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of their covenant. It was the act of God establishing them in their relation to him as his people. We do not find any further revelation attending this event. It was the stage of prophecy fulfilled, not the source of new prophecy given. The people were placed under their law, and prophecy remained silent for a season.
The glory of conducting them to their home of inheritance and rest was denied to Moses, and granted to Joshua. This was no more than had been foretold; and Moses* records the prediction which took from him the completion of his work, and the offencet which incurred that privation. Thrice has he repeated the recital of his offence and dishonour; though he inserts nothing of older date to foreshew his mission or his success. Such signs of truth are there in his publication of the documents of prophecy.
Joshua, at the close of his life, appealed to the people for their knowledge of prophecy fulfilled. They were possessed of the goodly cities and vineyards of Canaan; "they had rest from all their "enemies; and they had seen all that the Lord "their God had done unto the nations because of "them." But upon all this, he refers them to the divine promise, which had stipulated to them what they possessed and saw.
Behold, this day
*Numbers xx. 11, 12; xxvii. 12. † Deuteronomy xxxii. 51. Joshua xxiii. 1-3.
"I am going the way of all the earth, and ye know "in all your hearts, and in all your souls, that not
one thing hath failed of all the good things which "the Lord your God spake concerning you. All are come to pass, and not one thing hath failed "thereof." Such promises then had existed, and were known; otherwise it had been in vain for Joshua to appeal to all Israel "with their heads, "their officers, and their judges," if they were ignorant of such things either foretold or done.
Prophecy, then, sealed the evidence and ratification of the first, the temporal covenant, on the part of God, by its predictions relating thereto fulfilled. It had been first the messenger of his purpose concerning Canaan; verified in due time, it became the witness of his superintending providence and of his particular revelation connected with it. But the prophetic promise had remained in suspense four hundred years: it had attended upon the migrations and pilgrimage of the Patriarchs; it had lingered through the unhopeful bondage of Egypt; it had passed through trials and delays; which ended in Canaan, in the demonstration of its truth.
From Canaan we look back upon much of former prophecy fulfilled. From the Gospel we attain to a similar retrospective view. A third point of rest and contemplation remains, which is yet afar off. But time has travelled to the former
two; and that is an earnest, that the day will come, when the whole scheme of prophecy shall be viewed in its completion, and God's revelation shall be seen to have anticipated nothing which his Power and Providence shall not have made good.
END OF DISCOURSE IV. PART II.
ACTS III. 24.
Yea, and all the Prophets from Samuel, and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of those days.
FROM Moses to Christ there is but one age of Prophecy. It comprehends the period reaching from the time of Samuel down to Malachi. It is preceded by the interval between Moses and Samuel, an interval without prophecy, and is followed by a similar interval, equally without prophecy, between Malachi and the advent of the Gospel. Of this age of Prophecy, and its inspired communications, and of the pause which precedes and follows it, I have now to speak.
I. The settlement in Canaan is succeeded by an intermission of Prophecy extending to the days of Samuel, a space of not less than four hundred years. Within this period no predictions are recorded; and it would appear that none were given.
For that there was an intermission of the gift, and not merely a silence of the record, may be inferred by many arguments. 1. By that silence itself. 2. By the union of Samuel with Moses, when the ancient Prophets and servants of God come to be remembered together *. 3. By the implication of St. Paul, who reckons the government of the Judges to Samuel the Prophet as distinguished from themt. 4. By the historic text, which informs us that the "word of the Lord was precious in those days: "there was no open vision." If we read of "Deborah, the Prophetess," within the period assigned, her history will direct us to think that her title to that name was her inspiration and call to government, or her gift of sacred Hymns, both of which are known, not her predictions, of which no notice is extant. From which reasons put together, I conclude a real cessation of Prophecy during that lapse of time.
It may be asked, is there any discernible reason for this long intermission? Has it any congruity with the circumstances and condition of the people
* Jeremiah xv. 1. 66
Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my mind could not be toward this people." Compare
Psalm xcix. 6.
† Acts xiii. 20. "After that He gave unto them Judges "about the space of four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel "the Prophet." The context of Acts iii. 24. For Moses truly said unto the Fathers,-yea, and all the prophets from Samuel, &c.
‡ 1 Sam. iii. 1.