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that statesmen and the simple ones of the land, rulers and ruled, mayhear and heed what the Lord has spoken concerning The Latter Day. God's witnesses, for whom the glorious reversion of the world's government is in store; are still among us; we meet them in almost every street; and yet we go on speculating and dreaming—anon the Poles and then the Franks commanding our attention—while the sure word of prophecy, like a light shining in a dark place, gives us in no very distant perspective a glimpse of things to come. Judah is seen in the vista as reaping the fruits of judgement and victory; and Ephraim beating down the nations, as the battle axe and weapon of war in the hands of the Lord of Sabaoth! The fig tree is budding; but the nations see it not! The Euphrates before Babylon, like the Jordan before Jericho, is drying up; but the sign is not regarded ;—and, because despised, soon will the warning of Jesus be found to issue in vengeance, and he will indeed " come as a thief" and i( as a snare" on the inhabitants of Christendom!
Let no one say " these things are 'of no moment,—they do not pecuf liarly concern me, —they are not * essential to salvation." My brother it is from Edom Jesus walks in triumph; it is in Bozrah that his garments are sprinkled with blood: there is the outpouring of his anger —there the emptying of his vials of wrath. The sons of the mystic Esau, who have oppressed the sons of Jacob, and " helped forward the affliction of those whom God had afflicted," drink deepest of its dregs. He who now unites in his own person the Shepherd and the Lamb, shall then " roar like a Lion and tear in pieces, and none shall deliver." Happy, happy he, whose God is then the God of Israel!
But to return: let us briefly consider the persons mentioned and the circumstances accomplished in this little history, now proposed for our investigation. To begin with the persons employed on the occasion, we have a description given of one who simply stiles himself" Captain of the Lord's host;" and secondly we have mentioned Joshua and the Jewish people, who under his direction and guidance overcame and destroyed their enemies.—That the former personage was either the great Angel of the covenant, the true Captain of our salvation, or an angelic messenger representing the second person of the glorious Trinity, no one I think will question wdio considers his ready acceptance, nay claim, of the worship and adoration paid him by Joshua, and the evident allusion to the same Leader of the host in Chapter vi, 2—" And The Lord said unto Joshua, &c." Do we then find, at the period of the Lord's return, an)r manifest heading or generalship of the armies of Israel by the Prince of the kings of the earth, (under whatever temporal ruler they may march, when they come from "the rising of the Sun,") here foreshown by this Captain of the Lord's host, at their first entrance into Canaan ?—To this question I would address myself; as it will serve the double purpose of proving the second glorious advent of the Lord Jesus to be at the time of the restoration of the Jews, as well as the typical nature of the occurrence so succinctly mentioned in the book of Joshua.
It is now a common notion among the Jews, that they are to expect tivo Messiahs—one from the tribe of Judah, and the other from Joseph; which notion they ground upon those passages in the Old Testament which so plainly speak of the preeminence of Ephraim in the last day, as well as of the glory of Judah.—That they have a partial truth here will I think be manifest ere we proceed much further; though they have stumbled at the humble one of Judah, because they see him not one with the glory of Ephraim. From a careful consideration of many texts of Scripture we shall, I think, be convinced, that a time will come, when Ephraim, as the pre-eminent and most distinguished of the tribes of Israel, shall have the honor of being headed by the returning Lord (who shall have revealed himself to Judah in the wilderness on her coming up from Babylon) when he shall appear as (< a Man of war" to " bring in the 'year of his redeemed and the day * of vengeance of our God." I know not how that seemingly obscure verse can be otherwise explained, contained in the prophetical blessing which Jacob gave in his dying words to Joseph,—" From thence is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel."0 The tribe of Joseph consisted afterwards of Ephraim and Manasseh, to the former of whom, being the younger, the pre-eminence was given by the sovereignty of Jehovah. If we compare this verse with the prophetical annunciation made in Daniel ii, 34—which fore-announces the overthrow of the divided kingdom of the Romans by the falling upon it of a Stone cut out without hands—we shall see a striking parallelism; and receive conviction that the Stone which grinds to powder the last great antichristian confederacy, is the King of Zion at the head of the now lost ten tribes of Israel, their Restorer into the land of their fathers. It is very remarkable, that, both in the blessing of Jacob and the last predictions likewise of Moses, the same promise of warlike power and might, the same pre-eminence in
