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during a considerable part of the Levitical dispensation, even to say nothing of antediluvian Patriarchism; I see no reason why it should be thought incredible, that the human form of Christ, surrounded with glory as when he was beheld by Paul and Stephen and John, should visibly preside, from the sanctuary perhaps of his holy mount Sion, over his Church while in its most perfect state upon earth. Whatever may be the event, I can discern in such a conjecture nothing abhorrent from the analogy of God's word.
(8.) We have yet to notice one very affecting particular, by which the character of the AngelGod was to be marked in the days of his appearance under the third and consummating dispensation.
It was foretold, that the Seed of the woman should bruise the head of the serpent, but that the serpent should bruise his heel or human frame: and, in subsequent prophecies, this was explained to denote, that the Messiah should be bruised and stricken for the transgression of God's people, that his soul should be made an offering for sin, that Jehovah should lay on him the iniquity of us all, that he should be cut off from out of the land of the living, that he should thus justify many, that he should make intercession for the transgressors; and yet, notwithstanding he should pour out his soul unto death, that he should be finally triumphant, that he should prolong his days, that he should see his spiritual seed, that the pleasure of
Jehovah should prosper in his hand, and that he should see of the travel of his soul and be satisfied."
This mingled character of suffering and of triumph, of death and of victory, was sustained by the incarnate Word, when born, as the predicted Seed of the woman, from the womb of a pure virgin and, according both to his own testimony and to that of his inspired disciples, he sustained it for the identical purpose which had been set forth in prophecy. The infernal serpent, through the agency of his subordinate instruments, was permitted indeed to bruise his mortal part: but the short-lived apparent victory of the evil one turned out to his own confusion and to the ineffable benefit of that fallen race, which he had originally seduced into disobedience, and which he sought to hold in a state of perpetual alienation from God. For the sheep of his pasture the good Shepherd was content to lay down his life: and thus, even in the very time of suffering, by the full accomplishment of his benevolent purpose, he gained the victory over bis implacable enemy. I beheld, said he in the spirit of sure and anticipated conquest, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. The nature and mode of this conquest are afterwards explained at large by his apostle. In Christ, says St. Paul to his Colossian converts, dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily and ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power. In whom also ye are circumcised with
the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him, through the faith of the operation of God who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; blotting out the hand-writing of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; and, having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.'
Thus, even in the midst of his humiliation and seeming defeat, did the Seed of the woman bruise the head of the serpent: thus, by the rapid propagation of the gospel, did he behold his numerous spiritual offspring, while the pleasure of Jehovah prospered in his hand. But this is only the prelude to his complete victory. He has declared, that he has built his Church upon a rock, and that the gates of hell shall never prevail against it. Hence, as a mighty warrior, he girds his sword. upon his thigh; and goes forth, from age to age, conquering and to conquer. The strong-holds of sin and Satan fall prostrate before him : and, much as we have already beheld, we are taught to expect yet greater victories. At the close of a predetermined period, now rapidly evolving itself and thus laying open to our eyes a prospect of boundless
1 Coloss. ii. 9-15.
magnificence, when the judgment shall have sat upon the various opponents of God's gracious purposes; then shall be given to the Son of man dominion and glory and a kingdom, so that all peoples and nations and languages shall serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away: and his kingdom is that, which shall not be destroyed. With a strong arm he will then lay hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the devil and Satan: and, though one more final effort may be permitted to the adversary of God and man, the scheme of grace, unfolded in three successive dispensations, will close with his ultimate consignment, in impotent rage, to the lake of fire and brimstone."
Dan. vii. 26, 14.
2 Rev. xx. 1—10.
THE OPINIONS OF THE JEWS, RELATIVE TO THE DRIFT OF THE LAW AND THE CHARACTER OF THE ANGEL OF JEHOVAH.
SINCE the Jews have the Scriptures of the Old Testament in their hands as well as ourselves, and since they profess to expect the promised Messiah though they deny that character to Jesus of Nazareth; the preceding discussion naturally leads us to inquire, with some degree of curiosity, into their sentiments respecting the drift of their Law and the character of that Angel of Jehovah whom Jacob declares to be the God of Abraham and of Isaac.
Blinded as they are with prejudice, and carefully as the sentiments of their fathers seem for many years to have been withheld from them, we of course should not feel ourselves bound to abide by their interpretation: for the word of God is open to us, as well as to them; its meaning, since neither