« VorigeDoorgaan »
tian world, it is not less the theme of the glorified spirits and the angelic hosts of heaven. Of the former it is said in Revelation, “And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book and to open the seals thereof, for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood, out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation : and hast made us unto our God kings and priests, and we shall reign on earth.” Of the latter it is said_and it is a proof what interest this higher order of beings take in the great work of redemption, though it is so much neglected by those who alone have an interest in it—" And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne, and the beasts, and the elders, and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing” (Rev. v.).
Our attention, however, is not only drawn, in the 24th verse of the chapter in which this prophecy is contained, to those four essential points of doctrine which have been briefly noticednamely, the finishing of transgression, making an end of sins, making reconciliation for iniquity, and bringing in everlasting righteousness;—two other important circumstances are mentioned,
as attendant upon or following the death of Christ—the “ sealing up of the vision and the prophecy, and anointing the Most Holy.”
By the “vision and the prophecy”in this place is undoubtedly meant the revealed word of God, which, soon after the death of Christ—at least before the death of his last and most favoured Apostle John, who in extreme old age wrote the concluding book—was sealed up, or completed. For as the great end and burden of them was to foretell and shadow forth Christ; to describe his life, death, resurrection, and ascension, and otherwise to give the history of redemption, and the means which God hath taken from the beginning of the world to accomplish this great work; so when it was actually completed, and the mystery of it explained by his immediate disciples, it was foretold that revelation should be closed ; and it was accordingly sealed up. After God, therefore, who “at sundry times and in divers manners had spoken in times past unto the fathers by the prophets,” had in those last days “spoken by his Son,” he closed the canon of revelation with this awful denunciation, “ For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book; and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall
take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from those things which are written in this book” (Rev. xxii. 18, 19).
Nevertheless, although he had closed and sealed up his revealed word, he did not leave himself without a continued witness in the church, by the gift of his Holy Spirit, which he promised to his Apostles just before he was betrayed. “ Howbeit, when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth; for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak : and he will sheur you things to come” (John xvi. 13). Accordingly, soon after his ascension into heaven, this promised Comforter was sent, in a visible
“ When the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts ii. 1-4). And this Comforter was promised to abide with the church "for ever” (John xiv. 16); although not given in this miraculous and extraordinary manner; and hence the Apostle says to the
Corinthians, “ What! know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which
have of God, are ye not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's” (1 Cor. vi. 19, 20).
After this " sealing up” of the word of God is mentioned, the list is thus closed, " and to anoint the Most Holy.”
Sir Isaac Newton, in his remarks on this prophecy, has the following observation : “ The former part of the prophecy related to the first coming of Christ, being dated to his coming às a prophet; this being dated”—alluding to the 25th verse—“ to his coming to be a prince or king, seems to relate to his second coming. There the Prophet was consummate, and the Most Holy anointed; here he that was anointed comes to be a Prince, and to reign. For Daniel's prophecies reach to the end of the world; and there is scarcely a prophecy in the Old Testament, concerning Christ, which doth not in something or other relate to his second coming."
Now the anointing here spoken of does not, from the connection in which it stands, appear to relate to Christ's first coming: for being named the last—that is, after the work of redemption had been finished, and after the Scriptures were to be sealed up or completed-it evidently refers to something subsequent, to
something future, to some future work. In the quotation above made, relative to the institution of the Lord's Supper, it is ordered to be observed “till He come :” and in the last chapter of Revelation mention is made of the same event—the second coming of Christ-in the same order as what it here appears. After the denunciation in vers. 18 and 19, relating to the sealing up of the Scriptures, follow these words, “He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly.” So after Daniel had named that the death of Christ was “ to seal up the vision and prophecy,” he adds, " and to anoint the Most Holy;" thus signifying, in both instances, that it is the ultimate expectation of the Christian church to welcome her coming Lord : and hence we are taught in the Lord's Prayer to say, “ Thy kingdom come.”
The original word, instead of “the Most Holy,” is sometimes, and perhaps more correctly, taken to mean “the Holy of Holies,” or the Christian church; and in this sense it is equally significant and encouraging, and perhaps better accords with the immediate position in which it stands : and I would add the fervent prayer that this promised anointing, this unction of the Holy Spirit, may richly descend on the church of Christ in the present awful period of time; that it may be as a well-watered garden; as the lily among thorns; as “she that looketh