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that the whole makes up a consistent coherent narrative of the series of events inquired into.
Whereas in chap. 2. y. 34. 35. the everlasting kingdom is represented by a stone, that grows afterwards into a great mountain, and fills the whole earth; and that stone is said to be cut out without hands; the first of these expressions is evidently applicable to the gradual propagation of the gospel, and gradual advancement of the kingdom of God on earth, from low beginnings, to that height of glory which the prophet defcribes fo magnificently afterwards; and the words of Daniel have a manifest conformity with those of Ifaiah in chap. liii. 2. and chap. xi. 1. And the other expressions, about the stone cut out without hands, contain a plain intimation of fomething extraordinary and supernatural in the beginning of that kingdom, or in the birth of that king, who is spoken of in other prophecies under the notion of a stone rejected by some builders, but made by God the head stone of
and of a precious foundation-stone which God would lay in Zion, Pl. cxviii. 22.; If. xxviii. 16.; Zech. vi. 11. &c.
IV. As to doctrinal characters, though Daniel does not expressly call the Son of Man God's covenant and falvation, which titles are given to the fame person in Isaiah ; yet as, in Isaiali, those mercies which are called the fure mercies of the myftical David, are mentioned as the mercies of an everlasting covenant; so in Daniel, chap. vii. 27. the happiness of the saints of the Most High, is represented as consisting in the privileges of an everJasting kingdom, which is the kingdom of him who is called the Son of Man. And whereas it may be objected, That this is not meant of the everlasting happiness of the individual members or subjects of that kingdom, but only of the kingdom itself, confidered as a collective body; it is fufficient to an(wer at present, That, according to the most un
contested rules of interpretation, it is reafonable to explain the expressions in chap. 7. about the everlasting kingdom, by the expressions of the same prophet in chap. xii. 2. 3. about the everlasting life and glory promised to individual persons belonging to the kingdom of the saints of the Most High.
V. Though the more immediate ruler of that kingdom is called the Son of Man, yet it is oovious, that there is something very amazing in the prophetic description of the high honour and glory that should be given to him; as particularly when it is said, chap. vii. 14. that “there was given him “ dominion, and glory, and a kingdom ; that all “ people, nations, and languages, mould serve him; “ and that his dominion is an everlasting dominion, " and his kingdom that which shall not be destroy.66 ed.” Whoever considers these expressions with impartiality and candour, whatever be his fentiments otherwise about the person spoken of, must own, that there is at least some difficulty in conceiving how such everlasting glory and dominion should belong to any one who ihould be no more than the son of man, or a mere creature; and particularly in conceiving how such magnificent things should be ascribed to one who was no more than the son of man, by such authors as the prophets, who inculcate so strongly and justly, that all mere creatures are, before God, as nothing, and less than nothing
CH A P.
Of the doctrine of the prophets concerning
the Messiah, and the harmony between that and the doctrine of the apostles.
N considering the harmony between the doctrine
of the prophets and the apostles, concerning the person, offices, and benefits of the Messiah, it is of importance to have in view two general things concerning that doctrine, declared by the prophets themselves: first, That the more full and clear revelation of it was reserved for that future state of the church which they foretell; and, fecondly, That the things contained in it are mysterious and incomprehensible, as surpassing all that “ eye lias feen, ear
heard, or ever entered into the heart of man to “ conceive; God's thoughts and ways of mercy be“ ing far above ours, as the heavens are above the " earth;" fo that in one of the chief prophecies that ascribe the highest titles to the extraordinary person in view, the first thing mentioned concerning him is, that “ his name should be called Won“ derful."
Whereas the gospel-doctrine concerning the person of the Messiah consists of two chief branches ; first, That he is a divine person; not the only divine person, (as the Sabellians maintained), but one of three distinct persons in the Deity, the Son of God, sent by the Father to accomplish our redemption; and, secondly, I hat for this end he was manifested in the flesh, or assumed a human nature into an everlasting personal union; it may posfibly be objected, That it is not fo suitable to consider this doctrine, in a defence of the common cause of Christianity, in regard of the controversies about
those who adhere to that common cause ; it is a sufficient answer to this, That, on the one hand, it is not possible to give a tolerable account of the doctrine of the prophets about the Messiah, without considering their doctrine concerning his person; and that, on the other hand, the most considerable of those who have differed from the body of Christians about this mystery, have taken it amiss to be accused of denying the Messiah's divinity; professing, that they only differed from others in the explication of it, and that they owned him to be a divine person incarnate.
In proving, that the prophets teach the Christian doctrine concerning the Messiah, it is needful to shew, 1. That they teach the doctrine of a diftinction of persons in the Deity; 2. That they teach the doctrine of a divine person incarnate ; and, 3. That they ascribe to that divine person the singuIar and distinguishing characters which, in the prophecies formerly considered, are ascribed to him who was to be the light of the Gentiles.
1. As to the first of these important points, the proofs of it being so fully laid down in so many useful books which treat more directly on that sub ject, it is sufficient here to observe briefly, that some of the clearelt of those proofs are contained in prophecies which ascribe divine titles or honours to one who is called the Son of God, Pf. ii. 7. or is said to be sent, If. xlviii. 16. Zech. ii. 9. Pl.xlv. 7. anointed, given, If. ix. 6. or raised up by God, Jer. xxiii. 5.6. to be the messenger of God's covenant, Mal. iii. 1. to be employed by God in the Salvation of his people, Hof. i. 7. to ascend on high, and receive gifts from God for men, Pf. Ixviii. 18. to be appointed by God to be a priest for ever, and to sit at the right hand of God, Pl. cx. 4. and to stand and feed in the strength of the Lord, and in the majesty of the name of the Lord, Micah v. 4.; it being evident,
, and the like scriptures *, plainly teach a distinction between the Father and the Son, between him who is said to send, anoint, give, or raise up, and him who is said to be sent, anointed, given, or raised up; which last expressions manifeltly denote some mysterious condescension, to a fubordination of office, relating to a great design, for the accomplishment of which that second divine person was to be sent.
2. As to the doctrine of a divine person assuming kuman nature, it is contained partly in some of the fcriptures just now cited, partly in some others; and is either more directly asserted, or necessarily supposed, where a divine person, or one to whom divine titles or honours are ascribed, is said to be born, I. ix. 6. to be born of a virgin, If. vii. 14. to be born at Bethlehem, Micah v. 2. to be born er descended of the house of David, Jer. xxiii.5.6.; and is expressly called a man, and is said to be betrayed, or fold, and pierced by men, and smitten by the sword of God t, and to be a priest for ever, Pf. cx. 4. after the order of Melchizedek I, or said to become visible to the bodily eye, and to stand on the earth, Job xix. 25. 27.
As these and the like scripture-testimonies may be considered either separately, so as in thinking of one to lose sight of all the reit; or conjunctly, so as to compare such parallel places together; it is evident, that this last way is most suitable to the rules of interpretation; and at the same time sets before us a considerable number of concurring testimonies, which mutually support and fortify one another's evidence, in favour of the conclusion in view : which shows the rashness of those who suffer themfelves to be determined by objections that have no
See Gen. xix, 24. + Compare Zech. xi. 13. xii. 10, and xii. 7. Compare also Gen. xxxii, 24. 30. with Hof. xii. 3. 4. $ Sec Heb. V. I,