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Lectures on Zechariah 1 Thru 8

Lectures on Zechariah 1 Thru 8

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Published by glennpease
BY REV. RALPH WARDLAW, D.D.
BY REV. RALPH WARDLAW, D.D.

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Published by: glennpease on Aug 19, 2013
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11/15/2013

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LECTURES O ZECHARIAH 1 THRU 8BY REV. RALPH WARDLAW, D.D.LECTURE I.
ZECH. i. 16." In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, came the word of theLord unto Zechariah the son of Barachiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying,The Lord hath been sore displeased with your fathers. Therefore say thou untothem, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Turn ye unto me, saith the Lord of hosts,and I will turn unto you, saith the Lord of hosts. lie ye not as your fathers, untowhom the former prophets have cried, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts,Turn ye now from your evil ways, and from your evil doings: but they did nothear, nor hearken unto me, saith the Lord. Your fathers, where are they? andthe prophets, do they live for ever? But my words, and my statutes, which Icommanded my servants the prophets, did they not take hold of your fathers?and they returned and said, Like as the Lord of hosts thought to do unto us,according to our ways, and according to our doings, so hath he dealt with us."
EAR the close of the Book of Revelation, and therefore of the whole Book of God, we have the statement " The testi-mony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy" The meaningseems to be, that the scheme of redemption, contained in thattestimony, is the great theme of prophecy; that to which,whether more or less directly, the whole relates; its livingsoul; its essential pervading element; bereft of which, itwould lose at once all its zest, all its interest, all its realvalue, leaving nothing behind but what was vapid andworthless. That such should be the case, was what mightreasonably have been anticipated. The fall of man changedentirely the character, and position, and prospects, of therace, and the whole aspect of futurity. The race becameapostate, depraved, outcast, accursed. Then came the firstintimation of the plan of mercy ; which had been previouslyA
 
2 LECTURE I.in the form of a matured purpose, in the mind of the God-head. The first promise was the first prophecy. It camefrom the lips of Jehovah Himself, in terms intentionallyobscure, but of which the full import was to be graduallyunfolded " I will put enmity between thee (the serpent, theDevil, and Satan) and the woman, and between thy seedand her seed: it shall bruise thy head, and thou shaltbruise his heel" This first prophecy was the germ of thewhole scheme. Here was " the testimony of Jesus" in itsoriginal embryo. From that hour, the grand problem of thedivine administration towards our world was, the workingout of this divine plan of salvation; the restoration of anapostate race, guilty and depraved, to the favour and tothe moral image of God, in a way not merely consistentwith the claims of law and government, and with the honourof all the attributes of the divine character, but that shouldplace them all in a brightness of manifestative glory, suchas should fill the intelligent creation with adoring wonder.This, I repeat, was the problem to be worked out. It be-came, therefore, the leading star of the whole of the divinegovernment of our world ; the spirit of providence, as wellas of prophecy. Supposing the plan to exist, it could notbe otherwise, than that everything else should be subordi-nated to it; all the plans and measures of God's providentialadministration so regulated as to be subservient to its suc-cessful and final completion. Thus it was before " the ful-ness of the time ;" thus it has been since ; thus it shall be tothe end. We may speculate, and speculate truly, respectingthe designs of providence, in particular courses of events,towards this or that nation, or this or that section of the in-habited earth, in regard to their temporal prosperity or de-clension, weal or woe; but we must not forget that in thewhole of this extensive and complicated administration, therehave been from the first, and there are now, higher ends,towards which all events are made to converge, and in the
 
attainment of which they all shall issue. Before " the fulnessof time," the whole was a preparation for the Saviour's firstcoming ; and now all is bearing forward toward the promisedZECHAPJAH I. 16, 3universality of His holy and happy reign, as the prelude toHis second coining, and the winding -up of the plans of Hismediatorial grace.Along with the preparatory course of providence, therewere, from the beginning, two classes of means especially, bywhich the nature of the divine scheme of mercy was intimated,still indeed with comparative obscurity, yet with a graduallygrowing clearness ; I mean the typical and the prophetical.It is with the latter alone we have at present to do. Itbegan early. Jude tells us, what we should not otherwisehave known, that "Enoch, the seventh" in descent "fromAdam," prophesied of the coming of the Lord to judgment :and it is impossible to doubt that he who prophesied of His coming to judge the world, prophesied also of His comingto save the world ; that he who predicted His second comingpredicted also His first. or is there any sufficient reasonto think that Enoch was the only prophet of the antediluvianage. In what may be called the second opening of theworld's history, the very first man oah himself is apartaker of the " spirit of prophecy." And that Spirit, in allthe prophets from Enoch to Malachi is called " the Spiritof Christ," both as being bestowed by Him, and as testifyingof Him ; and also, perhaps it might be added, as, during Hisincarnation, given without measure unto Him. But, in spiteof both type and prophecy, aided too by the manifestationsof God in all creation, ignorance and corruption spread andprevailed. Men showed the truth of the charge, that they" did not like to retain God in their knowledge." To preventthe total loss of that knowledge, including of course theknowledge of Him in the character and relation in which Hehad set himself forth in the first promise, as " the God of 

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