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a Jew, would now be like that of Amalek, “ blotted out from under heaven!” They have, too, been many days without a king and without a sacrifice--every where subordinate, they have no government of their own, nor can they have the full exercise of their religion, whilst Jerusalem, the only place where their solemn feasts may be held, remains in the hands of their enemies.
FANNY. The preservation of the Jews under circum, stances so repugnant, would seem plainly to indicate some illustrious design, yet to be accomplished.
Mrs. M. No one who believes the words of Holy Writ, entertains any doubt on that subject. They themselves are supported by the prospect of glorious days, to the stock of Abraham. Jeremiah, who lived in the decline of the Hebrew state, and whilst the divine judgments were suspended, consoles them in this encouraging language“ Fear thou not, O Jacob my servant, saith the Lord : *for I am with thee; for I will make a full end of all the nations whither I have driven thee: but I will not make a full end of thee, but correct thee in measure." "I will save thee from afar off, and thy seed from the land of their captivity ; and Jacob shall return and be in rest and at ease, and none shall make him afraid.” By the evangelical prophet Isaiah, they have a multitude of most splendid promises. All the beauty and magnificence of nature are employed as emblematical of their future peace and security. They have, therefore, abundant reason to trust in Him who has said—“ For a small moment have I forsaken thee, but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy redeemer." 6. The sons also of them that afflicted thee, shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee, shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, the city of the Lord; the Zion of the Holy One of Israel.” “ I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations.”“ And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt, and they shall dwell therein, even they and their children and their children's children, for ever; and my servant David shall be their prince for ever.”
CATHERINE. What is meant by the promise that David should be their prince for ever ?
Mrs. M. It is not to be supposed that the name of David in this place is to be literally understood : that David, the son of Jesse, is to be raised from the dead, to become again the prince of Israel. We must then seek an explanation in the figurative style of the prophetic writings : and your question introduces us easily to another branch of prophecy, and to that which was its chief object, the promise of the Messiah.
The divine Mediator between God and man, the Lord Jesus Christ, was to proceed from the Hebrew nation, and was first to preach his gospel to them-hence it was proper that such an expectation should be kept up amongst them -and hence also it was proper, that amongst them, the prophets in succession should arise-for “ to Him give all the prophets witness.” Before the calling of Abraham from the Gentiles, the Redeemer had been revealed to Adam, and the patriarchs; but in language so obscure, that their conceptions of the extent of the blessing were probably very imperfect. Advancing in time, revelations become more lucid-the clouds disperse, and the “
righteousness," in his nature, his person, and his offices, is in their view. After the separation of Abraham, that patriarch was told, that in his posterity all the nations of the earth should be blessed-thus intimating the incarnate nature of the Messiah. If he descended from the human family, he must partake of human nature, whilst the vast extent of the promised blessing would seem beyond the utmost powers
of a mere mortal to bestow. In the last days of Jacob, the honour is restricted to Judah. Balaam calls him, in more general terms, the star, that should arise out of Jacob. David describes him as a man, afflicted, persecuted, and forsaken by his God--and again, as exalted to the right hand of the Omnipotent, “ a priest for ever, after the order of Melchisedek”-as the Son of the Most High, having the whole earth for a possession. Other particulars are successively disclosed. Bethlehem is designated as the place of his birth, and the very year of his public appearance is pointed out. In the reign of Hezekiah, or about that period, Micah says. But thou, Bethlehem-Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me, that is to be Ruler in Israel ; whose goings forth have been of old, from everlasting !" And during the captivity, the prophet Daniel declares, at the end of seventy weeks, from the commission to Ezra, to rebuild the temple, that is according to the prophetic mode of computation, taking each day for a year—at the end of four hundred and ninety years,* the Messiah should come. A the Most Holy should be anointed,” “ should be cut off, but not for himself.”
* See Prideaux, part 1, book 5, where it is shown that this prnphecy was exactly fulfilled to the very year and month.
And Haggai and Malachi, the last of the prophets, encouraging the Jews to proceed with spirit in rebuilding the temple, declare, “ The glory of this latter house sball be greater than of the former,” saith the Lord of Hosts, “ for the Lord whom they sought should suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant !"
Besides this series of historical revelation, innumerable are the passages which supported the hope of Israel. Sometimes they were literal; sometimes metaphorical. Of the former, is that splendid description by Isaiah, who, for the number and explicitness of his prophecies concerning the Messiah, has been called the evangelical prophet,speaking of the glory of his kingdom, he says, ple that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined." “ For unto us a child is born, anto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulders, and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace, there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment, and with justice, from henceforth even for
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The whole religious ritual of the Jews was a metapho rical representation of the death and atonement of Jesus Christ, Both the patriarchal and mosaical dispensations were preparatory to that which he should introduce. Distinguished men were therefore raised up from time to time, to be types, or representatives of him. David was one of these, and one of the most eminent. Hence the application
of his name, in the passage which occasioned your ques• tion, and in many others, to that august personage.
Moses was another illustrious type of the Messiah. in his last address to the Israelites, he promised them a future prophet like unto himself, resembling him in many respects, but in one characteristic so remarkable, as at ence to justify the application. “ The Lord your God (said he) will raise up unto you a prophet like unto me according to all that thou desiredst of the Lord thy God in Horeb, in the day of the assembly, saying, let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not.” When the Israelites were brought into the immediate presence of the Deity, to receive the written law, and the insupportable emblems of his wrath shook the earth under their feet, and burst in tremendous lightnings from the mountain ; overcome with terror, they entreated that they might not, any more, hear the voice of the Omnipotent, but that a Mediator might interpose, to declare all his will. Moses became that Mediator, and thus he was the most illustrious type of that
prophet who should be raised up like unto him.”
In addition to these two classes of prophecy, or such as directly foretold a specified event, and such as spoke in symbols, in conformity to the genius of the oriental nations -there is yet a third, which are to be understood in what is called a double sense ; that is, they relate primarily to one person, or event, and remotely to another : they are descriptive of both, but not so perfectly, as to admit of an exclusive application to either.
CATHERINE. Examples of these would assist our discernment when we read for ourselves.