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was only about sixty years before Christ that the brothers Hyrcanus and Aristobulus made war upon each other for the priesthood, to which was attached the royal dignity. This was the fatal moment when commenced the downfall of the Jewish nation. From that resulted the interference of Pompey in the affairs of Syria ; and Judea fell under the control of the Romans. Through their influence the sovereignty of the land passed out of the hands of the native princes, and fell into those of Herod, a stranger and an Idumean. Under his powerful and cruel dominion every thing was changed. The temple indeed was rebuilt, with considerable splendor ; but the principles and usages of Judaism were fatally marred. Restive and unhappy, hating the usurper, and longing for freedom, the nation was compelled to be the slave of Herod, while Herod himself was the slave of Rome.
It was then that the great body of the people, especially the Pharisees, longed, with deeper intensity than ever, for the coming of the Messiah; but it was a Messiah fierce and conquering, who might destroy their enemies, and crown them with earthly glory. Whence we conclude that it was only by a true incarnation, a divine and supernatural process, that Jehovah, through such a people, could bring salvation to the world. The morning must come from the bosom of night;
life itself must spring from the silence of the grave. In a word, God, as of old, must say, Let there be light! and the morning stars shall sing together, and all the sons of God shout for joy."
Those who desire further information on the topics embraced in the two preceding lectures are referred to Dean Prideaux, Connection of the Old and New Testament, though this work is liable to some slight critical abatements; Dr. W. Alexander's (Edinburgh, Scotland) Congregational Lectures on the same subject; Faber, G. S., Treatise on the Genius and Object of the Pat., the Levit., and the Christian Dispensations; J. P. Smith's Scripture Testimony to the Messiah ; Hengstenberg's Christologie ; Jahn's Hebrew Commonwealth; Jahn’s Bib. Archæology; Knobel, Aug., Prophetismus der Hebraer. Vollständig Dargestellt ; Bahr, K. Ch. W.F., Symbolik des Mosaischen Cultus ; Barnes's Commentary on the Book of Job; Pareau on the Doctrine of the Immortality of the Soul, as taught in the Book of Job.
THE FULNESS OF TIME.
History is like a river, or like a number of confluent streams, proceeding from some high table land, orlofty mountain range, rushing through the plains beneath, now diverging, then again approaching, finally flowing together in some common channel, and by a single mouth or mouths falling into the sea. One great principle or law predominates over the whole. All tend one way, all find themselves together in the
Thus, from some common origin in the depths of Asia, we find mankind diverging into various communities and peoples, long separated from each other, then mingled together, by means of war, commerce, literature, religion, and other causes, evermore tending in one direction, and passing on to some common destiny. The hand of God presides over the rushing millions, evolving grand and benignant purposes, preparing the world for new eras and revolutions, and above all for the peaceful and eternal reign of the Messiah. Thus history has two aspects, the one superficial and gloomy, like a sea vexed with storms, the other clear and calm, like the same sea in its profounder depths. It has two movements, the one temporary and tumultuous, setting in towards time, the other permanent and majestic, setting in towards eternity.
Hence we find the ancient nations brought together, revolutionized, thrown into new shapes and positions, or utterly extinguished in the process of human civilization. But amid all changes, there is an onward movement. Truth is preserved among men, and in the lapse of ages, discovered in greater beauty, comprehensiveness, and power. Religion, like a deeper life, having its sources in the infinite, advances to its goal, now apparently lost amid the heaving surges of human passion, then again reappearing with greater force, and evidently moving, with the progress of events, to some august consummation. So also the chosen people, with whom it is mainly deposited, are preserved and pushed forward, in connection with the truth, to the same final issue. Dynasties rise and fall with reference to this alone. It weaves itself, like a supernatural agency, which it really is, in all their affairs, and when these have served its purposes, it leaves them for a new, and perhaps wider career with others. Thus God used the old Assyrians to punish his people, and convey his truth into the remoter Oriental world ; so that even in the courts of Nineveh and Babylon he had witnesses for the truth; he used the Persians to provide them a congenial home, to restore them to their native land, to rebuild the temple and reëstablish their ancient worship; he compelled Alexander of Macedon and his early successors, both in Syria and Egypt, to protect them; he permitted Antiochus Epiphanes, by bloody persecution, to try their faith and test their devotion ; but he put "a hook in his nose,” and said, “ Thus far shalt thou come, and no farther;" finally, he brought the Romans to enslave them, yet, by this very means, to maintain, within certain limits, their national integrity, and above all to save them from the vengeance of the kings of Syria, who longed for their destruction. By these and similar means he not only preserved them in the land of Palestine, with their inspired books, sacred places, and Messianic hopes, but he scattered them also through the civilized world, in Rome, Greece, Egypt, Arabia, Syria, Babylon, and even India, into which places they carried their peculiar principles and expectations ; so that great numbers of the heathen became their proselytes, and cherished, in form more or less perfect, their peculiar hopes.