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unto all the Egyptians, Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you do.” *
This honour was not only deserved but it well became the character of him on whom it was conferred. His virtue was great, and had stood the test of the severest trial, and his humility appears equal to the other marks of his piety; for although he had in his power every opportunity to requite the cruel deeds of his brethren, nothing of a spirit of revenge ever appeared in him, but he returned good for their evil, and strictly cautioned them that they should not reflect upon each other on account of what they had done to him;t and though much praise was due to him, he never arrogated any portion to himself, but ascribed all to God. I
And now who can read the history of Joseph without admiring the providence of God in each step of its course, and especially in the glorious issue to which all its events were brought. But what is this compared with the mystery that is now working in the world for the salvation of the church, and the glorious consummation in which it will terminate ? Like Joseph, Jesus Christ is the beloved Son of his Father, and dwelt from eternity in the bosom of his love; but he became “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief ;'s and when he had been subject to the ridicule, persecution, and contempt of his brethren, he was cruelly betrayed, sold as a slave, and put to an ignominious death; but because " he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death * Gen. xli. 41–55. + Gen. Ixv. 24. Gen. 1. 20. 21.
|| Isa. liii. 3.
of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."* He has made him “head over all things to the church.”+ He is the dispenser not of the blessings of Providence merely, but of heavenly crowns and dignities. He sees of the travail of his soul, and is satisfied. From the day of his birth to the end of time mysteries in the providence of God have appeared, and will discover themselves, and his conduct to his people will be strange ; but in the end he will reveal himself, and give the explanation to everything that he has done, and the strange steps he has taken; and then all whom he has deigned to call his brethren shall sit down with him on his throne, and spend an eternity of glory in his presence!
MOSES. “ The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken,” Deut. xviii. 15. When an aged and venerable servant of God is about to be separated from his work by death, and to receive his reward, it is very natural for the people amongst whom his labours have been dispensed, to feel a concern for themselves, and the cause with which he has been connected, just in proportion to the degree of importance * Phil. ii: 9, 10. + Eph. i. 22. Isa. liii. 11.
which they have attached to his presence with them. Therefore it was that the people of Israel experienced an anxiety on account of the approaching dissolution of Moses. It was their relief, however, to be assured upon Divine authority, and by this eminent saint himself, that the interests of the church should in no degree suffer in consequence of his departure; for he informs them, not only that God would raise up a succession of holy and inspired men to follow him, but announces to them also that the time would come when he whose office he had been raised up to typify should make his appearance on the earth.
* That the prophet here referred to is no ordinary one appears evident, from the circumstance of there being none known who came after Moses, except Jesus Christ, bearing so striking a resemblance to him as is here implied. Hence God said, “ Hear now my words : if there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the Lord shall he behold;"* which is confirmed by the declaration afterwards made, that " there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face.”+
It is not denied that the manner in which Moses addressed the Israelites, demanding their attention to the prophet, of whom he spake, “ Unto him ye shall hearken,” might seem to
* Num. xii. 6–8. f Deut. xxxiv. 10.
refer the words to some person who should arise to succeed him in that generation. This, however, by no means follows necessarily; for it is a common way of speaking in the Scriptures, to enforce a duty on those immediately present, or speak of a privilege in connection with them, which more properly belongs to a remote generation. So Paul, writing of the coming of Christ, expresses himself as if it were about then to take place, although it is evident that what he refers to is not to be expected until the end of the world. " Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”*
But what sets the question of reference for ever at rest is the application which the Apostle Peter makes of these words to Christ, in Acts iii. 20—23: “ And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. For Moses truly said unto the fathers, a prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things, whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.”
The only question, then, is as to the particulars in which the great Jewish lawgiver was intended to be considered a type of Christ, or the import of the words "like unto me.” That Moses
* 1 Thess. iv, 17.
and Christ resembled each other in their characters and doings, every one who is acquainted with their lives and histories must be aware; hence it has been observed, the name of Moses (drawn out) imports the circumstances in which he was discovered in his infancy by Pharaoh's daughter; so Christ was drawn out of poverty and obscurity. Moses was meanly born; so was Christ the son of a poor virgin. Immediately after his birth Moses was exposed to the persecution of Pharaoh-so was Christ to the cruelty of Herod; but as the former was miraculously preserved, the same was the case with the latter. Moses left the court of Pharaoh to be the deliverer of the people of God, and Christ descended from heaven to come into our world to die on the cross for our salvation. Moses was meek above all men, and Christ was perfect meekness itself; hence the prophet said of him, “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth."* “ Moses verily was faithful in all his house ; but Christ as a son over hi own house."† At his offering to deliver Israel he met with opposition from his own kindred, whom he was willing to help, and by them his offer was often rejected; in like manner Christ 66 came unto his own, and his own received him not," # " neither did his brethren believe in him.”g Moses instituted the passover, and Christ appointed his own supper. Both were lawgivers, and both wrought * Isa. liii. 7. + Heb. iii. 5, 6. * John i. 11. § John vii. 5.