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time limited. For, setting aside this only consideration of the pardoning of sin, procured by the mediation of the Messiah; and there was never any age wherein God did more severely bring forth sin to judgment, as themselves at large experience.
89. Thirdly, this season is designed (790 9099) “0 “make reconciliation for iniquity;" to make atonement. See Heb. ii, 17.
When the word is applied to God, as the agent, it is to hide, to cover, to pardon sin, to be gracious to sinners; and when so applied to men, in the use of any of his institutions, it is to propitiate, appease, atone, make atonement. This latter was the work for which he was promised to our first parents. That he was to do it, we are taught in the Old Testament; and how he did it, we learn in the gospel. To expect this work from any other, or to be wrought by any other
ways or means, is fully to renounce the first promise, and the faith of the holy fathers from the foundation of the world.
$10. What is mentioned in the fourth place answers the former (Diply p73 89375) “to bring in everlasting árighteousness.” There was a legal righteousness, amongst the people before, consisting partly in their blameless observance of the institutions, and partly in their ritual atonements for sin, made annually and occasionally. But that neither of these could constitute their righteousness everlasting, needs not a formal proof. Wherefore, an evangelical righteousness, which is absolute, perfect, and enduring for ever, is promised to be brought in by the Messiah; the righteousness which he wrought in his life and death, doing and suffering the whole will of God, and which procureth, as well as terminates in, not a temporal deliverance, but the “everlasting salvation” mentioned in Isa. xlv, 17
To declare the nature, and the way of bringing in this righteousness, is the great design of the gospel, Rom. i, 16, 17. And I desire to know of the Jews, how it was brought in within the time limited? According to their principles, the time here determined was so far from bringing in everlasting righteousness, that by their own confession, it brought in nothing but a deluge of wickedness, by the abounding sins of their own nation, and the oppression of the Gentiles. This, therefore, is the proper work of the Messiah, foretold by the
prophets, and expected by all the fathers; and he alone, whoever he be, that brings in this everlasting righteousness, is the promised seed, the true and only Messiah.
şi1. The fifth particular here foretold, (youn anns 89591) "to seal vision and prophet;” prophet for prophecy. The expression being metaphorical, is capable of a tripple interpretation, and every one of them proper to the Messiah, his work, and the times wherein he came; but applicable to no other.
1. To seal, is to consummate, to establish, and confirm, Isa. viii, 16; John iii, 33; Rom. iv. 11. In this sense, vision and prophecy were sealed in the Messiah; each one of them had a respect to the coming of the Just One, the promised seed. God had spoken of him by the mouths of his holy prophets, from the foundation of the world. In the bringing of him forth, he sealed the truth of their predictions, by their actual accomplishment. The law and the prophets were until John, and then they were to be fulfilled. This was the season wherein all vision and prophecy centered; and this the person, who was the principal subject and end of them; he, therefore, and his coming, is here foretold.
2. To seal, is to finish, conclude, and put an end to any thing, Isa. xxix, 11. Thus also were vision and prophecy then sealed among the Jews. They were shut up and finished. The privilege and use of them were no more to be continued in their church. And this also fell out accordingly; for by their own confession, from that day to this, they have not enjoyed either vision or prophet.
3. By sealing the confirmation of the doctrine concerning the Messiah, his person, and office, by vision and prophecy, may be intended. The visions and prophecies that went before, by reason of their darkness and obscurity, left the people, in sundry particulars, at great uncertainty; but now all things were cleared and confirmed. The spirit of prophecy accompanying the Messiah, and by him given to his disciples, as foretold by Joel, chap. ii, 28, 29; was, in his Revelations, express and clear, confirming all things belonging to his person and doctrine. Neither had these words any other accomplishment than what we contend for.
$12. Sixthly, it is affirmed, that (19090759) “Mes“siah shall be cut off.” Not (occidetur) shall be sluin (as the Vulg. Latin renders the word) but (excidetur) shall be cut off; that is, penally, as one punished for sin. For the word () when it includes death, constantly denotes a pænal execision, or cutting off for sin: See Gen. xvii, 14; Exod. xii, 15; Numb. xv, 30, &c. This the Jews themselves acknowledge to be the meaning of the word.* It is then foretold, that the Messiah shall be cut off pænally for sin, which he truly was, when he was made a curse for sin, all our iniquities meeting upon him.
*Vid. R. Saadias Gaon, in Hemunoth, cap. viii.
And this also is intimated in the ensuing particles (95 p089) “and not to (or for) him.” For an objection is prevented, that might arise about the poenal excision of the Messiah; for how could it be, seeing he was very just and righteous? To this it is answered, by way of concession, that it was not on his own account, not for himself, but for us; as it is at large declared, Isa. liii. Or, “not to him," may be a farther declaration of his state and condition; that, notwithstanding these carnal apprehensions, which the Jews would have of his outward splendor and riches, he should have nothing in this world, not “where to lay his head," nor any to stand up for him. And this is that part of the prophecy, for the sake of which, the Jews so pertinaciously contend, that the true Messiah is not intended in it; for, say they, he shall not be poenally cut off. But who told them so? Shall we believe the angel, or them? Will they not suffer God to send his Messiah in his own way, but they must interfere and tell him that it must not be so? To cast away all prophecies, because they suit not men’s carnal hearts, what is it else, but to reject all authority of God and his word? That is what hath proved their ruin; they will not receive a Messiah that shall suffer, and be cut off for sin, though God foretold them expressly, that it must be so.
$13. It is added, seventhly, concerning the person whose coming is foretold, that (09375 099 79337) “he “shall confirm (or strengthen) the covenant with (or to) many.” The covenant spoken of, absolutely, can be none but that everlasting covenant which God made with his elect, in the promised seed; and the great promise of which was the foundation of the covenant with Abraham. And hence, God says, that he will "give him for a covenant to the people,” Isa.
xlii, 6; and xlix, 8. And the salvation which they looked for, through him God promiseth, “through the “blood of the covenant,” Zech. ix, 11. This covenant was strengthened to many in the sweek” wherein he suffered, even all that believed in him, and was ratified in his blood, Heb. ix, 15. And after he had declared it in his own ministry, he caused it to be proclaimed by his gospel. At the time here determined, the special covenant with Israel and Judah was broken, Zech. ix, 10; and they were thereon cut off from being a church or people. Nor was there, at that season, as all know, any other ratification of the covenant, but only what was made in the death of the Messiah.
$14. Then also, eighthly, did he “cause to cease the “sacrifice and gift," or offering. First, he caused it to cease, as to force and efficacy, or any use in the worship of God, by his own accomplishment of all that was prefigured and intended by it. Hereby it became as a dead thing, unprofitable, and made ready to disappear,
Heb. viii, 13. And then, shortly after, he caused it utterly to be taken away, by a perpetual desolation brought upon the place where alone sacrifices and offerings were acceptable to God, according to the law of Moses. And this various work of his is our third evidence, that this prophecy belongs to the Messiah. Moreover,
$15. 4. Besides the confession of the ancient Jeres consenting to the truth contended for, we have, for our confirmation therein, the woful perplexities of their latter masters, in their attempts to invade the force of this testimony. For some ages they have abhorred nothing more, than that the true Messiah should be thought to be here intended. For if that be once granted, they know that it brings an instant ruin upon the pretences of their infidelity; and that not merely