Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

not absolutely necessary that Jews, would enter Jerusalem as a tempofrom remote countries, should be ral prince, accompanied with all present at Jerusalem during its the pageantry of eastern magnifiperformance. The truth is, they cence; that he would emancipate knew that Daniel's weeks were the Jews from Roman servitude; then expiring; the government was that the ceremonial law would be in a great measure wrested out of confirmed, and rendered as obligatheir hands; the very circumstance tory as it had formerly been ; that that was to determine when our the Gentiles would not be particiLord should come.

pators of those inestimable priviSuch events so operated on their Ieges which he would confer on minds, that, “the people were in them. But when they found his docexpectation, and all men mused in trines to contravene their fantastitheir hearts of John, whether he cal notions, their malice prompted were the Christ or not.” Luke iii.

them to destroy him. - This is the 15. The above cited texts were heir, come let us kill him, that the therefore unquestionably fulfilled, inheritance may be ours." by the vast assemblage of persons But no reasoning, on this subat Jerusalem, to witness the coming ject, can be more conclusive, than of Christ; and by the conversion of that derived from the fifty-third the Gentiles to the gospel.

chapter of the prophecy of Isaiah. But the prophet Isaiah expressly Thąt eloquent writer, in the most foretold, that the Jews would re plaintive language, exhibited a comject the Messiah. “And he shall plete outline of the history of our be for a sanctuary; but for a stone Lord. Who hath believed our reof stumbling, and for a rock of of port? and to whom is the arm of fence, to both the houses of Israel; the LORD revealed ? For he shall for a gin and for a snare, to the in grow up before him as a tender habitants of Jerusalem.”

plant, and as a root out of a dry Indeed the Jews appear to have ground: he hath no form nor comebeen given over to the hardness of liness; and when we shall see him, their own hearts. For from their

there is no beauty that we should deexistence as a nation, unto the cap sire him. He is despised and retivity, their predominant character- jected of men; a man of sorrows, istic was idolatry: and subsequent and acquainted with grief; and we to that period, when the fulness of hid as it were our faces from him : time was fast approaching, instead he was despised, and we esteemed of searching the scriptures, which

him not. Surely he hath borne our testified of the Messiah, they had griefs, and carried our sorrows : recourse to their traditions. By yet we did esteem him stricken, these they transgressed the com smitten of God, and afflicted. But mandments of God. By these they he was wounded for our transgresworshipped God in vain, teaching sions, he was bruised for our iniquifor doctrines the commandments of ties: the chastisement of our peace men. From their writings it is ma was upon him ; and with his stripes nifest, that their traditions were we are healed. All we, like sheep, held in higher esteem than the have gone astray; we have turned scriptures. The words of the

every one to his own way; and the scribes are lovely, (says one of Lord hath laid on him the iniquity their writers) above the words of of us all. He was oppressed, and the law; for the words of the law he was afflicted ; yet he opened not are weighty and light, but the words his mouth: he is brought as a lamb of the scribes are all weighty. to the slaughter, and as a sheep before

By these traditions they were her shearers is dumb, so he openeth taught to believe, that the Messiah not his mouth. He was taken from

prison and from judgment : and to make intercession for them." who shall declare his generation ? Heb. vii. 25. for he was cut off out of the land of Another passage, in support of the living': for the transgression of the Christian system, is in Zechamy people was he stricken,&c. riah xiii. 7. « Awake, ( sword,

