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AMERICAN CHRISTIAN EXPOSITOR.
MAY 1, 1831.
CATHOLIC CHRISTIAN The sceptre is the rod of office, COMMUNION.
and denotes the authority of him
who holds it in his hand, or before I BELIEVE IN THE HOLY CATHO
whom it is carried in state, by anLIC CHURCH-THE COMMUNION OF SAINTS. 3." -The Creed.
other. Strong rods, in the lan
guage of another prophet, were The sceptre shall not depart from used for the sceptres of them that Judah, nor a lawgiver from between bare rule.* The wordt is never his feet, until Shiloh come; and un- employed in scripture without into him shall the gathering of the dicating power under some form or people be.-JACOB.
another; and it is generally asso
ciated with the throne and the It was customary with the pa. triarchs, before they left the world, kingdom. In this case, it is evito pronounce a benediction on their dently the symbol of Judah's offspring. The head of the fami: chieftainship; and being conly was the prophet and the priest,
nected with the power of giving as well as the governor of the
law, must certainly be understood household. “ By_faith, Isaac as denoting national polity. blessed Jacob and Esau, concern
The lawgiver too, as well as ing things to come ; and Jacob,
the sceptre, is said to continue when he was a dying, blessed in the tribe of Judah through
successive generations. both the sons of Joseph.” He
One of also called unto his own sons, from between his feet-shall not
this description shall not depart and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that
cease to exist among his offspring
The which shall befall you in the last until the specified time. days.” My text is part of his lawgiver is not merely a scribe, or predictions concerning Judah. He a teacher ; but one who proclaims was the fourth son of Israel; and un
the law by his power both to enact to him, the father
, guided by the spi and to execute. The phrase indirit of prophecy, gave the pre-emi-cates the continuance of some lenence. His name is Praise ; his gislative power, whether civil or character, a Lion; his hand 'is in ecclesiastical; and “of Judah he the neck of his enemies; and Ezek. xix. 11. even his father's children bow
† The Jews have a quibble on the word
Dan shebet, sceptre, they say it signifies down before him : the sceptre shall staff, and may be a rod, denoting afflictions, not depart from Judah, nor a law- the Jews until Messiah comes; and as they giver from between his feet, until
are still under affliction, that the Messiah is
not come. Their own chief Targumist, OnkeShiloh come; and unto him shall los, however, understood the word as we do,
and this meaning is adopted by the Jerusalem the gathering of the people be.
Targum and the ancient versions. Vol. I. MAY, 1831.
spake nothing concerning priest- the gathering of the people be. hood.” The tribe must, of course, Who is this but the Lion of the according to the prophecy, con- tribe of Judah, the Root of tinue as a distinct people with a David. civil polity of their own, until that The gathering of the people is descendant of the house of Judah not a change of residence in order shall appear whose right it is to to assemble on one spot: it is the reign until Shiloh come.
submission of the heart to the will The word signifies sent, or of an acknowledged and beloved messenger, and is one of the Lord, made manifest by acts of names of the promised Messiah. diligent obedience.
The people, This is generally admitted, both thus united in faith and love, are by Jews and Christians. The not limited to the offspring of Jaapplication of the name Shiloh, cobor Judah according to the to Jesus Christ, does not depend flesh. They are the children of on its etymology, but upon its use the promise; and they are of all in this connexion. Whether it be the nations of the earth: for of rendered Messenger, or Rest, or such extent is the covenant of Peace-maker,* it denotes that re- God with Abraham, and his oath markable person who was unto Isaac. Jacob, the heir of pected of old ; the seed of the Isaac and of Abraham, to whom woman to be sent upon the earth; God also confirmed the covenant, the seed of Abraham, in the line is now in the act of transinitting of Isaac and Jacob, in whom shall the promise of the appointed deliall the nations of the earth be verer. Abram was instructed to blessed. T'he prophecy points pass over Ishmael, and transmit out a character not to be mistaken the benediction in the line of Isaac. without great perversion of the Isaac was directed to hand it down text. He who is called Shiloh, in the line of Jacob, in preference was formerly made known to to his elder brother. Israel, now in Jacob's family ; descends from his turn, is constrained to pass Judah: is to appear not until the over Reuben, his first born and the Jews became a nation, but yet beginning of his strength; over some time before the annihilation Joseph, who was at the time the of their polity; and is described prop of his father's house; and as the centre of union among over Benjamin, whom he loved people of all lands—unto him shall most, as the last son of his chosen *abu is a title of the Messiah; and the
Rachel. He was constrained to Jewish Targums and critics understood it overlook his own affections and nexion which indicates quietness and safety,
their claims, and proclaim him, as rest or peace. I take it however, with Dr.
