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

Thomas Bromley's
"The Journeys of the Children of Israel importing the Great and
Gradual Work of Regeneration"
(continued)
File 2 of 2

 

Ver. 31st, Departing from Moseroth, they pitched in  B E N E - J A A K A N.
The twenty-eighth Journey.

Bene-Jaakan signifies the Children of Jaakan, that is, of Tribulation, or great Affliction:  for so Jaakan signifieth from the Hebrew Root Signifying, to press or squeeze, as a Cart is prest, that is heavy laden, Amos 2.13. See also Psa.55.3.     These Sons of Jaakan descended from Seir the Horite, Gen.36.20, 1Chron.1.38.42.     Which Seir signifies Hairy, a Goat, a Satyr, a Devil, and seems to be of the stock of Canaan, Gen.36.20,21.      Now these Horites for their Impieties had been destroyed, and cast out of their Country, by the Children of Esau, as their Brethren the Canaanites were out of their Possessions by the Israelites, Deut.2.12.    Whose removing from Moseroth, and pitching in Bene-Jaakan (or amongst the Sons of Tribulation, or great Pressure) sheweth the Progress of the spiritual Travellers, from some Degrees of Correction to greater, from some Chastisements to deeper;  as we need for our Conviction, Instruction and Melioration.     God proportioning all this to our Necessities, ordering it for our Improvement, that we may be partakers of his Holiness, Heb.12.10.     For whom the Lord loveth he Chastens, and Scourgeth every Son whom he receives.    Now the severe Corrections implied in this Station, are designed particularly to instruct and arm us, against the Enormities of hasty Numbring.     As 1st, against concluding from our own Sensations, and powerful Perceptions of divine Goodness, that the same Things, and greater are at Hand to whole Churches or Nations.   2dly,  Against publishing our uncertain Conceptions upon the Scripture Numbers and Prophecies, so as to set down the very Year, and exact Time of their Accomplishment; for the Miscarriage in such Computations hath bred, and may still, great Mischiefs.    3dly,   Against too eagerly desiring, and too rashly believing the immediate Approach and coming of the great Things of the divine Kingdom;  I mean without us, as to those mighty Deeds which are to be transacted upon the Stage of this World:  For this may draw us too much outward, and make us neglect the inward Cross, Poverty of Spirit, and continued Self-Annihilation, to prevent which, and other Inconveniences, divine Wisdom is pleased to lead the spiritual Travellers, when there is need, from Hashmonah to Moseroth, from Moseroth to Bene-Jaakan;  even from one Degree of instructing Correction to another:  That so being gradually cleans’d thro’ divine Chastisement, we may be own’d by him, according to that blessed Testimony, Isai.48.10. Behold I have refined thee, but not for Silver, I have chosen thee in the Furnace of Affliction.

 

Ver. 32d, Removing from Bene-Jaakan, they encamped in  H O R - H A G I D G A D.
The twenty-ninth Journey.

The Vulgar Latin, and the 70 read here the Mountain of Gad, as though Hor were wrote with He, whereas the Hebrew and the Chaldee read it, with a Cheth, Chor-Hagidgad, as the Interlineary hath it;  and so it signifieth the Hole or narrow Passage of much Excision or great Cutting off;  for tho’ Chor is commonly rendred an Hole, or Cave, 1Sam.14.11. Yet, it sometimes signifieth a very narrow Hole or Passage. 2Kin.12.9.     And in the Syriack, the Eye of a needle, as Matt.19.24.     Which speaks to us, a further Entrance thro’ the strait Gate into the narrow Way, a true Growth in Mortification, habitual Self-denial, and constant Renunciation of our own Wills:  Which Improvement in the Work of the Cross is the great End of God’s leading us, to encamp in Bene-Jaakan, amidst sharp and straitning Afflictions; that so humbling our selves under God’s mighty Hand, we may advance thence to Hor-hagidgad, a more earnest Labour to enter in the strait Gate, by putting off the Sins of the Flesh, by the Circumcision of Christ, Col.2.11.   Yea, by rejecting and extirpating all known Defilements of Flesh and Spirit, that we may perfect Holiness in the Fear of God, 2Cor.7.1.     And so be at length fitted to get thro’ that most strait Passage of the perfect Death, into the Kingdom.    For no one can see God’s Face and live, Exod.33.22.    Nothing that defiles can enter in, Rev.21.27.    To conclude Hor-Hagiggad, doth also signify, the narrow passage of good Success, which is not opposite to, but included in the former Signification;  for the Excision and Mortifying of sinful Irregularities, is always attended with Happiness and good Success.    'Tis the true, tho’ the strait and narrow Passage, into more Acquaintance with God, greater Victories over Sin, into paradisiacal Refreshments, and the fruitful Irrorations {the act of bedewing, the state of being moistened with dew} of the holy Spirit:  And so Hor-Hagiggad leads us to Jotbathah, which comes next to be considered.

 

Ver. 33d, Leaving Hor-Hagidgad, they pitched in J O T  B A T H A  H.
The thirtieth Journey.

Jotbathah signifies Good, Goodness, and is derived from the Hebrew Jatahh or Tubb, importing therefore Good, both Natural and Moral:  And natural good things being Types of spiritual, it signifieth by a Metaphor, the good, pleasant, and sweet, Blessings of the holy Spirit, bountifully conferred on the inward Man.    Where God promiseth to bring Israel into a good Land, Exod.3.8. the Hebrew Word rendred Good is from the same Root, and indeed the natural Riches, and Convenience of that Country, as Corn, Wine, Oil, Honey, Figs, Mountains, Springs, Woods, temperate Air, pleasant Prospects, &c. were but Figures and lively Representations of spiritual Blessings, and supernatural Consolations, that are reserved for them that love God, and follow him fully, Num.14.24.    According to the preceeding Interpretation, Jotbathah, Deut.10.7. is described to be a Land of Rivers of Water, implying those fresh, strong, abundant Refreshments, with proportionable Fruitfulness, which follow the close Circumcision of Heart, the pressing into the strait Way of deep Self-abnegation.    For the true and vivid Comforts of the holy Spirit come thro’, and rise out of the constant Mortification of our own Wills:  For if we are planted together in the Likeness of his Death, we shall be also in the Likeness of his Resurrection, Rom.6.5.     If in Hor-Hagidgad we seem to die, and wither by straitning the Flesh, and patiently bearing the Nails of the Cross, we shall in Jotbathah, have a Resurrection: Taste and see that the Lord is good, and experimentally find that the Streams of Water in that Land, were but Emblems of that River, the Streams whereof, make glad the City of God, Psal.46.4.     Even of that holy Spirit, which carries divine Joys and supernatural Refreshments thro’ the whole Church, which in its Fruition in the Saints Jotbathah, the Sum of all good things, as our Saviour’s Words import, Matt.7.11. compared with Luke 11.13.    The Enlargements and pure Sensations of which blessed Spirit, whoever thro’ the strait Gate of Mortification come to enjoy, they know the Lord of Jotbathah, and cannot but cry out with the Psalmist, Oh! How great is thy Goodness which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee?    Which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee, before the Sons of Men! Psal.31.19.

 

Ver. 34, Removing from Jotbathah, they encamped in  E B R O N A H.
The thirty-first Journey.

Ebronah signifies Wrath, the Cloud of loud Crying, or of Strong Intercession.    In the Wilderness State, we must not be always in Jotbathah, the flowing of Consolation, we must be content to pass to Ebronah, importing a Dispensation just opposite, even a Sense of Wrath and great Affliction, impelling us to loud and earnest Intercession; when the Lord covereth Sion with a Cloud [Margin Note: Lam.2.1.], and she cryeth out, and poureth forth her Soul in the greatest Contention of Prayer, as she is ver.29. exhorted to do.    In both which Places, the Prophet makes use of those Hebrew Words, whence Ebronah (as signifying the Cloud of high and vehement Intercession) is derived.    So that by it is denoted, the Dispensation of Crying aloud, yea, mightily to the Lord from being overshadowed with a thick Cloud of Judgment:  For Ab and Abim commonly signify, the thick dark Clouds, in the last of which, that little Cloud is so Named [Margin Note: 1Kings.18.44.], that Elijah’s Servant beheld from Carmel rising out of the Sea;  by which, the Heavens (as with a powerful Ferment) were suddenly overspread with black Clouds, Wind and stormy Rain [Margin Note: Verse 44.45.]:  In a word, by this Station are signified such Pressures of Affliction, as force us to cry mightily to the Lord, yea, to lift up our Voices to him that dwelleth in the Heavens for support and deliverance.     And indeed, there are times when the Cloud of Wrath doth so involve and straiten the Soul that it is, as it were, driven to strong vocal Intercession, as the Saints of Old have been.    Thus David Psa.69.3. I am weary of my crying, my Throat is dryed, mine Eyes fail, whilst I wait for my God.     Thus Heman the Ezrahite, To thee have I cryed, O Lord, and in the Morning shall my Prayer prevent thee.    This was also the Process of our Saviour whom David introduceth, saying, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? [Margin Note: Psal. 88.13.]   Why art thou so far from my Salvation, and the Words of my Roaring? [Margin Note: Psal. 22.1.]    Christ’s Human Spirit (which after his loud Vociferation upon the Cross, he commended into his Father’s Hands [Margin Note: Luke. 23.46.]) might be that Aijeleth, Hashahar, or hind of the Morning, which David prefixeth, as the Subject of the preceeding Psalm.    For that Christ was intended and described there, is most apparent by several Passages in it;  who not only upon the Cross (but past question oft before) had made use of that kind of vehement Oral Intercession, as Heb.5.7. implieth;  where 'tis asserted, That in the days of his flesh, he offer’d up Prayers and Intercessions with strong crying, and Tears to him that was able to save him from Death.    Where 'tis expressed as an habitual Thing transacted in the Days of his Flesh, not only in one Day, and one part of the Day upon the Cross.    For the convenient exercise of which manner of Prayer, was part of the Cause, he sometimes retired into the Mountains apart, with but two or three, and continued one whole night in it [Margin Note: Luke 6.12.].    And all this for our Encouragement that we might pray and not faint, Luke 18.1. for tho’ Darkness may endure for a Night, yet Joy will come in the Morning.   

But how comes it to pass, that Ebronah, a dark and severe State of internal Affliction, so soon follows Jotbathah, a State like the good Land flowing with the Milk and Honey of Sensible Consolation?     Answ. 1. God in his Wisdom doth so order it to keep us Humble.    2. To judge, discover and destroy Self-hood, in Spiritual Fruitions.    3. To teach us deep Resignation in the best Enjoyments;  even to possess, or part with them at his Will;   That so at length arriving at true poverty of Spirit, we may be blest indeed and fully enjoy the Kingdom of Heaven, Matt.5.3.

 

Ver. 35th, Removing from Ebronah, they encamped in E Z I O N - G A B E R.
The thirty-second Journey.

Ezion-Gaber, or Ezion-Geber, 1Kings 9.26. was an Haven for Ships on the Shore of the Red-Sea, in the Country of Edom, which Land afterward, was totally subdued by David 2Sam.8.14. and the Israelites;  even as we are to vanquish and keep under the Earthly and Animal Life figured by Edom: that so the Life of Jesus, may be made manifest in our mortal Flesh, 2Cor.4.11.    Now Ezion-Geber signifies, prevailing Counsel, Counsel of Strength, or of the strong Man, strong one or mighty one:  And tho’ Gebar, all one with Geber, be rendred only Man, Psal.18.25. yet in the 2d, of Sam.22.26. a place Parallel, for Geber, is Gibbor, a strong or Mighty one;  which is attributed to Christ, Isa.9.6. being called El-Gibbor, the Strong God;  but Psa.45.3. by the same Epithet set alone, which we render most Mighty.    Ezion-Geber, then Imports Counsel of the Strength, prevailing Counsel, that of the strong Mighty one, even of Christ the Strong God:  The Counsellor, as he is term’d, Isa.9.6. Mighty to save, Chap.63.1. who came to save us from all iniquity, Tit.2.14.     As a mean to which we are to press after Perfection, even to be perfect, as our Father which is in Heaven is perfect, Matt.5.48. which command of labouring after Perfection, seems the chief thing here intended.     To a compliance with which in our Practice, we are so much encouraged and obliged by Christ's Words, Works, Spirit and spotless Example.    And this is the true Counsel of Strength that fortifieth against Sin, and all it's Assaults, representing it possible totally to vanquish it, thro’ Patience and the Blood of the Lamb;  for if we confess our Sins, he is faithful and just, to forgive us our Sins, and to cleanse us from all  Unrigheousness, 1John 1.9.     This is gradually accomplish’d, as we are gradually Impowered, to do all things thro’ Christ that strengtheneth us [Margin Note: Phil. 4.13.];  for he hath laid help upon one that is Mighty, Psal.89.19. even upon Jesus, who is able to save to the uttermost, (or to the supream Perfection, as in the Arabick) all those that come unto God by him, Heb.7.25. and as willing to assist, as able to save all those, who adhere to his Counsel of Strength, or of the strong Man;  that is, of him that is in the second Form of the true Regeneration, I mean such as John calls Young Men [Margin Note: 1John 2.14.], in reference to their Vigour and Steddiness of Sight and Obedience;  concerning whom he saith, I have written unto you, Young Men, because ye are strong and the Word of God abideth in you.    The Counsel to the little Children (in Kadesh-Barnea, that is, in the Holiness of the unstable Child) is not to fear, Num.14.9. but to be strong in the Lord and the Power of his Might, Ephes.6.10. not to continue Children in Understanding of Malice (or all Evil), but in understanding, to be Men, 1Cor.14.20. and so go on to Perfection, Heb.6.1.     This is Ezion-Geber, the Counsel of the strong or mighty one Jesus Christ:  And of the strong Man taught by him, who hath the Word of God abiding in him;  with which, whoever so far complieth as to follow God fully in whatever Dispensation, pressing towards Perfection, such are in the practical Station of Ezion-Geber, who will experience mighty help and strength, (in such a process) added to them by the Arm of the Lord.

And when they learn this Counsel, and a serious compliance with it, from severe Chastisements, from the Clouds of internal Wrath, lying on and sorely affecting them;  and from such Tribulations cry mightily to the Lord:  Then I say, they pass from Ebronah to Ezion-Geber; they improve their Afflictions, and second their Cries and vehement Intercessions with suitable Obedience, and endeavours of Perfection.

