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is faithful in all mine house. With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches, and the similitude of the Lord shall he behold.” In this manner, the Lord before “spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh with his friend.” u
It is, undoubtedly, difficult clearly to conceive the mode of communication indicated in these words, between a man of like passions with ourselves, and God, whom no man hath seen at any time, yet there surely is here declared such an intimate communion with the Most High, as is asserted of no other human being
2. When the other prophets received intimations of the will of the Almighty, their human nature was often too weak to bear the splendours which were displayed.
“I Daniel,” says the prophet, “alone saw the vision......I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength. Yet heard I the voice of his words, and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground.”
t Numb. xii. 6-9. x John i. 18.
u Exod. xxxiii. 11. y Dan. x. 7-9.
But when Moses was permitted to converse with God himself, his physical and mental powers were undazzled and unspent by that celestial colloquy. He went up into the very presence of the God of the whole earth, descending upon mount Sinai. With such strength was he strengthened in his soul, that the ineffable glories of the Divine splendour shook not the settled firmness of his purpose to obey the commands of God who called him. Although he did exceedingly fear and quake," he was yet enabled to retain his selfpossession. The people trembled, and “mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly. And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder,
louder, MOSES SPAKE, and God answered him with voice.'
3. To the other prophets the power of predicting was vouchsafed at intervals. The Lord put a word into their mouth; and they then spake as they were commanded. But with Moses there seem to have been no such intermissions. He was constantly blessed with some portion of the prophetic spirit: and with
z Heb. xii. 21.
a Exod. xix. 18, 19.
the privilege of enquiring of the Lord, upon all occasions of difficulty and doubt.
But the legislative character of Moses is that by which he is most distinguished, from all the prophets of the Old Testament whọ succeeded him.
Moses was, as a lawgiver, pre-eminent. The laws which he promulgated were remarkable: adapted to the peculiar government under whichi the Israelites lived; enforced by sanctions such as no one but an inspired prophet could impose; present success or immediate temporal calamity, intended, and sometimes understood, to indicate future reward or punishment.
Now of all the illustrious prophets whom the Old Testament records, not one introduced a new law. Not one, therefore, was a prophet like unto Moses, in this distinguishing point of resemblance.
From the very circumstances, then, under which this remarkable prophecy was delivered, we have reason to conclude, that Moses is set forth as an historical type of some one great Prophet, who was to be raised up, and when raised up should be known by his similarity to him: and that the prophecy was not fulfilled in Joshua, nor in Jeremiah, nor in any other of the prophets of the Old Testament.
b Numb. vii. 89. ix. 8.
It will remain to be shewn, on a subsequent occasion, that Christ Jesus was the Prophet thus prefigured and predicted.
That fact, then, for the present being assumed, let us consider how the conviction of it should influence our thoughts and our conduct.
The first feeling which a due consideration of these facts must excite, is that of astonishment.
How far does a scheme of this magnitude and importance, surpass every contrivance of human wisdom. The law of Moses is represented as most strictly connected, throughout, with the Gospel, for which it prepared the world. At the very time when it was first delivered, Moses was taught to look beyond its temporal enactments; to regard himself as the representative of some greater Prophet, and the ceremonies and rites, which were imposed upon the Israelites, as foreshadowing fuller and better blessings.
To what degree the minds of Moses, and of the more holy and spiritual among his countrymen, were enlightened, so as to discern in the figures for the time then present the realities which they represented, it would be, perhaps, in vain to enquire. But that he did consider them in some degree symbolical, we
c Heb. ix. 9.
can hardly doubt, knowing that he was “admonished of God when he went about to make the tabernacle: for see, saith hé, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount."d As, there fore, he at least knew the tabernacle and its services to relate to the heavenly things which he had seen in the mount, we cannot imagine him to have been ignorant that the whole law had also the shadow of good things to come.
Neither did the fathers of old, in their obedience to the law, look only for temporal promises.
Life and immortality were brought to light through the Gospel ;' but some faint beams of this latter glory had, at times, been imparted to mankind, sufficient to guide their steps, and to lead them onwards on their way. “ These all died in faith : not,” indeed, “having received the promises, but having seen them afar off; and were persuaded of them and embraced them.”& But, whatever degree of hope might, from this source, be derived by the Jew, the continued intimate connection between the law and the Gospel, since it has been made clear by the Spirit of God, is to
d Heb. viii. 5.
2 Tim. i. 10.
e Heb. x. 1,