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THE text in the following work is merely a compilation from the Bible, but by collecting together the Christian Prophecies, the course and plan and objects of prophetic communication are more distinctly shewn, the spirit and force and meaning of prophetic language more easily understood, the strength of prophetic evidence more powerfully developed, and the importance and necessity of attending to it more pointedly displayed.
Prophecy is a test of truth, and the fulfilment of Christian prophecy one of the pillars upon which Christianity rests. If we are plainly and distinctly and repeatedly assured that a Redeemer and Saviour should come, that he should bruise the Serpent's head and be a blessing unto all nations; if we find his lineage pointed out, the place of his birth and time of his coming specified, and many of his personal qualities and the events of his life detailed; if we find his distress, his rejection by the Jewish rulers, the indignities he should receive and the scorn with which he should be treated, his death, his burial, his resurrection, his
ascension and his future power and glory clearly foretold, and we find each and every of these particulars verified in Jesus Christ and in no other person, who can doubt but that he was sent from God, and that he was, what he assumed to be, the true Messiah? Do we wish to be informed, as far as is permitted man to know, what was his real nature, whether he was God as well as man, and man as well as God, whence can we get such assistance as from prophecy? Turn to the prophecies which speak of him as king, and look forward to the nature and extent and duration of his kingdom, attend to the assurances that his kingdom shall be different from all the former kingdoms upon earth, that his dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, that all kings shall fall down before him, all nations shall do him service, that the mountain of the Lord's house (the spiritual Church of Christ) shall be established on the top of the mountains, and exalted above the hills, that all nations shall flow unto it, and that the gates (or councils) of hell shall not prevail against it, and see how these prophecies have been from our Saviour's time and still are fulfilling, and we can without difficulty answer the question, whether Christianity is the religion God sanctions and requires. Look to the pains prophecy takes to bring mankind to Christ, to make them become
his servants and obey his laws, see the denunciations it pronounces against those who oppose, or despise, or neglect him; and we can then form a judgment if it be matter of indifference whether we be believers or not, and whether we act up to or disregard the duties Christianity requires. Lastly the denunciations against the Israelites, the prophecies of the destruction of Jerusalem, the intimations of their future conversion and restoration to God's favour, the efforts God promises to make for advancing it, the vengeance he threatens upon those who should obstruct it, and the retaliation he menaces upon those who should oppress them, whilst they furnish fresh proofs of the attention God pays to the success of Christianity, and supply a reason for their being still continued a distinct and marked and peculiar people, are calculated to make them more the objects of our attention and regard, to direct our thoughts to the singular manner in which God has dealt with them, and to put us upon our guard as to our conduct towards them. If there is to be some extraordinary interposition of Providence to bring about their conversion, if we as Gentiles are to co-operate, if they are to be distinguished by signal marks of God's favour, if any oppression towards them is to meet with its return, any obstruction to their belief to be followed by a heavy portion of divine vengeance, and if they are to take them captives whose cap
tives they have been, we can no longer look upon them with indifference, we are constrained to consider them as objects of the highest interest.
Let it not be surmised, that the Scriptures might have been written, or the prophecies inserted, after our Saviour's time. The Old Testament is in the keeping of the Jews, and their copies contain the same prophecies as ours. Their copies too were translated into Greek near 300 years before the birth of Christ, and that translation is still in existence and in use. The Samaritans also, the ancient rivals of the Jews, have their copy of the five books of Moses and that copy corresponds substantially with ours. That the Gospels of
Matthew Mark and Luke were written before the destruction of Jerusalem, is a point upon which no doubt ever has been cast. They are referred to by the earliest Christian writers, and it would have been impossible to have imposed them upon the Christian Church at a later period. Addison's and Chalmers' Evidences of Christianity will satisfy any reasonable mind upon these particulars, and the continuance of Christianity to the present time, (which is a fulfilment of some of the prophecies those Gospels contain,) makes any lengthened discussion upon the question unnecessary.
In the summaries in Italics under the several numbers, the object has been to give the passage its true application, and to furnish a short abstract