But to proceed, it was in this Port of Ezion-Geber, that Solomon built a Navy (after the Conquest of Edom) to fetch Gold from Ophir, 1Kings 9.26.28. with which, the Navy returned once in three years, Chap.10.22.

Now, Solomon represents here Christ in Spirit, Psal.72. who is the Prince of Peace, our Peace, Eph.2.14.    The Navy represents his Church, or some of the chief of them, whom he builds up in Ezion-Geber, in his Counsels of Strength, the Doctrines of and endeavours after Perfection.    For we are God’s building, 1Cor.3.9. compacted for an Habitation of God thro’ the Spirit, Eph.2.22. and this after Edom, the Earthly Life, is mortified and subdued in us.    These signal Persons, the worthies of the Kingdom, venture and forsake all for Heaven;  are built for Christ's Service and the Church’s Glory, even to procure and fetch down the great Blessing of the Spirit, the Love of God itself;  for the Disciples fruition of which, Christ prayed, John 17.26. That the love wherewith thou hast loved me, may be in them, and I in them.    Now Charity being the chiefest Grace, and the Love of God, the highest spiritual Blessing, Gold doth most appositely set forth both of them, especially the last, that essential Love of which chiefly, Christ saith, Rev.3.18. Come buy of me Gold tried in the Fire, that thou may’st be Rich.    The high Dispensation of Love is represented by Gold, Rev.21.21. where 'tis said, the Street of the City was pure Gold, as it were transparent Glass;  for to dwell in this City, is to enjoy the highest Dispensation, and that’s divine Love;  for God is Love, and he that dwelleth in Love, dwelleth in God, and God in him, 1John 4.16.    Now whereas Gold was brought from Ophir, by this Navy but once in three Years, we are by it instructed, that whoever shall be so happy, as to bring or draw down the Love itself, that essential Treasure of the Holy Ghost, must have passed thro’ the three-fold Baptism of Father, Son and Holy Spirit;  which are distinctly mentioned, Mat.28.19. which Christ also hints, (Luke 13.32.) in saying, The third Day I shall be perfected:  which was fulfilled in his receiving the Holy Ghost, in fuller Measures after his Ascension, Acts 2.33. which he shed forth after it’s Reception upon the Disciples, and so brought and conferred on them the most pure Gold of the eternal World, for the Blessing, Honour and Enriching of his Church.

Now the Process is the same for all his Disciples;  there’s but one Way, and that very Narrow to Life Eternal, to real Perfection;  now he that is perfect, shall be as his Master, or every one shall be perfected as his Master, Luke 6.40. as some read it.     There is some likeness, both in Suffering and Glory:  He that overcomes, shall inherit all things [Margin Note: Rev. 21.7.], and so enjoy the Holy Ghost abiding with him, and in him for ever.   But having sail’d to Ophir e’re I was aware, I must for a while forget the Riches of that Country, and remind Ezion-Geber, and poor Israel’s traveling on Foot, from thence to Kadesh.

 

Ver. 36th, Removing then from Ezion-Gaber,
they pitched in the Wilderness of
Zin, which is  K A D E S H.
The thirty-third Journey.

Zin signifies, a Thorn, a sharp Dart, Coldness, a Shield.    This was also called Kadesh, that is Sanctification, Holiness.    The History of this Journey, Numb.20. compared with the Mystery included in it, will fully comprise and justify all these Significations.    As first, the Wilderness of the Thorn, or sharp Prickle or Dart;  this might be a Place of Thorns, these frequently growing in such Deserts.    However it was so in a Metaphorical Sense, as the word Thorn is used, in Numb.33.55. for it was a Place of Cares, sharp Tryals and Temptations.    For here Miriam died and was buried, Numb.20.1. who was the Prophetess, and reckoned by God himself, as one of their chief Leaders, Micah 6.4. I sent before thee Moses, Aaron and Miriam.    2.  They here wanted Water and other Conveniences, there being none for the People nor for their Cattle, Numb.20.2,4. which made them say, ver.5. Why have ye made us to come up out of Egypt into this evil Place (Vulgar and Chaldee, this worst Place) it is no Place of Seed or of Figgs, or Vines, or of Pomegranates, neither is there any Water to drink. [Margin Note: Num. 20.5.]     3.   Here God Threatened that Moses and Aaron, who had so long traveled with, and lead them and their Fathers, should not bring them into the Good Land, which could (at first) but be a sore Tryal to them.    4.   Here they had a sharp and strong Temptation (thro’ Thirst) to Murmur and Rebel, which they partly complied with, for they gathered themselves together (as their Fathers before had done) against Moses, and against Aaron.[Margin Note: Num. 20.2.]     Now the Spirit of Murmuring and Impatience was a Thorn, by Satan injected into their Flesh, that is, into the unmortified part of their Will;  a sharp and fiery Dart of the Devil, shot against them in their Wants, to wound them with Discontent, to weaken their Obedience, and make them grieve the good Spirit of God [Margin Note: See 2Cor.12.7. Ezek..28.14. Ephes.6.16.].     So that in a Metaphorical Sense, this Place might appositely be called the Wilderness of Zin, that is of the Thorn, sharp Prickle or Dart;  the fiery Beams of the Sun, there scorching and tormenting them with Thirst, being outward and lively Figures of those internal fiery Darts, with which, their Minds were wounded and afflicted.

But besides these, Zin signifies, Cold, Coldness, a Shield, and may (as appears by Zinnah, a Word from the same Root, Prov.25.13.) signify refreshing Cold or Coolness, such as Snow, or wholesome Liquors kept in Snow, afford in the time of Harvest.     And in this Sense it might be called, The Wilderness of Cold, refreshing Cold;  by reason of that large stream of cooling Water, which Miraculously gushed out of the Rock, of which the whole Congregation and their Cattle Drank [Margin Note: Num. 20.7-11.]:  Which could not but wonderfully refresh and cool them, besides other ways of Refrigeration, for which they might make use of it;  as Washing in it, Sprinkling with it, &c.     Which leads me to the last Signification of Zin, as it may be render’d, a Shield, or Buckler;  for as this Water by drinking it, sprinkling and washing in it, proved a Shield or Defence against the scorching Beams of the Sun, and their Effects, extream Heat, Faintness and Drowth:  So the Shield of Faith, excited in them, by this miraculous Water, conduced to quench those fiery Darts of the Devil, by which they were then annoyed, even Irresignation, Murmuring and Dispositions to Rebel. 

And some Judge, that in that unusual expression of a Shield, quenching fiery Darts, (Ephes.6.16.) St Paul alludes to the Hebrew, Zinnah, a Shield or Buckler, which cometh from Tzanan, signifying to Cool, as knowing that strong Temptations do oft (through the working of our thoughts) inflame the very Blood and Spirits;  and that the Exercise of Faith doth repel them and their fiery Operations on Soul and Body.    But to proceed, this Wilderness was also called the Wilderness of Zin, that is Kadesh, which was a City and Country on the South Borders of Edom Numb.20.16.     Now Kadesh signifieth, Sanctification, and the Reason is given ver.13. why it so signifieth here, because Israel there strove with the Lord, and he was Sanctified in them;  that is by the miraculous Effusion of Waters, he quenched their Unbelief and Murmuring;  excited in them holy and reverent Sentiments of his great Name and Attributes;  he vindicated his Power, in working so great and sudden a Miracle;  his Mercy, in pardoning their Murmuring, and rebellious Inclinations;  his great Goodness and Bounty, in affording such abundance of Water, when they were in so great Drowth and Necessity;  his Truth in preserving them alive, notwithstanding their Sins and Straits, in order to his Promise of conferring on them the good Land;  his Justice in appearing so severe to Moses and Aaron, as solemnly to profess, they should not bring the People into the promised Land, ver.12., and that only for some sudden Acts of Unbelief and Rashness, meerly occasioned by the Peoples Rebellion; for it went ill with Moses for their sakes, Psal.106.32.    But now as to the spiritual Sense and Improvement of all this, we are taught by it, after our Strengthening in Ezion-Geber, in adhering practically to the Counsel of Perfection; not to wonder at new and deep Trials in the Wilderness of Zin:  For we must be made perfect through Sufferings, as our Saviour was, who (after his new quickening and confirmation, by the descent of the Spirit, as soon as baptized by John) was led into the Wilderness to be tempted of the Devil:  So we after our Vivifications and Encouragements in the former Station, may be brought into great and severe Tryals and Temptations in Zin, such as St. Paul expressed, by a Thorn in the Flesh, 2Cor.12.7. the fiery Darts of the Devil. Eph.6.16 even fierce Incitements to Irresignation, Murmuring, spiritual Rebellion, thro’ the withdrawment of all sensible and intellectual Consolations, all external and internal Refreshments;  as here, they had no Water for them nor their Cattle, Num.20.4.     Now, in such a State, we are most seriously to learn Resignation, to labour after Annihilation of Will, that we may escape Israel’s Sin and rebellious Murmurings, which was written for our Instruction, that we should not Lust and Murmur as they did, 1Cor.10.6. nor think it strange concerning the fiery Tryal, which is to try us [Margin Note: 1Pet. 4.12.], (or concerning that Burning within us, that is befallen us for a Tryal, as in the Greek).    But endeavour Contentation, in as much as we are made partakers of Christ’s Sufferings, which will soon lead us into those spiritual Refreshments (the better part of Zin) figured by the abundant Waters, which there gushed out of the Rock, and so that promise will be fulfilled, I will pour Water upon him that is Thirsty, and Floods upon the dry Ground, I will pour my Spirit upon thy Seed, and my Blessing upon thy Off-spring, Isa.44.3.    This divine River will quench our Thirst, cool those preternatural Heats, that are excited by Satan’s Incursions, and so become a Shield and Protection to us, in raising our Faith in Belief that God is Good, and that his Mercies endure for ever.   Yea, by the interchanges in this Station, we shall be convinced that God is an holy God, and will be sanctified in all that draw near him, not sparing Sin in the best;  as here he did not in Moses and Aaron, whose defect of Sanctifying him thro’ some Unbelief, he openly and severely reproves, Num.20.12.     So that this Station may be fitly called, Kadesh, Holiness;   God doing so much in it, for the sanctifying his great Name, and for the procuring of Reverence towards the great Attributes of his Love and Justice, the last of which, he was pleas’d here to signalize by threatening Dissolution to Moses and Aaron, before Israel’s possessing the Land of Promise.    Which in a Mystery shewed, that the Law makes nothing Perfect:  And that, that Dispensation in the Letter, or Spirit of it, cannot bring us to Rest, or fully save us from our Sins;  which must be done by Joshuah, that is Jesus, the great Minister of Grace and Love, who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all Iniquity, Tit.2.14.

If it be enquired what Difference there is betwixt this Station, and that of Rephidim in their Spiritual Import:  I answer, That in some particulars they much agree, but differ in others.     As  1. The Subjects of that Temptation at Rephidim were not the same;  they were the Fathers of these, and now most of them Dead, as God threatened, Deut.2.14.    Now the Station of these here, (who were in the Fortieth and last Year of their Pilgrimage) implieth the Soul under a different Dispensation, from that in Rephidim, under a further Progress and nearer Perfection:  2. It implieth a somewhat deeper State of Temptation, by depriving of all sensible and intellectual Comfort: for ver.5. 'tis called, This Evil Place, which three Words have in the Hebrew, Three Emphatical Articles, therefore well rendered by the Vulgar, locum istum pessimum, That worst Place, representing the most severe State of Tryal and Probation.

The Truth is, the higher we rise, and the further we proceed, the deeper, and more piercing are our Temptations, being proportion’d to our Strength, and Growth.    3dly. The Subjects of this Station though they murmured in their Tryal, yet they were not wholly so exorbitant under it, as their Fathers at Rephidim;  for Moses said of them Exod.17.4. They be almost ready to stone me, and they themselves so far tempted God (ver.7.) as to ask, is the Lord amongst us or not?     Therefore God called that Place both Massah, and Meribah, that is Temptation and Strife, Exod.17.7.    Whereas this in Numbers 20.13. was only called Meribah, Strife;   all which expressly sheweth the different Strength of the spiritual Travelers to bear their Trials, in journeying towards Perfection.    They in Rephidim the 11th Mansion have not equal Patience and Resignation with those in Zin, that is, Kadesh.    But the Enormities of Israel here, as they were a Reproach to themselves, so a Warning to us, not to tempt Christ, as some of them did. 1Cor.10.9.    But rather to humble ourselves under the mighty Hand of God, to follow the Lamb wheresover he goes, to be more pleas’d with him in the Valley of the Shadow of Death, or the scorching Desert of Zin, than without him in the Plain, or amongst the Palm Trees of Jericho, Deut.34.3.

 

Ver. 37th, Removing from Kadesh they encamped in Mount  H O R,
in the Edge of the Land of
Edom.
The thirty-fourth Journey.

In this Mount Aaron ascended by God’s Command and there died [Margin Note: Num. 33.38.], in the 123d Year of his Age, and in the 40th from their coming out of Egypt;   I say he died, and that upon the first Day of the fifth Month, which was about the Middle of our July, according to some upon the 19th Day;  as Miriam his Sister had expired in the first Month of the same year, at Kadesh, the immediately preceding Station, Num.20.1.    Here it was also that Moses by God’s Appointment stript Aaron of his Priestly Garments just before he died, and invested Eleazar with them, Numb.20.28.     Now, the Death of Aaron signifieth the passing away of the Levitical Priesthood, for the Weakness and Unprofitableness thereof;  as the Investiture of Eleazar, the rising of another Priest, even Christ [Margin Note: Heb. 7.13.], who was not made after the Law of carnal Commandment, but after the Power of an endless Life [Margin Note: Heb. 7.16.].     And that Eleazar was in this a Type of Christ, is confirmed by his Name, which signifies the help of God, or of the strong God:  For of Christ 'tis said, Thou hast laid Help upon me that is mighty, even mighty to save, Isa.63.1.    That Horn of Salvation [Margin Note: Luke 1.69.], who came to save us from our enemies, and from the Hands of all that hate us.     But to come to the inward Work;  Mount Hor signifies, the Mount of Conception, Pregnation, or bringing forth:   Here the great Mystery of Christ in us is represented, even his spiritual Conception in our Hearts, which for that End, must be overshadowed by the holy Spirit, that so Christ may be formed in us;  on which Account St. Paul traveled for the Galatians, Chap.4.19. My little Children of whom I travel in Birth again, until Christ be formed in you.    Now this divine Conception and forming of Christ is truly figured here, by Eleazar’s Appearance and Investiture, with Aaron’s Garments.    For the Death of Aaron represents the expiring or ceasing of the Teaching, Light and Ministry of the Law, or first Dispensation, as to it’s Rule and Supremacy in us:   The rising and cloathing of Eleazar by Moses, represents the Quickening, Strengthening, Authorizing and Adorning the immortal Seed, Christ in us, by the Father’s Influence, Virtue and Power, to become supreme in guiding and feeding the Soul, in dispensing Light, and Life to it:  By which we know Christ to be Emmanuel, the strong God with us, a pure Spring of meek Light, sweet Life, unselfish Love and divine Sensation:  Working in us Humility, Meekness, Patience, Charity, even to love our Enemies, and bless those that curse us.    These are the natural Emanations from his pure Fountain, this living Principle of Gospel, Mercy and Goodness; from which we receive constant Supports, and Help in the time of Need.

But this Dispensation is not fully manifested, nor exerciseth it’s full Power in the Soul, 'til Moses’s Death, or till his delivering up the Government to Joshuah; tho’ in Eleazar it begins to appear and display itself.   But as the Church or spiritual Traveller hath seldom any signal Mercy without some great Trial before, or after it, Heb.10.32.     So upon Eleazar’s rising in the Priesthood, King Arad, or the King of Arad, the Canaanite, came out against Israel, fought with them, and took some of them Prisoners, Num.21.1.     But Israel making a Vow, and praying to the Lord, he delivered the Canaanites into their Hands, and they obtain’d a signal Victory over them.

 Now as to the mystical Sense, King Arad types-out the Devil:  Whether we render it as in the English, for Arad signifies a wild Ass, or after the Syriack a Dragon:  But if we render it King of Arad, as 'tis in the Chaldee Paraphrase, and Josh. 12.14. It amounts to the same thing:   For the Devil is the King of all that are Self-will’d and Obstinate, that remain in their wild unbroken Nature, whether they are Spirits or Men.    He is King of all the Children of Pride, Job.41.34.    The Spirit that worketh in the Children of Disobedience: Who Job.24.5.are compared to the wild Asses of the Desert.    Now, no sooner is Eleazar, God’s Help, Christ in us, risen in any new Degree, or Power, and Light, to guide us, beat down Sin, and afford us fresh Consolations, but Herod is ready to slay this Birth:  The Devil assaults us with new Affliction and Temptation, to raise Unbelief and Despondency of Mind, and to stop that pure Spring of Gospel Virtue and Consolation, that hath been newly opened for our Support.     But crying to the Lord, and vowing to spare none of the Canaanites, nor their Cities (that is no Lusts, Spirit of Temptation, or Works of the Devil) under such Resolution and Intercession, we shall stand in the evil Day, the Devil will flee from us, and the God of all Peace will at length tread Satan under our Feet, and our spiritual Enemies we shall pursue, even to Hormah; utter Destruction, Numb.21. ver. 3.

 

Ver. 41st, And departing from Hor, they Pitched in  Z A L M O N A H.
The thirty-fifth Journey.

Zalmonah signifies an Image, Spiritual or Corporal, also the Place of an Image, or a prepared Image; so called from the Brazen Serpent, or Image, which God in this place commanded Moses to make and erect, Num.21.8.9.     Deriving it’s Name from that very Root Tzelem, an Image which Dan.2.31. is applied to that great one Nebuchadnezzar saw in his Sleep, and to that of Gold, he caused to be made, and erected in the Plain of Dura, Chap.3.1.    The Occasion of making this, was God’s sending fiery Serpents amongst them, for their Murmuring by Reason of the Difficulty of the Way Numb. 21.ver.4. and their want of Bread and Water, ver.5. for which Sin, the Serpents by biting infused their Venom, and so many died.     These Serpents in the Hebrew are named Seraphim, that is Burners, ver.6. and were either fall’n Seraphim (that is lapsed Angels) appearing in the Form of Serpents, or real Serpents of the Wilderness, possessed and acted by these evil Angels, thro’ a Divine dispose:  For of such, God sometimes makes use to punish for Sin and to execute Wrath, as he did in Egypt, when he sent Evil Angels amongst them, Psal.78.49.  

But Israel repenting of their Sin, and begging Moses to intercede for them;  the Lord commanded him to make a fiery Serpent, (that is Saraph, the singular of Seraphim) and set it upon a Pole, (or erect it for a Sign or Ensign) that whoever was Bitten, by looking on it, might live, that is, be heal’d, Num.21.8.     Which Moses performing, the Event was answerable;  for the Wounded, by beholding the Brazen Serpent, were restor’d to Health;  but not by any Virtue in the Image:  For Brass naturally hurts those that are bitten of Serpents;  as Grotius, Paulus Fagius, and others observe:  But by Divine influence and appointment, Sanctifying the most unlike means, the more to illustrate the Power of God, as he afterward did Salt, (which of itself produceth Barrenness) to heal the Spring and make the Barren Soil Fruitful,  2Kings 2.21.    Both of which Symbols in their wonderful Effects, were lively Figures of Christ Crucified:  The true Salt of the Earth, the only Healer and Saviour of his People.    For as Moses, lifted up the Serpent in the Wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting Life, saith our Saviour, John 3.14.15.    Now there were none lived, but they that Repenting, beheld the Brazen Serpent, the Symbol of Mercy:  So none can be saved from their Sins, and the Wrath to come, but they that Humbling themselves, turn from Sin, and believe in Christ Crucified.    The Aspect of Faith draws healing Virtue, Zach.12.10. They shall look upon me whom they have Pierced.    The Serpent of Brass seem’d an unlikely and preposterous Mean to heal a Multitude of Wounded dying Persons:  So Christ Crucified, lifted up in the Gospel, and daily conformed to in his Death;  became, and is still to the Jews, a stumbling Block, and to the Greeks Foolishness, 1Cor.1.23. but to them that are called both Jews and Greeks, Christ the Power of God, and the Wisdom of God;  the Wisdom, to Enlighten; the Power to Sanctifie, Quicken and redeem from Wrath, and so to Heal those Wounds of Sin, and Punishment in Mans Nature, which the great Dragon, that Old Serpent hath made.

But now as to the internal Work, and the more particular Application of this History.    As we Travel in our spiritual Progress from Mount Hor, where Eleazar or Christ in us, begins to appear in the Gospel-Dispensation of essential Grace and Truth:  As we compass the Land of Edom, being not permitted the conveniences of it, that is, the Fruitions of the Earthy Animal Life, for such a Diversion as others make it, being called wholly to attend upon the Fountains of Life within:  We providentially meet with deep Trials, as Israel here did complain, having neither Bread nor Water, Num. 21.5.    All Consolations being for a while suspended, that we may learn to live, by an abstracted Faith, in absolute Resignation, as knowing Christ our helper is near us, yea, in us, who retires to try, not wholly to desert us;   when we may say with St. Paul, We are perplexed, but not altogether without help, cast down but not destroyed [Margin Note: 2Cor.4.8,9.];   because Christ in us, is the Hope of Glory, and the Rock of our Salvation; to whose withdrawment we must Resign and be Patient till he appears; by which, we shall escape both the Sin and Punishment of Israel, in this Place.     The History of which, is left upon Record for our Instruction, that we may not Tempt Christ as some of them did, and were destroyed of Serpents [Margin Note: 1Cor.10.9.];  so that there is no necessity for us to fall into their Irresignation and Murmurings, being gradually able to do all things, thro’ Christ that strengthneth us. Phil.4.13     But if any of us should grow weary of the Cross, and so far comply with the Unmortified part, as to Murmur against the Leadings and Conduct of Divine Wisdom, we must expect severe Chastisements, greater than before, as Sinning against more Grace and Mercy:  Christ the true Eleazar, being risen in a fresh Dispensation of Grace, Love and seasonable help:  Having before been corrected with Whips, we must now expect to be chastised with Scorpions;  to have the Angels of Satan, Fiery flying Serpents let out upon us, to Sting, Vex, and Torment our Souls, with the fiery Darts of Temptation;  or to smite and afflict our Bodies with Acute, Severe and Mortal Diseases.    And this is to be judged of God, by the neglect of judging our selves, 1Cor.11.31. but when we are so Judged, we are Chastned of the Lord, that we might not be condemned with the World, ver.32. but thro’ it, be partakers of his Holiness, Heb.12.10.   For the design of Heaven in such Trials is, that we may repent and utterly renounce our own Wills;   that feeling the Misery which Sin and Self-love bring upon us, we may turn to Jesus, contemplate him whom we have Pierced;  view him by Faith, as the Image of the invisible God, Col.1.15. the Antitype of the Brazen Serpent, in, or according to which we are Created, Gen.1.27. (where the Word Tzelem is used) into which also, by the New-Birth we are renovated and changed, and that from Glory to Glory, 2Cor.3.18. and so we put on the Lord Jesus Christ, Rom.13.14. receive healing Virtue from him, who heals our Back-slidings, and loves us freely, Hosea 14.4. and expresseth that Love, by washing us from our Sins, in his own Blood, Rev.1.5. which he feelingly sprinkleth on the Soul and Conscience, and which by degrees, purgeth them from all Sin, creating true Peace, and Joy in Believing.    So that, as he that had been Bitten by a Serpent, by beholding the Brazen Serpent lived;  so he, who being sensible of his spiritual Wounds, believeth on the Son, hath everlasting Life, and shall not come into Condemnation, but is passed from Death to Life [Margin Note: John 3.36. & John.5.24].    For Christ being come to dwell in the Heart by Faith, becomes there a Fountain of Water bubbling up into Everlasting Life [Margin Note: John. 4.14.]:  An healing Spring extinguishing the Soul’s Thirst, removing it’s Dolours and spiritual Burnings, affording Divine coolings and grateful Refreshments to the whole Man.    This is the true effect of sincere Repentance for Murmuring, and of Contemplating Christ Crucified in constant submission to his gracious Scepter, which we find to be the power of God to Salvation:  A Banner lifted up and displayed against all our internal Enemies;  a prepared shadow (as Zalmonah also imports) into which we retiring by Resignation and true Faith, are happily protected from the scorching Sun-beams, the Fiery Darts of the howling Wilderness.    And so come to witness, that Prophesie of the Messiah truly fulfilled in and to our Souls, A Man shall be an hiding Place from the Wind, and a Covert from the Tempest, as Rivers of Water in a dry Place, as the shadow of a great Rock in a weary land, Isa.32.2.

But to draw towards a conclusion. Why was Christ here represented by a Brazen Serpent? 

Ans, 1st,  To signify, that as this, had not the Form nor the Poison of a Serpent; so Christ came in the likeness of sinful Flesh, Rom.8.3. tho’ really without Sin.

2dly, To express his mean Condition, in the Flesh, who made himself of no Reputation, took upon him the form of a Servant, and so in that State was more fitly resembled by Brass, than by Silver, Gold, or other more rich Substance.

3dly, To Exhibit his great Reproach upon the Cross and unparallel’d Humility, in submitting to the vilest Sufferings of sinful Men, on which Account David, in Figure of him crieth out, Psal.22.6. I am a Worm, and no Man, a Reproach of Men, and despised of the People;   reputed as bad as a Serpent, even a Magician, a worker of Miracles by Union with the Dragon, the old Serpent, the Prince of Devils.

4thly, To represent the great Wisdom and Prudence of our Saviour who in that excelled, and really outwitted the old Serpent, and in his Strife with him truly fulfilled what was prophesied of him, Isa. 52.13. Behold my Servant shall deal prudently;  which he acted to the full, and so was crowned with Victory. Col.2.15.

5thly, He was represented by this Serpent (or Saraph) of Brass, to show his great Strength in resisting Evil, bearing his Father’s Wrath, and not sinking under the Burden, who being as well the Power, as the Wisdom of God might be properly resembled by the Firmess of Brass, as to the First; as He was by the Figure of it, in the last;  especially considering, that as Serpents are made an Emblem of Wisdom [Margin Note: Matt. 10.16.], so is Brass of Strength, by Reason of it’s firm Contexture, Job 6.12. and 40.18.

6thly, To take off the People from too much affecting or superstitiously admiring either the Form, or Matter of it: The Form, being that of an affrightning odious Creature, for so a Serpent is;   the Matter of Brass, which as I before expressed, is noxious to those who are bit by Serpents;  yea, the very Aspect of it, if heated (as it must be in that scorching Desert) as the Hebrew Doctors assert.    By which Properties of this Symbol, naturally opposite to sanative{curative} Operations, the Lord most Wisely provided against the Abuse of this Image by Superstition:  to which the Israelites were much addicted;  as we see by their Worshiping the Golden Calf, their many other Idolatries, and by their burning Incense to this very Serpent. 2 Kings 18.4.

The miraculous Cures of which (wrought in Zalmonah) being heard of, and celebrated in neighbouring Countries might give occasion (if not to the first making) yet to the multiplying and more highly prizing Talismanical Figures in the Oriental Nations, See, 1Sam.6.5.    But Having remained too long in Zalmonah, let us proceed to the next Station.

 

Ver. 42d, Removing from Zalmonah, they pitched at  P U N O N.
The thirty-sixth Journey.

