« AnteriorContinua »
Jofephus fets down the time fo as to make the birth of Chrift A. M. 4145, i. e. fuppofing this destruction to be a. D. 70.
That Jofephus was accurate in the last pe. riod is clear from the prophecy in Daniel of feventy weeks; one week and half a week, fucceeding the end of the captivity to the death of Chrift; half a week, thirty five years, was the time from the birth of our Saviour to his death; feventy years elapfed from this vifion to the time Ezra was commiffioned by Artaxerxes; and the remaining time was just feven feventies. Add to thefe the feventy years of the captivity, and the time agrees precifely with Jofephus, viz, fix hundred and thirty years from the deftruction of the first temple to the birth of Chrift. And Matthew divid ing the number of the generations from David to Chrift equally, at the time of the cap. tivity, favors much the enlarged numbers giv. en by Jofephus to this firit period, which make the two periods more equal, And alfo, the Apoftle to the Galatians, having quoted the promife made to Abraham when he left Haran, at which time he was feventy-five years old, and then faying, that this covenant of promife was made four hundred and thirty years before the giving of the law, which exactly agrees with Jofephus, greatly ftrength. ens this part of his chronology; indeed there feems to be no room to doubt of Jofephus being right as to this period.
Thefe obfervations, however, are not made to fix an era, but to fhew rather that the age of the world cannot now, with certainty be
determined, and the greater probability exifts that the common computation is fomewhat short of the true time. They who follow the directions of their Lord, and are watchful concerning his appearing, may come to an inftruftive knowledge of the approach of this most folemn event, upon much furer grounds than the best calculations of the age of the world; even were it certain that the great Sabbath would commence exactly with the feven thousand years.
In the firft world, one day in feven was holy; and the holinefs of God, the truth of the eternal confecration, was there fignified by a few other articles, particularly, that commandment of the Lord God, which interdicted the tree of knowledge to be ufed or even to be touched; and this was enough to folemnize the creation.-But, what! O what will be the purity and folemnity of the coming world! there, every day will be holy; it will be all one Sabbath; every article in that world will bear the flamp of Mount Zion, and every creature be clad in the vestments of the Lord's retinue. In that day fhall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD: and the pots in the Lord's houfe fhall be like the bowls before the altar.And in that day there fhall be no more the Canaanite in the houfe of the Lord of Hofts.
Section 6. Man crowned with Glory and Honor.
As Chrift is called the Image of God on account of the expreffion of the divine will in him, one part of which is expreffed in his being fet up in the glory of the eternal Majefty; fo, according to the ftate of Christ, man being made in the image of God, he was crowned with glory and honor.
All rational union in the fcriptures is confidered as covenant union more or less explicit; and the principle of covenant union between men and Chrift being uniformly the fame as that of a fellowship, partnership, or marriage, which places the parties, as to interefts, upon an equality; confequently, the union of Adam with Chrift, as Lord of Creation, which is properly called the covenant of life, made man the lord of the creation; the fame as the union with the Lord our righteoufnefs, called the covenant of grace, entitles believers to all the immunities of the holy city, new Jerufalem, and makes the church the Lord our righteoufnefs, Jer. xxxiii. 16. and by which union all the faithful have a right to the diftinguishing glories of the Head, and Lord of the new world, fuch as the refurrection, and the life, which, in its nature, is eternal; and power, as lords, to triumph over death, and live and reign in that world in which he liveth and reigneth by his own
and his Father's righteousness, in the execution of the glorious eternal covenant.
It appears, therefore, that the exaltation, glory and honor of Adam was a matter of mere bounty beftowed upon him in the conftitution of his creation, uniting him with the all glorious, all-meritorious Lord of Creation, and confifted no more in any inherent virtue and merit of his, than the exaltation and glory of the redeemed faints in the kingdom of God, confifts in any holinef and merit of theirs; and that without this union he could not have enjoyed the honors of a crown and the riches of a dominion. Thus we find that all glory is of Chrift; he was, and is, and is to come, the alone fource of riches, and honor, and glory, and bleffing.
Had man been created in a form anfwerable to the other creatures of God, and had he been placed in the condition of a fubject merely, and made a fellow-fervant with the angels under the dominion of the Lord of heaven and earth, his flate would have been natural; his formation then, together with the whole frame of the univerfe, would only have manifefled the power, fkill and benevolence of the Creator; and there would have been nothing in the human nature myflerious and calculated to excite wonder, more than in the nature of the angels. But that man, yefterday the duft of the ground, fhould be made in the image of God, and be capacitated for dominion; that he fhould be clothed with the robes of majefty, have a crown fet upon his head, and be placed over worlds! this
has been a wonder from the beginning, it is now, and through the endless ages of eternity it will never cease to be a wonder,
This is the wonderful fubject which is introduced with fuch pathos and folemnity in the eighth Pfalm. What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the Son of man, that thou vifiteft him? For thou haft made him a little lower than the angels, and haft crowned him with glory and honor. Thou madeft him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou haft put all things under his feet: All Sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field: The fowl of the air, and the fifh of the fea, and whatsoever paffeth through the paths of the feas.
This indeed is a deep myftery, a hard queftion; but it is opened in the fame Psalm, at leaft, a clue appears to be given to the interesting answer in the words of the first verse, which are repeated in the laft, where the Holy Ghoft fignifies, that this glory and honor of Adam arose from his being, by the fovereign pleasure of his Maker, united to and fet up in the glory of Chrift; who is here spoken of, as in many other places, under the appellation of the Lord's name, from whofe merit and excellency all this honor and glory was, and is ftill to be derived to man; to whom, therefore, our whole attention is called, and all must be afcribed. O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!