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some future event, entirely independent of his own will; and afterwards accurately fulfilled.
14. If this be established, it forms an intrinsic proof of preconcerted connection in the events, as well as of foreknowledge in the person of Jesus.
No greater evidence can be offered in favour of superhuman knowledge, than the fact of a person foretelling, with accuracy, the circumstances of his own death. No greater evidence can be given in favour of the sincerity of a prophet so inspired, than the fact of his using no means to escape from the malice of his enemies, but voluntarily surrendering himself into their power, although he knew all things which should be accomplished.
And when to this evidence of prophecy there is added the evidence of miracle; when the conclusion, deduced from the application of typical illustration, implies not only the death, but the resurrection of the Prophet, and states the very period, during which his body shall be retained in the earth; and when all this too is fulfilled to the very letter--we arrive at a degree of moral certainty, with respect to the Prophet's claims, which none can resist, without endangering the foundation of every truth.
Men may bring themselves to doubt any thing. But they who approach the Scriptures with a hearty desire to search whether these things be so, will weigh, indeed, with caution, the evidence which these writings offer, but will still keep their minds open to conviction: and being once convinced that they are given by inspiration of God, they will hesitate no longer to take them as the guide of their faith, and the rule of their lives.
1. Under this division is to be placed the type of the brasen serpent, which was erected in the wilderness by Moses, to heal the wounded Israelites.
The narrative of the fact by Moses is clear and concise. It there stands as an isolated, though wonderful, fact. The serpent itself is long preserved as a memorial of the event: and is destroyed by Hezekiah, in consequence of an abuse arising from excessive and superstitious reverence.h
At length appears a person known to be a teacher come from God, by the miracles that he performed, and therefore sought out and visited at night by a ruler of the Jews. And this teacher declares of himself, that as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up.”
* Numb. xxi. 8, 9.
h 2 Kings xviii. 4.
i John iii. 14.
As it is predicted, so does it come to pass. His death ensues, violent, painful, ignominious : in the very manner which was thus predicted, probably at the very beginning of his ministry, and certainly long before his enemies had matured their schemes for accomplishing their designs.
The completion of the prophecy is here an intrinsic proof of the authority, with which the prophet expounded the word of God; and the exposition implies, at least, some preconcerted connection subsisting between the events which took place in the wilderness, and upon the hill of Calvary.
2. A similar allusion, although not so definite, is made by our Lord to the fact of his violent death; when he is discoursing, in the synagogue of Capernaum, of the manna which the Israelites ate in the wilderness. “ Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead....I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any man eat of this bread he shall live for ever: and the bread which I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”*
Whatever be the degree of correspondence, which the discourse of Jesus implies, between the manna and himself, we have here a dis
k John vi. 49, 51.
tinct prophecy of his own death, accompanying and ratifying his exposition of the Jewish history.
3. The typical nature of the paschal sacrifice is, in like manner, confirmed by an allusion which our Lord made to its fulfilment in the kingdom of God, at the time when he delivered a clear prediction of his own sufferings.
4. Again, the book of the prophet Jonah relates his miraculous preservation for three days and three nights; his being swallowed up, and his restoration to life and activity at the end of that period.
The sacred volume soon closes upon the prophet's history; and the narration is left as one of those wonders, which it has pleased the Almighty, from time to time, to display in his dealings with mankind. But the fact was not only a fact of wonder: it was intended to prefigure a greater miracle wrought by a greater prophet.
An evil and adulterous generation came to Jesus, and sought after a sign from heaven. But Christ declared that no sign should be given them but the sign of the prophet Jonas : for as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly, so should the Son of Man be
| Luke xxii. 15, 16.
m Luke xi. 32.
three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."
The powers of darkness triumphed; and Christ, by wicked hands, was crucified and slain. His
grave was appointed with the wicked: but with the rich man was his tomb. The third day came; and Jesus rose from the dead : thus realizing the prophecy which he had uttered, by a miracle unheard of in any former prophet, however favoured of God; and exhibiting the full reality of that design, which the prophet Jonah displayed feebly, by the shadow of a type.
III. Types which are accompanied by prophetical declarations, either at the time when they are exhibited, or before they are completed in the antitype, become, if confirmed by the fulfilment of the prophecy and the correspondence of the prefigured events, an intrinsic proof of the authority which declares, or plainly infers, their mutual connection. But the same proof, which establishes the authenticity of one part of the Holy Scriptures, necessarily tends to establish that of the whole.
There will arise, consequently, a third division of the types 'mentioned in the Old Testament, which are not supported by the aid of verbal prophecy, either in the type or in
-n Matt. xii. 40.