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disquietude came not near his dwelling. He rose fresh as the morning to his task; the silence of night invited him to pursue it; and he can truly say, that food and rest were not preferred before it. Every psalm improved infinitely upon his acquaintance with it; and no one gave him uneasiness but the last; for then he grieved that his work was done. Happier hours than those which have been spent upon these meditations on the Songs of Sion, he never expects to see in this world. Very pleasantly did they pass; and they moved smoothly and swiftly along; for when thus engaged he counted no time. They are gone; but have left a relish and a fragrance on the mind, and the remembrance of them is sweet."
PROGRESSIVE INCREASE OF LIGHT
SUCCESSION OF PROPHETS RAISED UP TO PROPHESY CONCERNING THE MESSIAH PROPHECIES RESPECTING THE TIME OF HIS APPEARING RESPECTING THE PLACE WHERE HE WAS TO BE BORN RESPECTING THE PECULIARITIES THAT WERE TO IDENTIFY HIS PERSON; HIS DIGNITY, TO BE THE SON OF A VIRGIN, GOD, AND A KING—A SAVIOUR— A PRIESTA PROPHETA WORKER OF MIRACLES · -THE CONQUEROR OF DEATH AND THE GRAVE, AND THE DISPENSER OF DIVINE GIFTS TO MEN - JONAH A TYPE OF CHRIST PROPHECIES RESPECTING THE HUMILIATION OF THE MESSIAH; VARIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES PREDICTED OF HIM UNDER THIS STATE-RESPECTING THE CHARACTER HE WAS TO SUSTAIN RESPECTING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF HIS KINGDOM — THE PROPHECY OF MALACHI; THE BOOK OF PROPHECY CLOSED THE CONDITION OF THE JEWS DURING THE 400 YEARS THAT ENSUED THE CANON OF THE OLD TESTAMENT COMPLETED — THE OLD TESTAMENT TRANSLATED INTO GREEK - THE WICKED
NESS AND LEARNING OF THE WORLD
PROGRESSIVE INCREASE OF LIGHT.
We have now considered the Divine economy of preparation for the coming of the Messiah, as evinced in the remarkable harmony and correspondence of circumstances that took place,
and of prophecies that were uttered, in different ages of the world; and in our investigation of these we have passed through a space of nearly 3000 years.
One thing must, doubtless, have struck us very forcibly in the course of our inquiry, namely the progressive increase of light that offered itself to our minds, as we descended from the first promise to Adam, through subsequent predictions and typical representations, down to that divine message to David, which assured him of the perpetuity of his kingdom in his seed that should be set up after him. But much as we have hitherto seen cause to admire the regular chain of preparation and the gradual expansion of light, we shall, as we advance, have stronger reasons for lauding and magnifying the wisdom of him, who " declares the end from the beginning,"* and worketh all things after the counsel of his own will."+
As the time of the Messiah drew nearer, it was the Divine pleasure that mankind should have notifications of him much more clear, definite, and numerous than those which they had hitherto received. The victorious Seed of the woman the Blessing to all nations- the vica
Isaiah, xlvi. 10.
+ Ephesians, i. 11.
rious Victim-the Shiloh to whom the gathering of the people was to be-the Paschal Lamb whose blood was to be shed for salvation → the great High Priest shadowed under the Law→→ the Restorer of health to the sick and dying who should look up to him in faith—the Star or God out of Jacob; the Sceptre or Ruler out of Israel-and the Seed to sit on his father David's throne for ever was now to be marked with lineaments of person so plain and direct, and to be pointed out by notices so determinate with regard to character and office, and so extraordinary with regard to actions, sufferings, and events, as to render it impossible for any thing but extreme prejudice to mistake him whenever he should come.
SUCCESSION OF PROPHETS RAISED UP TO PROPHESY
CONCERNING THE MESSIAH.
During a space of about 400 years, commencing rather more than 800 before Christ, God raised up a succession of prophets in Israel, of whom Jonah was the first, and Malachi the last. These holy men were inspired to predict various and important events that were in divers ages to take place in the world. Woes and judgments, mercies and blessings were the subjects of prophecy. Its main design, however,
was to point out the Messiah, and to foreshew all the circumstances that were to attend his coming and his abode among men, and all the blessings that were to arise out of the establishment of his kingdom upon earth.
It will now be our business to consider with attention this branch of the economy of preparation, and to see what further light is thrown upon our inquiry by those notices which were vouchsafed under this remarkable effusion of the Holy Spirit. We have observed before upon the necessary obscurity of the earliest intimations of the Redeemer; and it has been shewn how the minds of men were gradually prepared for his coming by means of some prophecies which, by an addition of a few particular marks, rendered those intimations a little more clear and evident. We come now to a series of predictions inseparably connected with all that had been promised from the beginning and foretold through ages, and which so wonderfully identified him in all their variety of indications, as to render the exact and entire fulfilment of them in two persons impossible, and to enable us to distinguish the true Messiah from all false pretenders whatsoever.