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and prophecy : these are not all given to each of the members, but some to one, some to another; yet all these worketh that one and the self-same Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will, but giving to no one member the fulness and glory of the Head, that Christ in all things may have the pre-eminence.
The Word became flesh to manifest that glory which had been promised from the beginning; to wipe off the stain of the Fall, to make an end of sin, and to exhibit man as the image of God; not only the recipient of blessings, but pouring them forth on others. The coming of Christ in flesh gave no new revelation of word, but embodied it in a life. He came to fulfil the written word; and, when he had done this, exclaimed, “It is finished," and gave up the ghost. Christ added not to the law of God: he only gave to it life and spirit : he reinforced the Law and the Prophets, adding love to their previous sanctions ; illustrating it in his own person, and comprehending all the commandments in the precept of Love to God, and love to our neighbour. The Apostles wrote no new commandment, but gave the new enforcement of all in the example of Christ: true in him; therefore true in his members ; because the darkness is past, and the true light shineth (1 John ii. 7): according to our Lord's words, “ Love one another, as I have loved you” (John xiii. 34).
The inspiration of the New Testament may, in one respect, be considered as even more direct and immediate than that of the Old, since it was given forth immediately from God the Holy Ghost indwelling in Christ and his members; the Comforter, who was promised by Christ to abide with his church during the whole time of Christ's absence, being specially given in order to teach them all things, to “bring all things to their remembrance, and to shew them things to come” (John xiv. 26; xvi. 13). By the descent of the Holy Ghost, God made known to his church the fulness of his purpose: they became the recipients of all the grace and glory which the word of prophe had declared, and the types and shadows of the law had prefigured. They became one with the Father and the Son by the indwelling of the Holy Ghost. They not merely saw the glory of God, not merely heard the voice of Jehovah; but were themselves the temples of God, and spake the words of God. Every faculty of the man was possessed and used by the Holy Ghost; the understanding enlightened, the memory perfected, the tongue employed, and the pen directed, by the indwelling God: man being then first shewn in the perfect_image of God; following the footsteps of the God-man Christ Jesus; content to do the will of God; dedicating all his powers and faculties to the Creator's service; glorifying God with the body and the spirit, which are his.
In this state of things, and during this dispensation of the Spirit, the voice of Jehovah is silent : it speaks to the heart and conscience in the written word of God, which the Spirit taketh continually, and sheweth to the church (John xvi. 15). And thus it shall continue during the absence of the Lord, who is the living Word ; and who shall speedily again come forth as the Word of God, and in his new character of King of kings and Lord of lords (Rev. xix. 13, 16). At present the Spirit speaketh for the edification of the church, and therefore in that language known to the members, wheresoever they dwell ; but attested in general by the presence of the unknown tongue, and appealing continually to the Scriptures, as the one only standard of truth for the universal church of all generations : to which standard nothing can be added, and from which nothing can be taken away, but at the peril of the soul. For thus saith the Lord : “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 the things that are written in this book.” (Rev. xxii.)
But a time is at hand when the dispensation of the Spirit shall be terminated by the second advent of the Lord, who at his first advent began it. The voice of Jehovah shall then be heard again : it shall ring through all creation ; and all his waiting people shall shout aloud for joy. “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and the trump of God.” “The Lord shall roar from on high, and utter his voice from his holy habitation over all the inhabitants of the earth” (Jer. xxv. 30). “The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem ; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel” (Joel iii. 16). " And
every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, shall answer, saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever and ever” (Rev. v. 13). “Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad ; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof; let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice before the Lord : for He cometh, for He cometh to judge the earth : he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truih.” (Ps. xcvi.)
In that day the bride of the Lamb, the heavenly Jerusalem, shall sing the song of Moses and the Lamb, for ever united to their Lord, and seated with him on his throne of glory. In
that day shall the Jewish people sing in the land of Judah,“ We have a strong city : salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks." “A vineyard of red wine : I, the Lord, do keep it." (Isai. xxvi. xxvii.) In that day shall the glory of the Lord fill the temple on Mount Zion, and there shall he dwell in shechinah glory for ever : and the name of the place shall be JehovahShammah. (Ezek. xliii. xlviii.) And in that day“ shall the Lord be King over all the earth : in that day there shall be one Lord, and his name one" (Zech. xiv. 9). And in that day the kingdom of the Lord shall come, and his will be done on the earth as it is in heaven.
In preparation for this fulfilment of his promise, God commanded all his servants the prophets to write the words that he had spoken to them in a book (Jer. xxx. 2). And he hath commanded us to “ seek out of the book of the Lord, and read : no one of these shall fail” (Isai. xxxiv. 16). And he will preserve his written word, to the end that it may be compared with its accomplishment; for “one jot or tittle shall in no wise pass” from the Law and the Prophets“ till all be fulfilled.” And even then the word of God shall stand the eternal record of his will, and his completed purpose stand the eternal monument of his truth, and all creation rejoice in the accomplished glory of God; all things reflecting some portion of the Creator's mind the church “ the fulness of Him that filleth all in all.”
UN ACCOMPLISHED PROPHECIES NOW FULFILLING.
