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sect. pointed out. As he is called a Prophet
like unto Moses, he must of course be a legislator ; otherwise he would vary from him in the most essential part of his character : nor would there be any sufficient reason, why his ministry should be predicted, rather than that of any other inspired teacher. But if he be a lawgiver, he must, as the name implies, promulge a law, in some respects new; and not merely cause the ancient statutes of his predecessor to remain upon the same 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 useless. But if it was to be embraced, it must necessarily supersede the others. It appears then, that Mofes predicted the coming of a prophet, who, by the circumstance of his being also a
Why they could not be embraced together, has already been shewn, when the shadowy observances of the Pentateuch were considered. Other reasons shall likewise be assigned hereafter, tending to prove the same point.
lawgiver, was consequently to be the found- CHAP. er of a new law, not indeed subverting, i11. but superseding the former ; not making it void, but confirming it. It only remains, therefore, to be shewn that Jesus Christ is this lawgiver.
If the person, generally received as the Messiah,, be not this lawgiver, then the lawgiver spoken of by Moses is not yet come, because none of the prophets ever pretended to such a commission. But, if Christ, whọ assumed the character of a lawgiver, and who appeared at the very time specified by Daniel for the manifestation of the Messiah, if he answer to the test, which God himself appointed to dis-tinguish true prophets from false ones, and consequently the true legislator (who was to be a prophet) from an impostor ; then must Christ be really the legislator in question, because the same test cannot answer both to truth and falsehood, for in that case it would be no test,
Let us now apply this test to our Saviour.“ When a prophet speaketh in the
name of the Lord, if the thing follow
« which the Lord hath not spoken." This III. proposition being true, the converse must
also be true; “ When a prophet speaketh “ in the name of the Lord, if the thing “ do follow, and come to pass, that is the
thing which the Lord bath spoken ;' and such a prophet must be acknowledged as a messenger from God, and no impostor. At the celebration of the last supper, Christ declares to his disciples, that one of them should betray him; and being pressed to point out the person, he fixes upon Judas Iscariot, resting at the same time the truth of his mission upon the completion of his prophecy.
Now I tell you before it come, is 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 wickedness of betraying the Lord of Life, as Christ had foretold that he would. Another instance of his prophetic powers is the afsurance made by him to Peter, who was very unwilling to believe it, that, ere the crowing of the cock, he should thrice deny his masterd. Peter, however, did deny
Ć John xiii. 19.
d . John xiii, 37.
him precisely three times before he heard chap. the cock crow, which immediately brought to his recollection the declaration of his Lord. A look from the suffering Redeemer, a look, in which were mingled love, forrow, gentle reproach, and speedy forgiveness, pierced the Apostle to the heart : “he " went out, and wept bitterlye.” The last example, which shall be brought, is the language held by Christ the evening preceding his crucifixion. After promising the gift of the Holy Ghost, and predicting that he should soon leave his disciples, he folemnly adds, “ Now I have told you before “ it come to pass, that when it is come to
pass, ye might believe f.”
Thus we see, 'that Christ, in perfect harmony with the test which God appointed through Mofes, demands from his disciples, that they should believe him to be the Messiah, because his prophecies were fulfilled. Were it necessary, several other instances might be produced, such as his foretelling the destruction of Jerusalem, and the persecutions of the church for his name's fake, all of which had an exact
SECT, completion; but fufficient has already been II. faid, to prove that Christ answers to the
test proposed, and consequently that he must be the lawgiver spoken of by Moses,
in the Psalms.
2. In many of the Psalms, the leading Prophecies contained idea is the absolute necessity of spiritual
worship, as opposed to legal ceremonies and ordinances. “ Sacrifice and offering “ thou didît not require ; mine ears haft “ thou opened; burnt-offering and sin-of
fering hast 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 s." Christ here declares the inefficacy of the sacrifices 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-pleasing 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 house, nor he-goat “ out of thy folds -- Will I eat the flesh
g Pfalm xl. 6.