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* I will declare the decree,” says the Psalmist; “the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen, for thine inheritance; and the uttermost parts of the earth, for thy poffeffion'." It is evident, that the person, who is here addressed, cannot be David himself, since he reigned over Judea alone?; nor did Jehovah ever say, to any man, or to any angel, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee'. That those words are justly applied, by St. Paul, to Christ's Resurrection, has been shewn by others ', and is less to our present purpose. Interpret that part of the passage as you please, either of the incarnation of the Son of God, or of his being begotten again from the dead; it

may well be presumed, that the accession of the heathen, which is immediately subjoined, Thould, in point of time, soon after be given to him.

And this is confirmed by the prophecy of Isaiah : • The Gentiles shall come to thy

P Pf. ii. 7,8. 4 Vide Tertull. adv. Judæos, c. xii. et ad finem libri. * See Heb. i. 5. v. 5. Vide et Chrysoft. T. IV. p. 103. 1. 26.

• Acts xiii. 33. See Kidder on the Messias, P. I. p. 98. P. II. p. [87] Lightfoot, Vol. II. p. 1104.


light, light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising'.” Whatever partial completion these words might have, in the visit of the wise men to the infant Jesus; neither the verse itself, nor the context, will suffer an application to such an event, for its adequate accomplishment. The whole chapter is employed in describing the sudden increase of the church, by the overflowing abundance of the forces of the Gentiles, from afar, from the isles, and from the sea.

Indeed, the conversion of the heathen affords frequent matter of exultation and praise, to the hallowed lips of the evangelical prophet. With this he closes his book ", and with this he begins early, in the following manner : “ It shall come to pass, in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD's house shall be established, in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. For out of Zion shall


forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem *.” It is well known, that The last days, or The future age, is a familiar expression, both in the Old Testament and among the Jews, to denote the time of the expected Meffiah'. Of Him therefore the prophet here speaks ; and his law, he informs us, should go forth, not as that given by Moses did, from mount Sinai, but from mount Sion and Jerusalem'; and consequently before Jerusalem was destroyed, and laid level with the ground.

1 Il. lx. 3.

See Ch. Ixvi. 18, 19. which are quoted, among many others on this subject, by St. Cyprian adv. Jud. L. I. c. 21.

* If. ii. 2, 3,


Liis Still however, if the Jews should demand clearer, proof from the prophets, that the Meffiah should be the founder of a new law, into which, and not that of Moses' ratified by him, the nations should be admitted; such proof is at hand. For the LORD did expressly foretel by Jeremiah, that the days were coming, when he would " make a new and everlasting covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judaha

And that this covenant, though made with Them, was not to be confined to them, but

y See Kidder on the Mesias, P. III. p. 130. 164. Pocock on Micah iv, 1.

z Vide St. Auguftin. adv. Judæos, $. 9. Tom. VIII, p. 35.

* Jer. xxxi. 31. xxxii. 40. And see St. Augustin. adv. Jud. §. 8.

D 2

imparted imparted to others, is manifest from various passages; but particularly from the words of the prophet Malachi: “From the rising of the fun even unto the going down of the same, my name shall be great among the Gentiles, and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering : for my name shall be great among the heathen, faith the LORD of hosts

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The facrifices, appointed by the law of
Moses, were not to be offered


any of their gates, where the devotion of the worshiper might prompt him ; but in that place alone, which the LORD should choose, out of all their tribes, to put his name there . This circumstance was even of more strict obligation, than that of time. For those, who were “ unclean, by reason of a dead body, or were in a journey afar off,” and could not keep the passover, at the appointed season, were commanded to keep it, on the

b Mal. i. 11.

See Deut. xii. 5-14. Vide Chryfoft. Serm. I. adv. Jud. T. VI. p. 315. 1. 32. &c. 380. I. 28. Tertull. adv. Jud. c. v. St. Augustin. adv. Jud. §. 12, 13. Euseb. Dem. Evang. L. I. c. 1. Lightfoot on Act. v. 36. informs us, from the Jewish writers, that when one Theudas, a Jew living at Rome, taught men to eat holy things without, that is, the passover at Rome, the wise men threatened him with excommunication.


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fourteenth day of the second month"; but no fuch injunction, or even permission, is any where mentioned, with regard to the place.

When the Jews were in Babylon, it was grief perhaps alone, that filenced their harps, and restrained them from singing the LORD's song, in a strange land. But it


from Daniel and other authorities, that they kept not the passover '; and sorrow of heart would not have made them neglect the positive ordinance of heaven, had its observance, under such circumstances, been consistent with the precept of its foundation.

If then, , according to the prediction of Malachi, incense should one day be offered to the LORD, in every place; certain it is, that the statutes of Moses were to be previously abrogated, and another law given, not local and temporary, confined to one temple and one priesthood, but pure

pure and spiritual, whereby the well pleasing sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving might be presented to the God of Jacob, in every land, and in all


d See Num. ix. 9.11.

e See Pf. cxxxvii, f See Dan. x. 2.4. whence it appears, as St. Chryfoftom remarks (ut supra, .p: 317.) that he fafted at the time of she paschal feast. See also The Song of the three Children, verse 15.



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