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church is made to God without ceasing for him. Peter is let out; and they open not the door for joy at the sight of him. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron' beard, that went down to the skirts of his garments; it is like the dew of Hermon, on the mountain of Zion; where God commanded the blessing, even life for evermore."
THE WONDERFUL CLIMAX, OR, THE CHAIN OF
HEAVEN AND EARTH.
Hosea ii. 21, 22.
“And it shall come to pass in that day, I will hear, saith the
Lord; I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth; and the earth shall hear the corn, and the wine, and the oil ; and they shall hear Jezreel.”
Tue day here spoken of does not appear to me to be the time of Christ's appearing, when the day: spring from on high visited us, to guide our feet into the
The ten tribes were then in captivity; and where they now are, seems to be a mystery
Nor is the day here spoken of the day in which the gospel was published to the Gentiles, when the apostles became “a tabernacle for the sun; which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race;" when their line went out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world, Psalm xix. 4, 5; Rom. x. 18. The day spoken of in my text is yet to come. For although some few of the ten tribes might be gathered in when the gospel was preached in and about the countries where the ten tribes were scattered, and a church elected together was founded, even in Babylon, 1 Peter. v. 13; yet, as a body, they have not been restored to the favour of God by the gospel; nor will they be until the fulness of the Gentiles comes in. “ Then said God, Call his name Lo-ammi; for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God. Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered: and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God. Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel.” Here we have the rejection of Israel with a Lo-ammi put upon them, which still continues; next we have the adoption of the Gentiles, formerly not a people, but now the sons of the living God; and, when the fulness of the Gentiles be come in, then the Deliverer goes forth out of Zion, and turns ungodliness from Jacob; and so Israel is saved at last. And to this agrees Isaiah: “And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to
recover the remnant of his people which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of
And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” At this time, says Hosea, the children of Judah and of Israel shall be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head; that is, they shall both unite, and embrace Christ Jesus and his gospel. “I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them: I the Lord have spoken it.” Under this head they shall return to their own country; they shall come up out of the land; “for great shall be the day of Jezreel.” This great day is the day spoken of in my text, in the which “I will hear, saith the Lord.”
“I will hear the heavens." The heavens are to intercede for Jezreel whenever this great day
And by the heavens being heard we are to understand the intercession of Christ; the Holy of holies, eternal in the heavens, is his sanctuary; into the most holy place he entered with his own blood; and there to this day his sacrifice and satisfaction abide a sweet-smelling savour to God. And it is with the abundance of his grace, and with the sweet savour of his grand oblations, that all our prayers are perfumed to this day, if they ever ascend with acceptance to God,
Moreover, as Christ, in the days of his flesh, prayed for all his elect, so his prayers must be answered for them all. “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may
one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us.” The many promises that are made to Christ and his seed are all yea and amen in him; and therefore must be fulfilled. The petitions put up by our High Priest in behalf of all his elect must be heard and answered. The sacrifice offered, the satisfaction made on their account, and the ransom price paid down for them, the whole of which being now in the presence of God for us, demands and calls for the eternal salvation of all the sheep, whether Jews or Gentiles, and that on the footing of truth and holiness, law and justice. And to this God promises the strictest attention, and enforces it with a repetition, “I will hear, saith the Lord, I will hear the heavens,"
1. The heavens are in the plural. And by these, in the next place, we are to understand the church, which is often so called, our high birth, doctrine, and worship, being all from above. Hence the gospel church is called a wonder in heaven, Rev. xii. 1. The ministry of the gospel is set forth by an angel flying in the midst of heaven, and preaching as he flies; and yet he preaches it to them that dwell on the earth, Rev. xiv. 6. The great red dragon, with its seven heads and