them Quails, Numb. 11.31. and as they began to eat them, a sore Plague by which many died, ver. 33. Having newly received the Law, they were here soon tempted to break it.    The Law saith, Thou shalt not lust:  But Satan, thro’ indwelling Sin takes Occasion to tempt the more, in Vetitum ruimus.    We press to enjoy that which is forbidden, Rom.7.8.    But by that Wrath which here fell upon Israel, we are instructed as St. Paul asserts, not to lust after evil Things, as they lusted.    We are not to desire the Onions and Garlick of Egypt, the low, brutish and sordid Pleasures of this terrestrial World;  nor to lust after Quails the more refined Delights and Pleasures of the animal Life;  but be content with the Manna, that Food and those Things which God designeth and prepareth for us:  But as this Lusting began amongst the mixed Multitude, ver. 4. so the Remainders of Sin, the mixed Seed of inherent Corruption, provoke and tempt us to Irresignation, and eager Desires of unlawful Satisfaction;  therefore must the Body of Sin be destroyed, all our irregular Desires and Lusts mortified and buried, that we may rise and walk in newness of Life [Margin Note: Rom. 6.4.].     In a Word, after we have internally known and felt the Purity and Power of the Law of God, we must come to the Condemnation, Death and Burial of all evil Desires and Lusts, whether more gross, or refined;  so that we may perfect Holiness in the Fear of God:  For there is no greater Judgment than for God to permit us the pleasing Fruition of our own enormous Desires; of which the Israelites were here an Instance; for whilst the sweet Flesh, they so longed for, was between their Teeth, the wrath of God came upon them;  and so many of them and their Lusts were buried together.

 

Ver. 17th,  Hence departing they encamped at  H A Z E R O T H.
The fourteenth Journey.

Hazeroth signifies, a Trembling, or fearful Division;  well representing what fell out here in Miriam and Aaron’s combining, and speaking against Moses, Numb. 12.1. and setting up their Light and Prophetick teaching against his, ver.2.     By which Wrath was awakened and Miriam smitten with Leprosy.     By which we are taught the Danger of resisting the pure and divine Teaching in any spiritual Guide, that Heaven hath set over us;  or of judging their Actions, when they are not really Sinful;  as they did Moses’s marrying Zipporath, whom by way of Contempt they seem to call the Ethiopian Woman.     But internally Moses represents the Light of Life, Miriam here, the sensitive Faculty, Aaron (importing a Teacher) the Rational joining with it against the divine Light, which produceth Chastisement upon the Body and sensitive Part, to convince the Soul of such Disorder and Transgression:  That so thro’ the Destruction of the Flesh, that is, Sin in the Flesh, the Spirit may be saved in the Day of the Lord [Margin Note: 1Cor.5.5.].

 

Ver. 18th,  Departing from Hazeroth, they pitched in  R I T H M A H.
The fifteenth Journey.

Rithmah may signify, a place of Junipers, or of binding.    Some of the Hebrew say it hath it’s Name from the Juniper-tree because here the mischievous Tongues of the ten Spies brought an evil Report upon the good Land;  and so were like the Coals of Juniper, which burn extreamly, Psal.120.4. inflaming the People into a sad Rebellion.    The Word may also signify, Binding, and so denote another Effect of the same Cause, even the binding of the whole Congregation, with Unbelief and Discouragements against marching forwards, and by that tempting them to Apostasie. Numb.14.1,2,3.     For here it was they said, Let us make us a Captain, and return again into Egypt.    The Spies having affirm’d, We are not able to go up against the People, for they are stronger than we, Numb.13.31. There we saw the Giants, the Sons of Anak, in whose Sight we were as Grasshoppers, ver.33.    But what speaks this to us?    We are by it instructed to expect many Discouragements, without and within against the pressing after Perfection, and the total Mortification of Sin, asserting it impossible in this Life, and that we must die in the Wilderness of Confusion, without Hopes of seeing in this Life, the Day break, or the Morning Star rise in our Hearts.     But we must not hearken to such Spirits or Persons, tho’ we may find them as ten to two, but we must adhere to Joshua and Caleb, Jesus and the good Heart, that followed him fully.    For they in a Figure encouraged the people saying, fear not the People of the Land;  for they are Bread for us, their Defence is departed from them, and the Lord is with us, fear them not, Numb.14.9.    Such Encouragements is given us by Christ: Fear not little Flock, for 'tis your Father’s good Pleasure to give you the Kingdom, and be ye Perfect as your Father, which is in Heaven, is Perfect:   Who never exhorts to what is impossible.    Who in another Place sheweth by what Power this must be accomplished;  even by his own, John 15.5.    Without whom we can do nothing, thro’ whom St. Paul was able to do all things:  Who as a second Caleb, in like Manner corroborates our Faith, 2Cor.7.1.    Having therefore these Promises, (dearly beloved) let us cleanse our selves from all the Pollutions of Flesh and Spirit, Perfecting Holiness in Fear of God.     And seeing Christ gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all Iniquity:  Let us but conspire with that great End of his assuming Flesh, and we need not fear, but he with a strong Arm will assist us in the Way of Self-denial; 'till Judgement (against Sin) be brought forth to Victory.

