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shall come he that shall have dominion, and shall destroy him that remaineth of the city."
These and many other declarations respecting the power and glory of this Great Deliverer, and the blessings he would bring, are recorded in the prophetic page.
And as the time predicted for his appearance drew nigh, mankind generally were in a state of expectation; and wearied in the greatness of their way, they sighed to be delivered. The world had wandered far from God. Proofs of his goodness and wisdom they saw in sun and stars—in showers and sunshine-in heaven and earth : and yet they worshipped idols. The world by wisdom knew not God. Philosophy tried her best and failed, and was found bending before a block. Men were universally groping in the dark. Some of the wisest and best of the ancient sagesSocrates and Plato, honestly confessed their ignorance, and described in the most precise terins the kind of Teacher the world needed, and the treatment he would receive. I quote from “Blackwall's Sacred Classics.”
“ In a conversation between SOCRATES and ALCIBIADES on prayer, Socrates said, 'In the proper time, a Divine Person would come into the world, who out of his care and tender regard to mankind, would remove all doubts, disperse all darkness, and fully instruct them how to present all their prayers, and praises, and religious offerings, to the Supreme Being, in a pure and acceptable manner.'”
Plato, when he is describing the person whom Socrates had predicted, says, Such a benefactor to mankind will scarcely be endured by them; but probably he will be scourged, racked, tormented, have his eyes put out, and at last, having suffered all manner of evils and indignities, will be cut in pieces as the victims were, impaled or crucified.'"
This, then, was the condition of the world previously to the advent of Messiah. let me ask you to review these vast and extended preparations, and see whether they do not display the manifold wisdom of God. And let us bear in inind that during all the hundreds of years that had elapsed since God made his covenant with Abraham, though often moved to break it by the base ingratitude of his children, yet had he not cast them away; and though their enemies around them were numerous and powerful, yet had he watched over and preserved them. Of his vine
yard, he said, “ Destroy it not; for a blesing is in it.” The Deliverer was coming, and he must keep them together in spite both of themselves and their enemies until he came. And his last words by the mouth of the prophet were, “ Unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in his wings." In other words—the darkness is fast passing away, the true light shall soon arise the day is drawing near when my first promise shall be completely fulfilled, and man shall be fully restored in the image of him that created him, and once more put on the Beautiful Garment of “ righteousness and true holiness."
“Oh! Thou didst die for me, thou Son of God!
By Thee the throbbing flesh of man was worn;
Thou, that wert wont to stand
Alone, on God's right hand,
THE CHARACTER OF HIM WHO CAME TO RESTORE THE
BEAUTIFUL GARMENT, AND WHAT HE DID TO WORK IT AND MAKE IT READY FOR USE.
AND, one thing strikes us at the onset-He must be a wonderful person who could do such a thing as this.
For the wisest and best of men could not, and the highest and holiest of Angels could not.
Who is He then that can do this great thing-lift up fallen man, and array him in
“ Robe of Righteousness” fit for the palace of the King of Heaven.
As I have already stated, for many long ages the people of the world, and more particularly the family of Abraham, had been taught by God himself to expect some wonderful Person to appear as the deliverer and saviour of inankind. Some
of these revelations from heaven I have already noticed. Let us glance at a few which had reference to the character of the great Expected,
“ Thou art fairer than the children of men : grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever. Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty. And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things. Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever : the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre. Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations: therefore shall the people praise thee for ever and ever.”
“He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor. They shall fear thee as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations. He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass; as showers that water the earth. In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the