Page images

bulwark of souls. Christ Jesus is the Alpha and Omega; the foundation and the top stone: yea, he is all and in all. Whom have I in heaven but thee, and there is none upon earth I desire beside thee?

I will request your attention for a moment to one more passage in the sacred volume, and then perhaps close this voluminous journal-wise correspondence.

The passage I have in view, is written in the prophecy of Ezekiel, the twelve first verses of the forty-seventh chapter of that prophecy.

“ Afterward he brought me again unto the door of the house ; and behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward : for the fore-front of the house stood toward the east, and the waters came down from under, from the right side of the house, at the south side of the altar.

" Then brought he me out of the way of the gate northward, and led me about the way without unto the outer gate by the way

that looketh eastward : and behold, there ran out waters on the right side.

« And when the man that had the line in his hand went forth eastward, he measured a thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the waters were to the ankles.

“ Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through the waters; the waters were to the knees. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through ; the waters were to the loins.

6 Afterward he measured a thousand ; and it was a river that I could not pass over : for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over.

« And he said unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen this ? Then he brought me, and caused me to return to the brink of the river.

“ Now, when I had returned, behold, at the bank of the river were very many trees on the one side and on the other,

“ Then said he unto me, these waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea ; which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed.

“ And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live ; and there, shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither : for they shall be healed ; and every thing shall live whither the river cometh.

[ocr errors]

And it shall come to pass, that the fishers shall stand upon it, from En-gedi even unto En-eglaim; they shall be a place to spread forth nets ; their fish siall be according to their kinds, as the fish of the great sea, exceeding many.

6 But the miry places thereof and the marishes thereof shall not be healed; they shall be given to salt.

« And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed : it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine."

What are we to understand by these waters? The teachings of the Holy Spirit, John vii. 38, 39. “He that believeth on me, as the scriptures hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

« But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given ; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.”

What is inculcated by measuring the waters, measuring a thousand cubits, &c. &c. ?

The different periods of time, from the Creation to the flood, is the first admeasurement, the Spirit manifests the promise of the woman's seed, this admeasurement, this thousand cubits, this dispensation, this portion of teaching extended from the garden of Eden to the flood, when the waters were to the ankles. Then succeeded that grand display of grace and truth to Noah and his sons, recorded in Genesis ix. from the eighth to the close of the seventeenth verse :

" And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him saying,

is And I, behold I, will establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after

you ; “And with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every, beast of the earth.

“ And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall here any more be a flood to destroy the earth.

“ And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you, and every living creature that is with you,

for perpetual generations :

« I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.

“ And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud :

“ And I will remember my covenant which is between me and you, and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh..

“ And the bow shall be in the cloud ; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.

« And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant which I have established between me and all flesh that is

upon the


This is the second thousand cubits, the second admeasurement, the second dispensation ; the waters, the holy waters then reached the knees; instantly upon this followed that remarkable illustration of the promise made in Paradise : “Thy seed shall bruise the serpent's head."* Read it in the twenty-second of Genesis, from the fifteenth to the close of the eighteenth verse :

« And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time,

« And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord; for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thy only

son ;

“ 'That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea-shore ; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies:

“ And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed ; because thou hast obeyed my voice.”

The teachings of the spirit were here exceeding bright, almost without a cloud; and this glorious promise was repeated to Isaac and to Jacob. Moses appears receiving from Deity the decalogue, the law.of ceremonies; every precept, and every figure of which, pointed to Jesus, who was the end of the law, the antitype of the sacrifices and ceremonies. Holy men of God saw, or dimly, or more clear, the Messiah to whom every institution, in their astonishing variety, all pointed. The prophets were indulged with yet brighter visions ; twilight was passing away, the day dawned, the teachings of the Holy Spirit assumed a higher, and more decided

tone; in other words, it was the third admeasurement, the third thousand cubits, and the water had reached the loins. If any one doubts the glorious manifestation of the Spirit during the prophetic age, let him read the prophecies; and if he reads with a single eye, he will be ready to exclaim, “It is a history and not a prophecy ; it is the history of my Redeemer.” Yes, Emmanuel is born; the day star hath arisen ; the sun of righteousness with healing under bis wings; it is the fourth admeasurment, the fourth dispensation, the fourth thousand cubits; and the waters became a river over which the prophet could not pass. The waters became so deep that they could not be fathomed.

Hence the observation made by the primitive fathers, that the waters of the sanctuary were at first so low, that a little lamb might ford them, but at last arose to such a height, that an elephant might swim in them. And the Apostle Paul, with pious and holy rapture exclaims, “0, the depth, the unsearchable riches of the mercy of our God!" You will recollect that a day in the sight of your God is as a thousand years ; you will remember that your Redeemer is. accounted for a generation ; you know, that the sun of the natural world, was called into being on the fourth day of creation, and you know the grand luminary of the mental world, was exbibited in the fourth thousand year, in the fourth admeasurenient, in the fourth thousand cubits. You will compare these various testimonies, and I persuade myself, you will derive inexpressible consolation from the comparison. Yes, he of whom all the prophets have written, descended upon our globe on the fourth thousand year. This is the man, the God-man, who is described as a river.

“And the Spirit brought the prophet, and caused him to return to the brink of the river, and behold at the bank of the river were very many trees, on the one side and on the other.” How divinely beautiful is the harmony, so conspicuous in scripture testimonies. Compare this passage with the commencement of the twenty-second chapter of Revelations :

“ And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as-crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.

“ In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bear twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month : and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations."

The prophet Ezekiel saw very many trees, on either side of the river, but not one of them deadly. The fruit thiey produced was not forbidden fruit. The waters from the throne of God were clear, they were not cistern waters.

But these waters issuing from the east country, go down into the desert. The glory of the Lord is from the east. I am always delighted when I hear the Spirit speaking favourably of the desert. Isaiah said, It should blossom as the rose, Gratitude glows at my heart, when the Holy Ghost speaks of the improvement of the waste places. Such declarations are worthy of a God; indeed they become every wise and good being. The land-holder, although grounds may be rough and sterile, will however, be tenacious of his property; he will essay to turn it to the best possible account, and the more profitable he can render it, the greater will be his pleasure, his self-complacency.

These waters, these holy waters, not only refreshed the desert, but they passed into the sea, and wherever they came, they conveyed healing and life.

We cannot upon this occasion forbear recollecting, that our divine Master selected his disciples from the sea side, from their fishing nets, and assured them he would make them fishers of men. O, how great the magnitude of the grace contained in this prophecy! it is replete with the richest promises; yes, it is capable of enriching the religious miner with discoveries of incalculable value. No wonder that the Redeemer directs his disciples to search the scriptures: "For in them,” said he, «sye think ye have eternal life, and they are they which testify of me.” No wonder that the Apostle preached the gospel according to the scriptures, and we should always remember, that these scriptures were the scriptures of the Old-Testament, for no other scriptures were then written.

But it may be well to consider the miry places thereof, and the marishes thereof, which were not to be healed, which were to be given i to salt,

Salt is sometimes a figure of barrenness, and sometimes of fruito fulness. The disciples were not sent forth to render men barren, but fruitful. Yet our Saviour speaking to those, his sent servants, says, Ye are the salt of the earth. What then is intended by these marishes and miry places thereof? As 'these marishes and miry places thereof were attached to those places, which derived such healing benefit from the passage of the waters, it is manifest they

Vol. II. 24

« PreviousContinue »