Egypt was the most learned nation of antiquity ; from it came the arts and sciences, and philosophy, to Greece: its characteristic in the Sacred Writings is Wisdom, and Learning: Moses is said to have been learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians" (Acts vii. 22); and the leading antithesis, which is preserved throughout all the Prophets who speak of Egypt, lies between the wisdom of God and the wisdom of man, as a ground of trust. Egypt stands for the very best things which man has ; his intelligence, his prudence, his knowledge, his all that elevates him
above the beasts. In the present examination of the subject we shall take Isaiah xix. as the basis, into which we shall weave the parallel passages from other prophecies relating to the same subject. The interpretation must be sought for in the most enlightened nation of Europe, the most famed for its wisdom, whichever that may be ; and the question can only lie between England and France : but the former being the head of the system that protested against the Papal harlot; being the
VOL. VI.-NO, II.
house of God, nationally considered ; and the church of God, visibly seen; it is in it, rather than in France, that we are led to seek for the antitypical illustration.
Behold, the Lord rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt; and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence, and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it.”The time of the fulfilment of the prophecy is marked as the time when the Lord comes riding upon a swift cloud. This cloud has a spiritual fulfilment in the mystery, before it has its true fulfilment in the letter, like all the other prophecies relating to the Lord's advent. The expression refers to the cloud in which the Lord was concealed during the coming up of the Jews out of Egypt, in such a manner that his presence afforded a guide to them, while it was at the same time a source of obscurity to their enemies. Christ is now appearing in the cloud, and is seen by all his spiritual people; while, to all who are not looking for him, his doings are becoming more and more perplexing. The “idols of Egypt” are the objects of trust and deliverance out of dangers and difficulties : these, amongst politicians of the present day, are cheap government, economy, emigration, reform bills, manufactures, education, &c.: amongst the churchmen, the idols are the conversion of the world ; missionary, Bible, and education societies ; learned commentators; free dissemination of all religious and irreligious opinions ; equal encouragement to all sects, or rather no encouragement to any; schemes for establishing universal peace, &c. &c.
Now all these idols shall be found unavailing; for, saith the Lord, " I will set the Egyptians against the Egyptians, and they shall fight every one against his brother, and every one against his neighbour; city against city, and kingdom against kingdom.” The only conversion they shall be able to make of the world will be into one great slaughter-house.
“ And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst thereof; and I will destroy the counsel thereof: and they shall seek to the idols, and to the charmers, and to them that have familiar spirits, and to the wizards.”—“The spirit of Egypt” may signify either the courage, or the wisdom; and from the context it is probable that the latter is intended. The destruction of “ the counsel thereof” is spoken of as already completed in ver. 11 : “Surely the princes are fools, the counsel of the wise counsellors is become brutish : how say ye unto Pharaoh, I am the son of the wise, the son of ancient kings ? where are they? where are thy wise men ? It is impossible to pay the smallest regard to public events that are passing around us daily, without feeling the fulfilment of this prediction to the uttermost. The people are mad with the self-conceit of their own wisdom. They think they have got the wisest rulers that they ever had. The ministers
of the King imagined that all the genius of the nation was concentered in themselves; yet the famous bill, by which the whole power of the government has been transferred from the Crown to the mob, has been passed without their knowing its effects; and it is so full of errors that the law-officers declared it was a perfect abortion: the public treasury is at a lower ebb than it ever was in the memory of man; and the revenue is falling off. The country is more and more discontented every day, and the resource of the people is to idols of every kind and name, according to their tribes.
It has been already observed, that an idol is any thing which is looked to as a ground of confidence; of deliverance in times of danger, or of gratification in times of prosperity. All men in England are looking to the idols which have been enumerated above; but their hope is vain : “And the Egyptians will I give over into the hands of cruel lords” (D9378 the mob); and subsequently “ a fierce king shall rule over them, saith the Lord, the Lord of hosts.” This fierce king is no doubt the Assyrian, the last head of the beast, who will arise out of the turmoil of the revolution, after the people are sick of their cruel lords; as Napoleon did after the French were tired of their Robespierres, Barras, &c. &c.---The next verses describe the entire failure of the maritime wealth, and strength of the state ; which couples this prophecy concerning. Egypt with that relating to Tyrus, and which is applicable solely to Great Britain, as we shall shew in a subsequent Number. Ver. 9 points to the ruin also of the manufacturing interests : “ Moreover, they that work in fine flax, and that weave net-works” (the margin reads "white-works,” peculiarly descriptive of cotton) “ shall be confounded.”
After the declaration of folly and infatuation which has come upon the ministers of the king, and which we have already quoted, the Prophet adds, “Where are thy wise men ? and let them tell thee now, and let them know what the Lord of hosts hath purposed upon Egypt.”—They are here directly charged with lack of wisdom because they do not know what the Lord of hosts has purposed to do with their country : so that Isaiah, at least, had no notion of the modern Evangelical doctrine, that religion had nothing to do with politics. The ministers of the king were bound to know what God purposed to do with their land : to be ignorant of that purpose incapacitates them utterly for governing the country: they may pass what laws they please; they may amuse themselves with interminable protocols, till they are the laughing-stocks of all Europe; they may strive to their utmost to benefit the people ; none of their projects can or shall succeed, because they are not acting according to the purpose of the Lord of hosts.
“The princes of Zoan are become fools, the princes of Noph