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In this illustrious manner did the great tration of the glorious subject, point out a Redeemer of mankind depart, after having | few
few instances; which will evince, that the finished the grand work which he left the prophecies of old were only to be compleatbosom of bis Father to execute; a work ed in the sufferings and death of Christ. which God bimself, in the remotest eternity contemplated with plensure, which angels Moses was the most distinguished of all with joy described was to happen, and the prophets, and his greatest prophecy which through all eternity to come, shall at was that of another prophet to be raised periods, the most immensely distant from like unto himself. He was, at the time of the time of its execution, be looked back this prediction, about to leave his people, upon with inexpressible delight, by every and, therefore, to give them some comfort, inhabitant of heaven; for though the ininute he promised them another prophet. “ The affairs of time may vanish altogether and be Lord thy God, (said he) will raise unto lost, when they are removed far back by the thee a prophet from the midst of thee, of endless progression of duration, this object is thy brethren, like unto me; unto him shall such, that no distance however great can les ye hearken.” Deut. xviii. 15. sen it. The kingdom of heaven is erected on the incarnation and sufferings of the Son That this person of whom Moses propheof God, the kingdom and the city of the Al sied, was the great Redeemer of mankind, mighty, comprehending all the people of is amply evident, and that Moses resembled God in the universe, made happy by good Christ in a much greater degree than any ness and love, and therefore, none of them other person ever did, will appear from the can ever forget the foundation on which following circumstances : their happiness stands established. The human species in particular, recovered by Both Moses and Christ shewed signs and the labour of the Son of God, will view their wonders, and in these respects none of the Deliverer, and look back on his stupendous ancient prophets were like unto Moses. undertaking with the highest rapture, while None of them were lawgivers, they only they are feasting without interruption on its interpreted and enforced the laws of Moses. delicious fruits. The rest of the members None of them had such clear communicalikewise of the city of God, will contem tion with God; they all saw visions, and plate it with perpetual pleasure, as the bap dreamed dreams. Moses and Christ are py means of recovering their kindred that the only two who perfectly resembled each were lost, and possibly the grand confirma other in these respects. tion of the whole rational system, in their subjections to him who reigneth for ever,
Moses fled from his country to escape and whose favour is better than life itself. the hands of the king of Egypt: so did
Christ when his parents went into Egypt. Thus have we followed our dear Redeemer Afterwards “ the Lord said unto Moses, through all the transactions of his life, and in Midian, Go, return into Egypt; for all enlarged on the stupendous miracle of his the men are dead which sought thy life,” resurrection, on which glorious event the Exod. iv. 19; so the angel of the Lord said whole christian doctrine is founded.
to Joseph in nearly the same words,
“ Arise, and take the young child, and go As the similarity between Christ, and into the land of Israel; for they are dead the law-giver Moses (whom the divine Re which sought the young child's life;" Matt. deemer mentioned to his disciples but a ii. 20, pointing him out, as it were, for short time before his ascension into heaven) that prophet, who should arise, like unto is so very remarkable, we shall, as an illus Moses.
Moses refused to be called the son of caused an atonement to be made for them, Pharaob's daughter, chusing rather and stopped the wrath of God; so did suffer affliction ; Christ refused to be made Christ. king, chusing rather to suffer the like.
Moses ratified a covenant between God Moses, (says St. Stephen) “ was learned and the people, by sprinkling them with in all the wisdom of the Egyptians," and blood; Christ with his own blood. Josephus says, that he was a very forward and accomplished youth, and had wisdom Moses desired to die for the people, and and knowledge beyond his years. St. Luke prayed that God would forgive them, or observes of Christ, that “ be increased (be-| blot him out of his book ; Christ did more, times) in wisdom and stature, and iu favour he died for sinners. with God and man," and his discourses in
Moses instituted the passover, when a the temple with the doctors, when he was but twelve years old, were a proof of it.
lamb was sacrificed, none of whose bones
were to be broken, and whose blood proMoses was not only a law-giver, a pro tected the people from destruction : Christ phet, and a worker of miracles, but a
was the paschal lamb. king and a priest : in all these offices the resemblance between Moses and Christ Moses lifted up the serpent, that they was singular.
who looked upon him might be healed of
their mortal wounds; by properly looking Moses brought darkness over the land ;
up to Christ all will be healed. the sun withdrew his light at Christ's crucifixion ; and as the darkness which spread All the affection of Moses towards the over Egypt was followed by the destruc
people, all his cares and toils on their action of their first-born, and of Pharaoh and
count were repaid by them with ingratibis host : so the darkness at Christ's death
tude, murmuring and rebellion; the same was the forerunner of the destruction of
returns the Jews made to Christ for all his the Jews.
benefits. Moses foretold the calamities which
Moses was ill used by his own family; would befal the nation for their disobedience: so did Christ.
