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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.
The reign of Christ on earth, with his church and people, and the happiness and glory of that time, is
* Chap. xxvi. 4.
† Chap. xxviii. 14.
+ Acts iii, 25,
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 föllowing 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
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. Olet 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 do
minion 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 righteous ness 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.