Jesus Christ foretold as to the time and the state of the world. The ruler taken from the thigh, and the fourth monarchy. How lucky we are to see this light amidst this darkness!
How fine it is to see, with the eyes of faith, Darius and Cyrus, Alexander, the Romans, Pompey and Herod working, without knowing it, for the glory of the Gospel!
Zeal of the Jewish people for the law, especially after there were no more prophets.
While the prophets were for maintaining the law, the people were indifferent. But since there have been no more prophets, zeal has succeeded them.
The devil troubled the zeal of the Jews before Jesus Christ, because he would have been their salvation, but not since.
The Jewish people scorned by the Gentiles; the Christian people persecuted.
Proof.—Prophecies with their fulfilment; what has preceded and what has followed Jesus Christ.
The prophecies are the strongest proof of Jesus Christ. It is for them also that God has made most provision; for the event which has fulfilled them is a miracle existing since the birth of the Church to the end. So God has raised up prophets during sixteen hundred years, and, during four hundred years afterwards, He has scattered all these prophecies among all the Jews, who carried them into all parts of the world. Such was the preparation for the birth of Jesus Christ, and, as His Gospel was to be believed by all the world, it was not only necessary that there should be prophecies to make it believed, but that these prophecies should exist throughout the whole world, in order to make it embraced by the whole world.
But it was not enough that the prophecies should exist. It was necessary that they should be distributed throughout all places, and preserved throughout all times. And in order that this agreement might not be taken for an effect of chance, it was necessary that this should be foretold.
It is far more glorious for the Messiah that the Jews should be the spectators, and even the instruments of His glory, besides that God had reserved them.
Prophecies.—The time foretold by the state of the Jewish people, by the state of the heathen, by the state of the temple, by the number of years.
One must be bold to predict the same thing in so many ways. It was necessary that the four idolatrous or pagan monarchies, the end of the kingdom of Judah, and the seventy weeks, should happen at the same time, and all this before the second temple was destroyed.
Prophecies.—If one man alone had made a book of predictions about Jesus Christ, as to the time and the manner, and Jesus Christ had come in conformity to these prophecies, this fact would have infinite weight.
But there is much more here. Here is a succession of men during four thousand years, who, consequently and without variation, come, one after another, to foretell this same event. Here is a whole people who announce it, and who have existed for four thousand years, in order to give corporate testimony of the assurances which they have, and from which they cannot be diverted by whatever threats and persecutions people may make against them. This is far more important.