the progenitor of Messiah, whom Clarke and many other critics, that the chief idea in Shiloh iS SENT--qui est mittendus. It
Jehovah had selected for this hois life, to know-Jesus Christ whom thou hast
God refused the tabernacle sent--The apostle and high priest of our pro
of Joseph and chose not the tribe O AOSohos. Heb. 3. 1. Whom thou hast
of Ephraim, but chose the tribe of sent. ATESEINAS. Jno. 17. 4. The father Judah, as the line through which hath sent me arsgaaxe je. Jno. 20. 21.
to look for the advent of Shiloh, Shiloh is the delegate of God, lo instruct, to rcdecm, and to govern.
who unites men of all nations in
as such. The word is is often found in a con
fession is a well known title of our Lord.
one great fellowship of life, of Ye who sometimes were far off, safety, and of enjoyment.
are made nigh by the blood of What was prediction, to the Christ.'* As by him are saved house of Israel in Egypt, is now Abel and Enoch, Abraham and become history. Judah obtained David, Peter and Paul, he conthe praises of all his brethren, and nects in one great community, the long possessed the chieftainship. beggar and the prince, the slave The sceptre has also departed; and the master, the Greek and the and there is no more a la wgiver barbarian, the American, the Euor a commonwealth. Christ has ropean, and the Hindoo. “For been sent of God; the Messenger of by one Spirit we are all baptized peace has appeared; and the people unto one body whether we be are still gathering to him, as the Jews or Gentiles, whether we be living centre of their communion. bond or free; and have all been It is in this character, that I made to drink into one Spirit.”+ now intend to speak of him. The numerous scriptural repreI accordingly proceed to show, sentations of Christ and his peoThat Jesus Christ, our Savior, ple thus united, sufficiently show unites people of all nations to him- that the fellowship is as intimate self; and that he is infinitely qua- as it is catholic; and there is lified for being the moral centre of scarcely an object, with which we the fellowship of the saints. There are familiar, either in the natural fore let all who love salvation, or moral world, which hath not come to him, and cleave to him: been employed by the sacred wrifor unto Shiloh shall the gathering ters on this subject. Trees, houses, of the people be.
families, cities, kingdoms, armies, I. Jesus Christ unites people of as well as the natural body, and all nations and ranks.
even life itself, are made to certify The prophets foretold the fact; and to illustrate the gathering of and the apostles assure us that the people to their Lord and Sathe prediction is come to pass. vior. “ I am the vine, ye are the " Jesus Christ was a minister of branches. The stone which the the circumcision for the truth of builders rejected is become the God to confirm the promises made head of the corner. Now, thereunto the fathers. There shall be a fore, ye are no more strangers and root of Jesse, and he that shall foreigners but fellow-citizens with rise to reign over the Gentiles, in the saints, of the household of him shall the Gentiles trust. He God; and are built upon the founshall set up an ensign for the na
dation of the apostles and protions, and shall assemble the out- phets, Jesus Christ himself being casts of Israel, and gather toge. the chief corner-stone; in whom ther the dispersed of Judah from all the building, fitly framed togethe four corners of the earth. ther, groweth unto a holy tem. And it shall come to pass in the ple in the Lord. For as the body last days, that the mountain of is one, and hath many members, the Lord's house shall be esta
* Rom. xv. 8. 12. Isa. xi. 12, and ii. 2, 3. blished in the top of the moun
Eph. ii. 13, 14, tains, and all nations flow unto it. John wv.5. Ps. cxviii. 22. Eph. ii. 19.
