Imatges de pÓgina
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in the ordinances and history of Israel, but that several circumstances conspire to fix the very day on which this great event was to happen, indicating that it should take place on the eighth day—that is, the first day of the week.

Of the many typical persons in the Old Testament who represent our Lord Jesus Christ, the appropriate, characteristic, and various lights, in which each of them exhibits him, is truly surprising. No two of them represent him in the same point of view. It takes all to exhaust the subject, and to delineate his full resemblance. That a true history should afford a series of personages in different ages, whose character, offices, and lives, should correspond to those of an individual, cannot be accounted for, but upon the supposition of divine appointment. This evidence is immensely increased by the consideration of the utter dissimilarity of those typical persons to one another. While they are all like Jesus Christ, they have no common resemblance ; each of them represents some peculiar feature in the antitype, of which the rest are destitute. Let the reader, with this in his view, re-peruse what has been said in the illustration of typical personages, and it must excite his wonder. When we refer to Adam, Abel, Noah, Melchizedec, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Jonah, &c., we place greater weight on the characteristic and appropriate distinction of typical allusion, than in the number of persons in the list. They all differ-they are all deficient when viewed separately ; but when viewed in conjunction, they form an harmonious whole. Not only individuals, numerous and infinitely various, but whole classes, throughout every period of the history of the Old Testament, exhibit a resemblance to the Messiah. We have seen that the kings, priests, and prophets of Israel represent Jesus Christ, whose official name is the fulfilment of their official anointing. How wonderful is it

. to find a picture so exactly resembling, in such a variety of particulars !

Jesus Christ and his salvation were also represented by typical places, which have been shown to exhibit things belonging to the kingdom of the Messiah. Can a resemblance in so many places, so different in their nature, with so many points of correspondence, be the work of chance? A wild imagination may fancy resemblance where there is none, or a few resembling features may be accidental; but to ascribe to such a cause the likeness of these objects to the kingdom of Jesus Christ, would be highly irrational. In each of the resembling objects, it is not in one point, or in a few, that the resemblance is to be found. Almost every feature in the picture has a corresponding feature in the original. Can it be doubted, then, that the kingdom of Jesus Christ was in the eye of Him who sketched these various resemblances ?

The events recorded in the Old Testament are also typical. The crime and punishment of the people of Bethshemesh, that have been noticed, show us how things the most trivial, and apparently accidental, may convey instruction of the greatest importance. How strikingly does this fact exhibit the guilt of self-righteousness, and the danger of all who depend on their own obedience to the law of God! A most important lesson is taught in what is recorded of the conduct of the Israelites, on hearing the report of those who had been sent to search the land of Canaan, and of God having sworn in his wrath that they should not enter into his rest; together with the sequel, that on account of their unbelief, the carcasses of that generation fell in the wilderness. To the spiritual instruction couched in these facts, our

attention is specially directed, both in the Book of Psalms and in the Epistle to the Hebrews. What à mass of evidence in favour of Christianity results from finding an infinite number of events all illustrative of the kingdom of Jesus Christ !

Intimately connected with the foregoing sources of the proof of Christianity, we have another, in the prophecies of the Old Testament. To foretell future events, we have remarked, belongs to God only, and no instance of imposture, or Satanic sagacity, recorded in Pagan history, can at all invalidate this position. The prophecies of Scripture are of such a nature as to set them infinitely above a suspicion of this kind. The things foretold in them could have been known only to the Omniscient God. It is not a lucky guess at future events, where causes were already in visible operation, but a train of predictions froin the beginning of the world to the end of the Jewish Scriptures, respecting things not in the prospect of created intelligence, many of which are still future, while others were fulfilled at the distance of many hundred years.

The fulfilment of prophecies affords the evidence of miracles to ourselves and every age.

But what is still more astonishing, the predictions of the Old Testament, we have seen, are linked together as an inseparable chain, and terminate in one grand object, to which they conduct us through an almost endless variety of subordinate events. The first of them was delivered to our first parents immediately after the fall, and was the germ of all the after discoveries of divine mercy.

All the promises and predictions of the Bible are referable to it. The whole contents of both the Old Testament and the New, are but the developement of what this prediction expresses in a single sentence. The gradual discovery of the


Messiah in the subsequent predictions, is a wonderful instance of divine wisdom, and a genuine mark of the hand of God. The progress of revelation has been like the light of the sun, which, from the first dawn, shines more and more clearly to the meridian day.

The Old Testament prophecy, we have remarked, divides itself into three distinct branches, the adaptation of which to the end proposed proves it to be the work of God. The prophecies that respect events at hand, or events that took place during the Jewish dispensation, were necessary for the confirmation of the faith of the nation of Israel, and by being recorded in the most authentic manner, afford evidence to every age. Prophecies that had a double reference, besides their other advantages, afford to us an endless source of instruction and confirmation, by comparing them with the New Testament. The predictions that respect the times of the Messiah, and all future ages, present in their gradual fulfilment a constant succession of miracles. Could a system of prophecy on such a plan be the contrivance of men ? Can such wisdom be ascribed to imposture ? Is there any thing like it in any of the religions of the world ? Do the responses of the heathen oracles manifest any thing akin to this? If not—if this is a feature peculiar to the prophecies of the word of God, there is self-evidence, that the religion, of which this is a proof, is true. Human wisdom was as inadequate to form a system of this kind, as to plan the motion of the heavenly bodies.

What is most astonishing, the very things which the Jews were so averse to recognise in their Messiah, and for the manifestation of which he gave the greatest offence to them, are all distinctly to be met in the prophecies that are constantly in their hands. We have seen, that the Person, the character, and the office of the

Messiah, his sufferings, his death, and resurrection, are all minutely described by the prophets. The Prophets describe him as God; that God would be manifest in the flesh, is not a thing that would ever have come into the mind of man. But how convincing are the predictions of this kind, when viewed in comparison with the history of Jesus Christ! His humble unresisting character, is not what human wisdom would have anticipated, either from his divine nature or his almighty power. All men would have expected him to trample on his enemies, instead of being apparently defeated by them. Prophecy makes the Messiah a Priest and a King; but in the lowly circumstances in which they describe him, how can he be a King? As descended from Judah, how can he be a Priest? What but the wisdom of Jehovah could have given prophecies corresponding with such exactness to the events, but so unlikely in the estimate of men!

When such satisfaction is derived from each of the innumerable parts of each of these sources of the evidence of the Christian religion, what shall we say when we view them in combination? The man who rejects them does not understand them; and the man who does not understand them, must be blinded by the god of this world, and his hatred of the truth. The evidence of Christianity, arising from the History, the Miracles, the Types, and the Prophecies, of the Old Testament, is a chain, of which all the efforts of infidelity will never break a link.



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