Imágenes de páginas

is Immanuel's work; who, having kept the law, hath purchased redemption for the land ; and by his death hath purchased redemption for the people of the land (Morn.Watch, pp. 156,157). He hath died, as the high priest prophesied, that the Jewish “nation perish not:” and every promise made to Abraham, and to Abraham's seed, hath received from him the great Amen: it is sealed and ratified, and in his hand it is for bequest, when the time comes to gather them. Therefore no weapon formed against Zion shall prosper, because it is formed against Zion's King; and all these confederacies against the Jewish people shall be like chaff before the wind, and a rolling thing before the whirlwind. The other instance of the like reason being rendered for the abolition of Zion's bondage, is in ix. 4: “Thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his

oppressor, as in the day of Midian. For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.

For unto us a Child is born,” &c. Here the reason for the breaking of all yokes from Israel's shoulder standeth in the birth to them of a wonderful, wise, mighty, warlike, and princely Child, to sit upon the throne of David, and thence to wield over the earth an everlasting and righteous government. In his might, in the dignity to which the Lord of hosts hath destined him, in the power with which he shall invest him, in the royal supremacy with which he shall anoint him, standeth the redemption of Israel: this Messiah is their hope of liberation, their only hope, their sure and certain hope. Again, in the passage before us, x. 26, 27, when the corruption and consumption and falling to pieces of every fetter with which Israel hath been bound, and the breaking of every staff to which his shoulder hath been yoked, and of every rod with which his back hath been smitten, are set forth as all involved in the Assyrian's destruction, the reason assigned is “ Because of the anointing.” Now, what anointing should this be, which is a sufficient reason for the overthrow of the Assyrian, but the anointing of the King in right and dignity of whom the nation standeth? And who is the King of the Jews that hath been spoken of? King Immanuel. Whose is the land ? “Thy land, O Immanuel.” King Immanuel, the Child of wonder and of counsel,who sits upon the throne of David," to order it in righteousness and judgment from henceforth and for ever,” He is the only anointed King. This is the only anointing contained, or even alluded to, in the prophecy; and in virtue of this anointing, in honour of it, in power of it, is Israel as a race and a kingdom delivered out of the hands and avenged for the cruelty of her enemies. Such a beautiful harmony is there in the reason, three times rendered, for the redemption of Israel.

Now the question is, What is the precise thing imported by this anointing ? I answer, It is the same thing imported by the birth of the Child, and by the name Immanuel: for these three things are all varieties of the same reason; and his name is Immanuel in virtue of his being born of a virgin. “A virgin shall conceive," “For unto us a Child is born," “ For the anointing,” are three expressions of one and the same thing; which thing is the reason wherefore the land becometh his, and the throne of David becometh his, and the necks of the enemies of his people become his. And what was the power by which the virgin conceived a Son? The power of God, put forth in act of the Holy Ghost. Therefore he was called “Son of God;" therefore he was born King of the Jesus; therefore he was a Holy Child, needing no redemption and able to redeem others : all because he was anointed with the Holy Ghost in his conception; because he was generated by power of the Holy Ghost.' That this fatherhood of God, this life of the Holy Ghost in his manhood, is the true anointing referred to in the text, will clearly appear from examining the first chapter of Luke,which is by far the best NewTestament commentary upon this passage of Old Testament prophecy. The announcement made to the virgin (Luke i. 32, 33), “He shall be great (El-gebbor), and shall be called the Son of the Highest (Immanuel, God with us); and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his Father David (Isai. ix. 7); and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end” (Isai. ix. 7)—the annunciation being made in terms of this prophecy, we shall find that the illustrations thereof, and the additions thereto, put by the Holy Spirit into the mouth of the virgin and of Zacharias, are but further expositions of this same prophecy. In Mary's act of magnifying God she sings, “He hath shewed strength with his arm, he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts : He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree : He hath filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he hath sent empty away: He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; as he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.” What moveth the virgin Mary to utter all these things over the unborn child ? Because of the “ anointing.” The Christ was constituted in her womb; the King was anointed in her womb: and all these great advantages to the lowly tribes of Israel, all those disadvantages to their proud and haughty enemies, the Holy Ghost taught her to be already sealed and certain. Her song must have a national interpretation, as well as a spiritual one, because it speaks expressly of the promise to the nation. It is to the national that I am at present called upon to attend ; and these prerogatives of her nation are all deduced from the conception of the Christ: and, therefore, in the con ception lies the anointing ofour text, in the virgin's being with child, even before the birth ; for as yet the child was not born. But Zacharias riseth into a still fuller note of national glory: "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel ; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, and hath raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of David ; as he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets which have been since the world began : that we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; to perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; the oath which he sware to our father Abraham, That he would grant unto us, that we, being delivered out of the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.” All these goodly and glorious prospects Zacharias seeth to be in being, now that the child is conceived. These words of his are the sum and substance of the prophecy we have been examining,redemption, deliverance from all their enemies, peace and blessedness upon Israel for ever ;-and he traceth it all to the anointing of the virgin's substance with the Holy Ghost, in the generation of Christ. In like manner, all the miracles and words of Christ during the days of his flesh are traced to the same anointing of the

