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witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you ; but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. Upon the fulfilment of this express prediction, our Lord rested the truth of his Messiahship, and with this prophetical assurance ascended up into heaven.56
I know not how it may strike the minds of others, but I confess it strikes my own.most forcibly, that this accumulation of prophetical inspiration in the accomplishment of the predictions of our Lord, adds an incomparable force to the whole proof of prescience in the scheme of prophecy with respect to him. It seems to crown the argument. It displays before the eyes of mankind, not only unnumbered distinct particulars fulfilled in the person of Christ, and these particulars foretold by various independent messengers during four thousand years, but this accomplishment attended with a new exhibition of the spirit of prophecy in the very person in whom they were fulfilled.
The Messiahship of our Lord thus stands out radiant with the beams of the divine glory, and combines not only the fulfilment of all the pre
56 These predictions evince, indeed, divine omniscience in our Lord; but I use them only for what my present argument demands, the proof of prophetical inspiration.
dictions which went before of him, but the fulfilment of them with such circumstances of divine conduct, and such overwhelming attestations of an immediate mission from heaven, as to astonish every considerate mind.
But in what way, it may be asked, are the effects of the accomplishment of these prophecies of the Messiah apparent before our eyes in the present day? This leads me to consider,
IV. The SPIRITUAL OFFICES predicted of the Messiah, which our Lord fulfilled, and is now fulfilling, in the church.
His bodily presence is indeed no longer amongst us. We cannot witness his miracles nor hear his doctrine. These we receive by the means of undoubted testimony. But the spiritual offices and functions of the Saviour and Redeemer of mankind, grounded on his personal sufferings and obedience unto death, and committed to him by the Father as the reward of those sufferings, are exercised by him in every age, and are the hope and joy of his church. He has been with it always, according to his promise, and he will continue to be so, till the end of the world. The great blessing of the Holy Ghost, on the mission of which he rested all the truth of his Messiahship, was vouchsafed on the day of Pentecost; and,
endued with the powers of that divine Spirit, the apostles went forth to preach the gospel which has reached us, and brought us out of darkness into God's marvellous light. These effects we witness every day. All who are truly sincere in their Christian faith, are receiving constantly the benefits resulting from them; whilst to others, the external position of the church, its extension, and solemn celebrations, are sufficient evidences of the truth of what we assert. What office, I ask, of the Messiah, has not and does not the Son of God, in his state of exaltation, fulfil ?
Did he not, and doth he not, bruise the serpent's head? Did he not spoil principalities and powers, and make a shew of them openly, triumphing over them on his cross? Has he not, and doth he not, destroy the works of the devil?
Is he not also our Shiloh, gathering unto himself an universal church, having made peace by the blood of his cross?
Is he not, again, the prophet like unto Moses -a living oracle, the constant authorized expounder of God's will during his whole ministry—resembling Moses in the fulness of his communications with God, the magnitude of the revelation made to him, and the institution of a religion founded on this revelation ? 57
Is he not the redeemer referred to by Job, who was to stand in the latter day upon the earth?
If we come to the Psalms, what is there so great, what so spiritual and exalted foretold of the Messiah, which our Jesus has not fulfilled, and does not fulfil ?
If we plunge into the evangelical riches of Isaiah, what is there, even in his extended and mysterious prophecies, which our Lord has not fully accomplished ? Did he not preach the acceptable year of the Lord? Have not the Gentiles come to his light, and kings to the brightness of his rising ? Has not the Spirit rested upon him? Has he not, and does he not, bring forth judgment to the Gentiles? Is he not a covenant for the people, a light for the Gentiles? Does he not say, by all the ministrations of his gospel, Look unto me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth? Has he not founded his universal church, upon the footing of his sacrifice-of being wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities? In a word, is he not, as it was predicted he should be, the Redeemer, the Mediator, the Teacher, the Intercessor, the Deliverer, the mighty Saviour of men ? • What did Jeremiah foretell of the new covenant, or Ezekiel of the effusion of the Holy Ghost, or Joel of the gifts of grace, which our Emmanuel did not bestow?
Do not, I ask, sincere Christians behold in him all these spiritual attributes, and derive from him all the blessings of his divine offices and directions? I know that irreligious persons cannot enter into these particulars. These I refer to the preceding proofs of the Messiahship of Christ. But for others, I have a right to appeal to those spiritual blessings which the prophecies declare to flow from the advent of the Saviour. I ask, Is he not their shepherd, their friend, their brother, their prophet, their master, their ruler, their king, their high priest, their head, their all and in all ?
I. If such, then, be the palpable fulfilment of the predictions of the Messiah in the present kingdom of our Lord—if such be the broad and manifest events themselves, such the number and independence of the prophets who foretold them, such the accumulation of the spirit of prophecy attending their accomplishment, and such the exalted spiritual offices exercised by him in every age; let us FALE PROSTRATE IN HUMILIATION AND FAITH AT THE FEET of the Saviour, and acknowledge in him the fulfilment of the divine predictions ; acknowledge in him the overwhelming demonstration of superhuman prescience and power; acknowledge in him the accomplishment of