 

Ver. 19th,  Departing from Rithmah, they pitched at  R I M M O N-P A R E Z.
The sixteenth Journey.

This Name signifieth, the lifting up of the Breach, the Breach of (or for) Elevation:  Seeming to have taken it’s Appellation, from that Breach or Slaughter that was made upon Israel, for presumptuously going up against the Amorites, Deut.1. Numb.14.     As Perez Uzza, 1Chron. 13. where Uzza died, and Baal-Perazim, 1Chron.14. received their Names on like Occasions.   But here against Moses’s Prohibition, and without the Ark of the Covenant of God, they presumed to ascend to the top of the Hill, ver.44.     And so were smote and beat down even to Horma, that is Destruction, ver.45.    The Wilderness State is Obnoxious {exposed to harm or evil, vulnerable} to Contrarieties:  Immediately before, the People were in utter Discouragement, as to Warring with the Canaanites;   now on a sudden, they change into another Extream, resolving in haste to go up to fight, tho’ against the Command of God;  from their Miscarriage, then, and Defeat, Rimmon-Parez, or the Elevation-Breach, derived it’s Name.     Which, in a political Sense, imports the Danger of making War rashly, or from Reflections upon our own Strength.    2d, That it should never be done without Moses, and the Ark with us, that is the Law and Gospel, which are to be our Rule, especially in such great Concerns.    3dly, That the Church in the Wilderness is Obnoxious to rash and presumptuous Wars, and so to proportionable Scourges and Disappointments, for not consulting with the purest Dictates of Conscience, and the most safe Principles of the Gospel.

In a more interiour spiritual Sense, this Exhibits, 1. The Facility of our Change, from Discouragements to Presumption;  from Rithmah to Rimmon-Parez, thro’ the influence of Satan, and the mutability of our own Natures.    2. That 'tis dangerous fighting against the Amalekites and the Amorites (that is, animal and devilish Sins) in our own Strength, in self Confidence;  For God resisteth the Proud, but giveth Grace to the Humble, 1Peter 5.5.     3dly, That when we do so, and presume upon the spiritual Virtue and Strength that we already possess, we shall then Miscarry, and find the Amalekites, those hidden Locusts, the earthly Desires and Passions;  and the Amorites, the Spirits of Bitterness and bitter Judging, too hard for us.     For without the Benign influence of the Mediator, we can do nothing, John 15.5.    Therefore we must put on the Lord Jesus, the true Armour of Light, Rom.13.14.    Take Moses and the Ark along with us, if we will vanquish the Amorites, that is, subdue Bitterness and Envy, and be impowered, to love our Enemies, to bless them that Curse us, not returning Evil for Evil, nor Railing for Railing, but on the contrary Blessing, knowing that we are thereunto called, that we might inherit a Blessing.

 

Ver. 20th,  Hence departing they encamped in  L I B N A H.
The seventeenth Journey.

From Rimmon-Parez, they came to Libnah, that is, Whiteness or Frankincense.    Rimmon-Parez (as before) imports, Tribulation for Elevation.    Now Affliction on God’s People, commonly works Purification, and holy Intercession.    Libnah cometh from a Root, that signifies, sometimes to be made White, morally White, that is, to be cleansed and purified from the Stains of Sin.    David used the Word, Psal.51.7. Wash me, and I shall be whiter than Snow;  this he prayed for, after his Defilement with Bathsheba, and his Conviction thro’ Nathan.    'Tis also used by Daniel Ch. 12.10. Many shall be Purified and made White, and tried as Metals in the Furnace, for so the Hebrew Word signifieth, importing severe Tribulations by which we are purified and made White.    This is God’s usual Method with his own.    St. Paul was no sooner in Danger of Elevation, but presently he had given him a thorn in his Flesh, the Angel of Satan to buffet him, 2Cor.12.7.     This humbled him, that is, purified him, ver.10. preventing Elevation.    For God’s Chastisements are for our profits, that we may be partakers of his Holiness, Heb.12.10.

