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John Davison’s Discourse on Christian prophecies

August 7, 2013

John Davison discusses prophecies related to the Christian era in Part II of Discourse VI, presented below. Part I was presented in this post.

John Davison, Discourses on Prophecy: In which are Considered Its Structure, Use, and Inspiration. William Warburton Lectures. J.H. Parker, 1845. pp. 266-287.

DISCOURSE VI.

STATE OF PROPHECY FROM THE REIGN OF SOLOMON TO THE RESTORATION FROM THE BABYLONIAN CAPTIVITY.

PART II.

On the Christian Prophecy within that Period.

Whilst Prophecy enlarged its communications to the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, upon the affairs of their own church and country, it extended also its discoveries concerning the new kingdom and dispensation of God, to be founded by the advent of the Messiah. The Temporal and the Christian predictions had their greatest increase together. But there is this difference in the order of the two, that for some time after the large revelations made in the reigns of David and Solomon upon the Christian subject, there is a pause of that kind of prophecy; whilst the other, directed to the state of the two kingdoms, their corruptions and their fortunes, continues without intermission; and in particular the missions of the two great Prophets, Elijah and Elisha, ministers of the Temporal Prophecy, are past, before the Gospel subject appears again in view; unless some few of the Psalms of an unknown date, and of a prophetic spirit, may be ascribed to this intermediate time.

There is no important object which I am aware of in fixing the precise time when the predictions of an Evangelical character commenced again; though perhaps there is a real satisfaction in watching the dawn and the progress of this light which God was pleased to dispense by Prophecy, before He gave it in the fulness of his Illumination. But this satisfaction is to be sought rather in the discoveries and doctrine of the prophet, than in the exact chronology of his predictions: and the chronology is of moment, on this head of Christian prophecy, only as it leads to the more just observation of the general successive order of the prophetic oracles.

Separating what is reasonably certain from what is doubtful in this point, we shall have the following data: [1] 1. The book of Jonah is the most ancient in the Prophetic Canon. 2. Hosea, Amos, Micah, of the Minor Prophets, and Isaiah, of the Greater, will come in the following age. In this series I shall trace the revival of Christian Prophecy.

The book of Jonah contains no prediction of a direct Christian import. But in Hosea, and Amos, very expressive intimations of the establishment of the Gospel, or its doctrines, are introduced; and it is probable that the last chapter of Amos is precisely the beginning of the Evangelical prophecy contained in the Prophetic Canon. Let me state how this renewal of the Christian promises begins.

I. The book of Amos is full of the warnings of punishment and destruction, partly to the Pagan enemies of God, but much more to his own people, and most of all to the House of Israel. In fact, the first inroad of ruin and desolation in the removal of Israel is the leading subject of the book. We are accustomed to speak tritely of the past ruin of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. But this is our mistake. These instances of ruin were not only the great visitations of God, but they were the changes of his own work, in the rejection of his people whom he had raised up to be the subjects of his Covenant. Prophets and devout men of that day must have seen these mutations with another eye; they must have thought of their approach with another feeling. And we must look into the record of the administration of God in that age, in order to perceive the force and the pertinence of some of the prophetic discoveries which were granted to it. For when religion had only imperfect hopes and unexplained informations of the greatest mysteries of Faith by which it is our privilege to live, the very least discoveries opposed to the darkness and confusions of the passing scene would be dear and precious to the observant mind, by opening prospects of hope which the present state of the Temporal covenant rendered most needful. Let us consider then, that in one of the earliest prophetic books which describe the desolation and rejection, either of the whole, or of the greater portion, of God’s ancient people, the prediction ends with the contrary prospect of some state of Restitution promised: and he who should read there the promise, “In that day (of desolation) will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old,” [2] would have an object of faith, and a direction of his mind to the mercy and favour of God, in which he would find consolation, though he might derive from it only a very indistinct knowledge. This prophecy, whatever obscurity might be in it, was opposed to the impending evil. It told of the rebuilding of the ruins of David, when the approach of those ruins began to appear; and, as the Evangelical promises had been given in that king of Israel, it was equivalent to a revival of all the hopes which those Evangelical promises had already consigned.

II. In the same order of consolatory and Evangelical prophecy must be placed that great oracle in Hosea; “I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. O Death, I will be thy plague; O Grave, I will be thy destruction.” [3] It is in vain to attempt to confine this text to the subject of a temporal deliverance. Interpreters [4] who do so, forget that men of a serious mind were panting after some hope of a future eternal state; and when a Prophet spoke in such a strain of God’s “ransoming from the grave, and redeeming from death,” and of the plague being retorted upon Death, and destruction upon the Grave, if he did not intend by such promises to support and encourage the belief of the resurrection and a state of immortality, he spoke a hazardous, I might almost say a fallacious, language, little suited to the agonies of human nature, and the needs of religion. And what if the subject of the prophet be a temporal deliverance? the very conditions of the subject, even in the temporal sense of it, demand the greater Truth to be included in it. For what does the Prophet profess to promise? A restoration “to national happiness:” so it is said, and perhaps truly. But how does he express that promise? In the images of the resurrection and an immortal state. Consequently, there is implied in the delineation of the lower subject the truth of the greater. For when God declares “I will ransom them from the power of the Grave; I will redeem them from Death;” and not merely this, which might be limited to a deliverance from approaching death; but when his promise goes to a triumph over the actual power of Death and the Grave; and the state of men is considered in their inquiries on this greatest of all questions; it is not in our choice whether we will restrain the emphasis and sublimity of the prophet to the temporal blessing. It is impossible that any reasonable devout Israelite could so restrain it; his mind could not so far revolt from his ear. It is incredible to think that the divine oracle could mean so little when it expressed so much: could express the destruction of death, and intend only a life in Canaan: when the force and propriety of the promise, even as it regarded a temporal state, must yet stand upon the previous concession of the higher Truth. [5] For a fallacy in rerum naturâ, or an equivocal assumption, would be a strange vehicle of the divine promise. When therefore it is said, that “St. Paul naturally applies to the resurrection what the prophet says of future national happiness” I should hope that this comment might pass for a disparagement of the prophet’s text, and that we should rather say that many good men, before the Apostle, justly applied to the resurrection what the prophet spoke of it, and directed them so to apply.—But this text of Hosea will give us only a part of the Evangelical doctrine. It promises a redemption from death—”a ransom from the power of the grave.” How that ransom and redemption were to be obtained, by what victory, by what Mediator, is not at all expressed. For those points we must go to other prophecy.

As to Micah, the next of the Minor Prophets, his, like Isaiah’s, are among the most illustrious of the Christian predictions. But they are direct and explicit, and carry us at once into the history of the Gospel. And the reason why I have selected these two passages of Amos and Hosea, and insisted upon them in the very summary statement to which I must confine myself on the head of the Evangelical Prophecy, is, that they are among the earliest, and it is probable that they are strictly the first, of their kind, contained in the Prophetic Canon. Whether other persons may attach any importance to such observation upon the progress of Prophecy, is more than I will venture to say. But I find it satisfactory to my own mind to observe the first rise of the Gospel revelation in the volume of the Prophets, and watch the earliest rays of that morning light, which soon begins to illuminate the same volume with greater strength and splendour.

For from these beginnings the Christian subject takes possession of the Prophetic books, and is scarcely absent from any of them. But the very copiousness of these prophecies will render it the less possible for me to enter into an examination of their structure, and the less necessary, whilst they explain themselves so readily in their whole import and character. For what less have we in the single book of Isaiah, than the scheme of the Gospel, and the establishment of it, unfolded? The mission of Christ into the world; his original Divine Nature; his supernatural Birth in his Incarnation; his work of Mercy, and his kingdom of Righteousness; his Humiliation, Sufferings, and Death; the Sacrifice of Atonement for Sin made by his Death; the effusion of the gifts and grace of the Holy Spirit; the enlarged Propagation of his Religion; the Persecutions of it; the Moral characters of it: the blindness and incredulity of the Jewish People in the rejection of it; the adoption of the Gentile world into the Church and People of God; the peace of the Righteous in death, and the triumph and victory of God’s mercy in behalf of man over death: [6] these are things which are either so clearly revealed, or so significantly implied, in the various predictions of Isaiah, that I shall consider myself justified in expressing the structure of his Evangelical prophecy as that of a complete delineation of the Gospel subject, both in its doctrines, and its history. Some of his prophetic texts have indeed been assailed by a Socinian criticism. But their just interpretation has been vindicated; and the vindication was easy; for the Divinity of the Holy Person, whose advent is foretold, and the Grace of his Atonement, will remain luminous doctrines of Prophecy, as they are doctrines of the Religion which has fulfilled that Prophecy, so long as the vicarious Sufferings of the Messiah shall be expressed as they are now expressed by this prophet, [7] or the glory of his Nature and Office shall be described in a strain like this: “Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the Government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the Father of the everlasting Age, the Prince of Peace.” [8]

