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the people to carry out his laws, and assist him in the government,* so Christ chose his disciples to sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. +
But, although, in this respect and many others, Moses and Christ were alike, nevertheless, it must not be forgotten how much one exceeded the other. The deliverance which Moses effected was but temporal, that of Christ was eternal. The miracles which the former wrought were by a power delegated to him. Those of the latter were the results of his own power. Moses mediated, but did not succeed on every occasion ; Christ is heard always. Moses was a king by appointment; Christ, in his own right.
And, now, if there is this difference between them, let us not forget the superiority of one to the other. “He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses. Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant wherewith he was sanctified an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the spirit of grace ?”
It is pleasing to observe how, in each portion of Divine Revelation, as well as in its entire character, God has suited the mode of his communication to our disposition and capacity. Designing to give more prominence to one part Judges xviii. 25, 26.
+ Matt. xix. 28. | Heb. x. 28, 29.
than to another, what he has intended to be especially noticed is often set forth in a comparatively detached form, to prevent as much as possible our blending one thing with another. This is true with regard to the types, and appears remarkably in the case of Joshua. There was nothing he did to typify Christ but might have been accomplished by Moses; and had his various acts been performed by his predecessor, they would have made him a still more perfect type of our Lord than he was, because in him all those features of character, and different official acts, that have at any time been attractive in those who have foreshadowed him, are united and harmonized. In that case, however, there would not have been such a confining of the mind to one particular thing as is now the case, nor such an inducement to notice it. The character in which this distinguished person typified the Saviour was, as the Captain of the Lord's host.
That Joshua was a type of Christ most typographers and commentators are agreed in maintaining. Few writers seem to have entertained a doubt upon this subject; and many, so far from questioning the propriety of giving him such a distinction, assign to him a very prominent place among those of a personal character. It is very obvious, however, that if nothing can be considered as justifying the claim of any one to be so regarded but an express declaration of Scripture, or the direct anthority of God, this eminent man must be excluded from the list, for in his case there is no such justification to be obtained. It is true that his name (Joshua), which Moses gave him, instead of Oshea, by which he was at first called, signifies a Saviour, or, as some render it, the salvation of God, and in the New Testament is rendered Jesus ; * but that there is nothing in this circumstance alone showing him to have been designed for a type of Christ, is evident from the fact that the same name is applied to many other persons in Scripture. Thus, in Nehemiah ix. 27, it is said of the people of Israel, that God raised them up saviours. So that, if the name alone is to be considered sufficient to prove that he was a type of Christ, as some have seemed to think, the same distinction might be claimed for all those deliverers to whom the same appellation is given; but this is a conclusion which we cannot with any propriety adopt.
Some have concluded that persons are in certain instances to be considered types of Christ, when the occurrences with which they were connected were confessedly of a figurative description, though they themselves are not said to be such; that they derived this character from the typical event which they were instrumental in bringing to pass; and as Canaan is admitted to have been a type of heaven, Joshua, in leading the Israelites into that country, is to be considered as typifying Christ in conducting his people to glory.* But this conclusion is liable to the same objection as that thought to be supported by his name, for there were many so connected ; yet we do not, from that circumstance, regard such persons as types of Christ : indeed, upon this principle, we might make
* Heb. iv. 8. † See Ridgley's Body of Divinity.
even the common soldiers among the Jews to possess that honour and distinction.
But although neither the circumstance of Joshua bearing the same name as our Lord, nor his being so prominently engaged in the conquest of Canaan (which place prefigured heaven), nor both of them together, would be sufficient to prove that he was a type of Jesus Christ, there is one other circumstance which, if taken in connection with the preceding, would seem to prove that he was designed to be so considered, and that is the appearance that Christ made to him in a character resembling his own : “ And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand : and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? And he said, Nay, but as captain of the host of the Lord am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my Lord unto his servant ? And the captain of the Lord's host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so."* Now that this was an appearance of Jesus Christ few will deny ; and it is in allusion to this circumstance, perhaps, that he is called the Captain of our Salvation. As, however, this representation was made to Joshua at the time when he was required to perform the office of a captain, it may be concluded that he was chosen to be a type of Christ in that connexion. Let us con
* Joshua v. 13—15.
sider, then, in what respects Joshua was a type of Christ. He may be so regarded,
I. In his official character.
1. He was eminently qualified for his undertaking
Knowing all that was to take place with respect to Moses, and foreseeing the necessity that would arise for a successor to him in the great work of conducting the people to the promised land, the Almighty did in the case of Joshua what he has done in numerous other instances--provided himself an instrument for his own work, and prepared him by a course of events and providences which fitted him for his post before he was seen to be required for it. His qualifications were partly natural, consisting of unprecedented courage and perseverance; but especially moral and spiritual, being constituted by true piety, and ardent zeal for the glory of God, and the prosperity of his church and people. Besides being endowed with the Spirit of God, which he possessed in a remarkable degree, he received directions from heaven, sometimes by the immediate instrumentality of the priest, and occasionally in the sanctuary. In addition to all this, he had the counsels and directions of Moses; for although, in consequence of a fatal act of disobedience, that eminent servant of God was forbidden to complete the work he had so signally begun, he did not on that account retire from the charge in sullen silence, but recognized and encouraged his successor; nor was the assistance which Joshua received from his predecessor the least part of his qualification.