Obrazy na stronie
[blocks in formation]


[ocr errors]

Matt. xxvii. 29, &c. : They bowed the knee before him, and mocked him ..... and they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads.....likewise, also, the chief priests, mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him.” Matt. xxvii. 35 : "And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots."

Matt. xxvi. 67: "Then did they spit in his face."

Matt. xxvii. 30: "They....took the reed, and smote him on the head."

Matt. xxvii. 12: "And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing. Then said Pilate unto him, Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee? And he answered him to never a word."

John xiii. 25: "He then lying on Jesus' breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it? (that should betray him.) Jesus answered, He it is to whom I shall give a sop when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot."

Matt. xxvi. 15: "And they covenanted with him (Judas) for thirty pieces of silver."

Matt. xxvii. 7: "And they took counsel, and bought with them the Potter's Field."

Mark xv. 27: "And with him they crucify two thieves."

Matt. xxvii. 57: "A rich man of Arimathea, named Joseph..... laid it (Jesus's body) in his own new tomb."

Matt. xxvii. 34: 66 They gave him vinegar to drink, mingled with gall."


Psa. xxxiv. 20: "He keepeth all his bones; not one of them is broken."

Psa. xvi. 10: "Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine holy One to see corruption."

Psa. lxviii. 18: "Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive."


John xix. 33: "But when they came to Jesus....they brake not his legs."

Matt. xxviii. 5: Ye seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he is risen, as he said."

Acts i. 9: "While they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight."

In the above class of predictions, then, we perceive that God spake beforehand the very things, and no other, which He intended should be done; and that the minutest particulars detailed in them were fulfilled to the very letter. Now as we see this so plainly to be the case in every prophecy that has been fulfilled, what good and valid reason can be given why the prophecies. constituting the other class—namely, those that are yet future— should not be accomplished in precisely the same manner. They are expressed in language not a whit more figurative; and no intimation whatever is dropped in Scripture that their fulfilment will be of a different nature. Why, then, are we not to believe, that, as Christ was born of a virgin and at Bethlehem, as was predicted of him, so, as is also predicted of him (Isa. ix. 7), He shall sit "upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and with justice for ever?" When it is foretold concerning him (Jer. xxiii. 5), “ I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth," why are we not to believe that He will actually and literally do so? When it is said of him (Isa. xvi. 5), “ In mercy shall the throne be established; and he shall sit upon it in truth, in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness," why are we to explain it away as of something figurative, and to doubt that He will fulfil it according to the letter, as he has always done before? When we read (Mic. i.) that "The Lord cometh forth out of his place, and will come down, and tread upon the high places of the earth," why are we to disbelieve it as a thing incredible, when He literally fulfilled the word that said he should be buffeted and spit upon? When it is said (Zech. xiv.), " And his feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof, toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley: "when he calls the temple (in Ezek. xliii.) "the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever: " when he'

says (Isa. Ix. 13), "I will make the place of my feet glorious:" when he says (Zech. viii. 3) "I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: " when he says (Psa. cii. 16), "When the Lord shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory:" when it is said (Isa. xlii. 13), "The Lord shall go forth as a mighty man; he shall stir up jealousy as a man of war: when it is said of Christ and his saints (Isa. xxxii. 1), “Behold, a King shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment: "when it is said (Isa. xxiv. 23), "The Lord of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously; "-when these, and similar things, are foretold in almost every page of the Prophets, why are we not to believe that they will be fulfilled in the same exact and literal manner as we have seen that those actually were which related to his first coming? What valid reason can be given for explaining them away in a sense essentially different?*

Leaving this, then, for the serious consideration of all, I proceed to prove, by a regular chain of evidence, that, with respect to the Redeemer's future coming, nothing but a personal coming to reign upon earth can fulfil the Scriptures which are written of him. You will, of course, bear in mind that the question is not concerning the fact of the personal coming of our Lord-which no Christian doubts-but concerning the purpose and effect of it. Those who oppose the doctrine of the Personal Reign on Earth, imagine that Christ will come to destroy the present habitable globe, and to carry away his saints with him to some abode of blessedness in another part of the creation. We, on the contrary, maintain, that He will come to remain in it, to restore it, to establish it, to cause to inherit its desolate heritages, to sit upon the throne of David and upon his kingdom, and to order it with judgment and with justice for ever.

With the purpose of establishing this latter view, I shall, in what follows, examine closely the premises made by God to Abraham, to give to him, and to his seed after him, the land of Canaan for an inheritance. If it can be proved that these promises are yet unfulfilled, there is but one conclusion to which a believer in the word of God can come; namely, that they shall yet receive, in every particular, a literal and exact fulfilment.

