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siah foretold by the prophets, and proving his mission by miracles, signs and wonders; in a word, by doing works, that no other man ever did ? did he, in the language of an early writer, “ show his humanity, when he hungered and was weary—and when weary, he thirsted ; and when praying he was sorrowful-he slept upon a pillow and deprecated
of his passion-when in an agony he sweated and was strengthened by an angel—when betrayed by Judas and insulted by Caiaphas, as well as set at naught by Herod—when he was scourged by Pilate, derided by the soldiers-fainted under the weight of his load, ascending mount Calvary fastened to the cross by the Jews, and crying with a loud voice, commends his spirit to his father and bowing his head, he gave up the ghost? when his side was pierced by a spear, and being wrapped in fine linen, he was laid in a sepulchre, and on the third day raised from the dead? was not his divinity equal. ly discoverable, when he was worshipped by angels and visited by the shepherds expected by Simeon and received testimony from Anna---when he was enquired for by the wise men and shown by a starwhen he turned water into wine, rebuked the sea and walked upon the waters--gave sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf and speech to the dumb-fed with a few loaves and some small fishes a great multitude in desart places-raised Lazarus from the dead-forgave sins and conferred the like power on his disciples." _Were not these miracles performed at his word, in an instant, and some wrought on persons at a distance from him ?_They were done in the most public and open manner, at Jerusalem and in every part of Judea and Galilee-In cities, villages, synagogues, in private houses, in streets, in highways, in the presence of enemies, before Scribes and Pharisees, rulers of synagogues, when attended by multitudes, and in a word before men of all charac. ters. Was he not condemned and crucified accord. ing to the predictions, and did he not rise again on the third day? and although despised and rejected of men-although forsaken by his own disciples and considered as a malefactor by the world in general, did he not by the means of twelve poor illiterate fishermen, and in opposition to all the governments of the different nations, both civil and religious, propagate his doctrines according to his positive declarations while living, so as to gain over princes and people, though previously his most determined enemies? Were not those doctrines wholly incompatible with, and destructive of, every other form and kind of worship, established and received by those nations? and yet they prevailed, by mere dint of reason and argument, against both power and the sword ! Did the God of heaven thus set up the kingdom foretold by Daniel, which no power on earth has yet been able to prevail against ?--Has the fourth or Roman government been divided into two empires—then subdivided into ten kingdoms? Has there arisen a little horn or government, in this fourth kingdom diverse from all the rest, with a mouth speaking great things-apostatizing from the church of Christ, though remaining within it-persecuting the saints of God and prevailing against them?-has he humbled and brought down three of the ten kingdoms? has this little horn thought to change times and laws? and in this latter day of the fourth government, has he began to decline, so that he is now without power or influence-driven from his seat of government, and fast hastening to his appointed end, and that by means of the stone cut out of the mountain without hands, which has ever since the protestant succession, been rolling against the legs and feet of the image and breaking them in pieces, and which stone, according to divine prediction, shall soon become a great mountain ?
Has not a government with a fierce countenance, lately risen up, publicly professing atheism as a system, and denouncing all divine and religious worship of the Father and the Son ?
Has not his power been mighty-has he not destroyed wonderfully-has not craft prospered in his hand-has he not magnified himself in his heart, and by peace destroyed many ?- This is an epithet wholly peculiar to himself, different from all who have gone before him.
If these things cannot be denied, may we not safely trust that the Almighty God has verily instructed his servants the prophets in all these things, and in
those others also, which by the like predictions are shortly to come to pass ?
Is not all this confirmed by the command to seal the book until towards the end; that is, these prophecies should not be fully understood, till they were made manifest towards the end of the fourth government, by the fulfilment of so many of them, that the wise and careful observer, could not help taking notice of their particular application ?
This conduces greatly to the faith of the people of God, for not being earlier understood in their proper extent, it cannot be suspected or feared, that either friends or enemies could accomplish or bring about, the things foretold, by design or fraud. But now that their fulfilment becomes so striking and powerful, the wise, that is, the fearer of God, and one who is watching the footsteps of his providence in faith and patience--he who believes the divine predictions, and is satisfied with knowing the mind and will of God, without bringing the divine conduct to the test of the weak capacity of finite and sinful dust and ashes; and who carefully and with a zeal founded in knowledge, compares the prophecies with the events that have taken placé--he shall understand, and by that knowledge hide himself till the indignation be over-passed, which will assuredly overtake the presumptuous, vain pretender to philosophy, valuing himself on his fancied wisdom--the careless and the unbeliever,
This reasoning is justified by that light of the world, the famous Sir Isaac Newton, who, though a real and experimental philosopher, and most profound reasoner, did not think the subject beneath his notice; but gave much time to the consideration of the prophetic denunciations of the scriptures, as one of the greatest objects that could engage the christian philosopher. He says, “ It is a part of this prophecy, that it should not be understood before the last age of the world (meaning the Roman world) and therefore it makes for the credit of the prophecy, that it is not yet understood.--The folly of interpreters has been to foretel times and things by this prophecy, as if God designed to make them prophets The design of God was much otherwise—he gave them not to gratify men's curiosity, by enabling them to foreknow things; but that after they were fulfilled, they might be interpreted by the events; and his own providence, not the interpreter's, be then manifested thereby to the world--and there is already so much of prophecy fulfilled, that as many, as will take pains in this study may see sufficient instances of God's providence.”
If this was the opinion of this great man, almost one hundred years ago, what would he have said at this day, when the fulfilments are so much more evident and numerous ?