Page images

judgments and calamities on his enemies, without subduing them to that obedience and subjection to him which is the privilege of real believers. Yet it is a certain truth, that wherever he executes one of these offices in a saving way, he executes them all. In this respect, though the offices are distinct, yet they are not divided. For whosoever is taught by him as a Prophet, so as to be made wise unto salvation, is redeemed unto God by his blood as a Priest, and is subdued by his power as a King, and made a willing subject to him: and all whose sins are expiated by him as a Priest, shall, in his own time, be savingly taught by him as a Prophet, and made his willing subjects as a King, in the day of his power. A few inferences shall shut


this subject. 1. How great and how glorious is our Lord Jesus Christ, who was meet to bear all these offices at once, and exercise them at once, so as one does not mar or clash with another! He is glorious indeed in whom all the glory scattered amongst the typical persons is perfectly concentered. If it was an honour to Melchizedec, to be both a priest and a king, and David to be both a king and a prophet ; how much more glorious is it for our divine Mediator to be a Prophet, a Priest, and a King, really possessed of these offices, and exercising them in their full extent, in a more efficacious manner than any person that was ever invested with any of them on earth!

2. Let this commend Christ unto you as a full and a suit. able Saviour. There is no case a poor sinner can be in, but he will find the remedy of it in these offices of Christ. · Art thou, O sinner, under spiritual darkness and ignorance? There is knowledge and instruction to be had from him. He is the light of the world and can give thee an understanding to know him that is true, he can give thee the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ. Art thou under guilt and condemnation, laden with sin that is like to sink thee to hell? There is righteousness in him as a Priest to remove thy guilt. He is the atonement and propitiation for sin. He saves from sin and wrath. Art thou a slave to sin and Satan? He is a King, who came to destroy the works of the devil: he can break the dominion of sin in thee, knock off thy fetters, and subdue all thy spiritual enemies. 3. Ye cannot take Christ, as a Redeemer, if


take him not in all his offices. He offers himself to sinners no other way; And what God has joined together let no man put

asunder. Many pretend to take Christ as a Saviour to save them from hell and wrath, who do not hearken to him as a Prophet to teach them the saving knowledge of God, nor submit to his laws and commandments. How many call Christ their Lord, and yet do not the things that he saith? O the folly of the world, that reject Christ's teaching, saying, Depart from us, for we desire not the knowledge ofthy ways! O the stupidity of those who despise Christ as a Priest, and think to recommend themselves to the divine favour by their own works of righteousness, which they substitute in the room of his righteousness! O the madness of those who contemn Christ as a King, refusing to submit to his royal authority, and who spurn at his laws and government! And how foolish are the princes of the earth that will not suffer Christ to reign freely in their dominions, but encroach on his authority, and make laws opposite to and inconsistent with his!

4. Do ye receive Christ in all his offices, giving up yourselves to be taught by him as a Prophet, in all things relating to your salvation, renouncing your own knowledge and wisdom; to be justified by his righteousness, and washed in his blood, renouncing all your own righteousness as filthy rags, saying, ? in the Lord alone have I righteousness, and count ing all things but loss and dung, that ye may win Christ, and be found in him, not having your own righteousness which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, even the righteousness which is of God by faith ;' and to be guided and conducted, ruled and governed by him as your Sovereign Lord and King, yielding a hearty and cheerful obedience to all his laws and commandments, and saying, Ć Other lords besides thee have had dominion over us : but by thee only will we make mention of thy name.'

5. Employ this mighty Redeemer in all the offices wherewith he is invested, and which as Mediator he exercises for the benefit of the ruined race of mankind. Ye have absolute need of him in all these offices. Ye are witless and foolish, and stand in need of his wisdom to guide and direct you; and ye are ignorant both of yourselves and of God, and so require saving knowledge and instruction. Ye are guilty and condemned sinners, nay, daily offenders, and so stand in need of pardon, nay, of continual pardons. Ye are weak, and have no strength to combat your spiritual adver

saries, and so require the exertion of his mighty power as King of kings to cause you stand against your adversaries. If you knew yourselves, and were exercised to godliness, you would see the absolute necessity of all Christ's offices for your salvation, and would every day bless God for such a complete and all-sufficient Redeemer. O make use of him daily in all his glorious offices, and honour him by putting employment in his hand, as your Prophet, Priest, and King.


[ocr errors]

Acts iii. 22.-A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up

unto you, of your brethren like unto me : him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.

