The Holy Scriptures inform us that God, in His boundless love and limitless mercy, had from the foundation of the world decided on this way of salvation (Eph. iii. 11; 1 Pet. i. 18-21; Rev. xiii. 8). Hence by the lips of His Prophets in the Old Testament He declared the tribe and family from which the Saviour should spring, the time and manner of His appearance among men, His Nature and rank, and the manner in which He would accomplish His great and merciful work of redemption. Thus in the ages before His blessed Advent those who knew of these Divine Promises rejoiced in faith and looked forward to the great salvation then to be manifested. Adam, the father of all men, was informed by God concerning the coming Saviour. He was told that the promised Redeemer would be so mighty that He would crush the Serpent's head, that is to say, would overcome Satan and deliver mankind from his thraldom and from sin (Gen. iii. 14, 15).

We have already seen that God Most High promised Abraham that through his seed blessing should come upon all the nations of the earth (Gen. xxii. 18). And the New Testament clearly shows that the person thus indicated was the Lord Jesus Christ (Gal. iii. 16).

Again, God promised through Moses that this Saviour would be a great Prophet who would arise among the Children of Israel (in accordance with Gen. xvii. 19, 21, and Gen. xxviii. 14), and would teach the people the way and will of God (Deut. xviii. 15, 18, 19). That the Prophet thus spoken of was Christ was made plain by a voice from heaven commanding men to hear Him (Matt. xvii. 5; Mark ix. 7), just as God had told Moses that men must hear the promised Prophet, under penalty of severe punishment.

The Divine message came also to David, declaring that the Saviour would be of his posterity, and that His Kingdom would have no end (2 Sam. vii. 16; Ps. Lxxxix. 3, 4, 27, 28, 29, 35, 36, 37; Isa. ix. 6, 7; xi. 1; Jer. xxiii.


5. 6; xxxiii. 15, 16, 17, 20, 21, 25, 26: compare John xii. 34).

In Gen. xlix. 10, we are told that the kingdom would not finally depart from Judah until Shiloh came, this being one of the titles of the promised Messiah.

The Lord Jesus Christ was born of the seed of David (Matt. i. 1; Acts ii. 30; xiii. 22, 23; Rom. i. 3) about four or five years before the time when the Christian era began. Here we must explain that the beginning of the Christian era was erroneously fixed in accordance with the calculations of a monk called Dionysius the Little in the reign of the Emperor Justinian. He made a mistake of a few years, but it is convenient to retain the usual reckoning. Herod the Great, King of the Jews, died 4 B.C., when Christ was less than two years old (compare Matt. ii. 16), and then the kingdom was divided into four parts. Herod's son Archelaus was made ruler of only one of these parts, Judaea: but about A.D. 6 he was deposed by the Romans and banished. Judaea then became a province of the Roman Empire, instead of a separate kingdom subject to Rome. From that time to this the Jews have never had a king of their own. That they had none, that the sceptre had departed from Judah according to Jacob's prediction, they themselves confessed at the time of Christ's Crucifixion, when they said, "We have no king but Caesar" (John xix. 15). Therefore it was clear that the promised Messiah had come.

The place where Christ should be born was mentioned beforehand by the prophet Micah (Micah v. 2), and this passage also taught that he would be no mere man, by describing Him as one "whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting". The fulfilment of the prophecy is related in Matt. ii. 1, 5, 6. That He should be born of a Virgin was implied in Gen. iii. 15, and more clearly in Isa. vii. 14, and this was fulfilled (Matt. i. 18-25; Luke i. 26-38), as the Qur'an also admits (Surahs xxi. 91; lxvi. 12). With reference to His teaching, humiliation, suffering, death, and the