Instead of following, in detail, through the prophetic volume its accumulated predictions which relate to the Gospel, I shall take the question on the other side, and examine whether there are any of the Prophets who have not spoken either directly, or by clear intimation, to some point of the Gospel subject.

Three of the Minor Prophets there are, whose prophecies may be thought to come under this idea of bearing no distinct reference to Christ, or his Religion; Jonah, Nahum, and Habakkuk: whilst in all the rest of the Prophets the point is clear, and that reference will be generally confessed. These Three then must be examined by themselves. Interpreters who give the rein to a mystical principle, might profess, perhaps, to elicit a Christian prophecy from the text even of these three Prophets, where a more just and discriminating observation will acknowledge such prophecy to be wanting. Jonah and Nahum have the subject of their prediction in Nineveh: Habakkuk, of his, in the invasion of the Chaldaeans. And no further matter of predictive revelation seems to be introduced by any of them.

1. But this being the case, it is to be observed that Jonah is in his own person a Type, a prophetic Sign, of Christ. The miracle of his deliverance from his three days of death, in the body of the whale is the expressive image of the resurrection of Christ. Our Saviour has fixed the truth and certainty of this Type; [9] the correspondence of the miracle has fixed it; and so it must remain in its proper acceptation, with that kind of evidence which belongs to all the genuine Types of the Old Testament; viz., that of a concealed prophecy which the completion explains. It would be beyond all reason to think that the Israelite, in his day, could discover in the singular fate and deliverance of Jonah any thing of the presignified death and resurrection of Christ. It would be equally short of reason in us, not to perceive now, that this first miracle, exhibited in the person of the prophet, is the previous adumbration of the fact of the other miracle, in the person of Christ, and thereby a confirmatory evidence of its designed and predestined appointment. Jonah therefore, as I may say, compensates for the absence of any direct Christian prediction in what he delivers, by the typical prophecy embodied in his personal history. And as he is the first and oldest of the prophets, hence we perceive that the first image, or introductory representation, which meets us in the opening of the prophetic Canon, when we explore it in its Christian sense, is that of the great fact of Christ’s Resurrection.

2. Further, the whole import of Jonah’s mission partakes of the Christian character. For when we see that he is sent to carry the tidings of the divine judgment, but to exemplify the grant of the divine mercy, to a great Heathen city; that is, to be a preacher of repentance; and that the repentance of the Ninevites through his mission brings them to know “a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenting him of the evil;” [10]—without staying to discuss whether all this be a formal Type of the genius of the Christian religion, it is plainly a real example of some of its chief properties, in the manifested efficacy of repentance, the grant of pardon, and the communication of God’s mercy to the Heathen world. Consequently we have in the book of Jonah a second point of connexion with the Gospel. But in this second article the Evangelical sense was clear. It needed not a future time to interpret it. The preservation of the Ninevites wrote the ample comment upon it.

3. There is probably a third intimation of a Christian truth, conveyed by this prophet, in his Prayer. His prayer is so strongly expressive of hope in death, and that hope was so highly established by the event of his deliverance, that I think no devout reader of it could fail to infer from it some confirmation to his faith, in those times, when the hope of immortality had to seek its support from feebler notices and arguments than we are indulged with. Let others read, and judge for themselves, whether the faith of Jonah, in the spirit of his prayer, might not be auxiliary to infuse that Christian doctrine, the belief of the Resurrection.

