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V. 23.-Behold a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name IMMANUEL, which, being interpreted, is God with us.
Isa, Ch. vii. V. 14.-Adoni himself will give you a sign, Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name ImMANUEL.
Is not this a corroborative fulfilment of the denunciation which JEHOVAH ELOHIM pronounced against the serpent, when he said,
Gen. iii. V. 15.— I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed. It shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
CHAP. II. The wise men came from the east, saying, V. 2. Where is he that is born king of the Jews ? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
Numb. Ch. xxiv. V. 17.—There shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.
And Herod was troubled, and demanded where Christ should be born. 5. And they said unto him, in Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet.
Micah, Ch. v. V. 2.But thou, Bethlehem Ephrata, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto me, that is to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
This prophecy of Micah ought to have taught the Jews to see the Ruler, or King, of the Jews in the infant Jesus, that was then born in Bethlehem.
Herod was extremely wroth, and he sent forth and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, in all the coasts, and then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet: 18. In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning ; Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they were not.
Jer. Ch. xxxi. V. 15.—Thus saith Jehovah, A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping: Rachel weeping for her children, refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not.
It is remarkable that the prophecies relating to the birth of this infant should have been sufficiently believed to incite Herod to command the murder of the Innocents, and yet that they should have been of no avail, when the conduct of our Blessed Saviour, and the events passing before his eyes, gave such ample testimony to the truth of the divine mission of JESUS Christ.
V. 23.-And Joseph came and dwelt in Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, “ He shall be called a Nazarene.”
JUDGES, Ch. xiii. V. 5.–For the child shall be a Nazarite unto Elohim from the womb, and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.
The frequent references that are made to the books of the Old Testament by the Evangelists teach us what use we ought to make of that invaluable book ; and our SavioUR says elsewhere, that the law and the prophets testify of him.
CHAP. III. John, preaching in the wilderness, saith, 2. Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make his paths straight.
· Isa. Ch. xl. V. 3.-The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of Jehovah, make straight in the desert a high way for our God.
There is no possibility of doubting whether St. Matthew believed our Saviour to be the JEHOVAH, whose path St. John was pre-ordained to prepare ; and this circumstance being, in this instance, so well authenticated, let us gladly bear it always in mind, when reading the prophecies of the Old, and the histories of the New Testament.
V. 11.-1, John, baptize you with water to repentance, but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear; he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire, whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor.
Malachi, Ch.iii. V.1.–And Jehovah whom ye seek shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant whom ye delight in. 2. But who may abide the day of his coming, and who shall stand when he appeareth ? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fuller's soap. 3. He shall purify the sons of Levi, that they may offer unto Jehovah an offering in righteousness.
St. John's application of Malachi's metaphors to JESUS CHRIST, proves that he and the prophet refer to the same Divine Being, viz., JEHOVAH, who was come to his temple; and thus we have ascertained that St. Matthew and St. John thought that CHRIST was the JEHOVAH.
V. 16.--And when Jesus was baptized, he went up straightway out of the water, and lo! the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him. 17. And lo! a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
Isa. Ch. 11. V. 2.-The Spirit of Jehovah shall rest on him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge, and of the fear of JEHOVAH.
Isa. Ch. ix. V. 6.--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.
St. Matthew says the Spirit of God, and Isaiah says the Spirit of JEHOVAH, shall rest upon the MESSIAH, who is called also the Mighty God.
That we cannot fully comprehend this mysterious union of the Godhead does, indeed, prove our powers of understanding to be limited, but it can in no wise invalidate the plain assertions of the inspired Penman.
CHAP. IV. Jesus, leaving Nazareth, dwelt at Capernaum, on the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim, that the prophecy of Esaias might be fulfilled, saying, V. 15. The land of Zabulon and the land of Nephtha. lim, by the way of the sea beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles. 16. The people which sat in darkness saw a great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.
Isa. Ch. ix. V. 1.—The dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulon and the land of Napthali, and afterwards did more grievously afflict her, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations. The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
This prophecy concerning the journeyings of our Saviour was pronounced seven hundred and forty years before his appearance on earth. Our church has appointed this portion of Isaiah for the Lesson of Christmas Day.
CHAP. VIII. The centurion saith to Jesus, 8. LORD, I am not worthy that thou shouldst come under my roof, but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. 10. And JESUS saith, I have not found so great faith, no not in Israel. 11. And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.
Mal. Ch. i. V. 11. --JEHOVAH of hosts saith, From the rising of the sun, even unto the going down of the same, my name shall be great among the Gentiles ; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith Jehovah of hosts.
This prophecy is visibly fulfilling at this day, and has been gradually in progress ever since it was first pronounced. How opposed to the prejudices of the Jews, was this promise of the universal spread of the true religion !
V. 16.—Then they brought unto Jesus those possessed of devils and he healed the sick. 17. That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses.
Isa. Ch. liii. V. 4.–Surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows, yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of ELOHIM, and afflicted. 6. JEHOVAH hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
St. Paul clearly explains the above quotation, for he says, in 2 Cor. chap. vi. v. 9, “ God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself.” When we cavil at the abstruseness of the doctrine of the Trinity, we forget that language affords no phraseology whereby we can even attempt to explain the mystery. Let us then call in the aid of humble-mindedness, and, like St. Thomas, when he was subdued and overcome by ocular testimony; exclaim in holy rapture, My Lord and my God! For if, in these latter days, we have not any miracle performed for our conviction, we have the irresistible testimony of the Law and the Prophets, and let us then attend to them.
V. 26.-When there was a storm at sea, Jesus rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.
Ps. 107. V. 29.-JEHOVAH maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.
Who but God could calm a raging sea ?