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sealed until the manifestation of the Lord's right shall be accomplished. The possession purchased or redeemed, does not apply only to the heirs of the kingdom, but to the earth universally, which is reserved for a restitution that will display the Lord's glory; and revelation assures us that in that period our Lord will not only be known as the glorious Redeemer of his people, but also as by redemption the universal Lord of all things. This great truth runs through the Scripture. The prophetic voice declares that the Lord Christ has been from all eternity thus constituted Lord, Psalm ii. 447. Isaiah xlv. 23. Phil. ii. 9-11. Prov. viii. xv. 22, 23: and the glorious gospel which unfolds the prophecy, exhibits a page illumined by the beams of that majesty and honour, which, ere long, will be universally displayed in “the King of kings, the Lord of lords.” He cometh, and “every eye shall see him." Rev. i. 7. He cometh, and “every creature shall bow before him.” Jude 14, 15. 2 Thess. i. 6–10. He cometh, and “ the earth shall rejoice before him.” Psalm xcvii. 1.
An attentive perusal of the book of revelation must needs fill the mind with this animating subject; neither will any scripturally-informed
believer doubt the fact that ere long this song shall be heard : “ the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever.” Rev. xi. 15—17. It must also be understood that this reign is in consequence of the redemption, a reign over a purchased possession,-over the earth recovered out of the hand of the enemy,-over creation visibly restored to its original owner.
There are many important passages wherein the Holy Ghost clearly reveals this design. The promise is given, that in the establishment of Messiah's kingdom, paradisaical peace and plenty, along with prevailing holiness and righteousness among the sons of men, shall cover the earth; and that according to the promise made to Christ, he shall reign as Lord, acknowledged, adored, and loved, from pole to pole. “Behold, I create new heavens and a new earth.” Isaiah xlv. 17. “ The wolf shall dwell with the Lamb,” &c. &c. Isa. xi. 6–9. “ And the Lord shall be king over all the earth; in that day there shall be one Lord, and his name One.” Zec. xiv. 9. The promise is taken up by the Apostle Peter in his second epistle iii. 11–13; and again, in Rev. xxi. 1–5. Precious proclamation ! whereby
the church is animated with blissful assurances that ere long her Lord and Saviour will break forth.in glory, and his redeeming power and grace be known and magnified.
The redemption of the earth is an article in the covenant which is very interestingly connected with the subject of the Divine faithfulness, and in this point of view is most important. Thus were designs of bounty to man, and purposes of goodness and grace, expressed to him: he had a grant of the earth, and was invested with delegated lordship. True, he forfeited these, and God would be righteous were they for ever withdrawn, but the redemption may bring back the forfeited glory, and man may yet possess the earth and rise to dominion : he shall do so! “ The earth hath he given to the children of men.” Psalm cxv. 16, -a gift that is not reversed ; we find it still in the memorial of the Lord's faithfulness; for David in Psalm viii. declares it still in force, whilst the Apostle in Heb. ii. 6-9, taking up this grant to man, as declared by David, shews how it is established by the redemption, inasmuch as Jesus having humbled himself, that he might exalt our nature to its primitive dignity, holds the promise for man in himself, and will, ere long, bestow it; so that, standing in the relation of a CovenantHead for his people, he has also become a Covenant Lord, and having first by redemption recovered the possession, will next by a free gift restore the possession so redeemed.
All this is very honourable to the Divine nature, very glorious to the Son of God, very confounding to the powers of darkness, and very rejoicing to the family of God. We consider, therefore, that as it is revealed, so it is to be believed, that there is a universal redemption of the earth; that is, that Christ, as Redeemer, hath purchased to himself the possession of the whole world, that in his covenant character he may rule all things; “ all things being put under his feet.” Ephes. i. 20—22; and that he may give a visible manifestation of his triumphs in the very region wherein the usurper has been owned, restoring creation to beauty and order, and consigning the destroyer to imprisonment and shame. Rev. xx. 1, 2.
In the history of the redemption already effected through the incarnation and sacrifice of the Son of God, we read of the accomplishment of the fulness of time.” “ But when the fulness of time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the the law.” Gal. iv. 4, 5. For this “ time" or period, believers looked and longed, and in the first advent embraced the promise : Luke ii. 28–30, 38. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by the prophet, saying, “ Behold a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a Son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” Matt. i. 22, 23. The first advent of the Lord opened, as it were, the fountain-head from whence the river of life burst forth in the wilderness, and which has continued to flow in streams of increasingly diffusive happiness, and shall so flow until the stream becomes a river, and the river a sea, covering the whole earth with blessings. It is thus represented in Ezekiel xlvii. 245, along with the effects thereof, as in the sixth to twelfth verses of that chapter, agreeing with Rev. xxii. 1–4; so that, not contenting ourselves with that measure of glory which as yet has been attached to the gospel dispensation, we are taught to haste to another day of God, a glorious revelation of the redemption, in the return of our Redeemer and Lord. It is to this period no doubt that the Spirit points, in Ephes. i. 14, when, addressing persons already