Afflictions also generally produce earnest Prayer and Intercession, according to that of Isai.26.16. Lord in trouble have they visited thee, they poured out a Prayer when thy Chastening was upon them.    This Spirit of Intercession is implied in Libnah, as signifying Frankincense.    Now, pure Frankincense was a chief Ingredient, in the Composition of the holy Perfume or Incense, Exod.30.34. and that Incense was an Emblem of Prayer and pure Intercession;  whence that of David, Let my Prayer be set before thee as Incense, and the lifting up of my Hands, as the Evening (Mincha or) Oblation.    And that of Rev.5.8. where 'tis said of the twenty-four Elders, that they had every one of them Harps and Vials full of Incense, which are the Prayers of Saints.    This holy Incense was to be offered daily upon the golden Altar [Margin Note: Exod. 30.7.]; representing the constant Intercession of our high Priest, and the Purity of his Heart, in offering Prayers for the Church, thro’ unmixed Fire of divine Love:  And also expressing what our Hearts should be, even like his, in Purity and divine Love, offering up with holy Hands in every Place constant Supplications, Prayers and Intercession, without Wrath and doubting, or disputing, Dialogismu, 1Tim.2.8.    In a Word whilst we are in the internal Wilderness, Afflictions for Sin (to mortify and prevent it) work in us Purification and serious Intercession;  as Israel journeyed from Rimmon-Parez to Libnah:  So we travel on thro’ the Wilderness, as the Church in the Canticles is said to come out of it, like Pillars of Smoak, perfumed with Myrrh and Frankincense, and with all the Powders of the Merchant, Cant.3.6.

 

Ver. 21st,  Removing from Libnah they pitched at  R I S S A H.
The eighteenth Journey.

Rissah imports, Sprinkling, Dropping, Moistening.    Now the Effect of Purification, and sincere Intercession, (comprised in Libnah) is spiritual Refreshment, and suitable Growth of God’s Plantation in us, implied in Rissah.    For divine Consolations, which are the Soul’s spiritual Waterings, are often expressed by Dew and Rain, Psal.72.6.    He shall come down like Rain upon the mown Grass, as Showers that water the Earth.    So, Hosea 14.5. I will be as Dew unto Israel;  he shall grow as the Lily, and cast forth his Roots as Lebanon.    Such pure internal Infusions of divine Goodness, frequently attend the Spirit ascending from purified Hearts, thro’ earnest Intercession.

This is confirmed by the constant Experience of those who are much in Prayer, and watchfully sympathize with that Spirit, which makes Intercession with Groans that cannot be expressed, Rom.8.26.      Such set their Seals to the truth of Christ’s Promise annexed to this great Duty; Ask and it shall be given you, &c. [Margin Note: Luke 11.9.]    Ask and ye shall receive, that your Joy may be full, John 16.24.     According to this Process Elias prayed, and the outward Heavens gave Rain, [Margin Note: Jam. 5.18.]  and the Earth brought forth her Fruit:  But afterward Jesus prayed, and the inward Heavens were opened, and the holy Ghost descended on him in a bodily shape, Luke 3.21,22.     After this the primitive Saints having prayed unanimously, the Place was shaken where they were assembled together, and they were all fill’d with the holy Ghost, Acts 4.31.    So as it was promised, by the effusion of the Spirit, out of their Bellies flowed Rivers of living Water.    Now those things were written for our Instruction, that we thro’ Patience and Comfort of the Scriptures might have hope [Margin Note: Rom. 15.4.].

 

Ver. 22,  Journeying from Rissah, they pitched in K E H E L A T H A H.
The nineteenth Journey.

Kehelathah imports Assembling, Gathering-together, Religious Assembling to worship God, according to the Signification of Kahal, Psal.22.22 and Koheleth, Eccl.1.1. But Kehelathah has a double Augmentation as (Jeshuathah, Psal.3.2) may import frequent and earnest Assembling to wait upon God;  according to that Hebraick Rule, Auctio Vocis, Auctae Significationis indicium est, the increasing of the Word is a sign of the Signification increas’d.    Now divine Refreshments, and sweet internal Communion with God, imply’d in Rissah, bring the Pilgrim Saints to Kehelathah, frequent and most serious Assemblings to worship God in Spirit and Power, in participating his most pure living Virtue, that they may prove the Truth of such Scriptures Assertions, I said not to the Seed of Jacob, seek ye me in vain: Isa.45.19. And where two or three are gathered together in my Name, I am there in the midst of them, Mat.18.20.     This is a sweet Station of the spiritual Israelites, when they oft meet to worship God, from a true Hunger or Thirst after Righteousness, simply to enjoy Communion with God, in order to a growth in Grace, and more perfect Obedience in our whole Converse.    This indeed is an happy Station, a pleasant Mansion of divine Refreshment, in which the more simple our Intentions are, and the more pure our Desires, the more shall we find God amongst us, in the strong overshadowing of his blessed Spirit, in the pure Communication of his eternal Power.    And by experiencing God’s Blessings on such Assemblings, we shall clearly perceive both Wisdom and Goodness in that exhortatory Prohibition, Heb.10.25.    That we are not to forsake the Assembling of ourselves together, as the Manner of some isBut to exhort one another, see also Heb.3.13.     In a subordinate personal Sense, Kehelathah may also imply every ones endeavour and vigorous Labour to collect and assemble all the Powers of his Soul, to wait upon the great God, and attend the inward Breathings of his Spirit, in order to more full and complete Obedience, according to that of the Psalmist: Unite my Heart to fear thy Name, Psal.86.11.     And to much personal Preparation doth Christ promise an individual Manifestation, John 14 .21. I will love him, and will manifest my self unto him.

