« EdellinenJatka »
preservation, glory, and prosperity, the Lord Jesus Christ, in his mediatorial character, exercises the government of the universe. He directs all the movements of his providence to the accomplishment of this grand, this sublime purpose, making the wrath of man to praise him, and restraining the remainder of wrath. Such is the consolatory and animating information which we find upon record, in the sure word of prophecy. Amidst all the darkness, which to human reason envelopes the divine government, both in relation to the World and the Church, this word of prophecy shines like a light to the eye of faith, unfolding the path of duty, and the springs of comfort. What though the heathen rage, and the “ people imagine a vain thing :” what though “ the kings of the earth set them“ selves, and the rulers take counsel toge“ther against the Lord, and against his “ Anointed, saying, Let us break their “ bands asunder, and cast away their cords
He that sitteth in the heavens “shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in “ derision. Then shall he speak unto them s in his wrath, and vex them in his sore
6 from us.
" thee the heathe
suru uasir them in pieces like a potter's vessel"."
Since such is the decree of God, theChurch is safe in the midst of a hostile world, a world in arms against its Sovereign. Her borders will continue to enlarge, though with many interruptions, through fearful apostacies and bitter persecutions, until they extend “ from sea to sea, and from the river “ to the ends of the earth.". To her final establishment over all opposition; to her tranquillity in all her borders ; to her security from all enemies; to her purity, and to her glory, “ looking forth as the morning, fair
as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible
as an army with bannersa,” the prophet attests in the text. No subject, therefore, can be more suitable to our present meet
b Ps. ii. 2-9. c Ps. Ixxii. 8. d Solomon's Song, vi. 10.
preservatiorlissionary Institutions are foundJesus Cx the prospects of the Church acexerpng to prophecy. Let us then, withHat attempting a critical analysis of the words, examine,
I. The future state of the Church as here predicted.
II. The means by which this state will be produced.
III. The circumstances which will precede and usher in this state.
The first will excite our desires for the accomplishment of prophecy; the second will exhibit our duty to engage as workers with God for this accomplishment, and the third directs our faith as to the aspect of present circumstances, and their ultimate issue.
1. Let us first attend to the future state of the Church as here predicted.
This is unfolded to us under the figurative expressions of “ New heavens and “ a new earth,” whose creation you find announced in the preceding chapters. They
e The annual meeting of the New York Missionary Society, April 7, 1812.
evidently refer to a great and universal change in the Church, which in its effects, when they are accomplished, will produce a great and universal change in the world; for heaven is the symbol for the Church of Christ, and the earth for the kingdoms of this world. This change commenced with the coming of Christ in the flesh, and the establishment of a new and more spiritual economy. The consummation and perfection of this change, will take place in the Millennial period, or that period when Christ shall reign with his saints upon earth, and Satan shall be bound for the space of one thousand years". To this period especially, the text refers our attention, and of the state of the Church then it affords us some important and interesting information. This information will be unfolded in
brief detail, for our improvement.
First, the Church will constitute one visible body, united in náme, doctrine, and discipline; for then the prophet says, “ the
glory of the Gentiles shall extend to Jeru* salem; brethren shall be brought as an
offering unto the Lord out of all nations, “ to God's holy mountain Jerusalem ; where “ all flesh shall come to worship before the “ Lord.”
“ The glory of the Gentiles,” is the same with the glory of Jerusalem. As the latter consists in the gracious presence of Jehovah, and his blessings resulting from that presence, so the former unquestionably must be the accession of the Gentiles to Jehovah's visible Church, the spiritual Jerusalem.
The brethren, of whom mention is made, are called, "
your brethren,” that is, the brethren of the Church of whom the prophet speaks, “ Zion, whose gates Jehovah “ of old loved more than all the dwellings 66 of Jacob'."
These brethren are to be brought out s of all nations” to Jerusalem, and there all flesh shall come to worship before the Lord.
From these passages, as well as others of the same import, we are assured that the divisions which now exist in the Church shall be done away. They did not exist in the primitive Church, though extensively diffused over the earth. They originate not
gy. 12. 20. 23,
h Ps. lxxxvii. 2.