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be fulfilled ?" and to the crowd (ver. 56) "all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled ?" He that is of the truth will listen in this matter to the voice of him who has said, "I am the truth." If Schleiermacher's views were correct, how could it be recorded of the people at Berea as a thing deserving praise, that they carefully compared the gospel statements with the Scriptures of the Old Testament, "searching the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so." Philip would rather be deserving of blame, for founding his address to the treasurer of Queen Candace upon Is. liii. If it was a matter of importance to that age, that the perfect agreement between prophecy and fulfilment should be clearly demonstrated, it is of no less importance now. This is obvious from the fact, that the apostles themselves do not attach importance to it, solely when they have to do with Jews, but also when writing and preaching to the Gentiles. In the present day, not merely the great mass of the Jews, but also a great portion of those who are living in outward fellowship with the Christian Church, are in just the same condition as the Jews of the time of Christ. They have no true knowledge of Christ, but have yet to learn to know him. It is true that this knowledge can no more be obtained by them from the Messianic prophecies alone, than by the Jews of that day. On the contrary, external evidence of the truth of Christianity, whatever its objective validity may be, can never accomplish anything, without the existence of the only state of mind, that can create a susceptibility for the impression, which evidence of this description is fitted to produce. But where this state of mind does exist, a perception of the harmony between prophecy and fulfilment may produce the most beneficial results. There is the less room to deny this, on account of the clear testimony of history itself. Conscientious converts from Judaism are hardly ever to be met with, whose convictions are not to a great extent attributable to this. And even in the case of many who had fallen victims to rationalistic unbelief, such prophecies

1 Thus, for example, the unbelief of Augusti gave way when he was engaged in writing a work upon Isaiah, and came to the fifty-third chapter. See the account of the life and conversion of F. A. Augusti, formerly a Jewish Rabbi, but afterwards for fifty-three years a teacher of Christianity, Gotha 1783. Other examples are to be met with in Hausmeister's Bekehrungsgeschichten Jüdischer Proselyten.

as Is. liii. have frequently afforded important aid in leading them back to the way of salvation. But the importance of the Messianic prophecies is not restricted to the first stages of Christian experience; it continues even in the case of such as are further advanced. For on the one hand there are none whose faith is so strong that they can afford to despise one of the means of fortifying it, which have been provided by God himself; and the more firmly a Christian holds by the historical Christ, and breaks away from the nebulous image of an ideal Saviour, who, if he want no credentials, can afford neither strength nor consolation, the greater is the improbability of his ever doing this. On the other hand, advanced Christians feel more and more the need of comprehending the divine institutions of salvation as a connected whole, and tracing the whole plan devised by the wisdom of God. This is a delightful study, full of incitement to seek the knowledge and love of God. In this nothing can be regarded as trivial, since even the smallest line acquires importance from its connexion with the whole. There is nothing isolated; action and reaction are visible everywhere, and whilst light is thrown by the fulfilment upon the preparatory stages, the latter throw light upon the fulfilment in return.1

Another objection adduced by Schleiermacher against the Messianic prophecies is this, that we cannot desire to base our firm faith in Christianity upon our much weaker faith in Judaism. But Steudel has justly replied to this, that we do not attribute the force of proof to the prophecies themselves, but to the harmony between the prophecies and their fulfilment. And Sack (Apologet. p. 258) has pointed out the unscriptural character of the contrast, which is thus drawn between Judaism and Christianity, by showing that prophecy forms no part of Judaism as dissociated with Christianity, but according to the New Testament view the prophets are organs of the Holy Ghost, of the Spirit of Christ, who thus manifested himself to the Church of God through their instrumentality, before his actual appearance in the flesh, 1 Pet. i. 11.

1 "Est etiam pars verbi divini prophetica suavissimum studii perpetui exercitium, ubi incrementum successive capimus, quod fastidium detergit, sed finem nunquam reperimus, gaudemus tamen alimento spirituali, fidem, spem et caritatem roborante et excitante."

