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that there is a great improvement going on in these points ;—the Church is awakening to her privileges. And the result is, That the ancient people of God, in all their interest, in all the promises that belong to them, in all the part which they hold in the Word of God, that prominent part which they have there, are becoming now an object of deep and affectionate concern to the Church of Christ. Christians are learning now that they do not stand alone, and that they must not and cannot act on the principle of separate and individual interest, but that they are connected with the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ in all its coming fulness, and must therefore feel interested in the people who are so essentially concerned in that glory.
As regards, too, the other point, the eyes of the Christian Church are opened. more Christians who no longer read the prophecies under the impression that they are not to be understood, except through the intervention of a spiritualizing alchemy, and that without this, these Scriptures cannot afford any nourishment to the child of God; but we see them recurring to the Old Testament in all its plainness, marking its historical facts and statements, looking at its clear types, observing its faithful and precious promises and prophecies, and taking it up in its plain, simple,
We find many
and historical meaning, and grammatical sense, and not wresting it and turning it this way or that, just to serve a spiritual turn, or to afford a little comfort to the individual believer. Not that he now loses the comfort from such portions of God's word, but he enjoys it with infinitely greater propriety and preciousness, when he takes the literal as well as the spiritual sense, and when he acknowledges and recognises the plain and grammatical sense of the record. And, my dear brethren, the subject that we have before us to-night is an instance of this. Many personsall of you, I suppose—are conversant with the history of David, and all of you who have read that history, have felt that it is full of the deepest interest, and of the richest instruction to the child of God, apart from every other consideration. But was it meant to be read apart from every other consideration? Is the history of David nothing more than the history of a child of God in all the variety of experience? And are we to read his history, and gather from it what we can, as we read the history of any other man? Nay, my dear brethren, David is a link in a mighty chain that we are called distinctly to recognise. It hangs down from Adam, through Seth, Noah, Shem, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and is then continued in the tribe of Judah.
And see what hangs upon this chain; nothing less than all the glory of the coming dispensation, the triumph of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the regeneration of the world we stand upon; all this is connected with David, as a link in the chain of God's wonderful arrangement. Besides, therefore, contemplating his character as that of an isolated individual, who has passed over a stage to leave some important lessons for imitation and warning, we see him, indissolubly connected with the glory of God, the happiness of man, and the deliverance of creation, because the coming glory of the Son of David hangs upon the fact that Jesus, as holding the throne of David for ever, cannot fulfil his high office, or be brought to his kingdom, except through the son of Jesse, and as the fruit of his body.
May God the Holy Spirit be abundantly shed upon us this night, while I endeavour, through his grace, to lead you to a consideration of the subject which has been proposed for our meditation. My desire is, to place before you a simple exposition of Scripture—to gather out those passages which bear upon the several parts of our subject, and thus bring before you the testimony of the Word of God, with respect to his covenant with David.
I. Look at the statement respecting God's covenant with David in the chapter from which
my text is taken. David having the intention to build the Lord a house, Nathan said, Do all that is in thine heart; but that night the word of the L'ord came to Nathan, and He sent him with a message to David, -“ Now therefore so shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel; and I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest, and have cut off all thine enemies out of thy sight, and have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great men that are in the earth. Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime, and as since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies. Also the Lord telleth thee that he will make thee an house. And when thy days be fulfilled, that thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will
chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men : But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established
According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David.” The same covenant occurs in 1 Chron. xvii. 7—15, in nearly the same words.
Now, the question is simply this. Has this covenant to David been fulfilled in Solomon, or does it yet remain to be fulfilled ? In reply to this question we may observe, first, that the promise being made to David's son, does not necessarily imply, that it was made to Solomon, because, the Jews called
descendant a son. Our Lord is called the seed of Abraham, as Paul teaches us. He is specified individually as such, though he did not come till many generations after Abraham. So our Lord was called David's son continually by the Jews themselves; and the Messiah is expected by them simply as David's son. in Chronicles, greater latitude of expression is employed: “And it shall come to pass, that I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons." But again, it is very clear, that
* 1 Chron. xvii. 11.
In the passage