Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

sins, as semblances of the blood of Christ, pointing to the antitype Immanuel, for the blood of Christ alone cleanseth from all iniquity; and at the 7th verse, the prophet speaks thus of Christ, the man by whose blood this act of purgation should be effected

“Awake, O sword, against my Shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of Hosts : smite the Shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered; and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.”

In the above verse there are three distinct apellations given to Christ, the atoning sacrifice for sin. He is first called the Shepherd, a title never in Holy Writ given to any other person in the divine Godhead; he is next called the Man, by way of eminence, beyond or above all men, being exclusively the seed of the woman, and a derivation in his natural image of man at large, agreeable to the nature of his mother, and hence in Scripture frequently called the Son of man. And, lastly, he is called the “ Fellow," that is to say, the “Equal of Jehovah, as touching their same spiritual likeness; which divine co-equality the prophet Isaiah confirms in ix. 6, by calling Christ the

Mighty God, the Everlasting Father—“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.” Now evidently Christ could only be called “ The Mighty God, the Everlasting Father,” by right of his everlasting divinity with that Father; or, as St. Athanasius, by divine authority, expresses his sentiments—when speaking of the human and divine natures of this Child and Son, just spoken of by the prophet, makes this declaration relative to the Son of God: “Equal to the Father, as touching his Godhead; but inferior to the Father, as touching his Manhood. Who, although he be God and Man; yet is he not two, but one Christ.”

Having shown you in the first recorded institution of public worship that the blood of the creature—typical of the blood of the seed of the woman that should bruise the head of the serpent—was shed as a visible symbol of the blood of Christ; and since we know that the blood of Christ cleanseth from all sin, it necessarily follows, that when Abraham was told that in his seed all the nations of the earth should be blessed, that this patriarch, who was in possession of this one true faith, but once delivered to the saints, and who saw Christ's day afar off, and rejoiced, was taught to look for salvation through the blood of the creature to that of the Creator. This, the directed but never intended sacrifice of Isaac clearly manifests, and by this same faith the church universal through all time redeemed in Christ, conjointly with this father of the faithful, have looked to that Fountain opened for sin and for uncleanness, of which the prophet Zechariah is said here to speak, and of which the apostle says, “And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the Water, and the Blood, and these three agree in one.” That is, they agree in one open, visible, and undeniable testimony to the natural person of Christ, proving that, as regards sacrifice, he in his death was the end of the law, and, alone, allsufficient for the remission of sins. The effusion of blood and of water from the fountain or wound in the side of a crucified Saviour, could alone issue from the bodily frame or natural image of Him, of whom it is written, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Many able commentators have concluded that this 13th chapter, classed in the writings of Zechariah, was not the work of that prophet; and, independent of the very evident difference of style from that of Zechariah in general, there are circumstances that connect it with the life and times of the prophet Jeremiah, to whom, in general, it has been assigned. For evidently much of its contents relate to an earlier period in the history of the Jews than that of Zechariah, who was contemporary with Haggai. In the 2nd and 3rd verses the prophet utters severe denunciations against idols and their worship, and declares the extirpation of both; which better agrees with the corrupt practices of Israel in the days of Jeremiah, as it is well known, that after the Babylonian captivity, the Israelites never again addicted to idolatry, and to this day maintain as intense an abhorrence against every thing wearing the least semblance of idol-worship,

were

as any nation under the canopy of heaven; which, I think, plainly proclaims the date of the delivery of this chapter to be anterior to the time of Zechariah. Very little, however, can be said, with any degree of certainty, respecting Zechariah, beyond what has already been mentioned of him as contemporary with Haggai; and, therefore, the precise period at which this prophecy was spoken must continue to be wrapt in obscurity, excepting that the Israelites were in a state of idolatry when the prophet here addresses them, and which certainly was not the case at the time of rebuilding the temple, in the days of Zechariah.

Two extracts, the one from an exposition of the Bible by the Rev. L. Smith, D.D., and the other from a Key to the Old Testament and Apocrypha, with an account of their several books, their contents and authors, by the Rev. Robert Gray, D. D., Prebendary of Durham, and afterwards Bishop of Bristol, will be placed in juxtaposition ; which may possibly be useful in enabling the reader to determine to what time this thirteenth chapter relates.

« ForrigeFortsæt »