Imagini ale paginilor

justified from all things, from which they could not be justified by the Law of Moses.” “ He is the Mediator of a better Covenant than the Mosaic, being established upon better promises.” For, whereas, the first Covenant was local and temporary, this is universal and eternal. It extends to all persons, times, and places, and is a Covenant of grace in contradistinction to legal works; a law of the heart and of the mind, adapted to the case of every individual, and reconciling the whole world to God. He took our nature upon him, that by carrying it up with him into heaven, he might there appear in it before the throne of God, and presenting it as a lively memorial of his sufferings, make it the basis of his continual intercession for transgressors. His mediatorial office, though begun on earth, did not finish there, but is now carrying on in heaven much more largely and effectually, and will continue in force till he hath subdued all enemies under his feet. It is, therefore, a subsisting office, and differs from all similar appointments which were interrupted by the stroke of death.

“ Wherefore,” says the Apostle, “he is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”

But not only was Christ superior to the Jewish prophet in his offices, but in his conduct likewise. What purity and innocence in his life and conversation! What forbearance and disinterestedness in all his actions towards others ! He not only did no sin, which was never affirmed of Moses or any other


man, but his benevolence was perfect. How much he had to encounter both in his immediate followers and in the world. What dulness and frowardness in the one! What malice and violence in the other! His motives were misrepresented, his actions vilified, his name made a reproach, his life threatened, and his death accomplished, and all this by rational beings whom he came down from the blessed abodes of peace and happiness purposely to redeem from death, and who had it not in their power to repay the obligation. Was it any benefit to him to undergo this suffering? Could benevolence more pure be exercised towards mankind ? “ Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." And this love Christ was pleased to manifest to sinners and enemies.

For he was cut off, but not for himself, in the prime of life and the full vigour of his age, and left behind him the remembrance of a name which binds the creation to


In these three particulars, therefore, which we have considered, he was a Prophet like unto Moses, though of a higher order, and bearing a more important commission.

But in describing this wonderful person Moses says, “Unto Him ye shall hearken.” And God, in allusion to this, declares still more emphatically, “That whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.” Here it is plainly announced, that on the people's observance of this extraordinary Prophet, depended their final connection with the household of God, for as the Israelites were God's children, and their future teacher was to spring up from among them, if they rejected his authority, and would not have him to reign over them, they would reject themselves from the Covenant of mercy, and cut themselves off from the family of the faithful. When Moses addressed this speech to lis people, it could not be meant for that present generation. Christ did not come till many ages after, and the memorial only of this transaction was then remaining. But as it was addressed to the persons then present, they must have had an interest in the promised Deliverer, and consequently, the expectation of his advent was kept alive, and became an object of hope and solicitude to every pious member of the Jewish community. This is that faith by which men are said to live; a faith in Him, whom, having not seen, they nevertheless believe in with joy unspeakable; a faith, which in all periods of time, has raised the eye of the sons of God towards heaven, and enabled them to walk “as seeing him who is invisible.” By this faith the Patriarchs of old looked beyond this visible world for a resting place to the sole of their foot, as they trod the weary pilgrimage of life, and in their holy lives, led in the fear of the Lord and the hope of better things to come, they might be said, in a figurative and spiritual sense, to hearken unto Christ. But whatever was the conduct of men before the Day-spring from on high visited us, and whatever excuse may be offered for their inattention, to reason and revelation, those gifts of God, we see in the history of the Jews, how faithfully God hath required the neglect of his Son's voice at their hands, and what an awful judgment awaits all those who, by their infidelity and their sins, refuse to hearken to him.

The conclusion to be drawn from what has been said is this, that in Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of Joseph, we have found, as Philip said, Him of whom Moses in the Law, and the Prophets did write. The prophecy before us was plainly fulfilled in him and in no other person. “ He spake as never man spake,” and “ did the works which none other man ever did.” To these works he appeals as a testimony to his high character, and the people who beheld them said, “This is of a truth that PROPHET that should come into the world.” “See, then, that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, namely Moses, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven.” “Wherefore, as the Holy Ghost saith, To-day, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.”




JOHN vii. 26.


In order to mark with clearness and precision the Redeemer whom God had promised to mankind, various offices were assigned him in Holy Scripture, by the fulfilment of which he should become evidently known. These offices were signs or tests of his character, and his assumption and execution of them would prove both the genuineness of his pretensions, and the truth of the promises of God. In order, therefore, to see how far the life of Jesus corresponded with the just expectations to be formed of him from the predictions which had gone before, let us examine the chief of these offices, that by comparing the language of the Old Testament with the history of the New, we may be assured, that “ this was of a truth that PROPHET that should come into the world.”

There are three of these which claim a superior

« ÎnapoiContinuați »