« VorigeDoorgaan »
name is above every dame, that at his name every knee shall bow”—as it is written, “ He must reign .
, till he has put all his enemies under his feet.” “ There shall be given unto him the heathen for his inheritạnçe, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession.” " His dominion shall be from sea to Sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth."
In the two first manifestations of Messiah's kingdom, the world at large is left under the power of another prince spoken of in Scripture as “the wicked one;"_" the prince of this world ;”—“ the spirit
; that worketh in the children of disobedience;" but a time of the restitution of all things is announced ; and when the Lord, even Jesus cometh with ten thousand of his saints to execute judgment, he shall lay “ hold on the dragon, that old serpent which is the devil and Satan, and bind him a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him that he deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years are fulfilled.” The word nations proves that during these thousand years, the race of man shall still remain and be continued in the flesh; and other scriptures confirm it, and shew that this period of the thousand years is the time of Messiah’s personal reign with his saints ; that it is bis kingdom,-a reign or rule upon earth, which shall be
established in righteousness and true holiness before him.
The Lord Jesus Christ, God over all, blessed for ever, was manifested that he might destroy the works of the devil: and doubtless Satan's power over the mind, the will, the affections, and the flesh of man, is amongst the works to be destroyed. Unless this be accomplished before all flesh shall pass away, how can the Lord be glorified in his Saints ?
How can it be shewn what manner of persons the Lord's people ought to be, and shall approve themselves in all holiness of life and conversation ?-Except during the period when our first parents dwelt in the garden of Eden, and walked before their Lord in peace and in love blameless, the glory and perfection of man in the flesh, or in his time-state, have never been seen in the beauty of their creation, Ever since the fall, the flesh or mundane condition of man has been exhibited only as filthy, hateful to God, odious and defiled by sin, and under the power of the prince of darkness. The ground too, cursed for man's sake, hath brought forth thorns and thistles, and the very air he breathes, conveys to him the seeds of pestilence, disease, and death. The wicked of the earth rule over it, and all the desirable and pleasant things of creation which remain, seem left only to gratify the passions, and to
administer to the vices of the vilest and basest of mankind, who, not content with turning to evil purpose all the good things which have been provided for their use, with perseverance the most insidious, and cruelty the most unrelenting, have continually employed themselves in striving to pervert Jehovah's truth, and to wear out and to destroy the Saints of the Most High God. We might conjecture that our gracious Lord would not allow all flesh to pass away, and to perish under the dominion of the evil one, without bringing forth some better things than are to be seen under a dispensation like the present. “His tender mercies are over all his works." And shall he not at length shew mercy, and deliver man from the power of sin and Satan? Shall not man one day be brought to serve, and to obey his Creator? If revelation were silent, reason might suggest an answer : but blessed be His name, the question is not left for reason : the gracious purpose of the Redeemer is plainly declared in the words of unerring truth ; for " the times of the restitution of all things,”times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord," and “ the adoption, to wit, the redemption of the body,” are spoken of as amongst the blessings prepared for them that love him. In these glorious and happy days “ Jerusalem shall be made a rejoicing, and her people a joy: the voice of weeping shull no
more be beard, nor the voice of crying. They shall build houses, and inhabit them, and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth trouble, for they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them.” “ And Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth, and the mountain of the Lord of Hosts, the holy mountain.” " The tabernacle of God shall be with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.”
We learn from the first chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, that immediately before his ascension, the disciples asked our Lord if he would at that time restore again the kingdom to Israel; He replied, it was not for them to know the times or the seasons which the Father had put in his own power ; but they " should be his witnesses in Jerusalem, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth :" thereby leading us to conclude, that the kingdom should certainly be again restored to Israel, although the time for it was not then to be revealed. This, like other Scriptures, was written for our instruction; and in these latter days, to which the interpretation of prophecy is promised in an especial manner, it well deserves the attention of the Church. For it is written, “ the words are
closed up, and sealed till the time of the end :" “ many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased :” “none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand." And when shall the vise understand? At the time of the end, no doubt, for till that time, the words are closed up and sealed; but then shall they be sealed no longer.
The unparalleled events of the last thirty years, and the signs of the times in which we live, proclaim by no uncertain tokens, that the time of the end cannot be far distant, if it be not at the very doors. The special privilege, therefore, of looking with a steadfast eye to the unfolding of the last mysteries of prophecy, belongs to this period of the Church ; and
1; it becomes a duty, that we should search the Scriptures to understand what is written concerning the glorious promises of the latter day: not for the vain purpose of becoming wise with regard to future events, but to strengthen and confirm our faith, and that of many, that it fail not, and that the Church of Christ, rooted and grounded in faith, and built
in love and in knowledge, may be kept in the hour of temptation, which « shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth ;" and that the followers of the Lord Jesus being strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might, may be pre