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THE subject of the present chapter is closely connected with that of the preceding: inasmuch as there is scarcely a single prophecy, which had its fulfilment in the personal history of our Saviour, which does not look far beyond this. For ancient prophecy, although it was mainly directed to Him, as being the great object which it had from the beginning in view; yet it was only to break forth with a brighter and more glorious lustre over the whole extent of the Gospel dispensation.

That this is a true statement of the character which belongs to the prophecies relating to our Saviour, both those which were especially referred to by himself, as well as those which were applied to him by the inspired Apostles and historians of his life, will appear from an attentive consideration of the whole scope and object of these prophecies, and of the connection in which they stand. For it is evident, that "during the personal ministry of our Saviour, the proof from prophecy could not be fully stated and explained; because the most signal events, to which the pro

phets referred, had not taken place. But the transactions of his crucifixion and resurrection having rapidly and beyond all human calculation, evinced the fulfilment of one large class of predictions, occasion was thereby given to appeal to them; and the way was also then prepared for the fulfilment of many others. But even during the progress of his personal ministry, a portion of the proof from prophecy was already developed, and was accordingly appealed to by Jesus. And it is also worthy of remark, that during this period he made provision for the elucidation of the remainder, and also for the establishment of his own character as an original prophet, by express, literal, and enlarged predictions of those very events, which furnished the clue for the unravelling of the whole mystery of the prophecies; which reconciled the apparently contradictory attributes of the promised Messiah, and which displayed fully and finally the character of his office, the nature of his kingdom, and the purpose for which he was manifested1. Jesus was indeed the person to whom the prophets, at sundry times and in divers manners, gave their inspired testimony; and in and by whom their predictions were to have their accomplishment." But it is impossible to limit our views of our Saviour's character, in connection with prophecy, to this consideration of him. "He carried forward the scheme of prophecy still farther; describing in the most precise and even in literal terms the great events which

1 Franks's Hulsean Lectures, 1821. p. 315.

were approaching. He applied the language of preceding prophets to those events, so as to decide beforehand the true interpretation of their predictions. And he included, at the same time, such a distinct mention of additional particulars, as to prove that futurity was much more extensively open to his view'."

In estimating the weight, which is due to the prophetical character of Jesus Christ, we must not omit these considerations: and it assuredly exhibits the character of our Redeemer in an interesting point of view, when we regard Him not only as the preacher of the great scheme of redemption, of which he was himself the chief corner-stone; but as the great Prophet also of his own dispensation,-opening the great scope and import of former prophecies; and connecting the prophecies of the Patriarchal and Jewish dispensations with those of the Christian, and with the history of the destinies of his Church to the end of all things.

The prophecies delivered by our Saviour may be considered under two general heads:

1. First, those which were immediately fulfilled in the events of his life, his death, his resurrection, his ascension into heaven, and the sending of the Holy Ghost:

2. And, secondly, those which relate to the events and prospects of his Church to the close of the divine dispensations.

1 Franks's Hulsean Lectures, 1821. p. 363.

It is not intended to enter into a full discussion of these prophecies; but merely to take such a general view of them, as may be necessary for the illustration of the present argument.

1. With respect to those prophecies, which either had their fulfilment during our Saviour's life, or were connected with his resurrection from the grave and his ascension up to heaven to the right hand of God, it will be sufficient merely to allude to them. Amongst these, are the warnings, which our Saviour gave to his disciples, both at the commencement of his ministry and on many subsequent occasions, of the peculiar character of the persecutions which awaited them; the prophecy, that all his disciples would forsake him; the peculiar character of the prophecy relating to Peter; his directions to the disciples about finding the ass; the foreknowledge, which he displayed, of all the circumstances relative to their meeting the man with the pitcher of water, and all the incidents connected with the preparation of the Passover Supper; and, lastly, the repeated declarations, which he made with regard to his death, his resurrection, his ascension into heaven, and his promise of sending the Holy Spirit from on high,-all these things prove the divine foreknowledge which dwelt in the breast of our Divine Master. But, more especially, nothing is more striking than the complete selfpossession and intimate knowledge of everything which was to befall him, which mark the whole of our Saviour's conduct during all the trying

scene of his sufferings and death. It is impossible to consider his conduct during the whole of this remarkable period; the preparation which he made for his awful trial; his discourses with his disciples, in which he spoke with so confident a tone with regard to his approaching sufferings, and the triumphant feelings, with which he looked forward to the glory which awaited him; and, lastly, his appeal to those prophecies, in which all these things were foretold,-without feeling that all this is inexplicable, except on the supposition of the divine character of Him, who displayed a knowledge of futurity and an intimate comprehension of the most mysterious counsels of Almighty wisdom, such as can be conceived to belong to God alone.

2. But if the evidence of the divine character of our Lord is so strong, considered with reference to these prophecies alone, how much is it increased, when it is considered also with respect to those prophecies, which connect his religion, on the one hand, with the prophecies relating to the Christian dispensation from the period of the Fall, and carry it on again to the close of the divine dispensations.

These prophecies relate principally;

(1) In the first place, to the rejection of the Jews;

(2) And, secondly, to the calling of the Gentiles.

(1) With reference to the prophecies relating to the rejection of the Jews, our Lord, during

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