Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

ceeds to show, that the subjects of this excellent prince should be persons renewed in the spirit of their mind. " The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid ; and the calf, and the young lion, and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice's den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain ; for the earth shall be full of the knoirledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek, and his rest shall be glorious,' Isai. xi. 1-10.-Again.

Unto us a child is born, (called, chap. vül. 14. and vii. 8. Immanuel, or God with us,) unto us a son is given ; and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice, from henceforth even for ever, ch. ix. 6, 7.

Though the kingdom of the Messiah was to be a king. dom of peace, yet was lae to be a great conqueror. Girl thy sword upon thy thigh, 0 most Mighty, with thy glory and thy roajesty. And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth, and meekness, and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things. Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king's enemies, whereby the people fall under thee. Thy throne, () God, is for ever and ever : the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre. Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness : therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows, Ps. xlv. 327,

He was to be not only the son of David, but the Son of God. "I will declare the decree; the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. Ask

of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession, Ps. i. 7, 8, Well therefore might the apostle assert his superiority to the angels, and say that he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.' Heb. i. 4. It was on this account that David in spirit called him. Lord, saying, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy. footstool,' P$. cx. 1.

As the Jehovah-Angel who appeared to our fathers was frequently called Jehovah, by the same name was the Messiah to be called. Behold, the days come, saith the Ļord, that I will raise unto David a righteous, branch, and a king shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days. Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely : and this is his name whereby he shall be called,. JEHOVAH QUR BIGHTEOUSNESS,' Jer. xxiii, 5, 6. The time of the Messiah's advent was predicted.

1. It was to be while the second temple was standing. The ancient men who had seen the first. temple, wept when the foundation of the second was. laid. But the prophet said unto them, Fear. ye not; for thus, saith the Lord of hosts, Yet once it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land ; and I will shake all nations, and the desire of all pations shall come, and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of hosts : The glory of this, latter house: shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts, Hag. ii. 5. 9.

2. It was to be before the departure of the sceptre from Judah.

The sceptre, shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people bel Gen, xlix. 19. There were various steps by which it departed. One was, the going forth of the decree from Cæsar, Augustus , that the whole land should be taxed. Luke ii. Another

was, when the Romans took into their hands the power of inflicting capital punishment. But the sceptre did not entirely depart till the time of Vespasian, when the Romans took away both our place and nation.

3. It was to be before we had lost the knowledge of our tribes ; otherwise the Messiah would not have been pointed out to us as being of the tribe of Judah and of the seed of David.

4. The very year was predicted. Seventy weeks, (or 490 years,) are determined upon thy people, and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy,' Dan. ix. 24. These seventy weeks are divided into three periods. During the first, the work of restoration and reformation was carried on by Ezra and Nehemiah ; the second reaches to the commencement of the ministry of John; and the third extends to the death of Messiah the prince.

A herald was to go before him." The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of Jehovah, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain ; and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together,' Isai, xl. 3. 5.Again. • Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the

way before me: and Jehovah, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the Angel of the covenant whom ye delight in; behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts, Mal. iii. 1. This harbinger of the Messiah is also called Elijah. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of Jehovah. And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse,' Mal. iv. 5, 6. These prophecies were acccomplished in the person of John the baptist, who came in the spirit

and power of Elijah, and who said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of Jehovah, as said the prophet Isaiah. He acknowledged that he was not the Messiah, but said that he was sent before him. He did not claim to be the bridegroom: he was the friend of the bridegroom, who stood and heard him, and rejoiced greatly because of the bridegroom's voice. It was no small honour, however, to be the morning star of the gospel dispensation ; and it was not without reason that the angel said to Zacharias, “Thou shalt have joy and gladness, and many shall rejoice at his birth,' Luke i. 14.

The place of the Messiah's nativity was to be Bethlehem. • But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel ; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting,' Mic. v. 2. The paraphrases written by our ancestors interpret this prophecy to mean, that the Messiah was to be born at Bethlehem. Our nation so understood it; for the chief priests and scribes, being asked where the Messiah should be born, replied, In Bethlehem of Judah, and quoted this very prophecy.

He was not to come with external grandeur. “He shall grow up before him,' says the prophet, as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him,' Isai. liii. 2.-At the birth of Christ, the descendants of David were in a state of poverty. His mother offered the sacrifice of the poor; and He whose birth was announced by a multitude of the heavenly host, was laid in a manger because there was no room for him in the inn..

There were, however, to be some who would expect his appearance, and say, 'Lo, this is our God; we haye waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord ; we have waited for him ; we will be glad and rejoice in his salva. tion,' Isai. xxv. 9:~Accordingly there was a Simeon, who took him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord,

% Q

now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word. For mine eyes have seen thy salvation; which thou hast prepared before the face of all people : a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.' There was also an Anna, who "gave thanks unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.' And although he came unto his own, and his own received him not, yet the gentile world sent as it were ambassadors to congratulate him on his arrival.

• They from Sheba came: they brought gold and incense, and showed forth the praises of the Lord,' Isai. Ix. 6.

The enmity of the seed of the serpent was soon visible. Herod, that he might destroy the infant Messiah, slew al the children that were in Bethlehem, and in its vicinity, from two years old and under. Ramah participated in this calamity; and Rachel, who was buried near it, is supposed to rise from her grave, and in the beautiful language of prophecy, to weep a second time for her children: the first time was when they were carried into captivity by the general of the king of Babylon. See Jer. xl. 1. At each time a voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping : Rachel, weeping for her children, refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not,! Jer. xxxi. 15. Tó avoid the fury of Herod, Joseph and Mary took the young child and fled into Egypt ; but after the death of Herod they returned, and out of Egypt,'a second time, God called his Son, Hos. xi. 1. The cmniscience of the Deity is displayed in his causing the in: spired writers to use such language as refers to events in distant ages, and the full meaning of which is not known until the latter events take place. We see another instance of this in the first four verses of the 72d psalm. Give the king thy judgments, O God, and thy righteousness unto the king's son. He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment. The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills, by righteousness. He shall judge the poor of the people ; he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in

« ElőzőTovább »