The really classical passage of the New Testament, by which this thoroughly abnormal and unchristian theory of Schleiermacher is completely refuted, is contained in 2 Pet. i. 19—21, a passage the depth of which is a sufficient proof of its apostolical origin. "We have," says the apostle, "a more sure word of prophecy, whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation, for the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." The Messianic prophecies (that the "word of prophecy" relates especially to these is evident from the connexion with what precedes) are of even greater importance to Christians than to Jews. The word of prophecy is to them a surer word, since they can compare the predictions with the fulfilment. The apostle's preaching of Christ did not rest upon arbitrary speculations, but according to ver. 16, upon the fact that the apostles were "eye-witnesses of his majesty." From these historical facts, the word of prophecy acquired still greater firmness and importance.—For this reason it is doubly advantageous to Christians to pay attention to those things, from which Schleiermacher attempted with all his might to draw away the Church of Christ. The apostle does not say "ye did well," but "ye do well." It is not Jews but Christians whom he praises, for giving heed to the word of prophecy, and that not merely as the foundation of faith, but also as the means of strengthening their belief. It could only lead to confusion' to connect εὥς οὗ, &c, with προσέχοντες, instead of paivovTI (compare Matt. xi. 13). In this case the present would be unsuitable. The apostle is writing to those who already are, not to those who are to become Christians, "to them that have obtained like precious faith with us" (ver. 1). Hence he does not say how long they are to be attentive, but how long the light has shined. The period, when the light first shone in the dark place (a light which could only be kindled by the inspiration of God), was the coming of Christ in the flesh, when the day-star immediately rose in the hearts. It

1 See on the other hand Knapp, opusc. p. 16.

is to those, on whom the day has dawned, that the light shining in a dark place first gives a really brilliant light. (Bengel: "By the greater light the lesser is both acknowledged to be less, and is strengthened"). The importance of Messianic prophecy depends upon the relation between the preparatory, or preliminary stages, and the thing itself, and this relation cannot be properly discerned till the fulfilment has taken place."Knowing this first" ("first of all," 1 Tim. ii. 1): he who is ignorant of this, is blind as to the whole affair, a blindness which is far more culpable since the day has dawned. What the apostle here represents as the first step, namely, the inspiration of God, without which it would be impossible to speak of a light shining in a dark place, is the very thing which Schleiermacher denies. For prophecy he substitutes a merely subjective presentiment; and in his estimation the "prophecy of the Scripture " is throughout ἰδίας ἐπιλύσεως. It is evident from the passages in Philo, which may be found quoted in Wetstein and Knapp (e.g., προφήτης ἴδιον οὐδὲν αποφθέγγεται, ἀλλότρια δέ πάντα ÚπηXоÛνтоS ÉTÉрpov), and also from the entire context, that it is not to the interpretation of the prophets by others that the apostle here refers. The explanation is given afterwards: in prophecy throughout we have not a mere production of "Judaism," or certain disclosures made by the prophets on their own authority. The prophecies of the Bible do not belong to the sphere of personal conjecture, like those of heathenism; and the prophets of the Scriptures are not, like the false prophets referred to in Jeremiah, to whom Schleiermacher's theology would compare them, "prophets of their own heart."

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In heathen antiquity we find indications of a hope of the arrival of a period of restoration, and sometimes even of the coming of a personal redeemer. To these anticipations a certain independence has frequently been attributed. They have been placed on a level with those of the Bible, and traced to some primitive revelation. But a critical examination of the whole of the material in our possession' leads to the conclusion, that all such expectations, so far as they have a definite character at all, and have any essential connexion with those of the Bible,) are merely the echo of the latter; just as in the case of the creation, the fall, the flood, and the tower of Babel, the result obtained from a truly critical investigation is, that the heathen analogies are not in any instance traceable to a primeval revelation, but, on the contrary, are invariably dependent upon the biblical accounts to which they present an analogy.

From the energy which characterised the belief in a coming Messiah among the Jews, we should naturally expect at the very outset, that it would exert an influence in various ways upon the heathen world around; especially as the religious consciousness of the heathen was always distinguished by uncertainty, and resembled a soft clay, upon which impressions could easily be made by the stronger and more definite convictions of the people of revelation. An Old Testament proof of this dependence on the part of the heathen we find in the case of Balaam ; a New Testament example in that of the wise men from the East. That the Messianic anticipations of the latter had no independent root is perfectly obvious. It is apparent from the

1 See the collection in Stolberg's Religions-geschichte i., Beilage iv.; Rosenmüller altes und neues Morgenland i., p. 13 sqq. ; and Tholuck von der Sünde und vom Versöhner.

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