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easily seen, that the objections, which may seem to lie against the use of Jewish services, in Christian congregations, cease at once. Thus, it
may be said, are we concerned with the affairs of David and of Israel? Have we any thing to do with the Ark and the Temple? They are
Are we to go up to Jerusalem, and to worship on Sion? They are desolated, and trodden under foot by the Turks. Are we to sacrifice young bullocks, according to the law? The law is abolished, never to be observed again. Do we pray for victory over Moab, Edom, and Philistia ; or deliverance from Babylon! There are no such nations, no such places in the world. What, then do we mean, when, taking such expressions into our mouths, we utter them in our own persons, as parts of our devotions, before God? Assuredly, we must mean a spiritual Jerusalem and Sion; a spiritual ark and temple ; a spiritual law; spiritual sacrifices; and spiritual victories over spiritual enemies ; all described under the old names, which are still retained, though “old things are passed away, and all things are become new.” By substituting MESSIAN for David, the Gospel, for the law, the church Christian, for that of Israel, and the enemies of the one, for those of the other, the Psalms are made our own Nay, they are with more fullness and propriety, applied now to the substance, than they were of old, to the “ shadow of good things to come.” Bishop Horne's Preface to Commentary on the Psalms.
SIXTH PERIOD, O. The Canticles of Solomon, furnish an allegorical representation of the spiritual union between God and his church Matt. ix. 15; xxv. 1-19; John iii. 29 ; Ephes. v. 23-32; and Gen. ii. 24; Rev. xxi. 2-9.
P. The missions of Elijah and Elisha, related principally to the Jews; the former began his ministry in Israel, in the reign of Ahab, by predicting a drought of three years, B. C. 912, brought on, as it was afterwards removed, at the intercession of the prophet. 1 Kings xvii. 1 ; Eccclus. xlviii. 2-10; James v. 17-18. His miraculous subsistence, near thé brook Cherith, (1 Kings xvii. 2-6) his prediction of the constant replenishing of the widow's cruise of oil, and barrel of meal, (ver. 7-16); his restoration to life of the widow's son, (ver. 17-24); his contest with the false prophets of Baal, (xviii.); his vision of the Divine presence, in the same place where it had formerly been vouchsafed to Moses, (xix. ; Exod. xxxii.); hiş prediction of the punishment of Ahab and Jezebel, (1 Kings xxi. 17-29) and its accomplishment, (xxii. 34-38; 2 Kings ix. 30-37), his prediction of the death of Ahaziah (2 Kings i. 2-4); the destruction by fire, of the presumptuous messengers of that impious monarch (ver. 5-12); the speedy accomplishment of his prediction (ver. 16-17); his miraculous separation of the waters of Jordan (2 Kings ii. 8); and his glorious translation to heaven in a fiery chariot, B. C. 896, prove his Divine authority and inspiration; but, the strongest evidence of this fact, may be found in the ascription of his “ spirit and power to the harbinger of “the Sun of Righteousness," by the Prophet (Malachi iv. 5-6); applied. Matt. xi. 10-15; xvii. 1-13; Mark i. 2, 3; Luke
“ The spirit of Elijah rested upon Elisha,” who succeeded him in the prophetic office, B. C. 896. For his miracles, see 2 Kings ii. 12-14, where he parted the waters of Jordan with Elijah's mantle, (ver. 9-22) where he healed the poisonous waters ; (ver. 23, 24) where, upon his curse, the prophane children were destroyed by bears; (iii. 11-20) where he procured a supply of water for the confederate kings of Judah, Israel, and Edom; (iv. 1-7). where he procured oil for the widow to pay her debts with ; (ver. 8-17) where, by his prayers, he obtained a son for his Shunammite hostess, and (ver. 18-37) afterwards restored the child
to life; (ver. 38-41) where he cured the poisonous pottage ; (ver. 42-44) where he entertained 100 men with “ twenty barley loaves, and full ears of corn ;'* (v. 1-19) where he healed the leprosy of Naaman, the Syrian, which he afterwards (ver. 20-27) transferred to his deceitful and avaricious servant Gehazi ; (vi. 1-7) where he recovered the ax for the conscientious borrower of it, by causing the iron to swim ; (ver. 8-23) where he discovered the plans of Benhadad, king of Syria, and afterward infatuated his army, till he drew it into the power of Jehoram, king of Israel, whom he rebuked, for wishing to destroy it. He foretold the relief of the city of Samaria from a famine (2 Kings vi. 24-33 ; vii.); and that Hazael would murder his master, the king of Syria, and oppress his subjects (viii. 7-15.) He died, B. C. 830, prophesying the defeat of the Syrians thrice, by Joash, king of Israel, (2 Kings xiii. 14-19,) “ and, after his death, his body prophesied,” (Ecclus xlviii. 13-11,) making his last miracle, the restoration of a dead body to life, when touched by the bones of the prophet, (2 Kings xiii. 20-21,) which Dr. Hales remarks “ was the immediate work of God, and concurred with the translation of Elijah, to keep alive and confirm, in a degenerate and infidel age, that grand truth of a bodily resurrection which the translation of Enoch was calculated to produce in the Antediluvian world, and which the resurrection of CHRIST, in a glorified body, fully illustrated."