 

Ver. 23, They removed from Kehelathah, and pitched in Mount S H A P H E R.
The twentieth Journey.

Shapher signifieth Beauty, Comliness, Pleasantness, a sweet Trumpet, or Cornet, spiritual Improvement (received by frequent and serious Meeting to worship God) prepares for and leads to Mount Shapher, raiseth above external sensitive Objects, and the animal Part into a State of divine Vision;  in which we behold either intellectually, or by evident Representation, the Beauty and Comliness of internal, spiritual and eternal Things.    I mean such Sights, and Fruitions as the Disciples enjoyed upon the Mount, Matt.17. When Christ was transfigured before them, his Face shining as the Sun, and his Rayment seeming as white as the Light, ver.2.     Or like that in Exod. 24.9,10. where Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, with seventy of the Elders ascending, saw the God of Israel under whose Feet was a paved Work of Sapphire-stone, and as it were the Body of Heaven in its Clearness.    Shapher also may import, a pleasant Trumpet, or Cornet, having the same radical Letters with Shophar a Trumpet (as the Word is wrote, Exod.19.19. without a Vau) by which very Name 'tis here called in the Syriac, In Monte Sophar or Shophar;  Implying further a State of Manifestation, when we (in retired Silence) hear like Sounds of sweet Trumpets, from the invisible Heavens, or divine Voices, like to them, but much more Pleasant and Powerful.    For there is a State of Recollection into the Spirit, when such things may be enjoyed, as St. John expresseth, Rev.1.10.    I was in the Spirit of the Lord’s Day, and heard behind me a great Voice as of a Trumpet;  So Chap.4.1. I heard as it were a Trumpet talking to me, which said come up hither, &c.     Now these Dispensations may be whilst we are yet but passing thro’ the Wilderness of Temptation.   John was an exile in Patmos whilst he had this Manifestation, Daniel and Ezekiel Captives in Babylon, when they saw, and heard things of the same Nature.    And one Reason why so few enjoy such things to strengthen themselves and others is, in that most stick in some Part of external Life, and have the Powers of their Souls weakened and chain'd up by it.    They have not wholly left Egypt, but adhere to some Part of this lower World with irregular Desire;  yet undiscernibly under the Disguise of Christian Liberty;  not thoroughly apprehending the Necessity of pressing after the perfect Death and total Circumcision from the cloudy fore-Skin of the sensitive Life.     But the end of such Fruitions as these of Mount Shapher, is for moral Improvement, that our Conversation may bear Proportion to our Manifestations, that the Branch of the Lord, Isa.4.2. the Lord’s Christ (as 'tis in the Chaldee paraph.) appearing to us so beautiful and glorious, the Fruit of our Earth may be excellent and comely, all the Virtues of the Spirit appearing vigorously through us: That so, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are pure, whatever things are just, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good Report, we may both mind and practise, as St. Paul exhorts, Phil.4.8.

 

Ver. 24th, Removing from Mount Shapher, they encamped in H A R A D A H.
The twenty-first Journey.

