« AnteriorContinuar »
But although the Scriptures shew that there is proper ground for a comparison between Christ and Moses, they take care to keep us from the rock against which you split; for they not only tell us that Christ is anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellows,' but that he is the chiefest among ten thousand' Prophets, Priests, and Kings; because their divers offices all join in his Divine Person. When the Israelites were in the desert, God was their King, Moses their Prophet, Aaron their Priest, and Joshua their General; but Christ sustains alone all their parts.
I have shewn (in Let. ii.) that under the law, the Logos or God, manifest sometimes in flames of fire, and sometimes in a human form, was the King of Israel, and Moses was his Prime Minister: A leading truth this, which Nathanael acknowledged, when discovering our Lord's glory, he cried out, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God, thou art the King of Israel.' (John i. 49.) As if he had said, Thou art he, whose patience our fathers tried in the desert, and whom they rejected in the days of Samuel, as appears by that Prophet's expostulation, Ye said to me, Nay, but a King shall reign over us, when the Lord your God was your King.' (1 Sam. xii. 12.) But under the Gospel, when the Logos is continually manifested in the flesh, he sustains both characters; and, in that sense, may be compared to those great monarchs, who, like Frederic, the late King of Prussia, are their own Prime Ministers.
Hence it is that, although as a Prophet, or a Minister, Christ is like Moses, yet as Logos, and King of Israel, he is infinitely superior to the Jewish lawgiver. Consider Jesus Christ,' says the Apostle; He was counted worthy of more glory than Moses,' on two capital accounts: (1.) Moses was faithful as a servant in the house of him who had appointed him: But Christ was faithful as a son, over his own house." (2.) Moses was worthy of glory,' inasmuch as he was a fundamental stone in the house of God; but Christ is worthy of more glory, inasmuch as he who
built the house hath more honour than the house,' or any part of it: For every house is built by some man ; but he who hath built [the Jewish Church and] all things, is God.' (Heb. iii. 1, 4.) These words, with which I shall conclude this letter, are both a full answer to the objection I consider, and a full proof of our Lord's Divinity.
Dear Sir, &c.
All the Prophets bear Witness to the Messiah as the Bruiser of the Serpent, and the prosperous King reigning in Righteousness over the Subject Nations: In other Words, they foretel the Days of Vengeance, and the Days of Refreshing which shall succeed them, under his Administration.
Toopen the prophecies relative to the Messiah's glory, we must have a divine key. I have already shewn that Moses gave it us, when he described the Redeemer as the destroyer of the serpent, and as the Shiloh, the prosperous King, who, after having laid his hands on the neck of his enemies as a lion,' shall sway the sceptre of his mercy over the submissive natious, or to use the Prophet's laconic style) unto whom shall the gathering of the people be.' (Gen. xlix. 10.) The Messiah's achievements, in this two-fold point of view, were typified by the exploits of David and Solomon, the two first of his royal ancestors. David is long poor, despised by his brethren, and unknown to Israel. When he is anointed king of Israel, he is hated and pursued by a jealous and bloody prince; but he kills the giant who defied the armies of the living God, routs the Philistines, and after having acted the Part of the Lion of the tribe of Judah, and given the
Israelites victory on all sides, he leaves the crown to peaceful Solomon, unto whom is the gathering of the people,' and who builds the magnificent temple of the Lord,' and heaps upon Israel the blessings of a peaceful and prosperous reign.
St. Peter, in his second sermon, preaches the Messiah according to these two displays of his redeeming power. It shall come to pass (says he) that whosoever will not hear that [royal] Prophet shall be destroyed from among the people. Repent ye, therefore, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord, and he shall send Jesus Christ, who was before preached unto you [under the names of Wonderful, Mighty God, Prince of Peace, Emmanuel, &c.] whom the heaven must receive, until the times of the restitution of all things, which God, since the world began, hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy Prophets. For all the Prophets from Samuel, [who anointed David, the
first royal type of the Messiah,] as many as haveThey ha
spoken, have foretold these days' of vengeance, in which the Messiah will bruise the serpent and his brood, and these days of refreshing, when the Lord Jesus, having destroyed 'those who would not have him reign
over them,' will give rest to his faithful subjects in all is his dominions, which shall extend unto the ends ofd, in the earth.' For, adds St. Peter, 'God said unto Abra-your
ham, and in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.' (Acts iii. 19, 25.)
