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glory and favour of God; the subjective ingredients, divine light, peace, love, with all the holy dispositions belonging to the new heart; the principal efficient caule, the Spirit of God; the outward means, the word of God, and the ordinances of his worfhip, making his people joyful in his house of prayer, If. lvi. 7.; all which blessings are entirely different from outward prosperity and greatness, and very consistent with the want of it. If some passages in the prophecies relate to particular seafons, when God would give relief from persecution, and make his people taste of the comforts of outward tranquillity; seeing such events have actually happened in various times and places, and that in such a manner as has fhown that it was the doing of the Lord, it was very fit that such things should have been foretold, though they are far from being the Melliah's chief benefits. If some predictions concerning the outward tranquillity of the church, are not yet fulfilled, this is no just objection, as was observed before, against other predictions that are fulfilled. And the notion of a temporal Meffiah will be still farther refuted, in considering prophecies which foretell the persecutions of the gospel-church at her first erection, and in after ages.
Though the essential glory and gracious purposes of God are always the same; yet as the manifestations of the glory and favour of God, and our apprehensions and impressions of these things, admit of very different degrees, the highest degree constituting the heavenly blessedness; so the prophets give much the same account with the apostles, of the superiority of the new above the old difpensation, in respect of more abundant measures of divine light and peace, holiness and joy.
As to the light of divine knowledge, the prophets foretell, that in the times of the Meffiah that light would not only be more diffusive, in extending to the Gentile nations, but also more full ancı
clear. In Jeremiah's description, chap. xxxi. 34. which is one of the most remarkable descriptions of God's new covenant, and upon the matter the same with the new testament, or new dispensation of God's covenant in the last days, one of the principal things insisted on is a superior measure of divine knowledge by virtue of a divine teaching. And in various prophecies formerly cited, the times of the Meffiah are extolled as times when God's righteoufnefs and falvation should be revealed, if. lvi. I.; when the righteousness of Zion should break forth as brightnets, and the faivation thereof as a lamp that burneth, 11. lxii. i. ; when the glory of the Lord should arise on Zion, If. lx. i.; and when the Sun of righteoulnels should arise with healing in his wings, Mal. iv. 2.
As that light, which was to be far more clear, as well as more extensive, in the times of the Messiah, was to be a light, discovering Gou's incomprehenlible mercy and grace to finvers, and so causing God's righteousness and falvation to break forth as brighiness, it is evident, that it behoved superior meatures of such light to tend to greater degrees of the most folid peace and purest joy. Accordingly, in 1f. liv. 13. great measures of divine peace are mentioned as the eflect of divine knowledge and inîtruction: and in other prophecies formerly cited, we are told, that the chartisement of our peace would be laid on the Musliah, If. liii. 5.; that he himfelf would be the prince of peace; that of the increase of his government and peace there would be no end, If. ix. 6. 7.; that his people thould go out with joy, and be led forth with peace; that the mountains and hills thould break forth into singing before them, and all the trees of the field clap their hands, lf. lv. 12; that in his days the righteous Tould flourish, and abundance of peace, so long as the moon endureth, Pf. lxxii. 7 *. Such increase
Sce Pl. cx, 4. and Hebr. vii. 1.
and abundance of divine peace, is the native fruit, not only of superior measures of divine light, discovering the grounds of the finner's peace, hope, and joy, but also of the actual accomplishment of the promises concerning divers glorious caules of peace and salvation; particularly the Messiah's facrifice, finiihing the transgression, making an end of sins, and making reconciliation for iniquity ; opening a fountain for taking away sin and uncleannels, and of the promises concerning his intercefhon as a high prielt for ever at the right hand of the Majesty on high, Pf.cx. 4. Heb. i. 3. and of larger measures of the divine Spirit, giving efficacy to the most perfect divine revelation.
