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manner of plausibility, if it is not against some one or two of so many testimonies considered apart from the rest; the invalidity of which objections is considered more fully in a more proper place. And it is evidently unreasonable to make general confu. fed objections, as, “ That by heaping many things to
gether, people may prove any thing;" seeing it is impossible, that joining together ever so many true promises, should prove any but a true conclusion.
Whereas all the above-cited scriptures contain characters of the divinity of the person they speak of, it is useful to divide them into different forts, according to the diversity that appears in the other characters which they join with divinity.
1. Some of them join with characters of divinity, characters of the above-mentioned subordination of office, such as being fent of God, or the like, without speaking of incarnation *. 2. Others join with divinity, characters that suppose incarnation, without any other mention of distinction of persons, or subordination of office, than what may be necessarily implied in incarnation itself t. 3. Others join with divinity both the other characters; subordination of office, and incarnation. Whence it follows, that the two first classes of scriptures being parallel to the third, must be also parallel to one another ; and therefore, whatever scriptures speak of a divine person as sent of God, must be meant of him, of whom it is foretold in so many other scriptures, that he would be sent of God, and would assume human nature. Which reasoning is evidently founded on the so often mentioned rule of interpretation, That more general and indefinite expreffions should be explained by those that are more special and particular.
• See Psal. ii. 7. If. xlviii. 16. Zech. ii. 9. Pfal. xlv. 7. Mal, ji. 1. Hof. i. 7. cited above. + See above, p. 47. Dote 2.
According to the fame rule, the above-cited paffages should be improved in explaining some others, which, though they do not contain the above-mentioned characters of mission or incarnation, yet speak of a divine perfon, as coming in an extraordinary and peculiar manner, to the world, or to Zion, so that the cities of Judah should be called to behold him, as in If. xl. 9. 10. But various other proofs of the harmony between this and the abovementioned prophecies will come under consideration afterwards.
If it be objected, That the above-mentioned subordination of office must include inferiority of nature, and is therefore inconsistent with divi. nity; in answer to this, How mysterious foever this doctrine be in other refpects, it is evident that that objection is contrary to reason and experience; seeing in many other cases persons of the same nature and dignity may send one of their number to act in their name, as well as his own, in a design of common concern.
3. In proving that the prophecies which speak of a divine person incarnate, are meant of the same person whom the prophecies formerly considered, describe as the light of the Gentiles, it is needful to have in view the principles formerly laid down, concerning the evidence which proves, in other cases, that different writings, or different parts of one writing, treat of the fame person : in which proof it is neither sufficient nor necessary, that the different writings that are compared, design the per son they speak of, either by the same name, or by any proper name at all * ; seeing, on the one hand, many different perforis may have the same name; and, on the other hand, characters that are of a peculiar and singular nature (as, for instance, when
See Heb. iv. 8.
one is described as the founder of such or such a famous empire) are convincing proofs that descriptions containing such characters relate to one and the same person. It is obvious, that it is not necessary that every one of the passages compared contain all the characters mentioned in the rest ; but that any one character that is absolutely singular is a proof of the harmony in view; though no doubt the greater the number of such characters is, the greater is the evidence.
Whereas if all the prophecies which speak of a divine person incarnate, expressly affirmed his being the light of the Gentiles, the conclusion in view would not need proof; for wise and holy ends, the prophecies are so contrived as to make it necessary that men should search the scriptures, by comparing Spiritual things with Spiritual, 1 Cor. ii. 13. But there is no ground to complain of the want of abundant evidence, seeing so many of the singular characters which the prophecies formerly considered plainly appropriate to the light of the Gentiles, are ascribed, in the prophecies now under consideration, to a divine person incarnate ; and even in some of them that mysterious character is joined with characters which directly imply the enlightening of the Gentiles.
One of the most remarkable prophecies of this kind is that in the 2d psalm. It is obvious at first view, that the high titles and honours ascribed in that psalm, to the extraordinary person who is the chief subject of it, far transcend any thing that is afcribed in fcripture to any mere creature : but if the psalm be inquired into more narrowly, and compared with parallel prophecies; if it be duly considered, that not only is the extraordinary person here Spoken of called the Son of God, but that title is so afcribed to him as to imply, that it belongs to him in a manner that is absolutely fingular, and peculiar to himself, seeing he is said to be begotten of God, * 7. and is called, by way of eminence, the Son, Ý 12.; that the danger of provoking him to anger is spoken of in so very different a manner from what the scripture uses in speaking of the anger of any mere creature, “ Kiss the Son, left he be angry, “ and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is " kindled but a little :" that when the kings and judges of the earth are commanded to serve God with fear, they are at the same time commanded to kiss the Son, which in those times and places was frequently an expression of adoration; and particularly, that whereas other scriptures contain awful and just threatenings against those who trust in any mere man, the psalmist expressly calls them blessed who trust in the Son here fpoken of; all these things taken complexly, and compared with the above-cited prophecies, make up a character of divinity: as, on the other hand, when it is said, that God would set this his Son as his King on his holy hill of Zion, ý 6.; these, and various other expreffions in this psalm, contain characters of the abovementioned subordination which was proved to be appropriated to that divine person who was to be incarnate.
As to characters importing the enlightening of the Gentiles, there is a remarkable harmony between the singular characters that are given here of the kingdom of the Son of God, and the characters, in prophecies formerly considered, of the kingdom of him who was to be the light of the Gentiles, who is called, in Daniel vii. the Son of Man: and that both as to the nature and extent of that kingdom, and also as to the opposition that would be made to it, and the final victory that would be obtained over all opposition. As to the nature of this kingdom; they who refuse to submit to it are represented as refusing submission to God, and as endeavouring to cait off his yoke : “ Let us break their bands alun“ der, and cast away their cords from us," 3. ; G 2
where the relative particle relates both to God, and to his anointed, or his Mefliah : and, on the other hand, they who are the subjects of this kingdom, are supposed to be instructed to serve God with fear; which implies, that they would be enlightened in the knowledge of God; and that this kingdom is that kingdom of the saints or servants of the Most High, spoken of by Daniel. This is confirmed by the account given of the extent of this kingdom, x 8.& 10. where God is represented as saying to his Son, I will “ give thee the Heathen for thine « inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth 66 for thy poffeffion :” and it is added, ý 10. " Be " wife now therefore, O ye kings; be instructed,
ye judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with so fear." These passages show, that the psalmist is prophesying of the time when the nations of the Gentiles, or of the Heathen, and even the kings of these nations, should be enlightened in the knowledge of God; and that he speaks of the same person sent by God, of whom Ifaiah says, that he would be God's falvation, and the leader and commander of God's people, in all nations, even to the ends of the earth; and that he would make kings to arife and worship, and that kings would listen to him with attention and reverence *: and of whom Daniel says, that he would receive honour and glory; that all nations and languages should serve him, and in serving him, fhould serve God. The harmony between David and Daniel, in the account they give of the opposition that would be made to the universal kingdom which they describe, and of the total defeat of that opposition, will be evident to any who compares the above-explained passages in Daniel ii. & vii. with the ad and oth verses of this 2d pfalm, and particularly Dan. ii. 34. with Psal. ii. 9.
* See above, on Il. xlix. lii. lv.