"The following are the most pro- against my Shepherd, and against minent features of the prediction the man that is my fellow, saith the contained in this chapter.—1st. Lord of hosts: smite the Shepherd The rejection of the Messiah by the and the sheep shall be scattered; generality of the Jewish nation; ap and I will turn mine hand

upon

the parently in consequence of the ob little ones." For more than three scurity of his parentage, and the thousand

years

the sword of divine meanness of his appearance.-2d. justice had been asleep, but as the That during the course of his sin time of Christ's cominý (who was less life, he would suffer a continu the good Shepherd) was at hand, al series of the grossest calumny Jehovah calls upon him to perform and reproach: “Say we not weil his stipulation to lay down his life that thou art a Samaritan, and hast for the sheep. “Awake, O sword, a devil p"—3d. That after having || against my Shepherd, and against submitted to such indignities, he, the man that is

my fellow, saith the who knew no sin, would voluntarily LORD of hosts.” But who was fel give his life for the sheep. “And low, or equal, to the Lord of hosts, the Lord hath laid on him the ini as mentioned in the text ? It was quity of us all.”—4th. He was op certainly none but he who could, pressed and he was afflicted; yet in the most appropriate language, he opened not his mouth : “ And say, “I and my Father are one.” the chief priests accused him of Smite the Shepherd,” &c. That many things; but he answered no Christ would be smitten for our thing. And Pilate asked him again; sins, was repeatedly taught in the saying, answerest thou nothing ? | scriptures. " I gave my back to the behold how many things they wit smiters, and my cheeks to them that ness against thee. But Jesus yet plucked off the hair: I hid not my answered nothing: so that Pilate face from shame and spitting." marvelled.” Mark xv. 3, 4, 5.-5th. Isaiah 1. 6. This part of the pre“ He was numbered with the trans diction was literally accomplished gressors;

and with him they cru after Christ declared his divinity cify two thiees; the one on his before the Sanhedrim. “ Then did right hand and the other on his left," they spit in his face, and buffeted and he bare the sin of many, and him; and others smote him with the made intercession for the trans palms of their hands.” Matt. xxvi. gressors.” So Christ not only in 7. ^ Smite the Shepherd and the terceded for the wicked Jews; sheep shall be scattered. According“ Father forgive them for they know ly we find that after Christ was benot what they do;" but after he trayed to the Jews, all his disciarose from the dead, he was re ples forsook him and fled.” ceived up into heaven, and sat on From the book of Psalms, it may the right hand of God, where he be justly inferred, that Christ who now intercedes for his people: not was promised to the Jews has truly by an humble request, but by a le come. Those

passages

therefore gal demand of those things, which which contain an account of the he purchased for them by his death. principal occurrences of the life of

Wherefore he is able to save them David, (Israel's king) may by us, to the uttermost that come unto with great propriety, be applied to God by him, seeing he ever liveth Jesus Christ, the king of us who are

me."

AOW," the Israel of God.” Gal. vi. of God being then completely satis16. In the twenty-second psalm, fied, he expired upon the cross, afDavid in extreme affliction exclaim ter he had repeated a part of the ed, "My God, my God, why hast fifth verse of the thirty-first psalm, thou forsaken me ” Our adorable “ Into thine hand I commit my spiRedeemer when suspended on the rit." cross, used precisely the same

The ninth verse of the forty-first words. “ And about the ninth hour

psalm, “ mine own familiar friend Jesus cried with a loud voice, “ My in whom I trusted, who did eat of God, my God, why hast thou for my bread, hath lifted up his heel saken me?" Matt. xxvii. 46. The against me,” was probably expressseventh and eighth verses of the ed by David, after the treacherous same psalm, “ All they that see Ahithophel had revolted to the parme laugh me to scorn: they shoot ty of his unnatural son, Absalom. out the lip, they shake the head, But it is obvious from John xiii. 18, saying, he trusted on the Lord, that that this scripture was fulfilled, he would deliver him: let him de when Christ was betrayed by the liver him seeing he delighted in perfidious Judas: “I speak not of him,” were literally fulfilled wher

you all; I know whom I have cho" they that passed by reviled him, sen; but that the scriptures may be wagging their head, saying, he fulfilled, he that eateth bread with trusted in God; let him deliver him me hath lifted up his heel against. now if he will have him.” Matt. xxvii. 39, 43. The eighteenth verse The twenty-second verse of the is equally as applicable to Jesus hundred and eighteenth psalm, Christ, as any of those which have “ The stone which the builders rebeen adduced. “They part my fused,” was a clear prediction of garments among them, and cast the rejection of the Messiah by the lots upon my vesture.' So “ the Jews. And so conclusive was it on soldiers when they had crucified this subject, that we find it six Jesus, took his

