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us in our first and natural state, which makes our redemption ever appear marvellous in
“ We love him, because he first loved us, and sent his own Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” This is the christian's vast obligation to gratitude....this is the cord which binds his heart in devotedness to his God.
CHRIST THE GRAND SUBJECT OF ALL PROPHECY.
THE scriptures above quoted affirm, that the eternal redemption of the people of God was obtained by the life and death of Christ ; he purchased the church with his own blood. So that the heavenly inheritance is as sure to be enjoyed in due time, by every one of his members, as if they were already enthroned in glory. Yet the way leading to this final consummation of all the designs of God's love towards them, is every step through an enemy's country, who are always attacking us....whom we must resist and conquer, or perish.
Lest, therefore, the power, number, and subtilty of our foes, rendered more dreadful by the advantage which they too often
gain, should make the christian armies despair, Zacharias, after celebrating the redemption of the church, immediately displays the Almighty power, ever exerted in their defence.....“ And has raised up an Horn of Sal. vation for us, in the house of his servant David.” The horn of an animal is its weapon for defence and vengeance....its ornament and beauty too. It is used therefore in the prophetic style, to denote the power of the strongest empires. In the same sense we are to understand it here. By this image the exceeding greatness of the Redeemer's strength, and the never-ceasing exertion of it in behalf of his church, are signified.
This Horn of Salvation, being the sole preservation of the saints in Christ, must certainly be the glory of the bible....must appear to the eye of every intelligent reader, the grandest part of the whole, and be exalted from first to last in that blessed volume.
Zacharias affirms it is so; “for when God raised up an Horn of Salvation in the house of his servant David,” of whose seed Christ came according to the flesh, this event was in consequence of frequent predictions ; " As he spake by the mouth of his holy pro. phets, which have been since the world began.
« For the pro
What an honour is here put upon these witnesses ? they were men of distinguished sanctity in the judgment of their God. They published not the product of their own invention, or private judgment, but the dictates of Jehovah, to give us the truest conceptions of his counsels, which we are capable of attaining in our present státe. phecy came not in old time by the will of man, but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost," 2 Peter i. 21.
These prophets, who succeeded each other in a long series of more than two thousand years, spoke with one mouth. They delivered an uniform testimony concerning the same grand personage ; gradually unfolding his glories, till he appeared himself on earth, the living original pourtrayed in the prophetic books.
For the business of the prophets was not only to mark with authority, as messengers from the Lord of hosts, the path of obedience and safety, of rebellion and ruin....not only to comfort with divine promises the afflicted church, and in the name of the Lord denounce threatenings upon the wicked; another most important matter was in their commission...." for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy,” Rev. xix. 10. They were inspired to delineate him, that
his appearance, all that understood their writings, might cry out with the Baptist...." Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world !" might welcome his advent with the joyful acknowledgment...." Lo! this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us :....this is the Lord (of whom Moses and all the prophets spake) we have waited for him; we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation !”.... That all ages of the world imight find in them a demonstration that Je. sus was the promised Messiah, and adore the exact accomplishment of every prediction in the ancient oracles concerning him.
A series of prophecy respecting the person of our Saviour, from the fall of Adam to the time of Malachi's decease, is at once a full proof of his infinite glory, and the certain inspiration of the bible. Let us take a short
survey of it.
Immediately after that one offence, which was the ruin of us all, God was pleased, before the gates of paradise were shut upon our guilty parents, to promise with his own mouth in mitigation of their distress, that “the seed of the woman (Christ) should bruise the ser.. pent's head.” At the distance of a few centuries, Enoch, blessed with a vision of his glory,
prophsied, saying, “Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints to execute judgment.” To Abraham, Jehovah describes him as an infinite benefactor, “ in whom all the nations of the earth should be blessed.” Jacob calls him by the name of Shiloh, the peacemaker, " to whom should be the gathering of the nations." Favoured with these notices of salvation, Israel abode in Egypt, till Moses, sent to deliver them, established from God's own mouth, a system of religious rites, designed to teach them the work and offices of the Messiah....for the Holy Ghost expressly calls the Levitical service, a figure for the time then present, Heb. ix. 9. to serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things.
It was given to lead our views forward to him who was to come in the flesh, the great High Priest of his church, and the Saviour of it to the uttermost. And to keep alive the spirit of the whole Levitical service, with its true intent, holy prophets were from time to time inspired to describe the grand circumstances appropriated to distinguish Christ. His miraculous.conception by the blessed virgin....the time and place of his birth....the miracles he should perform....the reception of his doctrine....the treatment of his divine
person....the circumstances of his death, and the