The Knowledge And Faith Of The Old Testament Saints Respecting The Promised Messiah -- By: David Green
BSac 14:53 (Jan 1857) p. 166
The Knowledge And Faith Of The Old Testament Saints
Respecting The Promised Messiah
The subject of inquiry is: What knowledge did the saints of the Old Testament possess concerning the promised Messiah, in his peculiar character as an atoning Saviour? and what faith, if any, did they exercise in him as such?
The question is not, whether the Hebrew nation generally, and especially the more pious and intelligent portion of them, as well as the good men of the preceding generations, both before and after the flood, looked for the advent of some remarkable person, who was, at some future time, in conformity with the Divine promise, to appear on the earth as a great teacher and reformer and comforter, and who would deliver the human family, in some measure, from the curse which sin had brought upon it.
From the time of Abraham, and onward through the whole history of the Hebrew nation, the promises respecting the Messiah, if they were not made, seem to have been received, in a more limited form, as applicable mainly, if not exclusively, to a Messiah who was to be, to the Hebrew race peculiarly, a deliverer from national calamities; and, as a prince and reformer, to confer on them great and permanent blessings, and to distinguish them, above every other people, as the peculiar favorites of God. On this point, no careful reader of the Old Testament can entertain a doubt.
Neither are we now to inquire, what character, human, angelic, super-angelic, or absolutely Divine, the Israelites generally, or any portion of them, supposed the promised Messiah would bear. The discussion of this point is not essential to the present inquiry.
In prosecuting the simple inquiry first proposed, and obtaining a satisfactory answer, it is proposed to go to, and be
BSac 14:53 (Jan 1857) p. 167
guided by, the Bible alone. No clear, no conclusive, no really valuable auxiliary testimony seems to be obtainable from any other source. All preconceived opinions, all conjectures, all probabilities, may as well be kept in abeyance, since they can avail little or nothing for our help, and may embarrass our progress.
Still, although it is not our object to go much into the literature of this subject, even if we had the means, it may be well to give a glance in that direction, that some opinion may be formed as to what would be the result of a more extended investigation.
Hengstenberg, in his “Christology of the Old Testament,” goes into the subject of our present inquiry at considerable length; and one would think from his table of contents and running-titles, that daylight was poured upon the whole matter. But his pages, so...
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