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olive” “ cut off," " the children of the kingdom” “ cast out.”— Believers among the Gentiles are the only church that now is, and they individually are partakers of these promises : they are “ the holy people,” “ the Israel of God,” “ scattered abroad:” — only that, as they know from prophecy, the “ casting off of the natural branches” was the occasion of the kingdom of God being given to them at first; so they know that all their most glorious, expectations are fixed on that era when the God of Israel, now waiting among them, “ shall have mercy on his land and his people.”
The eternal duration of the prosperity of the new Jerusalem is next clearly stated :
Thy Redeemer, Jehovah, hath said,
As I swore,
That I will not be displeased with thee, nor rebuke thee. 9. For the hills shall be removed,
And the mountains shall be overthrown;
No scenes, such as have been so often exhibited, of the people of God chastened for their sins, can ever occur again. In respect of such a reverse of prosperity, the church will be situated, as this present world is, with respect to a flood of waters, similar to that which in the days of Noah overwhelmed the earth. The Lord was pleased to stipulate, and solemnly to swear over the symbolical sacrifice of Noah, that he never would again destroy the earth by a flood : so that the waters of Noah
can flow back no more, being barred by the oath and covenant of Jehovah. So does he swear with respect to his glorified church, which is hereafter to be identified in some manner with Jerusalem restored, that she shall never more endure the marks of the divine displeasure, or the rebuke of her God :— not even that displeasure and rebuke which the chosen family, the spiritual Israel, is now exposed to, for the enforcing of godly discipline, under the correction of a loving Father,“ scourging every son whom he receiveth.”
Such will be the state of celestial perfection the church will then have attained, that the rod of correction will be no longer necessary. It is this celestial perfection and glory that is symbolized by the figurative language that follows:
Jehovah, who loveth thee, hath said, il. O afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted,
Behold, I lay thy stones of alabaster,'
And thy foundations of lazulus;
And thy gates of shining stones,
Surely, whatever this figurative language may import, this can be none other but that “ city” in “ the heavenly country," which the ancient patriarchs sought and expected, -"a city which hath foundations, whose Builder and Maker is God!” This city, with all its blessed inhabitants, we shall find hereafter, is one day to come down from God out of heaven, to be the glory of the renovated earth. Again we read :-
1“ Gypsum intelligit Gussetius."--See Simon.
13. And all thy children shall be taught of Jehovah,
And great shall be the perfection of thy children; 14. In righteousness shalt thou be established.
No hypocrites are here, no place is left for partial ignorance; for“ that which is in part” is “done away,
” and “ that which is perfect is come.” All the children of the new Jerusalem are to be immediately and fully inspired by Jehovah, or, as we may understand the words, “ all thy children shall be such as were once on earth, the disciples of Jehovah.” He that once taught his chosen few to “ draw them" to Christ, will now cause them to know as they are known,” and will consummate their perfection. By the righteous execution of all the promises of God, the church will be vindicated in all her rights, and all her members “ conformed to the image of the only begotten Son of God.” This is the predestinated “ fulfilment” or “completion” for which the people of God are waiting: and of this “ the spirit of adoption,” now " received,” is but “ the earnest” and “ a first fruits," -the first fruits of this future harvest of heavenly blessedness. Moreover, this state is permanent; the inhabitants of this city fear no evil;
Be thou far from violence; truly, thou shalt not fear it;
Notwithstanding, we learn that there will be an attack meditated, at a certain period, against this “ city of the saints :" yet it will be meditated in vain; and there are now no hypocrites in Zion to be afraid.
15. Lo, He will surely stir up war, but not from me,
Whoever warreth against thee shall fall for thy sake.
16, Lo, I have created the workman that bloweth up the coals
into a fire,
And I have created the waster to destroy. 17. No weapon that is formed against thee shall succeed, And every tongue that ariseth against thee in judgment thou
Who this emphatic HE is, a future oracle will explain: no mortal foe. The last enemy of Jerusalem among the nations of the earth had perished on the mountains of Israel at the beginning of the second advent; but this is the great adversary, the devil, or Satan, released - and as it should seem from the oracle I am anticipating, millions with him, whom he hath deceived - and permitted to show once more his impotent and now not feared rage against the people of God. Former enemies of Jerusalem had a commission from God to chastise her for her sins; therefore they had power to injure her. But this is no longer the case ; and therefore Satan, though he may be permitted to rage, cannot inspire a fear in the holy city.
On the Fifty-fifth Chapter.
The prophecy, according to its wonted manner, again resumes,
and evidently places us at the era of the Gospel call. Israel, as appears from the sequel, is particularly
addressed ; but these invitations are equally suited to those among the Gentiles that can receive them. For the blessing of Abraham is now come upon the Gentiles, and to them also has God given repentance unto life. “ Repentance and remission of sins" is now, by the great Teacher's order, to be “ preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”* The “Gospel," as St. Paul observes, “is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” +
1. Ay, every one that thirsteth,
Come ye to the waters ;
The free invitation of the thirsty to streams of water, and of the hungry poor to come and feast on delicacies, may be considered as a standing emblem for the Gospel call, to all those that are taught of God to feel their spiritual wants. They are commanded to satisfy their utmost need in the rich and free provisions of a Saviour's bounty. Invited to this feast, as our Lord has taught us in the parable of the marriage supper, the generality of the Jewish nation refused to come. But some would be found poor in spirit, and would be rendered susceptible of a sense of their spiritual wants :
2. Why spend ye your money for that which is not bread,
And your labours for that which satisfieth not?
* Luke, xxiv. 47.
+ Rom. i. 16.