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--JESSE-David-born in mean condition-yet having an illustrious herald preceding him-in the spiritof Eli. JAH preaching, not in Jerusalem, but in the wilderness and successful in his office:--that he should be born in Bethlehem-go down into Egypt-be a preacher of the gospel-exercise his ministry in Galilee—in the neighbourhood of Zebulon and Naphtali-yet be the proprietor of the temple in Jerusalem :- that he should be emphatically the servant of God, whose name is the Branch-a plant of renown-the messenger of the covenant-a prophet—a priest; not of the tribe of Levi, and after the order of AARON, but after the order of MELCHÍZEDEKa king—a righteous king--the prince of peace-having a universal and everlasting kingdom:--that he should be thesun of righteousness-the East-the Just One-Emanuel—the Shepherd--JEHOyah our righteousness—the lion of the tribe of JUDAU :that he should be anointed, not with oil to his offices, but with the Holy GHOST :that he should be of a most meek, patient, and humble dispo iton-teaching mankind the doctrines of salvation without pompand noise-endowed with a peculiar degree of wisdom and understanding—and speaking the most healing words to tender minds andafilicted conscienceschanging thereby all the powers of the soul:—that he should confirm the reality of his mission and the divinity of his doctrine by a variety of benevolent miracles--and yet that the principal persons among his countrymen should not submit to his pretensions-bethe chief corner stone of his church-and, notwithstanding, rejected by the builders--though embraced by inany of the common people :---that he should be despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with griefseen riding in humble triumph into the capital of his kingdom--the people crying hosanna to the son of DaVID:--that his zeal for the honour of God should transport him almost to excess:--that he should be betrayed by a friend-sold for thirty pieces of silver:-that these pieces should be thrown down in the temple--and applied to the purchase of a potter's field :--that he should be condemned in judgement--forsaken by all his friends in his greatest need-finish his public office in three years and a half-be ignominiously scourged--smitten on the face befouled with spittle-wounded in his hands-by his friends-marred and disfigured in his countenance patient and silent under all his ill-treatment--suspended with wicked men-buried in the tomb of a rich man put to death exactly at the end of 490 years from a particular period--presented with vinegar and gall--wounded in his hands and feet-laughed to scorn under his sufferings :—that his garment should be parted among his keepers :—that lots should be cast for his seamless vesture: under all his distresses that not a bone of his body should be broken :-- that his side should be pierced :--that he should make intercession for transgressors----be cut off, though innocent :--that a fountain should be opened to wash away sin-atonement made for the iniquities of the world-in thc last of DANIEL's 70 weeks--the old covenant abolished--a new oue introduced—the blood of Messiah being the seal of the covenant:--that, though he should be buried, he should not see corruption-but be raised from the grave on the third day :--that he should bring from the dead some tokens of his victory—ascend into heaven-attended with angels-take his place at the right hand of God—and send down the Spirit upon his followers : that the gospel should be first preached in Jerusalem multitudes converted to the faith-great persecutions endured by those who embraced it—the Jeu's rejected and the church called by a new naine :--that the gospel should be generally opposed by the kings and governours of the world-yet after some time they should become favourable, and give it encouragement :-that the Gentile nations should be enlightened and called:-that every soul should submit to MESSIA11—those who reject him being confounded--and those who embrace him being protected :-that he should finally be the judge of the world—destroy death-and crown his faithful people with everlasting joy:-that all these things should be predicted of some one person, several hundreds, or even some thousand years asunder from each other; and that they should all receive accomplishment in Jesus Cunist, without any one exempt case, and in no other
person that ever appeared upon earth : if under such circumstances JESUS CHRIST were not the person intended in the divine councils, and the MESSIAH whom all the Prophets were inspired to predict, it would be one of the greatest of miracles. Prophecy would be of no use. All evidence would be rendered precarious, and mankind left to roam at large, without any satisfactory guide to direct their steps in pursuit of truth and salvation. I think then we may say, with unshaken confidence, in the words of St. Philip to NATHANIEL; He have found him of whom Moses in the Law and the Prophets didwrite, Jesus of NAZARETH, the son of JOSEPH.
But, if we turn from these prophecies to those which more immediately respect the condition of the Christian church in these latter days, we shall find they also are extremely remarkable, and absolutely conclusive for the divine authority of the Sacred Writings.