This Place may be called Phunon, Phinon.     In the Greek Phino.    In the Syriack Phinun, or Phinon, as the Latin Version hath it, so the Samaritan, Phinon, or Phinan, as in the Latin Translation.    It seems the same Place with Fenon (called also Phinon, and Phennen) mentioned by Hierom in his Hebrew Places, and in Euseb. History.    Being situate in Idumea, a Place famous for Brass-Mines, whence the Metal for making the Brazen-Serpent might be taken, (as some judge) it being not far from Zalmonah.    And for these two Stations (the Names of which are omitted, Numb.21.) we have there recorded but that one History of the Brazen-Serpent, and it’s miraculous healing the wounded Israelites:   To shew that this Image was erected in Phunon also, for the same End, that is, to assist Israel against the continuing Persecution of these burning Serpents, which is confirmed also by the Name of this place Phunon, or Phinon, which signifieth.   1st. Great Doubting, Amazement, or Distraction of Mind.   2d. The Face of the Sun, or beholding, or looking upon the Sun.    The 1st, of these Interpretations respects the Trouble and Distraction of the Mind, the Amazement and Dispair of Life, many of them might here be under, from the Terror, Biting, and infused Venom of the fiery Serpents.    The 2d, may import their looking towards, and beholding the brazen Serpent for Healing, which was the Figure of the Son of Man;  for as Moses lifted up the Serpent in the Wilderness, so was the Son of Man to be lifted up, &c. John 3.14.15.     Now in the internal Work and Mystery, this Exhibits the renewed On-sets of the great Dragon, the Old Serpent against the fresh discoveries of Christ in us, affording the Healing Balsam of his Love and gracious Virtue.    For always greater Manifestations of Christ in us, are attended with fresh and great Oppositions whilst in the Wilderness, which being now not far from its end, in the Dispensation of the Father, the Dragon assaults us with great Fury, as knowing, he hath but a short time;   God permitting him to Sift us as Wheat, Luke 22.31 raising inwards Tempests so far as to involve us in amazing Doubts, concerning God’s present Dealings, and what will be the issue of them;  when the Soul crieth out, thy Wrath lieth hard on me, and thou hast afflicted me with all thy Waves, Psal.88.7 when we find most strange Fluctuations of our Imagination, Satan impressing upon our animal Spirit unimagin’d Disorder and tumultuous Motions, by which we find him, to be the Prince of the Power of the Air, and also the great Red or Fiery Dragon, (Drakon Purros) against whose Incursions we need such Premonition, as we find given, 1Peter 4.12.    Beloved think it not strange, concerning the fiery Tryal, or as in the Greek, wonder not, be not surprised concerning the burning within you, Illa in vobis Ignitione. Interlin: Importing such powerful and inward Burnings, thro’ the strong and vigorous Oppositions of Satan, that might easily reduce them to great Doubtings and Consternations, were they not forearm’d by seasonable Warnings.

And whoever have passed thro’ these Stations of the inward Wilderness, will sometimes find such strange Internal-burnings and Afflictions, like that of the Stinging of Scorpions, that they will easily apprehend the Mystery of Zalmonah and Punon;  the last of which, as it signifieth Consternation and Despair, (as the future Tense doth, Psal.88.15. rendered by the Greek exaporaethaenai imports), the most severe Tribulations upon Soul or Body, or both, when we are reduced to Despair of Life, as some of Israel, when bitten by the Lethiferous Serpents;  and as St. Paul when he asserts, We were pressed out of Measure, above Strength;  insomuch that we despaired even of Life, where exaporaethaenai is also made use.     So that Punon imports, that most pressing State of Tribulation, that extremity of Affliction in Body and Soul or both, which sometimes, divine Providence brings upon us.    The Design of which, St. Paul expressly sheweth, 2Cor.1.9. We had the Sentence of Death in our selves, that we should not Trust in our selves, but in God who raiseth the Dead.

Which leads me to the 2d Signification of Punon, ver.2. The face of the Son, the looking upon, or beholding of the Son.    To whom we fly, as despairing of any other Alliance, as believing him the Resurrection and the Life, the only true Physician of Soul and Body;  and that there is Salvation in no other Name under Heaven given in Men, en Antropois or amongst them, by which we must be saved.    Whose Name (under the wounds of Temptation) we find to be like Ointment poured forth, Cant.1.3. which makes us love him as the Balm of Gilead, the great Elixir of Souls, the Tree of Life within;  from whom must proceed the Cure and Restoration of Soul and Body.     He being that living Stone, which first rectifies and transmutes the Soul, and after that the Body;  which being fixed in the Heart and turned to by the Will, spreads it’s Virtue into all our Faculties;  being Light to our Understanding, Life and Love to our Wills, Purity and Rectitude to our Affections, Sweetness and Pleasure to our internal Senses, delivering them from the Stings, and violent Impressions of Satan, that fiery flying Serpent, whose Wounds and Bruises, the Mediator will at length quite remove from Soul and Body, for he will transform (metaschoematizei) our vile Body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious Body, according to that inworking (energeia) whereby he is able, even to subdue all things to himself, Phil.3.21.    For he hath promised, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee, Heb.13.5. but will do for us, as he did for Israel, whom he brought out of the Land of Egypt, the House of Bondage, and led them thro’ the great and terrible Wilderness, wherein were fiery Serpents and Scorpions, and Drought, where there was no Water.     And all this that he might humble them, and prove them, and do them good at the latter End, Deut.8.14.15.16. for mark the perfect Man, and behold the upright, for the end of that Man is Peace, Psal.37.37.     But before that day comes he must be content with journeying Israel, to travel from Punon, to Oboth, which comes next to be considered.

 

 Ver. 43d, And departing from Punon, they encamped in  O B O T H.
The thirty-seventh Journey.

Oboth may signify Inchantments, Magicians, those that have familiar Spirits, Levit.19.31. and give Answers from them;  also Spirits of Divination, familiar Spirits themselves, Devils, Deut.18.10,11.; 1Sam.28.7,8.

The Historical Reason of this Name is not here assigned, and they were not yet come to the Plains of Moab, where Balak excited Balaam, that great Sorcerer to curse, and so destroy Israel by diabolical Magick. Numb.22.6,12.    But first this Oboth may signify a State of Temptation, when some of God’s People under Straits, may be solicited by those that pretend to curious Arts, (but really exercise Charms or Sorcery, as a great Critick renders Perierga, Acts 19.19)     I say, solicited by such, to know of them future Events, and hearken to their Predictions, which is utterly unlawful, Levit. 19.31 & 20.6.     This was one of Saul’s great Sins, for which the Lord cut him off, 1Chron.10.13.    Secondly, it may import a State, when the Spirits, evil Genii, or Angels, that are wont to act such Pythonical Deceivers, are permitted to try us by false Representations, and uncertain Voices of things to come, and that either in Sleep or Awake.    Therefore we are not to believe every Spirit, but try the Spirits, whether they are of God, 1John 4.1. and if by such Impressions, Terrours are excited in us, we are to pray against them, labour to slight them, and firmly to adhere to God’s Will, and his Revelations in the Holy Scriptures.    The having of too much Will, Curiosity and Desire to know things to come, may expose them the more to Illusions, from such Spirits which may be implied in Oboth, as representing (by another Derivation) the Hebrew Root, which signifies to Will and Desire.    Therefore, we must endeavour Resignation and Annihilation of Will, as to the Knowledge of all future things, as a mean to be preserved from the Dangers of Oboth.    But if in searching the Scriptures, and waiting in silent Meditation on God, he will discover any thing by his holy and good Spirit, we are to bless him and be thankful, for such things have been and may be;  it being one Office of the blessed Spirit, to show us things that shall be hereafter, John16.13. he shall show you things to come, (taerchomena) things coming. [Margin Note: Rev.1.1.]

Thirdly, this may exhibit a State of the Church or some part of it Tempted by, or actually under a Three-fold Inchantment, from the mediate or immediate Influence of the fallen Spirits, Ephes.6.12.     Which may be 1st, Intellectual, 2d, Moral, 3d, Sensible: 

The 1st, Intellectual or Doctrinal, which is a strong infusion of false Principles or Opinions into the Understanding.    Thus St. Paul asserts, the Galatians to have been Bewitched, Chap.3.1.    Satan had shewed his Artifice in leavening their Minds, with erroneous Principles, concerning the necessity of Circumcision, and observing the Ceremonial Law;  notwithstanding they believed and had received the Spirit, ver.2.    And by Parity of Reason, all those are under some Degree of this Inchantment, who stick in outward Worship and ceremonious Observations;  whether invented by Men, or instituted by God;  I say, who so stick in them, as to neglect any Degree of internal Purity, Holiness, Mortification and universal Obedience.    For as St Paul assures the Galatians, in Christ Jesus neither Circumcision avails any thing, nor Uncircumcision, but a new Creature. Gal.6.15.   To this Head may be referred the Doctrine of Devils, or of Daemons taken objectively, as Mead interprets that of 1Tim.4.1. that is, Doctrines about the Worshiping, and Religious adoration of Angels, which crept early into the visible Church, from the Ethnick Philosophers, which caus’d that Caution of St. Paul, Col.2.8. Beware lest any Man spoil you thro’ Philosophy and vain Deceit:  For it was leading Men from the one Mediator and Intercession in his Name, to a ceremonious Adoration of Spirits and Angels, as the great Transactors of Affairs betwixt God and Men, against which St. Paul gives a weighty Caution, Col.2.18. and tho’ Men were instrumental in propagating these Doctrines of Daemons, in which being deceived, they deceived one another.    Yet, St. Paul sheweth their Origin, 1Tim 4.1. Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter Times, some shall depart from the Faith, giving heed to seducing Spirits, Pneumasi planois &c.    Such Doctrines came from the Spirits of Errour, which much influenced and mingled with their Propagation, as they had Co-operated in their first Production.

The 2d, sort of Inchantment, is that I call Moral, which from infecting the Understanding, strongly influenceth the Will and Affections, and so the Conversation, causing Men to act wickedly under pretence of Knowledge and Religion.    This Fascination began amongst the Churches in the Apostles Days, as you may see in the Epistle of Jude, and in 2Peter 2. parallel to it;  for the horrid Immoralities there mentioned, arose from erroneous Principles, Disseminated by false Teachers or Doctors of Lies, as Pseudo- Didaskaloi may import, which are always strongly influenced by Satan the Father of them.    Now this Satanical Inchantment so far prevail’d, as to cause them to act, 1st. all manner of uncleanness, 2Pet2.10,14.    2d, To indulge Covetousness, 2Pet.2..3.    3d, Hypocrisy, ibid.3.    4th, Injustice, ver.9,155th, Despised Government, ver.10.   6th, Turned Apostates to the whole Christian Life, and all Morality: Yet were presumptuous daring Men, (as Tolmoetai, may be rendered) so far inchanted by the Spirits of Error, as to Sin boldly from Principles, as tho’ it were not Sin to them.     Whence 'tis said, they sported themselves in their own Deceivings, ver.13. spake great swelling Words of Vanity, ver.18. promising to others liberty, tho’ they themselves were the Servants to Corruption.     Which Characters as they exactly agreed to the ancient Ranters, the followers of Simon, Magus and Cerinthus, &c.    So also to the Modern, I mean such as have of late Years, appear’d in these Nations with the like Principles and Practices.    Persons of the like Stamp are also, whom St. Paul describes, tho’ not without Mourning, Phil.3.18.19. as Enemies of the Cross of Christ, whose end (he saith) is Destruction, whose God is their Belly, and whose Glory is in their Shame, who mind Earthly things.    Under this spiritual Fascination, fall all those who having a form (Morphosin or Image) of Godliness deny the Power thereof, 2Tim.3.5. for let them be ever so strict in all the Duties of External Worship, yet if they live in any Moral Iniquity, and are not in the daily Mortification of their Lusts and Passions, they are yet in Oboth, under the Fascinations of Satan, and to them may be truly applied what St. Paul directs to the Galatians; Oh! Foolish Galatians, (or Christians) who hath bewitched you, that thou should not obey the Truth?    Now these Galatians by lapsing into Judaism, whose Ceremonious Observances he calls weak and beggarly Elements, fell also (in some degree) from the pure Internal Worship of God;  the constant Self-denial and Mortification of their Lusts, and the completeness of Obedience, as appears by Gal.4.7. they had lost some part of God’s Image, Christ in them, by adhering to the Form or Image of the Jewish Worship, ver.19.     Which may be a warning to all, when they have begun in the Spirit, not to think to be made perfect by the Flesh, Gal.3.3 for all that do so, and act like these Galatians, will find they move Retrograde, decay in their internal Work, and will begin to lose the fresh Sense of Divine Communion, and their pure Zeal for universal Obedience;  and in the place of these, it may beget a mistaken Zeal for their particular Form, and against others that own it not;  with a great esteem for some private Opinions, and a Spirit contending and disputing for them.    But what is this Chaff to the Wheat they loose?    For the end of the Commandment is Love, out of a pure Heart and a good Conscience, and Faith unfeigned, 1Tim.1.5. from which some having swerv’d, have been turned aside, exetrapaesan to vain Jangling:  And so have declined into Oboth, the State of Moral Inchantments.

But now as to 3d, Species which I call’d Sensible, it is that which is exercised upon the outward or inward Senses, by the fallen Spirits;  a Dispensation not observed by many, and 'tis probable, not certainly known, but to very few.    But the most inward Travellers, who are constantly working thro’ the interiour Wilderness of their own Mixtures, into the Love and Heart of God, cannot but come at length to Perception of the invisible Worlds, and so of those Spirits, which are always opposing the Kingdom of God in us.     For we wrestle against Principalities and Powers, the Rulers of the Darkness of this World, Eph.6.12.   One Species, of whose Opposition, is by sometimes afflicting our external and internal Senses;  our External, by sulphureous smells, sudden Sopors, in our most signal times of Devotion, acute Pains, fierce Burnings, and horrid Tremblings, which by diligent Reflection may be easily distinguish’d from merely natural Distempers.    As 1st, By their Instantaneous coming.   2d, The manner of their affecting us.  3d, By the time, even when we are in very good Health.    4th, By the Impressions they make on the Soul thro’ Imagination.  5th, By their sudden Cessation, &c.    And tho’ this may be esteemed a Mistake, assigning that for the Cause which is not so, by many that know it not;  yet there are some, that are as much assured of the reality of such things, by long and exact Observation;  as that they eat, or drink, or exercise any other corporeal Action.    Lastly, as to our internal Senses, they have diverse Ways of affecting and afflicting us thro’ them:  One is by casting sudden Sopors upon our Bodies;  and then representing fearful Shapes, scenes and noises in the Soul, by inward touches upon the animal Spirits, or more immediately on the Imagination.    But these things being so little known, I shall restrain my self from further describing them;  only reflect upon that of Job, Chap 7.13,14. when I say my Bed shall comfort me, my Couch shall ease me, then thou scarest me with Dreams, and terrifiest me thro’ Visions:  We must not think God did this immediately or thro’ the holy Angels;  for their Office is to be Helpers, not the Tormentors of Men, Heb.1.14.    But as God made use of Satan to smite Job with Boils, which yet, with their Effects are ascribed to the Almighty, as his Arrows, Job 6.4. so he may also of him and his Angels, to excite and represent terrible Dreams and Visions, which as 'tis easy to be apprehended, so 'tis most firmly believed of some, who have lain many Nights in the same Condition;  and in such Cases frequent Experience is the best Interpreter.

