« PreviousContinue »
have the pre-eminence,' he came with such full powers, that by reason of his intimate union with the Father, and perfect sympathy with his designs, God may be said to speak to us in him face to face. Whilst he was a child, the Evangelist, bears him witness that he was filled with wisdom,' which increased' as he increased in years; so that at the commencement of his ministry it was testified of him that he was “full of the Holy Ghost S. Instead, therefore, of that radiance which once shone on the face of Moses, after his interview with the Most High, instead of those transient moments of inspiration, wherein ' holy men, of old spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost,' as servants in the house partially acquainted with temporary prospects of their Master's will, there was spread around the head of Christ a crown of perpetual illumination; so that the Spirit of God which lighted on him at his baptism, abode with him continually, and in him, as in an inexhaustible storehouse of truth, were hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge'.' And thus it was foretold of him by Isaiah? :-The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge, and of the fear of the Lord.
* Luke, ii. 40. iv. 1.
9 Heb. iii. 4.
It would seem analogous to the order of the divine counsels, that as Christ speaking by the prophets was the original declarer of the will of God from the beginning, and as he afterwards became in his own person the direct medium of communication, he should not leave his work imperfect, but should continue to sustain his office of teacher so long as the world stood in need of his heavenly aid.
The reasonableness of such an expectation stands confirmed by the testimony of Scripture. As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord ; my spirit which is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the Lord, from benceforth and for ever.' * Lo, said our Lord to his disciples, as his parting assurance, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world 3 ;' not only to the termination of their own natural lives, but with their successors in the Christian church, through endless generations, in their studies and labours, whether public or private, for the extension of his spiritual kingdom. In the strength and comfort of this gracious assurance may the ministers of his word go forth unto their work, in the full confidence that though they be as it were earthen vessels, he will be glorified in their weakness, and will perfect praise out of the mouth of very babes and sucklings. And it is this promise which will be their sufficient support in the execution of their difficult office, wherever their lot may be cast-whether they are commissioned to bear the name of their Master into lands which have not yet heard the joyful sounds of salvation, or amongst the Jews who have despised and rejected their prophet, or whether they are placed among Christian nations to stir them up to faithfulness, and to remind them of the duties of their calling. He will be with them, and will remember his word unto his servants“,' even unto the end of the world. · The fathers' of the church, where are they; and the prophets, do they live for ever?" or, as the Jews themselves observed, * Abraham is dead, and the prophets;' but the Lord “ever liveth' to complete his victory over Satan, and to work by the servants whom he employs ministerially to act in his name and authority 5.
1 Col. ii., 3.
? Is. xi. 2.
The practical reflections suggested to the mind after dwelling on this subject, are of very general application. There is no view of our Lord's character which is not fraught with valuable instruction, and, like his own word, he may be alternately exbibited for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in right
4 Ps. cxix. 49.
Zech. v. 8. John, viii. 52.
1. The distinctive character of Christ in his
prophetical office was faithfulness.
The Jews needed no argument to convince them that Moses had been faithful, of whom it was written that according to all that God appointed him, so did he,' and whose praise from the lips of God himself was in all the churches — My servant Moses ..... is faithful in all his house. Accordingly the Apostle avails himself of their reverence for the lawgiver of the old covenant, in order to exalt Christ in their eyes, and to represent to them the perfections of the prophet of the new dispensation, who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house?
6 Exod. xi. 16. Numb. xii. 7.
7 Heb. iii. 2.