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all his cunning, in opposing Christ, and the salvation of men. And in this way be overcome and wholly defeated, in the ruin of his interest and kingdom among men ; so that all bis attempts shall turn against himself, and be the occasion of making the victory and triumph of the Redeemer greater, more perspicuous and glorious, in the final prevalence of his kingdom on earth, by drawing all men to him ; and destroying the works and kingdom of Satan in this world, and setting up his own on the ruins of it, and so as to turn all the attempts and works of the devil against him, and render the whole subservient to his own interest and kingdoin. And thus the coming and kingdom of Christ will be “ As the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain.” When the sun rises in a clear morning, after a dark night, attended with clouds, rain and storms, the morning is more pleasant, beautiful and glorious, and the grass springs and grows more fresh and thrifty, than if it had not been preceded by such a stormy night. So the prosperity and glory of the church, when the Sun of righteousness shall rise upon it, with healing in his beams, will be enjoyed to a higher degree, and be more pleasant and glorious, and Christ will be more glorified, than if it had not been preceded by a dreadful night of darkness, confusion and evil, by the wickedness of men, and the power and agency of Satan.
The words above cited are the last words of David the prophet, and sweet Psalmist of Israel, and are a prophecy of the glorious event now under consideration. “ The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue. The God of Isra. el said, the Rock of Israel spake by me. He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. And he shall be like the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds ; as the tender grass springing out of the earth, by clear shining after rain."* The first words may be rendered so as to give the true sense more clearly. “ He who is to rule over men, (i. e. the Messiah) is just, ruling in the fear of God.” The words must be, in our translation, are not in the original, and the helping verb is, which is commonly not expressed, but understoud, in the Hebrew, should have been supplied : “ He that ruleth, or is to rule over men, is just.” This is evidently a prophecy concerning Christ, his church and kingdom, when he shall take to himself his great power, and reign in his kingdom, which shall succeed the reign of Satan during the four preceding monarchies, which were first to take place, which will be more par. ticularly explained, as we proceed in examining the prophecies of this great event, The latter day glory. And that these words of David are a prediction of the reign of Christ on earth, after the long prevalence of Satan and wicked men, is farther evident from the words which follow, relative to the same thing. “But the sons of Beliel, shall all of them as thorns be thrust away, be
* 2 Sam. xxii. 2, 3, 4.
cause they cannot be taken with hands. But the man that shall touch them must be fenced with iron, and the staff of a spear, and they shall be utterly burnt with fire in the same place."
Exactly parallel with this prophecy, is that of the prophet Malachi. “ Behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud, yea, all that do wickedly, shall be stubble, and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name, shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in bis wings; and ye shall go forth and grow up as the calves in the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked ; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet, in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts."*
But to return from this, which may seem to be some digression, or anticipation : The great and remarkable promise, so often made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and more than once mentioned by the Aposiles, will next be considered. This promise was made to Abraham, and of him, three times. « In thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.”+ “ All the nations of the carth shall be blessed in hun.”I " And in thy seed shall the nations of the earth be blessed.”'S And this same promise is made to Isaac. “I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed."|| And to Jacob. “ In thee, and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." The apostle Peter mentions this promise as referring to the days of the gospel. “ Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fatliers, saying unto Abraham, and in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed." The apostle Paul speaks of this promise as referring to Christ, and all who believe in him, making him to be the promised seed, and believers in him to be those exclusively who are blessed in him, in whom the promised good takes place. “ Know ye, therefore, that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith, are blessed with faithful Abraham.--Now to Abrabam and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many ; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.”ft
This prediction and promise is very express and extensive, That all the families, kindreds, and nations of the earth, should be blessed in Christ, by their becoming believers in him. This has never yet taken place, and cannot be fulfilled, unless chris. tianity and the kingdom of Christ shall take place and prevail in the world to a vastly higher degree, and more extensively and • Mal. iv. 1, 2, 3. + Gen. xii. 3.
# Chap. xviii. 18. Ś Chap. xxii. 18
11 Chap. xxvi. 4. 9 Chap. xxvii. 14. ** Acts ii. 35. it Gal. iii. 7, 8, 9, 16.
universally, than has yet come to pass ; and all nations, all the inhabitants of the earth, shall become believers in him, agrceable to a great number of other prophecies, some of winga will be mentioned in this section.
The reign of Christ on earth, with his church and people, and the happiness and glory of that time, is a subject often mentioned, predicted and celebrated in the book of Psalius. To mention all that is there spoken with reference to that happy time, would be to transcribe great part of that book. Only the following nassiges will now be mentioned, which are thought abundantly to prove that the kingdom of Christ is to prevail and Rourish in tais world, as it has never yet done ; and the church is to be brought to a state of purity, prosperity and happiness on earth, which has . not yet taken place, and so as to include all nations, and fill the world.
In the second Psalm, it is predicted and promised, that the Son of God shall inherit and possess all nations, to the ends of the earth ; which necessarily implies, that his church and kingam shall be thus extensive, reacning to the ends on the earth, and including all the nations and men on earth. “ I have set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree : The Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thioe inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for us possession." By Zion here is meant, as in numerous other places in the prophecies, the church of Christ, of which mount Zion was a lype.
