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of thy * Holy One, and saidst, I have laid help upon a Mighty One (Gibbor), I have exalted a Chosen One from the people. I have found a Beloved One (David): my servant, with my holy oil I have anointed him. He shall cry unto me, Thou art my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation. Also, I will make him, my first-born, higher than the kings of the earth. My *mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him: and I will fix for ever his seed, and his throne, as the days of heaven... Where are thy former *mercies, O Lord, which thou swarest to David in thy truth? Remember, Lord, the reproach wherewith they have reproached the footsteps of thine Anointed.” (Psalm lxxxix. 18, 26, 49.) Of whose mighty exploits, at his second coming, it is also written, “ Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O Most Mighty (Gibbor), with thy glory and majesty... Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.” (Psal. xlv. 3, 7.) Whose coming Daniel had revealed to him by Gabriel the angel, who says, “ Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people, and upon thy holy city, to finish transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy.. and after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah (the Anointed) be cut off.” (Dan. ix, 24–26.) And when John the Baptist bare witness to our Lord, “ Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ” [the Anointed] (John i. 41). And lastly, the angel announces him as the LORD: The Mighty Jah, of whom Moses sang, “ The Lord is my strength and my song, and he is become my salvation... Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed.. Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance ;" and “the Lord shall reign for ever and ever.” (Exod. xv.2, 13, 18; Psal. cxviii. 14; xvii.), 2.) The same Lord who has “ ascended up on high, led captivity captive, and received gifts for men.” (Psal. Ixviii. 18; Eph.iv. 8). To whom “ The Lord said, Sit thou on my right hand until I make thy foes thy footstool.” (Psalm cx. 1; Acts ii. 34). Who shall, when that until arrives, “ rule in the midst of his enemies;" when the Lord, at Jehovah's right hand, shall“ strike through kings in the day of his wrath.” (Psalm cx.6.)" And the glory of the God of Israel shall come from the way of the East, and dwell in the midst of the chil
All these words are the same with that passage, quoted so often by the Apostles from Psalın xvi. 8,“ neither suffer thine Holy One to see corruption;" and “ the sure mercies of David” is the same-70N.
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dren of Israel for ever....and the name of the city shall be from that day, The Lord is there (Jehovah Shamma).” (Ezek. xliii., xlviii.)" In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah, We have a strong city, salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks. Trust ye in the Lord for ever, for in Jah-Jehovah is everlasting strength” (Isai. xxvi.) “ And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him. And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.” (Rev. xxii. 5.) ----Such is the Gospel ; good news, glad tidings to every creature. God proclaims it to all, offers it to all; willeth not that any should perish. Take the offer, receive the gift of everlasting life. Now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation.
ON THE SECOND ADVENT OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. The most prominent feature in the volume of unfulfilled prophecy, is the glorious Advent of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is that great act, which at once terminates the present and commences the next succeeding dispensation of Jehovah's dealings with this our world. As such, the views entertained concerning it must be of the first importance. This would have been so, though there had never existed any difference of opinion upon the subject; but now, in addition to its intrinsic importance, considered absolutely, the coming of the Lord in glory has acquired a relative interest, maintained and magnified by the discordant opinions and statements which are daily reiterated in all the churches. Those opinions are so diametrically opposed, not merely in exaggerated expressions on either side, but in the very substance of the subject, that either the one party is deluded by the most visionary enthusiasm, or the other is sunk into a deceitful infidelity ; glorying in its own shame, under the pleasing title of spirituality: Truly the matter is no light matter : there is either Antichristian imagination at work on the one side, perverting the Scriptures ; or there is Antichristian scepticism at work on the other side, explaining away the Scriptures. Here is a man who believes that our Lord Jesus Christ will return to this earth in person before the Millennium, while yet the inhabitants of the world generally, are in their present condition and character similar to the state of things in the days of Noah, when the flood came. Connected with this, he believes that Divine vengeance for abused privileges will be
poured out suddenly upon Christendom ; that the Jewish nation will be restored to the land of their forefathers, the heathen nations blessed with the universal knowledge of the Lord, the earth renewed, and a glorious kingdom established therein, the metropolis of which will be the city of Jerusalem, and the King of which will be the Son of Mary, the Son of David, with the accomplished aggregate of his elect, risen, like him, and reigning with him. There is a man who believes that our Lord will not return in person to the earth till after the Millennium, and within about four-and-twenty hours of the final conflagration; when the earth shall be annihilated, or if not annihilated, he is not exactly sure what is to become of it; but he commonly
interprets the Scripture which says that “the earth shall be · burned up as a scroll,” to signify its annihilation. Connected
with this, he believes that immediately upon our Lord's coming all men shall stand in the judgment,—the quick, and all the dead from the beginning of the world ;-that the unbelieving shall be cast, soul and body, into hell; and the faithful taken, soul and body, to heaven without any distinction between Jew and Gentile, between Christendom and heathen lands; except, that Christendom will be judged by the Scriptures, and the heathen by the light of conscience and the law of nature : and that, consequently, the ideas of a personal reign of Christ upon this earth, a restored Jewish nation, and a first resurrection, are nothing better than Rabbinical fancies, long since exploded from the creed of rational Christians.
