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SECTION I. PASSAGES OF THE PROPHECIES RELATING TO THE
NEW COVENANT. From Jeremiah, Chap. xxxi. Zechariah, xiii. Isaiah, xii. 1. Benold the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a New COVENANT with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah :
Not according to the Covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt (which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unte them, saith the LORD):
But this shall be the COVENANT that I will make with the house of Israel, after those days, saith the LORD: I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts, and will be their God, and they shall be my people :
And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD : for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and will remember their sin no more.
II. In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness.
III. And in that day thou shalt say, I will give thanks unto thee, O JEHOVAH; for though thou hast been angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou hast comforted me.
Behold, Gop is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid : for-my strength and my song is JEHOVAH, and He is become unto me, salvation. VoL, V.
And when yé shall draw waters from the fountains of salvation, in that day ye shall say, Give ye thanks to, JEHOVAH; call upon his name ; make known among the people his mighty deeds: record ye how highly his name is exalted.
Sing ye to JEHOVAH; for he hath wrought a stu. pendous work; this is made manifest in all the earth. Cry aloud, and shout for joy, O inhabitants of Sion; for great in the midst of thee is the Holy One of Israel. The extracts from the Prophecy of Isaiah are according to the
New Translation by Bishop Lowth.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
The first of these predictions, which is taken from the book of Jeremiah, expressly declares, that the LORD would make a New Covenant with the House of Israel, not of a temporal but of a spiritual nature; not written on tables of stone, but imprinted on the hearts of all faithful people ; and that He would grant them remission of sins, and maintain a spiritual intercourse with them.
The second extract is from Zechariah, and, like the last, promises remission of sins.
The third is a hymn of praise, excellently calculated to express the thankfulness of those who should thus obtain salvation by Divine grace.
It is to be remarked, that this stupendous work was to be performed by the same ALMIGHTY Being, who had wrought such wonders in behalf of Israel ; namely, the great JEHOVAH.
It was foreknown to Jehovah that the Jewish Church would be greatly corrupted, destitute of religious cultivation, and in good works unfruitful. He therefore resolved to send a messenger to prepare their hearts for the reception of the Divine doctrine of the Messiah, and made known His intention by the prophets' Isaiah and Malachi.
SECTION II. PASPACES OF THE PROPHECIES RELATING TO THE
FORERUNNER OF THE MESSIAH. From Isaiah, Chap. xl.-Malachi; iii. ir. I. A Voice crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of JehovaH!--Make straight in the desart a highway for
our God! Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be, come straight, and the rough places a smooth plain,
And the glory of Jehovah shall be revealed ; and all fesh shall see together the salvation of our God, for the mouth of Jehovah hath spoken it.
II. Behold, I will send my Messenger : and he shall prepare
before me: and the LORD whom yo seek shall suddenly come to his Temple; even the messenger of the Covenant which ye delight in, saith the Lord of Hosts,
But who may abide the day of his coming and wha shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap.
And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them' as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.
Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in
And I will come near to you to judgment, and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not Me, saith the LORD of Hosts.
For I am the LORD; I change not : therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
III. For behold the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud, yea, all that do wickedly shall be stubble, and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of Husts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.
But unto you that fear my name, shall the sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall
go forth and grow up as calves of the stall. Remember
the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb, for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.
Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the chil. dren, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS. It was the custom of the Eastern monarchs, whenever they entered upon an expedition, or took a journey, especially through desert and uncultivated countries, to send harbingers before them to prepare all things for their passage, and pioneers to level the ways, and remove all impediments. In the first of the extracts in this section, the prophet, in allusion to this custom, intimates, that a harbinger would be sent in like manner,
to remove every obstruction, and make the way, or doctrines, straight and plain for those who should be will. ing to become followers of the LORD JEHOVAH.
The second of these predictions was written by Ma. lachi, who is supposed to have lived about the latter end of the times of Ezra and Nehemiah. He was the last of the prophets under the Mosaic dispensation, and with him was closed the wonderful series of prophecies, which had gradually been vouchsafed to support the faith and religion of the servants of JEHOVAH, and to serve as a testimony to the Messiah, when He should appear upon earth.
The prophet foretold that a harbinger would be sent ; and that the Lord himself would suddenly come to His Temple, in order to refine and purify His people and His priests, but that he would not totally consume them on account of His Covenant with their fathers. From which circumstance (of their being spared) they might know the LORD that should come, to be the same who had originally made this Covenant with the house of Israel.
In the third extract, which is from another chapter in Malachi, the prophet foretold that there would be a great and terrible day of the Lord, in which all the wicked should be consumed; but at the same time he intimated that universal conversion of heart at the preaching of Elijah the prophet, would prevent the curse from coming to smite the earth, and that the faithful servants of Jehovah should be effectually prea served, even if it did come.
With a solemnity becoming the last of the prophets, Malachi closed the holy canon by enjoining the strict observance of the law of Moses, till the forerunner al. ready promised should appear in the spirit and power of B 3