Page images

wherein that hath the pre-eminence and advantage above all others There was indeed, in consequence of this prophecy, a general expectation of some extraordinary prophet to arise, which prevailed particularly about the time of our Saviour. The Jews then as well as since, * understood and applied this prophecy to the Messialı, the only prophet whom they will ever allow to be as great or greater than Moses. When our Saviour had fed five thousand men, by a miracle like that of Moses, who fed the Israelites in the wilderness, then those men said, “This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world,'-_John vi. 14. St. Peter and St. Stephen directly apply the prophecy to him. Acts iii. 22, 23; vii. 37: and they may very well be justified for so doing ; for he fully answers all the marks and characters, which are here given of the prophet like unto Moses. He had immediate communication with the deity, and God spake to him ‘face to face,' as he did to Moses. He performed ‘signs and wonders' as great or greater than those of Moses. He was a lawgiver as well as Moses. I will raise them up a prophet,' saith God; and the people glorified God, saying, that a great prophet is risen up among us,'—Luke vii. 16. 'I will put my words in his mouth,' saith God, in Hebrew, will give my words; and our Saviour saith, • I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me,'—John xvii. 8. “He shall speak unto them all that I shall command him,' saith God; and our Saviour saith, “I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak,'-—John xii. 49, 50.

II. We shall be more and more confirmed in this opinion, when we consider the great and striking likeness between Moses and Jesus Christ, and that the latter resembled the former in more respects than any other person ever did. Notice hath been taken already of some instances, wherein they resemble each other, of God speaking to both, ' face to face,' of both performing 'signs and wonders,' of both being 'lawgivers :' and in these respects none of the ancient prophets were like unto Moses. None of them were lawgivers; they only interpreted and enforced the law of Mo

None of them performed so many and so great wonders. None of them had such clear communications with God; they all saw visions, and dreamed dreams. Moses and Jesus Christ are the only two who perfectly resemble each other in these respects. But a more exact and particular comparison may be drawn between them, and hath been drawn by two eminent hands, by one of the best and ablest of the ancient fathers, and by one of the most learned and ingenious of modern divines : and as we cannot pretend to add any thing to them, we must be content to copy from them.

* See authorities cited in Bishop Chandler's Defence of Christianity, chap. 6, sect 2, p. 307. Edit. 3d.


Eusebius treating of the prophecies concerning Christ, produceth* first this of Moses : and then asketh, which of the prophets after Moses, Isaiah for instance, or Jeremiah, or Ezekiel, or Daniel, or any other of the twelve, was a lawgiver, and performed things like unto Moses? Moses first rescued the Jewish nation from Egyptian superstition and idolatry, and taught them the true theology ; Jesus Christ in like manner was the first teacher of true religion and virtue to the Gentiles. Moses confirmed his religion by miracles : and so likewise did Christ. Moses delivered the Jewish nation from Egyptian servitude; and Jesus Christ all mankind from the power of evil demons. Moses promised a holy land, and therein a happy life to those who kept the law; and Jesus Christ a better country, that is, a heavenly, to all righteous souls. Moses fasted forty days; and so likewise did Christ. Moses supplied the people with bread in the wilderness; and our Saviour fed five thousand at one time, and four thousand at another, with a few loaves. Moses went himself, and led the people through the midst of the sea ; and Jesus Christ walked on the sea, and enabled Peter to walk likewise. Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Lord caused the sea to go backward ; and our Saviour rebuked the wind and the sea, and there was a great calm. Moses's face shone, when he descended from the Mount; and our Saviour's did shine as the sun in his transfiguration. Moses by his prayers cured Miriam of her leprosy; and Christ with greater power by a word healed several lepers. Moses performed wonders by the finger of God; and Jesus Christ by the finger of God did cast out devils. Moses changed Oshea's name to Joshua; and our Saviour did Simon's to Peter. Moses constituted seventy rulers over the people ; and our Saviour appointed seventy disciples. Moses sent forth twelve men to spy out the land ; and our Saviour twelve apostles to visit all nations. Moses gave several excellent moral precepts; and our Saviour carried them to the highest perfection.

* Eusebi: Demons. Evangel. lib. 3, cap. 2, p. 90-94. Edit Paris, 1628.

