Malachi iii. "Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts."

This prophecy relates to the coming of the Lord in his temple. This is the one whom the Jews seek, whom they are looking for. He is the one whom they delight in; he is the desire of their eyes. It is said that a messenger will be sent before to prepare the way. When the Lord comes into the temple, the indications are that he will come in the flesh: for he is called "the messenger of the covenant," whom the people seek and whom they delight in. When he thus comes it will be in fulfilment of the sign given to Ahaz, king of Judah.

Malachi iv. "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: "And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse."

The prophet Elijah does not appear to be identical with the messenger which shall be sent before to prepare the way of the Lord, but to be an entirely different person. Moreover, two distinct events are indicated by the texts: one of which is the coming of the Lord into his temple in fulfilment to the sign given Ahaz, and the other is the second advent of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ: consequently it is not at all probable that they are one and the same person. The messenger which shall be sent before to prepare the way of the Lord doubtless is John the Baptist, who preaches the great doctrine of repentance for the remission of sins, but the prophet Elijah is the Restorer of all things.