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assigned for it in the following words: “They mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against his people till there was no remedy.” 2 Chron. 26: 16. And it is on this principle alone that the last destruction of Jerusalem and the present dispersion of our people can be accounted for. Since the Babylonish captivity, they have not been addicted to gross idolatry in worshipping graven images and adoring the work of men's hands; so far from it, they have been particularly tenacious of their own laws, and have carefully avoided all connections with the nations among whom they sojourn. Yet it is evident that they must be guilty of some very grievous and heinous crime, otherwise God would never suffer them to be oppressed and scattered as they have been. Their crime, then, is evidently the rejection of Jesus Christ. They would not hearken unto that prophet like unto Moses, whom the Lord raised up; they treated both him and his followers with the greatest indignity, and cruelly persecuted them unto death; they would not hearken to God's words which that prophet spake in God's name, and God hath required it of them, by punishing them for their disobedience. The curses denounced in the song of Moses have fallen upon them because they rejected and crucified the Lord of glory. Othat our beloved brethren, who have suffered so much, and who are still suffering for their sins, would be persuaded seriously to consider the matter. What stronger proof of the truth of Christianity can possibly be given than the destruction of Jerusalem and their own dispersion, which Jesus predicted, and which have so remarkably come to pass ? Our holy and beautiful house, where our fathers praised God, is burned with fire, and all our pleasant things are laid waste. Would God suffer them thus to be spoiled and afflicted if they were obedient to his commandments? If they had done right in rejecting Jesus of Nazareth, would the Lord abandon them thus to the power of their enemies ?
God has evidently confirmed the mission of Jesus Christ by destroying their commonwealth and expelling them from Canaan. O that the Lord would speedily pour upon our dear people “the spirit of grace and supplication, that they may look unto him whom they have pierced, and mourn for it as one mourneth for his only son, and be in bitterness for it, as one that is in bitterness for his first-born.” Zech. 12: 10.
$ 9. 4. There are some other predictions respecting the prophetical office of the Messiah, which have been fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
From Isaiah, 9 : 1, 2, it appears that Galilee was to be a conspicuous place of the Messiah's employment as prophet and teacher. Hence, although Jesus was born in Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, yet he was educated and brought up in Galilee, and there he commenced his work as a prophet. Matt. 4 : 12–16. Hence both Jesus and his disciples were called Galileans.
The same prophet foretold the matter of Messiah's preaching, in the 61st chap. 1-3. That this prophecy relates to
the Messiah, is acknowledged by our Rabbins, and with it . Jesus began his public ministry. Luke, 4:1, 14-21, as has already been shown, and to it he referred John's disciples as a proof of his Messiahship. Matt. 11 : 3-5. The little suc. cess which attended the ministry of Jesus, was likewise foretold. Isa. 53 : 1. 6:9, 10. Comp. Matt. 13: 13-16.
Although Jesus spake and taught as never man taught, and confirmed his doctrine by innumerable miracles, the most astonishing and the most benevolent, yet few, comparatively, believed in him.
10. 5. The predictions which Jesus himself delivered, and the exact fulfillment of many of them, deserve our peculiar attention. Jesus Christ foretold, with wonderful exactness, not only the events which should befall himself, the sufferings which he should undergo, and the persecution which his disciples should experience, as well as the support they should receive, all of which were most minutely realized; but he also foretold, with a precision which could result only from divine foreknowledge, the siege of our holy city; the destruction of our temple; and the fatal ruin which should overwhelm our nation; events, of which, at that period, there did not seem the remotest probability. He foretold also the astonishing propagation of his Gospel, which has indeed, according to his description, resembled a grain of mustard seed, that, from being the smallest of seeds, becomes a great tree, under the shadow of which all the fowls of heaven can lodge in safety. In spite of all the opposition of our rulers, in spite of all the persecutions of heathen emperors, in spite of all the ridicule of philosophers and the malice of Satan, nay, in spite of the inveterate corruption of the human heart, the religion of the Gospel has been es tablished in the world and though in too many places de based by superstition and corrupted by heresy, it has, in the lives of its sincere professors, produced such fruits as most irrefragably demonstrate its divine origin.
The church of Christ, thus established, has continued nearly 1800 years unshaken by all the malice of its enemies. According to the prediction of its founder, the gates of hell have not been able to prevail against it." Had the counsel of this work been of man, (according to the wise observation of our famous Rabbi Gamaliel,) it would have come to naught;" but it is manifestly of God, since none have been able to overcome it.
§ 11. IV. We consider, next, the manner in which Jesus Christ exercises the office of a prophet. As the Mediator was to be the object of faith and fountain of happiness to the saints before his incarnation, as well as to those afterward, it was necessary that the covenant between the Fa. ther and Son should be revealed to them, that their faith and hope might rest upon a sure foundation. Hence we have already observed, that one of the covenant stipulations was, that the Mediator should reveal the will of his Father.
This revelation is comprehended in the single word Gospel, or good news, viz. how sinners are to be saved by faith in Christ. Hence the apostle assurés us that the Gospel was preached to the fathers, Heb. 4: 2. Gal. 3: 8. The variety of methods used, and the different periods in which Christ made known the will of God, are subjects worthy of our attention, and would be considered, were it not that they would lead us too far away from our chain of argument. I shall with pleasure embrace the first opportunity of entering fully on that subject; at present I will simply state, that the time o Christ's teaching or acting as a prophet may be divided into two general parts, viz. before his incarnation, and afterward. The former is again divided into five periods.
§ 12. 1. From the fall of Adam to the flood. This period includes not only the first promise made to Adam, Gen.
The seed of the woman shall bruise the head of the serpent," which was the principle of faith and obedience to the fathers before the flood, as has already been shown, but also the revelations made to Seth, Enoch, Lamech and others. 2. From Noah to the giving of the law. With Noah God renewed the covenant, and established his worship in his house; and to Abraham our father, the promise of the Messiah was restricted and confirmed by oath; and with him and his seed God entered into a peculiar covenant, of which circumcision was the sign and seal. During this period, no doubt, God made many revelations to Melchisedeck and others, which have not been preserved. 3. From the giving of the law at Sinai, to the time of David and the prophets. Hitherto it might be styled the patriarchal dispensation, from thence to the death of Messiah it may be called the Jewish or Mosaic dispensation. 4. From David to the Babylonish captivity. 5. From thence to the time of Christ, which finishes the Old Testament. This period includes Ezra and the other prophets that assisted in the reformation of our people after their return from captivity, who in an especial manner excited the people to an expectation of the coming of the Messiah. 6. From the preaching of John the Baptist, and commencement of Christ's personal ministry, to the end of time. This period is called the New Tes. tament or Gospel dispensation, for reasons to be shown hereafter. Meditate on these things, my dear Benjamin, and may He, who taught as never man taught, make you wise unto salvation.
PRIESTLY OFFICE OF THE MESSIAH. ---FIRST, ORIGIN
§ 1. Allow me to propose to your very serious consideration, the predictions of the priestly office of the Messiah, and their fulfillment in Jesus Christ; which, I trust, will prove to you an additional satisfactory evidence of the truth of his Messiahship. As the principal glory of all the Mosaical worship consisted in the person and office of the high priest, so does the glory and efficacy of the spiritual worship consist in the person and office of the Messiah, the high priest of our profession. Hence the office of the priesthood is one of the most important subjects in all revelation ; inasmuch as it exhibits to our view one of the most striking displays of the Gospel, and of the ground of guilty man's acceptance before God. Hence this doctrine hath, in all ages, by the craft and malice of Satan and his emissaries, been either directly opposed or variously corrupted.
To consider the subject in all its parts and ramifications