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seed of David, which is spoken of in the language of the original promise to the spiritual seed of Abraham, is much to be observed. Are all the heirs, according to the promise—all believers in Christ counted to David too, for a seed in respect of the promise of the kingdom? Yes, this is the uniform language of prophecy. Is Christ heir of the world to come?—his saints are "joint heirs" with him—they " sit with him upon his throne"—'' they reign with him, and rule the nations with a rod of iron"—" they judge the world"—they are kings and priests to God.
But, I think, we may remark further on this passage, that the priesthood of Christ and his people is not here symbolized by that of Aaron, and the sons of Levi — Christ is not a priest of the order of Aaron, but of the order of Melchisedec. It is after this order,.that the spiritual sons of David are to reign and minister before God. The ministering of the Levitical priests, which is also promised in this prophecy, is no symbol of the kingdom and priesthood of the saints. It must, therefore, relate to something else in the future economy of the kingdom. Nor have we any warrant, as we have respecting the seed of Abraham, and the seed of David, to understand it in a spiritual typical sense. I am led to conclude, therefore, that " in the world to come," over which Christ and his glorified saints shall reign, the Levitical priesthood will be restored among men in the flesh; and being purified, to offer an acceptable offering, will minister in their appointed offices on earth. Accordingly, we learned in the prophecy of Isaiah, that when God shall extend the privileges and blessings of the restored Israel to the other nations of the earth, " He will take also of them for priests and Levites." In short, the Theocracy will be again established in Zion, and extend its rule to the ends of the world. Christ, with his saints, occupy the sanctuary, or this is the place of the manifestation of the divine presence. He is the King, and they so united to him, that they may be said to reign together: they answer to the Cherubim and Seraphim, that form a part of his manifested glory. But, besides these, there will be ministers of the sanctuary among mortal men, to keep the charge of the house of Jehovah. These are to be principally of the house of Aaron and Levi. I say principally, for we have already learned, that under the new dispensation the rights of the priesthood, and of the ministry, are to be extended to an order of men selected from the other nations of the earth. * This is not the royal priesthood promised to the followers of Jesus, under whom, as being made one with their Master in glory, the world of which we speak is to be subjected; but it is a priestly order, and sacred ministry, among men upon earth, "ordained for men in things pertainiiig to God." They enter not into the tabernacle made without hands, but they "serve at its door," " to keep the-charge of the house." All things will be made new; but, in the modelling of the tabernacle, and in the appointed ordinances of the Israelitish worship, we may discern the resemblances of the patterns of heavenly things, when "the new Jerusalem shall come down from God out of heaven," and "the kingdom of our God shall fully come."
Remarks on the First Chapter of Ezekiel. *
What will first strike our attention in opening the prophecy of Ezekiel, is that remarkable vision, so minutely described in the first chapter, " of the appearance of the glory of Jehovah." The whole is, no doubt, a symbolical representation, and not the " very image of the thing;" but, like the symbols of the subsequent "visions of the Almighty"— the symbol of the Lamb that had been slain, standing on Mount /ion/' for instance, in the Revelation —it is intended to give a true representation of important realities.
Ezekiel tells us, ver. 3, that " when he was in the land of the Chaldeans, by the river Chebar, the hand of Jehovah was there upon him."
"And 1 looked, and behold a whirlwind," or " a stormy wind, came out of the north; a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself;1 and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst
* He is supposed to have prophesied between 595 and 374 before
'"' A fire taking hold of itself, another place, viz. Exod. ix. 24. or, a fire catching itself,'which the What the prophet sees here is first words nnp^no w literally rendered a great cloud, driven along by a signify, can be nothing but fire vehement wind; which cloud, soon lighting of itself, breaking out of its after it coines in sight, bursts into own accord, without the applica- a bright flame. The spontaneous tion of external fire to the sub- accension of the fire is described stance in which it appears. So by the phrase of its ' catching ittin- phrase should be rendered in self.'"—Horslcy.
thereof:" or, it had " a radiation of light around it, and from the midst of it."
That is to say, there was an emission of beams of light from the centre every way.
"As, the colour of amber out of the midst of the fire, (or rather) " like the flowing light, or reflected beam' from chasmal."
Chasmal is supposed to have been a composition of gold with copper, or, as some suppose, of gold and silver: this, highly burnished, might afford a metaphor of the highest splendour imaginable.8 This glorious radiation was from the midst of the fire. The storm, the cloud of darkness, and the great fire, with the bright radiating light in the midst of these awful symbols of divine majesty, are all distinctly to be noticed, and to be compared with the other manifestations of the same glory, both in former and later ages; for we shall find a great similarity, and all must be referred to that great day, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed in flaming fire.
"And from the midst thereof" — that is, from the midst of the cloud, the fire, and the Radiating Glory"—ver. 5, "came," or " proceeded four living creatures. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man."—The human figure prevailed most in their general shape and appearance.— "And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings, and their feet were straight," or, " upright feet; the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf's foot: and they glittered like the shining of burnished brass. And they had the hands of a man under their wings, on their four sides; the four had their faces and their wings. Their wings were joined one to
1 "Quick twinkling, or corns- and in the East Indies it is called cation."—Idem. Snassa."
8 "Thc Greeks rail it
another, they turned not when they went; they went every one straight forward. As for the likeness of their faces, there was the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side to the four; and the face of an ox on the left side to the four; the face of an eagle to the four. Thus were their faces; and their wings were stretched upward; two wings of each were joined one to another, and two covered their bodies. And they went every one straight forward; whither the Spirit was to go they went; and they turned not when they went. As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning' coals of fire, and like the appearance of lamps," or, " flashes." "It vibrated among the living creatures, and radiated on the fire, and from the fire it came forth ' in' lightning. And in respect of the living creatures, it ran along, and returned like the appearance of scattered lightning. And I looked at the living creatures, and, behold, a wheel on the earth beside the living creatures to his four faces." — This is explained.—" And the appearance of the wheels, and their work, was like unto the splendour of beryl': and the four had one likeness, and their appearance and their work was, as it were, a wheel within a wheel."
—Perhaps placed one wheel within another at right angles, so that whichever way the Spirit that directed the living creatures was to go, there was no necessity to turn.
17. " When they went, they went upon their four sides; and they turned not when they went. As for their rings, they were so high, that they were dreadful; and the rings were full of eyes round about to the four: and when the living creatures went, the wheels went by them: and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up. Whithersoever the Spirit was to go they went, and the wheels were lifted up over against them; for the Spirit of the living creatures," or, "of life, was in the wheels. When those went, these went; and when those stood, these stood; and when those were lifted
1 "The chrysolite, or topaz."—Parkiiurst.