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of cruel habitations, shall become like this forfeited garden." That this is a just exposition of this first prophecy, appears both from what is already come to pass, and from other predictions descriptive of the events foretold to the mystical serpent.
And do not say, Sir, that this paraphrase makes too much of Christ; for if the Son of God was manifested to destroy the works of the devil,' (1 John iii. 8,) is it not evident, that none can turn thorns and thistles' into paradisiacal shrubs, anguish into bliss, death into life, and the general curse into an universal blessing, but he who said at first, Let there be light, and there was light;' and who, when he first acted the part of a righteous Judge, thundered these words in the ears of guilty man, Cursed is the ground for thy sake, thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to thee: Dust thou art, and uuto dust shalt thou return?' For supposing the sun, by withholding his quickening beams, had caused a general winter and an universal night; is it not plain that the only remedy adequate to the greatness of such an evil, would be the return of the solar light?
The second original promise, respecting the Messiah, was made to Abraham, when he dwelt in Haran, and confirmed upon mount Moriah, on an occasion, which reflects a great light on the sufferings, character, and work of the Messiah. By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, [who can swear by no other being than himself,] because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son; that in blessing I will bless thee :-Thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.' (Gen. xxii. 16, &c.) St Paul, alluding to this promise, saith, Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us : For it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles, through Jesus Christ.-For, to Abraham and his seed, were the promises [to an universal blessing] made: He [God] saith not, and to seeds, as [if this blessing were to be the desert] of many [of Abraham's
children,] but as of one, [one of them.] And to thy seed, which is CHRIST.' (Gal. iii. 13, 16.)
Being enlightened by this, and other parallel scriptures, we clearly see, that the sense of this promise is , as follows: "O thou Father of the faithful, Heaven is pleased with thy steady obedience Thou hast exemplified the holy purpose of God the Father, who will not spare his Son, his only-begotten Son: But will deliver him up as a divine sacrifice for a guilty world: And Isaac hath shadowed out the meek obedience of the Son of God, that heavenly Lamb, which God will provide, that wonderful descendant of thine, who shall be so superior to all his brethren, as eminently to deserve the name of the Son of God,' according to his outgoings from everlasting,' and the name of thy seed, according to the human nature, which he shall assume from thee, by a virgin of thine offspring. It is he whom I peculiarly mean by thy seed. He shall be thine Isaac, thy laughter and thy joy: By faith, see his day and be glad (John viii. 56.) Rejoice in him evermore, for he shall be the desire of all nations,' and 'the joy of the whole earth' For through him shall all the families and people be filled with righteousness, peace, and joy; when he shall possess the gates of his enemies,' and cause righteousness to cover the earth, as the mighty waters cover the bottom of the sea."
The third prophecy relative to the Messiah was uttered by dying Jacob. 'Gather yourselves together,' said he to his sons, that I may tell you that which shall befal you in the last days.-Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: Thy father's children shall bow down before thee. Judah is a lion's whelp, he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion: Who shall rouse him up? The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a Lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come, and unto Him shall be the gathering of the nations.' (Gen. xlix. 8, 10.)
