Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

wonian.

for him that wanteth understanding she saith to him, Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled” (Prov. ix. 1–5). Here are the marriage supper of the Lamb and his invitation to it (Matt. xxii. 2), the feast of fat things, the new wine of the kingdom, the eating and drinking at the Lord's table (Luke xxii. 30), the bread and wine to be yet brought forth by our Melchizedec, the virgin character of the messengers, the universal application of the message, followed by the mockery of the whole in the message of the strange

From all which, we learn that the Gospel is not the Gospel if it be not the Gospel of the kingdom; for God commandeth all men every where to repent because he hath appointed a day of judgment by the Man Jesus; and it is by the power of the world to come that we are to shew forth grace and patience in the present : in that world to come our office is to be the seven pillars. Christ is now the temple of God; we are his fulness; and when he shall be manifested filling all in all, we shall be like him, in that city wherein John saw no temple but the Lord God Almighty, even the Lamb (Rev. xxi. 22). But we are also to go no more out: we now go in and out before the Lord, dwelling in God within the veil, and witnessing in the world without. There is a time coming too, and that speedily, when the changed saints shall enter into the temple of God, at Christ's coming in the clouds; when that temple shall be opened, and they shall issue forth as the seven angels, messengers or ministers of wrath, of the Lord's vengeance, the vengeance of his temple (Jer. li. 11; 1. 28). But whensoever their execution of the Lord's vengeance shall have come to an end, they shall find places, as seven pillars, for ever in that temple whence as seven angels they issued: they shalldwell in the house of the Lord for ever (Ps. xxii. 6). The remainder of this verse is expressed in language which has already, in the course of my remarks on these wonderful epistles, been adverted to; and I do not feel that I have much, if any, more light as to its contents. I believe that the peculiar name of God, more particularly as the God and Father of Jesus Christ, is Jehovah, or Jehovah-Sabaoth (Psa. lxxxiii. 18; Zech. xiv.9); and that the mystical Christ, the perfect man, will subsist for ever in this continual declaration, “ Alleluia, for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth” (Rev. xix. 6; John xii. 13). The one hundred and forty and four thousand have on their foreheads the name of the Father of the Lamb (Rev. viii. 3; xiv. 1); and this is the subsequent distinction of the citizens in the new Jerusalem (Rev. xx. 4). I believe that this name of the Father is the fountain of the other names in the text : for whatsoever is spiritual and holy is "born, not of bloods” (arparwv) which cannot put away sin; “nor of the will of the flesh,” which never can spiritualize itself; “nor of the will of a man ” (avèpoc), who only generates flesh his like, “BUT OF GOD(John i. 13). So that Jerusalem receives a published name corresponding to the Father's only when she comes down new from the Father ; and Jesus, although as man he is now glorified with the Father's self at the Father's right hand, has not yet come forth in his Father's glory, and therefore has not yet publicly borne that new name which he received when begotten of God from the dead, "without father or mother, without beginning of days or end of life." There is a vast profound beyond the thousand years, to which many Scriptures, generally applied to them, truly apply. It is when God maketh all things new (Rev. xxi. 5) that the new name of Jerusalem (Psa. Ixxxvii. 3 ; Jer. xxxiii. 6; Ezek. xlviii. 35; Dan. ix. 18; Gal. iv. 26; Heb. xiii. 14) and the new name of Jesus shall be fully disclosed in God; for that dispensation is one to which the Millennial age, when the city shall be in the air, shall be only as the morning; and no marvel that we now walk in darkness regarding it. In the faith of that time, when we shall know even as we are known, it becomes us now to walk with God. But I cannot avoid remarking, before I bring these observations to a close, that the three names of the Father, of Jerusalem, and of Jesus, have a striking reference to the triple cord of the man of sin,—the mark of the beast, his name, and the number of his name. I expect to see in the actings of the beast a complete mockery of the depths of God, and especially of that promise, “Behold, I make all things new ;” and therefore I submit the matter to the judgment of the Spirit in the church of Christ, keeping more particularly in view the contrast of the mark of the beast on the forehead, with the name of the living God; and of the number of the beast's name, that is, his parts (Job xli. 12), with the numbers of Jesus Christ. Having given this hint, I close my remarks on the church of Philadelphia.

