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SECT. pointed out. As he is called a Prophet III. like unto Mofes, he must of course be a legiflator; otherwife he would vary from him in the most effential part of his character: nor would there be any fufficient reason, why his miniftry fhould be predicted, rather than that of any other infpired teacher. But if he be a lawgiver, he must, as the name implies, promulge a law, in fome refpects new; and not merely cause the ancient ftatutes of his predeceffor to remain upon the fame footing, on which they had originally been established. For, if no alteration whatsoever took place under his ministry, he would be no more entitled to the name of lawgiver, than any of the other prophets.
Now, if the new law thus promulged was not to be embraced, the promulgation of it would be ufelefs. But if it was to be embraced, it must neceffarily fuperfede the other. It appears then, that Mofes predicted the coming of a prophet, who, by the circumftance of his being alfo a
Why they could not be embraced together, has already been shewn, when the shadowy observances of the Pentateuch were confidered. Other reafons fhall likewife be affigned hereafter, tending to prove the fame point.
lawgiver, was confequently to be the found- CHAP. er of a new law, not indeed fubverting, ÍII. but fuperfeding the former; not making it void, but confirming it. It only remains, therefore, to be fhewn that Jefus Chrift is this lawgiver.
If the perfon, generally received as the Meffiah, be not this lawgiver, then the lawgiver spoken of by Mofes is not yet come, because none of the prophets ever pretended to fuch a commiffion. But, if Chrift, who affumed the character of a lawgiver, and who appeared at the very time specified by Daniel for the manifeftation of the Meffiah, if he answer to the teft, which God himself appointed to diftinguish true prophets from falfe ones, and confequently the true legiflator (who was to be a prophet) from an impoftor; then must Christ be really the legiflator in queftion, because the fame teft cannot answer both to truth and falfehood, for in that cafe it would be no teft.
Let us now apply this teft to our Saviour. "When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow "not, nor come to pafs, that is the thing,
SECT. " which the Lord hath not spoken." This III. propofition being true, the converse must alfo be true;" When a prophet speaketh "in the name of the Lord, if the thing "do follow, and come to pafs, that is the "thing which the Lord bath spoken;" and fuch a prophet must be acknowledged as a messenger from God, and no impoftor. At the celebration of the last supper, Christ declares to his disciples, that one of them should betray him; and being preffed to point out the perfon, he fixes upon Judas Ifcariot, refting at the fame time the truth of his miffion upon the completion of his prophecy. "Now I tell you before it come, "that when it is come to pass, ye may be
lieve that I am be." His prediction was exactly fulfilled, as appears from all the Evangelists, and also from the Acts; and Judas was guilty of the horrible wickednefs of betraying the Lord of Life, as Chrift had foretold that he would. Another instance of his prophetic powers is the affurance made by him to Peter, who was very unwilling to believe it, that, ere the crowing of the cock, he should thrice deny his mafter. Peter, however, did deny
John xiii. 19.
d John xiii. 37.
him precifely three times before he heard CHAP. the cock crow, which immediately brought to his recollection the declaration of his Lord. A look from the fuffering Redeemer, a look, in which were mingled love, forrow, gentle reproach, and speedy forgivenefs, pierced the Apostle to the heart: "he "went out, and wept bitterly"." The laft example, which fhall be brought, is the language held by Chrift the evening preceding his crucifixion. After promising the gift of the Holy Ghost, and predicting that he fhould foon leave his difciples, he fo lemnly adds, Now I have told you before "it come to pass, that when it is come to pass, ye might believe f."
Thus we fee, that Chrift, in perfect harmony with the test which God appointed through Mofes, demands from his difciples, that they fhould believe him to be the Meffiah, because his prophecies were fulfilled. Were it neceffary, several other inftances might be produced, fuch as his foretelling the deftruction of Jerufalem, and the perfecutions of the church for his name's fake, all of which had an exact
e Matt. xxvi. 75.
f John xiv. 29.
SECT. Completion; but sufficient has already been III. faid, to prove that Chrift answers to the teft propofed, and confequently that he must be the lawgiver fpoken of by Mofes.
2. In many of the Pfalms, the leading contained idea is the abfolute neceffity of fpiritual worship, as oppofed to legal ceremonies and ordinances. "Sacrifice and offering thou didft not require; mine ears haft "thou opened; burnt-offering and fin-offering haft thou not required. Then faid I, Lo! I come: in the volume of the "book it is written of me; I delight to "do thy will, O my God; yea, thy law "is within my heart." Christ here declares the inefficacy of the facrifices under the law, and, although they were typical of his death, yet how little acceptable they were to God on their own account; that law alone, which is written upon the heart, being well-pleafing to the Almighty.
"I will not reprove thee for thy facri"fices or thy burnt-offerings, to have been ""continually before me. I will take no "bullock out of thy houfe, nor he-goat "out of thy folds--Will I eat the flesh
8 Pfalm xl. 6.