As the Apostle Paul calls the New-Testament dif pensation, not only the ministration of life and righteousness, but also of the Spirit, 2 Cor. iij. 6. 8.9. the prophets give the same view of that difpensation, when they speak of the times of the Meffiah, as times when, in an eminent manner, the Spirit would be poured down from on high, so as to make the wilderness become a fruitful field, if. xxxii. 15. And in If. xliv. 3. after these metaphorical expressions, “ I will pour water upon him that " is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground,” a plain explication of these metaphors is added in the following words; “ I will pour my spirit upon thy “ feed, and my blessing on thine offspring ; and " they shall spring up as — willows by the water“ courses.” Seeing, therefore, it is an uncontested rule of interpretation, That the words of any writer should be understood according to his own definition or explication of them, in case he give any such explication, it follows, that prophetic figures, about pouring down waters and foods, If. xxxv. 7. xli. 18. muit fignify Gou's pouring down the influences or operations of his Spirit, as well as the instructions of his word.
And as, in the prophecy now cited, pouring down waters and K 2
floods evidently denotes new plenty, or abundance of the blessing promised; fo in lf. lix. 21. we have a clear proof, that the promise of the divine Spirit is not confined to the first age of the gospel-church, seeing it is said expressly, “ This is my covenant " with them, saith the Lord, My spirit that is up
on thee, and my words which I have put in thy " mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor “ out of the mouth of thy feed, nor out of the " mouth of thy feeds feed, faith the Lord, from " henceforth and for ever." As these words may reasonably be conceived spoken to the Mefliah, who is mentioned by the name of the Redeemer in the preceding verse, and whose people are called his seed, If. $ 3•; so the prophecies which speak of the Messiah, as filled with the divine Spirit, If. lxi. I. 2. 3. speak of him as qualified, by that means, for communicating the fruits of the Spirit to his people. New degrees of the inward operations of divine grace, or of the divine Spirit, are included in Jeremiah's account of the new covenant, or new difpensation, when he describes it by promises of God's putting his law in mens inward parts, and writing it on their hearts. Though some measures of the fanctifying grace of God's Spirit were bestowed under the old dispensation, as is evident, besides o. ther arguments, from scripture-prayers concerning that blessing; yet that larger measures of it should be the distinguishing privilege of the new dispensation is hinted even in the words of Moses, Deut. xxx. 6. wliere circumcising the heart, in order to mens loving God with the whole heart, is nientioned as a blessing belonging to the latter days; which must be understood of greater degrees of that inestimable benefit.
This leads us to consider the prophetic account of future blessedness : for though that doctrine is not by far fo fully or so clearly revealed in the Old Testament as in the New, by which life and immor, tality are faid to be brought to light, or more clearly discovered; yet, besides various paffiges which either contain direct affertions, or come very near to direct assertions, of that doctrine, there are many instructions in the Old Testament from which that doctrine may be inferred by necessary consequence ; and that not only by more remote consequences from more general views of the divine perfections, but more immediate consequences from the divine promises. And as to the general question, Why the Old Testament does not reveal this doctrine more fully and clearly? it is sufficient here to refer to what is said in another part of this Effay, about the comparative obscurity of the Old Testament in general.
The passages in the Old Testament which speak more directly of a blessed immortality, may be usefully divided into those that speak particularly of the resurrection of the body, and those that speak only in general of a state of future blessedness after death One of the most remarkable passages of the first fort is in Job xix. 25. 26. &c. where Job affirms in the strongest manner, that though the worms should destroy his skin and his body, and though his reins should be consumed within limi, yet he should fee God, his Redeemer ; he should fee him in his flesh; he should see him for himself, and his eyes should behold him, and not another (for him); he should see him standing on the earth at the litter day : which expressions contain a very strong assertion of the reunion of the foul and body at the last day. And this literal meaning of Job's words is much confirmed by the uncommon folemnity of the introduction, ý 23. 24. “Oh that my " words were now written! oh that they were " printed in a book! that they were graven with " an iron pen and lead, in the rock for ever! For " I know that my redeemer liveth," &c.
In Daniel xii. 2. 3. it is said, that “ " them that sleep in the dust of the earth fliall a