Let us, then, turn to the several passages of Scripture in which these promises are contained.

And, first (Gen. xii.): "Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, into a land that I will shew thee....and they

*The predictions given above are amply sufficient for the present purpose. Those who wish to see more will find many more brought together in Mr. Begg's useful little work, "A Connected View," &c.

namely, Abram and his family," went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came......And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land."-Again (Gen. xiii.), "And the Lord said unto Abram.....Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art, northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth (i. e. in number).....Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee." Again (Gen. xv. 18), "In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates." Again (Gen. xvii. 8), "And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting posses sion; and I will be their God."


Now let us examine these promises of the living and true God, in their several particulars, briefly, but closely, and in due order.-1. The subject of promise is a certain country, by name the land of Canaan. 2. Its extent is, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates. 3. The promise of it, as an inheritance, is made to certain persons-namely, first to Abraham himself (mark that), and afterwards to his seed after *The learned Joseph Mede makes use of this fact, for a different purpose, in his answer to Dr. Twiss's Fourth Letter. "I doubt not," he says, "but you have felt some scruple (as well as others) at our Saviour's demonstration of the resurrection in the Gospel. (Matt. xxii.; Mark xii.) God said to Moses in the bush, 'I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob: God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. Ergo, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, must one day rise again from the dead. How does this conclusion follow? Do not the spirits of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, yet live? God should then be the God of the living, though their bodies should never rise again. Therefore some Socinians argue from this place, that the spirits of the just lie in the sleep of death until the resurrection. Or might not the Sadducees have replied, the meaning to be of what God had been, not of what he should be; namely, that he was that God who had once chosen their fathers, and made covenant with them: I am the God that brought Abraham out of Chaldee; who appeared to Isaac and Jacob whilst they lived,' &c. But how would this, then, make for the resurrection? Surely it doth: He that could not err said it. Let us therefore see how it may. I say, therefore, the words must be understood with supply of that they have reference to ; which is, the covenant the Lord made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; in respect whereof he calls himself their God. This covenant was, to give unto them, and to their seed, the land wherein they were strangers: (mark it) Not to their seed, or offsprings, only, but to themselves, Vide loco to Abraham, Gen. xiii. 15, xv. 7, xvii. 8; to Isaac, Gen. xxvi. 3; to Jacob, Gen. xxxv. 12: to all these, Exod. vi. 4-8, Deut. i. 8, xi. 20, xxx. 20. If God, then, make good to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, this his covenant, whereby he undertook to be their God, then they must needs one day live again to inherit the promised land, which hitherto they have not done: for the God that thus covenanted with them, covenanted not to make his promise good to them dead, but living. This is the strength of the Divine argument, and irrefragable; which otherwise would not infer any such conclusion."


[blocks in formation]

him. 4. Their possession of it was to be "for ever”-it was to be "an everlasting possession."

Now the point which I am about to examine is this; Have these promises been yet perfectly fulfilled in any one of these particulars? I say perfectly, because I do not deny that there has been a partial or incipient fulfilment, in some respects, as an earnest and foretaste of the complete and final accomplishment. The question is, Has any one particular been perfectly fulfilled? If not, my point is gained; for the promises will then remain to be fulfilled and fulfilled they shall be; for we are not only warranted in believing, but are absolutely bound to believe, that every particular will be exactly accomplished. "God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath He said, and shall he not do it? Hath He spoken, and shall he not make it good?"

1. First, then, have they been fulfilled to Abraham himself? -St. Stephen, in his address to the Jewish council (Acts vii. 2-5), expressly says that "the Lord gave him none inheritance in" the land, "no, not so much as to set his foot on; yet he promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child." St. Paul also declares (Heb. xi., which contains a long catalogue of ancient worthies, who were sustained under all their sufferings by faith in the promise, but who died without receiving it), that he (i. e. Abraham) " died in faith, not having received the promise." We can only, therefore, choose between two alternatives: Abraham shall yet receive it, or God will be found unfaithful, who promised.

I think Exod. vi. 2-4 is a very important passage in reference to this question: "And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the Lord and I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty; but by my name Jehovah was I not known unto them. And I have also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were strangers." Here, then, we see that God represents the covenant that he had made with Abraham, to give unto Abraham himself the literal Canaan, as being still in force. The words are not spoken indefinitely," I did establish my covenant with them (i. e. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob), once upon a time; and some time or other I will fulfil it, by giving the land to their descendants; " but definitely and distinctly: "I have established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan." Now, this was spoken more than three hundred years after Abraham's death; and still God saith, "I have established my covenant with them, to give them"-What? the heavenly Canaan ?-meaning thereby a glorious abode in another

« PoprzedniaDalej »