his brother and sister rebelled against him ;
there was a time when Christ's own breThe spirit which was in Moses was con
thren believed not in him. ferred, in some degree, upon the seventy elders, and they prophesied; Christ con
Moses had a very wicked and perverse ferred miraculous powers on his seventy generation committed to his care and condisciples,
duct, and to enable him to rule them, mi.
raculous Moses was victorious over powerful kings used his utmost endeavours to make the
powers were given to him, and he and great nations60 was Christ by the people obedient to God, and to save them effects of bis religion, and by the fall of from ruin; but in vain ; in the space of those who persecuted the church.
forty-two years they all fell in the wilderMoses conquered Amalec by holding up
ness except two; Christ also was given to both his hands ; Christ overcame his and
a generation not less wicked and perverse,
his instructions and his miracles were lost our enemies when his hands were fastened to the cross.
upon them, and in about the same space of
time, after they had rejected him, they Moses interceded for transgressors, and were destroyed. No. 17.
Moses was very meek above all men should preach the Gospel, fulfil the Old that were on the face of the earth : so was Testament, build the New, and feed the Christ.
people with celestial ailment. The people could not enter into the land
Such are the comparisons relative to the of promise till Moses was dead; by the great Resemblance between Moses and death of Christ the kingdom of heaven Christ : but the greatest similitude consists was opened to believers.
in their both being law-givers, which no other Moses enlightened the Jews under the
prophet ever was. They may resemble each dispensation of the old law; Christ enligh
other in many other circumstances, and a tened the Christians under the Gospel.
fruitful imagination may strike upon far.
ther resemblances ; but what we have Moses did great wonders in the land of
been mentioning may suffice ; and we Egypt ; Christ did great miracles in Judea.
inay ask, is this similitude between Moses
and Christ the effect of mere chance ? Let In the deaths of Moses and Christ there is us search all the records of universal bisalso a resemblance of some circumstances : tory, and see if we can find a man who Moses died, in some sense, for the iniqui
was so like to Christ as Moses was. ties of the people; it was their rebellion
cannot find such an one, then have we which was the occasion of it, which drew
found him of whom Moses in the law, and down the displeasure of God upon them
the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazaand upon him; Moses went up, in the reth, the Son of God. sight of the people, to the top of the mount Nebo, and there he died, when he was in per
Thus have we followed our dear Refect vigour, when“ bis eyes was not dim, nor deemer though all the transactions of his his natural force abated :" Christ suffered
life, and enlarged on the stupendous mirafor the sins of men, and was led up, in the
cle of his resurrection, as the whole christian presence of the people, to mount Calvary, doctrine is founded on that glorious event. where he died in the flower of his age, and when he was in his full natural strength.
And from this history it is abundantly
evident, that our blessed Saviour shewed Neither Moses, or Christ, as far as we
himself to his disciples and friends only, not can collect from sacred history, were ever
to the Jews in general. This circumstance sick, or felt any bodily decay or infirmity,
gave Spinosa a pretence for raising an obwhich would have rendered them unfit for jection, which his disciples have considered the toils they underwent: their sufferings
as the strongest argument against our Lord's were of another kind.
resurrection. “ If, say they, he really rose
from the dead, to have shewed limself to Moses was buried, and no man knew
his enemies as well as to his friends, would
have find the body of Christ.
more necessary to the cause of ChristianiLastly, as Moses, a little before his ty; and, therefore, the resurrection to a death, promised “another prophet;" so
few select friends only, renders the affair 'Christ, before his death, promised “ano
extremely suspicious and improbable. ther comforter."
But this argument, however plausible it Moses (says St. Ambrose) was the figure may appear at first sight, is destitute of the of that Preceptor that was to come ; who least force, because it may be demonstrated,
where his body Jay; nor could the Jews have put the truth of his resurrection beyond
that if Jesus had shewed himself to his ene continued in their infidelity, the whole stress mies, and to all the people in general, these of the evidence of his resurrection must appearances, instead of putting the truth of have rested on the evidence of the very perhis resurrection beyond all doubt, would sons, who, according to the plan pitched have weakened the evidence of it, at least, upon by Providence, bear witness to it in after ages; and, consequently, have been now, and upon whose testimony the world : of infinite prejudice to mankind ; for, upon
has believed it. So that instead of gaining the supposition that our blessed Saviour had an additional evidence by the proposed shewed himself openly, one of the two method of shewing Jesus publicly to all the things must necessarily have happened : people, we should have had nothing to either his enemies, submitting to the evi trust to but the testimony of his disciples, dence of their senses, would have believ and that clogged with this incumbrance, ed his resurrection ; or resisting that evi. tbat bis resurrection was denied by many dence, they would reject it altogether. to whom he appeared, and who were not We shall first consider the latter.
