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Levites the priests my ministers." Jer. xxxii. 14-21. This last part of the prediction belongs properly to a subsequent Section on the rebuilding of the temple, in which will be shown God's purpose of sacrifice being continued during the Millennium.
This King, the son of David and the Branch of Righteous ness, is evidently no other than Christ himself; but this is still more obvious from the following : “ For unto us a Child is born; unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulders; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the everlasting Father, [": Father of the everlasting age,” Louth,] the Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David ond upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice, from henceforth even for ever. I'he zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this.” Is. ix. 6, 7. “Behold the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a king shall reign and prosper, and shall execute julgment and justice in the earth. In His days, Judah shall be saved and Israel shall dwell safely, and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS." Jer. xxiii. 5, 6.
THE REDEEMER'S PRESENCE ON EARTH DURING
In some of the foregoing passages, the coming of the Son of Man is announced, and in others. His presence on earth is fully implied, although we have hitherto abstained from comment upon then. This, however, we shall now endeavour to prove, by the quotation of predictions in which it is expressly promised : “Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem. The Lord hath taken away thy judgments, He hath cast out thine
enemy. The King of Israel, even the Lord, is in the midst of thee; thou shalt not see evil any more.” Zeph. jïi. 14, 15. This is the literal Israel who are to be brought from beyond the rivers of Ethiopia.” ver. 10. It is also their future restoration, after which they shall “not see evil any more." The king of Israel spuken of is “ even the Lord,” who shall then be “ in the midst” of them. Nor is this to be explained into their conversion which is also predicted : “the remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity.” ver. 13. Does not the prediction intimate that when the Lord's judgments on Israel are past, their enemies cast out, their transgressions pardoned, and they shall see no more evil,-when, in short, the Millennium arrives, that then the Lord Jesus will indeed dwell upon the earth, and be “the King of Israel ?"
In the following prediction of the prophet Zechariah, the coming of the Saviour and his continuance on earth appear to be explicitly foretold; “ Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for lo! I COME, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord. And many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee ; and thou shalt know that the Lord of Hosts hath sent me unto thee. And the Lord shall inherit Judah his portion in the Holy Land, and shall choose Jerusalem again.” Zech. ii. 10 -12. Israel, " the daughter of Zion,” is called to rejoice for the coming of the Lord. Nor does this seem capable of being understood in any other sense than of a personal coming, for they shall know that the Lord of Hosts hath seni me unto thee.” Having been sent, He will dwell with them " in the Holy Land.” Such circumstances seem fully to imply his personal presence. By way of contrast, it seems also to point to his former rejection, when they refused to recognize him as their Messiah; but they shall now “know" that he is the * sent" of the Lord. The conversion of many nations" is here also foretold, not as either the coming of the Lord or his after dwelling with them, but as additional to and consequent of it: - And many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people."
Again, by the same prophet, “ Thus saith the Lord, I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem : and Jerusalem shall be called a city of Truth, and the mountain of the Lord of Hosts, The Holy Mountain.” Zech. viii. 3. To "return” to a place implies not merely having been formerly in it, but also an intervening absence from it. This promise cannot therefore apply to the church, from which God's Spirit is never absent. Applied to the personal presence of the Lord Jesus, its language is characterized by propriety as well as condescension. In human nature he has already been in Zion, and his coming to it again will therefore be return." There will then be a great change too in the moral character of the city. The contrasted permanence of His future residence may also be pointed out in the expression He“ will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem."
The coming of the Saviour, and His abode with His people, is the frequent theme of Inspired Psalmody:
Thou shalt arise and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her is come. For thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favour the dust thereof. So the heathen shall fear the Name of the Lord, and all the kings of the earth thy glory. When the Lord shall build up Zion, He shall appear in his glory.” Ps. cii. 13
-16. “ Blessed be the Lord out of Zion, who dwelleth at Jerusalem." Ps. cxxxv. 21. In the first of these it is promised that at the restoration of Israel, “ when the Lord shall build up Zion," that He shall then " appear, not as when formerly he tabernacled on earth, but "in His glory." His appearance in humility was shortly before the destruction of Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, but when Zion shall be again built up. “ He shall appear in his glory." He shall then dwell “ AT Jerusalem." This expression appears quite inconsistent with the notion that “ Jerusalem” is the church. To dwell at Jerusalem plainly implies that it is, in this instance, the place rather than the people that is spoken
* So full of these doctrines are the Songs of Zion that their revival has poured a flood of light upon our Psalmody; and perhaps the un.
