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the whole earth is mount Zion, on the sides of the north the city of the great King: God is well known in her palaces as a sure refuge,” &c. (Ps. xlviii.); “And the name of the city from that day shall be, The Lord is there" (Ezek. xlviii. 35). Then it shall be said of Zion, “ Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee: and the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.... Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations. Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breasts of kings; and thou shalt know that I am the Lord thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob. For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass, and for stones iron; I will also make thine officers peace,

and thine exactors righteousness. Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting por destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise... The Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. Thy people shall be all righteous : they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.” (Isai. Ix.)

The figures used by David to illustrate the blessedness of the Redeemer's reign, may be applied to himself as the Just One: For he shall govern the people in righteousness; and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears : but with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth ” (Isai. xi. 3, 4). “ Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field : and the work of righteousness shall be peace, and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever” (Isai. xxxii. 16, 17). Now shall the people “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

(Isai. ii. 4). This blessed state of things is ever spoken of in the Scriptures as the effect of the righteous government administered by the Just One: “Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities : thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down; not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken. But there the glorious Lord will be unto us a place of broad rivers, and streams; wherein shall go no galley with oars, neither

, shall gallant ship pass thereby. For the Lord is our Judge, the

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Lord is our Lawgiver, the Lord is our King; he will save us (Isai. xxxiii. 20—22). In the lxxii d Psalm (which can apply to none other than the Lord Jesus Christ) there is an expression very

similar to that used by David in 2 Sam.xxiii. :-" He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass ; as showers that water the earth.The subject is continued to the end :-" 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. They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him, and his enemies shall lick the dust. The kings of Tarshish and of the Isles shall bring presents; the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts : yea, all kings shall fall down before him, all nations shall serve him. For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth, the poor also, and him that hath no helper. .... 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.” In one word, his reign will be “as the morning, a morning unclouded, shining with splendour, with showers like grass upon the earth.”

These expressions will also apply to the universal knowledge and holiness which will then pervade the whole earth. The Sun of Righteousness, rising upon Zion, shall diffuse his beams to the farthest verge of the green earth. Then “they shall no more say, Know the Lord ; for all shall know him, from the least unto the greatest; and the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea :" the whole “ earth shall be filled with his glory, and all the heathen shall praise him.”

At this time, also, the creation itself shall lift up its head, and rejoice in sharing the blessings of redemption. Now it is labouring under the Fall, being cursed for man's sake; but when the Lord comes it “ shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the sons of God” (Rom. viii. 19-22). “Then shall the earth yield her increase" (Ps. Ixvii. 6); so that “the ploughman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that draweth forth; and the mountains shall drop new wine, and all the hills shall melt” (Amos ix. 13). Then, also, “shall the wolf dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid ; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them: and the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together : and the lion shall eat straw like the ox: and the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord” (Isai. xi. 6-9).

Thus have I endeavoured to give a brief outline, from the Holy Scriptures, of the blessed state of the world under the reign of Messiah. Those words of David seem so forcibly to apply to what has been advanced, that I cannot avoid repeating them : “ He ruling in manhood is the Just One, ruling in the fear of God; and as in the morning, a morning unclouded, shining with splendour, with showers like grass from the earth."

There are some important inferences to be drawn from this subject. 1. We may learn from hence, that this blessed state of things will not be brought about till our Lord comes. Till then, things shall wax worse and worse; iniquity shall abound ; and the earth shall be filled with violence, even as in the days of Noah.—2. That Christ will not sit upon the throne of his glory till he comes to reign; and that then he will fulfill all that was spoken of him in his kingly character.—3. That this should be the great object of our desires. Such was the state of David's mind, 2 Sam.xxiii.3–5: “These were the last words of David” (ver. 1). The last words of men generally respect that which is nearest their hearts : so it was with David ;

This," he says, is all my salvation, and all my desire” (ver. 5). The last words of Peter were spoken in reference to the same subject : “ Knowing that I must shortly put off this my tabernacle, I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have always these things in remembrance : for we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty” (2 Peter i. 14–16). It is manifest, then, both from the Old and New Testament saints, that, instead of our Lord's reign upon the earth having little or no place in our affections—as is the case with the professing church at the present moment-it should fill our hearts and influence us continually. The language of our hearts should ever be, “ Come, Lord Jesus ; come quickly!” and if this is not the language of our hearts, we have reason to doubt whether we belong to Christ or no: for if we love him we shall love his appearing ; and we do well to remember, that to none but such will the crown of glory be granted in that day (2 Tim. iv. 8). Let us “ not be the last, then, to bring the King back again ; and when he comes, we “ shall sit down with him on his throne, even as he overcame and sat down on the throne of his Father.”

