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lustre, magnificence and immensity astonish and overwhelm. The government of the world, it is equally evident, is the result of contrivance ; it evinces a constant, superintending care. Event arises out of event, link runs into link. What to the first glance appeared an assemblage of scattered fragments, is found, on a more careful and attentive inspection, to be a regular, beautiful, well-proportioned fabric, a “ body fitly joined together, and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in
It must be pleasing to every serious mind to observe in the work of redemption a similar uniformity of design, progress and execution. We find patriarchs, prophets, apostles, remote from, unknown to one another, at different ages, in different regions, declar. ing the same purpose, promoting the same plan, aiming at the same end. This affords a presumption, at least, that he who made, upholds and governs the universe, is likewise the Author of salvation ; in all whose works and ways a noble and important end is obviously kept in view ; and that end pursued and attained by means the wisest and the best. The Mosaic and Christian are not separate, unconnected, independ. ent dispensations, but corresponding and harmonious members of the same great building of God. Nature and grace have one source, one date ; they proceed in a parallel direction, they are hastening to one common consummation. Or, to speak more properly, the system of external nature and the scheme of re. demption are the well-adjusted, the harmonized parts of the one great plan of eternal Providence, which contains the whole purpose of the glorious CREATOR concerning man-his first formation, his present state and character, and his final destination.
Turn up the inspired volume at whatever page you will, and you have a person, or an event, or a service, or a prediction unfolding, in one form or another, the merciful “ purpose of Him who worketh all things · after the counsel of his own will, that we should be to the praise of his glory.” Transport yourself in thought to whatever period of the world you will, and you still find the gospel preached; whether in the facrifice of righteous Abel, the translation of Enoch, the ark of Noah, the promise made to Abraham, the predi&tions of dying Jacob; from the seat of Moses, the throne of David, the dungeon of Jeremiah. They all speak an uniform language, all give witness to the fame person, all disclose their own peculiar portion of the gospel treasure, for the illumination of an ignorant, the reformation of a corrupted, the salvation of a perishing world.
The writings of Moses exhibit a fingular display of this grand combined plan. He traces nature up to her birth, and instructs us “ how the heavens and earth rose out of chaos.” He conducts us through the
preme, and there too unfolds wild uproar reduced to order, and “the wrath of man working the righteous. ness of God.” He draws aside the curtains of the night, and "the day-fpring from on high” dawns on fallen humanity. He attends us through the morning of that bright day, and, constrained at length to retire, leaves behind him the assurance, that “the fulness of the time" would come, that “the morning light” would advance with growing fplendour unto " the perfect day.” He presents to our astonished eyes the vast, the complicated, the beautiful machine ; wheel within wheel put in motion, preserving from age to age its steady majestic tenor, with native, unwearied, undiminished force; referring us still to its divine AUTHOR, who made and upholds all “ by the word of his power," and for whose.“ pleasure they are and were created.”
Moses, not only in what he wrote, but in what he
in the redemption of the world. Not only did he write and testify concerning the great Deliverer, but his person, his character, his offices, were a prefiguration of " Him who was to come,” and to whom 66 all the prophets give witness.”
The prediction which has been read, and the pointed application made of it by the apostles to their di. vine Master, constitute the proof of what we have just advanced. Mofes, under the direction of the spi, fit of prophecy, raises the expectation of mankind to the appearance of a prophet, like, indeed, but far fuperior to himfelf; and the apostles point with the finger to Jesus of Nazareth, saying, “We have found him of whom Mofes, in the law, and the prophets did write.”
A liinited creature, of threescore years and ten, is lost in the contemplation of a period of fifteen hundred and eleven years, for such was the distance of this prophecy from its accomplishment. The short-lived creature loses sight of it, feels his interest in it but small, is at little 'pains to transmit the knowledge of it to those who shall come after him ; the next generation it is neglected, overlooked, forgotten; or, if ob. ferved and recollected, is misunderstood, misapplied. But during every instant of the extended period, the eternal eye has been watching over it; in folemn filence attending its progress, triumphing over both neg. lect and opposition; and a slumbering world is rour. ed at length to fee and to acknowledge the truth and faithfulness, the power, wisdom and grace of the Most High.
The day of Moses, then, in the eye of God, runs down to that of Christ; as his, in return, afçends to the earliest of the promises, and predictions, illuminating, quickening, confirming, fulhlling all that is written. Placed at whatever point of the system of nature, whether on our own planet or on any other, to the north, or to the fouth, in fummer or winter, the eye is still attracted to the common centre of all, the great “ Light of the world.” In like manner, at whatever distance we are placed, and in whatever direction we
contemplate the fyftem which redeeming love has
Eden, from the summit of Ararat, Moriah, or Pisgah, in the plain of Mamre, or from a pinnacle of the temple; with Abraham, viewing the Saviour and his day afar off, or with Simeon embracing him, the fame - Sun of righteousness” sheds his glory around us; we see the light, we feel the influence of him who quickeneth and enlighteneth every man that cometh into the world.
As we find Moses plainly and unequivocally refer. ring men to Chrilt, so the Saviour as explicitly refers to Moses for a testimony concerning himself; thereby plainly insinuating, that if the Jewish prophet deserved any credit, possessed any respectability, this credit, this respectability were ministring servants to the dignity of his own person, the facredness of his character, the divinity of his miffion. And this is accompanied with a severe denunciation of judgment against such as admitted the authority of Moses, but rejected that. of Christ; to introduce, recommend and confirm which was the end for which Moses was raised up. " Do not think I will accuse you to the Father : there is one that accuseth you, even Mofes, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Mofes, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words ?” . This reciprocal testimony, therefore, of the found, ers of the ancient and new economy, throws light on both and communicates mutual credibility and im. portance. Moses satisfies himself with fimply delivering the prediction which he had in charge; he forms no plan, enters into no arrangement to bring it into effect, but leaves to Providence the care of leading forward to the accomplishment, in the proper time and method. Chrift fimply points to what was written, and was generally known, received and respected as a revelation from heaven, and requires to be believed and obeyed no farther than he bore the charac,
of God; halious propenfities
ters under which Moses had announced him ; particularly that of “the great Prophet which should come into the world.”
-The proper character of a prophet is to commu. nicate the special will of Heaven to men. God, indeed, writes his will on the mind of every man, as he comes into the world ; interweaves it with the very con. stitution and frame of his being, so that, in truth, ev. ery man is a law, is a prophet to himself. But the characters are quickly erased, effaced; education, example, superstition, vicious propensities, obliterate the writing of God; habit and the commerce of the world harden the heart, and lull the conscience asleep, and “ the hearts of men are set in them to do evil.” Hence the necessity of a prophet, of a messenger, of a minister from heaven, to republish the original law, to restore the obliterated characters, to call men back to God, from whom they have revolted.
And such an one was Mofes ; raised up of God at a period of singular darkness and depravity, divinely commissioned to promulgate the royal law. Not to settle a different, a novel constitution, not to newmodel human nature, but to revive and enforce the primitive constitution, to proclaim in the ear what nature whispered from the beginning, to hang up the conspicuous tablet before the eye, whose contents are the exact counterpart of what the finger of God, in the very formation of man, engraved on “the living tables of the heart.” And when Christ came, the Prophet after his fimilitude, was it not in like manner to rebuild what was broken down, not to rear a total. ly different edifice? to magnify the law and make it honourable, to clear it from misinterpretation and perversion, to restore it to its native purity and fimplicity, and to extract the spirit out of the letter?
to restore the whom they have revoiled up of God
the law or the prophets : I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise