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their servants and their handmaidens,—on all of them (saith God) I will pour out my Spirit.” 6. All shall know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord.” “I will POUR water upon him that is thirsty, and FLOODS upon the dry ground. I will pour My SPIRIT upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring.” (Isaiah xliv. 3.) “0 thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, Behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires. And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones.
And (more than all beside) ALL THY CHILDREN SHALL
OF THE LORD, and great shall be the peace of thy children.” (Isaiah liv. 11–13.) 66 All shall know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord.”
A few words must suffice, in conclusion, on
III. The character of the dispensation, resulting from so glorious a fulfilment of such “exceeding great and precious promises” to the whole collective body of that great and mighty nation,the restored Israel.
There is a strange jealousy, in the present Gospel Church, (just as there was in the ancient Jewish Church,) against any kind of dispensation, however glorious, different from that under which
we live. The millennium they will have to be, but the present dispensation perfected, and essentially of the same character. But, setting aside now, for a moment, the glorious hope to which we cling, of the manifestation and personal reign of the Lord from heaven, in a restored earth, and in the day of the earth's rest, if our brethren would only put together, and well weigh, the particulars, which even themselves confess are to have place, in the millennial state of the earth, we think they would see, at once, that they are such as to constitute a day of Glory, not perfect indeed, but yet, as essentially and widely different from the present day of GRACE--the Christian day, as that is from the Jewish, or even more so.
I have not time to follow out the idea. Let me suggest only one feature of difference, rendering inapplicable a vast portion of Scripture to the then condition of the Church, viz. the difference between the Church oppressed, suffering with Christ, limited in extent, as now; and the Church co-extensive with the world, free from Satan's vexing, and everywhere triumphant. Who can estimate the revolution involved herein ?
But let us look, now, at the house of Israel and Judah, established as “one kingdom, in their land, upon the mountains of Israel,” at the beginning of that day of blessedness, when they shall stand
forth, in the sight of the wondering, admiring nations, the covenant people, again, of Jehovah their God, with all these excellent promises fulfilled to them to the letter, in all the length and breadth of their community.
What a marvellous sight will then be presented to the eyes of men ! That people, for so many ages cast off by their God; scattered and peeled; a byword and a derision; an astonishment and a hissing, for their iniquities, among all nations : now, in a moment, with miracles and wonders, brought back to the land of their fathers : all their sins forgiven: all their transgressions buried in everlasting forgetfulness. Instead thereof, the Holy Ghost filling every soul: the holy law of God written in their hearts, and influencing their affections: the light and knowledge of God enlightening, not some, nor many, but ALL of them, from the least to the greatest: God, most gloriously, and (as we believe) visibly, in the person of Jesus Christ, present with them, as their God : showing himself a God to them, in unparalleled communications of Divine goodness : and they manifested as his people, in the face of all the nations of the earth, by the most illustrious displays of his power and providence in their behalf, and their returns of entire affection, and devotion, and willing service. This will be
such a sight as the world has never seen, has never thought to see, from the day that God created man upon the earth, to this hour.
And what (think you) will be the effect of this grace to Israel, on the nations who shall witness it? The apostle will inform us. “ The receiving of them” shall be, to the world, “LIFE FROM THE DEAD.” The casting away of them has been the reconciling of the world: how much more, their fulness. Then that word to Abraham shall have its full accomplishment, “In thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” The glory begins with Israel. Its sun, like the natural sun, rises, first, in the east. On them, first, will the morning dawn of that blessed day, the day of the rest, the Sabbath-keeping that remains for this weary world, when the sinners shall be consumed out of the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it, and the meek shall inherit the earth,” and the saints shall possess the kingdom." But the day that first dawns on them will spread itself to every spot of this habitable globe. We believe, indeed, that the beginning of God's mercies to Israel will be marked with corresponding judgments, desolating judgments, on the guilty nations who have oppressed Israel, and abused the long day of Gospel grace and privilege, vouchsafed to them in vain. The image of
Daniel (chap. ii.), or the four Gentile monarchies, must be broken in pieces, by the blow of the stone cut out without hands. “The gold, the silver, the brass, the iron, and the clay,” must be “broken in pieces together, and become like the chaff of the summer threshing floor;" and so the stone, EXISTING ALONE in the earth, “ shall become a great mountain, and fill the whole earth.” “I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, (saith the Father to his exalted Son;) thou shalt BREAK them with a ROD OF IRON: thou shalt DASH them in pieces like a potter's vessel.” (Ps. ii. 8, 9.) All existing institutions and kingdoms opposed to Christ must perish, and “few men,” as Isaiah speaks (chap. xxiv.), few, at all events, of the professing Christian nations, “ be left.”
But, thenceforth, a new day, another order of things is begun, in the earth. The “handful of corn in the earth, upon the top of the mountains," shall grow and multiply; "the fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon, and they of the city shall flourish, like grass of the earth.” (Ps. Ixxii. 16.) Satan shall be bound, who now deceives, and destroys the nations. The curse of God shall be rolled away from the earth : there will be a paradise state of it, and of them that dwell in it; specially (we believe) in Palestine. There will be a dispensation of glory, of righteousness,