II. The Book of Nahum will be best understood, by being read as a continuation, or supplement to the book of Jonah. The prophecy of both is directed against Nineveh. But that of Jonah was followed by the preservation of that city; that of Nahum, which is more detailed in its circumstances, indicating the actual doom, was followed by its capture and destruction. They form connected parts of one moral history; the remission of God’s judgment being illustrated in the one, the execution of it in the other. The attentive reader will perceive them to be contrasted in some of their contents, as well as in their general object; the repentance of the Ninevites, and their wickedness; the clemency, and the just severity, of the divine government; being combined together in the mixed delineation of the two books. [11] But of pure Christian prophecy, either direct or typical, perhaps the book of Nahum must be set down as affording no instance.

III. The Book of Habakkuk remains, in which although we cannot safely plead for any Gospel prediction, yet there are one or two passages in it which cannot be excluded from some relation to the Gospel. 1. That distinguished Christian principle, that “the just shall live by faith” finds a place in this prophet. I call it the Christian principle, as expressing the habit of faith in God, or his revealed word, without annexing to it a knowledge of particular Christian truths, which there is no ground to think that the Prophet had in view. It is that virtue of hope and reliance which moulds itself to the divine promises and revelations, whatever they are; that virtue which has been the strength of good men in every age, and is made most eminent in the Christian system; in which general idea St. Paul enforces the text here cited, and the principle of it. [12] This text then is a vein of Christian doctrine, which if we might otherwise have overlooked, we can no longer do so when the Apostle has taught us to extract from it its proper ore.

2. The context introductory to this principle of “the life by faith,” may not improperly be considered as of the like Christian character. In that context is expressed the patient “watching” of Habakkuk for a further opening of divine truth; and the promise made to him, “that the vision shall have its appointed time, and at the end shall speak, and shall not lie, and though it tarry it shall come.” [13] What is this but descriptive of a state of mind which cannot be cast off even under the Gospel revelation, but which must have been far more familiar to believers of an earlier time, who had to wait for the advent of that revelation, and in a dark and disturbed world could less discern how the great vision of God was to reach its appointed end? The sustained patience of the understanding, under an imperfect knowledge, is still a duty to inquisitive minds: before the Gospel light broke forth, this duty was a more difficult one. But to “live by faith,” to live by that degree of knowledge which is imparted, is the end of it, be it more or less. This is the doctrine of the Prophet; and so much of a Christian principle and sentiment may be traced in what he has written; whilst the conclusion of his book rises into a higher strain of the exercise of that habit and duty which he had previously commended. For it contains a confession of his own faith, and that faith separated from all earthly and temporal hopes. [14] As such it is of a pure evangelical character. The conclusion of Habakkuk is in fact a beginning of Christ’s proper doctrine, and whoever will read it, and then pass to the beatitudes of the Sermon on the Mount, will see in both the sanctions of Canaan recede, and the vision of the better kingdom opened.

The brief investigation which has thus been made into those parts of the Prophetic Volume which seem to contain the least of Christian prediction in them, will conduce to shew, how really small a proportion of that Volume there is which can be said to be devoid of a Christian sense. Thence I may be permitted to infer with the greater confidence, how general, how universal a testimony the Prophets conspire in bearing to Christ and his religion. “To him give all the prophets witness;” a proposition which has now been supported and evinced in its substantial truth.—It is possible that some of the topics and articles which I have touched upon, in the consideration of this particular point, may have seemed less attractive, or even less important, than a hasty inquirer might wish. But all our speculations are important as they illustrate, or confirm, material truth; and if what has been said may conduce to explain the structure of Prophecy, and elucidate its connexion with the Gospel, that is enough.

I resume the general state of Christian Prophecy, prior to the restoration from the captivity; and upon this whole period of it I offer the following remarks.