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(By the Rev. E. Irving—Continued from page 319.)


The Prophecies of Christ's Birth-place.

Micah v. 2, referred to in Matt. ii. 6 and John vii. 42. Our object is, by a series of interpretations, to cast light upon that most perfect of all methods of discourse, the prophetic method, of which God hath made so much use for expressing bis mind to the children of men; thereby to do what we can to redeem that chief portion of Scripture from the neglect which it hath been suffered to pass into in these our days. And to the end we may have for our guide the finger of God himself, we have chosen those portions of the Old Testament Prophecy to which the New Testament furnisheth a key; being very desirous to take away all ground for the charge, so recklessly thrown out against us, that we follow our own fancy and ingenuity in the interpretation of the Prophets, and are not guided by the word of God and the spirit of a sound mind. What can be more cautious and self-denied, than to approach ihe sacred mysteries with the lamp of Revelation itself, and open that door which God himself hath unlocked, and enter that chamber to which he himself hath invited our research ? If any thing can win the church back to these neglected cisterns of living waters, it is the putting of ourselves under the guidance and authority of God the Holy Spirit, and asking her to follow where he has led the way. We might, indeed, take higher ground; seeing that the Spirit, which guideth into all truth, and sheweth things to come, is in as full promise to us as to the Evangelists and Apostles (John xvi. 13); and, so far from being appropriated by them to themselves, is continually assigned to the whole church (1 Cor. ii. ; 1 John ii. 20, 27); seeing that “to shew unto his servants the things which must speedily come to pass,” is given by the risen Lord as the very reason for revealing the Apocalypse ; and the word of prophecy, more confirmed by the spectacle of Christ's glory on the mount of transfiguration, is declared by Peter (2 Pet. i. 19) to be, not darkness and uncertainty, confusion and peril, but “ a light in a dark place, to which we do well that we take heed.” But for the present we rather choose to set bounds to our liberty, and, for the sake of those who are weak in the faith, to pursue the unobjectionable method of looking into the Old Testament from the points of sight which God hath given in the New, and of interpreting what we behold by means of the keys which the Holy Ghost

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hath given.

In pursuance of this method, and with these humble and charitable ends in view, we have, in the six preceding articles, interpreted that most important series of prophecies between the sixth and the thirteenth chapters of Isaiah, which treat of the nativity, the name, and the action of Emmanuel, together with the effects thence resulting to Jew and to Gentile, and to the estate of the whole habitable world. This subject took the precedency of every other, because it is the first which is distinctly and explicitly referred to in the Scriptures of the New Testament (Matt. i. 23). And now, following the same principle of arrangement, we have next introduced to our consideration the prophecy which relates to the birth-place of our Lord, as the same is referred to in the story of the nativity. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judea : for thus it is written by the prophet; And thou, Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda : for out of thee shall come a Governor that shall rule my people Israel” (Matt. ii. 4–6). That this application of the prophecy of Micah to the birth-place of Messiah was rightly made by the chief priests and scribes to king Herod, is manifest, not only from the prophecy itself—which can be applied to Him only "whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting” (Mic. v. 2); and from the fact that there he was actually born (Luke ii. 4)—but likewise from the current belief of the Jewish people, as the same is expressed by them in their reasonings concerning the Christ: “ Others said, This is the Christ; but some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee? Hath not the Scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?” (John vii. 41, 42). Like most of the other prophecies which speak of the glory of Christ, this, concerning the place of his birth, was deeply engraven on the memory of the people: as was also that concerning the line of his descent, that he should be the Son of David (Matt. xxii. 42). In this respect, the Jews, so much and so deservedly reproved in our pulpits for their neglect of their own Prophets, might teach a lesson to the greater part both of our ministers and our people, who are far more ignorant of the time and circumstances of His second than they were of His first coming.

Taking it, therefore, as a certain truth, that the words written in the second verse of the fifth chapter of Micah, But thou, Bethlehem-Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto me that is to be Ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting,” were written to indicate beforehand

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