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nium, it is remarkable with what frequency the Messiah is introduced as David or The Beloved, the Root and Branch of Jesse, The 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, but it is spoken of as being the highest glory and best enjoyment of that bliss which are the peculiar characteristics of that era to which they refer. Indeed, from the circumstances with which they are connected, many of these predictions appear altogether incomprehensible, if the
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 “ ihat 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 often 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 ; nay, is quite irreconcileable with the accommodations usually made. A short review of some of these promises, given in few words, and arranged in order, will fully substantiate this statement ma 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. i. “The Lord shall go forth as a mighty man; he shall stir up jealousy as a man of war." Is. xlii. 13.
“ 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 his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire." Is. Ixvi. 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 raiment with their blood."* Is. Ixiii. 1, 6. Yet,” says the Lord, “ have I set my king upon my holy bill of Zion.” Ps. ii. 6. * And 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. ii. 10. “ The Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.” Is. Ix. 2. “The Lord
. 2 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 came 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 vif 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
. 5. “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." Is. xxxij. 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
* This passage has sometimes been applied to the first advent of Christ, and the sufferings He himself endured. But this is an application which it does not admit. He treads his enemies in his anger -he tramples them in his fury;-and his garments are sprinkled with their blood.
shall be confounded, 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. iii. 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.
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 has 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 accomplishment-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 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 Fulfilment 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 the cities 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 immediate 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 Jehovah 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
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. Seek ye out of the Book of the Lord and read, no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate; for my mouth it hath commanded, and his Spirit it hath gathered them.” Is. xxxiv. 15, 16.
These remarks derive much confirmation from a recent 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 lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh came;
Although the author has sometimes endeavoured to find fulfilment 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 re. prove the practical infidelity of real and professed Christians in the absolute verity of divine prediction.