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Though the prophecies formerly considered concerning the light of the Gentiles, and those now under consideration concerning a divine perfon incarnate, did not coincide in so many singular characters, it deserves particular attention, that that one mysterious character necessarily includes all o. ther characters which imply incomparable dignity and glory; it being evident, that when once it is supposed, that a divine person would become a man, it behoved that man" in all things to have the pre- eminence,” Coloff. i. 18. above all other men whatever ; that he would be employed in more glorious undertakings, clothed with more excellent offices, and would have a title to incomparably greater honour and glory, than either any mere man, or any mere creature in the universe. Now it was proved before, that those characters which necellarily denote incomparable dignity and power, are included in the prophetic description of the glory and exaltation of him who was to be the light of the Gentiles : whence it follows, that the two forts of prophecies which we are comparing, viz. those concerning the light of che Gentiles, and those concerning a divine person incarnate, are but different descriptions of the fame extraordinary person.
The peculiar importance of this point deserves that we thould consider the abundant evidence we have for it more particularly. Though none of the above-mentioned fecondary characters of incomparable dignity, such as universal and everlasting authority over other men, and the like, were expressly ascribed to the divine person in view, it behoved them all to belong to him, and even to be peculiar to him; because it would be impiety to suppose, that any other man Mould either excel or equal that mysterious person, all other secondary characters of pre-eminence in glory being included in that primary character which we have in view. But belides all this, a good many of those characters of dignity and
glory, which were formerly considered as ascribed to the light of the Gentiles, are evidently ascribed, in the prophecies we are now considering, to a divine person incarnate; as will appear by the following comparison of them.
On the one hand, in the prophecies formerly considered, it is said of the light of the Gentiles, as to the work in which he was to be employed, and the offices with which he was to be inverted, that he was to be God's covenant and salvation to the ends of the earth; which was proved to imply, that the blessings of that covenant and falvation would be in a peculiar manner owing to him; which is more fully explained when it is said, he was to be the universal prophet, priest, and king, of the people of God, in all nations; was to give his soul to be a facrifice for the sins of many, to make interceflion for transgressors, and to sprinkle many nations; and was also to be the leader, commander, judge, and ruler, of all nations; whose dominion would be
an everlasting dominion, which should not pass away, and his kingdom that which should not be destroyed. 2. As to his exaltation, it is foretold, that he would be exalted, extolled, and be very high ; that he would be glorious in God's eyes, and that God would glorify him, in causing the nations to run to him ; that he would ascend to God in the clouds of heaven, and receive honour and glory; that all nations and languages Mould serve him ; that tho' he would have powerful enemies, who would war against, and for a time seem to wear out and prevail against his subjects, the saints of the Most High, yet he would at last utterly subdue and defeat them. And, 3. As to the benefits he would bestow on his people, which benefits are included in the more general expressions above-mentioned, it is foretold more particularly, that by him people would receive justification, peace with God, and spiritual healing, If. liii.
On the other hand, as to the divine person who was to be incarnate, it is foretold as to his work and offices, that by him God would bring about the salvation of his people, even their everlasting falvation, Hof. i. 7.; that all the ends of the earth would look to him for salvation, Il. xlv. 17. & 22.; that he would be in a peculiar manner the messenger of God's covenant ; and he is represented as the delight of God's people, and consequently known by them, and revealed to them in former prophecies under that character. It is foretold in If. ix. 7. that “ of the increase of his government and peace there s would be no end, upon the throne of David, “ and upon his kingdom, to order it and to elta“ blith it, -from henceforth and for ever ;” and agreeably to this it is said, Psal. xiv. 6. that his throne would be for ever and ever : all which expressions shew, that his kingdom is that which Daniel represents as everlasting and universal. It is foretold in Pfal. cx. that he would be a ruler in the midst of his enemies, and a judge among the Heathen, or Gentiles, and a priest for ever; which things are said of him while he is represented as fitting at the right hand of God: and as his being called a priest, necessarily implies oblation, so his administering the priestly office at God's right hand, and that for ever, is only applicable to perpetual intercession for transgressors, in a state, not of suffering, but of the highest exaltation. And when, in Pfal. ii. the blessedness of the nations, in being given him for an inheritance, is represented as the fruit of his asking this of God; by the best rules of interpretation, that asking must be explained by the above-mentioned facerdotal intercession, which is represented as an appointed intermediate cause of the blessings of God's kingdom and covenant. 2. As to his exaltation, it is foretold, that he would afcend on high, Psal. Ixviii. sit at the right hand of God, Pfal, cx. stand and feed (which feeding includes ruling) in the strength of the Lord, and in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God, Micah v. 4.; and that though he should have enemies, he should rule in the midst of them; that he would gird his sword on his thigh, in his glory and in his majesty, Psal. xlv. 3. ; that in his majesty he would ride prosperously, (like a conqueror riding in triumph through an enemy's country); that he would make the people to fall under him; and that he would fit at God's right hand until God would make his enemies his footstool. And, 3. As to his particular benefits, it is foretold in If. xlv. 24. 25. that men would acknowledge, that in him surely they had righteousness and strength; and that in him all the seed of Israel should be justified, and should glory. And when it is said, Pfal. Ixviii. 18. that he should receive gifts for men, even the rebellious, that the Lord God might dwell among them; this implies, that they should be not only enlightened in the knowledge of God, but also that, how rebellious foever they had been formerly, they should be brought to a state of peace and re. conciliation with him *.
These descriptions contain abundant evidence, that the extraordinary person spoken of in the different prophecies that we are comparing, was to be employed in the glorious work of the redemption of a sinful and rebellious world, not only revealing, but purchasing, procuring, bestowing, on the people of God of all ages and nations, all the blessings of God's everlasting covenant and falvation; which characters are, at the same time, the most distinguishing and fingular, and the most glorious characters, that any person clothed with hu. man nature can be supposed capable of; and relate to the mott noble undertaking, for which a divine
Sce Amos iii. 3.
person incarnate can be supposed to be sent into the world.
It may probably be objected, That though the above-mentioned reasons prove, that all the characters of incomparable glory, ascribed to the light of the Gentiles, are included or connected with that one character of a divine person incarnate; yet the same reasons seem to prove, that characters of extraordinary humiliation and sufferings, ascribed to the light of the Gentiles, must be inconsistent with that mysterious character. It may in part answer this objection, That the humiliation is truly glorious, both in respect of the noble design of it, the redemption of the world, and the exaltation that was to follow upon it, including incomparable dignity at the throne of the Ancient of Days in heaven, together with unbounded empire over all the na, tions on earth: but that which turns the objection into a positive argument in favour of the conclusion in view, is the description given in so many of the prophecies we are now considering, of a divine perfon incarnate, as condescending to such humiliation and sufferings as the propecies formerly considered ascribe to the light of the Gentiles. And indeed it is by such characters of humiliation we prove, that the divine person spoken of in several of the prophecies in view was to be incarnate. Thus, as it is said of him who was to be the light of the Gentiles, not only that he was to be rejected, wounded, bruised, abhorred, despifed by inen, and particularly by the Jews ; but also that it would please the Lord to bruise him, to put him to grief, and to make his soul a sacrifice for fin: so in the prophecies about a divine person incarnate, it is foretold, not only that he thould be fold, despised, undervalued, smitten on the cheek, pierced by men, particularly by the inhabitants of Jerusalem ; but also that he mould be fmitten by the sword of God, which was to awake against him, Zech. xi. xii. xiii.