garment, and made times quoted by the New Testafour parts, to every soldier a part, ment writers: namely, Matt. xxi. and also his coat; now the coat was 42. Mark xii. 10. Luke xx. 17. without seam, woven from the top Acts iv. 11. Ephes. ii. 20. 1 Pet. ii. 4. throughout. They said therefore The second verse of the seventyamong themselves, let us not rend

eighth psalm, was actually accomit, but cast lots for it whose it shall plished by Christ, who“ spake unto be: that the scripture might be ful the multitude in parables; and filled which saith, they parted my without a parable spake he not unto raiment among them and for my them: that it might be fulfilled vesture they did cast lots.” John which was spoken by the prophet xix. 23, 24.

saying, I will open my mouth in In the sixty-ninth psalm, David parables; I will utter things which delineated, in the most mournful have been kept secret from the and pathetic language, the unparal foundation of the world.” Matt. leled sufferings of our immaculate xiii. 34, 35. Redeemer. The twenty-first verse As to the psalms we shall only was predictive of the unfeeling con add, that exclusive of all other tesduct of the Jews towards him, in timony on this subject, they forethe extremity of his passion. “They told in sublime and beautiful langave me also gall for meat, and in guage, the advent of the Messiah, my thirst they gave vinegar.” This his incarnation, birth, life, death. was literally true when they gave resurrection, ascension, priesthood, him vinegar to drink, mingled with &c. Hence it was, the predictions gall.” Matt. xxvii. 34. The justice being so numerous, and correspond

remo

ing so exactly to Jesus Christ, that || per that the errors and prejudices more quotations were taken from which they labour under, should be them, by the writers of the New hoved; to the end that the obeTestament, to prove his divinity, dience which they render to God, than from any other book in the

may

be the effect of deliberation Old Testament.

and choice: but when their corrupThe Jews assert the Christian tion is

come to an exorbitant religion to be erroneous, because height, and their understandings Elias, or Elijah, the precursor of are clouded with a thick darkness, the Messiah has not yet come.

we must create in them a new “ Behold I will send you Elijah the heart, and disperse all the obstaprophet, before the coming of the cles which prevent them from adgreat and dreadful day of the mitting the light of the truth. Before LORD.” Mal. iv. 5. Malachi, how our lands are sown, they must be ever, did not say, behold I will send grubbed, cleared and ploughed. you Elijah the Tishbite, but Elijah Above all, the doctrines of the

gosthe prophet, that is, a prophet in pel were of that nature, that they the spirit and power of Elias. The could not be received but by pertext being therefore figurative, was sons well disposed; because they evidently predictive of John the were contrary to all the passions Baptist. “For all the prophets, and and prejudices of men, and especithe law, prophesied until John. ally to the pride and sensuality And if ye will receive it, this is

of the Jews. This method was in Elias which was for to come.” short absolutely necessary, either Matt. xi. 13, 14.

to bring about the conversion of the There was a striking similarity, Jews, or that they might be entirely between the characters of Elijah without excuse, if they persisted in the prophet, and John the Baptist. | impenitence and unbelief."

They were equally remarkable for That Jesus Christ was the Mestheir bold and persuasive argumen siah, who was promised to the Jews, tation. As they strenuously op may be inferred from the place of posed the predominant vices of his nativity having corresponded to their times, they had both inveterate the prediction of Micah.

