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nion of their ancestors in this respect. They distinguish Mofes from all other prophets, and the highest degree of inspiration is styled by them gradus Mofaicus. The difference between this degree and all others they make to consist in four particulars. I. Moses had no dreams nor visions.
2. He had light from God immediately, without the ministry or interpofition of angels. 3. His mind was never difturbed or dismayed by the prophetic influence ; for God spake to him as a man speaks to his friend. 4. He could prophesy at all times when he would ; whereas others prophesied only at particular times, when the word of God came to them
Another chief dignity belonging to Moses, and in which the prophets under the law were not like unto him, is, that he was a laregiver. No prophet after Moses was sent with such a commission during the time of the law; and yet the prophet here foretold was evidently to resemble Moses in this particular. He was to speak all that God commanded him ; and whoever hearkened not to him was to be destroyed. Moses had no greater authority than this ; nor can any words describe a greater. Besides, there is a circumstance belonging to this prophecy, which ties it down, I think, to this sense. Moses says, God will raise up unto thee a Prophet like unto me, according to all that thou desiredst of him in Horeb, in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God; neither let me see this great fire ang more, that I die not. And the Lord said unto me, They have well spoken. I will raise them up a Pro
• See Smith's Select Discourses, P.
phet from among their brethren like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him, &c.
It is to be observed, that this request of the people was made at the giving of the law in Horeb : Moses had often prophesied to them before, and they were not put under any terror by it; but when the law was delivered, and God descended in fire, and the whole mount quaked greatly, they desired that Moses might speak to them, and not God, left they should die : upon this the promise is given, I will raise them a Prophet like unto thee, and put my words in his mouth. Is it not evident, that this new Prophet was to do that, in a familiar gentle way, which God himself did in the mount, surrounded with majesty and terror ? And was not that the giving of the law ? To apply this promise to any thing else, is making it to have no relation to the request upon which it was granted. The people liked Moses his ordinary way of prophesying to them so well, that they desired he might be employed to deliver God's laws to them in the same manner that he delivered God's other commands : the request related therefore merely to the manner of God's giving his law; they were under no uneasiness at his method in conveying prophecies to them : and consequently the promise of God must relate to the giving of a law to his people, by one to be raised up among themselves ; and not merely to a fucceffion of prophets, about which the people were in no distress.
Lastly, If we inquire, from historical evidence, after the completion of this prophecy, we shall find, that it did most punctually agree to the character of our blessed Saviour, and not to any other prophet, either before or after him : all the prophets of the Old Testament faw vifons, and dreamed dreams; all the prophets of the New were in the same state. St. Peter had a vision, St. John saw visions, St. Paul had visions and dreams: but Christ himself neither faw vision, nor dreamed a dream, but had intimate and immediate communication with the Father ; he was in the Father's bofom; he, and no man else, had seen the Father, was one with the Father, and had the fulness of the Godhead in him. Let any man now seriously consider this ; Moses and Christ are the only two, in all the sacred history, who had this com. munication with God; the likeness to Mofes is said directly to lie in this, of seeing God face to face. Can the promise then of raising a prophet like unto Moses be possibly applied to any other person than Christ Jesus? The other part of the parallel needs not to be insisted on ; that Christ was a lawgiver, will be easily admitted on all hands. But the execution of the threat annexed to this prophecy is too remarkable to be passed over in filence; it has been literally fulfilled upon the whole nation ; every man, who considers the state of the Jews from the rejection of Christ to this day, must own, that this part of the prophecy, at least, has been punctually verified.
This prophecy, and many others, seem, as I observed, intended for the Jews principally, to prepare them betimes for the reception of a new Lawgiver, and to intimate to them, that the Mosaic covenant was not to be perpetual.
Thus have I gone through the several periods of prophecy under the Old Testament, and endeavoured
to shew the main design and use of it, opening a way to a fair and impartial consideration of the particular prophecies relating to each period. I conceived it seasonable, at a time when the argument from prophecy was exposed to open ridicule, to suggest some proper observations on the subject, for the assistance of serious minds disposed to consider ; to throw in one mite, as an offering to the love of Christ and his Gospel, in which I hope to live and to die.