As inattention and unbelief have cast a veil over thistion
glorious part of the gospel, permit me, Sir, to remove a corner of this veil, and to shew how the Prophets
I have all spoken of the glorious days of the Messiahy Je
and of the days of vengeance, which shall precede them
My dwelling on this point will not be a needless digres of a sion, but the very ground on which I shall rest one Odhi
my strongest proofs of your error, and of Christ' Divinity. I now begin with Samuel, whom St. Pete particularly mentions.
Before I had found the key of Scripture knowledge,
lown to you, Sir, that 1 wondered how that apostle could say to the Jews, that Samuel had prophesied of Christ. I found no such prophecy in the books of Samuel. But now I see that St. Peter had in view the most glorious typical predictions concerning Christ, as Our King, Prophet, and Priest.
I have proved that the King of Israel,' who brought his people out of Egypt, was Christ in his pre-existent nature. Moses was the prime minister of this great King; Joshua, the general of his armies; the Tabernacle, his palace; the Mercy-seat, his throne; the Ark, his royal standard; the Priests, his officers; the Levites, his guards; and the Shekinah, the visible display of his presence. In the days of Samuel, whom he had chosen or his prophet, minister, and representative, the Jews, tired of their invisible King, said to Samuel, 'Make us King, to judge us, [personally and visibly,] like all the nations. And Jehovah said unto Samuel, Hearken to the people: They have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them. As they have done since the day that I brought them out of Egypt, so do they also unto thee.' (1 Sam. viii. 5.) And when Samuel expostulated with them, he said, Your wickedness is great, which ye have done in the ight of the Lord, in asking you a King, when Jehovah your God was your King.' Aud to back this reproof, Jehovah sent such 'thunder and rain for a whole day in wheat-harvest,' as made the rebellious Jews afraid of instant destruction. (1 Sam. xii. 12, 19.) From this mportant passage, we learn three things. (1.) The King of Israel, who was rejected by the Jews in Samu's days, is truly Jehovah, that very "Lord of Glory,' hom the Jews rejected a second time, when, appearng in the form of a servant, he came to his own, and his own received him not,' but crucified him with this emarkable title, 'Jesus the King of the Jews,' the ry title given him, both by the wise men, when they aquired after him that was born King of the Jews,' ad by the Israelite without guile,' when seeing the r of God shining in Christ through the form of a
servant, he confessed that Christ was the Son of God, the King of Israel Jobmi. 49) (2.) We see they ground or that good confession, which our Lord made before Pontius Pate, when he declared himself both the Son of God, and the King of the Jews.' Nor do I see how this confession conid be true, if Christ, in his form of God, was not that very Jehovah-Envoy, who spoke to Mases in Horeb, and who, by indefectibe right, was the King of the Jews and of the whole earth, even after his unruly subjects had rejected him. And that this was the true question in debate, is evident from these taneting words of the unbelieving Jews, If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.' (Matt. xxvii. 42) (3) If this is the truth for which our Lord (as faithful witness and divine martyr) thought it proper to lay down his life, does it not follow, that the doctrine of Christ's Divinity, or of his absolute right, as, 'Lord of Glory, to be the King of the Jews" and of the whole earth,' is the capital doctrine of the Old, as well as of the New Testament?
But, methinks you rise with indignation against this. inference. What becomes of the glory of the Father, if the Son was the King of Israel in Samuel's time, and is still the King of the whole earth? But you need not fear that our doctrine gives a wrong touch to the ark of the Father's monarchy; for as the Son, the Lord of Glory,' is the ostensive King of the church and of the whole earth, in and by whom the Father now governs the world: So there will come a time when the Father of Glory' will himself be the ostensive King, governing all the nations of men, whom the Sony hath redeemed and brought into subjection, immediately in his own proper person, without the mediating ministry of the Son, the Son, however, still reigning and with the Father. For, says an Apostle, the Son't
reign till he hath put death,' and 'all enemies his feet.' And when the kingdoms of this world have been made worthy of the Father's peculiar Acceptance: when Emmanuel shall have put down