« But enemies. Elijah had Ahab and Je thou Bethlehem Ephratah, though zebel: John had Herod and Hero thou be little among the thoudias. They were both clothed with sands of Judah, yet out of thee a hairy garment, and a leathern gir- | shall he come forth unto me, that is dle. 2 Kings i. 8. Matt. iii. 4. They

to be ruler in Israel; whose goings both spent a part of their time in forth have been from of old, from the wilderness, &c. As the Jews, everlasting.” Accordingly“ Jesus therefore, did not acknowledge was born in Bethlehem of Judea in John the Baptist to be Elias, the the days of Herod the king.” As forerunner of the Messiah, though soon as the event was announced the occurrences of their lives were to Herod, he immediately assemparallel, so, neither would they have bled the chief priests, and scribes, believed Jesus Christ to be the Mes and interrogated them where Christ siah, had Elijah the Tishbite appear should be born. They unanimously ed to the Jews and certified that he answered“ in Bethlehem of Judea, was the Messiah.

quoting the same prophecy from Watson in his Theological Tracts Micah which we have done, in supsays, “it was absolutely necessary port of their assertion. Herod was the Messiah should have such a so well persuaded of the birth of forerunner, as John the Baptist Christ, that, in order to destroy.

Before any precepts can be him, he issued his sanguinary edict, instilled into men's minds, it is pro commanding all the children in

was.

[ocr errors]

Bethlehem, and the adjacent coun as Mahomet prohibited all inquitry, to be put to death. He sup ries into the nature of his religion ; posed that by acting in such a man as he produced no miracles to atner, he would secure the crown not test its truth; as he endeavoured to only for himself but also for his pos propagate it by the sword, and not terity.

by argumentation; as many of its Bethlehem, anciently called Eph precepts were altogether ridicurata, (" And Rachel died and was lous; in a word, as it could be buried in the way to Ephrath which pleasing to none but those whose is Bethlehem”) was distant from minds were carnal, sensual, and deJerusalem, about five or six miles vilish, it was never an institution to the southwest. It was denomi of God. nated Bethlehem of Judea, to dis The Jewish dispensation of the tinguish it from another city of the only true religion, in its original same name, which belonged to Ze form, was of divine appointment. bulun.-" And Kattath, and Nahal But as it was an institution, pecuJal, and Shimron, and Idalah, and liar to one nation, it was not calcuBethlehem : twelve cities with their lated to become universal. It was villages. This is the inheritance therefore constituted only for a of the children of Zebulun.” Joshua time; because the scriptures dexix. 15, 16. Tertullian, a writer of clared, that another prophet should the third century, says, that after be raised up like to Moses, and the emperor Adrian had entirely that the days should come, when subdued Judea, he enacted a law, God would make a new covenant prohibiting the Jews to dwell in the with the house of Israel, and with neighbouring parts of Jerusalem, the house of Judah, not according to and particularly at Bethlehem. He the covenant that he made with their therefore judiciously infers, that fathers, when he took them by the since the Messiah was to be born hand to bring them out of the land of the tribe of Judah, and in Beth of Egypt. The prophets, moreover, lehem, the Jews could have no declared, that a more excellent and manner of ground for expecting permanent state of things should him, as no Jew was permitted to exist under the government of a live in that city,

particular person. They foretold Lastly, the doctrines of Jesus

the time of his coming, the place of Christ; the extraordinary works his birth, his death, resurrection, which he performed; and the ac &c. As all these circumstances corcomplishment of his predictions, responded exactly to Jesus Christ, demonstrate him to have been “ the

we presume that the Jewish disSon of the living God.”

pensation did not receive the sancThe Pagan religion was truly re tion of God, subsequent to the pepugnant to every principal of a ra riod of the introduction of the tional and well instructed mind. Christian. Their vast number of gods; their The doctrines which our Saviour impure and barbarous rites; and taught, exhibited every mark of a their belief of the most palpable ab divine origin. They were admirasurdities, were evidently character bly calculated for regulating the af. istics of its falsehood.

fections and passions of mankind. The Mahometan religion, al They exhibited the duties incumthough its author asserted his doc bent on mankind, in a clearer mantrines to be a revelation from hea ner than they had been revealed ven, was in reality a complete im under any other dispensation. posture. Many of its rites and doc If he was not the Messiah, by trines, it is true, were borrowed what power and authority, did he from Judaism and Christianity, but open the ears of the deaf, loose the

[ocr errors]
« PoprzedniaDalej »