Haradah imports great Fear and Trembling, such as fell upon Isaac, when Esau coming too late, told him he was his first Born, Gen.27.33.    Such also as seiz’d upon the Israelites, when God’s descent upon Sinai, was attended with Thunder, Lightning, and the shrill Sound of a Trumpet, Exod.19.16.     And as invaded the Philistins when Jonathan and one more stormed their Garrison, and slew them, there rising an Earthquake at the same time[Margin Note: 1Sam. xiv.15.], in all which Places the Word Haradah is used.    From Mount Shapher they came to Haradah, to confirm the Interchanges of the Wilderness state.     For after we have been upon the Mount of divine Visions, and Openings, we may expect to be led into a more humbling Dispensation, to Haradah, great Fear and Trembling; that so we might not be elevated but still keep lowly under the Cross.    St Paul seemed in some such State, 1Cor.2.3. I was with you in Weakness, and in Fear, and in much Trembling.    This May by various Occasions come upon us, as thro’ internal Temptations, Sickness, Persecutions, &c.    But sometimes they who live much within, may find such unusual Fears, such strange internal Tremblings, invading them without any known Cause, that justly raise Astonishment 'till the Cause be discovered:  Which sometimes is the meer Effect of internal Providence thro’ the strife and wrestling of Angels and fallen Spirits, whose Motions and Workings may be oft felt and perceived by those who having very much vanquish’d the animal Life, are daily working thro’ the internal defect of their own mixtures into God, and the divine Spirit.     When it pleaseth the High and holy One, he can let out such Terrours upon us for our Humiliation, which spring not from Natural Melancholy, nor such like Causes;  But from his own immediate Guidance, thro’ the Ministration of Angels.     For such Terrours are represented as Part of his extraordinary Ways.  Lev.26.36.  And upon them that are left alive of you, I will send a Faintness into your Hearts, and the Sound of a shaken Leaf shall chase them, and they shall flee, as fleeing from the Sword.     Now such as these are extraordinary Terrours, which here God ascribes to his immediate Hand:  Which tho’ here threatned for grievous and past Transgressions;  yet God may, yea, sometimes doth let out these upon his People to humble them and prevent further Declinings, as he did upon St. Paul, when he permitted the Angel of Satan to buffet him, [Margin Note: 2Cor.12.7.] to prevent spiritual Pride, and self Elevation, which was after his glorious Rapture into Paradise;  as Haradah here followeth Mount Shapher.    St Paul indeed has been acquainted with these great Terrours, as I before expressed, which he also intimates, 2Cor.5.11. Knowing therefore the Terrour of the Lord, we perswade Men.

 

Ver. 25th, Removing from Haradah they encamped in M A K K E L O T H.
The twenty-second Journey.

Makkeloth signifieth, Congregations, Assemblies, Religious Assemblies, Churches,  They before pitched in Kehelathah, ver.22. which signifieth Assembling for divine Worship, from the same Root, and of the like Signification with this:  but that was of the singular, this Makkeloth of the plural Number, representing the Divisions of the Church (in its Wilderness-state) into many Churches, dissenting from each other, by Diversity of Opinions, and Ways of Worship.    Some judge this Station was so called from the mutinous Assemblies, gathered against Moses and Aaron, by the Incitement of Korah, Dathan and Abiram, Numb.16.     Which History was left on Record, as a signal Warning to take heed of resisting the lawful Magistrate, represented by Moses, and true spiritual Guides and Teachers; I  mean such as are called of God, as was Aaron, the Figure of such in this Place.    'Tis true the falling of the Church into variety of Opinions, and different Modes of Worship is impossible to be prevented by lawful Courses, since infallible Guides and Prophets have disappeared.    Therefore 'tis a Work of Providence, a thing not to be condemned in itself:  For under diversity of Judgments, and variety of Forms, God may be worshipped in Spirit and Truth, as in the primitive Time, by the Jewish and Gentile Christians;  which Variety offends not God, so that Obedience to Magistrates be firmly retained, and a Zeal for Holiness, more than for Opinions;  and those healing Principles of Charity kept alive which teach mutual Forbearance of, and Love to each other, under our different Apprehensions and Modes of serving God.    So that two States may be pointed at by Makkeloth.     1st. Mutinous Assemblies and tumultuous Associations tending to disturb Government, and destroy Christian Friendship, Charity and Communion, chiefly for Opinions, or some worse Ends.    Against which we are solemnly warned by the sad Catastrophe of Korah, Dathan and Abiram, with their Associates.    2dly, The various Churches or religious Associations, with their different Judgments and Ways of Worship, which in the Absence of infallible Teachers they cannot but fall into, except violently restrained, as before hinted.    In which State they more need that divine Charity, that seeks not her own, is not easily provoked, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things, than Israel had of Hobab, to whom yet Moses thus addrest himself;  Leave us not I pray thee, for as much as thou knowest how we are to encamp in the Wilderness;  and thou may’st be to us instead of Eyes.     Which was partly spoken in a Mystery included in the Name Hobab, [Margin Note: Num. 10.29,30.] which signifies Love:   Importing that brotherly Love, in the Wilderness State of the Church, will be a Light unto our Feet, and preserve us from dangerous Abberrations;  for he that loves his Brother, abideth in the Light, and there is no occasion of Stumbling in him.     But he that hateth his brother abides in Darkness, &c.[Margin Note:1John. 2.10,11.]    But in our particular Work this Station implies,

