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gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth, even in him.” So that not only shall all the redeemed of the Lord ultimately centre in him, but the enemies of the Lord shall be given up into his almighty hands, and here, as to one centre, shall they all meet for destruction; all evil things, sin, Satan, death, and hell to be put under his feet, when the Lord Jesus Christ shall come “ to root out of his kingdom all things that offend." So that as in him and from him, and by him, all the blessings of grace now flow, as from a centre, to his redeemed upon earth, and all glory to his redeemed now and for ever in heaven; so all the enemies of God and his Christ will meet their final overthrow and everlasting destruction from him that is in the midst of the throne, when the Lord of hosts shall “ reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem,
and before his ancients gloriously.” (Isa. xxiv. 23.) NAZARENE. As this name was given to our Lord
Jesus Christ, and we are told by the evangelist, that his residence in Nazareth was on this account, that he might be so called, it will certainly merit particular attention.
The word Nazarene or Nazarite, (for it is one and the same) is derived from Nezar, and means separated ; so that a Nazarite is one separated and given up to God from the womb. The Jews, out of contempt to the person of Christ, called him the Nazarite or Nazarene; and certainly they meant no other by it but, as we mean, an inhabitant of a place, when we say, one of Plymouth, or the like. And as Nazareth itself was but a small city of Zebulun, they had yet greater contempt for Christ's
person, for springing, as they supposed, from thence. “Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth ?" (John i. 46.) Bat we shall find
that this title, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, was all along designed of God, as of the highest import, and among the strongest testimonies to this peculiarity of character, as the one, yea, the only one great Nazarite of God.
As the proper apprehension of this point is, in my view, of infinite value in the faith of a believer, I beg the reader's indulgence to state the whole subject very particularly.
And first, then, I request to remark on the expression of the evangelist Matthew, (chap. ii. 23.) “And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets-he should be called a Nazarene.”
The question is, what prophets are there who so spake concerning Christ? To which I answer, all the writers of the Old Testament are generally called prophets, because many of their sayings are really and truly prophesies. Thus Jacob when dying called his sons and said, “ Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befal you in the last days.” (Gen. xlix. 1.) Eminently Jacob was a prophet in what he here predicted of his sons, and the glorious events he then delivered, since fulfilled, proves it. And the apostle Peter denominates the whole of the Old Testament "a word of prophecy;" for speaking of it he saith, “ we have a more sure word of prophecy, whereunto
ye do well that ye take heed. (2 Pet. i. 19.) So that not only the immediate writings of the prophets whose titles are expressly so spoken of as prophetical, but the scope of the whole body of Scripture, and especially such as are looking into gospel times, and speaking of events then to be accomplished, may be truly and justly called prophecies, and the writers of them prophets.
The next enquiry is, which of the sacred writers
is it that thus predicted Christ should be called a Nazarene? To which I answer, in type and figure; Jacob and Moses both represented this great truth in their dying testimonies concerning Joseph, the typical Nazarite of the Lord Jesus Christ, Jacob's prophecy concerning Joseph in this particular runs thus : (Gen. xlix. 26.)“ The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors, unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren." In the original the word separate is Nezer, that is, a Nazarite among his brethren. And this is the same word, used in Gen. xlix. 26. as is used, Judges xiii. 5. for Nazarite. Strong testimonies these to the point in question. Moses, in like manner, makes use of the same allusion, when delivering his dying prediction concerning Joseph as typical of Christ. For the good will of him, (said he) my dweller in the bush, (referring to his first views of God incarnate, Exod. iii. 2. compared with Acts vii. 30.) “ Let the blessing come upon the head of Joseph, and upon the top of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.” In the original the very same word for separate is used as Gen. xlix. 26.-so that Moses as well as Jacob, declared by the type Joseph, that the great Antitype should be the Nazarite or separate from among his brethren.
The third step to which I beg the reader to follow me, in this most interesting subject concerning our glorious Nazarite, and justly called so, is in the writings of the evangelist St. Luke; where I hope we shall discover, under the teaching of God the Holy Ghost, that Jesus, though born at Bethlehem to fulfil another prophecy, was literally and truly conceived at Nazareth, and as such became a real Nazarene.
Thus the Holy Ghost, by the evangelist, states the circumstances of the conception of Christ, (Luke i. 26, &c.) “And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God, unto a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man, whose name was Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail! thou that are highly favoured, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found favour with God; and behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shall call his name Jesus.” From hence we date the conception. The miraculous power of the Holy Ghost is no sooner announced, and Mary's consent obtained, than the impregnation takes place; so that “that Holy thing, or the man of the unction, as Christ is declared by the angel to be, is immediately conceived, and the Nazarite from the womb is formed in the city of Nazareth, as the prophet had foretold. (See Isa. vii. 14.) This, in my view of the subject, is most blessed indeed !
Under a fourth particular, the reader will find this great event most strikingly shadowed out in the instance of Samson, the type of Christ, and especially in this feature of character as a Nazarite. Here indeed we find many wonderful things to shew the correspondence between the type and the antitype The birth of Samson was announced precisely in the same manner, by the ministry of an angel. The wife of Manoah, Samson's mother, was barren at the time, as if to shew that the birth of this child, though not miraculous, yet was extraordinary. The message the angel brought to Manoah's wife, and to the Virgin Mary, were (as far as the similarity of circumstances would admit) so much alike, that one might
be led to conclude that the messenger was the same, and the one ministered but to the other. And lastly, and above all, as the angel concerning Samson declared, that he should be a Nazarite to God from the womb, and should begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines, so eminently did the angel announce to the Virgin Mary concerning the Lord Jesus Christ, that he should be that Holy Thing, and be called the Son of the Highest, and should deliver his people from their sins.” (Compare Judges xiii. 2–7. with Luke. i. 26, &c. and Matt. i. 20, 21.) I do not think it necessary to insert in this place, at large, the law concerning Nazarites to God. The reader will find it, Num. vi. 245. But from the particular precepts concerning it, and the case of Samson, seen with an eye to Christ," as the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth," I humbly conceive that the point is thus strikingly illustrated.
I have only one thing more to add, in order to shew that this our glorious Nazarite was the one, and the only one, to whom all that went before were mere types and shadows, and only ministered in this character to him; and also that the law concerning Nazarites had an eye wholly to him, and in him alone was completed. I say I have only to add, in confirmation of it, that when we find so many different characters all directly overruled to call Jesus by this name, and thus decidedly stamping his character as the Nazarite of God, however many of them meant not so, neither did they intend it, nothing surely can more plainly prove that the whole must have originated in the divine mind, and that Jehovah adopted all these methods to shew that Christ, and Christ only, is the One Holy and glorious Nazarite to God.