Page images

abundance of peace. This is a prediction of an event which has never taken place yet. Evil doers and the wicked have in all ages hitherto possessed the earth, and flourished and reigned in the world. When it is promised, that they who wait upon the Lord, and the meek shall inherit the earth, and delight themselves in the abundance of peace, the meaning must be, that persons of this character will yet have the possession of the earth, and fill the world, when no place shall be found for the wicked, as they shall be all destroyed, and their cause wholly lost. And all of this character who have lived before this time, and waited upon the Lord in the exercise of meekness, shall flourish and live in their successors, and in the prosperity and triumph of the cause and interest, in which they lived and died. This is agreeably to other prophecies of this kind, as will be shewn in the sequel. "All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn unto the Lord: And all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee." Who can believe that this has ever yet been? But few of mankind, compared with the whole, have yet turned unto the Lord. By far the greatest part of the nations of the earth, even to the ends of the world, have worshipped, and do now worship false gods and idols. But when all the ends of the world shall remember, and turn to the Lord; and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before him; then the meek shall inherit the earth, and delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

The whole of the sixty-seventh Psalm is a prediction of the same event, and of the same time, which is yet to come. It is a prayer of the church that such a time may take place; at the same time expressing her assurance that it was coming; and the whole is a prophecy of it. "God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us. That thy way may he known upon earth, thy saving health

*Psalm xxxvii. 9, 10, 11,


among all nations. Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee. O let the nations be glad, and sing for joy; for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. Then shall the earth yield her increase and God, even our God, shall bless us. God shall bless us ; and all the ends of the earth shall fear him.

The seventy-second Psalm, the title of which is, "A Psalm for Solomon," contains a prophecy of Christ and his kingdom, of whom Solomon was an eminent type. The Psalmist looks beyond the type to the antitype, and says things which can be applied to the latter only, and are not true of the former, considered as distinct from the latter; which is common in the scripture, in such cases. Here it is said, "He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass; as showers that water the earth. In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth. He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth. All kings shall fall down before him: All nations shall serve him. His name shall endure forever: His name shall be continued as long as the sun; and men shall be blessed in him: All nations shall call him blessed. Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who only doth wondrous things. And blessed be his glorious name forever, and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen."

"Arise, O God, judge the earth; for thou shalt inherit all nations." In this Psalm, the rulers and judges among men are accused of unrighteousness, and condemned: and then the Psalmist concludes with the words now quoted, which refer to some future event, in which God should judge the earth, and inherit all nations, in a sense in which he had not yet done it. In the second Psalm, the heathen, i. e. the nations, all nations, are given to Christ for his inher

*Psalm lxxxii. 8.

itance; and here the same thing is expressed, "Thou shalt inherit all nations." And by his judging the earth, is meant his reigning and subduing the inhabitants of the earth, to a cordial subjection to himself; which will be more evident by what follows, where we shall find the same thing predicted.

The ninety-sixth Psalm relates wholly to redemption by Christ; to the happiness and glory of his kingdom, and his reign on earth. "O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. Fear before him all the earth. Say among the heathen that the Lord reigneth: The world also shall be established, that it shall not be moved, he shall judge the people righteously. 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 to judge the earth: He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth." What is here foretold, is to take place before the end of the world, and the general judgment; and it relates to the whole world, all the earth and the nations in it; the kingdom and reign of Christ is to extend to all of them: And his coming to judge the earth, and the world in righteousness, intends his reigning in righteousness, and bringing all nations to share in the blessings of his salvation and kingdom. Agreeably to this, it is said of Christ, by Isaiah and Jeremiah, "Behold a king shall reign in righteousness. In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David, and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land," or in the earth.*

Great part of the prophecy of Isaiah relates to the flourishing and happy state of the kingdom of Christ, and the prosperity of the church in the latter days.When he foretells the return of the people of Israel from the Babylonish captivity, which was a type of the

* Isaiah xxxii. 1. Jer. xxxiii. 15.


deliverance of the church of Christ from spiritual Babylon, and from all her enemies in this world, visible and invisible, he commonly looks forward to the latter, and keeps that in view, and says things of it, which are not true of the former, and cannot be applied to it. And as Zion, Jerusalem, and Judah, and Israel were types of the church and kingdom of Christ, as including all nations, the former are commonly mentioned only as types, being put for, and signifying the latter. And when the gospel day, the coming of Christ, and his church and kingdom, are brought into view, all that is included in these is comprehended; and commonly, chief reference is had to the Millennium, or the day of the flourishing of the kingdom of Christ on earth, which is in a peculiar manner, and eminently the day of salvation; and will issue in the complete redemption of the church, at and after the day of judgment. He who reads this prophecy with care and discerning, will be convinced of the truth of these observations; and in any other view, great part of it cannot be understood.

Only part of the many prophecies of the glory and extent of the kingdom of Christ in this world, which are contained in this book, will be now mentioned, as those which are most express and clear, with reference to the subject in view. They who attentively read this prophecy will find many more which refer to the same event.

"And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths; for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: And they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into prun

ing hooks: Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. 99* It is certain that this prophecy has not been yet fulfilled, except in a very small degree, as the beginning, and first fruits of it.

"And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of knowledge, and of the fear of the Lord: And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord, and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears.But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity, for the meek of the earth: And he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf, and the young lion, and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed, their young ones shall lie down together: And the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea."

This is evidently a prophecy of Christ, and his kingdom on earth. He shall judge and reprove for the meek of the earth, and slay all the wicked on earth, that the meek may inherit it; which is exactly agreeable to the forementioned prophecy in the thirtyseventh Psalm. "Evil doers shall be cut off, and yet a little while and the wicked shall not be; but the meek shall inherit the earth; and delight themselves in the abundance of peace. 99 And this universal + Chap. xi. 1, 9.

*Isaiah ii. 2, 3, 4.

« PreviousContinue »