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6. Jonah was not only a type of Christ, by voluntarily laying down his life for the salvation of others; but the miracle done upon Jonah in the sea was a lively and very exact type of the death, burial, and resurrection of our Saviour, which occurred above eight hundred years after. And Christ prophesied of himself, that so long as Jonas was in the whale's belly, should be the Son of Man in the heart of the earth. And as this miracle of deliverance established the character of Jonah as a Prophet, so did the resurrection of Christ declare that he was the Messiah.
Second Mission.-7. In Jonah's second mission, we are taught, by the example of the Ninevites, the importance of national prayer, and the fasting of humiliation; especially in times of great moral delinquencies. The Ninevites, when warned to repent, or expect God's righteous judgments, cried mightily unto God, and humbled themselves as a people, even from the king to the servant, and put on the sackcloth, and sat in the ashes, of mourning. So
if we do not give credence, and bestir ourselves, when we perceive God's providences, and read his warnings, do worse than these heathens did, and must expect heavier condemnations.
8. We perceive, that the king of Nineveh, when he made proclamation for a fast and prayer, also exhorted every one to turn from his evil way. So we, when convinced of sin, and earnest to avert the consequences of it, must not only pray, but act; not only repent, but reform. Reformation is the only true evidence of repentance. They that observe lying vanities, said Jonah in his prayer, forsake their own mercy.
9. We should take warning by Jonah, not to indulge in a fretful, unsatisfied disposition; and especially to guard against all exhibitions of selfishness, or passionate rash
Jonah probably, when he denounced the judgments upon the Ninevites, exhorted them to repent, and encouraged them in hope of a reversal if they did so. But when they repent, and are spared, he is angry. So he was exceeding glad of his gourd, and exceeding angry again when it died. This teaches even pious people the
necessity of watching their hearts, and ruling their spirits, before God, lest they provoke him to plague them with their own devices.
10. Doest thou well to be angry? This question, which God condescended to ask Jonah, we should always ask ourselves, whenever we are disposed to repine, if at any time God should think fit to take away any of our gourds; to send a worm to the root of any of our temporal comforts. And particularly, if, in order that others may receive a great blessing, we thereby should suffer a small disadvantage.
11. The gourd was but the daughter of a night. It came up in a night, and it perished in a night. Such is the emblem of human life, that has its root in the earth. The grace
of the fashion of it soon passes away. A worm is at the root of every earthly enjoyment; a worm seen or
And perhaps the gladder we are of our gourds, the sooner God causes them to wither, that we may plant our hopes upon the rock of ages. Thus do we grieve for the loss of a shadow. But if one gourd wither, God can cause another to spring up in its room. And let us not, because we have lost our gourd, so repine as to lose our God also.
12. We are taught the wonderful forbearance of God. Instead of killing Jonah at his word, he stoops to expostulate with him. We are also taught his regard for his creatures. He pleads, in extenuation of his sparing this great, but wicked city, not only their penitence, but that there were in it a vast number of little children, and also much cattle. Surely this humanity of God should move our hearts, as it doubtless did the hearts of the reprieved Ninevités.
13. Nineveh repented, when warned that they had but forty days to live. So we should be alarmed, if we were sure we should not live a month; and yet we are unconcerned, although we are not sure that we shall live a day. But as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of Man be to this generation.
14. From the mercy of God to the wicked city of Nineveh, we may take great encouragement to hope for mercy, if we humble ourselves, and repent of our sins, as
they did. Who can tell, but God may turn from his fierce anger, and spare us? If that nation, says God himself, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them. Such goodness in God should lead, not only the nation, but each individual into repentance. Otherwise, the men of Nineveh shall rise up in judgment with our generation, and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and behold, in his holy Gospel, and daily preaching to us, a greater than Jonas is here.
1 Chron. i, 1 --- 4.-- ADAM, SHETH, ENOSH, KENAN, MAHA
LALEEL, JERED, HENOCH, METHUSELAH, LAMECH, NOAH.
These Names stand like epitaphs upon tombstones. They stand like milestones along the space. Here are ten Heads of Families of the World before the Flood. Here are the Antediluvian Patriarchs from Adam to Noah. I called these Names epitaphs. They are rather cenotaphs. For no grave-yard now contains their bones ; no unmouldered urn their ashes. What a rushing and continuous train of thought is suggested by these ten simple names. These Names include a History of sixteen and a half centuries. And the only true history in the world of these men, and the wonderful events of their times, is recorded in the brief space of the first six or seven chapters of Genesis. The account of the Creation was probably given to Adam, either by inspiration of God, or by one of his holy angels, who used at that time to visit our earth on heavenly messages. And from Adam, this account was handed down by tradition, through these ancient patriarchs, from one to another, until the Flood. And thence, very easily, it passed from Noah to the historian Moses, who recorded and published it. Nor is this tradition impossible, or even unlikely. For the most of these ten men lived upwards of nine hundred years, each one ; and the youngest, if we except Henoch, lived near eight hundred years ; and it can be proved, that their lives so overlapped, that one might very readily communicate, either immediately, or mediately, with another
No notice is taken, in this line of names,
other sons of Adam, because it was designed to mention his name only, in whose loins were Christ and his Church. For the Sun of Righteousness was hereafter to arise, and burst, with his healing beams, through these early ages of eclipse.
Adam, the first name in our line, leads us to think of Paradise and Eden. It is melancholy, that it is not known where Eden was. Of the four rivers, the Pison, the Gihon, and the Hiddekel, are dried up in their beds, or changed in their courses by the Flood ; and the Euphrates is not certain to be the same now thus named. And the land of Havilah, where was the gold that was good, and the bdellium, and the onyx-stone, is not known. Many spots are dotted out upon the maps, as the different supposed seat of Paradise, which variety only shows its uncertainty. Paradise is, however, almost universally allowed to have been somewhere in Syria, in Asia. Paradise means a garden planted with trees. Eden, pleasure or delight. Adam signifies earthy or red, or, as some think, the generic name man. Eve means living, because she was to be the universal mother. Adam being made, not born of woman, and also Eve, they herein differed from us. But how little room was there for pride in one, who was so near akin to the dust, as Adam. Marriage was first ordained in Eden ; and Eve was taken out from near the heart of the man, to signify that the husband should love the wife. And if one wife had not been the proper number for happiness to both parties, God would doubtless have made more for Adam, especially as then the whole world was to be peopled by him. The Sabbath was also first instituted in Paradise ; and the Sabbath was the next, or first whole day, in the life of Adam and Eve. In this happy Garden stands Adam, made in the moral image of God, himself the appointed lord of this lower creation, with the whole
future world in his loins. This was a joyous time, when God talked with man, as one friend talketh with another; and when the blessed Angels used to descend, and glide over, and alight down on the earth. In this blissful state, if Adam and