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sincerity, and the impartition of the gift by Jehovah.
But an infinitely higher stand respecting the truth of Prophecy may be taken. Prophecy alone could emanate from the Deity. Direct contradiction cannot dislodge the fact: the pride of philosophy and the denial of the infidel are reduced to a system of nothingness, as the huge clouds of ignorance and unbelief in every age or generation become dispersed by the increasing effulgence of the Sun of Righteousness, gradually shining more and more unto the perfect day. In the beginning man was placed in Paradise, innocent and happy, pure as the Deity, with the prospect of immortality stretched before him. The abuse of the freedom of will implanted by Jehovah withered the germ of life, blasted the hope of immortality, and exchanged the image of Heaven for the corrupting form of DEATH. Sin conquered and spoiled the last of God's works, and for a time triumphed over the achievement of his power. Providence was not slack. A heavy curse fell upon the tempter. Man received his punishment, and the earth, which before contained every thing delightful to the eye and pleasant to the taste, could only be rendered productive by the continual labour of the apostate. Eve brought forth in pain a son after the image of Adam; a second followed, and
became the victim of an evil passion-the consequence of the Fall. Adam beheld the murdered body of his son-the reward of his sin, the fruit of his disobedience. But the threatening of punishment was immediately followed by the promise of a Saviour, who should bruise the serpent's head. The plan was laid in heaven; simple though it was, none but Deity could have conceived it. And when the fulness of time was come, Christ died for original and actual sin; he took upon himself the sin of Adam, and appeased the wrath of Jehovah. He did for man all that man required; he obtained for man that which man had lost, and which none but Christ could have gained. The reconciliation with the Father could only be made through the interposition of the Son. God was in Christ. Deity took humanity, and out of the Human burst forth the Divine. Christ was the Son of God, and He was the Son of Man!-the Son of God, as to his Divinity; the Son of Man, as to his Humanity; God manifest in the flesh. Great is the mystery of godliness! The works of Christ on earth proved his Divine nature;—his sufferings upon the earth and the cross, his human nature. The great work that He accomplished proved Him God. The death that He suffered proved Him man. God, of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and man, of the substance of his mother, born in the world." " Equal
to the Father, as touching his Godhead; and inferior to the Father, as touching his Manhood." And yet not two persons! "One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh; but by taking of the manhood into God. One altogether; not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man; so God and man is one Christ." The two natures were necessary-the divine and the human-to accomplish the work. The Human nature could feel our infirmities, sin excepted; the Divine could relieve them. The Human could expire, to atone for sin, upon the cross; the Divine could ascend into heaven, and reconcile the Deity. The one God and Man hath appeased the wrath of heaven. God conceived the plan; Man, through the power of Divinity, carried it into execution. The revelation of this mighty system is mixed up in the same Scriptures, that speak of prophecy. It is no assumption to urge, that the scheme of redemption alone could emanate from the Deity it could never have proceeded from man in his ruin. Consequently, if redemption was brought about by Jehovah, there remains no difficulty to believe, that He should impart that knowledge to a few individuals, to spread it throughout the world. "The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy;" and prophecy is the evidence of the Providence of God.
The prediction agrees with the fulfilment. True! but the prediction was made after the fulfilment, or when the signs of the cause had appeared. IMPOSSIBLE! For long before the advent of Christ, preceding prophecies had been quoted by later Scriptural writers: the Septuagint, containing them, had been circulated over a great part of the Pagan world; the Sibylline books, and the verses passing under the name of Orpheus, had borrowed these Scriptural hopes; and all the civilized world was expecting the appearance of the promised Redeemer. Not only the aged Simeon, and Anna the prophetess', but the whole nation of the Jews, entertained these expectations, "waiting for the consolation of Israel." Josephus and Suetonius mention the expectation which the Jews had of the arising of a great king from among them, who should have the dominion of the whole world. They looked for him at the very time he made his appearance. The prophets foretold that time, which gave just reasons for these expectations. Hence these expectations could only be derived from prophetic sources, which preclude the idea of their being written after the events. The Heathens engrafted into their own books the prophecies relating to the Messiah; and thus by their
See Luke ii. 25-38.
2 De Bello Judaico, lib. 7. c. 12.
3 In Vespasiano, c. 4. See also Tacitus Histor. lib. 5. c. 13.
own acknowledged testimony became convicted. They, too, testified the truth of Prophecy, both by predicting and accomplishing. Thus, Balaam foretold the coming of the Messiah out of Jacob'; and the Magians from the East 2 adored and acknowledged Him to be the Messiah; and the devils themselves called Him Jesus, the Son of God 3.
But no generation, as it has been observed, is suffered to pass without the fulfilment of a scriptural prophecy. And if in the latter days the mighty things of God, spoken by his prophets, are fulfilled, where rests the doubt of the fulfilment of Prophecy in past years, that have long since rolled into eternity? A confirmation, in this instance, of a few prophecies, is sufficient to establish the truth of the whole, and that simply because not one of them has failed in its fulfilment.-Where are the seven churches of Asia? Prophecy foretold the departure of their glory, and the subversion of their very foundations. These churches cease to exist. Moab and Edom, where are they? Smitten and destroyed, as it was predicted of them. The Ammonites have perished; Amalek is no more; the Zidonians and
1 Numb. xxiv. 17.
2 Matt. xi. 1-12.
3 Matt. viii. 29. Mark v. 7. Luke viii. 28.