warlike achievements, is given to Ephraim; while to Judah, the only tribe besides particularly distinguished, are given rich and exuberant promises, but of a different nature from the other. On Judah's lap is emptied the full horn of peace; while to Ephraim there is a declaration made of the possession of warlike triumphs and splendid victories. In Psalm lx, 7 it is said in accordance therewith, " Ephraim is the strength of my head.—Judah is my lawgiver." In Psalm lxxx the Shepherd of Israel is addressed, and in prophetic prayer requested "before Ephraim, Benjamin and 'Manasseh to stir up his strength 'and to come and save his people." We are told also in Hosea, i, 11, that '' they shall be gathered together and appoint themselves one Head and come up out of the land, and great shall be the day of Jezreel." We have also in Ezekiel xx, 35 the following explicit declaration made to the people of Israel " I will bring
* you out from the people and will 'gather you out of the countries 1 wherein ye are scattered with a 'mighty hand and with a stretched 'out arm and with fury poured out. 'And I will bring you into the wil'derness of the people; and there ( will I plead with you face to face, 'Like as I pleaded with your fathers 'in the wilderness of the land of 'Egypt, so will I plead with you
* saith the Lord God."—Again in Isaiah xxxi, 4—" As a Lion shall 'the Lord come down to fight for 'Mount Zion and for the hill there< of." So in Micah ii, 12, 13 " I 'will surely assemble, O Jacob, all 'of thee; I will surely gather the 'remnant of Israel, I will j:>ut them ( together as the sheep of Bozrah, '&c. The Breaker is come up be1 fore them .• they have broken up 'and have passed through the gate
'and are gone out by it, and their 'King shall pass before them, and 'the Lord on the head of them" Again, in Jer. li, 20 "Thou art my
* battle axe and weapons of war:
* for with thee will I break in pieces 'the nations, and with thee will I 'destroy kingdoms, &c." and at v. 24 " I will render unto Babylon 'and to all the inhabitants of Chal'dea all the evil that they have 'done in Zion in your sight, saith 'the Lord."—And once more, in Amos v, 5 "Their Shepherd that 'gathered them shall lead them and 'break the Assyrian when he shall 'come into our land and tread in 'our palaces." Not to multiply passages, the doctrine we have found appears plain, viz. that the Shepherd and Stone of Israel shall head the ten tribes thereof at the time of the destruction of their enemies and their restoration to the land of promise; and this evidently after the drying up of the mystical Euphrates or Jordan, which formed the barrier between them and their inheritance. And to my own mind the evidence of holy Scripture is fully satisfactory, —not only that "when the Lord 'shall build up Zion then shall he
'appear in his glory;" but that a great distinction is made in the different destinies and work of the two bodies of Jews, before their union on the mountains of Israel, after the destruction of Antichrist: Judah having before given out the lowly Branch from the stem of Jesse, Ephraim shall manifest him as the Staff of power and Rod of dominion for the rescue of his people.—" I will make Ephraim to ride, saith the Lord, and Judah shall plow, and Jacob shall break the clods."d Such is the dignity of Ephraim, and the consequent honor of Judah and all the children of Jacob! I have adduced many passages, and many more might be brought
d Ho sea
forward, if time and space allowed; but as I before remarked, I only wish to allude to these histories, in order that others may dwell upon and search into them more fully. I consider the subject of this paper an important one, in as much as the restoration of the Jews and their future dignity are so fully identified with the coming and kingdom of our blessed Lord. A minute and perhaps laborious examination of Scripture, and a comparison of text with text, is needful in order to get to a right understanding of this type; but I am sure it will repay any one with sweet enjoyment who wTill pursue the search in an humble childlike spirit; not from vain curiosity, but from love to the truth as it is in Jesus. We must " search for it as for hid treasures." It is not gliding over the surface that wrill give us the deep things of God: by the Spirit we may know them; and "the word of wisdom" is one of the blessed privileges of the Church, too much forgotten, but still part of her provision of love. Oh, may she open the casket and take out the rich jewels, and gird herself with power, and array herself with glory; so as to be ready to meet the Bridegroom who standeth at the door! Brethren suffer the word of exhortation—it is God's command! It is for you to search and see if any thing here written testifies of Jesus. To know him, and knowing, to enjoy him, this is lite eternal. "He cometh to judge the earth"—"Before him goeth the pestilence and burning coals flow down at his feet"—" He 'marches through the land in indig'nation and threshes the heathen in 'anger." "Oh, when his wrath is 'kindled, yea but a little, blessed 'are all they that put their trust in 'him!"
ON THE LITERAL AND FIGURATIVE
INTERPRETATION OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES.
