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ascend the throne of David his father, not as a tentpo ral prince, but as the king of saints. He was to take into his hands; the management, and ordering of that very kingdom, over which David, as a type of him, had presided. Instead of terminating that kingdom, and setting up an entirely new one, he was to establish it; he was to establish it, with judgment, and with justice, even forever. If, therefore, this kingdom has failed; if it has been prostrated, by his own hand, or by any agency whatever; and another, of a different character, has been formed, over which he has placed himself as king; he has not executed his mission; and the word of God has become of none effect. Haggai ii. 6, 7, 8, 9. "For thus saith the Lord of Hosts; yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heav ens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; and I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come; and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of hosts. The glory of this latter house, shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts; and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts." By the desire of all nations, is unquestionably meant the Messiah. His appearance was to be attended with great changes in the external state of the Jewish people, and among the heathen nations. But notwithstanding these changes, which for the most part would be calamitous, he was to come in full gratification of the expectations of all who waited for redemption in Israel. He was to come to the temple in which they worshipped, and fill it with the glory of his personal presence, and of his mighty works. Malachi, iii. 1. "And the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple; even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in Behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming; and who shall stand when he appeareth? For he is like a refiner's fire, and like fuller's soap. And he shall sit, as a refiner, and purifier of silver; and he shall purify the sons of Levi; and
purge them as gold, and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord, an offering in righteousness. Then shall the offering of Judah, and Jerusalem, be pleasant to the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years. And I will come near to you to judgment, and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the Lord of hosts." Here we are told, not only of the coming of the Messiah to his temple, but of the effects which should attend his public ministry. He would purify, and purge his people. He would detect, and extirpate the impenitent, and flagitious part of them. To them, the day of his coming, was to be the great, and dreadful day of the Lord; a day of vengeance; a day which should burn as an oven; in which the irreclaimable should be burnt, so that there should not be left of them, eith er root or branch. Unto those who feared his name, he was to arise. as the sun of righteousness, with healing in his wings. They were to be the remnant ; and were to go forth, and grow up, as calves of the stall. In agreement with which, was the prophecy of Simeon. Luke ii. 34, 35. "And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, behold, this child is set for the fall, and rising again, of many in Israel and for a sign, which shall be spoken against. (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thine own soul also) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed." In coincidence with which, was the declaration of John. Matthew iii. 10, 11, 12. "And now also, the axe is laid unto the root of the trees; therefore, every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit, is hewn down, and cast into the fire: I indeed, baptize you with water, unto repentance; but he that cometh after me, is, mightier than I; whose shoes I am not worthy to bear; he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with Whose fan is in his hand; and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the
garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." Thus the Messiah was to come upon his own floor, disposing of its contents, separating the holy from the vile, as wheat is separated from the chaff, in the fan. The former, as his sheep, he was to carry in his arms, and secure, and nourish, as a faithful shepherd. Over them, as his true Israel, his redeemed, he was to reign gloriously. In them, the kingdom was to be established, and perpetuated. The latter were to be cut down, and destroyed.
Not only was he to reign in righteousness; but he was to be personally righteous. Isaiah liii. 11. “ By his knowledge, shall my righteous servant justify many. He was to be a Jew, not by descent only, but by his entire conformity in heart, and action, to the law. He was to be preceded by an extraordinary messenger, denominated Elijah, whose busines it should be, to prepare his way, and announce his approach. Malachi iii. 5, 6. "Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great, and dreadful day of the Lord. And he shall turn the heart of the fathers unto the children, and the heart of the children unto the fathers."
Let us now see whether events do not coincide with these prophecies; and whether this coincidence do not determine, that in the Jews, the kingdom of God, was, in fact, perpetuated, at the coming, and under the public ministry of the Messiah, and till he left the world.
When Joseph is told by the angel, that Mary shall have a son of the Holy Ghost, he is directed to call his name Jesus; and the reason given for it is, " for he shall save his people from their sins." This phrase, his people, evidently had primary respect to that people, among whom he was to arise. Accordingly, to him, is applied by Matthew, Matthew i. 22, 23, the prediction, Isaiah vii. 14. "Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled, which was spoken of the Lord, by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall
call his name Emmanuel, which, being interpreted, is God with us." The words of Gabriel to Mary, respecting her son Jesus, are these: Luke i. 32, 33.
He shall be great, and shall be called the son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto him, the throne of his father David; and he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom, there shall be no end." This passage, in connexion with the former, proves, that the house of Jacob was still existing; that Christ, as its proper king, appeared to place himself at the head of it; and that, as his kingdom, it was to be perpetual. Mary herself, under an evident inspiration, is prompted to say, Luke i. 54. "He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his covenant; as he spake to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed forever." If Israel did not now exist, as it ever had done, as God's servant; and was not to be exalted, and perpetuated, in this character, this declaration would not apply. Zacharias also, filled with the Holy Ghost, thus prophecies. Luke i. 68. "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited, and redeemed his people; and hath raised up an horn (a symbol of strength) for us, in the house of his servant David." When the angels announced to the shepherds the birth of Jesus, it was in these words, remarkably agreeing with the prophecy in Isaiah, quoted a little above. Luke ii. 11. "For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord." Simeon unites his testimony. "A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel." His genealogical descent, through the line of David, is distinctly traced, both by Matthew and Luke.* Thus he took on him the seed of Abraham. And being constituted, Rom. xv. 8, "A minister of the circumcision, for the truth of God to confirm the promises made unto the fathers;" or the seed, in whom all the promises of the covenant, are yea and amen, he was circumcised the eighth day. The name Jesus, ex
* This will be admitted by those for whom I write. It is not the design of this Treatise, to obviate deistical cavils.
pressive of his office, was given to him. When the days of his mother's purification were accomplished, he was brought to Jerusalem; and presented, by a solemn dedication, in the temple. As it behoved him to be made, in all things, like unto his brethren, temptation and persecution not excepted, his life was sought by a jealous and cruel king; he was driven into Egypt; was detained there in a kind of bondage; led out of it, in connexion with the death of his persesutors; and conducted to, and put in posession of the land of promise, in a manner remarkably corresponding with the experience of Israel, as a body. Being made under the law, he was in all respects conformed to it. In obedience to the fifth commandment, he was subject to his parents while in his minority. During the whole time, antecedent to his shewing unto Israel, he was, "holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners." He had his way prepared before him, when he was about publicly to take possession of the throne of his father David. Mat. iii. 1. "In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
At the age of thirty years, he ascended the throne of his father David. By an inaugural rite, (which will be explained in a following chapter) the descent of the Holy Ghost upon him, in the form of a dove; the testimony, by an audible voice from heaven, that he was God's beloved son; and the witness of John; he assumed the office, and entered upon the discharge of the duties, of his Messiahship. He enters the synagogues; preaches righteousness in the great congregation; applies to himself, publicly, the prophecies respecting the Messiah. He begins to collect followers. He finds Nathaniel, an Israelite indeed, in whom there was no guile; John, Andrew, Philip, Simon, Matthew, James, Thomas, Levi, &c. Multitudes soon gather round him, to hear his instructions, and see his mighty works. He feeds them miraculously, heals their diseases, declares to them his glory, and his kingdom. He enters the temple, and scourges out of it those who were pro