Dr. Jortin* hath enlarged upon these hints of Eusebius, and made several improvements and additions to them. Moses in his infancy was wonderfully preserved from the destruction of all the male children; so was Christ. Moses fled from his country to escape the hands of the king; so did Christ, when his parents carried him into Egypt: afterwards the Lord said to Moses in Midian, Go, return into Egypt; for all the men are dead which sought thy life,'—Exod. iv. 19; so the angel of the Lord said to Joseph, in almost the same words, ' Arise, and take the young child, and go into the land of Israel; for they are dead which sought the young child's life,'-Matt. ii. 20; pointing him out as it were for that prophet, who should arise like unto Moses. Moses refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction ; Christ refused to be made king, choosing rather to suffer affliction. Moses, says St. Stephen, was learned (taidevOn,) in all the wisdom of the Egyptians,' and Josephus, Ant. Jud. ii. 9, says, that he was a very forward and accomplished youth, and had wisdom and knowledge beyond his years; St. Luke observes of Christ, that'he increased (betimes) in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man,' and his discourses in the temple with the doctors, when he was twelve years old, were a proof of it. Moses contended with the magicians, who were forced to acknowledge the divine power by which he was assisted; Christ rejected evil spirits, and received the same acknowledgments from them. Moses was not only a lawgiver, a prophet, and a worker of miracles, but a king and a priest; in all these offices the resemblance between Moses and Christ was singular. Moses brought darkness over the land; the sun withdrew his light at Christ's crucifixion : And as the darkness which was spread over Egypt was followed by the destruction of their first born, and of Pharaoh and his host; so the darkness of Christ's death was the forerunner of the destruction of the Jews. Moses foretold the calamities which would befal the nation for their disobedience; so did Christ. The spirit which was in Moses was conferred in some degree upon the seventy elders, and they prophesied; Christ conferred miraculous powers upon his seventy disciples. Moses was victorious over powerful kings and great nations ; so was Christ by the effects of his religion, and by the fall of those who persecuted his church. Moses conquered Amalec by holding up both his hands ; Christ overcame

• Remarks on Ecclesiastical History, vol. i. p. 203-222.

his and our enemies when his hands were fastened to the cross. Moses interceded for transgressors, and caused an atonement to be made for them, and stopped the wrath of God; so did Christ Moses ratified a covenant between God and the people by sprinkling them with blood; Christ with his own blood. Moses desired to die for the people, and prayed that God would forgive them, or blot him out of his book; Christ did more, he died for sinners. Moses instituted the passover, when a lamb was sacrificed, none of whose bones were to be broken, and whose blood protected the people from destruction : Christ was that paschal lamb. Moses lifted up the serpent, that they who looked upon him might be healed of their mortal wounds ; Christ was that serpent. All Moses's affection towards the people, all his cares and toils on their account were repaid by them with ingratitude, murmuring, and rebellion; the same returns the Jews made to Christ for all his benefits. Moses was ill used by his own family, his brother and sister rebelled against him; there was a time when Christ's own bre thren believed not in him. Moses had a very wicked and perverse generation committed to his care and conduct, and to enable him to rule them, miraculous powers were given to him, and he used his utmost endeavour to make the people obedient to God, and to save them from ruin; but in vain ; in the space of forty years they all fell in the wilderness except two: Christ also was given to a generation not less wicked and perverse, his instructions and his miracles were lost upon them, and in about the same space

of time, after they had rejected him, they were destroyed. Moses was very meek above all men that were on the face of the earth; so was Christ. The people could not enter into the land of promise, till Moses was dead; by the death of Christ the kingdom of heaven was opened to believers. In the death of Moses and Christ there is also a resemblance of some circumstances : Moses died, in one sense, for the iniquities of the people ; it was their rebellion which was the occasion of it, which drew down the displeasure of God upon them and upon him ; Moses went up in the sight of the people, to the top of mount Nebo, and there he died, when he was in perfect vigour, when his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated : Christ suffered for the sins of men, and was led up, in the presence of the people, to mount Calvary, where he died in the flower of his age, and when he was in his full natural strength. Neither Moses nor Christ, as far as we may collect from sacred history, were ever sick, or felt any bodily decay or infirmity, which would have rendered them unfit for the toils they underwent; their sufferings were of another kind. Moses was buried, and no man knew where his body lay; nor could the Jews find the body of Christ. Lastly, as Moses a little before death promised another prophet;' so Christ another comforter.'

The great similitude consists in their both being lawgivers, which no prophet ever was besides Moses and Christ. They may resemble each other in several other features, and a fruitful imagination find out a likeness where there is none. But as the same

may excellent writer concludes, “ Is this similitude and correspondence in so many things between Moses and Christ the effect of mere chance ? Let us search all the records of universal history, and see if we can find a man who was so like to Moses as Christ was, and so like to Christ as Moses was. If we cannot find such a one, then have we found him of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God.

III. There is no want of many words to prove, for it is visible to all the world, that the people have been and still are severely punished for their infidelity and disobedience to this prophet. The prophecy is clear and express; Unto him ye shall hearken: And it shall come to pass that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him,' that is, I will severely punish him for it, as the phrase signifies elsewhere. The antecedent is put for the consequent: judges first inquired, then punished; and the Seventy translate it, I will take vengeance of him.'* This prophecy, as we have proved at large, evidently relates to Jesus Christ. God himself in a manner applies it to him: for when he was transfigured, Matt. xvii. 5, there came • a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased : hear ye him ;' alluding plainly to the words of Moses, ' Unto him ye shall hearken,' and so pointing hin out for the prophet like unto Moses. St. Peter, as we noted hefore, directly applies it to our Saviour, Acts iïi. 22, 23,— 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 shali 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;' which is the sense ra

* d'you i'r bounow i'xite.-Sept. [Translated in the text.)

« PreviousContinue »