Now it is obvious, that if the first man be right, the second man is an infidel : God has spoken many things which he does not believe. If the second man be right, the first is a visionary madman; inventing a revelation for himself, and calling it God's word. The matter, I repeat, is no light matter. It is not such a difference in sentiment as can easily consist with uninterrupted unity of affection. No; the discordance is too deep, too vital : it reaches to the foundation of Christian faith; and, as Luther well remarked, “ Charity beareth all things, faith nothing.” Faith is afraid of charity, where the honour of her Lord is concerned, lest she should compromise THE TRUTH; and the human heart is so proud, and so irritable, that charity cannot bear the touch of faithful zeal. We have not far to look for a practical commentary upon these observations, and if we look intelligently around us, we cannot fail to observe that the persons who are loudest in their praise of what is called a good spirit, and in their lamentations over the want of it in their brethren, are persons who manifest but little zeal in a painstaking examination of the depths of any truth. Satisfied with superficial views themselves, they are not prepared to contend for any thing; and they cannot comprehend that zeal which
“contends earnestly:" consequently they mistake it for a bad spirit. At the same time it cannot be denied, that genuine zeal is, through the infirmity of our flesh, betrayed too often into the use of expressions which are not necessary for its argument, while they are in no common degree irritating to its opponents.
The man who shall throw scriptural light upon the subject of our Lord's glorious Advent;-not by unproved assertions, however confident, but by detailed exposition and fair deduction ; accompanied, not by contemptuous vituperation, but by affectionate persuasion--that man will confer a signal benefit upon the church of Christ. I rejoice to find that so many men of God are now engaged in this long-neglected field ; and as my contribution to their labours, I offer the following observations on our Lord's prophetic discourse, as recorded at large in the xxiv th chapter of St. Matthew, compared with the xiii th chapter of St. Mark, and the xxist chapter of St. Luke.
Our Lord-by riding into Jerusalem upon an ass's colt, according to the prophecy of Zechariah ; by stirring up the little children to sing Hosannahs to him, from the cxviiith Psalm (a Psalm always sung at the Feast of Tabernacles, the period at which the Jews expected the Messiah to appear *); and by quoting in connexion with it from the viii th Psalm, which contains a prediction of Christ's universal dominion over the earth (Matt. xxi. 1-16; Zech. ix. 9; Psa. viii. ; Heb. ii. 6-9),-had given the Jews every opportunity, consistent with their free agency, of acknowledging him as the Messiah. A combination of remarkable circumstances from their own Scriptures, grouped together by the gracious management of our Lord, was pressed upon their attention: only compulsion was withheld. They were still obstinately prejudiced against him. He then, in parable, predicted their overthrow, and the transfer of the vineyard to other husbandmen. (Matt. xxi. 33-45.) They were enraged (ver. 46). But he repeated the warning in the Parable of the Marriage Supper (Matt. xxii. 1-14); silenced successively the cavils of the Herodians (16-22), the Sadducees (23-33), and the Pharisees (34-46); convincing the latter of their ignorance, by shewing that they could not tell in what sense Messiah was to be the Son of David, being called in the Psalms David's Lord. He then denounced fearful woes against them, as hypocrites (xxiii. 1---36); wept over the city, as now devoted to destruction (37-39); and departed out of it to the Mount of Olives (xxiv. 1). One of his disciples commented upon the beauty of the temple, which was in view, saying, Master,
* See Zech. xiv. 16–21, where the worship of the king the Lord of hosts at Jerusalem, is connected with the keeping of the Feast of Tabernacles ;
and compare Matt. xvii. 4, where Peter, on seeiug the Lord Jesus in his glory accompanied by Moses and Elias, immediately suggests the preparation of tabernacles.
see what manner of stones, and what buildings, are here. Jesus declared its approaching ruin : Seest thou these great buildings ? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. Then four of his disciples, deeply impressed as it would appear by this alarming declaration, asked him privately, When shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled ? (Mark xiii. 1—4); or, as it is in St. Matthew's narrative, Tell us when shall these things be; and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the age (ouvre dela tou awvos). The prophecy now to be considered is given in answer to these questions : first, “When shall these things be, which you have predicted concerning Jerusalem and her stately temple?” and, secondly, “What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the winding up of the dispensation ?
? Upon these questions, I offer in the first place these general remarks.
The disciples had been present when Jesus inquired of them, Whom say ye that I am? They had heard Peter's famous reply, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God, and the unqualified approbation which that reply met with. Consequently they were perfectly aware that the person to whom they were speaking was the Messiah. He was there present among them, yet they ask for a sign of his coming. It is clear, therefore, that they expected some other coming, different from that which had already taken place, and which of course required no sign. That other coming, for which they looked, was a coming of the very same Person to whom they spake: this is evident from their expression, ons ons tapovolas. It is remarkable, that three of the four who asked him these questions had been eye-witnesses of his glorious appearing upon Mount Tabor, and had been desired to keep secret what they had seen, until after he was risen from the dead. They obviously expected that Jesus would come again as they had seen him in the transfiguration ; and they ask for instruction as to the period of his coming, and the sign which should precede it, by which they should take warning. In proceeding to prophesy the intermediate events, and to give the signs, he of course implies that they were right in the expectation of the thing to be signified.
Again : the disciples were as yet ignorant of the purpose of God toward the Gentiles during the dispersion of Judah: the natural consequence of which was, that they expected the glorious coming of Messiah in his kingdom over Israel
, and through Israel over all the earth, immediately upon the breaking up of the then existing Jewish establishments; which establishments were so interwoven in all their parts with the temple, that to predict the destruction of the temple was one and the same