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As the apostle proceeds to treat of the person of Christ, he takes occasion to shew from the 8th Psalm, (and thereby teaches us how to understand that Psalm) that he, who, as God, was above all the angels of heaven, as man was made lower than the angels, that he might taste of death for every man, and so bring many sons unto glory, by receiving glory in our nature, as the reward of his sufferings. In virtue of his incarnation, we are become the sons of God and brethren of Christ; as he was in all things made like unto his brethren, his brethren will in all things be made like unto him; that is, they will be.imputed by a new relation to the same Father, with a legal right to the same inheritance, and be crowned with glory and honour after their sufferings upon earth.
The divine and human natures of the Son of God being thus settled and distinguished, we are now to consider him with the apostle under the three characters he took upon him for the salvation of the world.
1. As Moses, he was to be a teacher, lawgiver, and prophet; and Moses had acted as a minister of God for a testimony of these things which were to he spoken after* by a greater than Moses.
x 3 2. Like
* Chap. iii. j.
2. Like Aaron and Melchi%ed.ee he was to be Si high priest and intercessor; a minister of the true sanctuary.
3. As Joshua, whose name is called Jesus in this epistle, he was to be the captain of our salivation, to conquer our spiritual enemies, and
put us into possession of the heavenly Canaan.
From all these figurative characters of the old law, it was foreshewn, that he should be the greatest of prophets, the greatest of priests, and the greatest of conquerors. And first he is to be understood as a prophet or teacher.
The apostle and high priest of our profession, Christ Jesus, was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his Jwufe *: to which the apostle adds, that he was thus faithful for a testimony; his ministry was prophetical, and bore witness in all the principal circumstances of it to the greater ministry of Christ, who was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, because he was the master and builder of that house, in which Moses was no more than a servant. The fidelity of Moses, under all the various trials of his ministry, is the circumstance here selected by the apostle, and chiefly insisted on; but there was scarcely a circumstance attending his whole character which did not afford some testimony to the ministry * Chap. iii. i.
nistry of Christ. The general character of both is the same, in that they were prophets; and as the one is said to be mighty in word anddeed*, so is the other. The deeds of Moses were great beyond those of any other prophet, Christ excepted. We see him working wonders amongst a proud and obstinate people, whose hearts were hardened against him; as Christ wrought his miracles amongst the blinded Jews, who never believed on him at last: and as Egypt was at length fearfully judged by the hand of Moses, so were the Jews cast out and destroyed in a terrible manner, when the time of vengeance came upon them, which Christ had threatened. As Moses left Pharaoh in wrath, never to see his face any more, so Christ left the Jews at their own desire, never more to meet with them but in judgment, when Jerusalem should be overthrown.
In. their words they were so far alike, that both were lawgivers, delivering to the people the precepts which were received from heaven. All the faithful of the Tsraelitish church were disciples of Moses, and did as he had commanded them; as the faithful of the latter days are followers of Christ, and observers of his laws.
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* Comp. Acts, vii. 32. with Lukexxiv. 19.
But most remarkable was therfdelify of both these teachers, in persisting on the part of God, in opposition to the powers of this world, and the malice of their own people. When Moses was come to years, he refused to be called the son of Pharavh's daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season *. As the one rejected the pleasures of Pharaoh's court, so the other withstood the solicitations of the ambitious Jews, refusing to be made a king, and rejecting all the kingdoms of the world when they were offered to him. Each of them exposed themselves to reproach and hatred, for maintaining the authority of God, and acting in his name. This is pointed out to us in many remarkable observations of the first martyr, St. Stephen, in his apology against the Jews. This, says he, is that Moses, whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them. When he first offered himself to his own people as a deliverer, they received him not, but affronted him with that insolent question, Who made thee a ruler and a judge? When he pleaded the cause of God, all the congregation murmured at him, as the Jews hated Christ for his exhortations to obedience: corrupt * Chap. xi. 34. .
rupt scribes, pharisees, and chief priests, rose up against him, as Moses was opposed and railed at by a self-sanctified party, headed by Corah, Dathan, and Abiram. The opposition therefore that was raised against Jesus Christ, an<i all the affronts put upon him, though they might make him seem little in the eyes of the Jews, brought his character to a conformity with that of their first lawgiver, and to their eternal confusion demonstrated the truth of his mission. And/thus argues the first martyr, pressing the Jews with the inference—This Moses, whom they refused, saying, who made thee a ruler and a judge, the same did God send to be a ruler and a deliverer. Persecuted as he was and despised, God sent him and supported him; and they who have persecuted Christ, have only fulfilled what the scriptures foreshewed by the things which had happened to Moses, the first faithful minister of God to the children of Abraham. The church which was brought out of Egypt, was under his ceconomy in the wilderness, to be directed in the way, and to be fed and supported as occasion required. The people of God are still travelling through a wilderness, with the second Moses to lead and support them under all the wants, temptations, and dangers of their earthly pilgrimage. By this