But, in the second place, it may be sup: Those enemies of the great Redeemer of mankind, who resisted the evidence of their posed, that in case our blessed Saviour had
shewed himself publicly, the whole nation senses, or who though really convinced,
of the Jelws must have believed ; that fuwould not acknowledge their conviction, must have justified their disbelief, by affirm
ture generations would thus have had the
fullest evidence of the truth of bis resurs ing, that the person who appeared to them,
rection. às risen from the dead, was not Jesus whom the Roman governor had crucified, but an
This, however, will not appear to be the impostor who personated him.
case, if we consider, that the greatest part other foundation their infidelity would have of our Lord's enemies having not given been ridiculous and absurd; but if the
themselves the trouble of attending him believing Jews by our Lord's appearing often, cannot be supposed to have been so personally to them, would have been laid
well acquainted with his person, as to know under a necessity of denying the reality of him with certainty. For which reason though his resurrection, even though persuaded of he had shewed himself to them, even the it in their own minds, the evidence of fact
belief of his resurrection must, in a great could have gained nothing by such public measure, bave depended on the testimony appearances : because the generality of the
of his disciples and friends. If so, it is not Jews were not capable of passing a judg
very probable that his appearing publicly ment upon the falsehood which Christ's ene
would have had any great effect ou the mies must have made use of to support Jews, to persuade them to embrace a crutheir denial of his resurrection. Being un cified Messiah. It is far more reasonable acquainted with Jesus, they could not cer
to believe they would have rejected the tainly tell whether he was really the very whole, and continued in their infidelity. . person whom the Romans bad crucified. His apostles, disciples, and acquaintance, But to give the argument all the force who, by their long attendance , on him, the Deists can desire, let us suppose, that, knew his stature, shape, air, voice, and in consequence of our blessed Saviour's apmanner, were the only proper persons by pearing to all the people of the Jews, the whose determination the point in dispute nation in general would have been concould be decided : consequently, if our vinced of the truth of his resurrection, and Lord had appeared to all the people; if any become his disciples ; what advantage considerable number of his enemies had would the cause of Christianity have reap
ed from such effects of our Lord's public fraud, must have carried it on under the appearance? Would the evidence of his
greatest disadvantages. resurrection have become thereby the more unquestionable ? Or would the modern in The reason is, that justead of making fidels have been the better disposed to be many friends to assist them, which a fraud lieve in this crucified Jesus? By no means. of this kind requires, all men were their For we do not find that men of this class eneinies, and interested to discover the are at all the more ready to believe the mi- cheat.
cheat. The Jewish rulers, in particular, racles of Moses in Egypt, at the Red Sea, gave all possible encouragement to make and in the wilderness, because the whole the strictest scrutiny into the fact, and into nation were witnesses of them. The truth all its circumstances; and many, doubtless, is, bad our blessed Redeemer persuaded all zealously made the inquiry with the utmost
, the people of the Jews, by appearing per exactness. The apostles who preached the sonally to them, the objections against his resurrection, exposed themselves to the resurrection would have been ten times fiercest resentment of the men in power ; more numerous and forcible than they are because the resurrection of our great Reat present ; for would not the whole have deemer cast the greatest reflection upon been called a state trick, a Jewish fable, those who had put to death. It should a mere political contrivance, to patch up also be remembered, that if the generality of their broken credit, after they had so long the nation had not continued in their unbe. talked of a Messiah, who was to come at lief, the apostles, who preached the resurthat time ? Besides , we should certainly rection, would not have suffered those
perhave been told, that the government being secutions which in every country were raisengaged in the plot, a fraud of this kind ed against them, chiefly by the Jews; and, might have easily been carried on, especie consequently, one of thestrongest arguments ally as the people in general would eagerly for the truth of their testimony would have fall in with it'; because it was so exactly been wanting: whereas, by their having adapted to their prejudices, and because been persecuted to death for their preaching the few who had sagacity enough to de
the resurrection of their great Master, they tect the fraud, could have ne opportunity fully demonstrated how sincerely they beof examining into it. Or, if they did lieved the great fact which they preached examine and detect the fraud, would not in continual jeopardy of their lives. have dared to make any discovery of it, in opposition to the whole weight of the Thus have we endeavoured to answer, in state: so that they would let it pass quiet the plainest and nuost satisfactory manner, ly, without once calling it in question. the principal objection made by the Deists
against the truth of our blessed Saviour's
resurrection : and sball conclude this To say the truth, the resurrection of chapter with a few reflections on the life our great Redeemer, universally believed of the blessed Jesus, a life, the greatest and among the Jews, and published to the best that was ever led by man, or was ever world, by the unanimous voice of the na the subject of any history, since the universe tion, would have been liable to an infinite was called from its original chaos, by the nun ber of objections, which are all effec- powerful word of the Almighty. tually cut off by the scheme made choice of by the wisdom of Providence: for as The human character of the blessed Jesus, the people in general, and the rulers in as it results from the account given of him particular, continued in their infidelity, by the evangelists, for they have not formthe persons concerned in this supposed ally drawn it up, is entirely different from