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The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary


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I cannot pass over this article in our Concordance, in as much as we find frequent mention made of the eagle in Scripture. And I do this the rather from the singularity of it, and especially in the way in which it is used. I mean, because it is declared in the Levitical law to be unclean; yea, all the different species of the eagle, including the vulture and the hawk, which are both of the eagle kind. (See Leviticus 11:13-16) Now it is certain, that the Lord, (by which I apprehend is meant the Lord Jesus Christ in our nature,) condescends to make use of the similitude of an eagle, in describing his care over his people, when he saith, "I bare you on eagle's wings, and brought you unto myself." (Exodus 19:4; Deuteronomy 32:11) Is there not something of a most interesting nature implied in those affections of the Lord, beside the protection here set forth as shewn his people? As the eagle is among the creatures of uncleanness; is there not an allusion to the Lord's taking our uncleanness upon him, when he thus speaks of bearing his redeemed on eagle's wings? The reader will observe, I do but ask the question, and not determine the matter. But as we well know, and all redeemed souls rejoice in the glorious consolation, it was Jesus both"bare our sins, and carried our sorrows, when the Lord JEHOVAH laid on him the iniquity of us all,"the Lord's making use of one of the unclean creatures, in a similitude to himself, may not be supposed unaptly to represent this unequalled mercy? Connect with this view, what the gospel saith, (2 Corinthians 5:21 and Galatians 3:13) and let the reader judge the fitness of the observation. He, who in such infinite and unequalled love and grace, became both sin and a curse for his people, might go on in the humiliation, to compare himself to the eagle, when made sin for us; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. The beautiful comparison, made in allusion to this bird, in providing safety for her young, to that of the Lord Jesus carrying his people as on eagle's wings, is too striking hastily to pass it by. (Deuteronomy 32:11-12) The eagle's stirring up her nest, fluttering over her young, spreading abroad her wings; taking them and bearing them on her wings; are beautiful descriptions, and which it seems, in the case of the eagle's care over her brood, is literally the case. The young eagles are much disposed to sleep. The old bird therefore, rouseth them up, by disturbing them in their nest; when they are awakened, she fluttereth over them, spreading abroad her wings, to teach them how to use theirs, and how to fly. And until they are able to soar above all danger in the air, she carrieth them on her wings, that they may in due season use their own. Such, but in an infinitely higher degree of wisdom, love, and tenderness, doth Jesus, by his offspring. The Lord stirred them up from sleeping in the dangers of Egypt, and taught them how"to flee from the wrath to come."And the Lord is doing so now, in bringing up all his redeemed out of the Egypt of sin and death in this world. But the most beautiful part of the representation remains yet to be noticed. The eagle is the only bird that carries her young upon her wings. All other birds use their talons for bearing up their little brood. Now, when the Lord Jesus useth this similitude, it teacheth us that it is impossible they can fall whom he bears; for they are on the wings and above, and not beneath, and like those birds, who catch up their young in their talons, and in their flight may drop them. Moreover, no weapon from beneath can reach the young, in the care of the eagle, without first piercing the old bird. So nothing can touch Christ's little ones without first destroying Christ. Was there ever a similitude more beautiful, lovely, and comfortable? Let me only add, to this figure of the Old Testament church, that precious one also, of the Lord Jesus in the New. I mean, when to the strength of the eagle, Jesus subjoins the affection of the hen;"saying, How often would I have gathered you, even as an hen gathers her chickens under her wings!" (Matthew 23:37) There is another similitude made use of respecting the church, in allusion to the eagle. The prophet Micah, (Micah 1:16) speaks of the boldness of the eagle. And some have asserted, that in old age, the eagle is renewed with youth. Whether this be so, or not; or whether the moulting time, common to other birds every year, is only once experienced by the eagle, and that in old age, I will not, for I cannot, determine; but certain it is, that the Lord himself makes use of the similitude, to describe his people by. In one of the sweetest promises, the Lord thus comforts them, "He giveth power to the faint, and to them that have no might, he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall; but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint." (Isaiah 40:27-31) And while the Lord thus comforts his church with the assurance of the renewings of spiritual strength, like the eagle in nature, the church is described as praising God under the view of renewing grace, in the same figure: "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name: who forgiveth all thine iniquities, and healeth all thy diseases: who redeemeth thy life from destruction, and crowneth thee with loving kindness and tender mercies: who satisfieth thy mouth with good things, so that thy youth is renewed as the eagle's?" (Psalms 103:1-5)

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Bibliography Information
Hawker, Robert D.D. Entry for 'Eagle'. Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance and Dictionary. London. 1828.

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