1 Cor. xii. 13.
and all the members of that one The gathering of the nations, to body, being many, are one body; the author and finisher of our so also is Christ. Now ye are the faith, was indeed contemplated body of Christ and members in both in the instructions which the particular. Your life is hid with Redeemer gave to his apostles, Christ in God. Christ is our life; and in their exertions in defense the Head of the body; of whom and in promotion of the great and the whole family in heaven and good cause in which they had enearth is named. He is the Cap- listed. The business intrusted to tain of our salvation. The King them respected all people, and the of kings and the Lord of lords.'* extent of their commission is the
The history of the Christian re- limits of the world. Teach all ligion is but the development of nations. Preach to every creature. this principle. By Christianity Their exertions were graduated I mean, not merely the dispensa. by the same scale. Their hearts tion of grace under the New Tes- were elevated above considerations tament, for I also include the tri- of temporary interests. They umphs of the gospel from the fall lived, they acted for eternity. of man to the advent of the Savior; Their plans were not predicated "unto us was the gospel preached on the wishes of relatives or paras well as unto them.” For he is tizans ; nor were they belittled by our peace, who hath made both accommodation to the fugitive one, and hath broken down the fashions of a perishing generation, middle wall of partition between Animated by the Holy Ghost unus." The Apostle Paul, referring der Christ their head, their enterto those religious men who are prise was correspondingly magni
so many as the stars of the skyficent. They sought the salvain multitude, and as the sand tion of immortal souls, the law which is by the sea-shore innu- their rule, the gospel their hope, merable," says, " These all died in heaven the place of their destinafaith, not having received the pro- tion, and the glory of the Godmises, but having seen them afar head their light and their joy. off, and were persuaded of them Nor were they unsuccessful. and embraced them.” They were Millions among the nations, in the Christians who heard and believed short space of thirty years, awoke the gospel. Moses as well as from their deadly sleep, arose, and Paul gloried in the cross, esteem- stood before the Lord; and, clad ing the reproach of Christ greater in armor of light, marched along riches than the treasures in Egypt. with the apostles, under the banThey rise up in our view as a ner of the Prince of Judah. cloud where dwells the Son of In the city of Jerusalem alone, God—"a great cloud of witnesses." there were many tens of thouLo! how splendid ! It is enlight- sands who professed the Christian ened by the Sun of Righteousness: religion in less than that time after and from it we hear the voice of the resurrection of Jesus Christ : encouragement, “Go forward, and in every other part of Paleslooking unto Jesus."
tine the proportion of believers to the rest of the population may
* 1 Cor. xii. 12. 27. Col. iji. 4.
have been correspondently great: great: but the season was of no Egypt, Ethiopia, Arabia, and Per- long continuance. It was but sia, received the gospel. Ancient twelve years, since he first raised writers represent Andrew the apos- on pagan lands the standard of the tle as successful in the conversion cross, and but seven, since he of Jews and Gentiles in Scythia crossed the sea and stood on Euand the several provinces border- ropean ground, until he returned ing on the Euxine. Thomas and laden with the gifts and the offerBartholomew were also successful ings of the converted heathen, to in India; and it is certain that his own nation at Jerusalem. churches were founded in Lybia Then commenced the imprisonand Mauritania. The cities of ment which continued for several Antioch and of Ephesus held se- years, upwards of two in Cesarea, veral flourishing and growing and about the same time in Rome. congregations. The islands of the During the short period of his freeMediterranean sea, and the Euro- dom, and even that frequently inpean coast from Spain to Byzan. terrupted by temporary tumults tium, were visited successfully by and imprisonments, he labored with the heralds of the gospel. The unparalleled exertions and success. history of the Apostle Paul him- Paul was a missionary, not of self affords the most convincing man's selection or appointment: evidence of the rapid progress of but to such the heart cleaves. He evangelical light among the na- was called and qualified by the tions. The travels and success of Lord, to gather from among the the other apostles have not been nations, the people to Shiloh. He handed down to us with so much became all things to all men, and minuteness and accuracy as those he gained many immortal souls of of this very distinguished servant all classes and kindreds. He reaof God. Luke, his companion soned with the philosophers of and historian, wrote under the in- every sect: he disputed with the spiration of the Spirit.
logicians of the several schools : Besides the journeyings and he expostulated with magistrates ministry of the first ten years after and military officers : he dePaul's conversion to Christianity nounced Ananias with a curse, and call to the public service, he and he made Felix tremble: to accomplished five apostolical cir- the Jews he expounded the scripcuits among the Gentiles. To tures which they had in their posthis work he was peculiarly ap- session: to the pagans he exposed pointed; and he was accordingly their own abused and damnable separated along with Barnabas at idolatries: to all, he preached the Antioch, for this hazardous but gospel of the grace of God. great undertaking, with prayer Judges, governors, captains, muland fasting and the laying on of titudes of men of every rank, and the hands of the ministers of that of honorable women not a few, city. The first three apostolical believed to the saving of their journeys furnish the principal souls. Spurning the cup of record of the success of his per- devils, of which they had too often sonal ministry. The harvest was drunk, they rushed out of their