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fectly right in their supposition. Had Christ been only some created being, who existed prior to Abraham, he would doubtless have said, Before Abraham was, I was, as the natural grammar of the passage requires ; not, Before Abraham was, I am, which expression is utterly unintelligible, unless upon the supposition of the divinity of Christ. Provided the doctrine of his Godhead be allowed, the sentence will then be perfectly clear; I Jehovah, to whom past, present, and future are all alike, exist necessarily, and by my own power, before the days of Abraham.
VI. Another eminent type of the promised Saviour may be discovered in the character of Joseph.
That patriarch was favoured with visions and revelations from God; but his brethren refused to pay any attention to him. Full of envy and hatred on account of his superior endowments, they watched for a favourable opportunity, and sold him into the hands of strangers. In a similar manner, Christ, notwithstanding his miraculous powers and immediate intercourse with heaven, was rejected, hated, and persecuted, by the Jewish nation, who were his brethren according to the flesh; and was eventually sold into the hands of Roman strangers, by whom he was crucified.
This, bowever, is not the only point of similitude. The book of Genesis further informs us, that, in process of time, when Joseph was supposed by his whole family to be dead, he discovered himself to his brethren, forgot all their injuries, and received them into his favour. But this did not happen, till a nation of aliens, who at first had accused him falsely and had thrown him into prison, afterwards hououred him as their sole preserver and benefactor.
Thus we hope and believe, from the sure word of prophecy, that the time is now fast approaching, when our Lord will be made known to his brethren according to the flesh, and when the house of Israel will turn with tears of contrition from their former infidelity. Meanwhile it is clear, that, before this great event takes place, Christ will have been accused falsely, and will have suffered imprisonment and persecution from a Gentile nation, which afterwards embraced his religion and reverenced him as their Saviour. The mock trial of Christ; the malignant aspersions thrown upon the Gospel by Tacitus, and other pagan historians; the opposition of Celsus, and the whole body of heathen philosophers; and the ten dreadful persecutions, in which so many thousands perished : all preceded the complete conversion of Europe.
But there is yet another peculiarity in the character of Joseph, which ought not to be passed over in silence. The grave or the invisible receptacle of the dead is viewed by the inspired writers under the aspect of a prison :' and exactly the same idea may be traced in the speculations of the Gentiles, which I suppose them to have borrowed into their Mysteries from the earliest fathers of the Patriarchal Church.' Now we find Joseph, upon a false accusation, thrown into prison. Here he continued two years : but, at the beginning of the third, he was liberated and presented to Pharaob. And now the scene was completely changed. He, who was recently a prisoner and who appeared to be cut off from all hope of advancement, was elevated to a participation of sovereign power and : was called to rule over the whole land of Egypt. His promotion afforded plenty and deliverance to a nation of aliens : but, while he was thus the instrument of good to them, he was completely estranged from his natural brethren who had rejected and sold him into captivity. Yet, after an appointed interval, a reconciliation took place : and Joseph was gratefully acknowledged by his family as its chief ornament and merciful preserver. Thus our Saviour was rejected by his brethren after the flesh, was confined two days within the prison of the grave, was liberated on the morning of the third day, was called at the time of his ascension to rule over the converted Gentiles, was made the dispenser to them of all spiritual blessings, is at present alienated from his natural brethren, but will at length be acknowledged by them as the alone Saviour and King of all mankind.
Isaiah liii. 8. xxiv. 22.
1 Peter iii. 19.
Origin of Pagan Idol. b. v. c. 6, 7. > Gen. xli. 1.
Post duos annos dierum, tertio incipiente, de carcere educitur Joseph. Et noster Joseph, Christus Dominus, die tertio a mortuis resurrexit. Præsentatur Pharaoni: mundo resurrectio declaratur. Data est Joseph Pharaone in tota
VII. The next type, which presents itself to our attention, is the great lawgiver of the Jews : and between his character and that of the Messiah there is so exact a parallelism, that it cannot fail to strike even the most superficial observer.
As Moses was delivered, when an infant, from the slaughter of the Hebrew children : so was Christ delivered, during the period of his infancy, from the slaughter of all the male children of a certain age that were in Bethlehem. · As Moses conversed with God face to face, an honour granted to no other prophet : so did Christ in an especial manner receive illumination from his Father. As Moses was appointed a lawgiver, to conduct his people from the slavery and misery of Egypt into the land of Canaan : so is Christ our lawgiver, with supreme power to lead us from the Egypt of sin, and from the bondage of Satan, into the heavenly Canaan, where there is fulness of pleasure at the right hand of God for evermore. As Moses stood in the gap between the Lord and the people, in order to avert the wrath of heaven: so does Christ intercede for us before the throne of God, that his fearful indignation may be turned away from us.
As Moses was meek above all men : so Christ, when reviled, reviled not again, but prayed even for his murderers. When Moses
Ægypto potestas. Et noster Joseph, Christus Dominus, post resurrectionem dicit, Data est mihi omnis potestas in cælo et in terra. Prosper. de Promiss. et Prædict. p. i. c. 29. apud Pearson.
Psalm ci. 23.
was in the mount, he fasted forty days; when Christ was in the wilderness, he also fasted during the same space of time.
According to Maimonides, the inspiration of Moses was superior to that of others, in four particulars. All other prophets prophesied in a dream or vision : but Moses, waking and standing. All other prophets prophesied by the help or ministry of an angel : but Moses, by immediate inspiration from God. All other prophets trembled, and fainted: but Moses was exempt from these, concomitants of human weakness, and conversed with God as a man speaketh to his friend. The gift of prophecy was conferred upon others only at particular seasons : but Moses was enabled to utter predictions at all times. If such marks of God's favour were manifested so peculiarly in the Jewish legislator, still more illustriously do they shine forth in the person of Christ.
VIII. The whole of the Law being written for an ensample to the Christian world, we shall find those lamentable dissensions, which continually rend the church, set forth in a most striking manner by the inspired author of the Pentateuch: and this portion of the sacred history will serve to introduce another eminent type of our Saviour, the high-priest Aaron.
Korah, a turbulent factious Levite, in conjunction with Dathan and Abiram two of the laity, steps forward, and charges his lawful governors
See Newton on the Prophecies. vol. i. p.