תמונות בעמוד

ing his salvation and righteousness; and that all the circumstances in this wonderful portion of Scripture were most literally accomplished, some of them occurring within the last of the seventy weeks, namely, the death of the Messiah, the confirmation of the covenant, and the abrogation of sacrifice; and others of the events, soon after, though without that week or term of seven years, being conjoined with the other events in the prophecy, as consequences or results, such as the destruction of the temple and the city by Titus—desolation unto the end of the war--the overspreading of abominations, &c. In fine, our Lord and Saviour points to this prophecy, and furnishes a key to the interpretation, even of its obscurer clauses, when he predicts the encompassing of Jerusalem by the Roman armies, and pronounces its doom of desolation: fixing its time of judgment in connection with the end of the first age of Christianity. Mat. xxiv. 14–16: " And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world, for a witness unto all na. tions; and then shall the end come. When


therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, (Lukewhen ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies,) stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand,) then let them who be in Judea flee into the mountains,” &c.

3. Finally, the predictions of the calling of the gentiles, and their union in one church with the Jews, as they do, by the very fact of such predictions having been given, prove the destined abrogation of the Les vitical law; so, by their fulfilment, do they establish that the reign of the Messiah has commenced? The Spirit which spake by the prophets, not only foretells,

' the passing away of the temple and the sacrifices, but the substitution of another worship, not compatible with the observance of the Mosaic institutions, and the participation by the world at large, of privileges once proper to Palestine. It was early said, God shall persuade Japhet to dwell in the tents of Shem; (Gen. ix.) It is foretold that God should take for himself priests and Levites, out of all nations without distinc


tron; (Isaiah lxvi.)—that in all places, incense and a pure offering should be offered to his name; that on the bells of the horses should be engraven holiness to Jehovah; which was formerly engraven only on the golden plate fastened to the mitre of the high priest; (Zech. xiy.)—that the isles should wait for the Messiah's laws; (Isa. xlii.)—that all nations should flow to the mountain of the house of Jehovah; (Isa. ii.)that there should be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt—not a Levitical altar, which was confined to one place, (Deut. xii.) but a spiritual and evangelical altar; in short, the ordinances of divine and acceptable worship, nothing being more common in the prophets than to speak of Gospel worship in the phrases of the law; and again, that Israel should be the third with Egypt, and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the 'land; whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands,

and Israel minė inheritance.”? In short, it is foretold that “ Jéhovah shall be King over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Jehovah, and his name one." (Isaiaḥ xix.; Zech. xiv. 9.).

That all nations were to come in to the Messias, and so the distinction between the Jew and gentile to cease, by right, at his coming, is, (remarks Bishop Pearson,)* the most universal description in all the prophecies. God speaks to him thus, as to his Son, “ Ask of me, and I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost part of the earth for thy possession.It was one greater than Solomon of whom these words were spoken, “ All kings shall fall down before him, all nations shall serve him.(Psalm lxxii.), And again, “ In that day shall there be a root of 'Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the gentiles seek.And in general all the prophets were but instruments to deliver the same message, which Malachi concludes from God. For from the rising of the sun, even unto the going down of the same, my name shall be

* Exposition of the Creed, Article ii.

great among the gentiles; and in every place in, cense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering; for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the Lord of hosts." Now the bounds of Judea being settled, the promise of God being to bring all nations in at the coming of the Messias, and this being what the Jews so much opposed, as loath to part from their ancient and peculiar privilege; he who actually wrought this work must certainly be the Messias: and that Jesus did it, is most evident. That all nations did thus come in to the doctrine preached by Jesus, cannot be denied. For although he was not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel; although of those many Israelites who believed on him while he lived, very few were left immediately after his death: yet when the apostles had received their commission from him to go teach all nations, and were endued with power from on high by the plentiful effusion of the Holy Ghost; the first day there was an accession of three thousand souls: immediately after, we find the number of the men, besides women, was about five thousand; and still believers were more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women. Upon the persecution at Jerusalem, they went through the regions of Judea, Galilee, and Samaria; and James testifies that there were many thousands, (myriads, ten thousands of the Jews who believed. Then we read of the believ. ing Jews, strangers, scattered through Pontus, Asia, &c. Yet all these are nothing to the fulness of the gentiles, which came after. How much did Jesus work by one St. Paul, to the obedience of the gentiles by word and deed? How did he pass from Jerusalem round about through Phenice, Syria, and Arabia, through Asia, Achaia, and Macedonia, even to Illyricum, fully preaching the Gospel of Ch How far did others pass beside St. Paul, that he should speak even of his time, that the Gospel' was preached to every creature under heaven? Many were the nations, innumerable the people, which received the faith in the apostles' days: and, in not many years after, notwithstanding millions were cut off in the bloody persecutions, yet did their numbers equalize half the Roman empire; and little above two ages after the death of the last apostle, the emperors of the world gave in their names to Christ, and submitted their sceptres to his laws, that the gentiles might come to his light, and kings to the brightness of his rising; that kings might become the nursing-fathers, and queens the nursing-mothers of the church.

From hence it came to pass that, according to all the predictions of the prophets, the one God of Israel, the Maker of heaven and earth, was acknowledged through the world for the only true God: that the law given to Israel, was taken for the true law of God; that all the oracles of the heathen gods, in all places where Christianity was received, did presently cease, and all the idols or the gods themselves, were rejected and condemned as spurious. For the Lord of hosts had spoken concerning those times expressly: It shall come to pass in that day, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered: also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land.

“Now,” concludes Dr. Pearson, “this general reception of the Gospel being so anciently, so frequently foretold, the same being so clearly and universally performed: even this might seem sufficient to persuade that Jesus is Christ. It is impossible Jesus should have been so received for the true Messias, had he not been so: or that this doctrine, which teacheth him to be the Christ, should be admitted by all nations for divine, had it not been such. For whether we look

upon the nature of the doctrine taught, the condition of the teachers, or the manner in which it was taught, it can no way seem probable that it should have had any such success, without the immediate working of the hand of God, acknowledging Jesus for his Son, the doctrine for his own, and the

fulfilling by the hands of the apostles what he had foretold by the prophets."

From the above induction of proofs, both from Moses and the prophets, it is surely not to be mistaken, what is the great subject and scope of ancient Scripture. CHRIST IS THE ALL IN ALL OF THE WORD OF GOD. And if we must lament the incredulity of the Israelite who does not see this, shall we close the lecture without suggesting in few words how great is our privilege in possessing those ancient records! how worthy are they of our frequent search and meditation! And if not only do they testify of Christ, but in them we have eternal life, how great is the guilt and folly of gentiles as well as Jews who neglect this great and free salvation; nay, who are not filled with grateful admiration of that goodness and grace, as well as manifold wisdom of God, which provided, and so early revealed that wonderful remedy for the wants and miseries of mankind; kept alive by so many successive disclosures of the Divine purpose, the faith of the church in its coming deliverance; and now so clearly and minutely unravels to us who live in the light of the New Testament, the scheme of salvation by grace—the mystery hidden from ages, but in these days MADE KNOWN TO ALL NATIONS FOR THE OBEDIENCE OF FAITH.

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