Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

H

ple. Having been miraculously set apart to his sacred office, by the voice from heaven, which attested his divine nature at his baptism; having ratified the truth of his mission by many miracles, having applied to himself the written prophecies of the Jewish Scriptures,' and selected twelve apostles to be the especial ministers and teachers of his word, he proceeded to deliver his laws to the assembled multitude, with the authority which his heavenly commission entitled him to exert. Many of these laws had reference to those which Moses had delivered to the Israelites; many were directed against the abuses, which the traditionary expositions of the Jews had introduced into their system: and many were strictly new laws, adapted to the final scheme of Christian revelation, with as much propriety, as the peculiarities of the Mosaic code were to the singular circumstances of God's selected people.

Moses had commanded the people in the name of God, “Thou shalt not kill.” & Christ declares in his own name, “I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother, with-, out a cause, shall be in danger of the judgment;" h and he adds particular instances, as

& Deut. y.

17.

f Luke iv. 16...21. h Matt. v. 22.

specimens of the mode in which the precept of general Christian charity should be carried into effect. Moses had commanded the Jews, that they should not commit adultery. Christ enjoins the regulation of the very passions and thoughts of the heart. The bond of marriage, which, by the law of Moses, and the lax interpretation of the later Jews, might be dissolved at the caprice of an individual, was, by our Saviour, pronounced to be indissoluble, as it had been from the beginning. God had declared by Moses, “ Ye shall not swear by my name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God.” But the command of Christ amounts to a prohibition of all extrajudicial oaths. “I say unto you, Swear not at all.” “Let your communication be yea, yea, nay, nay."" The austerity of the Mosaic law, is expressed in terms like these. “Thine eye shall not pity; but life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot." The mild character of the Christian doctrine is comprized in the few words, “I say unto you, That ye resist not evil.” p

Such an impression did Christ's uniform

i Matt. v. 28.
į Mark x. 4...12.
* Matt. v. 34, 37.
p Matt, v. 39.

k Deut. xxiv. 1-4.
m Lev. xix. 12.
• Deut. xix. 21.

practice of expounding and extending the law of Moses make upon his hearers, that his very enemies made this fact the ground of captious enquiry, that they might have to accuse him.

him. When the woman, taken in adultery, was brought before Christ, the Scribes and Pharisees said unto him, “Now Moses, in the law, commanded that such should be stoned, but what sayest thou ?” "As Christ thus extended the influence of the laws which Moses gave, by adding new precepts, and enforcing them by new sànctions, so he demolished at once the unsound fabric, which the traditions of men had raised and displayed as the commands of God. And from all the precepts which the books of the law contained, he singled out two, the love of God, and the love of man, as containing the summary of all the duties which we are required to practice. These, and all his laws, he enforced by his own indisputable authority, founded

upon the public claims which he first established to the character of the Christ.'

The Prophet, then, who was to come like unto Moses, must, when he came, have been a lawgiver ; for as a lawgiver Moses was eminently known.

Search now the whole range of inspired prophets : view that long line of eminent' men distinguished by various degrees of inspiration, having diversities of gifts from the same Holy Spirit; some endued with the power of working miracles, healing the sick, and raising the dead; some enabled, with the glance of their mental vision, to pierce the gloom of futurity, and depict with the boldest, yet most accurate imagery, events yet distant; seek out Joshua, the chosen captain of Israel, the triumphant leader of her hosts; Samuel, called to consecrate her kings; David, himself the anointed of the Lord; Elijah, a man of like passions with ourselves, but gifted with Divine wisdom in his life, and distinguished in his death above the sons of men; and Elisha, upon whom the spirit of Elijah rested :' contemplate those twelve holy men, who declared all the 'will of the Lord, until vision and prophecy were sealed up: and behold all these enforcing, with all the authority of their office, and in the name of the most High God, the sanctions of the Mosaic law, and often giving intimations of some greater Lawgiver, who should be raised up; yet in no one instance themselves introducing any new law. Behold the world, left for a series of years in darkness, uncheered by one ray of inspira

9 John viii. 5.

+ 2 Kings ii. 15.

The messenger

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

tion, until at length the gospel day begins to dawn. The Spirit begins to be poured out upon all flesh. The prophetic dream, the vision, and the superhuman voice,' are once more displayed among the people of Israel. comes in the wilderness to prepare the way of the Lord: and then the long predicted, and typified, and expected Prophet appears, like unto Moses in many respects, and delivering laws, as Moses did, with authority and power.

Surely in all this we recognize the hand of God. We see him who established the historical type in the character of Moses, completing the antitype in the person of Christ.

II. There are, besides, instances in the life of Moses, in which he appears in another character, different from that of any other prophet: as a personal mediator and priest.

Throughout the Old Testament, God commissioned the prophets to speak to the people in his name; and, by such commission, invested them with an office, in some degree, similar to that which Moses was thus called upon to sustain, but inferior in dignity.

dignity. God also appointed under the law, certain rites, as the means by which it pleased him that atonement should be made for offences. Under

See Smith's

s John xii. 28, 29. Matt. iii. 17. xvii. 5. Dissertation on Proph. Chap. x.

« AnteriorContinuar »