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was the fountain to be opened in that day, to the house of David, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness,” the pool of Bethesda might shadow forth his coming. So that when the Lord came and wrought the miracle on the poor man of long infirmity, without the ministry of the pool, this might shew that the intention for which this pool had been appointed was now answered, and the substance being come, the shadow ceased for ever.

We hear no more of the pool of Bethesda, after this miracle of Christ in the cloisters of it; and, as is supposed, the efficacy of it was now no more.

I cannot take leave of the subject without first desiring the reader to remark with me, the improvement to be made of it. The Bethesdas of the gospel we still have, in the several ordinances and means of grace. But as then, it was the descent of an angel into the pool which gave

efficacy to the waters, so now, it is by the coming of our Lord Jesus, the almighty angel of the covenant, into our midst, that any saving effect can be derived from the purest ordinances, or forms of worship. Where Jesus is not, there is no life-giving stream in any of the waters of ordinances. And it should be remarked, moreover, that our Bethesdas are not like this by the sheep market gate in Jerusalem. It is our mercy that the cure is not, as that was, limited to one poor sufferer, and him the first that came to it. But the gospel invitation in Jésus, is to every one that thirsteth. And the last is sometimes made first. And all that come, the Lord himself saith,“ he will in no wise cast out.” Yea, more than this still. Our Lord Jesus doth not limit his grace to our Bethesdas, or ordinances, but he worketh without them, (as in the instance of the poor man at the Jewish Bethesda)

.

It was

or with them, ás seemeth best to his infinite wis.:' dom, and for the display of his grace. Hail !

thợu glorious Healer! JEHOVAH Rophe of thy peo

ple! (Exod. xv. 26.) BETHLEHEM. This was a city in Judah. (Josh.

xvii. 7.) The name means, house of bread; from "Beth, house; and lechem, or lehem bread.

beautifully significant of Christ, who was from everJaşting appointed to be born there, (Micah v, 2.) and was, and is, and ever will be, the bread of life, and the living bread to his people ; of which whosoever eateth shall live for ever! Lord! I would say with the disciples, evermore give me this bread. There was another Bethlehem in Zebulun, though it is but rarely spoken of in Scripture. (Joshua xix: 15.) But this Bethlehem must be ever dear to every follower of Jesus. It was connected with and formed part of Ephratah, Here Jacob buried his beloved Rachel. (Gen. xxxv. 19, 20.) I would

have the reader compare what Micah saith coni cerning this Bethlehem, with an eye to Christ, and : look at what Matthew hath observed also on the

subject: (Micah v. 2. Matt. ii. 1-6.) The Holy Ghost evidently had Jesus in view in that sweet history of Ruth, when the certain man, Eli-melech, representing our whole nature, left Bethlehem the land of bread, for the Moab of the world ; and when with his children Mahlon and Chilion, sickness and disease overtook him and all his posterity. (Ruth i. 1.). David's cry for the waters of Bethlebem, (see 2 Sam. xxiii. 15–17.) hath always been considered as typical of the soul's thirst for

Jesus, the bread of life. BETH-PEOR. See Baal-peor. It was a city of Moab. (Deut. iv. 46.) The house of opening; from

. BETH-PHAGE. A well-known village, mentioned

܀

Pahar, to open.

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in the gospel, (see Matt. xxi. 1.) It should seem to be derived from Pep, opening; and Geeah, valley : the house of the valley. Probably, the opening of the valley at the foot of the mount of : Olives. Here it was that Christ fulfilled that remarkable prophecy of Zechariah. (Zech. ix. 9. with

Matt. xxi. 4,5. Mark xi, 1. Luke xix. 28. John xii. 14.) BETH-SHEMESH. A city belonging to the priests

in the tribe of Judah. (Joshua xv. 10.) This place is rendered remarkable from the slaughter the Lord made on the men of Beth-shemesh for their curiosity in looking into the ark. (See 1 Sam. vi. 19.) An invasion by any into the priest's office hath been always punished. (See Numb. iv. 5, 15, 20.) How blessedly the Holy Ghost testifieth of Christ, that he took not upon him the office of High Priest uncalled of Jehovah. A glorious consideration to

all his people. (Heb. v. 4, 5.) BETROTHING or BETROTHED. This engage

ment among the Hebrews was made very sacred; and it was in general made early. They considered it a breach of the divine command not to marry ; and hence, the betrothing, or being betrothed, was a ceremony long used before the marriage was intended to be consummated: and, indeed, sometimes there was a great lapse of time between the one and the other.