I. The fullest, and the most expressive discoveries of the Gospel, prior to that era, commence with Isaiah and Micah, and end with Daniel; but those discoveries were made concurrent with the decline and fall of the Temporal Kingdom, and the greatest disorders and interruptions of the Temporal Covenant. That is, when the first dispensation began to be shaken, the objects and promises of the second began to be substituted in its place. A new kingdom, a new covenant, are set forth to view; and the blessings and mercies which are most peculiar to the expected dispensation are set in a clearer light than ever before. For example, the pardon of sin by the death of the Messiah, and the atoning virtue of his sacrifice, are first unfolded in the prophecies of the 53d chapter of Isaiah, and the 9th of Daniel. In the Patriarchal Revelation this doctrine is not expressed; in the Prophetic Psalms, which yet are full of the Christian subject, it is not expressed. If a more accommodating interpretation may elicit some indirect disclosures of the same truth in those earlier times of prophecy, yet the article, the very doctrine, is not formally disclosed, as it is in Isaiah and Daniel. Within the same period of later revelation, there are innumerable other notices of the same kind, tending to describe the Gospel state, and to embody in a more distinct and luminous information the advent and history of the Messiah, and the nature of the mercy and redemption to be communicated by him. I have said once before, that the Gospel promises could never appear to be out of season, whenever it should please the goodness of God to impart them. But the fact is, that he has imparted them in prophecy, in their utmost strength and clearness, at the season when his earlier dispensation received its rudest shock from the sin of his people: when he was proceeding to cast one part of Israel out of his sight, and the remaining part had least of safety and peace. Without pretending to any minuteness of the chronological comparison of history and prophecy, which my object does not require, this is unquestionably true, that the evangelical prophecies of Isaiah come in when the kingdom of Israel was approaching to its ruin. The first overthrow of God’s ancient people was therefore accompanied with this contemporary revelation of the Gospel. As the proof of his ulterior purpose, the design which had been present to him under every state of his first people, whether they rose or fell, this discovery of the Gospel, so renewed and so enlarged as it was at this season, is worthy of notice. It is the index of his unchanged Counsel and Providence. But it is also the instance of his great Mercy. For how can we think that such scenes of ruin and confusion, such times of perplexity and dismay, were not afflicting to the minds of the good and faithful servants of God, few as they might be, who, if not involved in the actual suffering, could not escape the doubt and disquietude of feeling attached to the mysterious course of Providence which was before them. What if the Prophets forespoke the evil before it came, and justified the ways of God, and explained that all which they suffered was for sin? Could that administer to good men, who had the least share in the general guilt, any consolation or relief? Was the cloud less heavy, because the public visitation was just? The later Psalms [15] perfectly express this kind of perplexity in the agitations and importunate inquiries of an afflicted faith. “Lord, where are thy old lovingkindnesses, which thou swarest unto David in thy truth? O think upon thy congregation, whom thou hast purchased and redeemed of old. Think upon the tribe of thine inheritance; and Mount Sion wherein thou hast dwelt. Look upon the Covenant: for all the earth is full of darkness, and cruel habitations.” In a word, “all the foundations of the earth, in such times, were out of course.”

In the face of these troubles, the Evangelical prophecy was interposed. It opened new resources of hope to the faithful servant of God. When the first covenant was in its wane, the light of Prophecy was augmented. And it was augmented in all those respects in which the faith of religious minds required the greatest support, viz., in the promise of a better covenant; in discoveries of God’s unchangeable purpose of mercy; and the prospects of a future state of life and immortality;—a conformity of prophecy to the exigencies of religion, which speaks for itself in its wise and merciful adaptation. Prophecy began at the first to remedy the dark and desolate state of Nature. It now furnished the like remedy to the dark and desolate state of the existing Dispensation of Revealed Religion.

II. But within this same period the Prophets also bring the idea of religion nearer to the Gospel in a great and material point, by explaining the inferior value of the Ceremonial Law, and giving notice of its future abrogation. “Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the most High God?” Not with burnt-offerings and sacrifices, answers the prophet Micah. [16] “But he hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.” And Hosea [17]—”I desire mercy and “not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt-offerings.” It might be thought that such declarations were intended only against the vice and superstition of that false service which finds it easier to sacrifice than to obey, and thereby to correct the undue preference which men of their own will might give to the Ceremonial Law. But the Prophets do more than this; they insist on the real inferiority of the ritual worship; they mark the essential difference which the several parts of his law had in the sight of God. [18] This is the proper force of that memorable passage in Jeremiah: “For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt-offerings, or sacrifices. But this thing commanded I them, saying, “Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people.” [19] However both might be commanded, the virtue of practical obedience was always first in the estimation and judgment of God, and in the intent of his law. And it is to be observed that the exaltation of moral duty here enforced by the prophet, is a sequel to his prediction of the fall of the Temple.

