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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 instances ; which will evince, that the finished the grand work which he left the prophecies of old were only to be compleatbosom of his father to execute; a work ed in the sufferings and death of Christ. which God bimself, in the remotest eternity contemplated with pleasure, 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 prophe. of 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 ha p 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 bis 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.
of therpetuding the rand co in the
Mhands of his parents said unto . For all
· Moses refused to be called the son of , caused an atonement to be made for them, Pharaob's daughter, chusing rather to 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 “he 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 the temple with the doctors, when he was
Moses instituted the passover, when a 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 ingratihis host : so the darkness at Christ's death
tude, murnuring 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 would befal the nation for their disobe.
Moses was ill used by his own family; dience: 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 powers were given to him, and he Moses was victorious over powerful kings
used his utmost endeavours to make the and great nations 80 was Christ by the
people obedient to God, and to save them effects of his 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 wilder. Moses 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 bis 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.
· Moses was very meek above all men should preach the Gospel, full 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. If we 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 hiin; 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 Re. fect vigour, when“ his 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 be 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 where his body lay; nor could the Jews
have put the truth of his resurrection beyond find the body of Christ.
all doubt, than, wbich, nothing could be
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, that if Jesus had shewed himself to his ene. I 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 bis resurrection ; or resisting that evi. that bis resurrection was denied by many dence, they would reject it altogether. 1 to whom he appeared, and who were not We shall first consider the latter.
convinced thereby. .
But, in the second place; it may be sup: Those enemies of the great Redeemer of 1
posed, that in case our blessed Saviour had mankind, who resisted the evidence of their
shewed himself publicly, the whole nation: senses, or who though really convinced,
of the Jews must have believed ; that fuwould not acknowledge their conviction,
ture generations would thus have had the must have justified their disbelief, by affirm
fullest evidence of the truth of bis resuring, that the person who appeared to them, ás risen from the dead, was not Jesus whom
rection. . the Roman governor had crucified, but an This, however, will not appear to be the impostor who personated him. On any |
case, if we consider, that the greatest part other foundation their infidelity would have l 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 | himn with certainty. For which reason though his resurrection, even though persuaded of he had shewed himself to them 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, have depended on the testimony áppearances : 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 on the mies must have made use of to support
Jews, to persuade them to embrace a cru. · their 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 forcewho, 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 advantave considerable number of his enemies had would the cause of Christianity have reai.
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 iustead 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. 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 hiin 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 bave 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 hare easily been carried on, especi 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 be of 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 most satisfactory manner, Jy, without once calling it in question. the principal objection made by the Deists
against the truth of our blessed Saviour's
resurrection : and shall 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, wbich 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