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So it was with Christ. Being perfectly free from sin, he possessed all that moral courage which a consciousness of entire innocency imparts; and for the glory of God, and the salvation of his people, willingly exposed himself to danger of the most appalling description. To him was given the Spirit without measure; and his intercourse with Heaven was of the most intimate kind, and unremitting in its continuance.
But that which especially seemed to mark Joshua out as the successor of Moses was the relation in which he stood to the latter as his servant, and the advantages which the intimacy of that relation gave him for his arduous work. So Christ is represented as being especially qualified to become our Redeemer by the relation which he sustained to the preceding dispensation, and the course of discipline through which he had passed. Being made under the law, he was careful to fulfil all righteousness, and could appeal to his most inveterate enemies as to the rectitude of his conduct; and perhaps it is in allusion to Joshua, as a type, that the Apostle assures us concerning our Lord, that “it became Him for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings: and though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered. And being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.” It was by his pains and privations that he was brought into circumstances requiring the exercise of those graces of the
Spirit which dwelt so fully in him, and thus he obtained experience of their varied practical operations. As a continual variety of circumstances, trials, and difficulties were presented to the mind of Christ, his knowledge as man was increased, and his patience, self-denial, and faith constantly demanded. It was in this way that he had experience of what he was to performa peculiar kind of obedience, and such as none but himself ever did or ever could accomplish.
2. Joshua was Divinely appointed to his office.
As the circumstance of Moses being excluded from the promised land must have been known to the whole body of the Jewish people, it is very natural to suppose that among so great a number there were others besides Joshua who would be ambitious of the honour of succeeding him. As, however, in regard to qualifications Joshua stood alone, so he did in reference to the Divine appointment. The latter of these was as necessary to his office as the former, and he possessed it with no less certainty.*
In like manner Jesus Christ, although perfectly qualified for his great undertaking, and predisposed to it, yet could have no authority to become our Saviour without the sanction of the Father, to whose will, as the primary cause, the whole work of redemption is referred.
was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was ;”+ sealed for his great work, and sent into the world in the fulness of time for its accomplishment. I He was called to his office by the voice of God, who
* Num. xxvii. 18. + Prov. viii. 23. John vi. 27.
said unto him, “Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee."* " He was anointed with the Holy Ghost and with power.” † His perfect qualification for his office as Mediator would have been of no avail to us without this Divine appointment, no more than the appointment would have sufficed while he had been destitute of a capacity to hold it. Hence the Apostle notices it as the peculiar excellence of the New Covenant, and the sure foundation of the believer's hope, that our Redeemer was constituted by a solemn oath : “ The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a Priest for ever after the order of Melchizedec.”+ Joshua was a type of Christ,
II. In his conquest over the enemies of the people of God.
1. In its character it was great and complete.
From the numerous victories gained by the Israelites under the conduct of Moses in the wilderness, of which it is clear the inhabitants of Canaan were not ignorant, it might have been expected that their subjugation would have been an easy task, especially from the information given to the spies by Rahab the harlot; for she said, “I know that the Lord hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you."$ A disposition to surrender, however, was not the consequence of this knowledge, but its effect was to render combination amongst them more complete, and their resistance determined and desperate. Never* Acts xiii. 33. + Acts x. 38. 1 Heb. vii. 21.
§ Joshua ii. 9.
theless to what did this obstinacy tend but to make their own sufferings the greater, and to add glory to the triumph of Joshua. He completely subdued those nations; nor were any of their inhabitants spared, but upon condition of unlimited obedience to his authority.
So, from the character and effects of the Old Testament dispensation, the correspondence which may be traced between that and the Gospel state, together with the unquestionable evidence which Jesus Christ put forth of the validity of his claims, it might have been anticipated that his cause would have met with a ready reception; but, instead of this, a confederacy took place to resist him still more powerful than that with which Joshua had to contend: “The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his Anointed.”* As, however, all resistance to Joshua made his victories the greater, so it will be with respect to Christ and his church. Hence God declared to his people of old, “The nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted :”and in accordance with the decree concerning his Son he said, “ Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.” The conquest of Joshua prefigured that of Christ,
2. In the means by which it was accomplished.
Designing in this case, as in others, to employ human instrumentality, in connection with his own Almighty influence and agency, God * Psa. ii. 2.
+ Isa. lx. 12.
adopted a course in which, by blending one of these with the other, he prevented success being ascribed to either exclusively. The ordinary course of warfare was not to be dispensed with; but lest it should be concluded that their own arm had obtained for them the victory, and undue praise be taken to themselves on that account, an extraordinary method of conducting the conflict was adopted, and miracles were wrought. The walls of Jericho were surrounded for seven days, while rams' horns were blown by the priests : * and besides these means, which it was obvious could have no natural connection with the end to be accomplished, the waters of the sea divided as the effect of Divine power, allowing the people to pass ; † and the sun and the moon stood still at the command of the great Jewish captain.I
And is not the preaching of the Gospel the means by which the nations of the earth are to be subdued, a thing simple in itself, and appearing to have little tendency to promote the end to be obtained; yet, by the grace of God, this has been rendered powerful and effective. Hence the Apostle Paul says, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." $ In connection with the propagation of the truth, miracles and extraordinary interpositions took * Joshua vi. † Josh. iii. 14. Josh. x. 12.
$ 2 Cor. x. 4, 5.