Изображения страниц

• Him who was to come,” and to whom “ all the pro. phets gave witness.

The prediction which has been read, and the pointed application made of it by the apostles to their divine Master, constitute the proof of what we have just advanced. Moses, under the direction of the spirit of prophecy, raises the expectativil of mankme to the appearance of a prophet, like, indeer, but far superior to bimself; and the apostle's point with the finger to Jesus of Nazareth, saying, “ we bave found bin of whom Moses, in the law, and the prophets did write."

A limited creature, of three score years audien, is lost in the contemplation of a period of filieen bundred and eleven years, for such was the distance of this prophecy from its accomplishment. The short-lived creature loses sight of it, feels lis interest in it but small, is at litile pains to transmit the knowledge of it to those who shall come after him; the next generation it is neglcted, overlooked, forgotten; or, if oba served and recollected, is misunderstood, misapplied. But during every instant of the extended period, the eterual eye has been watching over it; in solemn silence attending its progress, triumpbing over both neglect and opposition; and a slumbering world is rous, ed at length to see and to acknowledge the truth and faithfulness, the power, wisdom and grace of the Most High.

The day of Moses, then, in the eye of God, runs down to that of Christ; as his, in return, ascends to the earliest of the promises and predictions, illuminat, ing, quickening, confirming, fulfilling all that is written. Placed at whatever point of the system of nature, whether on vur own planet or on any other, to the north, or to the south, in summer or winter, the eye is still attracted to the common centre of all, the great * Light of the world.” In like manner, at whatever distance we are placed, and in whatever direction we contemplate the system which redeeming love has fra

med, from under the shade of the tree of life in Eden, from the summit of Ararat, Moriah, or Pisgah, in the plain of Mamre, or from a pinnacle of the temple ; with Abraham, viewing the Saviour and his day afar off, or with Simeon embracing him, the same “Sun of righteousness" sheds his glory around us; we see the light, we feel the influence of bim who quickeneth and enlighteneth every man that cometh into the world.

As we find Moses plainly and unequivocally refering men to Christ, so the Saviour as explicitly refers to Moses for a testimony concerning himself; thereby plainly insinuating, that if the Jewish prophet deserv. ed any credit, possessed any respectability, this credit, this respectability were ministering servants to the dig. nity of his own person, the sacredness of his character, thedivinity of his mission. And thisis accompanied with a severe denunciation of judgment against such as admitted the authority of Moses, but rejected that of Christ; to introduce, recommend and confirm which was the end for which Moses was raised up. “Do not think I will accuse you to the Faiher: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Mose's, ye would have believed me ; for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words ?"

This reciprocal testimony, therefore, of the founders of the ancient and new economy, throws light on both, and communicates mutual credibility and importance. Moses satisfies bimself with simply delivering the prediction which he had in charge ; he forms no plan, enters into no arrangement to bring it into effect, but leaves to Providence the care of leading forward to the accomplishment, in the proper time and method. Christ simply points to what was written, and was generally known, received and respected as a revelation from heaven, and requires to be believed and obeyed RO farther than he bore the characters under which

Moses had announced him; particularly that of "the great Prophet which should come into the world.”

.... The proper character of a prophet is to communicate the special will of Heaven to men. God, in. deed, writes bis will on the mind of every man, as ho comes into the world; interweaves it with the very constitution and frame of his being, so that, in truth, every man is a law, is a prophet to himself. But the characters are quickly erased, effaced; education, example, superstition, vicious propensities, obliterate the writing of God; habit and the commerce of the world harden the heart, and lull the conscience asleep, and " the hearts of men are set in them to do evil.” Hence the necessity of a prophet, of a messenger, of a minister from Heaven, to republish the original law, to restore the obliterated characters, to call men back to God, from whom they have revolted.

