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dent likewise, that the glorious body of believers (though now, as it were, reserved in heaven) is first to be enjoyed on earth. Speaking of the present body, which the Apostle calls "our earthly house of tabernacle," (vv. 6, 8,) he says; that if it were dissolved, "we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens:" and then immediately adds, that in this tabernacle we groan, "earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is FROM heaven." This shews, that the very house prepared in heaven, is ultimately to be revealed from heaven. Not that I suppose, there are as many bodies prepared in heaven, as there are saints who have existed and who shall be born on earth; but that in heaven is the great exemplar of them all-the Lord Jesus. For thus also in 1 Cor. xv. the Apostle tells us, "The first man (by which, from the context, he means our first body, made in the likeness of the first Adam) is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord FROM heaven; and as we have borne the image of the earthy [man], we shall also bear the image of the heavenly [man]." And this will be effected by his descending from heaven, and changing our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able to subdue all things to himself." Phil. iii. 20, 21.
There are many other things which are said to be 'prepared,' 'laid up,' and 'reserved in heaven;' which are nevertheless to be enjoyed on earth, and which will be made manifest in the day when the Lord shall appear. Thus St. Paul, speaking of temporal goods, says of the saints, "that they joyfully suffered the loss of them, knowing that they had in heaven a better and an enduring substance." And this Peter explains to be "an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time."s
I have necessarily anticipated in these remarks some things, which belong more immediately to the doctrine of the Resurrection; but I trust the reader will perceive, that what is proved in regard to the heavenly body or house of the believer, is equally applicable to the heavenly kingdom.
II. I proceed now to the second point; viz. that Zion is to be a special place of manifestation.
Every reader of the Scriptures must be familiar with the numerous promises and glorious things spoken of Mount Zion and Jerusalem; but owing to the unhappy mode of spiritualizing (or, rather, of explaining away) these passages, their force and significance are lost. But I must first, in order to prevent
⚫ Heb. x. 34. ⚫ 1 Peter i. 4, 5.
confusion from the use of different terms, shew that Zion, Jerusalem, the Mount of God, and House of the Lord, all mean one and the same thing;-that is to say, they all refer to the region of Mount Zion, or to some particular place within that region. This I shall prove by three different texts.
The first is in Isaiah ii. 1, 2, "And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem."
In Micah, iv. 1, 2, there is a similar passage; "the mountain of the Lord" and "the house of the God of Jacob" being made the same; and Zion and Jerusalem also the same.
The third place is Isaiah xxvii. 13, where, speaking of the return of Israel, it is said: "They shall worship the Lord in the holy mount at Jerusalem."
Now the first mention which we have of this place is in Genesis, in the account of Abraham returning from the overthrow of the kings. It is here called Salem, (which signifies peace, i. e. the place of peace,) and Melchizedec was king of it. This Melchizedec is held up as an eminent type of Christ on various accounts; but among the reasons is, that he was a priest and king, and specially as being king of Salem:" for "in Salem also is [Messiah's] tabernacle, and his dwelling place in Zion."
The next mention which we have of this region is also in Genesis, when the Lord commands Abraham, who had seen the type of Christ reigning at Salem, to take his son Isaac, another type of Christ, and offer him up for a burnt-offering on a mount, which he should point out in the land of Moriah: for Abraham must also be instructed, that the Son of Man must suffer. And this land or region of Moriah is no other than Sion and Jerusalem; for in 2 Chron. iii. 1, we are told, that Solomon began to build the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, in Mount Moriah; where the Lord appeared unto David his father.* And Abraham after this transaction on Mount Moriah calls the name of the place Jehovah-Jireh; which is thus explained in our translation, "In the Mount of the Lord it shall be seen."
u Heb. viii. 1-3.
w Gen. xxii.
+ Gen. xiv. *The floor of Araunah, or Ornan, the Jebusite was the spot; and the appearance of the angel to David when the pestilence was stayed, and his being openly answered on this spot by fire from heaven, are, I presume, the circumstances intended. 1 Chron. xxi. 18-28.
▾ Psalm lxxvi. 2.
Of the circumstances which caused this region to fall into the hands of the Jebusites we are not informed; only it appears to have been possessed sometimes by the Israelites, sometimes by the Jebusites, or by both together, until David besieged and took it and made it the royal city. He now gave, or restored to it, the name of Jerusalem; which Cruden says is made up of the two former names Jireh-Salem, the first of which may refer to the two appearances, (the one to Abraham, the other to David,) both pledges of future manifestation. The Jebusites called it Jebus, which signifies "despised or trodden under foot;" which it now is again, and will remain so, till the times of the Gentiles shall be fulfilled; and then "the Lord shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again." (Zech. ii. 17.)