Having in my two former papers laid down the rales for interpreting the sacred Scriptures, and given many examples in illustration of them, especially such as relate to the literal dispersion and restoration of the Jews; I now proceed to contemplate those prophecies which relate to the Messiah. These are of two classes, the fulfilled and the unfulfilled. And here let the Reader bear in mind the fourth rule,—" In'terpret the unfulfilled prophecies
* in the same manner, as historical 'facts have verified those that are
* already accomplished."
Who that believes in the New Testament will doubt the literal fulfilment of the following prophecies which relate to the Messiah? He was to be the seed of the woman,9—the seed of Abraham,13—of the tribe of Judah and the family of David,c—and to be born of a virgin.d The prophecies were also literally fulfilled with respect to the following things: His birth-place Bethlehem,6—his flight into Egypt,f—his mean appearance and poverty,g— the scene of his ministry,11—his parabolic language,1—his miracles,k —his quiet deportment,1—his entrance into Jerusalem and the beast on which he rode,m—and especially the circumstances of his crucifixion,
viz.—that he should be betrayed by one of his companions,11—sold for thirty pieces of silver, and the use to which the money should be applied,0—be smitten upon his trial,P —and have vinegar and gall given him to drink ;<1—also his dying words,1*—and that they should pierce his hands and his feet,s—yet that not a bone of him should be broken ;* —his being numbered with transgressors,11—the casting lots upon his vesture,v—his grave with the rich,w—and the resurrection of his body.x All these things and many others which God hath showed by the mouth of all his holy prophets, he hath so fulfilled ,-y that is, LiterAlly fulfilled.
The very same events were also foretold by Christ himself, just before they took place. "Then he 'took unto him the twelve, and said 'unto them, Behold we go up to 'Jerusalem, and all things that are 'written in the prophets concerning 'the Son of Man, shall be accom'plished."—" Let these sayings 'sink deep into your ears .• for the 'Son of Man shall be delivered unto 'the Gentiles, and shall be mock* ed, and spitefully entreated, and 'spitted on; and they shall scourge 'him, and put him to death; and 'the third day he shall rise again/' But, strange to tell!" They understood none of these things."2 He also informed his disciples, that after his resurrection he would meet them in a certain place in Galilee; that he would send them the Holy Spirit; that they should be opposed while preaching his Gospel; that they should be imprisoned and hated of all men for his name's sake; and all these things were literally accomplished.
The Scriptures give a very circumstantial account of his personal ascension—the place where he is gone,—the work in which he is at present engaged, "making intercession for us." They also assure us, that he must retain his present situation and employment—not as is generally supposed, until the final judgement and dissolution of all things, but—" until the times of the restitution of all things;" and that then the Father will send him again* He now reigns personally in heaven, and spiritually on earth. There can be no such thing as his spiritual coming, because he is spiritually here already, and has never departed for a moment, but has verified his own declaration, "Lo I am with you always even unto the end of the world." Now it is obvious, that that which never went away can never with propriety be said to come again; but that which went away, may come again, that is, his parson. That which was seen to go away, will so come again. Hear the deposition of two heavenly witnesses "This same Jesus which. 'is taken up from you into heaven, 'shall so come in like manner as ye 'have seen him go into heaven."b At the second advent Christ will come to reign, not merely in the hearts of men; but—the kingdoms
of this world will become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever: and he will bring all the saints with him. The very announcement of this fact induced them to sing a new song to the praise of their King, and to congratulate one another saying, " And we shall reign on the earth :"c and the apostle John says, " They lived and reigned with Christ a thousand }rears." If wicked men had said these things we might have disbelieved with propriety; but when they are asserted by the unanimous testimony of the redeemed saints, and by an inspired Apostle, not to give credit to them is sturdy unbelief.
All christians are agreed that Christ will reign .■ the Scriptures place that matter beyond dispute. They say, he must reign; but they never apply the terms spiritual or personal to his reign. They also speak of him as sustaining three very important characters, namely those of Prophet, Priest and King; and though they never apply the terms personal or spiritual to either, yet it is well known, that he discharged his prophetic and priestly offices personally, and why should he not sustain his regal office personally? Even now he performs his priestly office personally in the holy place not made with hands, where he appears in the presence of God to make intercession for us.*1 If Christ had a spiritual subsistence only, (like the Father and the Holy Spirit,) we might have fairly concluded that this reign would be only spiritual; but as he has a personal subsistence also, is it not equally fair to conclude that he will reign spiritually and personally?