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who would be a prophet, a prophet like unto Moses, and of a very extraordinary character; for he was to receive authority from God, and by virtue of that authority was to teach God's purposes to the world; and that they, who should reject him speaking in the name of God, would be visited with divine punishment.
THE FULFILMENT OF THIS PROPHECY IN CHRIST.
Now in what person that has arisen in Judea shall we discover this peculiar prophet? We can fix our eye with satisfaction on no one but Christ. He was a prophet; for he prophesied many things, all of which, except those which belong to time yet future, came to pass. He was born in Judea of Mary, the affianced wife of Joseph, both Jews. He was like unto Moses in many things; and in every thing in which he resembled him he was greatly superior to him; which resemblance and superiority are remarkably conspicuous when we compare them particularly in the characters of Lawgiver, Deliverer, Worker of miracles, Conqueror, and Intercessor. Christ revealed the will and purposes of God. He delivered his message in the name of God; and he professed to speak and act by the authority of God. "I have not spoken of myself," but the Father which sent me, he
gave me a commandment what I should say, and what I should speak."* When" he came unto his own, his own received him not." They would not hearken unto him—they would not receive the good tidings which the Father put in his mouth-they would not acknowledge him as the Messiah, as the Shiloh of Jacob, as the Blessing to all nations, as the Conqueror of the serpent-they would not allow the credentials of his mission, although accompanied by miracles, and attested by a voice from heaven — and the consequence was, that God required it of them. He brought upon them his severe judgments. The sword went through the land, and thousands miserably perished. Famine and faction raged within the devoted city, and strewed their victims in the streets. A judicial fury laid Jerusalem and her temple in ashes; and chains far from their native home and pleasant places awaited all those whom fire, famine, faction, and the sword had spared. That this prophecy was fulfilled in Christ, that he was the prophet of whom Moses spake, there can be no doubt; and it never was fulfilled in any other. St. Peter asserted, that the Christ, the Holy One of God, the Prince of life, whom the Jews had crucified,
* John, xii. 49.
† Ibid. i. 11.
was the prophet of whom Moses spake unto the fathers.*
Thus have we made some more advances in the economy of preparation. Additional light has sprung up before us. As notices multiply, previous arrangements become more interesting, and former intimations more clear and as the grand scheme of redemption opens, the harmony and correspondence of all its mystical disclosures, through so many ages of the world, are indisputable evidences to the pious and reasonable mind, that the whole was the counsel and work of God.
From the lifting up of the serpent in the wilderness, and from the prophecies of Balaam and Moses, it appears that the victorious Seed of the woman, the Blessing to all nations, the vicarious Victim, the Shiloh to whom the gathering of the people was to be, the Paschal Lamb whose blood was to be shed for salvation, the Great High Priest shadowed under the Law; was to be lifted up as a means of preservation to the sick and dying who should look up to him in faith; that he was to be God and a King;
* Acts, iii. 22.
and that he was to be a great prophet commissioned, as was Moses, but with a more intimate communication, to speak the words of God, and to execute judgment upon all that would not receive his good tidings, nor obey his voice.
How highly gratifying to the reflecting mind is the harmony preserved all along from the beginning in this economy of preparation, this representation of various character, and this union of various character in one and the same person, and for one and the same end. How evident in all this was the counsel of God working, while ages and generations were passing away, some great and wonderful event, of the benefit of which all ages and generations were to partake! While in this busy world man is devising with anxiety his numerous projects, pursuing with industry his various speculations of interest, and erecting in hope his fair edifice of happiness, all of which are absorbed in the vortex of time and forgotten, or remembered only as dreams and vanities of departed frailty, the great God of heaven and earth, who looks from eternity through all the lapses and revolutions of time into eternity again, is carrying on his vast and complicated designs with an admirable harmony and with a certainty of success;
and is effecting in his own appointed hour those important events, which testify that, for the promotion of his own glory and the benefit of his creatures, he is bringing mighty things to pass. "O that men would therefore praise the Lord for his goodness, and declare the wonders that he doeth for the children of men!"*
*Psalm cvii. 8.