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The Lord," fays he,
alted. my Lord, fit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool '." On this paffage it is juftly remarked by St. Chryfoftom", m that as the words come not from the mouth of an ordinary prophet, but from one who was alfo a king, they can, by fair interpretation, be understood of GoD alone, who is King of kings. And accordingly, when this text was urged against the Pharifees, by him of whom we believe it to have been meant, they could make no reply to it; for they did not fee, or would not admit, the only true expofition, which can ever be given of it, that he who, by human defcent, was the fon of David, was at the fame time, as to his divine nature, his Lord and his GOD".
With regard to the period, in which this illustrious perfon was to appear, it is evident from the general expectation of the Jews, juft before and at the time, when the bleffed Jefus converfed among them; that they then understood those to be the very days, which
1 Pf. cx. I.
m Serm. 4. contr. Judæos, T. vi. p. 351. l. 13. See alfo Pearfon on the Creed, Art. vi.
n See Matt. xxii. 41, &c.
the ancient prophecies, thofe of Daniel in particular, had marked out for the birth of But be this as it But be this as it may, for it is
not to my prefent purpose to dwell longer upon the point; it is clear as the light from the prophecy of Haggai, that the Meffiah was to come before the deftruction of the fecond temple. "The glory of this latter house fhall be greater than of the former, faith the LORD of hosts and in this place will I give peace, faith the LORD of hosts"."
This remarkable prophecy is never alledged by any of the writers of the New Testament; and the reason feems obvious. While the temple was ftanding, no certain proof could be drawn from hence, that the Defire of all nations was really come. But had any of the infpired penmen lived to behold the deftruction of Jerufalem, and addreffed an épistle to the miferable remains of their unbelieving brethren; or had St. John, for inftance, who did furvive that fatal overthrow, had occafion to difcourfe with fome one, who had escaped the general devastation, and still
• Hag. ii. 9.
P Part of it (v. 6.) is cited Heb. xii. 26, but with a different view, not to fhew the time of the Meffiah's appearance, but the change of the covenant, which was then to take place.
continued obftinate in unbelief, he would, we may prefume, have particularly infifted on the paffage before us.
"You have seen the wrath of GOD poured out upon your country, while you have been delivered by the mercy of heaven: let this awaken you to ferious reflection. Your city is laid waste, and your temple in alhes. This prophecy therefore, which the Lord fpake by the mouth of Haggai, when the temple was in building, must needs have been fulfilled: "Yet once, it is a little while, and I will fhake the heavens and the earth, and the fea and the dry land: And I will shake all nations, and the Defire of all nations fhall come, and I will fill this house with glory, faith the LORD of hofts. The glory of this latter house shall be greater, than of the former." In what respect did the fecond temple, the place whereof now knoweth it no more, ever equal, much less surpass, the glory of the house built by Solomon; unless it was by the appearance therein of the promised Meffiah, even this Jefus, whom we preach unto you, and whofe glory we beheld, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father?"
↑ John i. 14.
Had the Jew made anfwer, like fome of his brethren in later ages, that thefe predictions were accomplished, in the longer duration of Zerubbabel's temple, in the splendor of the walls as rebuilt by Herod, or the magnificence of the gifts, with which it was adorned by foreign princes; the beloved Apostle, grieved as he must have been with fuch poor evafions, would yet have expoftulated in the spirit of meekness.
"Can you then fuppofe an holy prophet to have been folemnly commiffioned, by the Lord of hofts, to encourage, with fuch Dender promifes, thofe who wept at the inferiority of the house, which they were building? Could any of these honours, if fuch you efteem them; or could all of them together, raife the latter temple to an equal dignity with the former; in comparison of which, in the eyes of them who had feen both, it was as nothing? If it stood ten years longer', if it was embellished by Herod, an Idumean king, and enriched with offerings from heathen nations; it was profaned by Antiochus and Pompey; no fire
'This is the Jews' account. According to Ufher the first temple ftood 417 years, the fecond 584.
from heaven confumed the facrifices; the Urim and Thummim were wanting; the vifible Majesty of GOD was not there; and the spirit of prophecy ceafed under it. The promise relates not to a remote period, but to a time near at hand; "it is a little while," fays the prophet. It does not respect the materials of the structure, or the beauty of its decorations; but the divine prefence: "I will fill this house with glory;" as the glory of the Lord, in the time of Mofes, filled the tabernacle, and afterwards the temple erected by Solomon'. But the latter house, before its diffolution, was made ftill more honourable; for therein the Redeemer of Ifrael was manifefted, even the Son of GOD, who was there prefented, and there taught. Be not therefore faithless but believing."
We may conclude then, on the authority of this prophecy, that the Meffiah must infallibly have appeared in the second temple; and consequently that he was no other person than the bleffed Jefus; who was born, as Jacob had foretold of Shiloh ", before the
s See Exod. xl. "Gen. xlix. 10.
34. 1 Kings viii. 10.
* John xx. 27.