But we have remain’d too long in this Station, and shall conclude it with that divine Maxim, which Balaam found experimentally true.    There is no Divination against Jacob, nor any Inchantment against Israel [Margin Note: Numb.23.23.];   neither Satan nor his Angels, nor greatest Ministers, can Act the least in such things, beyond Divine Commission, nor a jot more than shall be for the good of all those that love our Lord Jesus in Sincerityfor we know (saith the blessed Apostle) that all things shall work together for good to them that love God, Rom.8.28.

 

Ver. 44th, And they departed from Oboth, and pitched in  I J E - A B A R I M.
The thirty-eighth Journey.

Why this Place was so called in the topographical, or historical Sense, is not easy to be determined, as may appear by the difference of Versions and Interpreters upon it, which are in as much confusion about it, as the Name itself imports:  But the determining of that not being my Work, I shall proceed in the instructive spiritual Sense.

Ije-Abarim, then being a Place in the Border of Moab, as 'tis expressed in this 44th ver. signifieth, the Heaps or confused Heaps of the Passages or Passengers; the Confusions or Desolations of the Fords or Passages.    By which in general, is adumbrated a State of Confusion of Mind, of doubting and of uncertainty of the spiritual Travellers, when they do not see their Way, thro’ the Suspension of divine Light, thro’ fresh and great Trials and Temptations:  Being in such a condition as Passengers in a Desert, when they come to Heaps, or a confused variety of Ways or Paths crossing each other, and know not which to take;  or to a River that hath many Fords, some safe, but most of them spoil’d and desolated, and therefore dangerous;   where many Guides offering themselves contradict each other; some crying this is safe, another that.    I say, Ije-Abarim imports such a Dispensation of Doubting and Confusion in the holy Passengers.    Which may rise 1st, from some external difficulty, some providential strait we are brought into, by the disposal of the Heavens;  so that our Reason is too short to direct what to do, being in a Condition like that of Jacob, Gen.32. when he heard Esau was coming to meet him with 400 Men, whence he became greatly amazed and distressed, ver.6. as not knowing what to do to secure Himself, Family and Cattle, from the Sword of his Brother.    Or if I may compare small things with great, like the State of Israel at the Red-Sea;  for to such straits (in reference to any succour from the best of our contrivances) God is pleased sometimes to reduce us, that with Abraham, we may learn to believe in Hope, against Hope; and with St. Paul, not to trust in our selves, but in God which raiseth the dead, 2Cor.1.9.

2dly, Such a State of internal Confusion and Doubting, may spring from the variety of Judgments in Religion, and the great Zeal of leading Persons in such Judgments, who cry lo here, and lo there, earnestly inviting to come in to them; disputing with Vehemency for an imbodying amongst their Party, as the only safe way to Salvation.    When as we shall oft find this Zeal rises from the same Root, that caused the Scribes and Pharisees to compass Sea and Land to make a Proselite, which being done, prov’d not to their Melioration, but Corruption, Mat.23.15.     The true Zeal exerts itself, in labouring to draw one another from Darkness to Light, from the Power of Satan unto God:  To a total Mortification of our Lusts and Passions, and a cleansing ourselves from all the Pollutions of the Flesh and Spirit, 2Cor.7.1.    But the Jewish Zeal (which yet is called a Zeal of God, tho’ not according to Knowledge [Margin Note: Rom.10.2.]) is not much concerned about internal Purity, growth in Grace and walking with God, in labouring after Perfection:  But hath for it’s object external Worship, exactness in that, and a concern for some Opinions, which as they are managed by a blind Zeal, minister Strife and Confusion, rather than true Edification.   But God may permit some of his Children, especially the little Ones, that are not yet arrived at a fixed Habit of divine Teaching;  I say, he may permit them for a while to lie under Doubts or Confusion, and Distraction of Thoughts, from the different Opinions of the zealously jarring Guides in Spiritual Concerns.     But in such a State, the Way is 1st, to stand still, and to supplicate the divine Majesty for the holy Spirit, being under a promise to be all taught of God, John 6.45.    2dly, to live in the Exercise of universal Charity to all Saints, and not to embody with any narrow Sect of Christians, that judge all but themselves [Margin Note: Rom.14.4. & Colos.1.4.].    3dly, to cleave to Christ Crucified, in the constant Imitation of his Death;  as the one, and sole way (under various and different Judgments) which leads to Life, Luke 9.23.   By perseverance in which we cannot miss of Salvation [Margin Note: Rom.6.5.].   And as in this Process we grow in Grace, we shall grow in Knowledge, and divine Illumination:  For the pure in heart shall see God, and so at length, be quite freed from this part of Ije-Abarim, which consists in Confusion of Thoughts, and fluctuating of the Judgment, thro’ the various and different Paths of Religion, which Christians embrace and walk in.

But to proceed, a third Species of Doubting, and uncertainty may for a while invade us, from the immediate Operations of those Spirits within, that cause others outwardly to cry, lo! here, lo! there.     For they can imitate divine Voices, and Visions to reduce the Soul into Doubts, and Perplexity;  and this is when Satan (as St. Paul asserts) transforms himself into an Angel of Light, 2Cor.11.14.     Hence have proceeded false Apostles, ver.13. and false Prophets, 1John 4.1.    And the Antichristian Spirit, ver.3. which seems to be for Christ, but is really against him;  being Christ’s Ape imitating him, and his Ways; but without Holiness, true Life, or Power.

This was well represented in Caiaphas the High-Priest, whose name in Syriack comes from the same Root with Koph, an Ape, and may be properly enough so rendered.    Who (tho’ by his Place representing the true High-Priest, whom he also imitated in Prophecy, John 11.51.) was yet a real Enemy to him, and his Spirit whom he rejected, and condemned, and so mortally crucified.    In which as he was a lively Instance of the Spirit of the Antichrist;  so a manifest Type of that Person, High-Priest, or Priesthood in the World, in which that Spirit is most signally imbodied, which teacheth Men to resemble Christ, and divine Things in fine Pictures, Images, and gay Ceremonies;  but to deny his true Image, Life, and Spirit, appearing in any that bear their Testimony against the lapsed State of their Church, and cannot bow to that golden Image which they have set up.

But to conclude, when any of us, who have the Gift of spiritual Sensation (Prov.20.12.) are assaulted by him who hath wrought the great Apostacy of the Church, and drawn many Stars from Heaven;   I say, when any are so invaded and brought into Doubts and Confusions, by Visions or Voices, that are not divine, but only appear so;  what is then to be done?     Answ. 1st, We are to pray earnestly as St. Paul did, 2Cor.12.8, that such Temptations may be removed.   2dly, That we may discern betwixt Good and Evil, by the Exercise of spiritual Sensation, and be guided by no Spirit, but that of the Mediator.    3dly, We must resolve to reject all Representations and Impressions, that lead us not to Christ Crucified, or in any thing that contradict the Scriptures.    4thly, We must abide in deep Humility, and Self-Abhorrency, that no Inflation of Mind, or buddings of spiritual Pride, may dispose us to close with Illusions.    5thly, We must constantly labour after Annihilation of Will, Poverty of Spirit, and pure unselfish Love, indulging no internal Sight, Voices or Impressions, contrary to these.     6thly, We must humbly commit our selves to the free Grace of God in Christ, which is far above all our Labour, Caution and Watchfulness, as knowing that, except the Lord keep the City, the Watchman watcheth but in vain, Psal.127.1.     7thly, We thus waiting shall find, that such Temptations as they came of themselves, we not knowing how, will in the like manner vanish;  it may be on a sudden, we not comprehending why.    8thly, Thro’ perseverance under the Cross, and gradual Purification, our Intellects and spiritual Senses, will grow so pure and perceptive, that we shall clearly discern the most subtil mixtures of Satan, in all Representations and Infusions, Heb.5.14.     By which the Truth of that Maxim, Prov.4.18. will be experimentally confirmed;  the Path of the Just is like the shining Light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect Day.    In order to Arrival, at which blessed State let us make haste from Ije-Abarim (the Confusions or Desolations of Passages) where all are too long Entangled;  to the next Station which presents us with more Light, Comfort and military Skill, against our spiritual Enemies.

 

Ver. 45th, Removing from Ije-Abarim, they pitched in  D I B O N - G A D.
The thirty-ninth Journey.

Dibon-Gad was so called as to the historical Sense, from the Tribe of Gad’s possessing and repairing Dibon, after their conquest of Sihon and Og, Kings of the Amorites, Numb.32.33. which Dibon had been a City and a high Place [Margin Note: Isa.15.2.] belonging to Moab, Jer.48.18.    As to the mystical Sense that displays itself, in the interpretation of Dibon Gad, which signifies, the sufficient understanding of Excision or Cutting off;  the sufficient understanding of an Army, Arming, or of Military Invasion.    Gad was a warlike, valiant Tribe [Margin Note: Gen.30.11; 49.19.];  one of those, which by their own offer and divine Approbation, did march armed before the other Tribes into Canaan, Numb.32. and 'tis generally confessed, that in the very Name, there is something of War and Arming implied.    Now Dibon imports, sufficient Knowledge  or Understanding; Dibon-Gad, sufficient Knowledge of Excision and Arming:  A fit Station to follow Ijim, as 'tis called in this 45th Verse, for Ijim implies great Doubt, Confusion and Fluctuation of Thoughts, thro’ external or internal Trials and Temptations.    But this, a sufficient understanding of our Way and Work, in our War against Sin, and resisting all the Invasions of Satan, as not being ignorant of his Devices, 2Cor.2.11.     When by the Day dawning in our Souls, we more discern and confidently proceed in the Excision and Mortifying of Sin and Self;  when in Faith, Knowledge, and Holy Boldness, we put on the whole Armour of God, that we may be able to stand against the Wiles of the Devil Eph.6.11;  his more subtile (Methodyas) Methods of Deceit;  which he hath learnt by his long Practice upon, and against lapsed Mankind.    In this Dispensation we find, that promise made good to us. When the Spirit of Truth is come, he shall guide you into all Truth, John 16.13.    For Christ the Light of the World rising in our Souls, in fresh degrees of Illumination, doth by his Spirit discover the more sly Infusions, and subtile Transformations of the Evil one;  which tho’ before, might stagger and reduce us to some Confusion of Mind whilst in Ije-Abarim;  yet in this Station, we evidently discern and reject them.    For God is Faithful, who will not suffer us to be tempted, above what we are able to bear; but will with the Temptation make a way to escape, 1Cor.10.13.    For as our Temptations rise higher and grow more refined, and deeply disguised;  so after some time of Trial, will the Spirit of Christ exert itself, in proportionable Vigour, to discover and repel them.

By which it appears, that the holy War and Excision, that we here come to sufficient Knowledge of, is not against Men, to destroy them;  but against Sin and all Transgression, against all the Defilements of Flesh and Spirit, against Principalities and Powers, and the Rulers of the Darkness of this World, against spiritual Wickedness in high Places;  or as it may be rendered, against the Spiritualities of Wickedness in Heavenly Things, Eph.6.12.     Even against the several Orders of the fallen Angels, that influence and govern the Dark Actions and Irregularities of this lower fallen World;  with all Religions and spiritual Concerns of Men, to corrupt them, and retain their Souls under (at least) some Degrees of Self and Sin;  against which, we fight not with carnal, but spiritual Weapons, 2Cor.10.4. not with Guns and Swords, not with Wrath and Envy, Subtility and Lying, Injustice, Treasons or Persecutions; but with Truth and Righteousness, Peace and Meekness, Faith and Love, Hope and incessant Prayer, with the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.    Now these Arms are mighty, thro’, or to God, (to Theo) thro’ his Concurrence or in his Esteem, to the pulling down of strong Holds erected in us, or others, by Satan’s Policy, by which, we cast down Imaginations (or Reasonings) and subject every high Thought to the Obedience of Christ, 2Cor.10.4,5.     That is by these divine Weapons, we vanquish the Devil in our selves and others; discern his Mixtures with the Soul’s Operations, have Power from God to repel and eject them and him;  and so to defend our Thoughts and Ratiocinations from his Infection, and subject them by degrees to Christ, whom God hath made the Heir of all Things, Heb.1.2. and who being the Brightness of his Glory, the true Light of Life, will not permit us always to abide in Ije-Abarim, under the dark and shady Mixtures of Doubts, and intellectual Confusion;  but will in due time lead us into Dibon-Gad, the break of Day:  The sufficient Understanding of our way, work and spiritual Warfare;  and so fulfil that blessed Promise, John 14.21. He that hath my Commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me, and he that loveth me, shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself unto him.

 

Ver. 46th, They removed from Dibon-Gad,
and encamped in
A L M O N - D I B L A T H A I M.
The Fortieth Journey.

Why Almon-Diblathaim, was so called historically is not certain.    It might be from the Plenty of Figs, growing and stored up thereabouts, Diblathaim signifying Carucas, Palathas, Masses, Cakes, or Lumps of Figs, 1Sam.25.18.    It might be the same Place with that mentioned Jerem.48.22. called Beth-Diblathaim, which belonged to Moab, and may be rendered the House of Lumps of dried Figs, or Lumps of Figs.   And for that He, which is added to the end of this Word in the Text (not found in Jerem.48.22.) nor taken notice of in the English Version, tho’ 'tis in the Interlineary and Chaldee, it may import the same that the letter He did, added to the Names of Abram and Sarai, Gen.17, 5.15.    Even a Multitude, importing the abundance of Figs in this Place, as they were a Type of abundant hidden spiritual Consolations.    Almon-Diblathaim then signifying the hidden, or lying hid of Masses of Figs, or abundance of Figs, literally imports Store-houses or great abundance of them in that Place, thence called Beth-Diblathaim, the House of Fig-Cakes.     But implieth spiritually a State of divine Consolations, abounding in Refreshments and those hidden Joys of the Kingdom, that the World knoweth not, no more than it doth Christ the exciting Object of them;  who saith of himself, the World seeth me no more, but ye see me, John 14.19.   Now that these Cakes of Figs were designed here to shadow forth and express internal Refreshments, spiritual good things for the inward Man, that hidden Man of the Heart, appeareth.    1. In that some Part of the Inducements, used to animate Israel, to Perseverance, 'till they possest Canaan, was taken from it’s Description as a Land of Fig-Trees, Deut.8.8.     2dly, Because Figs are an wholesome and pleasant Fruit, and were much affected by the Israelites; as you may see by their Murmuring, Numb.20.5.     When they cryed this is no Place of Seed, or of Figs, or of Vines.    3dly, Cakes of Figs were Part of their Entertainment, at great and signal Feasts. 1Chron.12, 39.40.    With 200 of these Abigail met David in the Wilderness, to express her Respect, and afford Refreshment to him and his Men.    4thly, They have a digestive Quality in them, to ripen and break Impostumations {abscesses}, and so give ease and Relaxation of Pain.    For this end was a Lump of Figs applied to Hezekiah’s Boyl by Directions of Isaiah, 2Kings 20.7; Isa.38.21.     Tho’ the Success is not to be wholly attributed to the natural Virtue of the Figs, but also to extraordinary divine Concurence, see 2Kings 20.5.     Now by these Instances 'tis manifest, that spiritual Mercies, divine Refreshments were aptly resembled by the Cakes of Figs in this Place, which are more sweet to the Soul, than these to the Body;  more wholesome to the Spirit, than they to the Stomach;  more conducing in time of Sorrow, Anguish and Temptation, to heal the Mind than a lump of Figs are to help the Flesh, labouring under malignant Tumours.     Besides divine Consolation, and spiritual Vegetation are expressly set forth by the Fig-Tree putting forth her Fruit, Cant.2.13.     And the great State of Gospel Peace and Tranquility, is described by every ones sitting under his Vine, and under his Fig-Tree, where none shall make them afraid, Mic.4.4.    Where besides the Literal Sense, Christ in each Soul affording true Joy, Peace and divine Protection thro’ the Spirit, is set forth by every ones Vine and Fig-Tree;  for he is the Tree of Life, that groweth in the midst of the Garden, in the Centre of our Hearts, and there becomes the Hope of Glory. Col.1.27.    For he that hath the Son, hath Life [Margin Note: 1John 5.12.]; which Life he feeds upon by pure Faith and Love.     And so Christ becomes to him, and in him, the living Bread that comes down from Heaven, John.6.50. the true hidden Manna given (to NikŰnti) to him that is overcoming, Rev.2.17.

The deep Consolations of which, are implied in Almon-Diblathaim, the hidden place of Figs: For our Life is hid with Christ in God, Col.3.3.    The world knows not our interiour Subsistence, as we stand in Christ, nor those living Powers, Joys and Refreshments of his Kingdom, which are our Solace and true Repast.    Much of which we are forced to conceal, lest we should cast Pearls before Swine, and occasion a sinful Contempt of the ineffable Joys of the divine Life:  Which holy Secrecy in some things, and at some times, is necessary for the Improvement of God’s Kingdom in us, and the better spreading of it in others.    Which is implied in Almon-Diblathaim, as signifying actively, The Hiding of Fig-Cakes, that is our most rich supersensual Blessings, and sweetest Comforts resembled by them, For the Kingdom of Heaven is like to a Treasure hid in the Field, the which, when a Man hath found he hideth, and for Joy thereof, goeth and selleth all he hath and buyeth that Field, Mat.13.44.     To conclude, there are in brief these three things comprehended in this Station, 1. A large Fruition of the hidden Treasures, and Joys of the Kingdom.    2. A prudent Concealment of the deepest of them, as to Times and Persons;  both to prevent Sin in others, as also to enjoy a more uninterrupted Progress of God’s Work in our selves.   3. A genuine Fitness in this Station, as to the matter included, immediately to follow Dibon-Gad, the sufficient understanding of our spiritual War:  Because such Knowledge delivering us from internal Doubts, Fears, and Confusions, fits us for great Joy, and Peace in Believing.    For as the Light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the Eyes to behold it, Eccles.11.7.    So from the Intellectual Rays of divine Light, to see our Way, understand our Work, and discern the Stratagems of our spiritual Enemies, cannot but be unutterably Pleasant, and lead us into the conceal’d Entertainments of superlative Consolation.

 

Ver. 47th, And hence removing, they pitched
in the 
M O U N T A I N S  of A B A R I M, before Nebo.
The forty-first Journey.

These Mountains of Abarim were a Continuation of Hills in the Confines of Moab and the Amorites;   the highest Part of which right against Jericho, was Mount Nebo, before which Israel now encamped, and from the Top of which afterwards, Moses beheld the Land of Canaan, and after this pleasing sight, there expired, Deut.32.49.50.    Now Abarim signifieth Passages, Passing over, Passing away:  Some judge these Mountains were so called from the Fords, or Passages of Jordan, that were near them.    But in the Mystery they import, 1. A raised Dispensation, an Ascent of our Souls into the Spirit, to contemplate the Death of Moses, even the end and passing away of the first Covenant, in it’s inferiour Dominion and Ministration:  As here Israel beheld Mount Nebo, before which they pitched and upon which shortly after Moses died.    For the Law maketh nothing perfect, but is the Introduction of a better Hope, even of Christ, Heb.7.19.    To which the Law leadeth, as Moses did Israel to Joshua.    2dly, They pitching on these Mountains implies a Preparation of the spiritual Israelites for this Change, for wholly passing from under Moses, and the legal Dispensation.     The Rule of the Law of Fire, AEsh-dath, within, to that of Christ’s, which is all Grace, Truth, Life, Power and Goodness, signified in the rising of Joshua, that is, God’s Salvation as that Name imports:  for the Law was given by Moses, but Grace and Truth came by Jesus Christ, John 1.17.    3dly, This Station implies our preparing to pass from Letter and Prophecy (for Nebo signifies Prophecy) into Spirit and Power, into Christ as he is the Power of God, a quickning Spirit, living substantially, the Lord from Heaven, coming to fulfil in us, the Righteousness of the Law, being made to us, and in us, the Substance of all Shadows, the Accomplisher of all Prophecies;  in whom all the Promises of God are Yea, and Amen, 2Cor.1.20.     In a Word Moses expiring, and Joshua becoming supreame in the very next Station;  this of Abarim represents our serious Preparation to pass from under the internal Rule, Life, Power, Influence and Supremacy of the first Covenant, or Law from Mount Sinai, into the Ruling Grace, Sensation and Dominion of the second Covenant or that of Sion, wrote in the Heart, in virtuous Characters of Love and Sweetness called the New-Covenant, Jer.31.31.     In opposition to the first, of which 'tis said, He hath made the first old: Now that which decayeth and waxeth old, is ready to vanish away. Heb.8.13.

 

Ver. 48th, Departing from the Mountains of Abarim,
they pitched in the
P L A I N S of  M O A B,  by Jordan, near Jericho.
The forty-second Journey, or last Station.

The last Station of Israel here enumerated, is fix’d in the Plains of Moab.    They descended to it from the Mountains of Abarim, intimating further Humiliation in bearing the Cross, and submitting to Chastisements.    Moab signifies of the Father.    The Plains of Moab are the Plains of the Father, importing, that the spiritual Travellers are yet in the Father’s Work, not wholly out of that Dispensation, whilst under Moses or the Prophetick Light of the Law, yet leading to the Son.    By the Father’s Dispensation, I mean the first in the Order of Regeneration, exprest John 6.44.    No Man can come to me, except the Father that hath sent me draw him.     As Israel was yet under Moses, whose Name Moshe signifies Drawing, or a Drawer, who had drawn the People out of Egypt, was now preparing them to submit to Joshua, as their chief Leader:  So all this was done in a Type, representing the Light of the Father, in the first Dispensation, drawing us to the Son, figured by Joshua.    To submit to him in all things, and receive his Spirit, wholly to inhabit and govern us;  that so we might not live, but Christ in us, in the pure Ministration of Grace, Love and evangelical Power.    This we prepare for in Abarim, but are not yet fully arrived at it in the Plains of Moab, or of the Father, whose preceding Dispensations, and it’s order is more clearly exprest, Mat.28.19. Go ye therefore, teach all Nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; or into the Name of the Father, &c.     As 'tis in the Greek, and so rendered by the Interlineary, Hammond and Beza.    This Preliminary Dispensation of the Father, as it was signified by Baptizing into his Name;  so was it also represented by Israel’s following Moses thro’ the Red Sea, 1Cor.10.2.     Where 'tis said, they were all Baptized unto (or into) Moses, in the Cloud, and in the Sea: Moses here represents the Father’s Dispensation;  the Protections under which, were figured by the Cloud, as the Sufferings and Tribulations by the Sea, and their being Baptized in it.     Moreover, as Baptizing into the Name of the Son, exhibits his Ministration, even our following the Lamb thro’ Death and Life, in total Submission;   so also doth Joshua’s rising and conducting the People thro’ Jordan, import the same thing;  even the Son’s Ministration, our Submission to it, and immersion into his Sufferings and Death.

As for Baptizing into the Name of the Holy Ghost, as signifying the last Dispensation, that of Love, and as distinct from the other two;  I shall here no further describe it, but only say with St. Paul, the end of the Commandment is Love out of a pure Heart, and of a good Conscience, and of Faith unfeigned, 1Tim.1.5. and with St John, that God is Love, and that he who dwelleth in Love, dwelleth in God, and God in him, 1John 4.6.    In a Word, this threefold Baptism of Father, Son and Spirit; or the Work of the Trinity gradually manifested in us, we must all pass thro’ e’re we can be completed in Love, and Witness God all in all, 1John 4.18. 1Cor.15.28.

 

But to proceed, they pitched by Jordan near Jericho,
or as in the Hebrew, by Jordan of Jericho.

This River of Jordan comprehends in it a Notion of Judgment, or Affliction: Jordan or Jorden, signifying, The Projection, or sending forth of Judgment;  also descending, Humiliation, being humbled, which are the Effects of the former.     Likewise the swelling of Jordan, mentioned, Jer.12.5. seems to import Wrath, Difficulties and sudden Troubles;  for 'tis in the Septuagint, How wilt thou do in the noise or roaring of Jordan?     Where there is a manifest Allusion to the great Floods made by that River;  which Floods in the prophetick Stile, are generally Emblems of Judgments, Isa.43.2.     Now Israel pitching by Jordan, which they were afterwards to pass, was to mind them of Afflictions and Difficulties, that they might be Humble, fear God, and abstain from Transgressions:  As in the Mystery, it represents to us;  the great use of Contemplating and preparing for the Baptism of Sufferings, into and thro’ which Christ leads us, as Joshua did Israel thro’ Jordan.     For we must know, that as many of us, as were Baptized into Christ, were Baptized into his Death:  We must therefore deny our selves, bear our Crosses, follow him.    And as Jordan imports, both Judgment and Humiliation, so we thro’ Difficulties, and reflecting on them, must learn to humble our selves, break our Wills, live in Poverty of Spirit, and so improve all Chastisements.

'Tis further said, they encamped by Jordan of Jericho;  which was a City of the Canaanites, by whose Land, and not very far from the City, this River flowed, and from thence might receive that Appellation.    Now Jordan importing, the Emission or sending forth of Judgment, and Jericho being a wicked City devoted to Destruction, may (in the Mystery) exhibit the nearness and readiness of God’s Judgments to punish Sin, whenever he esteems it meet to let them loose;  also, how naturally Judgments and Inundations of Wrath attend Iniquity, and the Places where it is acted:  Which in a Figure was well exprest by this Rivers Annual over flowing at the time of Harvest, Josh.3.15. for at such times of security, God’s signal Judgments fall upon sinful Nations: When they shall say, Peace and Safety, then sudden Destruction cometh upon them, as Travel upon a Woman with Child, 1Thes.5.3.     Besides the time of Harvest represents the End of the World, as Christ asserts, Matt.13.39   . But these Canaanites being asleep in Sin, 'tis very likely, made no such Hieroglyphicks of external Seasons or Inundations;  but were fitting for Destruction.

But Moses proceeds to a more particular Description of this last Station, in expressing the Bounds of it.     They encamped by Jordan from BETH JESIMOTH, even unto Abel-Shittim, in the Plains of Moab.    Beth-Jesimoth was a Place or City in the Champian Parts of Moab, allotted to the Reubenites by Moses, Joshua 13.20.  it signifieth, The House of Desolations, or, The House of Nominations, or of Names1st,  The House of Desolations, as it is related to the Moabites who were an Idolatrous lascivious Nation, and brought Desolation upon Israel in this Station, by seducing them to their Iniquities, Numb.25.    For Sin by a fatal kind of Attraction, draws all that comply with it, into a State of Desolation;  which made our Saviour say to those, who thro’ the Power of it rejected him, and so lost the Day of their Visitation; Behold your House is left unto you Desolate, Matt.23.38.     In the Mystery this imports, that in the Plains of Moab, that is, under the Dispensation of the Father, Desolations for Sin are near us, Scourges for Transgression and Temptations to it, do beset us;  and therefore, that we should double our watch, and he that thinks he stands, take heed lest he fall, 1Cor.10.12.     2dly,  It Imports, The House of Names, or Namings, and so exhibits a part of Israel’s Lot, the inheritance of the Reubenites, Joshua 13.15-23. The Sons of Vision and Contemplation;  who in the Hebrew Scripture Names, find divine Teachings and fruitful Instructions;   so that several Parts of the Law and Prophets, which before seem’d like a barren Wilderness, or House of Desolation, a company of hard dry Names;  when considered in the Light of Life, are found a pleasant Garden, a spiritual Treasure, part of our Inheritance:  An Instance of which, we have in this present Discourse.

 

But to proceed, Israel pitched from Beth-Jesimoth,
to 
A B E L - S H I T T I M.

Which is rendered by the Chaldee, the Valley of Shittim, a Place where might be store of Shittim Trees.     But the Name here, more appositely expresseth what befell Israel in Shittim, the same Place with this, Numb.25.,  for Abel-Shittim signifies, the Sorrow of Shittim, or the Sorrow of, or for Thorns and Scourges:  Implying that great Scourge for Sin, and consequent Sorrow, which fell upon Israel in that Place.    For by their Sins, and the wrath of God awakened thro’ them, 24,000 were cut off [Margin Note: Numb.25.4-9.], so that Moses and all the Congregation lamented solemnly before the Door of the Tabernacle, ver.6.   Which shews, that Transgressions produce Sorrows, false Pleasures, Scourges:  And that when Lust hath conceived, it brings forth Sin, and Sin when 'tis finished, brings forth Death, James 1.15.