This exposition of the principle of religion, brought in by the prophets, was an approach to the Economy of the Gospel, which sets the Ritual Law wholly aside, and establishes the Moral for ever. In this light it was a preparation made for the future change. But it must be considered in another light also, as a most opportune instruction, introduced when the observance of the Ritual Law was rendered difficult or impracticable. For what could the real worshippers of God, devout and virtuous men, do, when they were beset by intestine trouble and foreign invasion, when their heathen enemies were beginning to make spoil of their land, and access to their Temple was denied them, and the Temple itself about to be destroyed; or when bad princes and a corrupted priesthood suspended, as often they did, the public Institutions of their Religion? In this anarchy of the Temple-service, how desirable was it to such men to know that the personal religion which God still left to them, was that which he most esteemed, and had always preferred. How instructive to find his prophetic law taking them up in the difficulties of their present situation.

But if these men were few, still to others the same kind of instruction could not be without its immediate force and use. For what little of religion they had, being more in rites, than in practice, their eyes might be opened to their mistake, when God took away their ceremonies, and that with some scorn, and yet their repentance, whenever it came, would not want the opportunity, or the invitation, of an acceptable worship. The spirit of the Prophets, whilst it spoke to their reproof, invited them to those duties of justice, mercy, and humble piety, which remained the most in their power. And thus, in the decline of the Temple-service, amidst the public judgments of God upon their land, the principles of essential religion were invigorated; those principles were taught with more clearness to console the devout, and direct the penitent; and the individual had his hopes secured, when the public ordinances of his Law were impeded, or wholly taken away; an adaptation of the prophetic doctrine which we may the rather admit to have been designed, since it holds in the fact, and is in the obvious tendency of it so like to a gracious and wise provision.

All this prophecy, whether of promise, or of doctrine, being consigned to one united record, the volume of the Prophets was added to that of the Law, and became the depositary of the best hopes of the people of God; a fund of instruction and consolation, open to all, but, no doubt, most resorted to by those who were of a temper to make the best use of every part of his revelation.—The same record which, to one age, was a preparative to the Gospel, became, as we shall find, to another, an evidence of its truth.

Author’s Notes and References

1. “Jonah, the son of Amittai.” B. C. circ. 825—800. See 2 Kings xiv. 25.—Hosea, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.—Amos, Isaiah, and Micah, come within the same reigns, B. C. circ. 790—700.

2. Amos ix. 11.

3. Hosea xiii. 14.

4. “St. Paul naturally applies to the resurrection what the prophet says of future national happiness.” Newcome’s Minor Prophets, in loco.

5. St. Paul’s citation of this text, or his reference to it, is in another form. “O Death, where is thy sting? O Grave, where is thy victory?” 1 Cor. xv. 55. The sense comes to the same. A reversal of the victory of the grave, that is, a resurrection, is expressed in both.
6.Isaiah vii. 14. ix. 6. xl. 1, 12. xlii. 1, 4. xlix. 5, 7. lii. liii. liv. lvii.

7. Isaiah liii. 5, 6.

8. Isaiah xi. 6.

9. Matt. xii. 40.

10. Jonah iv. 2.

11. Compare Nahum i. 2. with Jonah iv. 2. Nahum iii. 1. with Jonah iii. 8.

12. Rom. i. 17; Heb. x. 38.

13. “I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved (‘argued with,’ questioned for my faith): and the Lord answered me, and said. Write “the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie; though it tarry, wait for it, because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” Habak. ii. 1, 2, 3.

14. Chap. iii. 17, 18. “Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.”

15. Psalm lxxxix. 49. lxxiv. 2, 20.

16. Micah vi. 6, 8.

17. Hosea vi. 6.

18. See 1 Sam. xv. 22.

19. Jeremiah vii. 22.

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