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THE PROPHECY OF EZEKIEL,
NOTES AND ILLUSTRATIONS.
Of the Sacred Prophecies, part relate to the separate concerns of particular nations, and part to the common interests of the whole human race. The latter, which comprise the most momentous of the Prophecies, respect that GREAT RESULT and END of this created world, the intervention and visible revelation of the Son of God, as its Master, and manifested Governor.
These latter Prophecies subdivide themselves into two distinct classes ; viz. those which foretold the first appearance of Christ upon the earth ; and those which foretell His second and final appearing. All of these, besides the general design of opening and instructing the prospects of the generations of men in their order and succession, had always another, and an especial purpose ; that of prepar
ing the particular generations, which should be contemporary with those two several events, for their final and actual occurrence.
Those prophecies which were ordained to preparc the generation that witnessed our Lord's first manifestation, fully answered their appointed end. -“ For several years before the birth of CHRIST, " (observes Dean Prideaux*,) not only Simeon " and Anna the prophetess, but the whole Jewish « nation, were in earnest expectation of His com“ ing, and of the redemption of Israel by Him. " And this not only the history of the Gospel in “ many places tells us, but Josephus, the Jewish “ historian, doth also attest the same: for he tells
us, that the expectation which the Jews, for some
years before the destruction of Jerusalem, had “ of the arising of a Great King from among them, “ who should have the empire of the whole world,
was the true cause which then excited them to
* Connexion of the Old and New Testament, L. ix. P. 2. c. 9.