And such an one was Moses, raised up of God at a period of singular darkness and depravity, divinely commissioned to promulgate the Royal law. Not to settle a different, a novel constitution, not to new-model human nature, but to revive and enforce the primitive constitution, to proclaim in the ear what nature whispered from the beginning, to hang up the conspicuous tablet before the eye, whose contents are the ex. act counterpart of what the finger of God, in the very formation of man, engraved on “ the living tables of the heart." And when Christ came, the Prophet after his similitude, was it not in like manner to rebuild what was broken down, not to rear a totally different edifice? to magnify the law and make it honorable, to clear it from misinterpretation and perversion, to restore it to its native purity and siinplicity, and to extract the spi. rit out of the letter? “Think not,” says he, “that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets : I am not come to destroy, but to fulál. For rerily I say unto you, 'Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or title shall in no wise passironn the law, till all be tulilled," Mait. v. 17, 18. This coufirms the observation we have been all wlunig endeavoring to inculcate respecting the upi. Torty and perseverance of the divine procedure. Meu start from purpose to purpose, trom pursuit to pursull; they lose sight, they tire of their object, they laste their strengil, they are discouraged by opposi11011, tlies began to build before they counted the cost. But “ known to God are all his works from the beginning.” He forms his plan, and undeviatingly pursues il. “I am the Lord, I change pot.” He lays bis foun. olation, and it stander sure, and the building rises ; * he willeth and none can let it.” “Gd made man hipeight;" and to maintain or restore that uprightness is has great aim and end, under every dispensation of his fotovidence, under the law and the gospel, by Mo. stsünd boy Cinnst.

.... prophet must have the necessary qualifications for his vflice, inust be instructed in the inind of God, be filled with zeal for his glory, be animated with ar. dent love to mankiud, be furtitied against the assaults and opposition of ignorance, and prejudice, and envy. And such an one was Moses, “whom the Lord kneve face to face," with whom be conversed as a man with his friend ; bis zeal was inextinguishable; for the good of Israel he was ready to make the sacrifice of self ; huis meekness was unruMed, his patience not to be suba dued, bis perseverance udefatigable, his l'esolution un. daunted. How much more eininently conspicuous were these characters of a prophet, in the great“ Au. thor and Finisher of the christian laith?” The only be. gotten Son who is “ in the busom of the Father, he hath declared him ;" “ the zeal of thine house bath eaten me up.” “I caine not to do inine own will, but ihe will of him that sent me.” “ The cup which iny Father giveth ine, shall I not drink it?" “ This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,” Matt, iii. 17.

Mozes conversed forty days with God, in the Mounts

but thus saith uncreated Wisdom, “ The Lord possess. ed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old, I was set up froin everlasting, from the beginning or ever the earth was ;" “ before Abraham was, I ain." " Io the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men,” John i. 1,4.

The spirit of Moses was sometimes stirred within him; he dashed the tables of the law to the ground, .“ be spake undavisedly with his lips;" he incurred the displeasure of his heavenly Father, he drew down a sentence of just condemnation upon his head ; but the spirit of the christian Leader was in no one instance discomposed. “ He did no sin, neither was guide found in his lips." He suffered indeed and died, but it was without a crime, “ the just for the unjust, that he might brug usunto God." Moses expressed a wila lungness to be blotted out of God's book, to be deprix. ed of his personal right as a son of Israel, provided Israel might receive the remission of sin, have their rights preserved, and the covenant of proinise be confirmed. But Christ became “ a curse for us," was“ hanged on a tree," was “ cut off from the land of the living,” bea .came “ a propitiation for sin," “ bare our sins in bis owu body on the tree,” “ became sin for us, though he knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” ....A prophet must exhibit the signs of his mission. Men will not believe him on bis own report, will-suspect um of attention to his owptaine, or interest, or aulbority. To prove therefore that ne.came from God, tbat he speaks in his name, that he is vested with his alla

hority, he must do the works of God. And thus was Moses commissioned and permitted to prove lus misa sion. By sign upon sigu he demonstrated that the

Ve., III.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »