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similar to the corresponding circumstance in the history of Moses, when he came down from the mount, and “the skin of his face shone.”
But the events, which attended the conclusion of his earthly ministry, were most distinctly prefigured, as they were most clearly predicted, in the Old Testament. That he should be betrayed by one of his familiar friends, was typified by the treachery of Ahithophel to David : and the fate of the traitor was the same in both instances; he hanged himself and died. His submission to the will of his heavenly Father was faintly set forth in the conduct of Isaac, when he was bound by Abraham his father, and laid upon the altar. His innocence was typified in the unblemished victims of the levitical sacrifices, and the unspotted purity of the paschal lamb. The time of year appointed for his death was that in which the annual feast of the Passover was kept: the hour of the day was the same at which that lamb was slain. The place of his death was upon one of the mountains of Moriah, as was the typical offering of Isaac. He “suffered without the gate;" as "the bodies of those beasts, whose blood was brought into the sanctuary for sin, were burnt without the camp." He
* Exod. xxxiv. 30.
2 Sam. xvij. 23.
7 Heb. xiii. 11.
was lifted up on the cross; as the brasen serpent was lifted up in the wilderness: yet no bone of him was broken; as the paschal lamb was commanded to be kept entire. His side was pierced, by the wanton violence of the soldiery, “and forthwith came thereout blood and water;" as that Rock which Christ,” was smitten with the rod of Moses, so that the waters gushed out, and ran in the dry places like a river. Lastly, he was buried, and rose again on the third day; as Jonah was cast alive into the sea; was swallowed up; and after three days was restored to life: and as Isaac was received as from the dead, by his father, on the third day after they departed to perform the sacrifice.
These are all well known particulars in the public history of Christ, prefigured at sundry times and in divers manners : and the correspondence depends upon the authority of Scripture. They are far too numerous, and too remarkable, to have been produced by accidental coincidence; even if the proof of preconcerted design were not indelibly impressed upon many of them by the sure word of prophecy. They could never have arisen from the intentional imitation of a false prophet: for they were all, either accompanied by the fullest proof of a Divine commissioni, or brought to pass by the means of his very enemies. Here, then, is a branch of prophecy, which proves the truth of the Christian religion, while it throws a light upon all the transactions which have been brought to pass by the immediate Providence of God; and written for our learning, by the inspiration of his Holy Spirit.
John xix. 34.
bi Cor. x. 4.
Psalm cy. 41.
It shews the manner in which events, apparently casual, have been overruled; it affords a satisfactory reason why others, apparently trivial, have been recorded : and it displays, throughout all ages, unity of counsel, pursuing a mighty purpose, by means surpassing human knowledge and
By the typical prefigurations contained in the Old Testament, Jesus Christ is also shewn to be “the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever,” in his offices, as well as in his actions and sufferings. He was prefigured as a prophet, by Moses; as a priest, by all the long train of the levitical hierarchy: as a king, by Moses, in power if not in name; and both in power and name by David and by Solomon : as both a priest and king, by Melchisedec, and by Joshua the Son of Josedech :d as a mediator, and intercessor, by Moses; by the ordinary office of the levitical high priest; and, especially, by that performed every year at the great day of atonement. The sacrifice, which Christ made for sin, was long prefigured by those of the law, with astonishing clearness and fidelity. And the efficacy, graciously imparted to faith in that sacrifice, was exemplified in the miraculous cure of those, who looked upon the brasen serpent and lived; and by the power of the levitical offerings to wipe away the stain of ceremonial pollution. The very means of grace afforded in the sacraments, which Christ ordained in his Church, were prefigured in the events which occurred to the Israelites : and all our hopes of future glory were faintly typified in that land of promise to which they aspired. So wonderful are the ways of God: so unchangeable his purpose: and so extensive the means which he employs to bring it to pass. From the days of Adam to the days of Christ, one plan is gradually unfolded; one merciful design for reconciling the world to God; one Lord, one faith ; one Saviour “ Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever.”
d Zech. vi. 12.
Upon every thing, which emanates from the Divine counsels, the stamp of immutability is impressed Man and his pursuits change incessantly. From day to day, and from year to
year, new objects of interest arise; new desires, new hopes. But the Almighty changes not. From eternity to eternity, he exists the
Now this is not a fact of mere speculation. It is brought home to our own bosoms, by our relation to God through the Scriptures. We all have access to the revealed will of God, which sets forth this his unchangeable purpose for the regulation of our lives. And observe what exceeding importance is thus given to that sacred volume.
Did it proceed from one of like passions with ourselves, subject to change, we might be led to question some of its doctrines: we might have some shew of reason for neglecting to comply with some of its commands. Were we not assured, by observing the course of the world in all ages, as well as by the assertion of holy writ, that Jesus Christ and his religion is “the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever,” we might suppose, that the relative position of God and man, in the lapse of ages, might have varied : we might have thought that what was revealed respecting the Divine nature and intentions, at one period, might
to be true at another period; and, therefore, that the duty of man might not always be the same. In every thing which depends upon the mutable will of man, this effect