First, The tumultuous Assembling of internal Temptations (Satan acting as an Angel of Light) to seduce us into Resistance of the true divine Government, and Teachings of Christ in us.    Now the chief and leading Spirits in such Dispensations are represented, in Korah, Dathan and Abiram.    For 1st., Korah, signifies Ice, Baldness, setting forth the Spirit of Unbelief which tends to harden the Heart, and spoil it of it’s spiritual Ornaments, as Frost congeals and deprives the Earth of its Beauty and Verdure.    2dly, Dathan, signifies a Law, or Law-giving, which the History of Dathan may interpret to be a Law opposite to the divine Law and Will, so that Dathan imports false Illumination, or Legislation, imitating, but really opposing the Law of the Spirit of Life in Jesus Christ, which sets free from the Law of Sin and Death [Margin Note: Rom. 8.2.].   3dly, Abiram imports the Father of Exaltation, or the lifting up of the Will;  representing the Spirit of Self-will, exalting itself against God’s Will, tempting us to do so:   Which to comply with is to rebel against God, and such Rebellion is as the Sin of Witchcraft, 1Sam.15. 23.    In Opposition to which our constant Work is to break our Wills and Labour after a moral Annihilation of them;   as ever remembering that of our Saviour;   If any Man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his Cross daily, and follow me, Lu. 9.23.    This is the true Way of preserving our selves from the Sins of Israel, tho’ we go thro’ the same, or like Temptations.    
Secondly, this imports, the Concentring and Association of internal holy Influences flowing from God’s Spirit, and Angels, to assist us against such subtil satanical Injections and Temptations, as are before expressed. For what ever Annoyances we have from the Devil, and his Angels; the contrary Assistances we may justly expect from that great Michael and his Angels, from Christ and those blessed Guardians, of whom 'tis emphatically said: Are they not all ministering Spirits, sent forth to Minister for them that shall be Heirs of Salvation, Heb.1.14. See Gen.32.1.2.

 

Ver. 26th, Removing from Makkeloth, they encamped at  T A H A T H.
The twenty-third Journey.

Tahath imports, Underneath, Below, Contrition, Breaking.    From Makkeloth they came to Tahath, which exhibits, 1st,  That mutinous Assemblings, turbulent Church gatherings, do naturally and most justly draw down severe humbling Scourges, judicial Breakings and Dispensations:  For the Magistrate beareth not the Sword in vain, Rom.13.4.     2dly, That the way to preserve the several divided Assemblies, or Churches, in safety under divine Protection, is to encamp in Tahath, in deep Humility, self-Abasement and contrition of Spirit.    For God resisteth the proud, but giveth Grace to the Humble, Jam.4.6.    He is nigh to the broken of Heart, and saveth such as be of a contrite Spirit, Psal.34.18.    In comparison of such, the Lord seems to overlook all his natural external Works, Isai.66.1.    The Heaven is my Throne, and the Earth is my Foot-stool, where is the place of my Rest?     For all those Things hath my Hand made.     But to this Man will I look even to him that is poor (or Humble, as in the 70) and of a contrite Spirit, and trembleth at my Word.    3dly, That the Way to vanquish and dissipate the tumultuous Assemblings of the internal Nations, and the fallen Spirits, tempting us to desert the Light of Life, Christ in us, by their disguised Infusions;  I say, the means to vanquish, is to humble our selves under the mighty Hand of God, 1Pet.5.6 .    To get into the low Valley of Self-Humiliation and Annihilation, to attend that sweet Counsel of Jesus, Mat. 11.29. Take my Yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly of Heart, and ye shall find Rest for your Souls.    This is to remove from Makkeloth to Tahath;   and that prepares us for our encamping in Tarah, which is the next Station.

 

Ver. 27th, Departing from Tahath, they pitched in  T A R A H.
The twenty-fourth Journey. 

