Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

To this conclusion it may be objected, that by the same process of reasoning we may equally prove any mere man, who bears the name of Jotham or of Jonathan, to be Jehovah : for, if we contend that Christ is Jehovah, because his name

is Josedek or Jehovah-our-righteousness; we may just as well contend, that the man Jotham or the man Jonathan is Jehovah, because the name of the one is Jotham or Jehovah-our-perfection and the name of the other Jonathan or Jehovah-the-giver.,

The objection is not devoid of plausibility : but it fails on account of its adducing cases between which there is no parallelism. Jotham and Jonathan are both proper names, literally and familiarly and ordinarily borne by the persons upon whom they have been bestowed : and they were doubtless conferred by the piety of the ancient Levitical Church, that the bearers of them might be perpetually reminded of the perfect and beneficent God whom they worshipped. In order therefore that the two cases may be parallel, it ought to have been shewn, that the Messiah, while resident upon earth, was literally distinguished among his contemporaries by the name of Josedek ; just as a king of Judah was literally called Jotham, and as a son of Saul was literally called Jonathan. If this can be done, I will readily grant, that the same argument, which proves our Lord to be Jehovah from his name Josedek, will equally prove two confessedly mere men to be each Jehovah from their names Jonathan and Jotham. But in fact no such appellation was ever borne by Christ as a proper [sect. iy, name.

In all his intercourse with his contemporaries, he was never accosted as having from his youth up been distinguished by the name of Josedek, On the contrary, the proper name, which he bore from his very childhood, was Jesus or Joshua : and to this name was afterwards added the descriptive official title of the Christ or the Messiah. Such being the case, when it is predicted of him, that the name, whereby he should be called, is Jehocah-our-righteousness ; as he never literally bore any such name, we must conclude the prophecy to declare, agreeably to a well-known Hebrew idiom, that he should be Jehovah-ourrighteousness in point of nature and office. Thus it is equally and similarly said of him, that his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Themighty-God, The-father-of-the-everlasting-age, The-prince-of-peace. Yet none of these titles did he ever bear as proper names : they are plainly descriptive appellations : and, when it is said that he should be so CALLED, the evident meaning is that he should so BL. On the same principle, since it is foretold that he should be CALLED Jehovahour-righteousness, and yet since he was never distinguished by that title as a proper name: we must inevitably conclude the meaning of the passage to bė, that he should BE Jehovah-ourrighteousness.

It may be observed, that the prophecy now before us establishes the existence of more than one person in the essence of the Deity. Jehovah declares, that he will raise up to David a righteous Branch i and the Branch, thus raised up by Jehovah, is himself Jehovah-our-righteousness.

IV. To the testimony of Jeremiah we may properly add that of Ezekiel.

This prophet announces the appearance of our Lord, under the mystic name of his type and progenitor David : and, as the Messiah is denominated THE BRANCH by Isaiah and Jeremiah and Zechas riah, so he is synonymously styled by Ezekiel a

PLANT.

I will set up one shepherd over them; and he shall feed them, even my servant David : he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd.' And I Jehovah will be their God; and my servant David, a prince among them. I Jehovah have spoken it -- I will raise up for them A PLANT of renown.'

V. From Ezekiel let us pass forward to the prophet Daniel ; who largely treats of the times of the Messiah, of the triumphant glories of his sovereignty, and of the eternity of his empire.

1. During the time of the Babylonian captivity, a mysterious oracle was communicated to Nebuchadnezzar through the medium of a dream.

In the visions of the night, the king beheld a gigantic image, compounded of gold and silver and brass and iron and clay, and symbolical of the four great successive empires with which the fortunes of the Church should be interwoven. While he stood gazing upon the mighty colossus, a small stone, cut

· Ezek. xxxiv. 23, 29. The same is nearly repeated in chap. xxxvii. 21.

VOL. II.

2 A

out without hands, smote it upon its feet and brake them to pieces. Then the various materials of the image crumbled away to dust, and were completely dissipated by the wind : but the stone, that smote it, became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.'

Such was the royal dream : and of this mystical stone the following interpretation is given by the prophet.

In the days of these kings, shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed : and the kingdom shall not be left to other people ; but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever : forasmuch as thou sawest, that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and

the gold.

Our Lord may perhaps be thought to appropriate to himself this symbol of a stone ; when, citing a parallel passage from the Psalıns, he speaks of his being the stone of stumbling and the rock of offence; the stone which the builders rejected and which nevertheless became the head of the corner, the stone upon which whosoever falls shall be broken but on whomsoever it shall fall it will grind him to powder : but, however this may be, we cannot doubt, that the kingdom of the Messiah is here shadowed out by a stone originally small but at length becoming a great mountain.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

The prophet says, that, in the days of these kings, that is to say, the kings or empires represented by the different members of the image, the God of heaven shall set up an indestructible kingdom.

It might seem, as if the rise of Messiah's sovereignty was here antedated, because Christianity was not promulgated until the days of the last of those kings, until the days of the Roman empire : but this will not be the case, if we attend to the accurate phraseology of Daniel. During the time of the three first great monarchies, a way was gradually preparing, by the increased light of prophecy and by the constrained intercourse of the Jews with the Gentiles, for the revelation of the Messiah ; that is to say, in the figured language of hieroglyphics, the stone was hewing out of the mountain without any hands save those of the unseen God. The foundations of the future empire were then laying: and at length, under the fourth monarchy, it made its appearance in a form so weak and insignificant, that in the eyes of the great ones of the earth it seemed little and contemptible. Yet, small as it originally was, it rapidly increased in size, notwithstanding the most inadequate means were employed for the rearing of it, and notwithstanding it experienced from the hands both of Jews and of Gentiles the most constant and zealous opposition.

Its entire duration however, rapid as its increase has been, is divided into two distinct periods ; the

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »