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remarkable with what frequency the Messiah is introduced as David or The Beloved, the Root and Branch of Jesse, 'T'he Lord, The Lord our Righteousness, The Redeemer, The Lord of Hosts, The Prince, 'The King, and The King of Israel; of His being with and amongst his people—and of His reigning over and in the midst of them in Zion and in Jerusalem. And not only is His presence promised, b?t it is spoken of as being the highest glory and best enjoyment of that bliss which are the peculiar characteristics of the era to which they refer. Indeed, from the circumstances with which they are connected, many of these predictions appear altogether incomprehensible, if the personal presence
of the Redeemer is denied. Nor can any sufficient reason be assigned for substituting the presence of the Spirit as an equivalent for the promised presence of Emmanuel-" The King of Israel.” The copious effusion of the influences of the Spirit, and the general holiness of men is, as we have already noticed, the subject of another gracious promise for “that day," and ought not to be confounded with, nor merged into, that which now forms the subject of more immediate investigation. To do so is not merely offering violence to the language of Scripture, but doing this without the shadow of necessity. The prophecies present a view of the Messiah's character and work, full, clear, and consistent; stated with so much plainness, and so oft repeated, as to leave room for wonder that his personal presence ever could have been so explained away. The language, as left by the Holy Ghost, seems to stand in need of no amendment-no accommodation. A short review of some of these promises, given in few words, and arranged in order, will fully substantiate this statementa careful examination of their several contexts will prove the whole to be unfulfilled predictions.
“When the Lord shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory.” Ps. cii. 16. “Behold the Lord rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt.” Is. xix. 1. “The Lord shall go forth as a mighty man; he shall stir up jealousy as a man of war.” Is. xlii. 13. 66 The Lord of hosts shall come down to fight for Mount Zion, and for the hill thereof.... and passing over Jerusalem he will defend it.” Is. xxxi. 4, 5. “For, behold, the Lord will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render bis anger with fury, « And
and his rebuke with flames of fire." Is. lxvi. 15. He is also seen, by the holy prophet, coming from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah, glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength,” “treading down the people in his fury, and staining his raiments with their blood.” ."* Is. lxiii. 1, 6. “Yet,” says the Lord,
“ have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.” Ps. ii. 6. the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob." Is. lix. 20. Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion, for, lo ! I come, and will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord.” Zech. ij. 10. “The Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee." Is. lx. 2. “ The Lord will be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.” Is. lx. 20. And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel camę from the way of the east; and His voice was like a noise of many waters, and the earth shined with his glory." Ezek. xliii. 2. “ His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east.” Zech. xiv. 4. In the days when“ Judah shall be saved, “and Israel shall dwell safely," as King shall the Lord our Righteousness" reign and prosper, executing judgment and justice in the earth.” Jer. xxiii
- Behold a King shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment;" for “the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.” Įs, xxxii. 1. Zech. xiv. 5. He shall then be “ Governor," not only over but“ among the nations.” Ps, xxii. 28. “ The Lord shall be King over all the earth. In that day shall there be one Lord and his name One." Zech. xiv. 9. “ Then the moon shall be con. founded, and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of Hosts shall reign in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously." Is. xxiv. 23. “At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the Lord, and all the nations shall be gathered unto it to the Name of the Lord to Jerusalem." Jer. ii. 17. "Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the Lord.” Zech. viii. 22.
This passage has sometimes been applied to the first advent of Christ, and the sufferings He himself endured. But this is an ap. plication which it does not admit. He treads his enemies in his anger--he tramples them in his fury, and his garments are sprin. kled with their blood.
THE LITERAL FULFILMENT OF PROPHECY.