Tarah signifies Respite, Breathing, Refreshment; such as we feel in hot Weather, by the fresh Gales of cool Air.     We have our times of Respite and Breathing in the Wilderness:  Our sinking into Humility, and meekly stooping to the Cross, prepare us for, and lead us into divine Refreshments, the pure Consolations of the holy Spirit, that eternal Wind and Breath of God, which animates and revives the inward Man, as wholesome Air, and fresh Gales of Wind, do the outward.    Tarah also imports Smelling, or more generally, Perception thro’ Sensation;  and may import the opening of our internal Senses, and their Fruition of extraordinary Sensations, 1John 1.1.    Particularly angelick Odours, and most sweetly surprising Smells; which tho’ the lowest, and most inconsiderable of God’s peculiar Ways, yet is sometimes used to refresh some of his Travelers, whilst in the howling Wilderness.    So that they can say with the Church, All thy Garments smell of Myrrh, Aloes and Cassia, Psal.45.8.     By which experience the Presence of the holy Angels is sometimes discovered; which are as well the Garments and Coverings, as the Chariot of God [Margin Note: Psal. 68.17.], and the eternal Word, Psal.97.2. Clouds and Darkness are round about him, in the Chaldee, Clouds of Glory [Margin Note: Dan. 7.13.], with which he inrobes himself, especially when he comes forth to do his great Work:  And so is cloathed with Honour and Majesty, Psal.104.1. Rev.1.7.     But Tarah implies not only Smelling (as I hinted before) but more generally Sensation, or Perception by Sensation, as appears from Isai.11.3. where 'tis said of Christ, He shall make him of quick understanding in the Fear of the Lord;  the Word is Hariho, from the same Root with Tarah, and is rendered in the Margin:  Shall make him scent, or smell in the Fear of the Lord; implying a quick, and holy Perception thro’ pure internal Sensation.     For as to his external Senses, 'tis negatively said in the same Verse: He shall not judge after the sight of his Eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his Ears.    So that in Tarah is infolded the pure Beginnings of Sensation;  by which beyond outward Appearance, we may sometimes feel by a Touch of Life, the inward State of Souls, yea, Truth and Error, Good and Evil.     The confirmed Habit of which, belongs not to little Children, but to those that are of full Age in the Regeneration, Heb.5.14. Strong Meat belongeth to them that are of full Age (or perfect) who by Reason of Use (or Habit) have their Senses exercised to discern both Good and Evil

 

Ver. 28th, Departing from Tarah, they pitched in  M I T H C A H.
The twenty-fifth Journey.

One while Israel was in Marah, that is Bitterness;  but now they come to Mithcah, that is Sweetness.    The Root whence Mithcah is derived, Mathack, is sometimes attributed to natural Bodies, that are sweet in Taste as Honey-figgs, Psal.19.10. Judg.9.11.     Sometimes to animal Enjoyments that are called so by a Metaphor, as to the Sleep of a labouring Man, Eccles.5.12.     To the stolen Pleasures of Love, Prov.9.17.     Sometimes to rational intellectual Fruitions;  so Counsel is called sweet, Psal.55.14.    Wise and eloquent Speeches, Prov.16.21.    The Judgments or Laws of God, which David saith are sweeter than the Honey, and the Honey-comb.     So that Mithcah includes both sensible and intellectual Sweetness:  But here it imports spiritual Sweetness, by Communion with God derived into the Soul.    This is two-fold, that of Intellection which comes thro’ the Operation of the Understanding, by Hearing, Reading, Meditating, as Psal.104.34. My Meditation of him shall be sweet.    2dly, That spiritual Sensation, which thro’ divers Mediums opens in the Soul.     But sometimes without any Operation of the Thoughts, as a Mean to excite or receive it, coming and going more freely and occultly, as to the Causes, than the suddain Blasts of Wind and fresh Gales of unconfined Air, John 3.8.     But 'tis oft awakened by reading or hearing the Scriptures, by which we know what David meant when he cried out, how sweet are thy Words unto my Taste?     Yea sweeter than Honey to my Mouth? [Margin Note: Psal. 119.103.]    Which is an emphatical Description of divine Sensation, which the two Disciples enjoyed, going to Emmaus thro’ our Saviour’s Discourse;  for they said, did not our Hearts burn within us, whilst he opened to us the Scriptures ? Luke 24.32.     There are many Degrees of this sweet Sensation higher and lower, more pleasingly Sweet, and more strongly Burning:  But the most rich divine, and highly Affecting is expressed by St. Paul Rom.5.5. and called by him the Love of God shed abroad into the Heart by the Holy Ghost:  For this opens as to our Perception, in the Heart, with ineffable Sweetness, with a most profound Sensation of divine Pleasure;  as tho’ the Centre of the Soul were penetrated by, and absorpt into the most sensible Contacts of the divine Nature:  The effects of which are as morally perfecting, as itself is divinely delightful.    But it may be that few in the Wilderness-State know much of this last Mode of Sensation:   'tis a deep Gospel Fruition, the beginning of the new Wine of the Kingdom.     But some Degrees of spiritual Sensation, by which we really taste that the Lord is Gracious, and undoubtedly feel, that his Love (tho’ but in its preludious Effusions) is better that Wine, I say some Degrees of this Sweetness are chiefly signified by Mithcah, and such as are greater and more deep, than those represented by Tarah, the last preceding Station.

