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temple and an earthly city, inhabited by restored Israelites, and rendered the great metropolis of the renovated earth, the object of its boast and admiration, and the source of all its happiness and joy. This holy residence of Jehovah, as it should seem, is far exalted above the other habitations of men. It is illuminated by the Shechinah, which denotes the personal presence of the glorified Redeemer: and we need not hesitate to say his “ holy myriads” are not far distant: and though we, it may be, can form no adequate idea “ how these things can be," this we know, that as Christ dwells and reigns among living men, so will they who are partakers of his kingdom.
With respect to the restored Israel, which is then, under this dispensation, to be the leading nation upon earth, we read further :
A shoot of my planting, the work of my hands, shall be
And a small one a powerful nation.
This is certainly calculated to impress us with the idea, that Israel, at the era of their becoming the objects of this wonderful dispensation, were little and despised, and that from what appeared at first a very small beginning should the mighty consequences flow: and we may here remark how the error of the ancient Chiliasts, with all its consequent absurdities, arose; in the want of distinguishing between the risen saints of the first resurréction, and the nations in the flesh, which are still to be continued on the earth, to whom, and not to the children of the resurrection, these promises of temporal enjoyments are made.
On the Sixty-first Chapter.
At the opening of the sixty-first chapter, we are again brought back to the first advent, and the destinies of Israel are once more traced from that most important
1. The Spirit of the Lord Jehovah is upon me,
For Jehovah hath anointed me;
And the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2. To proclaim the year of acceptance with Jehovah,
And the day of vengeance with our God :
To comfort all that sigh,
To give them a crown instead of ashes,
Our blessed Lord has applied this passage to himself, and told the people in the synagogue of Nazareth, " This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears.”* fulfilled in this, that there stood the anointed Messenger of the Father, and the message that he delivered was
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* Luke, iv, 16.
the proclamation here rehearsed. The Gospel was glad tidings to the meek: it bound up the wounds of the broken-hearted: it was liberty and release from cruel thraldom, and those who received the Saviour enjoyed, in faith and hope, all the blessedness described. But we must carefully remark, that the utmost burden of the proclamation was itself a prophecy, - a prophecy which Jesus did not fulfil, but only proclaimed. The Gospel day was not the year of acceptance — the great year of jubilee to Zion as a people. It was the filling up of her iniquity, and brought on her the severest affliction; and more clearly still, it was not “ the day of vengeance to our Elohim;"- the day of righteous judgment on the persecutors and oppressors of the church, and their vindication from all their wrongs. The announcing of such a day is certainly part of the Gospel message, which comforts the souls of the waiting believers. But the great year of jubilee to Zion as a people, and the day of vengeance on her insulting foes, when all that sigh in her shall be comforted, sorrow be exchanged for joy, heaviness for praise, and the ashes of penitence for the crown of glory, most certainly came not then. The preaching of the Gospel, in respect of these final mercies, was only the glad tidings proclaimed “ of things that appeared not as yet :” — as the New Testament speaks, it is “the glory to be brought to us at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
And they shall be called the trees of righteousness,
The plantation of Jehovah for his glory.
They shall repair the ruins of former times;
5. And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, And the sons of the alien shall be your husbandmen and
vine-dressers : 6. But ye shall be called the priests of Jehovah,
“ Ministers of our Elohim” shall they call you. Ye shall consume the wealth of the nations,
And shall have command over their honours.' 7. Instead of your shame, ye shall receive a double inheritance, And for your reproach, ye shall rejoice in them · as your
portion.' Notwithstanding, in their land a double portion shall they
Hating robbery for sacrifice,
And will make an everlasting covenant with them: 9. And their seed shall be known among the nations,
And their offspring in the midst of the peoples.
.ימר See Simon in י
? Bishop Lowth thinks it
probable that the Hebrew is corrupted in this place, and follows nearly the Syriac. “ This verse, as it stands, has been thought very obscure. Houbigant and Bp. Lowth follow the Syriac. Remove the
-, that the first four words of this verse may be united to the preceding, and render :
Instead of repeated shame and
disgrace. They shall rejoice in their por
tion, Inasmuch as they shall inherit
a double portion in their own
land, They shall have eternal joy.”
Bp. HORSLEY. * The Syriac and Chaldee prefix the conj. z instead of the prep. a to aby, which they render “iniquity” or “ oppression;" and so the Septuagint, adıxias.
*“ I will give them their toil's worth honestly."
,כלמה to חתימרו soph
“ And of their opulence ye shall
make your boast,
All that see them shall acknowledge them,
There can be no doubt that this relates to the peculiar honour that Israel is to enjoy among the nations of the earth under the new dispensation, – those very nations, or the remnants of them, among whom they had so long been exposed to insult and the most shameful injuries : and yet it should seem that the remnant of these nations which are spared, for it will appear hereafter it is a very small remnant, have peculiar blessings in connexion with exalted Israel. So I understand this difficult passage. The exultation that follows must, therefore, be put in the mouth of the restored and renovated Jerusalem, but, doubtless, because of her connexion with the heavenly Jerusalem :
10. I will greatly rejoice in Jehovah,
My soul shall exult in my God;
And the bride adorneth her with her attire. 11. For as the earth bringeth forth her shoots,
And as the garden germinates its seeds ;
forth, And praise before all nations.
| Vindictive justice.