« AnteriorContinuar »
and calves may be supposed to signify the ferocious, insensible, and ignorant, who feign submission during these changes, by outward demonstrations, in imitation of those who sincerely promote the glory of God. Thus will be dispersed the influence of such as delight in war.
Ver. 31. Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God.
Egypt, as near “ the land of desire,” will now be deeply interested and engaged in aiding the work of general conversion ;-and probably missionaries of extraordinary efficiency will emanate from her bosom. Ethiopia shall speedily follow, supplicating God for entire deliverance from her bondage and degradation, and anxious to be instructed in his ways.
We here subjoin a passage from the prophet Isaiah, as further declaratory of the happy changes which shall be effected in Egypt, Ethiopia, and Arabia, through the missionary labours of the Jews.
Isaiah xlv. 14. Thus saith the LORD, the labour of Egypt and merchandise of Ethiopia and of the 8 Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over unto thee, and they shall be thine : they shall come after thee; in chains they shall come over, and they shall fall down unto thee, they shall make supplication unto thee, saying, Surely God is in thee; and there is none else, there is no god.
Psalm lxvni. (continued) 32–35. Sing unto God, ye kingdoms of the earth ; O sing praises unto the LORD; Selah: to him that rideth upon the heavens of heavens, which were of old : lo, he doth send out his voice, and that a mighty voice. Ascribe ye strength unto God : his excellency is over Israel, and his strength is in the clouds. O God, thou art terrible out of thy holy places : the God of Israel is he that giveth strength and power unto his people. Blessed be God.
8 “ That the Sabeans were of a most majestic appearance is particularly remarked by AGATHARCHIDES, an ancient Greek historian quoted by Bochart, Phaleg., l. 11., c. 26.”
The kingdoms of the earth are called on to praise God; and are reminded that it is He who ruleth in the heavens from the beginning. The mighty voice of his people loudly declare his salvation. Their power is to be ascribed to God. The highest manifestations of this power rest upon Israel ; and God's strength is evinced in the spiritual changes which he has wrought in the minds of his chosen. Thus will He, by the means of their labours, as by numerous examples of his wrath, cause sinners to perceive their wretched condition. “By terrible things in righteousness will” the Lord "answer" his people, as the “God of their salvation;" and will become “ the confidence of all the ends of the earth, and of them that are afar off upon the sea."
There is another most interesting epitome of the restoration of Israel, which chiefly dwells on their helpless efforts, when independent of the superintending goodness of God; this is the 107th Psalm; to which it is merely necessary to refer our readers, the language being, for the most part, plain and obvious, and in perfect harmony with the Scriptures already advanced.
INVASION OF THE HOLY LAND BY GOG.
How many persons cherish the belief, that were certain politico-ecclesiastical systems universally to prevail, they would produce all that concord and happiness, without which, mankind, in general, are so sinful and miserable. They are, accordingly, most anxious to promote these ends; and writers are never wanting who foster their views. But the inspired volume is wholly at variance with such suppositions; and pronounces the highest perfection of the policy of rulers, in conjunction with the loftiest devotion of any of their subjects, as vain, in attempting effectually to resist the overflowings of political and religious error, unaided by divine and extraordinary intervention. “The fire” of God's “ word"--of his "jealousy,”—and of his “fury,” are declared as indispensable to “try” the works of man. While it, therefore, predicts the continuance of fearful national troubles, a succession of destructive wars, and other judgments, it predicts the employment of more powerful means, -especially the enlarged communications of the Holy Spirit, as introductory to the universal reign of peace and righteousness. We assert this from the highest authority, while we would not encourage a relaxation of effort to promote the purification, and to aim at the accomplishment of such perfection in the church of Christ as may accord with the doctrines and rules of the same authority, or be formed on their model.
“ All is now disjointed, sickly, weak, and failing in its designed effect. Remedies multiply wants and defects; that which is crooked cannot be made straight, that which is wanting cannot be numbered ; the best planned institutions, the best laws, through the corruption of man and the power of Satan, disappoint our hopes. The law itself was weak through the flesh. No one adequately fulfils his relation to another; at least the conscience of the Christian leads him constantly to condemn himself. Magistrates, ministers, husbands, wives, parents, children, teachers, learners, servants, dependants, all fail in their relative duties in some point or other. Our comforts occasion our trials, and our very joys bring sorrows. But the times of the Restitution (atokataoTaois) of all things is hastening on; when not by the policy and wisdom of man, but by the effective grace and loving-kindness of God our Saviour, they shall be restored to a state of sound health: when the disjointed members shall be made whole, as the withered hand by our Lord, (Matt. XII. 13,) or the blind eyes which were restored by his goodness to perfect sight, (Matt. viii. 25.) And how the sacred writers glow with the bright anticipations of such a period, we may see in Isaiah XI., XXXV., LX., &c. May it only fill our minds in the proportion in which it fills the divine records: and especially may we view it as the time when HOLINESS and SPIRITUALITY shall be every where triumphant on earth, (Zech. xin. 9; xiv. 20, 21; Joel 11. 17; Isaiah LI. 1; 1x. 21,) and as a stimulating MOTIVE to the most active and zealous discharge of all our present duties."*
We find that there will still exist nations who will not unite with the people of God. Where it is said, that“ many and strong nations shall,” it would consequently seem to imply that some will not. We find frequent threatenings against such, because they will persist in harassing the church of God. These, at the period under consideration, are apparently the northern, or more uncivilized powers of Europe and Asia, and those of Africa; and when the Israelites shall be in tranquil possession of their land, they will make a most formidable and partially successful attack upon them. The influence of former enemies of the church, will, we suppose, have become extinct in many parts of the world, through the intensity of past judgments, while the everlasting Gospel will have widely diffused its choicest blessings.
It appears evident that the prophecies relative to “Gog, the chief of Magog,” and to “ the Assyrian,” remain to be accomplished; because they take place at (i.e., immediately previous to) that period in which God“ will have mercy on the WHOLE house of Israel," when he will not hide his face ANY MORE from them,"—when he “Has poured out his Spirit on them,”—and when “ALL their enemies shall be cut off.”
We do not observe that the enmity of that power which is symbolically termed “the Assyrian,” will cause to be organized a distinct or third invasion of Israel; but so far as we can conjecture, his attack, or rather unsuccessful attempt to perpetuate “his yoke,” may be synchronical with the invasion of Gog. It may be also remarked, that this power (the Assyrian) is always either mentioned as distinct from, or after, the modern Babylon; as in Isai. xiv.
In Zechariah xiv. 2, Gog seems to be represented. It is