AVING shewn that the Lord Jesus Christ, as our Re

deemer, is invested with, and actually executes the of fices of a Prophet, Priest, and King, I come now to speak of these offices distinctly; and shall begin with his prophetical office, which is plainly asserted in the words now read,

Here the apostle Peter shews the Jews, Moses pointing to Christ as the great Prophet of the church. Moses had told the Israelites in the wilderness, Deut. xviii. 15. "The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Propbet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken.' Peter tells the Jews, that this eminent Prophet was now come, and exhorts them to submit unto his instructions. In the words we have, : 1. A description of Christ as to his prophetical office, A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you. Where

ist, Christ is described by his title, a Prophet, and that the Prince of all the Prophets, or the great,' orchief Shepherd,' as he is styled by the apostles. It belongs to a prophet, by virtue of his office, to expound the law, declare the will of God, and foretel things which are to come.

All these meet in Christ our great Prophet in a singular and eminent manner.

2dly, He is here described by his type ; "a Prophet like unto me, says Moses ; who therein typified and prefigured Christ. But you may say, is it not said of Moses, Deut.


xxxiv. 10. • There arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face.” I answer, It is true indeed of a mere man there never arose so great a prophet in Israel as Moses was, either in respect of his familiarity with God, or of the miracles which he wrought by the efficacy of the divine power. Moses, however, was but a servant, and Christ a Son: Moses was but a star to this Sun, and derived all his light and knowledge from him. All the prophets under the Old Testament, however eminent were but Stars, and borrowed all their light from the Sun of righteousness. Nevertheless there were several things wherein Christ was like to Moses; such as, Moses and Christ were both persecuted in their infancy, Moses was a deliverer from the temporal, but Christ from the spiritual Egypt, of which the former was a figure. But more particularly, Christ was like to Moses,

(1.) In this great intimacy and familiarity with God. It is said, Exod. xxxiii. 11. that the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.' He spake with Moses freely, familiarly, and immediately ; not by an angel, in a dream or vision, as he did to other prophets. Now Christ was like Moses in this respect, and far excelled him in it; for he was intimate with God from all eternity, Prov. viii. 30; he was with God,' John i. 1. and lay in his bosom, knowing all his counsels and purposes.

(2.) Christ was like to Moses in the excellency of his ministration, and his great faithfulness in the discharge of it. It is said, Heb. iii. 2. «He was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. As the office of Moses extended to the whole house of God under the law, and to all the service of it; so did Christ's reach to the whole church of God, and to all the service of it under the gospel. As Moses was appointed of God to give out what he delivered; so was Christ appointed by his father to institute what he did institute, and abrogate what hedid abrogate. As Moses was faithful to him that appointed him in all the matters of God's house, keeping back nothing that he was commanded to reveal ; so was Christ faithful to the Father, who did appoint him in like manner; yea, Christ far excelled Moses, as the apostle shews, Heb. iii. 3. 4. 'For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, in as much as he who hath builded the house, hath more honour

than the house. For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God.'

(3.) Moses was a prophet that mediated between God and the people. He carried God's mind to them, and returned their mind to God, because they were not able to hear the voice of God immediately themselves, Deut. xviii. 16, 17: So Christ is a Mediator between God and man; he deals with God for man, and with man for God.

(4.) As Moses confirmed his doctrine by many miracles which he wrought in the presence of the people to their full conviction; so our great Prophet is like unto Moses in this also: for he wrought many mighty miracles in the view and face of the world, which could not be denied, and thereby confirmed the doctrine which he preached, and verified the divinity of his person and mission.

3dly, Christ is here described by his stock and lineage from which he sprung according to the flesh, ' A Prophet shall the Lord raise up of your brethren; whose are the fathers, and of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ came,' says the apostle, Rom. ix. 5. He was an Israelite ; and it is evident that he sprang from the tribe of Judah, Heb. vii. 14. He put great honour and dignity upon that people and nation by his nativity and descent from them.

2. There is a strict injunction given of obedience to this Prophet: “Him shall ye hear in all things.' By hearing, in this place, we are to understand obedience: and this obedi. ence is required to be given to this Prophet only, universally, and under great penalties. (1.) It is required to be given to him only; for so him in the text must be understood as exclusive of all others. It is true, we are commanded to obey the voice of his messengers and ministers, Heb. xiii. 17. but still it is Christ speaking by them to whom we are to pay our obedience: • He that heareth you (says he), heareth me.' We are to obey them in the Lord,' i. e, commanding and forbidding in Christ's name and authority. (2.) This obedience must be given to him universally: “ Him shall ye hear in all things. Whatever he enjoins must presently be complied with; his commands are to be obeyed, not disputed, It is true, a judgment of discretion is allowed to Christians, to judge whether it be the will of God or not. We must prove

what is the holy, good, and acceptable will of the Lord,' Rom. xii. 2. And whenever his will is understood

« PreviousContinue »