Imágenes de páginas

many and great miracles to confirm their missions. Both sustained a fast of forty days in connection with their respective revelations. Both had their faces transfigured, and both were peculiar in their death.

All these, and many other points of resemblance, are enlarged upon or noticed by M'Ewen, * Guild,t Dr. Jortin, and others, and it must be admitted that some of them are very striking. But still that these similarities, great as they are, were really intended by the Holy Ghost to receive any great emphasis, is very doubtful, or rather there is not much doubt on the subject; and, perhaps, in considering Moses as a type of Christ, our attention must be confined to a few particulars, and chiefly to his official character, for it is in that only that the Apostle .speaks of him as a type. In what respect, then, was Moses a prophet like Christ?

I. They were like each other in being the authors of the different dispensations with which they were connected.

This honour, so far as it related to Moses, as a servant of God, was not altogether peculiar; for as there had been soveral economies preceding that of the law, and God made use of human instrumentality in establishing them all, Adam, Noah, and Abraham had each been distinguished in the same manner; but, as a prophet, Moses was the first and the only one who was so highly favoured. All before him had merely carried out the state of things which * Grace and Truth.

+ Moses unveiled. I Remarks on Ecc. Hist., vi., 2nd edition, p. 130.

§ See Heb. iii. 2.

they found in existence, but it was reserved for Moses to change the whole character of the times in which he lived; and in this respect he was a most striking representative of him who was to come, and in connection with whom a different and improved economy was to be introduced.

1. The dispensation which Moses brought in was partly new and partly a re-establishment of what had appeared before. Whilst it partook in some measure of that which was receding, it was chiefly characterized by original peculiarities; yet Moses was connected with both, being born and educated under the former, but accommodating himself more especially to the latter.

His dispensation, partaking of this double character, was in exact conformity with those which had preceded it, with the exception only of the first (which, from the period when it was introduced, could not be otherwise), and equally in accordance with the general conduct of God; for in all the great changes that have taken place, whether in nature, providence, or grace, a gradual progress has been pursued, and one state of things has introduced another.

As it was with Moses in this respect, so it was with Christ. He was 66 made of a woman, made under the law;"* and when he was eight days old was circumcised, according to its requirements. He observed its ancient rights, and assigned as a reason for his conduct,

or that it became him to fulfil all righteousness."| His own institutions are either those which had been before observed, with only slight alterations, or

* Gal. iv. 4. + Luke ii. 39. 1 Matt, iii. 15.

new ones based upon the principles of the preceding. He recognized the former dispensation in all its doctrines and precepts, and declared that “he came not to destroy but to fulfil."* That “if they had believed Moses they would have believed him, for he wrote of him.”+ He “is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth ;"I nor is the law made void by the gospel, but explained, enforced, and established.

2. Both dispensations were established in the same manner.

There is no precise amount of evidence for which we are justified in looking to prove the truth of a prophet's mission, any more than we possess an infallible criterion by which to judge of a call to preach the gospel. It is clear, however, that there was no proof of a Divine commission, such as those with which the people of God were familiar, which Moses did not give. His signs were both numerous and various. All the elements of nature bore their united testimony to him. So “ Jesus of Nazareth was a man approved of God, by miracles, wonders, and signs, which God did by him ;" || and to these he constantly appealed as sufficient to silence all cavils concerning him. “If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin.” “Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very work's sake."**

* Matt, v. 17. + John v. 46. I Rom. x. iv. § Rom. iii. 31. | Acts ii. 22. John xv. 22.

** John xiv. 2.

his glorified agailenvy much

And while in these outward signs there was a resemblance between Moses and Christ, so it appeared no less conspicuous in their dispositions and qualifications for their works. Is it required in a prophet that he should be instructed in the mind of God-filled with zeal for his glory-should ardently love mankind—and be fortified against the opposition of ignorance, prejudice, and envy,-all these were found in Moses, but appeared much more prominently in Jesus Christ. He was in the bosom of the Father, yet loved the human race so as to give himself for it. By a patience far superior to that of Moses, although the meekest of men,* he endured the contradiction of sinners against himself. f “ When he was reviled, he reviled not again: when he suffered he threatened not, but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously;"I and he only could say, “The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up."'S

3. The times when these different dispensations were introduced were characterized by unprecedented ignorance and darkness.

- God is light, and in him is no darkness at all."|| Everything he does is dictated by infinite wisdom and propriety, both as to the act itself, and also in respect to the season when it is performed. To be impressed with this is necessary, in order to give him that honour which his word demands; and yet to obtain the conviction is exceedingly difficult, and therefore the Almighty often allows things to approach an extreme before his interference takes place, Num. xii. 3. + Heb. xii. 3. 11 Peter ii. 23. § John ii. 17.

|| 1 John i. 5.

that his glory might appear the greater, just as the bright shining morning is enjoyed the more after a night of storm and tempest, and a deliverance from bondage more highly prized in proportion as its yoke had become oppressive and cruel. That considerations of this nature had any influence upon the Divine mind, in regard to the state of the Israelites in delaying the introduction of the Mosaic Dispensation, we are not told; the supposition that they had, however, will enable us to account for the very low state and condition to which they were allowed to be reduced before its establishment; but if such were not the case with respect to them, it is pretty certain that one reason why the world was left so long without the light which the gospel introduced was, that it might be more fully convinced than it otherwise would have been of its absolute necessity. Hence the Apostle asks, “ Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world ? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world ? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe."*

4. The continuance of the Mosaic Dispensation was longer than that of any by which it was preceded. This circumstance was occasioned, not only by its perfection and peculiar adaptation to the people of the Jews, which made it less liable to the neglect and opposition which would have caused it to decline, but especially to the providence of God, by which it was pro

* 1 Cor. i. 20, 21.

« AnteriorContinuar »