Imágenes de páginas

government of the world upon his shoulder, and be manifested as the Prince of peace. "Of the increase of his government and peace, there shall be no end: upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it and to establish it, with judgment and with justice, from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this."c

Once more. The national glory of this dispensation may consist with infidelity. A man who is an infidel may be a glorious king; a glorious general or admiral; a glorious statesman, poet, artist, or philosopher. Men of any creed or of no creed are alike eligible to national honour and glory. Of such a nature is this glory, that its richest laurels may entwine a brow within which the fear, or even the existence of a God has ceased to call up a single serious reflection; its brightest trophies, its stars of pride, may adorn a bosom, which haa never heaved under the pressure of conscious sin, or felt an emotion of love towards Him who gave his life to save the sinner.

The restored Jewish nation, on the contrary, shall be a nation of true worshippers of the one only living and true God—Jehovah in Trinity— the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Israel. Infidelity will be impossible. "They shall all know me, saith the Lord, from the least of them unto the greatest of them. Neither shall they defile e Isa. ix. 6, 7.

themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions. I will place them, and multiply them, and will set My Sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. My tabernacle, also, shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And the heathen shall know that I, the Lord, do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore."d

Thus it appears, that the glory, the kingdom, the pre-eminence of the restored Jewish nation, shall consist in their nearness to God, and his nearness to them. His sanctuary in the midst of them will cause all the nations of the earth to do them honour; and their holy superiority shall be exercised in perfect national and individual righteousness, in universal and uninterrupted peace.

But how can these things be? How can righteousness, and peace, and true devotion supersede, among the nations, the high and lofty splendour, the pride and glory of military and naval superiority? The answer is, the sceptre of Messiah's kingdom in the earth will be a sceptre of righteousness. His people's prayer shall be heard and answered—Thy Will be done in earth, as it is in heaven !" The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of man shall be bowed down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day: for when his judgments are in the earth, the d Jer. xxxi. 34. Ezek. xxxvii. 23—28.

inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness."

Great will be the change, when God shall make clear to men's eyes and ears what are now only matters of faith: when the disregarded sanctions of the divine law shall be exhibited with power; "so that a man shall say, verily there is a reward for the righteous; verily there is a God that judgeth in the earth." The judgments of men will be rectified. That which has been disjointed by sin, will be reset. The fear of the Lord will be seen and known to be wisdom; and a nation pre-eminent in righteousness, and in favour with God, will be acknowledged the most glorious of the nations.

II. The restored Jewish nation shall prove a blessing to all the nations of the earth.

To this truth bear all the prophets witness. Indeed it is so incorporated in the sacred text with other subjects, that the passages already quoted have fully declared it. But more directly.

It is predicted by Zechariah, that when the Jews shall be restored to their land, and their King shall have returned to reign over them, and over the whole earth, living waters shall go out from Jerusalem. In parallel language, it is predicted by Joel, concerning the same period, that it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with water, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the Lord, and shall water the valley of Shittim.

Compare with these, the vision given to Ezekiel of the holy waters issuing from the temple, and flowing forth to the healing of the desert and the sea, so that whithersoever the waters shall come, every thing shall be healed and shall live.e

This, it may be said, is highly figurative language. Doubtless, it is so: but the figure means something literal; and we must bear in mind the difference between figurative language and figurative fulfilment. The latter is mere evasion. "The supplies of grace (literal blessings) are often represented in Scripture by rivers and streams of water, (figurative language,) which both cleanse and make fruitful the ground through which they pass."f "The passage refers to the wide effusion of divine knowledge from Jerusalem restored. By living waters, there is good reason to believe are meant the gifts and graces of the gospel dispensation. That these benefits will be diffused more extensively by the restoration of the Jews, is not obscurely intimated in Romans xi. 15."g

In another prophecy, Zechariah informs us, with more literal plainness, "that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities, and the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, let us go speedily to pray before the Lord, and to seek the Lord of hosts: I will go also. Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the Lord. Thus saith the Lord of hosts; in those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you." h

e Zech. xiv. 8. Joel iii. 18. Ezek. xlvii. 1— 12. 'Lowth on Zech. xiv. Compare John iv. 10—14; and vii. 37—39.

» Newcome on Ezek. xlvii. Blayney on Zech. xiv. 8.

On the prophecy of Hosea, which concludes with the words, "great shall be the day of Jezreel,"' Bishop Horsley remarks, "great, indeed, and happy shall be the day, when the holy seed of both branches of the natural Israel shall be publicly acknowledged of their God; united under one head, their King Messiah; and restored to the possession of the promised land, and to a situation of high pre-eminence among the kingdoms of the earth. The natural Israel were the first seed of the universal church; and there is reason to believe, that the restoration of the converted Jews will be the occasion and means of a prodigious influx of new converts from the Gentiles in the latter ages. Thus the Jezreel of the natural Israel, from the first, have been, and to the last will prove, a seed sown of God for himself in the earth."

A remarkable matter of fact, respecting the proh Zech. viii. 20—23. 'Hos. i. 10, 11.

« AnteriorContinuar »