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see it uniformly characterising one person; first, by dark and obscure intimations, then gradually unfolding itself with brighter lustre as it advances, till the appearance of Him who was its ultimate end and object. In Him, and in his apostles, especially in his beloved disciple, we behold it renewed, predicting, with peculiar exactness, every important event which should befall his church, even from its earliest establishment, down to that period of awful expectation, when the great plan of divine mercy shall be brought to a glorious conclusion, and the mysterious counsels of the Almighty, respecting the christian dispensation, shall be closed in judgment and consummated in glory.
In the mean time, many great and blessed things are to be effected among the nations of mankind, as declared in the "sure word of prophecy" contained in the Bible. We will notice several particulars.
1. Concerning the Lord our Redeemer, it is said, “Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end," Isa. ix. 7. "He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth. In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth. He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth. His name shall endure for ever: His name shall be continued as long as the sun and men shall be blessed in him; all nations shall call him blessed," Psalm lxxii. 6—8. 17.
To this end,
2. The gospel is to be preached among all the nations and people upon the earth. "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature," Mark xvi. 15. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased," Dan. xii. 4. "And
I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people," Rev. xiv. 6. "The earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea," Hab. ii. 14.
3. The saving influences of the Holy Spirit are to accompany the ministry of the gospel, to give it the necessary efficacy. "And it shall come to pass afterwards, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh," Joel ii. 28. "And when he (the Comforter) is come he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment," John xvi. 8. I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my Spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring : and they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses. One shall say, I am the LORD's; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the LORD, and surname himself by the name of Israel," Isa. xliv. 3—5.
4. As the consequence of the effusion of the Spirit, the church of Christ is to include all nations, in an extraor dinary state of knowledge, holiness, and happiness. " All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee," Psalm xxii. 27. "But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow into it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths; for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more," Micah iv. 1.3. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea," Isa. xi. 9.
"And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising; I will make thy officers peace, and thine exactors righteousness. Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction
within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls salvation, and thy gates praise," Isa. Ix. 3. 17, 18. "In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD," Zech. xiv. 20.
5. Of the Jews it is predicted that their infidelity shall be removed, and by conversion, they shall be brought into the church of Christ, with the fulness of the Gentiles. "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. Afterward shall the children return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter day," Hos. iii. 4,5. "I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplication: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced," Zech. xii. 16. "Thus saith the LORD GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathens, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: and I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all. I will save them out of all their dwelling-places, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God. And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd over them; they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them. My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And the heathen shall know that I the LORD do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore," Ezek. xxxvii. 21-24. 27, 28. Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my Spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the LORD GOD," Ezek. xxxix. 29. "Blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, there shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away un
godliness from Jacob; for this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins,” Rom. xi. 25—27.
These are a few of the predictions which abound in the word of God; and that all these prophecies shall be perfectly fulfilled we have the most confident assurance, arising from the faithful word of the LORD OF HOSTS. He has said, "For as the snow and the rain cometh down from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater: so shall the word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it," Isa. lv. 9, 10.
Besides the infallible word of God, the signs of the times, and the various means which Providence has brought into operation within the last fifty years especially, indicate the approaching accomplishment of all the merciful purposes of God towards mankind. Scriptural truth appears to be better understood by the church of God, and a spirit of candour and love prevails in it, in such a degree, as never characterised it since the apostolic age. Christians of different denominations manifest a greater disposition to merge their peculiarities, uniting in the grand essentials of evangelical religion, to extend the kingdom of their Saviour, in blessing the whole family of man. For this purpose missionary societies have been established upon a plan to embrace the whole world. They are supported by the voluntary contributions of the several bodies of christians, whose agents have been eminently honoured of God in diffusing the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. By their means whole nations have abandoned idolatry with its degrading brutalities, and multitudes of them have received the truth as it is in Jesus. It is computed that a thousand protestant missionaries are disseminating the doctrines of their Saviour among the heathen, assisted by at least a thousand preachers and teachers from among the native converts. To further their object, the scriptures have been translated by the missionaries into about
sixty different languages, which before had never been sanctified by the inspired word of God; and the Bible Society has published the scriptures, in whole or in part, in about one hundred and fifty languages. Innumerable religious tracts have been published in various languages. Schools have been established at the various missionary stations; and it is calculated, that not less than 100,000 pagan children and adults are receiving christian instruction in day and Sunday-schools. The cause of Jesus Christ, in the evangelization of the world, is gaining an increase of friends and supporters; the several governments are becoming more favourable to christian missions; the fruits of evangelical instruction are appearing in multitudes of devoted converts to Christ among the heathen, and the morning we trust has evidently dawned upon the world, which shall be succeeded by the rising of the Sun of righteousness, and by the meridian glory of truth and holiness, when "all shall know the LORD from the least even to the greatest,' and "the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our God and of his Christ."
CH. XIII.-FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE OF the Bible. "I HAVE multiplied visions, and used similitudes by the ministry of the prophets," Hosea xii. 10. This de claration of the Lord God Almighty must be practically regarded, fully to profit by studying the holy scriptures. To adopt this mode of instruction was a merciful condescension to human weakness on the part of God; especially in the early ages of the world, when symbolical language originated from the necessary scarcity of words. Figures of speech, as all allow, were occasioned by the very poverty of language. The advancement of society in arts, sciences, and refinement, has produced the addition of a multitude of words. Still, in the highest state of improvement, all languages continue to be more or less figurative.
Probably there are no writings in existence whose