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We shall find that Peter in his sermon on record in the acts of the apostles, chapter 3, verse 24, saith, “ Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days." It will be necessary for us here to notice two things, first, Peter spoke freely of the days of refreshing which were to take place under the reign of the Messiah. And in the second place, the day of vengeance which should follow these days of refreshing; namely, “it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.” We find in the first book of Samuel, that the children of Israel came to Samuel and besought him that they might have a king over them, and the thing displeased the Lord, and the Lord said to Samuel, “ they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.”Again, Samuel saith to the people of Israel, “ the Lord your God was your king.” “And the Lord sent thunder and rain," in the day of wheat harvest, in token of his displeasure at the conduct of the Israelites, for their rejecting him as their king, and asking a king, to be like all other nations around and about them. These passages,and such as are connected with this subject, it is evident, were referred to by Peter. And that the Messiah is spoken of as a king, is evident by almost all the other prophets. It, however, may be said that the other prophets speak of the Messiah's kingdom, as a kingdom which was to come. By consulting the writings of David, it is thought we may have the clearest evidence, that the royal psalmist, had a clear faith in the Messiah then existing, and that he sustained the
office of a king-he saith, “I saw the Lord on my right hand that I should not be moved." Again be saith, “the Lord said unto my Lord, sit thod at my right band, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” And our Lord has reference to these passages, when he proposes these important questions to the Jews, viz : “What think ye of Christ? Whose son is he?” The Jews in answer,“ say unto him, The son of David.” Our Lord “saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The Lord said unto my Lord, sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies my footstool? If David then call him Lord, how is he his son ?And no man was able to answer him a word." Were we to pursue the same point through the writings of David and the prophets, it is thought hundreds of passages might be brought to prove the facts already stated, as to the pre-existing dignity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and his proper sonship, and that he was esteemed the king of the Jews,
of the Testimony of Christ. Having followed Stephen to the old testament, and gained some light and information, on the character of our Lord in his pre-existent state, we will now turn our attention to the witness our Lord bears of himself.
Our Lord, having wrought many miracles which excited the attention and admiration of the multitude, said to his disciples, “Whom do men say that I, the son of man, am?" and o whom say ye that I am ? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona : for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is heaven, And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this Rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
This text deserves our attention. Peter bears testimony that Jesus is the Christ, the son of the living God.” And our Lord sanctions this witness by saying, “ Blessed art thou, Simon BarJona; for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my father which is in heaven.”— We are, therefore, not only to consider the testimony of Peter, but the unerring testimony of his heavenly Father, and himself, that this is his
true character, namely, that he is the Christ, the son of the living God.” We are authorised to remark, that this is not only a true testimony, or witness, but that it is evidence of the first importance in the christian religion : for saith our Lord, “upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."
The Řomish church, however, have claimed this assertion of our Lord to Peter, as the foundation and principal support of one of their first principles of church government, and supremacy; namely, That our Lord promised to build his church upon that Rock, meaning Peter as the rock: and consequently gave him, and his successors, “the keys of the kingdom of hea
Protestant divines have generally supposed that the Lord had reference to himself; taking a view of the whole subject, it is difficult to suppose that either of them are fully right. All, however, must acknowledge, that Jesus Christ is the Rock of ages, and the chief corner stone of the christian's hope. It is also evident there is something more intended in our Lord's expression," on this rock will I build my church.” We understand it to mean as much as if our Lord had said, Peter, what you have now in faith expressed, respecting my name, nature, and character, is no less than an evangelic faith in the rock of ages, or the son of God-and upon this foundation, this evangelic faith, will I build my christian church, "and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” This faith is the key to heaven.
And it is impossible the "gates of hell” should prevail against it. John hath recorded, “ greater
is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. 29 And it is by this living faith in the son of God we overcome the wicked one. John further informs, “and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”
Again, John, 1st chapter, " Jesus saw Nathaniel coming to him, and saith unto him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile !
“Nathaniel saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Phillip called thee, when thou wast under the fig-tree, I saw thee.
“Nathaniel answereth and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the son of God; thou art the king of Israel.”'
And Jesus being asked whether he was a king, he answered in the affirmative, “ to this end was I born.” But still declares that his kingdom is not of this world.
Again, we find our Lord conversed with his disciples on these weighty points, just before he takes his leave of them to go to his Father, in which are comprised some, and probably the most sublime truths he ever disclosed to them.At one time he introduced the subject by telling them he was going away, which raised their anxiety to go with him. He informs them that they could not follow him; and Peter proposeth to be willing to lay down his life for his sake.Then, in order to lead their minds a little further into the subject, and to prepare their minds for the full reception of this sublime truth, he tells them, “I am the way and the truth, and the life.”
And when their minds were fully prepared for this solemn truth, he tells them plainly, John