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V. 16.—And many of the children of Israel shall he (St. John) turn to the Lord their God, and he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the disobedient, to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
Mal. Ch. iv. V. 5.—Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of Jehovah.
We find that St. Luke's account perfectly agrees with the parallel circumstance in the preceding Gospel. In both it is said that St. John's office is to go before the LORD God in the spirit of Elias, to make ready for the JEHOVAH. Thus St. Luke shows that he believed in the divinity of Christ, for he plainly asserts to the Israelites, that Jesus is the Lord their GOD.
V. 31.—Thou shalt bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. 32. And he shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest, and the LORD God shall give unto him the throne of his father David, and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
Isa. Ch. ix. V. 6.-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.
Dan. Ch. ii. V. 45.-The God of heaven shall set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed, and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
In the above extract from St. Luke, the spirituality of Christ's kingdom is distinctly asserted, for it is said, it is to endure for ever. The quotation from Daniel gives the same information of the kingdom of the God of heaven. That we may know how to under
stand these two prophecies, let us learn from Isaiah who is the Christ who is referred to by St. Luke, and we shall find that he emphatically and plainly proclaims the divinity of the Child whom he had prophesied should be born under the above-stated circumstances, for he says, He shall be called the Mighty God.
V. 35.–And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee, therefore also that Holy Thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
In the note on the 14th chapter of St. Mark, we learnt that the meaning of the phrase, “Son of God," is Equality with God, and let us recollect how frequently our Saviour is so called. In the above extract the angel announces it, When he was baptized, the Holy Spirit from heaven proclaimed it, and when he was on his trial he says, speaking of himself, ye shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power. Thus unequivocally is his Divinity asserted even by himself.
V. 36.-Behold thy cousin Elizabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren: for with God nothing shall be impossible.
Zech. Ch. viii. V. 6.—Thus saith Jehovah of hosts, If it be marvellous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these days, should it also be marvellous in mine eyes, saith Jehovah of hosts.
The miraculous birth of St. John is rendered more extraordinary and important, when we reflect that he was preordained to prepare the way of JEHOVAH, and to make straight a high way for our God, or, as the Evangelists teach us, he was the forerunner of the God of our salvation.
V. 59.-On the eighth day, when the child John was brought to be circumcised, 67. Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and he prophesied, saying, 68. Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, for he hath visited and redeemed his people, and hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David. 76. And thou, child, shall be called the Prophet of the Highest, for thou shalt go before the face of the LORD, to prepare his ways.
Mal. Ch. iii. V. 1.-Jehovah, God of Israel, saith, Behold I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me.
Jer. Ch. xxiii. V. 5.—Behold the days come, saith Jehovah, that I will raise unto David a righteous branch, and a king shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.
It must be remarked that the term LORD, as used by Zacharias in v. 76, is, in the original passages, JEHOVAH and God. In this instance, therefore, the original name would unequivocally prove that Zacharias and St. Luke believed in the divinity of CHRIST; for I believe no one ever asserted that JEHOVAH was a created Being.
CHAP. II. V. 8.–And there were shepherds abiding in the field. 9. And lo! the angel of the LORD came upon them, and the glory of the LORD shone round about them, and they were sore afraid. 10. And the angel said unto them, Fear not, for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the LORD.
Isa. Ch. lii. V. 7.—How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace, that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation, that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth.
Isa. Ch. ix. V. 6.—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.
The corresponding passages in the Old Testament explain the purport of the following words in St. Luke : “ The Saviour, which is Christ the LORD." For this child that was to be born he believes to be the same being whose birth Isaiah prophecies of, and whose title he proclaims to be, The Mighty God, the Prince of Peace.
V. 13.—And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and good will to men.
Isa. Ch. lvii. V. 19.-Peace, peace to him that is afar off, and to him that is near, saith Jehovah, and I will heal him.
V. 25.—And Simeon was a man just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel ; and the Holy Ghost was upon him. 26. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. 27. And he came by the Spirit into the temple, when the parents brought in the child Jesus. 28. Then he took him into his arms, and blessed God, and said, 29. LORD, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, accord. ing to thy word; 30. For mine eyes have seen thy salvation.
Isa. Ch. lii. V. 9.—Break forth into joy, sing together ye waste places of Jerusalem ; for Jehovah hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem. 10. Jehovah hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.
The holy Simeon's devout joy at beholding the Lord's Christ is truly affecting; and when the holy infant is presented to him, he exclaims, Now let me depart, O God, for I have seen thy salvation. His feelings on this solemn occasion are raised to the highest pitch ; and well they might ; for through the influence of the Holy Spirit he knew that this infant was the true MESSIAH, who was to bring life and immortality to light.
CHAP. IV. Jesus went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and there was delivered to him the book of the prophet Esaias; and he read. V. 18. The Spirit of the LORD (ADONI Jehovah) is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor, and he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind; to set at liberty them that are bruised; to preach the acceptable year of the LORD. 20. And he closed the book, 21. And began to say unto them, This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears.
Isa. Ch. Ixi. V. 1.—The spirit of Adoni Jehovah is upon me, because Jehovah hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound ; to proclaim the acceptable year of Jehovah.
Our Saviour's application of this prophecy to himself ought to silence every cavil, for it proves that Isaiah prophecied and described the office of CHRIST; and his minute and beautiful account of the actions and sufferings of the MESSIAH so perfectly represent the life of Jesus, that we cannot resist the conviction that it is He of whom he writes. However difficult it may be to explain the unity of Christ with the ADONI JEHOVAH of Isaiah, yet it is evident that our Saviour did apply this passage to himself, and it is as evident that the congregation did the same, for the eyes of all were fastened on him.
CHAP. XI. Jesus saith, 20. But if I, with the finger of God, cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.
Exodus, Ch. viii. V. 19.—Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh, This is the finger of Elohim; and Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he hearkened not unto them as Elohim had said.
The Jews, in our Saviour's time, were like Pharaoh, neither miracles nor sufferings could induce