The practice of applying all such predictions to the presence of the Holy Spirit with the church, and as figurative expressions of the conversion of Israel, is unauthorized and quite unnecessary. The conversion of Israel is no doubt frequenily foretold by the Hebrew prophets, and figurative expressions denoting their regeneration are indeed used in Prophecy, as may be seen in the Section on the Conversion of Israel, but the figures used are perfectly appropriate, and are obviously
The taking out of them the stony heart, and giving to them an heart of flesh, is a figure--the washing them as with clean water is a figure-the opening of a fountain for sin and for uncleanness is a figure—the putting His law in their inward parts, and writing it in their hearts, are figures—the pouring upon them a spirit of
warrantable substitution of uninspired hymns and paraphrases in worship, is to be attributed to the suppression of these truths. The disbelief of the doctrine of our Lord's Millennial Reign, and others connected with it, has occasioned much obscurity, although the difficulty of reconciling some of these sacred compositions with our notions of the gospel, ought long ago to have excited a suspicion of our departure from the primitive faith. There is evidently something wrong in the principle which has led some churches to the almost regular exclusion of these heavenly songs for the effusions of erring
Had our collection of psalmody-originally inspired and designed for praise by the Holy Spirit, and afterwards collected and arranged under divine superintendance-been either inapplicable, or been found imperfect for Christian worship, another collection would doubtless have been made by Christ or his apostles. At least, it may be presumed, directions would have been given for completing the canon of praise when the greater spirituality, and wisdom, and refinement of the Church had rendered additions indispensable or expedient. But such a lack appears neither to have been felt nor anticipated in the primitive church with respect to the number or fitness of the Psalms for Christian worship. It was left to an age of higher attainments to discover and supply this great omission of the Author and Finisher of our faith. But how careful ought Christian to be that they do not transgress by adding to that which the wisdom of the Spirit considered already complete, and by exchanging those holy songs, which they know to be in accordance with the will of God, for hymns and paraphrases which they may sometimes have reason to sus. pect of doubtful orthodoxy. The greater elegance of the poetry is an inadequate compensation for the loss sustained by the exchange ; for, even in cases where the original Psalm may be obscured in our translation, and where the critic's eye may detect a want of taste, there are still lest a glory and a dignity which bear down every lesser fault, and impart to the believer a higher relish than the mere charms of poetry could ever yield.
grace and of supplications, is a figure. All of these are figures, and of such a nature as not to be mis-understood. They express unequivocally the idea of conversion, a blessing which our Second Section proves to be also the subject of abundant promises in which no figure is used. Why, then, must the promises of the coming of the Lord be also supposed to predict what is thus so fully and plainly declared ? There is no need for the assumption. In most cases, it can only create a mere redundancy of expression, and it is altogether inconsistent with the language of many of the predictions in which that coming and presence are announced.
“Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.” Is. xii. 6. “For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim. Afterwards shall the children of Israel return and seek the Lord their God, and The Beloved their King; and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days.” Hos. iii. 4, 5. It has been a literal “ king” and “prince” that the children of Israel have so long been without, and this want is to be supplied by “ The Beloved” himself becoming "their king." This prediction contains also a distinct promise of their conversion, for they shall then “ fear the Lord;" and this shall be in the latter days."
6 Behold the Lord God will COME with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him. Behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him." Is. xl. 10. And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God, and none else, and my people shall never be ashamed.” Joel ii. 27.
“So shall ye know that I am the Lord your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain : then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more.... but Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation. For I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed; for the Lord dwelleth in Zion." Joel iii. 17, 20, 21.
On this subject, instead of connecting and comparing