This ancient prophecy, explained according to the parallel scriptures, amounts to the following prediction: "Judah my son, as the lion is king among the
beasts of the forest, so shall thy tribe be the most honourable, powerful, and warlike in Israel. But thy greatest honour shall arise from David, one of thy descendants, and from the line of kings, who shall spring up from his loins: For they, together with the Levites and Priests, who shall adhere to them, shall continue to give Princes and Rulers to the Israelites, till the Shiloh shall come, who shall sustain four most important offices. (1.) Being typified by Moses and Aaron, two of Levi's grand-children, he shall be a meek Lawgiver, a powerful Prophet, and a majestic High Priest: (2.) Being represented by David, an invincible Captain, and a victorious Prince, whose offspring he shall be, he shall subdue or destroy all his enemies, and shall deserve the titles of Lion of the tribe of Judah,' and 'Captain of our Salvation:' And (3.) Being shadowed out by Solomon, another of his ancestors, a peaceful and prosperous king, who by his wisdom and power shall secure the admiration and respect of all the east, he shall shew himself the Shiloh, the mighty Redeemer, promised to our Fathers; for he shall redeem Israel from all his sins, and from all his troubles. Nor will he confine his royal benefits to our posterity. For when he shall have finished his work, as Lawgiver and Prophet, when he shall have been persecuted by his brethren as Abel; when he shall have been offered for us, and restored back to us as Isaac, his law shall be preached to distant nations, and he shall long remain as a couching lion: But he shall at last be roused up by the groans of his oppressed people, and by the crying sins of all mankind. Then shall his hand be on the neck of his enemies ;' then shall he do his strange work, as the lion of Judah's tribe: But soon coming up from the slaughter, as Abraham, from the defeat of the five kings, he shall shew himself, not only the promised bruiser of the serpent's seed, but the Prince of Peace, both for our posterity and for all mankind; for all the families of the earth shall be blessed through him, and unto him shall the gathering of the nations be; the fulness of the Gen
tiles coming in,' after the Jews, to enjoy the blessings of his holy, peaceful, and prosperous reign. And then shall be fulfilled another prophecy: His righteous dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth.' I say his righteous dominion, for when the kingdoms of this world' shall become the happy provinces of his kingdom, righteousness shall cover the earth: The whole earth shall be filled with his glory,' and all his subjects shall sing, 'Blessed be [Emmanuel] the Lord God, the God of Israel, who only doth wondrous things: And blessed be his glorious name for ever! Amen, and Amen!' (Psalm lxxii. 8, 20.)
You will see, Sir, that this sense of Jacob's prophecy is confirmed by the prophecies of the other men of God; all the other oracles respecting the same subject, being only confirmations and explanations of the three original promises handed to us by Moses. He hath so clearly described the Messiah, by the divine works appointed for him, that to prove Christ's Divinity, by the concurrent testimony of all the Prophets, I need only prove that they unanimously declare, that the wonderful person, who shall reverse the curse, bruise the serpent's head, destroy the wicked, possess the gate of his enemies, unto whom all people shall be gathered, and in whom all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, is a person truly Divine, even Jehovah the Son, or Emmanuel, God manifest in the flesh,' to be both the King of the Jews,' the Saviour of the world,' and the King of the princes of the earth.'
OBJECTION. You will probably say, Sir, that "Moses himself overturns the sense, which I put upon the three original promises recorded by him, with respect to the Messiah; and that when Moses foretels Christ's coming, he only speaks of him as of a Prophet, like unto himself;' and that if Christ were a Prophet' like. unto Moses,' so sure as Moses was a man only, the Messiah was a mere man."
ANSWER. We graut that Christ, as 'Sou of man,' i: like Moses, in several respects. Was the son of Amran
saved in his infancy from the cruelty of a jealous tyrant, who had doomed him to die with a multitude of other children? So was the Son of Mary. Was Moses the lawgiver of the Jews? So is Christ the legislator of the Christians. Was Moses remarkable for his meekness? So was he who says, 'Learn of me, for I am meek in heart. Both being appointed as Mediating Prophets, stood in the gap to turn away the wrath of Heaven from a guilty people. Both, as shepherds of the Lord, led his straying sheep through a wilderness to a delightful land. Did Moses smite Pharaoh, king of Egypt, Sihon, king of the Amorites, and Og, king of Bashan? So will Christ' wound kings in the day of his wrath.' Did Moses heal the dying Israelites, by lifting up the serpent in the wilderness? So Christ heals believers by being lifted up on the cross. Did Moses fast forty days, and receive the law on mount Sinai? So did Jesus fast forty days, and deliver his law on a mount of Galilee. Was Moses rejected, and almost stoned by the Israelites? So was Christ, by the Jews. Did Moses despise the glory of Egypt, that he might suffer for, and with the people of God? So did our Lord despise all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them, that he might suffer for, and with his people. In a word, Is Moses the great Prophet of the Old Testament? So is Christ of the New. This was ground sufficient for the comparison, which Moses made of Christ with himself.
But, to conclude that because Christ, according to his human nature, was a Prophet like unto Moses, he must be a mere man as Moses, is illogical.
Dying Jacob, to express the toil, strength, and patience of Issachar's tribe, says, Issachar is [like] a strong ass, couching down between two burthens :' Bat must we infer from thence, that Issachar had long ears, and really carried two panniers as an ass? It is by such injudicious pressing of comparisons, that monstrous doctrines are obtruded upon Christians, and that while some turn Socinians, others become even Materialists.