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At 269,Festus, the governor of Judea say, “ Paul, thou
art beside thyself, much learning maketh thee mad.” This principle then, whether in Abraham, in Moses, or in Paul, is the same, although exerting itself in each with different degrees of light, in proportion to their nearness to, or distance from Messiah's day
It now remains to be inquired, how far this principle, which opened the eyes of Moses, to nobler prospects than the possession of Egypt, could properly be said to be the reproach of Christ. This reproach, of seeking things which are the object, not of sight, but of trust, was certainly what Moses submitted to, when it was publicly known that he was more influenced by the distant prospect of a certain and lasting enjoyment, than by the near one, of an enjoyment that was uncertain, and at best but temporary. The foundation of the recompence which he looked to, was Christ ; and although Christ might not so clearly be discerned in it then, yet the apostle Paul, who had made the very same sacrifice, and had renounced all for the sake of the same invisible object, and which rested on the very same foundation, terms it the reproach of, that is, which perpetually follows the disciples of Christ. Moses did not count the reproach of Christ, merely considered as a reproach, greater riches than the treasures of Egypt, but he counted the certain
· view of that great reward, which others, who did not see with his eyes, reproached as fantastic, greater riches; which reproach he welcomed, while he saw something very glorious to be enjoyed when this life was at an end.
We have no particular account of what passed when Moses' renounced the house of Pharaoh; but it would appear that before this took place, both threats and allurements had been employed. I consider this as darkly intimated in the words reproach of Christ and treasures of Egypt. When they saw that so far from being an Egyptian, he was leaning towards his brethren, the children of Israel, they might tempt him with the view of being successor to Pharoah, they might point him to the treasures of which he would soon be master.They might reproach him with paying too much attention to that foolish imagination that had got into the heads of his nation, of a covenant which had been made by Jehovah with their fathers, promising them a possession (Olam) during the hidden period. But in this possession he saw something infinitely superior to Egypt, and therefore preferred it: “ he looked to the recompence of reward.”
The treasures of Egypt, although in a fair way to obtain them, he must at any rate leave ; but the objects now placed in view, even the riches of Paradise, were something to which in the lapse Y ?
of years he was coming. The former had wings and might elude his grasp ; the latter were durable, and remained for ever. For the sake of these, he came out of the family of Pharaoh, to enter into the family of God. This mighty influencing principle, which bears down earth, and places heaven in the view, is, as viewed and estimated by the world, the reproach of Christ. This view of
future things, Festus, the governor, shall term a Acts 25.19 superstition of their own ; and Gallio, the pro-con- 18.15 sul of Achaia, a question of words and names.
All this would receive additional strength from the declaration of Jehovah in the bush. “I am the God of Abraham.” In this declaration he saw the intermediate existence of the soul, during the separation from the body: in this he saw the body restored (so Christ himself informs us) and exalted to glory, honour, and immortality. • In the declaration of Jehovah, I shall be who I
shall be, he saw promised an after-meeting, when he would fully justify the character of having called himself their God. While on earth, nothing had fallen to their lot, corresponding to the magnificence of such a glorious name; it therefore remained that their expectations should be fulfilled in another world. Their very trust their looking forward to this, was their last and bright ray which shone upon earth. The very term memorial, for which the name Jehovah was given them, de
& notes a something to catch hold of; a memoran-
dum left, which was in the end to appear in all its truth. Into all this Moses deeply entered : it caught hold of his soul. In the future tense, “ I shall be "(Ehjeh) he saw a glorious appearance which was to take place at a distant period; and when he, some ages after, appeared on the mount of transfiguration, it was to converse about the manner of accomplishing that very promise formerly made in the bush, “ the glorious appearing of the great God, and our Savious Jesus Christ.”
This reproach will be taken away when “ the covering that is cast over all people is swallowed up;" when that veil is raised that now conceals invisible things from mortal view. In that day, what constituted the reproach of the people of God, shall meet the view of all generations, as the things which remain, while the things of earth, to which the world had given a decided preference, disappear, like a vapour, before the rays of the sun. The invisible reward which had, while . time was, been the scoff of men, shall now be made visible to all: and the very reprobate shall be forced to praise the wisdom of the righteous, for having had the energy of mind to despise the shadows of time, in order to obtain the realities of a blessed eternity,
The Future Age subject to Messiah.!
For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to
come, whereof we speak. Heb. ii. 5.
I HE future age, with its blessings, was a theme' perpetually in the mouth of the Jews of antient times. “ All the prophets,” says Maimonides, “ have prophecied universally, and only of the days of Messiah, but with respect to the future age, eye hath not seen, O God, except thee.” In several passages of Scripture, the Jews
discerned the future age, although not formally set Tor 26-30-33 forth by the name. Such as in this “ I will put
my laws into their heart, and I will take away the stony heart out of their flesh, &c. with many
the above mentioned Rabbi, “ in which way the future age is fully understood ; this is that ultimate end toward which we ought to direct every exertion."*
* Cum multis ejusmodi scripturæ locis eodem spectantibus ; quibus rationibus, firmiter appprehenditur sæculum futurum. Quod autem ad finem ultimum, est ille sæculum futurum quo enitendum. Porta Mosis.