 

Ver. 29th, Passing from Mithcah, they pitched in  H A S H M O N A H.
The twenty-sixth Journey.

Hashmonah signifies, Hasty Numbring, Chaffy-Numbring.    This is a Station that the Church, or Souls in the Wilderness, cannot but sometimes pitch in:  For in Mithcah, enjoying much sensible Consolation, much of divine Sweetness, thro’ spiritual Sensation;  and really feeling the joyous Powers of the World to come, how easily is it to believe the time is come for such Enjoyments to spread?     For the Spirit of Elias to restore all Things. Matt.17.11.    For the Deliverer to come out of Sion, and turn away ungodliness from Jacob? Rom.11.26.    Many or most that have been extricated from formal Deadness, and have followed God in the more interiour Ways of deep Self-denial, have known something of this State.    They have been either tempted by, or fallen into this Mistake of hasty Numbring thro’ their Feeling, Tasting and Perceiving the living Virtues, and sensible Powers of the Eternal World.     And indeed we are all too apt to turn outwards, and look for great things there, when we should live within, and silently attend the internal Progress of the divine Kingdom.    The Apostles were so affected with Christ’s Resurrection, and that most sweet and powerful Converse they had with him after it, that they could but unitedly ask him, Lord wilt thou at this Time restore again the Kingdom to Israel? Acts 1.6.    They were too much looking outward from that great Work, they were to attend upon God in, to prepare them for the Reception of the Holy Ghost.    But not only the more spiritual Travellers, thro’ great Fruitions, have been obnoxious to this hasty Numbring; but whole Churches, and their Guides, in their Study of the Scriptures and it’s mystic Numbers.    Hence have followed the great Mistakes about the year 1666, which too many prefixed for the Destruction of Rome and it’s Hierarchy.     But certainly some of the Scripture Numbers, as to their meaning and historical Application, are so much concealed from the Search of most Enquirers, that it may be justly esteemed Rashness to pretend to unriddle them till the Events interpret them, or the Undertakers are well assured of a super-natural Assistance from him who is called (Dan.8.13.) The wonderful Numberer, or the Numberer of Secrets, as 'tis well rendered in the English Margin:  Even our Saviour Christ, who is styled, Isai.9.6. Wonderful Counselor, whose Check to his Disciples (Acts 1.7.) may justly put a stop to too curious and eager Enquiries of this Nature, who saith 'Tis not for you to know the Times and the Seasons which the Father hath put in his own Power.    To conclude then, our too hasty prefixing Times and Seasons for God’s Signal Works, (which is implied in Hashmonah) will prove according to the other Etymology of the Word, but chaffy Numbring, that is, trifling, worthless, and unprofitable;  a Work fit for the Fire, to be burnt up in the Day of the Lord. 

 

Ver. 30th, They departed from Hashmonah, and encamped at  M O S E R O T H.
The twenty-seventh Journey.

Moseroth signifies, Bonds, Chastisements, Instructions, see Psal.94.12. Prov.29.15.     Here we are taught God’s usual Method of rectifying our Mistakes, when from sensible Consolations, and enjoying the sweet Powers of the World to come, we conclude the Nearness of the great Things which the Prophets have predicted.     For such Mistakes are mostly rectified by Chastisements;  God dispensing Afflictions and measuring our Tribulations internal or external to instruct us against precipitate Conclusions, hasty Numbrings, and fixing Times for God’s great Deeds to the Church.    For by Succession of Afflictions, we shall be taught;  such divine Sensations, and internal Fruitions come for our particular Encouragement to press forwards to the Mark, and for the Support of our Faith against Difficulties;  and also to strengthen our weak Brethren in the Travels of Regeneration, and so to impower us, cheerfully to discharge our whole Duties in those particular Spheres we move in.    Furthermore by Chastisements, God many times convinceth, and so instructs those also, who from their earnest Study of the Scripture Prophecies, and Numbers, have prefixed Times for the Appearance of God’s great Works of Mercy and Judgment:  We might instance in several, but we will only add that having outlived the Times they prefixed, and not seeing that accomplish’d that they expected, there is no Question but they have known what it is, to travel from Hashmonah to Moseroth, from hasty and precipitate Numbring, to the Corrections and Chastisements of Disappointment, Shame and Sorrow; by which they cannot but be instructed to beware, for the future, of rash determining of those Times, or Seasons, which the Father hath put in his own Power. Acts 1.6,7.

 

End of File 1 of 2

Continue to Next File


Back to  : Bromley On-Line Manuscripts


More Documents from the Past
Other On-Line Manuscripts from the Past

Please report typographical errors to the Site Stewards.