« PoprzedniaDalej »
‘ prophetic description of the high honour and glory that is given to him. There is at least some
difficulty in conceiving how such everlasting 'glory and dominion should belong to any one, who should be no more than man, or a mere creature : and particularly in conceiving how such magni'ficent things should be ascribed to one, who was ' no more than “ the Son of man,” by the prophets * who inculcated so strongly and justly, that all 'mere creatures, are before God, as nothing, and less than nothing.' (Maclaurin.)
If Christians have formed expectations which the scripture does not warrant, that may be shewn: but the coming of Christ has been so unanswerably proved to be predicted as an event preceding the destruction of the temple by the Romans, and the dispersion of the Jews, that no misapprehension of that kind can affect the main question.
Was the “ little stone a great mountain ” filling, or immediately to “ fill the whole earth,” at the very time when it was “cut out of the mountain “ without hands?” Isaiah prophecies that of “the “ increase of his government and peace there shall “ be no end :" but this imagination would preclude “ increase. The prophet says, “In the days of “ those kings,” and not after they were destroyed, but when they were in full dominion ; and his language implies that the kingdom, which the God of heaven would set up, would have a sharp conflict with opposing powers, before its final victory and triumph. It should be carefully observed, that the coming of the Messiah is not mentioned
I Dan. ii, 44.
in this whole prophecy, nor even the Messiah himself. Mr. C. indeed says, ' It pleased God to shew (to Nebuchadnezzar in a dream what should come 'to pass until the coming of the Messiah, and that there should be four empires until that time. (P. 32. 1. 4.) But this is so far from being accurate, that neither Nebuchadnezzar, nor any other man, would ever have known that a Messiah should come at all ; if no clearer predictions of his coming had been given, than this prophecy contains.With the other prophecies before us, we can understand that the fifth kingdom predicted is that of the Messiah : but, neither from Nebuchadnezzar's dream itself, nor from Daniel's interpretation of it, could any man have known this. If Christians have indeed adduced it as the grand proof that the Messiah should come twice, they seem to have acted very injudiciously; for, in fact, the coming of the Messiah at all cannot be proved from it, as an insulated prophecy; much less can any conclusive argument be deduced respecting the time of his coming. We only learn that the fifth kingdom, the kingdom which“ the God of “ heaven should set up,” would grow from “ “ stone, cut out without hands, and become a “ mountain, and fill the whole earth ;” and that this vast enlargement of the stone, into a mountain filling the whole earth, would take place after the fourth kingdoin had been divided, and would be introduced by the entire destruction and dispersion of that kingdom. The dream deposes nothing beyond this : all else must be added,
'Dan. ii. 33–35, 44, 45. See Is. ii. 2-4.
either from other scriptures, or from human traditions and imaginations.
P. 33. 1. 14. “How could it be that the Messiah,' &c. Answer: By his rising from the dead, and ascending into heaven, and being invested, as the Son of man, with all authority and “ “ heaven and earth."
P.38.1. 19. 'He could not come before the end of the fourth empire.' How then could he subvert it?
P. 34. 1. 1. ^ The person who hath eyes,' &c. Important subjects must be discussed by argument; and not by assuming wisdom and truth to be on our side. The reader may obtain some information on this point from the texts referred to below. 1
P. 34. 1. 19. “He will smite them only once.' Where does Daniel say this ? He shall smite them, and their destruction will be effected: but nothing is spoken whether it will be by one blow or by many, at once or in a course of ages.
P. 34. 1. 30. No Messiah for the Gentiles.' The first text adduced as a proof of this position is an exhortation, or command, to “ the daughter “ of Zion to rejoice,” &c. But exhortations are not always complied with; commands are not always obeyed; nor were they by“ the daughter - of Zion" either in this, or in numerous other instances. “The daughter of Zion ” had cause to rejoice, and ought to have rejoiced, when her King came unto her: and some, yea many, tens of thousands of the Jews did rejoice; 2 but, as the
· Prov. üi. 5, 6. xxvi. 12. Is. vi. 9, 10. xxix. 10-13. xlii. 19, 20. Rom. xi. 7–10. 2 Cor. üi. 13--18.
? Zech. ix. 9, 10. Matt. xxi. 4--11. Mark xi. 9--11. Luke xix. 36–38. John xii. 12--19.
nation in general, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, in particular, rejected and crucified their King, and persecuted with unrelenting enmity his loyal subjects, they were adjudged traitors; and no wonder that the traitors did not rejoice at the coming of their King. (P.35.1.5.) No doubt the Messiah is especially “ the King of Zion ;” and Jesus came to Zion.-Unto thee, but not to another. (P. 34. 1. 33.). In the next verse after the text quoted, it is said, “ He shall speak peace unto " the heathen; and his dominion shall be from
sea even to sea, and from the river even to the “ ends of the earth.”] The other texts adduced, (P. 35. 1. 14.) either relate to subjects widely different from the coming of the Messiah, and the question under consideration; or they will come in our way, when we consider what the prophets foretold concerning the reception of the promised Messiah by his countrymen, and the event of their conduct in this particular.
““ Thy King cometh,” but not the King of the + Gentiles.' "“ Unto thee,” but not to another.' Some may think the whole of this is a quotation from the prophet; but the latter part of each clause is either interpolation, or unfounded exposition.
P. 35. 1. 23. There is no Messiah,' &c. Certainly if Jesus be not the Messiah the gentiles bave none;
ñor the Jews either.-Wherever Mr. C. finds a proof, that the Messiah would be man, he imagines that he has found a proof that he is no more than man: (P. 17.) and, wherever he finds that the Messiah should come to Israel,
" Zech. ix. 10. Eph. ii. 15--17.
he imagines he has found a proof that he will not come to any except Israel. But was it predicted that the Messiah would deliver Israel, even if they obstinately rejected him ? and all Israelites, however wicked ? and none but Israelites ?-Moses and the prophets teach a far different doctrine.
The prophecy from Joel, some detached parts of which are quoted, does not mention the Messiah at all, or the time of his coming. It is a remarkable prediction of Israel's restoration, and the terrible destruction of those who obstinately oppose-it; and of other coincident events, which cannot be clearly understood till the fulfilment. But, eonsidered as the sequel of the preceding chapter, the whole sets before us, Ist, The pouring out of the Holy Spirit on the apostles and Jews, after our Lord's ascension; 2dly, The terrible destruction of the unbelieving Jews, at the taking and burning of their city ; with their subsequent sufferings and oppressions; and 3dly, Their restoration and the destruction of their enemies.
P. 36. 1. 6. 'No Messiah for the Gentiles,' by the proof of their gospel. Here a similar interpolation occurs, ‘But not of the gentiles;' as if these were the words of Matthew ! 1
THAT THE MESSIAH IS PREDICTED AS A MESSIAH, FOR
THE GENTILES, AS WELL AS FOR ISRAEL.
To prove from the New Testament, that there is no Messiah for the gentiles, is such an arduous attempt, that he who succeeds in it needs not despair of accomplishing any thing which he can
| Matt. ii. 6.