NEBUCHADNEZZAR, king of Babylon, invaded the land of IsraeL about 600 years before the birth of Christ, and carried into captivity a considerable number of the inhabitants of the country. Among others, led captive, were DANIEL and his three companions, SHADRACH, MESHACH, and ABED-NEGO. In the second year of his reign he had a remarkable dream, which made a strong impression upon his mind, but which he was not able to recollect. He sent for all the wise men of Babylon, and, however unreasonable the injunction, insisted, that they should make known his dream, together with the interpretation thereof, upon pain of death. After some time, the king's determination was revealed unto DANIEL, He requested a little respite might be allowed him, before the decree should be put in execution. This being granted, he went to his three religious companions, and desired them to join with him in fasting and prayer, to entreat the Lord to discover unto him the king's dream, and the interpretation thereof. The LORD was intreated of DANIEL and his three friends, and the whole matter, from first to last, was revealed unto him, to the full satisfaction, and even astonishment of the king. The introduction to the dream is extremely beautiful. See Daniel ii. 1-30. The dream is this : Dan. ii. 31-35. The in
terpretation runs thus: Dan. ii. 37–45. The king was so affected with the wonderful manifestation of his in most thoughts, that he was quite overcome, forgot his own dignity, and fell into an act of idolatry. Dan. ii. 46–49*.
The dream is so distinct, the interpretation of it so satisfactory, and the whole so perfectly conformable to the history of the world, as far as the several ages have hitherto proceeded, that no thoughtful man can help being exceedingly struck with the accuracy of the divine foreknowledge.
The dream itself was the figure of an image in the form of a man, made principally of metal, but yet the metal was of different kinds. The head was of gold. This was an emblematical representation of NEBUCHADNEZZAR and the Babylonian empire over which he presided. The breast and the arms of the image were of silver. This was an emblematical representation of the empire of Persia, which was to subvert and succeed the Babylonian. NEBUCHADNEZZAR was, at that time, the most powerful monarch in all the earth, and made Babylon, the capital of his kingdom, the wonder of the world. Within sixty years, however, the empire was overturned, and Babylon itself taken by CYRUS the GREAT, afterwards king of Persia.—The belly and thighs of the image were of brass. This represented a third empire which was to succeed the Babylonian and Persian. Accordingly, about 200 years after the establishment of the Persian empire, A LEXANDER, king of Macedonia, a small state in the upper part of Greece, marched against DARIUS, king of Persia, defeated him in three pitched battles, and totally subverted the second of the four empires. The Grecian then became the third. The fourth was represented by legs of iron, and feet part of iron and part of clay. This is the Roman; for it was these people who subdued the four successors of ALEXANDER, and reduced their kingdoms into Roman provinces, and particularlyGreece and Macedonia, which were subdued by them 130 years after the conquest of Persia by ALEXANDER the GREAT, and 200 years before the birth of Christ. The Roman K 2
empire * Let the Reader take his Bible, turn to these several passages
and consider them well, before he proceeds to the observations which follow.
empire then was the fourth and the last. It was répre, sented in this image by iron legs, and feet of iron and člay. Thou săwest, says DANÍEL to the king, till that
stone was cut out without hands, which smöte the image upon his feet, that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and 'the "wind carried 'théin away, that no place was found for them : and the stone that smote the image, became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.
The four empirés were all to be destroyed, and a fifth was to succeed, which was to be different from all that had gone before. The fourth too was to be unlike the three former 'in several respects. The image had iron legs. This implied that the empire, represented by them, was to be more powerful than any of those which had gone before. But then the feet and toes of the image were part of iron and part of clay. This was to denote, that the latter ages of the Roman empire were partly strong and partly weak. The ten toes too, upon the feet of the image, were designed to represent ten kingdoms into which the Roman empire was to be divided, just as the two feet of a human creature are split into ten ramifications. This is expressed by the prophet in the manner following: Whereas thou-sau'est the feet and toes, part of potter's clay and part of iron; the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron ; forasmuch as thou sauest the iron mired with miry clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly broken. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves toith the seed of men, but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. The meaning of which seems to be, the rulers of the ten kingdoms, into which the Roman empire will be divided, shall form marriages, alliances, and contracts one with another from time to time, for supporting each others interests; but none of their schemes and alliances for obtaining universal empire shall stand. They shall all be broken and come to nought. No universal ern