But the particular Transgressions, which drew upon them this Sorrow thro' Chastisements, were 1st, Their committing Fornication with the Daughters of Moab.    2dly, Idolatry, in joining themselves to Baal-Peor, i.e. worshipping that filthy Idol, whom Jerom. Theophylact, and many others, judge to be Priapus {Defn: a. the personified male function of generation — the god of procreation;  b. the representation or symbol of the male generative organ — a phallusc. the genitals of a male.} see Numb. 25.1.2.3.

But here we may learn, 1st, That Idolatry and Fornication are grievous Sins, and that God will wink at them in none;   inflicting for them here the Punishment of Death.    2dly, Just before the rising of fresh and great Mercies, Internal or External, we may expect great Temptations from Satan to incapacitate us for them:  As such here invaded Israel, by Balaam’s Advice;  whose Name signifying a Devourer, or Destroyer of the People, speaks him in this, a Type of that great Apollyon the Devil, who at this time assaulted Israel with these Temptations, to prevent that signal Mercy of Joshua's rising to lead them out of the Wilderness thro' Jordan, into the Land of Canaan.     3dly, That whilst we are yet under Moses, and the Father’s Dispensation (the Law being weak thro’ the Flesh) we are obnoxious to such Transgressions, as may bring severe Scourges upon us;  yet, that there is no necessity of falling, as here the greatest part of Israel, were preserved and resisted the Temptation.   4thly, That the gross Sins of Israel here, in the inward Work represent those which are more subtil and refined.   

As first, Mental Fornication which is committed, but by looking on a Woman to Lust after her, Matt.5.28.     And by Parity of Reason, in anxiously desiring, Union and Communion with the Souls of any, which we find Snares to our Spirits;  as the Daughters of Moab, and Midian, were to the Persons of the Israelites.
2dly, Mystical Idolatry, one Species of which, is the immoderate Love of our selves 2Tim.3.2. or the letting out that fullness of Affection to any creature [Margin Note: Jer.17.5.], which is only due to God [Margin Note: 1Tim.6.17.]; whom we are to love with our whole Heart, but nothing else so.
3dly, The reposing too much Confidence in ourselves, or in any other Person or thing besides God, whether it be Riches, Honour, Power or Wisdom.

In the 5th Place we learn hence, that such inward and refined Sins, have also their Scourges following them;   even such as are proportioned to the degrees of Sin.    For Abel-Shittim must always attend the pleasures of Sin, the full Wages of which is Death [Margin Note: Rom.6.23.] .

6thly, We may hence Remark, that 'tis not enough to weep or lament for Transgression, or the sore Stripes, consequent to it;  for thus did all the Congregation, yet the Wrath was not stayed [Margin Note: Numb.25.6.]:  But we must turn from our Sins, and vigorously endeavour to mortify and extirpate them, that so the Sins being pardoned, the Scourges that attend it may be removed.    As the Plague was represt and stopt amongst the People, (not by their Weeping) but after Phineas in true Faith and Zeal had executed Zimri and Cozbi;  the last of which signifieth a Lie, or Deceit:  And so is all Sin, let the Varnish and Disguise upon it be what it will;  tho’ it’s appearance should be more gay and alluring than this Strumpet’s, who was Daughter to a Prince of Midian;  yet, 'tis but a meer Cheat, gilded Poison, and must be rejected, yea, destroyed as Cozbi was, Rom.6.6.

But to proceed, there were several other things considerable, and therefore, worthy our Remark, which were transacted in this Station (i.e.) whilst Israel abode at Shittim, in the Plains of Moab:  

As 1st, here by divine Command they war’d against, vanquished and slew the Midianites, Numb.31.     Now the Midianites signify (as in the Preface I hinted) Strifes, Contentions, Prov.18.19 which being the Fruits of the Flesh, are to be resisted, mortified and cut off, Gal.5.20.     Now they who (in the Church) indulge the Spirit of Strife, are like those Israelites, who uniting with the Daughters of Midian, brought Wrath upon the Congregation, Numb.31.16. therefore against such is Wrath pronounced in the Gospel, Rom.2.8. — To them that are Contentious (or that are of Strife, tois ex Eritheias) and do not obey the Truth, but obey Unrighteousness, Indignation and Wrath, Tribulation and Anguish, ver.9. — the Spirit of Contention being most opposite to, and destructive of the Gospel of Peace, with it’s meek and quiet Fruits.     For the Wisdom that is from above, is first Pure, then Peaceable, James 3.17.    But if any nourish bitter Envying (or bitter Zeal, zÍlon pikron)  and Strife in their Hearts, this Wisdom descends not from above, but is Earthly, Sensual, Devilish (ver.14.15.);   the love and promoting of which, tho’ in Zeal for Truth, proceeds from the Spirit of Balaam, the old Serpent, and is a kind of spiritual Fascination, upon those that are under it.    For we find Contentions and Strifes, ranked with Idolatry and Witchcraft, Gal.5.20.     So that we are with as much Zeal, to oppose and eradicate this Spirit of Contention as Israel fell upon, and cut off the Midianites, amongst whom Balaam was also slain with the Sword, Numb.31.8.     In Type of Satan that destroyer, that great promoter of War and Strife, who will at length have a full Period put to his Power and Government.     Concerning which, we are to believe our Interest, in that blessed Promise made to the Roman,serifs, the God of Peace shall bruise Satan under your Feet shortly, or swiftly, en tachei, Chap.16.20. which every individual Believer may with Comfort and Reason apply to himself, in living to his Light, and sincerely pursuing the everlasting Rest.

2dly, Here also Moses made a Repetition of the Law with some Additions, and Reprehensory Applications contain’d in the Book of Deuteronomy, which therefore, the Hebrews call, The Repetition of the Law, and the Book of Reprehensions.     This was done by Moses, but a little before his Death, the better to impress the Law, and Obedience to it, upon the Hearts of the Israelites:   For Obedience was the great thing he excited them to, which caus’d that solemn Appeal, Deut.30.19.    I call Heaven and Earth to record this Day against you, that I have set before you Life and Death, Blessing and Cursing;  therefore choose Life, that both thou and thy seed may live.     By which we are taught, that Obedience in every Dispensation is the great Concern, as here in the first under MosesThat we love the Lord our God, obey his Voice and cleave unto him [Margin Note: ver.20.].     According to which Christ afterwards declares; not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven;  but he that doth the Will of my Father which is in Heaven, Matt.7.21.   In proportion to which, we find Joshua, the great Type of Christ, giving a solemn Charge of Obedience to Israel before his Death, and renewing the Covenant betwixt God and them, Chap.23 and 24 which he exemplarily confirm’d by his own practice expresseth in that resolute Ingagement; as for me and my Family, we will serve the Lord. Josh 24.15.    For this Practice, which so very much becometh a Guide and Leader in the Church, God himself signalizeth Abraham, Gen.18.19. I know him, that he will command his Children and his Household after him, and they shall keep (or that they keep) the way of the Lord to do Justice and Judgement, &c.     This God speaks of him by way of Consultation, making this, his Integrity, an Argument why he would not conceal from him, the great Secret of Sodom’s Destruction, ver.17 and 20.

And certainly, were this Integrity and Zeal for universal Obedience, which we find in Abraham, Noah, Moses and Joshua, more Apparent in the present Rulers and Guides of the Church;  the Spirit of Prophecy would more unfold itself, and God’s future Determinations upon Churches, Kingdoms and States, not lie under so dark a Vail, as now they seem to do:  For the secret of the Lord is with them that fear him, and his Covenant, to make them know it [Margin Note: Psa.25.14.]:  As 'tis in the English Margin, according to the Hebrew; and as in the Interlineary, Chaldee and Ainsworth render the last part of this ver.    To the same Sense is that, Prov.3.32. his Secret is with the Righteous.    The Vulgar Lat. and Chaldee render it, his Discourse, or Colloquie, is with the Simple or Upright;   to the same purpose the Syriack.    Indeed, there is a secret way of Discourse, by which, the ever blessed God reveals things to come, where he affords that Mercy.    Thus the Lord told Samuel in his Ear [Margin Note: 1Sam.9.15.], what he had Determined concerning Saul.     Tho’ Moses seem’d to enjoy an higher Priviledge of whom 'tis said, the Lord spake to him Face to Face, as a Man speaketh to his Friend [Margin Note: Exod.33.11.]:  Who was also honoured with this Testimony, that he was Faithful in all God’s House [Margin Note: Numb.12.7.]:  Which Faithfulness he expres’d as in other things;  so particularly in diligently repeating, vehemently inculcating, and closely here applying the Law to their Consciences, that they might see their Sins, humble their Souls, renounce their own Righteousness and Merit [Margin Note: Deut.9.6.], confide in the free Grace of God, labour to the utmost to Obey him, and be willing to receive and submit to Joshua, (in Type of Christ) as that Person designed from Heaven, to lead them from the Wilderness, into the good Land;   that so by Moses resignment, it might be known, that the Law was their School-master to bring them to Christ, that we might be justified by Faith:   Which Law in the internal Administration of it, is the same still in setting before us Sin, and divine Justice in their lively Differences, and eternal Contrariety:   That we despairing of our Capability to satisfy Justice for the Breach of the Law, may humbly accept of Justification by Grace, thro’ the Redemption that is in Jesus Christ, Rom.3.24.

3dly, In this Station, Moses by God’s command, chose and constituted Joshua his Successor, invested him with his Honour, gave him a Charge, encouraging all Israel to obey him, Num.27 from ver.15 to the end.

Moses here (as I have often hinted) represents the Preliminary Dispensation of the Father drawing us to the Son, and so resigning us up to him. John 6.44.    Joshua here Types forth Christ in us, and his Dispensation arriving at Supremacy;   which before was under the Father’s, tho’ with it Coworking in the Soul against Sin and Satan:  Even as Joshua before this, was Moses’s Minister [Margin Note: Exod.24.13.], and in Subordination to him, assisted Israel against their Enemies, Exod.17.9.     For as Christ was externally made of a Woman, made under the Law;  so inwardly is Christ by degrees formed in us: Gal.4.19. and so groweth up in us, under Moses, or the Father’s Work, redeeming us gradually from Sin, and the Scourge of the Law, till he cometh to a superiority of Dispensation in us, and so to Rule in his Meek Love;  administring all things in the Soul, in the Power and Energy of Free-grace, in the strong Influence and Sensation of Gospel Mercy, Sweetness and Goodness.

When we arrive at this we shall not only believe, but feel by the fresh Openings of God’s Love, that the Father hath committed all Judgment to the Son, John 5.22.    To arrive at this experimentally and habitually, is a great State;  that of the second Covenant in Power;  when God implants his Laws into our Minds, and writes them in our Hearts [Margin Note: 2Cor.3.3.], not with Ink, but with his own Love, shed abroad by his Spirit, Rom.5.5.     When we begin to sing to our Redeemer; thy Loves are good before Wine, Cant.1.2.    Because of the Savour of thy good Ointments, thy Name is an Ointment poured forth, therefore do the Virgins love thee, ver.3.    For the pleasant Life, and Vertue of God thro’ Immanuel, is poured forth abundantly into the Soul, by which we enjoy a strong Sensation of Eternal Kindness, and Good-Will, finding by it, our Souls more impowered to War against all Self and Sin, and to perform the great Commands of the Gospel: To live by Faith in the Son of God, and to love one another as he loved us;   yea, to be Patient, Meek and Merciful to all, to love our Enemies, and return Good for Evil, Blessing for Cursing.

To capacitate us for which Duties, and deliver us from those interiour Defilements which impede their Exercise, Christ in Us here riseth in a fresh Degree of essential Grace and living Power, typed forth by Joshua’s being invested with the Government, further to advance the Victories and Rest of Israel.

But from what is here exprest we may take Notice of the great Difference betwixt our being thus in Christ, thus under Faith, Grace, and the Supremacy of the Son’s Dispensation;  and betwixt being more externally and notionally under free Grace, the second Covenant, chiefly by considering the outward Tenour of it, and by applying the Promises and Priviledges of it to our selves, by a strong imaginative Faith, before we are come thro’ that deep inward Self-denial, and those Breakings answerable to the Trials of Israel in the Wilderness. Yea, there are some imagine themselves in this Dispensation, whilst they are yet lingering in Egypt, under the Bondage of Sin, and chained by many Lusts to the Spirit of this World; under this Mistake many Souls make their Abode, depending wholly upon Christ without them, and his imputed Righteousness, without seriously waiting in close Self-denial, for his inward Appearance as a Refiner’s Fire, and Fuller’s Soap, to cleanse them from all the Pollutions of Flesh and Spirit, that they might perfect Holiness in the Fear of the Lord [Margin Note: 2Cor.7.1.]:   Not considering that Christ’s great Work was, to save his People from their Sins, to redeem them from all Iniquity [Margin Note: Titus 2.14.]:   In Figure of whom, and his internal Work, Joshua was here elected a Leader, or instrumental Saviour, thro’ whose Conduct Israel subdued the seven Nations (Types of Sin) even all their Enemies, as 'tis expressed, Joshua 21.44.   The Lord delivered all their Enemies into their Hands.

4thly, In this Place, Moses before his Death and pleasing View of the good Land, thus supplicates the divine Majesty: I pray thee let me go over and see the good land that is beyond Jordan, that goodly Mountain and Lebanon, Deut.3.25.  

