Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

*old, from everlasting.” This was plainly fulfilled, when Mary with Joseph went up to Bethlehem to be taxed there, where she brought forth her first-born son. Thus Matthew declares, ** Je“ sus was born in Bethlehem of Judah, in the days of Herod the “ king.” So Luke asserts the same : +" And Joseph also went « up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto “ the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, to be taxed with “ Mary his espoused wife ; and so it was that while they were “there, that the days were accomplished that she should be de“ livered, and she brought forth her first born son." John likewise witnesseth to the same fact, when he says, “ Hath not the “ scripture said, that Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out to of the town of Bethlehem, where David was ?".

Were not the predictions concerning the forerunner of Chirst expressly fulfilled ? Thus saith Isaiali, $“ The voice of him that “crieth in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord, make e straight in the desart a highway for our God; and the glory of the “ Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.” In the same language speaks the prophet Malachi, ll“ Behold I will “ send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me.” How perfectly were these prophecies accomplished in John the Baptist? Did he not preach in the wilderness of Judea, saying “ repent ye ; for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” Was he not “ The voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare ye the “ way of the Lord, make his paths straight ?" Does he not expressly affirm this of himself? And does not St. Mark directly apply these prophecies to John, when he says respecting him, o, 6 As it is written in the prophets, behold I send my inessenger be“ fore thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.”

Let us attend to what was foretold of Christ in respect to his life, and the wonders he should perform. Jacob prophesied of

* Mat. i. 1. t Luke iii. 4, 5, 6, 7. + John vii. 42. $ Is. xl. 3. | Mal, iii. l, Mark i. 2.

bin, when he said, * « The sceptre shall not depart from Judah,

nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come, and " till the gathering of the people be unto him,” The word Shi. loh ineans one who is sent, and this is abundantly declared as the charactcristic of Christ, that he was sent by the Father, sent of Gol, Soc. It was in his day, Julea was reduced by the Romar power to the state of a province; their government was in a great measure taken from them ; Rome appointed governors over them; and at the crucifixion of our Lord, their civil auth ority was so far lost, that they did not possess the right of putting even a malefactor to death. It was foretold by David, respecting Christ, that when he should come, he should abolish the Jewish sacrifices, as insufficient to make atonement for sin ; that he himself should make a perfect and effectual sacrifice, and preach the doctrine of righteousness and holiness for the salvation of men. † “ Sacrifices " and offerings thou didst not desire, but mine cars hast thou " opened ; then said I, lo, I come, in the volume of the book it is is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God; I have « preached righteousness in the great congregation ; I have de« clared thy faithfulness and thy salvation." This is particularly applied to Christ in the epistle to the Hebrews. It was fore. told that he should work many and beneficial miracles. “Behold “your God will come, saith Isaiah, and save you ; then the eyes " of the blind shall be openeil, and the ears of the deaf shall be “ unstopped ; then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the « tongue of the dumb s!iall sing." This was perfectly fulfilled in the wonders performed by Christ. f« The blind received their « sight, the lame walked, the deaf heard." &c.

The prophet Daniel, in a very pointed manner, predicted the very time when the Mesiak would make lais appearance in the worla. 11 "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and

[merged small][ocr errors]

& upon thy holy city, to finish the trangression, and to make an

end of sins, and to inake reconciliation for iniquity, and bring “ in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and pro“phecy, and to anoint the most holy. From the going forth of “ the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the " Mesiah, the prince which Mesiah, shall be cut off, but not “ for himself; and the people of the prince that shall come, shall “ destroy the city and the sanctuary.” Seventy weeks, in prophetic language, is seventy times seven days : that is, four hundred and ninety years. This was precisely the time from the commission granted to Nehemiah, to restore Jerusalem and the temple, to the coming of Christ; and soon after he was cut off, the people of the prince, that is, the Romans, made an utter dem struction of the holy city and the sanctuary.

