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he discovers the craftiness of Satan to be foolishness, and disappoints him in his devices, carrying all the counsel of this cunning, froward enemy headlong. If all this could not be gathered from this passage, considered by itself, yet that this is the real meaning will perhaps appear from what has already taken place in accomplishing this prediction; and from other prophecies respecting this, some of which are to be brought into view in the sequel: without which the full meaning of this first promise could not be known.
In order to bruise the head of the serpent, in this sense, most effectually, and turn his boasted wisdom and cunning into foolishness, and entirely defeat him in this way, he must have opportunity and advantage to try his skill and power, and practise all his cunning, in opposing Christ, and the salvation of men. And in this way be overcome and wholly defeated,
the ruin of interest and kingdom among men; so that all his attempts shall turn against himself, and be the occasion of making the victory and triumph of the Redeemer greater, more perspicuous and glorious, in the final prevalence of his kingdom on earth, by drawing all men to him; and destroying the works and kingdom of Satan in this world, and setting up his own on the ruins of it, and so as to turn all the attempts and works of the devil against him, and render the whole subservient to his own interest and kingdom. And thus the coming and kingdom of Christ will be "As the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain.” When the sun rises in a clear morning, after a dark night, attended with clouds, rain and storms, the morning is more pleasant, beautiful and glorious, and the grass springs and grows more fresh and thrifty, than if it had not been preceded by such a stormy night. So the prosperity and glory of the church, when the Sun of righteousness. shall rise upon it, with healing in his beams, will be enjoyed to a higher degree, and be more pleasant and
glorious, and Christ will be more glorified, than if it had not been preceded by a dreadful night of darkness, confusion and evil, by the wickedness of men, and the power and agency of Satan.
The words above cited are the last words of David the prophet, and sweet Psalmist of Israel, and are a prophecy of the glorious event now under consideration. The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was on my tongue. The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake by me. He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. And he shall be like the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth, by clear shining after rain.* The first words may be rendered so as to give the true sense more clearly. "He who is to rule over men (i. e. the Messiah) is just, ruling in the fear of God." The words must be, in our translation, are not in the original, and the helping verb is, which is commonly not expressed, but understood, in the Hebrew, should have been supplied: "He that ruleth, or is to rule over men, is just." This is evidently a prophecy concerning Christ, his church and kingdom, when he shall take to himself his great power, and reign in his kingdom, which shall succeed the reign of Satan during the four preceding monarchies, which were first to take place, which will be more particularly explained, as we proceed in examining the prophecies of this great event, The latter day glory. And that these words of David are a prediction of the reign of Christ on earth, after the long prevalence of Satan and wicked men, is farther evident from the words which follow, relative to the same thing. "But the sons of Belial, shall all of them as thorns be thrust away, because they cannot be taken with hands. But the man that shall touch them must be fenced with iron, and the staff of a spear, and they shall be utterly burnt with fire in the same place."
* II. Samuel xxiii, 2, 3, 4.
Exactly parallel with this prophecy, is that of the prophet Malachi. "Behold the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud, yea, all that do wickedly, shall be stubble, and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name, shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth and grow up as the calves in the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet, in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts.""*
But to return from this, which may seem to be some digression, or anticipation: The great and remarkable promise, so often made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and more than once mentioned by the Apostles, will next be considered. This promise was made to Abraham, and of him, three times. "In thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.”† "All the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him." "And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed." And this same promise is
Note by the Compiler.
By how many has this passage been misunderstood and most wretchedly perverted! It has by not a few been exclusively applied to the destruction of Jerusalem and the judgments of God on that nation, soon after the establishment of the gospel dispensation; and by others as strictly been applied unto the final judgment day; and the burning up here mentioned has been considered as conclusive proof that the wicked will then be annihilated. But a little attention to the context and passage itself will plainly shew that this construction of the passage is contradictory in itself, and that although the judgments which fell upon the Jews at the destruction of Jerusalem might be considered a partial fulfilment of the words, yet it is clear they by no means received their full accomplishment, but that this remains to take place when the judgments of God shall be poured out on the wicked, and issue in the final destruction of Antichrist before the Millennium.
*Mal. iv. 1, 2, 3.
+ Chap. xviii. 18.
† Gen. xii. 3.
§ Chap. xxii, 18.
made to Isaac. "I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed."* And to Jacob, "In thee, and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." The apostle Peter mentions this promise as referring to the days of the Gospel. "Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, and in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed." The apostle Paul speaks of this promise as referring to Christ, and all who believe in him, making him to be the promised seed, and believers in him to be those exclusively who are blessed in him, in whom the promised good takes place. "Know ye, therefore, that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith, are blessed with faithful Abraham.-Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ."
This prediction and promise is very express and extensive, That all the families, kindreds, and nations of the earth, should be blessed in Christ, by their becoming believers in him. This has never yet taken place, and cannot be fulfilled, unless Christianity and the kingdom of Christ shall take place and prevail in the world to a vastly higher degree, and more extensively and universally, than has yet come to pass; and all nations, all the inhabitants of the earth, shall become believers in him, agreeable to a great number of other prophecies, some of which will be mentioned in this section.
*Chap. xxvi. 4.
The reign of Christ on earth, with his church and people, and the happiness and glory of that time, is
+ Acts iii, 25,
+Chap. xxviii. 14.
Gal. iii. 7, 8, 9, 16:
a subject often mentioned, predicted and celebrated in the book of Psalms. To mention all that is there spoken with reference to that happy time, would be to transcribe great part of that book. Only the following passages will now be mentioned, which are thought abundantly to prove that the kingdom of Christ is to prevail and flourish in this world, as it has never yet done; and the church is to be brought to a state of purity, prosperity and happiness on earth, which has not yet taken place, and so to include all nations, and fill the world.
In the second Psalm, it is predicted and promised, that the Son of God shall inherit and possess all nations, to the ends of the earth; which necessarily implies, that his church and kingdom shall be thus extensive, reaching to the ends of the earth, and including all the nations and men on earth. "I have set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: The Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. "By Zion here is meant, as in numerous other places in the prophecies, the church of Christ, of which mount Zion was a type.
The twenty-second Psalm contains a prophecy of the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that shall follow; and of the latter it is said; "The meek shall eat and be satisfied. They shall praise the Lord that seek him: Your heart shall live forever. All the ends of the world shall remember, and turn unto the Lord: And all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee. For the kingdom is the Lord's; and he is the Governor among the nations: For evil doers shall be cut off: But those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be; yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth, and delight themselves in the