Moses humbly desired a presential View of Canaan, by first passing Jordan; but God denied it him, saying, thou shalt not go over this Jordan, ver.27. which in the Mystery shews us.    
1. That the Law cannot bring us thro’ Jordan, the River of Judgement, or God’s Justice, figured by it, into the heavenly Canaan, the true spiritual Rest;  that is the Work of Joshua or Jesus, who is the real Propitiation for our Sins [Margin Note: 1John.2.2.].   
2. That whilst we are under Moses or the Father’s Ministration, we cannot have a presential Vision, and Fruition of our eternal Inheritance, we cannot see God’s Face [Margin Note: Exod. 33.20.], (that is enjoy him) in the most full and clear Dispensation of his Love, and adumbrated by that goodly Mountain, viz. Sion, which is made a Type, 1. Of the second Covenant, Gal.4.24.25.   2. Heaven itself, Heb.12.22.     On some Part of which (viz. Mount Moriah) Solomon built the Temple which was also a Figure, 1st, of the Gospel Church, 2Chron.6.2.    2d. Of the divine Nature in it’s personal Manifestations, to and in the Church.     Under Moses, I say then, we cannot have a presential Sight, and Fruition of these things;  we cannot come intimately to enjoy and contemplate Lebanon, i.e. the Heart of the Son, or of the eternal One, in whom are all the Treasures of Wisdom, Col.2.3.    And those Depths of Love which transcend Knowledge [Margin Note: Eph.3.19.]; which he himself must make us Possessors of, after we are thoroughly cleansed by his Blood, and so fitted to enjoy them;  'til which to have a View of these things, at some distance, as Moses had of Canaan, especially whilst under the Father’s Work, is a considerable Mercy.   
3dly, We learn by this Petition of Moses, what is the great Desire, and bent of Soul, in all the truly sincere, tho’ yet under the first Dispensation; they breathe after Perfection, they set their Affections on things above, they long to see and possess the goodly Mountain of Lebanon, even Mount Sion, the Perfection of Beauty, their eternal Inheritance, and the Heart of Christ here unvail’d, and exposed, as the pure Object of most sweetly-amazing Contemplations which is here expressed by Lebanon, that odoriferous Mountain, Cant.4.11.     I say the truly Sincere place their Affections on these things, and are willing with Moses to pass thro’ Jordan, that is, Judgment and Humiliation, as a Mean to enjoy them, to be baptized into Christ’s Sufferings, and made conformable to his Death, that they may partake of his Resurrection, see his Glory and enjoy his Heart, as the Center of all their Blessings;  whence they expect the Comforter, the blessed Spirit which is a Fountain of Gardens, a Well of living Water, and Streams from Lebanon [Margin Note: Cant.4.15.], even the Son’s Heart.    Of which Spirit he himself hath proclaimed, If any Man thirst, let him come unto me and drink.    He that believeth on me, out of his Belly shall flow Rivers of living Waters, John 7.37.38.

But to proceed towards Moses's Death; tho’ God would not permit him to pass Jordan, and enjoy a distinct presential Sight of the good Land; yet he gave him a signal Prospect of it [Margin Note: Deut.34.1.].    By whose command Moses ascended up to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah:  By which Name, either the Summity or highest part of Nebo, was called, or else it may be render’d the Top of the Hill, which Pisgah signifieth, and so render’d in this, and other Places, by the Interlineary, Chaldee and Syriack Versions.

But from hence the Lord shewed him Canaan, that pleasant and fruitful Country, even the whole Land:  For he said, Deut.34.4. This is the Land which I sware unto Abraham, I will give it unto thy Seed.     And 'tis expressly said, he shewed him all the Land of Gilead, or from Gilead as Charkuni (on this Place) renders it which stood on the East-side of Canaan, even to Dan [Margin Note: ver.1.],   a City in the North Border, and all the Land of Judah, which was in the South Part, to the utmost Sea, that is the Mediterranean, which bounded Canaan on the West:  So that well might it be said, and that emphatically, the Lord shewed him this, or as in the Interlineary, fecit eum videre, made him to see it, for it was much beyond the natural Force of his visive Faculty, to enjoy any distinct, and satisfactory View of so great and distant a Tract of Land from one Place, and therefore needed divine Assistance to corroborate his Sight, as we help ours by Perspectives and Telescopes.

But the Targum of Jonathan and Solomon Ben Jarchi, refer this to a spiritual Vision of the great things that were to be transacted in that Land, by the Great Men, Judges, Leaders or Kings, that were to rise out of the several Tribes, till the Sanctuary at last should be destroyed;   which may receive some Countenance from the Word Nebo, which signifieth Prophecy, and was the Mount whence Moses had this great Prospect.     However, that Moses had an eminent and pleasing View of the Land, either Externally or in Vision, (as the Devil exhibited to Christ all the Kingdoms of this World) is manifest in the Text; and by what the Lord express’d afterwards, ver.4. I have caused thee to see it with thine Eyes, but thou shalt not go over thither.

But the Mystery of this reaches further, and may instruct us, 1st, That under Moses, even the Father’s Dispensation whilst that is uppermost, some Souls thro’ signal Mercy, may enjoy a Vision, or opening of the other World;  may have a spiritual View of those many Mansions, which Christ saith are in his Father’s House, John 14.2.     Yea, they may be Honoured with such Manifestations as Enoch had, who Prophesied saying, Behold the Lord cometh with Ten Thousands of his Saints (or with his holy Myriads, en Myriasin bagiais) to execute Judgement upon all, &c. Jude ver.14 and ver.15 and as Daniel in his Sleep, Chap.7. who beheld till the Thrones were cast down (or rather erected, Interlineary, Donec throni elati sunt, to the same Sense, the Vulg.Lat. and the 70) And the Antient of Days did sit, and the Son of Man came with the Clouds of Heaven, Dan. 7.9.     He saw in Vision, that great Day in which God hath appointed to Judge the World [Margin Note: Acts.17.31.] by Jesus Christ, Dan. 7.10.    I say such great Visions may be enjoyed by some choice Persons, who yet are not fully out of the first Dispensation, that of the Father.    The Mystery of which is concluded in these Words; the Lord shewed Moses all the Land of Gilead unto Dan;   for Gilead signifieth, not only the heap of Testimony, but also Eternity Reveal’d, or uncovering itself.    Unto Dan, that is Judgment, the great Judgment;  importing a deep opening of Eternity, exhibiting in those glorious Mansions that are prepared for the Israel of God:  Where in Spirit and Power may be seen, the great and goodly City, which we Built not [Margin Note: Heb.11.10.], Houses full of all good things, which we filled not, Wells, which we digged not, Vineyards and Oliveyards, which we planted not. Deut.6.10.11.

This Gilead or Eternity laid open, was in a Type (at least) shewed to Moses, even unto Dan, the Judgment, that great Judgment, which from the Decrees of God concealed in Eternity, shall break forth upon the World, as a Thief comes at Midnight, or as some of the Tribe of Dan, surprised the Men of Laish; whose Inhabitants being careless and secure, they smote with the Edge of the Sword, and Burnt the City with Fire, Judg. 18.7,27.    For just as the Flood came upon the Old World, and Desolation upon Judea and Jerusalem by Titus;  so will the Day of the Lord break forth upon the last World: When the Heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the Earth also, and the Works that are therein shall be burnt up, 2Peter 3.10.

The 2d thing we may learn from the Mystery of this Prospect, is, That whoever would live in the way of Preparation for such signal Mercies, must with Moses ascend to Mount Nebo.     They must rise above the outward Life, the animal Passions, and Disquietments, into the Life of Faith:  They must live in the Spirit, which is the true Nebo, or Mount of Prophecy in us;  for we find the Voice from Heaven crying to John, come up hither, and I will shew thee things that must be hereafter: And immediately I was in the Spirit saith John, and so begins to see the great Visions, representative of things to come, Rev.4.1,2.

He was in the Spirit, that Nebo or Prophetick Mountain in us, before he beheld these things;  the more then we live to and in the Spirit, above the Flesh and it’s low Sentiments, the easier we may be recollected, gathered up, or ascend into it, to behold whatever divine Bounty will freely manifest, John 14.21.

3dly, We may hence observe, that all such Openings and Manifestations, are the free Gift, and meer Work of God:   For the Lord shewed Moses this Land; 'tis from signal Goodness in God, when such discriminating Favours are afforded Men:  And tho’ we are always obliged to crucify the Flesh, live and walk in the Spirit, and so to have our Converses in Heaven;   yet, as to such a Fruition, to have such a Door of Vision and Prophecy opened in us: 'Tis not of him that willeth, or of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth Mercy [Margin Note: Rom.9.16.].    Which tho’ by St. Paul applied, to Jacob and Esau, yet is inferred from what God had said to Moses, Exod.33.19.   I will be Gracious, to whom I will be Gracious, and will shew Mercy, to whom I will shew Mercy:  Which was spoken to Moses on the very account of that great Opening, the Lord in meer Grace afforded him, when he was pleased to condescend, in proclaiming his own blessed Name, and cause all his Goodness to pass before him, Exod.33.17.19.

5thly,  In this Station, Moses after his Glorious sight, dieth in the land of Moab, according to the Word of the Lord, Deut.34.5.    And so might properly say, as old Simeon, Now lettest thou thy Servant depart in Peace, for mine Eyes have seen thy Salvation [Margin Note: Luke.2.29,30.]. 1st, he had beheld Jehoshua, that is, the Lord’s Salvation, Jesus in a Type, made Captain, and invested with Authority to lead the People into Canaan, 2dly, he had enjoyed a view of the good Land itself, which was a Figure (as to its possession) of true Salvation, and Rest from all our Enemies, and from all our Labours.    And his dying in this Mount, in the Land of Moab further imports, 1st, That the Glory of the First Covenant must Expire, and cannot bring us into Salvation.   2dly, That it leaves us in Moab, in the Ministration and Property of the Father, short of the full Redemption to be enjoyed in, and thro’ the Son.    3dly, That the divine Decree and Will must Period this Dispensation; for he died according to the Word (or command) of the Lord, who had said, get thee up unto Mount Nebo and die there [Margin Note: Deut.32.49,50.].     We cannot pass out of the first Dispensation, that of Moses, or the Father leading us, 'till the prefix’d Time:  For as in the outward Work, when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth his Son made of a Woman, made under the Law, to redeem them that were under the law, Gal.4.4.5.     So 'tis in the inward, the Son’s Dispensation riseth in Superiority, in God’s appointed time, to Advance our Redemption, further than it could proceed under internal Moses, or the Drawings of the Father.     4thly, As God himself must end this Dispensation; so when he hath, we are obliged so far to forget it, as not to stick in it, but to press on to Perfection, which is implied in God’s Burying Moses, and concealing his Sepulchre, Deut.34.6.

Which (tho’ it might be partly done, to prevent external Superstition and Idolatry amongst the People) yet spake a further thing to them, and us:  To them — that they should not stick in the external Ministration of the Law but forget it, and pass out of it, when God should put a Period to it, by the coming of Christ:  To us — that we should not stick in the first Dispensation, that of the Father, whatever Glory we have beheld under it;  but with St. Paul forgetting those things which are behind, reach forth unto those things that are before [Margin Note: Phil.3.13.], resolving to follow Joshua, that is, Jesus thro’ Jordan or the Baptism of Sufferings, 'till he gives us the true Rest, who for our Encouragement has said, 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. Matt.11.29.     'Tis further said here of Moses, that though a hundred and twenty Years old, his Eyes were not dim, nor his natural Force abated, Deut.34.7.     By which is signified that the Law, and that Esh-dath the Fire of the Law, or Property of Justice, whence it came, still abides in force and living Vigour:  For all are under Condemnation whilst they live in Sin, for the Law hath Dominion over a Man as long as he liveth [Margin Note: Rom.7.1.], but when we are dead to Sin, then the Law becomes dead to us, then the Lord burieth the Body of Moses, and We become dead to the Law by the Body of Christ, that we should be married to another, even to him that is raised from the Dead.     Which is a blessed Dispensation when we come to it, in Spirit and Power, and can feelingly Witness, that Moses is dead and buried, and we to him;   by the Body of Christ crucified without, but manifested and fed upon within us;   and that we are married to Christ, raised from the Dead in Person without, and also in his Spirit, and ruling Life within, which is to know the Power of his Resurrection, and to be in such a State as to be able to say with St. Paul, the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus, hath made me free from the Law of Sin and Death, Rom.8.2.

6thly, And lastly, after Moses's Death (which by the Jews Tradition was upon the Seventh of Adar towards the end of our February) they here wept for him thirty Days, Deut.34.8.     As before they had done for Aaron, Numb.20.29.

From which we learn, first, that divine Persons and Dispensation, are not easily parted with, especially when thro' them we have seen and known much of the Glory and Power of God;  though more high and perfect should come into their Places.    Thus we find the believing Jews much adhering to, and difficulty parting with the ceremonial Law, the Body of Moses, tho’ Messiah was come in his Room, the Ministration of Spirit and Life, in Place of the Ministration of the Letter and Death, 2Cor.3.7.

And thus we shall find where any have enjoyed much of God, in the Father’s Dispensation drawing them in Power to the Son, I say we shall find them strongly adhering to that first Dispensation, and loath to remove from it towards Perfection;  rather inclined to build Tabernacles there, as the Disciples on the Mount, when Moses and Elias appeared at the Transfiguration:  And as unwilling to go forward into the Baptism of Christ’s Sufferings and Death;  as the Disciples were to leave these Visions on the Mount, and descend thence to follow him to his Crucifixion of which Moses and Elias there discoursed, Luke 9.30.

2dly, From this Weeping for Moses, we are taught, that the legal Dispensation leaves us in Abel-Shittim, the Sorrow for Thorns and Scourges;  Sin not being wholly subdued, nor our Wills wholly resigned to God;  whence Sorrows and pricking Cares invade the Soul in this Station, where in a Type, Israel still remained.

3dly, That the Law without, or the first Dispensation,(viz. that of the Father within) cannot lead us to perfect Peace, to that State where God shall wipe away all Tears from our Eyes; where there shall be no more Death, Sorrow, nor Lamentation:  For that is the Work of Joshua or Jesus, the Lord’s Salvation, who came to save us from our Enemies, and from the Hands of all that hate us, that we might serve him without Fear, in Holiness and Righteousness all our Days.    It was from our spiritual Enemies chiefly that he came to deliver us, and so by expiating our Sins and removing our Transgression, to end our Sorrows, invest us with true Peace, and at length Crown us with everlasting Joy.    Which Work being further exhibited, in Israel’s subduing and ejecting the Seven Nations under Joshua’s Conduct, I shall defer the further Enquiry into that, to the second Part of this Discourse.{i.e. The Seven Nations of Canaan }.

Concluding this last of the two and forty Journeys, with the signal Exhortation, Heb.12.1.2. Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of Witnesses;  let us lay aside every Weight, and the Sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with Patience the Race that is set before us, v.2. Looking unto Jesus, the Author (or Leader ton Archegon) and Finisher of our Faith, who for the joy that was set before him, endured the Cross, despising the Shame, and is set down at the right Hand of the Throne of God.    Whom loving as our truest Life, our supreme Friend, and following as the Captain of our Salvation, and great Exemplar of Unmixt, Pure Obedience;  let us to the Father thro’ him, ascribe Glory and Praise for ever.

 

End of File 2 of 2

Back to Previous File

 

bromleyornate.gif (2190 bytes)


End of the Treatise
‘ The Journeys of the Children of Israel
as in their Names and Historical Passages, they Comprise
The Great and Gradual Work of Regeneration ’

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.