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Essay on the prophecies relating to the Messiah.


Pag. Of three general principles on which the following reason

ings are founded, relating to three properties of the prophecies concerning Chrift, necessary to make them proofs of Christianity, viz. I. That they are applicable to Christ truly ; 2. Peculiarly ; 3. That the things

contained in them could not be foretold by chance, The prophecies in view relate, either to Christ's person, his church, or his enemies,

Some prophecies not yet fulfilled, no objection, . . The contents of the prophecies are, either, 1. Do&rines;

or, 2. Miraculous and contested facts; or 3. Uncon

tefted facts, Doétrinal prophecies contain uncontested facts about the

professed faith and worship of Christ's church of the second general principle, . - 5 Some characters are peculiar and singular taken separate

Common characters joined with these add to the evidence, A combination and series of characters that are of them

selves common, if taken separately, may yet make a

fingular and peculiar description of one person, . Of the third general principle, There are innumerable things which cannot be foretold by human fagacity, or by chance,



CH A P. I.
Of the contents of prophecies concerning one extraordinary

perfon, described as the Light of the Gentiles.
The enlightening of the Gentile nations by Christ uncon-

telted, Some prophecies about the enlightening of the Gentiles,

expressly ascribe that work to one eminent person ; 0thers not. Some of these prophecies more general, fhort, and obscure ; others more full, clear, and parti

cular, Of this last kind are Isaiah xlii. xlix. lii. 13. to liv. lv. 11. 10



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Two things needful to be considered in treating on these

passages : 1. Proofs that they are parallel ; 2. That they
are not applicable to any such conversion of particular
persons as happened under the Old Testament, but

only to the conversion of nations under the New,
Of the contents of the 49th of Isaiah,
Of the enlightening of the Gentiles by one eminent per-


Of his being rejected by the Jews, and the consequences

of this,

Absurdity of supposing, that the prophet here speaks of

the Jewish nation under the notion of an individual


Of the personal history of that light of the Gentiles,

Of doctrinal characters of that person, as God's covenant

and salvation,

Whatever prophecy speaks of one sent of God, who was

to be in a peculiar manner the author of our falva-

tion, must be parallel to Isaiah xlix.

The figures expressing the above facts and doctrines,

Two remarkable practical instructions mixed with these

things, here and in other prophecies, .

Isaiah xlii. Proofs of its being parallel with Isaiah xlix. 17
Of the fingular magnificence of style with which the pro.

phets, and particularly Isaiah xlii. defcribe the con-

version of the Gentiles,

Objection about the loftiness of the eastern style answer-


This prophecy parallel to Isaiah xlix, in six articles,

Isaiah lii. liii. liv. parallel in the above articles to Is. xlii.

and xlix.

Isaiah lui, explains other prophecies about God's covenant

and salvation, about the blood of the covenant, and

the Messiah's priesthood,

Isaiah lv. Ivi. parallel to the other prophecies already ex-




Isaiah xi.

Daniel ii. and vii. These two prophecies fynchronal to

one another, and parallel to the prophecies formerly


Daniel vùi, speaks of the Son of man's ascension into hea-


Other prophecies afferting, or fupposing, the ascension of

an extraordinary person to heaven, parallel to this,

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The prophets speak of this doctrine as a mystery, and a

myitery to be revealed more fully afterwards,

Of objections against considering the doctrine of the Mef-

fiah's person in this Essay; of the chief branches of that



The prophets teach a distinction of divine persons, .. 46

They teach the incarnation of a divine person,
Reasonableness of considering the prophecies on these

heads conjunctly,
The prophecies containing the above doctrine, divided

into three forts : 1. Some join divinity and characters of
fubordination of office only in general; 2. Others join
characters of divinity and incarnation; 3. Others join

all the three, characters of Divinity, subordination of of.

fice, and incarnation,


- 48

All these three forts parallel to one another; to prophe-

cies which speak of the Lord's coming to the world,
and appearing in an extraordinary way; and to the

former prophecies about the light of the Gentiles,
Of what is necessary to prove them parallel, viz. charac-

ters of a singular nature found to be the same in both,

Of Pfalm ii. It speaks of one who is called, in a singular

manner, The Son of God, Begotten of God; to be served

and trusted in ; trusting in whom is the way to blessed.


This prophecy parellel to those formerly cited, -

That one character, A divine perfon incarnate, necessarily

includes all the characters of incomparable glory, and

pre-eminence above other men, contained in the pro-

phecies formerly cited,



•. 53

What secondary characters of incomparable glory are con-

tained in those formerly cited, as to the offices, and ex.
altation, and benefits, of him who is the light of the


The like characters in the prophecies now under conside-


These two classes of prophecies contain also the fame cha.

racters of extraordinary humiliation,

They are parallel to one another in the fix points men.

tioned in the first chapter, as commonly mixed in the

fullest prophecies about the Mefliah, or light of the


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The prophecies about a divine person incarnate speak of

the times of the enlightening of the Gentiles, •

Psalm lxviii. Il. ix. xl. and Mal. iii. compared with 1f. xlv.

Micah v. Zech. xi. xii. xiii.

Harmony of facts concerning the enemies of that extra-

ordinary person,

In facts relating to his life and death, and time of his co-

ming, a remarkable harmony,

Of what is in If. xl. and Mal. iii, concerning the Mes.

Gah's fore-runner, ., ..

Several minute circumstances in Zech. xi, evidently appli-

cable to the history of Judas's treachery,

Harmony of the two classes of prophecies in view, as to

doctrinal characters of the Messiah, and instructions con-

cerning divine consolations, . .

Harmony between the doctrine of the prophets and of the

apostles, -as to the offices of the Meffiah,

the benefits connected with his offices,

particularly justification,

fanctification, and other blessings of God's covenant,

and the superiority of the new above the old difpen-


The prophetic account of future blessedness,

- Of passages that speak of the resurrection of the body,

Job xix. 25. 26. Dan. xii. 2. 3.

If. xxv. 8. Hof. xiii. 14.

Pf. xvi. 9. 10. xvii. 14. 15. xlix. 15.

Of passages that speak in general of future blessedness,

Pi. Ixxiii. 24.

If. Ivii. 1. 2.

The doctrine of eternal blessedness connected with the

great benefit of remiffion of fin, which is declared in

Itrong general expressions in the Old Testament,

The doctrines of adoption and fanctification, even as ex.

plained by the prophets, necessarily imply, that God's

children are intitled to a better inheritance than the

present life, . .



The doctrine of future blessedness is necessarily implied in

many passages of the Old Testament, where everlasting

continuance is affirmed of the several parts and causes

of falvation,

Confirmations of this argument from the doctrine of the

prophets, concerning the incarnation and deep humilia.

tion of a divine person, in order to the falvation of his

people, concerning the relations in which he stands to

them, and concerning the vanity of the enjoyments of

this life,



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