Observe now a remarkable prophecy concerning this mountain in Isaiah.-"In this mountain shall the Lord of Hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined. And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death in victory, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces, and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it. And it shall be said in that day,— Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him; we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation. For in this mountain shall the hand of the Lord rest." (xxv. 6-10.) Passing by the ordinary explanation of the feast of fat things, I shall notice only the usual interpretation of death being swallowed up in victory in this mount; viz. that it was fulfilled by the resurrection of Jesus. And, inasmuch as he was the first fruits of the victory, I agree, that his resurrection was an earnest of a more complete fulfilment of the promise. But 1 Cor. xv. forbids me to say more.-"Behold (saith the Apostle) I shew you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we (i. e. the saints who shall then be living,) shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So WHEN this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall put on immortality, then-THEN shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, 'Death is swallowed up in victory."" In this very
* Compare Joshua x. 1, 42; xv. 63; Judges i. 23; 2 Sam. v. 6-9; 1 Chron. xi.
mountain, therefore, if Christ rose, the saints shall be manifested in immortal and incorruptible bodies; as it is written"The redeemed of the Lord shall return and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head; they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away:"-just as before written, "He shall wipe away tears from off all faces."
As the historical part of this subject shews, that this place has been designed and pointed out to the Church at various periods as a place of manifestation; so the prophetical passages just quoted prove, that all these different circumstances were but as the earnest of a future glorious manifestation and possession of it by Christ and his saints,-who are the real house of God, the heavenly Jerusalem, who shall come down from God out of heaven.
There are many other circumstances, which evince a peculiar appropriation of this place to the Lord Jesus. As he, by anticipation, was said to have been slain before the foundation of the world; so, by a similar anticipation, he is said to have rejoiced in this earth (c) before it was made.* It is called, by the same anticipation, the holy land, the Lord's land, and Immanuel's land. Zion is declared also to be 'the city of God," "God's hill," "the mount which he loveth," the perfection of beauty, his rest for ever, where he will dwell, because he hath desired it." Here indeed he is said to have dwelt already, before he became flesh; giving to his people the cloud, as the symbol of his presence-the very symbol also of his return. Here we know, likewise, he did sojourn, when in the flesh, loving more especially to retire to that part of it called "the Mount of Olives,-where was 'the garden;" from whence also he took his departure on a cloud; and where he will again descend; as it is written, "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 towards the east and towards the west; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal; yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled before the earthquake, in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD MY GOD shall come, and ALL THE SAINTS WITH THEE." What can be more explicit than this
y Zech. ii. 12. Ps. lxviii. 15.
x Rev. xiii. 8. lxxxvii. 3.
Ps. lxxiv. 2, 3.
h Acts i. 9-11; Rev. i. 7.
* A comparison of Proverbs viii. 23, 31, in the Septuagint version will shew, that it is en n here spoken of-the habitable land or earth; &μ being also the word, which, in Hebrews ii. 5, is translated "world" to come.
prophecy? Mr. Faber, who does not concur with me in the view of the personal reign, admits, nevertheless, of this prophecy, that it must be literal, "and designed, by its circumstantial clearness, to cut off the possibility of figurative interpretation." And immediately after this prophecy it is added "And the Lord shall be KING over all the earth"-proving most decidedly, when the kingdom will be manifest; (viz. at his coming with the saints, before named;) and where, viz. on earth.
Many other Scriptures prove that the Lord's kingdom is to be manifested on earth: for example, Jer. xxiii. 5,-"A king shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth." Again, Ezek. xliii. 7, when the Lord, on granting to him a vision of Jerusalem, says, "Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet." Wherefore our Lord forbids his disciples to swear by Jerusalem, because it is THE CITY OF THE GREAT KING. Nor must I omit to notice, when speaking of the throne, that Isaiah says: "Of the increase of his government there shall be no end, upon the throne of DAVID, and upon his kingdom." Thus the angel Gabriel announces to Mary;-"He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father DAVID.' And where was the throne of David? surely not in heaven; for St. Peter tells us plainly, "that David is not ascended into the heavens;" but that, "being a prophet, he knew that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne." The Lord, however, certainly did not sit on David's throne at his first coming; for Herod was then in it: and this promise therefore remains to be fulfilled at his second coming.
2. It is now time that I should notice an objection, which it will be useful to consider, not merely in reference to this particular argument, but likewise as affecting in some measure general principles of interpretation.
There are passages of Scripture, relating to this matter, which are undoubtedly to be understood only in a spiritual sense, and must be so interpreted. Such, for example, as when St. Paul says of gentile believers, "that they are fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God, and are built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord; in whom ye also are builded together for a habitation of God through the
m Matt. v. 35.
■ Isa. ix. 7.
* Vol. vii. P. 267. • Luke i. 32.
1 Zech. xiv. 9. P Acts ii. 30, 34, &c.