I have thought it worth noticing, in a work of this kind, purposely to observe, upon the act itself, the gracious condescension of our God and Saviour in adopting the term with respect to his marriage with our nature. His was a long betrothing, even before all worlds. But the marriage was only 'consummated when, in the fulness of time, he took our nature upon him, and became the Husband and Head of his church. And what à beautiful and gracious manner doth' the Lord

Jesus make use of, in his usual

way

of unequalled condescension and love, when speaking of his union with our nature, the complacency and delight he took in it, and the everlasting duration of it, he saith, “ And I will betroth thee unto me for ever, yea, I will betroth thee unto mein righteousness, and in judgment, and in loving kindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness, and thou shalt know the Lord.” (Hos, ii.

19, 20.) BEULAH. We meet with this word but once in the

Bible. (Isa. lxii. 4.) It should seem to be derived from Balak, or Baal-meon, lord of the house, or

married. BEZER. One of the cities of refuge appointed for

the manslayer to flee unto, as provided. See (Deut. iv. 41, &c.) It lay in the country of the Reubenites, but became somewhat like a frontier town, both to them, and to Edom and Moab; being near the borders of each. What makes it particularly meriting our attention is, that in the design and appointment of it we see clear traces of its being typical of the Lord Jesus Christ.

These cities of 'refuge were for the manslayer to flee to for shelter. Now Christ is the only refuge for the manslayer of the soul to flee unto; for every sinner is a soul-murderer : he hath slain his own soul. And if fleeing to Christ when the avenger of blood, that is, the law of God, and the justice of God, is pursuing him, he takes shelter in the Lord Jesus, the Bezer of his people, and the city of refuge for security, before he be overtaken, he is in safety for ever.

All the days his High Priest liveth no condemnation can fall upon him ; and that is for ever!

That the appointment of those cities (which were six in number,) had an eye to Christ cannot be

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is doubted, becausés a projision for the-manslayer, if

referring only to temporal things, might have been - made in a much easier and more simple way. An : , express, law for the magistrate or priest to have ; acted upon, in all cases of murder where there

was no malicè prepense, would have been equally u: easy in this case, as in every other. But when we

see six cities expressly set apart for this one purpose only, and placed in certain situations conveni. ent for the poor murderer to get most easily at; when we read so much as is said concerning it, and call to mind how much the Holy Ghost. delighted in shadowing forth Christ, under the Old Testament Scripture, in type and figure ; and when we observe, moreover, how very strikingly -.-, the things here marked down in the city of refuge

point to the Lord Jesus Christ, we cannot hesitate to conclude, that it was thus, among a great variety of other ways, Christ was preached to the people. - Christ, indeed, as a sanctuary; infinitely exceeds the type represented by the city of refuge. For though the manslayer, when entered within the suburbs, could not be taken from thence, yet neither could he go abroad ; if he did, he died. But in Jesus we are both made, safe and free; for “ if the Son hath made us free, we shall be free in...deed.” (John viii. 36.) Moreover, the manslayer i ciamong the Jews had freedom only upon the death

of the high priest, but our great High Priest giveth freedom both while we live on earth, and hereafter in heaven ;, and he himself abideth a priest for ever."

I cannot forbear adding, what hath been always considered, by pious believers, as 'a farther testimony that these cities of refuge had an eye to Christ, and were plainly typical, namely, that the name given to each became expressive of some

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