In preceding Sections we have endeavoured to prove, from the very nature of most of the predictions adduced, that they are only capable of a literal interpretation. Advancing in the argument, we now farther observe, that to explain away all the predictions concerning the glory of Christ, is to justify his rejection by the Jews, notwithstanding of the plain declarations of his humility and sufferings. For, if we are at liberty to spiritualize all the prophecies which foretell his reign in glory, how can we blame them for adopting a similar mode of interpreting other predictions not more clear and far less numerous ? Besides, this is a method of interpretation which seems not only repugnant to reason, but is quite inconsistent with that Literal Fulfilment which Prophecy has hitherto received. If all past predictions, except where figures are obviously used, have had their fulfilment literally, even when the minuteness of Prophecy was extreme, on what principle of interpretation is a mode of fulfilment yet unprecedented now to be expected? We can point to a long series of predictions which have been literally fulfilled, and to others which are being so at this very day, in their utmost minutiæ, and can see no reason to suppose, that those which, for aught we can tell, may relate to the ensuing month or the ensuing year, are not to have a literal fulfilment also, as no intimation is given by the Spirit of Prophecy of a period at which this mode of their accomplishment shall cease. Thus alone can the criterion divinely given, by which to distinguish the true from the false prophet, be of any avail: “If thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the Lord hath not spoken ? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not nor come to pass,
that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously.” Deut. xxvii. 21, 22. And the minuteness with which Prophecy bas hitherto been fulfilled, proves how safely the rule may be applied. The past dealings of God, in this respect-which show the perfect correspondence between the prediction and its accom
plishment-have however been much neglected ; and hence, perhaps, the unwillingness so often displayed, believingly to receive the promises He has bestowed, without the intervention of our own limitations; and hence, also, our unbelieving fears to submit divine predictions concerning the future to the ordeal which Jehovah himself has prescribed. But of the evidence to be derived from the past fulfilment of Prophecy, did our limits permit the prosecution of this branch of the argument, the history of nations and individuals would furnish abundant and valuable illustration. We might take the Scripture predictions concerning the state of different countries, and show how amply they are verified by the accounts of recent travellers, wholly unconscious of the coincidence,-and, in some cases, with views decidedly hostile to Revelation. Or, taking History as evidence, we might trace the literal fülfilment of Prophecy in the rise and fall of empires — the scenes of their splendour and the means of their overthrow. We might refer to the judgments poured on cities famed of old, and in the height of their glory when denounced of the Lord ;-of Nineveh, of Babylon, of Tyre, of Jerusalem, and others : and might gather thence evidence incontrovertible of the literal fulfilment of Prophecy in circumstances the most improbable to human foresight—by means the most unlikely in human estimation--and with a specification of incidents so apparently insignificant, as would perhaps never have been recorded had not the minds of historians been under the im- . mediate control of Him whose omniscience they thus unwittingly attested. The very improbability of such prophecies ever being fulfilled renders their accomplishment a more glorious display of that divine attribute which Jehom vah claims as peculiarly his own, and in proof of which he even appeals to Prophecy. Some, who have not inquired upon the subject, are apt to imagine, that, although intimations of a general nature have been given, particular circumstances are not condescended upon. "This opinion, however, is far from being correct. There is often a perfect delineation of inferior circumstances, and this, in some instances, to a degree altogether astonishing; as when, in picturing forth Idumean desolation, the prediction includes the provision of a mate for every vulture : "There shall the vultures also be gathered, every one with her mate..
out of the Book of the Lord and rea
These remarks derive much confirmation from a cent publication by the Rev. Alexander Keith, entitled, “Evidence of the Truth of the Christian Religion derived from the Literal Fulfilment of Prophecy;" from which, did our limits permit, we should gladly have availed ourselves of extracts. * But for the illustration of our views, we prefer making a selection of Scripture predictions concerning the humiliation of Christ, with reference to their Fulfilment.
The patriarch Jacob had left the consolatory assurance that the sceptre should not depart from Judah, nor a law
giver from between his feet, until Shiloh came; (Gen. xliv. i 10;) and, accordingly, it was not till about the time Christ
publicly appeared in the temple, in the twelfth year of His i age, that the last king, Archilaus, was dethroned and ba
nished. The Redeemer was not only to be of the tribe i of Judah, but of the family of David; and his genealogy,
both by natural and legal succession, have, in Scripture, been preserved as evidence. Mat. i. Luke iii. Isaiah prodicted that a virgin should conceive and bear a Son; and, in due time, the fulfilment of the glorious prophecy was attested to Mary's espoused husband by an angel from heaven. Is. vii. 14. Matt. i. 10. Prophecy had pointed to Bethlehem Ephrata, as the place of His nativity; and two of the evangelists inform us Jesus was born there. Micah v. 2. Matt. ii. 1. Luke ii. 4, 6. The prophet predicted to Jerusalem the approach of her lowly King riding upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass; and the evangelist
records its exact fulfilment, when Jesus so entered the city e
amid the hosannahs of the multitude. Zech. ix. 9. Matt. xxi. l. Prophecy declared, “ When we shall see Him there is no beauty that we should desire him ;" and we
Although the author has sometimes endeavoured to find fulfil. ment for prophecies which have not yet met their accomplishment, we would warmly recommend this work to the perusal of those who have not attended to this branch of the argument. Written for the .confutation of the avowed Unbeliever, it is not less calculated to reprove the practical infidelity of real and professed Christians in the absolute verity of divine prediction.