Zechariah declares he should triumphantly enter into Jerusalem as the king of Zion, meek, and proclaiming salvation, riding upon an ass, the fole of an ass. *« Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion, shout O daughter of Jerusalem : behold thy king “cometh unto thee ; he is just and having salvation ; lowly and “ riding upon an ass, and upon a colt, the foal of an ass.” This was exactly accomplished according to the testimony of St. Mat. thew; and upon this occasion, f“ Very great multitudes spread of their garments in the way, others cut down branches from the “ trees, and strewed them in the way, and the multitudes that “ went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the " son of David ; blessed is he that cometh in the name of the “ Lord; Hosanna in the highest."

The contempt with which he was treated in his life, his rejrction by men, and his sufferings and death, are particularly de.. scribed by the prophets, as they afterwards came to pass. He was f'" As a root out of dry ground, he bath no form or comeliu ness. There was no beauty that he should be desired.

* Zech, ix. 10.

| Nat. xxi. 8, 9,

Is, lii, throughout,

and wandering life, been always in enmity with the rest of mankind, and all around them have been enemies to them ; that great exertions have been made by the inost powerful nations of the earth to subdue and destroy them, but that they have never been vanquished to this day ; and that they have now existed for near four thousand years the same people, while multitudes of great nations have been utterly lost, and sunk into oblivion, except what history has preserved concerning them; If, I say, these things can be clearly established, and that such a people were exactly and perfectly delineated by prophecy before they had an există tence, and before their great ancestor was born, surely this must afford a demonstrative evidence of divine revelation; notling could foretel this but prescience itself; nothing could possibly inspire the persons who drew the picture, and delivered the prophecy, but that Almighty and Oinnsicient Being, to whom all past and future are forever and unchangably present. The nation to which all this has a reference, is the descendants of Ishmael, the son of Abraham by Hager, the bond woman. And these predictions were pronounced partly by an angel, and partly by Abraham himself, the father of the faithful, who had been favoured with various revelations from heaven, and partly by the eternal Jehovah, who beholds all things in one comprehensive view. God declared to Abraham how he would bless Ishmael. *" Behold I have bless“ed him, and will make him fruitful, and will maltiply him ex“ceedingly ; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him “ a great nation."-Twelve princes shall he beget ; this was punctually accomplished, and we have the names of the twelve princes recorded. 7 “ These are the sons of Ishmael, and these " are the names, by their towns, and by their castles, twelve “princes according to their nations.” Thus they were divided into twelve tribes in the manner of the Israelites in after times, and each tribe had a ruler or a prince over it. God likewise said

* Gen. xvii. 20,- Gen. 420. 16.

unto Abraham, *« Also of the son of the bondwɔman will I make " a nation ;" and the same thing is elsewhere repeated to Hager : 7“ I will inake him a great nation.” Thus they quickly encreased and grew to a numerous people, so that in the time Joseph was sold by his brethren, there were Ishmaelites, merchants, who traded into Egypt. They became a mighty nation, and overran a great part of the world ; and the Arabs, their descendants, are a very numerous, fierce, and warlike people, possessing an amazingly extensive territory, and holding a very large empire at this very day,

The most distingushing part of the prophetic description of this wonderful people and their progenitor, is, what the Angel of the Lord delivered to their mother Hagar. “ The angel of the “ Lord said unto her, behold thou art with child, and shall bear € a son, and shall call his name Ishmael, because the Lord 6 hath heard thy affliction. And he will be a wild man ; his “ hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against “ him; and he shall dwell in the presence of his brethren." He will be a wild man: This is perfectly true of the Ishmaelites, throughout all their generations, and continues to be equally descriptive of them at the present time. What people on the earth so wild, uotaimed, fierce and uncivilized, as the roaming inhabitants of the Arabias? They dwell, in a great measure, in tenis, range from place to place, live by the bow and the chase, and by robbing and plundering their fellow inen,-Their hand is against every man, and every man's hand is against them: They are, and always have been, enemies to all mankind, to whom they can have access, and all mankind are enemies to them. They live in a state of war with the world. And yet, notwithstanding this, they continue a great, powerful, and dreadful nation. They are the terror of all around them, and all who approach their country. And yet this barbarous people remain free, independent and 10mixed with other nations; which is a striking fulfillment of ano

* Gen. xxi. 13.-t Verse 18. Gen. xvi. 11, 12.

« AnteriorContinuar »