The sixth and seventh Periods of History, were the age of prophecy, being enlightened by the inspired predictions of the prophets, Jonah, Amos, Hosea, Joel, Isaiah, Micah, Nahum, Zephaniah, Jeremiah, Habukkuk, Ezekiel, Obadiah, and Daniel. The limits of this work will not admit of more than a chronological sketch of their respective missions,
* The loaves must have been small, as being brought by one man, Poola.
and the remark that they confirmed and amplified all preceding revelations of God upon the fundamental doctrine of salvation to the whole believing world by the MESSIAH ;* mixed with historical predictions (of which the fulfilment in the nations they respectively referred to will be the best explanation,) which prove that God was the moral Governor of the universe; the rewarder of them that seek Him; and the avenger of all iniquity. These “ Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost,” (2 Pet. i. 21) a divine influence over, and illumination of the mind, enabling them to discern and communicate the will of God.
“ The prophets, as inight be expected, from the distinguished marks of Divine approbation which they received, seem to have been singularly qualified for the sacred ministry. It is not meant to include in this consideration, those persons of condemned, or ambiguous character, who are represented in Seripture as compelled occasionally to give utterance to the suggestions of the sacred spirit; but, confining ourselves to a contemplation of those who are declared to have been appointed servants of God, and whose inspired writings still continue to instruct mankind; it may be affirmed, that in the long and illustrious succession from Moses to Malachi, not one appears, who was not intitled to considerable reverence, by the display of great and extraordinary virtues. Employed in the exalted office of teaching and reforming mankind, they appear to have been animated with a becoming and correspondent zeal. No unworthy passions, or disingenuous motives, were permitted to interfere with their great designs. Not; indeed, that they
* Moses, the first and greatest of the prophets, having established God's first covenant, those who followed him, were employed in explaining its nature, in opening its spiritual meaning ; in instructing the Jews; and, in preparing them for the reception of that second dispensation, which it prefigured.” Dr. Gray's Key to Old Testament,
were a.ways directed by the guidance of the spirit to undeviating propriety of life, since it is manifest that they sometimes acted as unassisted men subject to error; but, notwithstanding these failings, which their own confessions have transmitted to us, it appears, that in general, their passions were controlled in subjection to those perfect laws which they taught, and that the strength of their convictions rendered them insensible to secular attractions. When not immediately employed in the discharge of their sacred office, they lived sequestered from the world, in religious communities; or wandered “ in deserts, in mountains, and in caves of the earth;” distinguished by their apparel, and by the general simplicity of their style of life.
The Prophets were the established oracles of their country, and consulted, upon all occasions, when it was necessary to collect the Divine will on any civil or religious question; and we hear of no schisms or divisions while they flourished. They even condescended to inform the people of common concerns, in trivial cases, in order to preclude them from all pretence, or excuse, for resorting to idolatrous practices, and heathen divinations; and they were always furnished with some prescribed mode of consulting God, or obtained revelations by prayer, (Jer. xxxiii. 3) ; for, we are not to suppose that they were invariably empowered to prophesy by any permanent or perpetual inspiration. These illustrious personages were, likewise, as well the types, as the harbingers, of that greater Prophet whom they foretold ; and, in the general outline of their character, as well as in particular events of their lives, they pretigured to the Jews the future teacher of mankind. Like him, also, they laboured, by every exertion, to instruct and reclaim their countrymen; reproving and threatening the sinful, however exalted in rank, or encircled by power, with such fearless confidence and sincerity, as often excited respect The most intemperate princes were sometimes compelled,