The twenty second Psalm contains a prophecy of the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that shall follow ; and of the latter it is said ; “ The meek shall eat and be satisfied. They shall praise the Lord that seek him : Your heart shall live forever. All the ends of the world shall remember, and turn unto the Lord : And all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee. For the kingdom is the Lord's ; and he is the Governor among the nations : For evil doers shall be cut off : But those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be ; yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shull inherit the earth, and delight themselves in the abun lance of peace.'
This is a prediction of an event which has never taken place yet. Evil doers and the wicked have in all ages hitherto possessed the earth, and flourished and reigued in the wood. IV hen it is promised, that they who wait upon the Lord, and i!le meek shall inherit the earth, and delight themselves in the ahundance of peace, the meaning must be, that persons of this characlor will yet have the possession of the earth, and fill the world, when no place shall be found for the wicked, as they shall be all destroyed, and their cause wholly lost. And all of this character 'who have lived before this time, and waited upon the Lord in the
• Psal. xxxvi. 9, 10, 11.
exercise of meekness, shall Aourish and live in their successors, and in the prosperity and triumph of the cause and interest, in which they lived and died. This is agreeable to other prophecies of this kind, as will be shewn in the sequel.“ All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn unto the Lord : And all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.” Who can believe that this has ever yet been ? But few of mankind, coinpared with the whole, have yet turned unto the Lord. By far the greatest part of the nations of the earth, even to the ends of the world, have worshippeil, and do now worship false gods, and idols. But when all the ends of the world shall remember, and turn to the Lord ; and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before him ; then the meek shall inherit the carth, and delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
The whole of the sixty seventh Psalm is a prediction of the same event, and of the same time, which is yet to come.
It is a prayer of the church that such a time may take place; at the same time expressing her assurance that it was coining; and the whole is a prophecy of it. « God be merciful unto us, and bless us ; and cause his face to shine upon us. That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations. Let the people praise thee, O God ; let all the people praise thee. 0 let the nations be glad, and sing for joy ; for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. Then sliall the earth yield her increase : and God, even our God, shall bless us. God shall bless us ; and all the ends of the earth shall fear him.
The seventy second Psalm, the title of which is, “ A Psalm for Solomon," contains a prophecy of Christ and his kingdom, of whom Solomon was an eminent type. The Psalmist looks beyond the type to the antitype, and says things which can be applied to the latter only, and are not true of the former, considered as distinct from the latter ; which is common in the scripture, in such cases. Here it is said, “ He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass ; as showers that water the earth. In his days shall the righteous flourish ; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth. He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth. All kings shall fall down before him : All nations shall serve him. His 'name shall endure forever : His name shall be continued as long as the sun ; and men shall be blessed in him : All nations shall call him blessed. Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who only doth wondrous things. And blessed be his glorious name forever, and let the whole earth be filled with his glory ; Amen, and Amen."
Arise, O God, judge the earth ; for thou shalt inherit all nations."* In this Psalm, the rulers and judges among men are accused of unrighteousness, and condemned: and then the VOL. II.
54 • Psalm lxxxii. 8.
Psalmist concludes with the words now quoted, which refer to some future event, in which God should judge the earth, and inherit all nations, in a sense in which he had not yet done it. In the second Psalm, the heathen, i. e. the nations, all nations, are given to Christ for his inheritance ; and here the same thing is expressed, “ Thou shalt inherit all nations." And by his judging the earth, is meant his reigning and subduing the inhabitants of the earth, to a cordial subjection to himself; which will be more evident by what follows, where we shall find the same thing predicted.
The ninety-sixth Psalm relates wholly to redemption by Christ ; to the happiness and glory of his kingdom, and his reign on earth. “ O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. Pear before him all the earth. Say among the heathen, that the Lord reigneth : The world also shall be established, that it shall not be moved, he shall judge the people righteously. Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad : Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof. Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein : Then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice before the Lord; for he cometh to judge the earth : He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth." What is here foretold, is to take place before the end of the world, and the general judgment; and it relates to the whole world, all the earth and the nations in it; the kingdom and reign of Christ is to extend to all of them : And his coming to judge the earth, and the world in righteousness, intends his reigning in righteousness, and bringing all nations to share in the blessings of his salvation and kingdom. Agreeably to this, it is said of Christ, by Isaiah and Jeremiah, “ Behold a king shall reign in righteousness. In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David, and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land," or in the earth.*
Great part of the prophecy of Isaiah relates to the flourishing and happy state of the kingdom of Christ, and the prosperity of the church in the latter days. When he foretells the return of the people of Israel from the Babylonish captivity, which was a type of the deliverance of the church of Christ from spiritual Babyloo, and from all her enemies in this world, visible and itvisible, he commonly looks forward to the latter, and keeps that in view, and says things of it, which are not true of the former, and cannot be applied to it. And as Zion, Jerusalem, and Judah, and Israel, were types of the church and kingdom of Christ, as including all nations, the former are commonly mentioned only as types, being put for, and signifying the latter. And when the gospel day, the coming of Christ, and his church and king. dom, are brought into view, all that is included in these is comprehended ; and commonly chief reference is had to the Millen
m, or the day of the flourishing of the kingdom of Christ on earth, which is in a peculiar manner, and eminently the day of
• Isai. xxxii. 1. Jer, xxxiii. 15.