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unite in carrying on the main design of Scripture history, as if they had written in conformity to a pre, concerted plan.
Instead of presenting us with a course of events evolving the general laws of Providence, the Bible gives us an historical view of those particular instances, in which God in his infinite wisdom saw fit to deviate from these general laws, by what to our shallow apprehension appears to be more special acts of power. And though we should find (or imagine we find) reason to believe that the human agents appointed by God to hand down to latest ages the history of his providence, had in other respects been liable to all the errors and prejudices of their contemporaries, and that therefore the Bible history partakes, as far as relates to facts merely historical, of the imperfection which attaches to all other histories, we should not be in the least disturbed, since these imperfections do not impugn the integrity of the writers, nor in anywise defeat the purpose for which we believe their writings to have been intended.
The history of the Jews, from their taking possession of the promised land to the reign of David, though it is only, in other respects, such a mere outline of events as might be expected from the rude historians of a rude age, is nevertheless, with regard to the fulfilment of all that was foretold by Moses and by Joshua, so explicit, as to leave no doubt upon the reader's mind. By the prophet Samuel, God renewed the offers of mercy, and reminded his people of the punishments that followed disobedience; but until David was established on the throne,
to which he was appointed while a shepherd-boy, we find no renewal of the promise which referred to the future and universal blessing.
Of this universal blessing, David was inspired to speak in still plainer terms than had been employed by Moses; but we are not to imagine that either David or Moses had any accurate conception concerning the nature of the event which they foretold. The Divine Being in revealing himself to David did not make the same display of his power or his glory as he had done to Moses. This was foOw unnecessary, and God does nothing in vain. David had from his infancy been instructed in the law, Jfe heard from his fathers "what had H been done in their days, and in the "old times before them,'' and from their experience and his own, knew to a certainty that all the promises and
ihreateniugs of God had been fuliilled. The sceptre promised to the tribe of Judah had been put into his hand; and the same God who made the promise to Jacob, and who, to mark its accomplishment, had called him who was of that tribe from the humble privacy of a shepherd's life to be king over Israel, promised that from him the future king should spring, to whom all the kirigs of the. earth were to do homage. It was not necessary that David should know the exact nature of his, own predictions; but it was neces-r sary that he should have such an assurance of their accomplishment as might descend to his posterity. It Was necessary that the people should Jiave proof, amounting to a demonstration, that the prophecies which he delivered concerning the Messiah's reigu camp from God. This assurance ance was given by God in the usual method. The circumstances of Solomon's peaceful and splendid reign were foretold while he was yet a child, and no circumstance foretold concerning it failed to be accomplished.
Again, "God spake by the pro"phets." Some of these prophets were, as we incidentally learn, persons of distinguished birth, high in situation, and of eminent abilities: others were, in the language of the world, of low origin, and consequently held in little estimation by the multitude, for the virtues which distinguished them in the sight of God. They each speak the language of the situation in which they were born. They express themselves in terms more or less refined according to their education; and in the choice of the metaphors and allusions which they