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'Judah-till Shiloh come.' But, wherever the word is thus used, God is indeed supposed to be the Agent, and man the instrument; but sin the procuring cause. In this place, however, it occurs in a prediction of Judah's pre-eminence and long continued prosperity; without the least intimation of any thing respecting either sin or correction and its connection with the word lawgiver wholly excludes the interpretation, as entirely foreign to the subject. Indeed every student of such subjects should remember, that it is absurd to explain a single clause in a sentence to mean what is in all respects unsuitable to the rest of the sentence, or of the subject of which the writer is treating, It is, however, evident that the interpretation is adopted as a sort of forlorn hope, when the Jews are hard pressed with this prophecy, as to the time of the predicted coming of the Messiah.
II. The next passage of scripture which I shall adduce, in proof that the time fixed by the prophets for the coming of the Messiah is past, and has been so for many ages, is taken from the prophecy of Haggai. "For thus saith the Lord "of hosts; yet once it is a little while, and I will "shake the heavens, 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 my 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 that of "the former, saith the Lord of hosts; and in this
place will I give peace, saith the Lord of
" hosts."1 It is probable that modern Jews will refuse to admit this as a prediction of the Messiah: but, in that case, it becomes requisite that they should explicitly shew what events are predicted; and who is marked out by "the Desire " of all nations;" Desiderium, res deside
rabilis, expetibilis, concupiscibilis.2 'all nations would desire;' or, which would be 'desirable for all nations.' The seed of Abraham, in whom all "the families of the earth shall be "blessed."-The noun is singular, but the verb is plural; but perhaps the noun also should be plural. A plural noun from the same root is used concerning Daniel; and rendered "Thou art "greatly beloved;" as the Roman emperor was called, Delicia humani generis. Some would render it, 'the desirable things of all nations.' The objections to this interpretation are, the great solemnity of the introduction, (6,7,) and the 'impropriety of the language, "shall come when it should rather be said, "shall be brought." It may well be doubted whether the sécond temple could exceed that of Solomon, in the splendour and costliness of its ornaments. Pri'deaux values the gold with which the holy of 'holies alone was overlaid, at four millions three 'hundred and twenty thousand pounds sterling., It seems to me, that supposing the Messiah to be prophecied of, greater precision in the language 'could not have been used.' (Bp. Newcome.)— Whoever compares the sixth chapter of the first
Hag. ii. 6-9. Heb. xii. 26-29. Ps. cvi. 24. Jer. ii. 19. Heb.
2 Chron. xxi. 20. 3 Dan. ix. 23.
book of Kings, with even the most splendid accounts of the second temple, however "adorned "with costly stones and gifts ;" must perceive that the former, being overlaid in every part, even the very "floor with pure gold," had a glory in this respect, which was incomparably beyond that of the second temple, in its highest magnificence. So that nothing but the presence of the Messiah, such a Messiah as has already been spoken of under the preceding question, could possibly cause the second temple to exceed that of Solomon in glory.-Again, when Solomon's temple was dedicated, "the glory of the Lord "filled the house:" but nothing of this kind occurred in respect of the second temple. By the statement of the Jews themselves, the second temple wanted many things which were the glory of Solomon's temple; especially the ark of the covenant and the mercy seat: and what occurred during its whole continuance to compensate and overbalance these deficiences, except the personal presence of Immanuel; "the effulgency of JEHO"VAH'S glory, and the express image of his person?"
In this event, in this peculiar honour and distinction," the glory of the latter house was greater "than that of the former;" and from Jerusalem, from that time, JEHOVAH gave peace, spiritual and eternal peace, to all of every nation, who believed in "the Prince of Peace," and embraced "the gospel of peace."
It was, then, predicted, that the Messiah should come during the continuance of the second
12 Chron. vii. 1, 2.
temple: but that temple has been destroyed. above 1740 years: therefore the Messiah is come; and Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah, for he has no competitor.
III. In coincidence with Haggai, Malachi, the last of the Old Testament prophets, in the name of JEHOVAH, uses these words: "Behold I will "send my messenger; and he shall prepare my way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, "shall suddenly come to his temple, even the "Messenger" (or Angel)" 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?" Can any man reasonably doubt whether the messenger here spoken of, as sent to prepare the way of the Lord," be the
same who is afterwards foretold under the name of Elijah 2 When this herald had "prepared the way, the Lord, whom the Jews sought, would "suddenly come to his temple." Who is this "Lord, who would come," not to the temple of another, not to the temple of, JEHOVAH, but to his own temple? Who is He that is also "the Messenger of the covenant," as sent by another, for a special purpose? Who is he in whom the Jews, in prospect, delighted," yet whose coming they could not "abide?" Whom did the Jews expect at that time? Whom have they ever since been seeking? Is not this the long-expected and desired Messiah? Beyond all doubt he is meant: yet he must come while the temple stood; and that temple has been de'Mal. iii. 1, 2.
Mal. iv. 5. Isa. xl. 3, 4. Mark ix. 13. Luke i. 15-17, 76.
stroyed for above 1740 years! The person whose coming is so solemnly proclaimed, is described by the name of the Lord, 7, the same whom David called his Lord, () and he is the 'Lord of the temple, where he will make his appearance. He shall choose this place to pub'lish his doctrine, and to do many of his miracles:' (Lowth:) and also to exercise his authority, and manifest his glory.2 This is no obscure prophecy: the outline is marked, and clear, and strong; and with that alone, in this place, we are concerned. The time fixed for its accomplishment has long since elapsed: so that either it has already been fulfilled, or it has failed of accomplishment. But, if it was not fulfilled in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, when and how has it received its completion? Till this is shewn, we must conclude, with unhesitating confidence, that the Messiah was predicted as coming, while the temple at Jerusalem was in existence; and that Jesus of Nazareth is He.
Grounded on these and similar predictions, it is well known that in all the eastern regions an expectation prevailed of some extraordinary person, who was about to arise and obtain dominion over the nations. 'Percrebuerat Oriente toto ' vetus et constans opinio, esse in fatis ut eo tempore Juded profecti rerum potirentur.—An an'cient and constant opinion had been spread ' abroad through all the east, that it was in the 'fates, that persons coming at that time out of Judea, should obtain the dominion.' (Suetonius)
1 Psalm cx. 1.
2 Matt. xxi. 12-15. John ii. 14–21.