Holy Ghost, Acts x. 38: “ How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. This seems to refer chiefly to that outward act of anointing, which he received in the visible form of the Dove after the baptism of John: and that, doubtless, was not a mere manifestation that he was the Son of God, whom by power of the Holy Ghost he had begotten of the virgin ; but it was also an impartation from the Father of a new measure, to fit him for the prophetical office, whereon he did then enter. But however this may be, it is certain that Peter traces all his mighty power and goodness, all which distinguished him from another man, to the anointing. And in confirmation hereof, Jesus himself, the first sermon he preached, took that text, Isa. lx. 1, and applied it to himself, tracing every thing to the anointing (Luke iv. 17—20). And his holiness is traced to his anointing, Acts iv. 27 : “ For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate,” &c. And his presenting his body holy upon the cross, is traced to the same anointing, Heb. ix. 14: and the work of Pentecost, to the same gift of the Holy Ghost, Acts ii. : and, in short, every thing which distinguishes him from a man of like passions from ourselves--which he was in all things; but he is more, He is the Holy One of God; He is the Redeemer of Israel ; He is the Saviour of the world ; He is to destroy all the enemies of God and of his people ; He is the Head and Life of his church ; He is to come the Redeemer of the world :- all this, which distinguishes him from amongst men; all these exploits of holiness and of greatness, come from the anointing of the Holy Ghost, and shew forth the power of the Holy Ghost in a man of like passions with us. And whosoever gainsayeth this holy doctrine, understandeth very little of the being or of the purpose of God; and, I fear, understandeth very little of the grounds of his redemption; and is vexing, and standeth in peril of losing, the Holy Spirit, every hour.

RECHERCHE SUR DANIEL VIII, 13, 14. De quelle époque doit on compter les deux mille trois cents années ? QUELQUES commentateurs célèbres ont proposé d'adopter une leçon des Septante, qui porte deux mille quatre cents, au lieu de deux mille trois cents; et de compter ces 2400 années depuis le moment où Daniel eut la vision. En comptant ainsi, ils font tomber la consommation du nombre prophetique sur l'an 1847 de l'ère Chrétienne. Mais il me semble dangereux de s'écarter du nombre donné par le texte original. D'ailleurs, je crois qu'en le conservant, nous pouvons arriver à un résultat semblable, et cela par une interprétation encore plus naturelle. C'est ce que j'essayerai de montrer dans les observations suivantes.

§ 1. On ne peut pas dater le commencement de cette période du moment Dāniel eut la vision.

Cela me parait résulter de la vision elle-même, et de l'interprêtation donnée par l'ange à Daniel.

Dans la vision, l'histoire emblématique ne fait aucune mention de l'empire Babylonien, mais elle nous présente dès le commencement l'empire des Mèdes et des Perses comme tout formé et dominant: Un bélier se tenait près du fleuve, &c. (ver. 3): cependant ce fut le troisiéme année du Roi Belsatsar que Daniel eut cette vision, de sorte que l'empire de Babylone existait alors, et continua d'exister encore pendant plusieurs années. Si donc le laps de tems déterminé dans la prophétie devait commencer à courir depuis la troisième année de ce roi Caldéen, on aurait lieu de s'etonner que la vision passât entiérement sous silence la catastrophe qui donna l'empire aux Mèdes et aux Perses; surtout quand on considère avec quelle force et quelle précision y est peint le renversement de ce dernier empire par Alexandre.

L'interprétation donnée par l'ange vient à l'appui de cette observation. Le bélier que tu as vu, qui avait deux cornes, ce sont les rois des Mèdes et des Perses (ver. 20). L'ange ne parle ni de la fin du royaume de Babylone, ni du commencement de celui des Mèdes et des Perses.' Il commence son explication

par une époque où celui-ci existait déja dans sa force et sa grandeur.

§ 2. On ne peut pas dater le commencement de cette période du moment l'empire des Mèdes et des Perses fut renverse par Alexandre.

Il me semble que cette assertion peut être établie par un raisonnement inverse de celui qui a été fait dans le paragraphe précédent.

Les tableaux emblématiques dont cette vision est composée, ne commencent point par le combat du bélier et du bouc. Avant

que le bouc paraisse, deux versets sont employés à décrire le bélier, ses exploits, son règne et sa puissance. Il parait naturel d'en conclure, qu'une partie de la durée du règne des Perses et des Mèdes doit être comprise dans la période de deux mille trois cents ans, qui renferme l'ensemble des événements signalés avec tant de soin par la prophétie.

Cet argument acquiert encore plus de force quand on fait attention à la grande exactitude de tous les récits prophétiques que nous lisons dans Daniel.

$ 3. On peut placer le commencement de cette période à l'entier rétablissement du culte Judaïque, après le retour de la captivité de Babylone.

Remarquons d'abord que cette interprétation s'accorde parfaitement avec ce qu'on peut appeler la partie historique de la prophétie. En examinant les versets 3, 4, 20, nous avons vu que la vision débute par nous montrer l'empire des Mèdes et des Perses comme existant déja alors dans sa force. Or c'est incontestablement sous les rois de Perse que les Juifs revinrent en Palestine, rebâtirent le temple, et relevèrent ensuite les murs de Jérusalem.

Mais il me semble que le verset 13 nous fournit des arguments encore plus décisifs. J'y vois comme un sommaire de tous les événements représentés symboliquement dans la vision, et expliqués ensuite par l'ange Gabriel." Ce sommaire, qui a pour unique objet l'état de l'église de Dieu et de Jésus-Christ durant le tems qui doit préceder la purification du sanctuaire, en partage toute l'histoire en deux parties : la première, c'est la durée du sacrifice continuel ; la seconde, c'est la durée du crime qui cause la désolation pour livrer le sanctuaire et l'armée à être foulés. C'est à ces deux périodes réunies que s'applique la réponse contenue dans le verset 14.

Ainsi, pour m'expliquer encore plus clairement, j'interprête de la maniere suivante la question et la réponse, que nous lisons dans les versets 13, 14.

. Question (verset 13). “Quelle sera la période de tems qui renfermera premièrement la durée du sacrifice continuel (depuis son rétablissement futur à Jérusalem), et plus tard la durée du

« AnteriorContinuar »