( To be continued.)

FIDUS.

ON THE RESTORATION AND CONVERSION OF THE TRIBES

OF ISRAEL.

(Continued from vol. j. p. 328.) 3. It may be inquired, with all humility, Whether the purposes and designs of God still unaccomplished, as revealed in his word, would not be frustrated if the conversion of Israel to the faith of Christ should precede their restoration ? The design of all the Divine procedure with the human race, especially in the scenes and events of the last days, is again and again declared to be, " That they may know that I am Jehovah." Israel is to be gathered out of the nations with a mighty hand, and carried into their own land,“ that the heathen may

know that I am Jehovah.” And numerous blessings are conferred upon Israel, in and after their restoration, first temporal and then spiritual, " that they may know that I am Jehovah.”

Israel in her present state, as she was ever prone to do, rests. all her hopes for the putting away of all evil, and for the bringing in of all good, upon the outward blessing. To the restoration of her Jost glory and dignity, and the recovery of her instituted worship, she looks for the banishment, not only of all her misery, but of all her ungodliness. Upon her, all the experience to be derived from her own history and from that of other nations, of the tendency of outward prosperity to draw the heart from God instead of knitting it to him, is thrown away. How, then, is she to be taught, and how is all created existence to be taught through her, the important lesson, that the only ground of security, and of solid and lasting felicity, for any finite being, consists in the fulfilment of our blessed Lord's petition in behalf of his disciples, “that they (Father) may be one in us(John xvii. 21); that only by being united to Deity, in and through union with the Lord Jesus Christ, in whose person Deity and humanity are one, can the incurable insufficiency and instability of the creature be counteracted, and the all-sufficiency of the Creator to preserve and to bless for ever be displayed? Can any method for teaching this lesson be so effectual as that which prophetic word leads us to expect will be employed,—that the Twelve Tribes shall again be put into full possession of the outward blessing, both as to worship and earthly prosperity ; that they shall again abuse that blessing, and sin against the Lord, and call down his heavy chastisements upon them; from which there shall be no escape, until the Son of God himself, in their last extremity, shall be revealed from heaven; in whom they shall then for the first time recognise the despised and crucified Jesus of Nazareth, and shall look upon Him whom they and their fathers pierced, and mourn? Thus shall they learn that the creature, so ardently desired, and however fully enjoyed, can never heal, or prevent the fresh outbreakings of, the inveterate disease of sin, or binder man from becoming his own destroyer ; and that in the Christ of God alone, as crucified, as risen, and as glorified, can the remedy be found. Then shall they exclaim, “Lo, this is our God, and He will save us; we will now rejoice in His salvation.

Another leading object in the Divine plan, intimately and deeply connected with the final development of the perfections of Jehovah, is the establishment of Christ's glorious kingdom upon earth. It is clearly foretold, that, besides the church in risen glory, nations existing in the flesh shall constitute a part

VOL. IV.-NO, II.

2Q

of the subjects of that kingdom (Isa. lxvi. 23; Zech. xiv. 16 -19). That the restored kingdom of Israel shall be inhabited by descendants of Abraham existing in the flesh-its metropolis constituting the mother-city and the high place of worship for the nations which are in a similar state of existence- seems clearly to be established, if the numerous Scriptures which speak of the condition of that restored kingdom are to be understood according to their plain literal import. The "cities are to be builded,” the "waste places inhabited,” the "land sown with the seed of man and the seed of beast,” “ fields bought for money,” &c.

But if Israel be converted to the faith of Christ before her restoration, whence hath her land inhabitants; for all those who are partakers of the faith of Abraham, who have believed on the Promised Seed, are destined to partake of the first resurrection? The apostle asserts (Rom. x. 11, 12; Gal. iii. 11), that, among those who believe in Jesus, there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek. Writing to the Thessalonians, who were Gentiles, he declares that those of their fellows “ who sleep in Jesus God will bring with him ;” and that then “we which are alive and remain” (including himself, a Jew, among the number) “shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, and shall be ever with the Lord.” Thus, were the inhabitants of the restored Jerusalem a people converted to the faith of Christ, and entitled to the special blessedness of those who have believed without sight, their privilege at the Lord's coming would be translation into the likeness of his glorious body, as the bride of the Lamb, not continuance in fleshly bodies.

May we, who are believers of the Gentiles, never overlook or forget the high and inestimable privilege of being one with our Lord in risen glory, to which, through abounding grace, we are destined; but prize and magnify the distinguishing love which has thus made us to differ from our elder brethren !

4. Another consideration confirmatory of this view is, that the word of God seems to connect the conversion of Israel with the appearance of Jesus of Nazareth to them; the time and place of which appearance necessarily require that they should be previously restored to their own land.

It has already been observed, that the prophet Zechariah-who appears to describe the conversion of Israel to the faith of the crucified Redeemer in those remarkable words, “ They shall look upon Him whom they have pierced, and mourn "--places that event either immediately after or simultaneous with the destruction of all the nations that come against Jerusalem (Zech. xii. 9, 10). In his xiv th chapter he brings together into one appalling scene these nations gathered, the heavy afflictions falling upon the beloved city, the Lord preparing to go forth and fight against those nations, and his feet standing upon

the

Mount of Olives. Thus the conversion of Israel, the time, and the attendant circumstances, are at once brought into view. To this agree the words of John, in the Apocalypse : “Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him; and all the kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him.” So the Apostle Paul, in his xi th chapter to the Romans, declares that “ blindness in part is happened unto Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in, and so all Israel shall be saved;” and the way in which their blindness shall be removed, he proceeds to shew, is this : “ There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.” Here we may observe, First, That the high prerogative of turning away ungodliness from Jacob is reserved for the Deliverer; or, as it is in the passage quoted (Isa. lix. 20), "the Redeemer," the Lord himself, whom they have rejected. Secondly, That Jacob---not Judah alone--consequently the twelve tribes of Israel, are “partakers of the benefit;" which shews us that the conversion of Judah only is not the event to be looked for, nor the time of their separation from the Ten Tribes, if they are separated, the period of its occurrence. Thirdly, The time of this event is when “the Deliverer comes out of Zion;" and if we turn to the prediction of Isaiah we shall find that to be, when “the Redeemer shall come to Zion” (see the passage), clearly marking the point of time: after which follows the description of the triumphal and exalted state of Jerusalem, in the lxth chapter: “ Arise, shine, for thy light is come,” &c.; one of the promises of which is, “ Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders ;" a passage which further confirms the time of turning from ungodliness. Were it before the restoration, violence would at least once more be heard in the land, when the infidel Antichrist should overflow it as a mighty torrent; but let it succeed the restoration, and the whole prediction harmonizes.

5. The manner and time of Israel's conversion are further exhibited and corroborated by some typical events recorded in the Scriptures; one or two of which may be shortly noticed.

The conversion of Saul of Tarsus has been supposed, by the learned Mede and others, to have prefigured the conversion of his nation; and that in this sense God constituted him pattern unto those of his countrymen who should thereafter believe on Christ to life everlasting” The similarity is striking. Saul, like his countrymen, was a blasphemer of the Lord Jesus. Though he often heard, no doubt, the testimony delivered by his disciples, he rejected it. At length he, like Thomas (another type, probably, of the unbelieving Jew), was to be converted by actual vision of our Lord. He was converted by extraordinary meansby the appearance of Christ to him after his ascension into heaven. On this vision of Jesus he was humbled to the dust, and confessed

а

« AnteriorContinuar »