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suffer as an atonement to the unchangeable and righteous justice of his Father, and to redeem from eternal death all that should believe in and practise his doctrines; he breaks out into this extatic rapture: “ Rejoice greatly “ O daughter of Zion, O daughter of Jerusa56 lem : behold thy KING cometh unto thee; .6 he is just, and having salvation ; lowly, and s riding upon an ass, and a colt the foal 5 of an ass.” After dwelling upon these particular circumstances, the very circumstances of Christ when he went into Jerusalem, to be wrongfully accused, betrayed, unjustly condemned, barbarously insulted, and CRUCIFIED,) he foretels, in the same chapter, the rapid and wonderful progress of the Gospel of Christ, under the ministry of the apostles in the four first centuries, notwithstanding their shepherd was taken from them. In the tenth chapter he briefly intimates the subsequent declension and apostacy of the church, and yet assures the remnant of the merciful protection of God. In the eleventh chapter, foreseeing the declension of the church, after it had arrived at the zenith of power and glory in the sixth century, he get more clearly fore. tels it, and points out the cause of it; namely, the plundered wealth, abominable corruption, debauchery, and depravity of the clergy, which continued from the sixth to the Reformation, His words are, *"* Open thy door, O Lebanon (the church,) that the fire (the judgments of
God) may devour thy cedars (thy rulers and great men:) howl fir-tree (the interior flock of the church,) for the cedar is fallen;" (thy great men, the clergy, are become corrupt and fallen from righteousness.) *«. There is a voice of the howling" (the voice of false doctrines and wickedness) of the shepherds (the clergy:) For their glory (their lives and righteous conversations) are spoiled,” corrupted and polluted. It was this corruption and depravity of the clergy, which enabled Satan to build up his temporary kingdoms of the Mohamedan and Papal apostacies, the arts, frauds, persecutions, darkness, sensuality, and idolatries, of which had nearly destroyed the true church of Christ. In the twelfth chapter the prophet briefiy alludes to the first coming of Christ, and clearly foretels the consequent destruction of Jerusalem. In the thirteenth chapter he is yet more explicit respecting the blessed effects of the first coming of Christ, such as, “ In that day there “ shall be a fountain opened to the house of " David (the church of Christ,) for sin, and “for uncleannesst.” And it shall come to pass in that day (the days of the Gospel of Christ) saith the Lord of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall be no more remembered ;'') evidently meaning the conquest of Christ over the heathen world, by the suppression of the powers of its idolatry in the fourth century:) "And I will also cause the prophets and 1192
* Ver. 3.
of Ver. 1.
clean spirits to pass out of the land*,” (as evidently pointing out the future silence and abolition of the heathen simbyls, prophets, and oracles, at the same time ; and the suppression of the unclean spirits of conjuration and witchcraft, which had, before his coming, generally prevailed over a deluded world.) Having described these events, which were the wellknown consequences of the first coming of Christ in the first five verses; he then foretels the office of Christ, which was that of a “ shepherd,” to take care of his “ cattle," meaning his flock, his church: “ I am an husbandman ; “ for man taught me to keep cattle from “ my youtht." He foretels the death of Christ, or the “ smiting of the shepherd,” with the manner of his death, and the very place where it should happen : the first by the wounds in his hands," made by the nailing of them to the cross; and the second, by“ those with which I was wounded in the house of my friendst," evidently pointing out the city of Jerusalem, where he had converted many people, who loved and followed him. He foretels, the “scattering of the sheep," or flock of Christ; the division of the church, by the Pope and Mohamed, into two parts, or apostacies; that those o two parts should be cut off and die;" and that the third, or the remnant of the church which shall have been worthy of the divine mercy, shall be left in the land,” be refined.
and tried, as silver and gold is refined and tried, and in the end be saved as the “ people of God." They shall call on the name of God, and he shall sav, “ It is my people ; and they shall say, The Lord is my God*.”
From this general view of the state of the church, from its foundation to the second coming of Christ, the prophet passes to a description of the coming itself, and to his reign upon earth. Reader, it is too long for insertion here; let me, therefore, entreat thee to peruse it in the text: contemplate it for thyself, with that attention and reverence which the importance and awfulness of the subject demand; and may the God of wisdom and mercy give thee an understanding heart! It certainly contains a description of that which we all ought to know: a description of the almighty power of the God of Heaven; of the dreadful state, the confusion, the tumult, the uproar, the fearful dismay, and utter destruction of the unbeliever and ungodly in the last day; and of the blessed and never-ending felicity of those who believe in the revealed word of God, and fear himt. I shall extract one passage more, and which relates to my present subject, the second coming of Christ. “Behold,” says the prophet, «s the day of the Lord cometh. And the Lord “ my God shall come, and all the saints with him. “And it shall be, in that day, that living waters "shall go out from Jerusalem: and the Lord shall “.be King over all the earth. In that day there ** shall be ONE LORD, and his name ONE!"
dab,” or the as the evening of ch
Nor is Malachi, the last of the Hebrew prophets, whose name imports angelical mildness of disposition, less clear and explicit, in predicting those great events. For * he reprimands the « wicked priests that despise the name of God," for their wantonness and pollutions: he threatens them with the conversion of the Gentiles to the word of God: he reminds them of the “ covenant of life and peace made with Levi," and of the treachery and abomination « committed in Israel and Jerusalem;" and foretels the judge ments of God, which afterwards fell upon " fudab,” or the Jewish nation. He next, in due order of time, as the events were to come to pass, proceeds to the first-coming of Christ, the beloved Son of God, to promulgate the new covenant - the everlasting covenant made " with Abraham and his seed," and to offer terms of restoration to the peace of God, and of salvation to a fallen world. He takes up this subject from the beginning, and even announces the coming of John the Baptist, to “prepare the way” for this coming of Christ. But hear the prophet's own words, and judge: “ Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall “prepare the way before me; and the Lord, “ whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his tem"ple, even the messenger of the covenantt, whom “ye delight in; behold he shall come, saith the
* Chap. i. 6, per totum.
† Messenger. See Isaiah also, xl. 3, who briefly foretels the same event. “ The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness “Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make strait in the desert a *** highway for our God."