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claimant of Messiahship, the effects of whose pretensions have been permanent, and are still visible to the eyes of the whole human race, is he who had neither arms, nor wealth, nor power—and who alone of all endeavoured to realize the expectations of the ancient prophets by teaching a religion separate from national form, and suitable for all people. It is for the sceptic to explain why those who apparently possessed the means of ensuring success, have totally failed, whilst he who wanted all means succeeded; why those who departed from the lines traced out by the prophets have come to nought, whilst he who followed them has produced effects co-extensive with the wanderings of mankind, and as permanent as his existence. Will any man, possessed of the use of reason, ascribe effects so vast, so mighty, and so enduring, to the agency of fraud ? Such a supposition cannot be entertained, and therefore some other solution must be sought. There is but one other, except the true one, possible, and that one which is of no real service to the sceptic. He may assert in man a power of presentiment, and maintain that there is so intimate a relation, so perfect an analogy between the moral and intellectual development of the individual and the species, that he who is observant of the one, must have an anticipation, a foretaste, an ideal vision of the doctrines of the other; and that out of this relation have arisen both the idea of prophecy, and the apparent similitude of its fulfilment. But, supposing that we grant this, it would only serve to prove the Divine origin of Christianity. The relation of the individual to the species, and the laws of the development of either, must plainly be ascribed to the will and the plastic power of the Almighty. The individual and the race both owe their powers, moral, intellectual, and physical, to the constitution and organization vouchsafed at creation. If, therefore, this organization has led some individuals to predict, and the whole race to fulfil, the doctrines traced out in the Hebrew Scriptures--one people to reject, and other nations to receive, Jesus of Nazareth, such effects, as proceeding from God's work of creation, must be ascribed to the deliberate exertion of his wisdom and his will, and as no one has yet ventured to maintain that God wills that his creatures should be in error, the Christian religion must be received as the Divine truth.
This hypothesis, therefore, if true, would not disturb the Christian faith, but it is far from satisfactory. If entirely and absolutely correct, how is it that this power of presentiment was successfully developed in none but members of the Jewish nation; and how is it that it is dormant in this age
of science and intellectual restlessness? How is it that it was possessed by those who were comparatively barbarous, and in a great measure ignorant, whilst those who have penetrated the secrets of nature, and unfolded the laws of her operations, are destitute thereof? This solution, therefore, is as groundless as those previously noticed. Neither chance, nor sagacity, nor fraud, nor human organization, are sufficient to account for the phenomena. There is but one other solution possible, and that is, that these prophecies and their accomplishment are both to be ascribed to God, as their author, and that, therefore, the prophecies are real, and Jesus of Nazareth is the true Messiah, the Saviour of the world. No ingenuity of doubt, no discoveries of science or research can disturb our premises. It is an indubitable fact, that the predictions existed for ages before the Christian era, and equally certain that the religious state of Jew and Gentile answer to their announcements. Every one, therefore, who has eyes to read the one and behold the other, will find sufficient warrant for his faith in Christianity. Without even referring to the New Testament, without asking any admission which infidels are not willing to concede, reason compels us to receive the truth of revealed religion—to acknowledge that the prescience which dictated, and the providence which has fulfilled the prophecies are Divine, or to renounce' altogether the idea of an intelligent Creator of the world
- to be either Christians or Atheists. Let us, then, in commemorating the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles, remember how. the evi
dence of our senses confirms our faith, and let us thank the God of all grace for his goodness, in not only calling us to a profession of the faith, but in having predicted the circumstances of the call, to the assurance of our faith and our great and endless comfort.
REVELATION XVII. 5.
“ And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery,
Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots, and abominations of the earth.”
In proving the Divine origin of Scripture, and the Messiahship of the Lord Jesus Christ, we have hitherto confined ourselves to the prophecies contained in the Old Testament. It may be well, however, before we leave that class of predictions of which we now behold the fulfilment, to show that the same line of argument can be maintained from the writings of the New Testament. Το point out and consider all the predictions of this class would far exceed the space allotted to this whole course. We are compelled, therefore, to make a selection, and in our choice are naturally guided by the expressed will of the founder of the lecture. He particularly mentions the prophecies relating to the Church of Rome, and to one of these I this day request your attention. I shall show,
I. That the prophecy of which the text forms