Page images

siders them his own property, the purchase of his blood-he will therefore not only be their portion, but their defence; he will be a wall of fire round about them, and a glory in the midst. The Mediator sits as King, upon his holy hill of Zion, and is swaying his sceptre in righteousness throughout his vast dominions.

Having very briefly considered what the Mediator's kingdom in a special manner is, its nature, and its laws, we now pass, as was proposed, to make several inferences and illustrations.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

1st. If the Mediator's kingdom is in a special manner the gospel dispensation, and its nature and laws are not of this world, but spiritual, heavenly, and divine; then we may infer, that the kingdoms of this world are not united to the kingdom of our Lord, but are opposed to it. If they are not for him, they are against him; and if they gather not with him, they scatter abroad. They must therefore be at war with the Lamb; but the Lamb shall overcome them; for he hath on his vesture, and on his thigh, a name written, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. The great conflict in our world is between the kingdom of the Mediator, and the kingdom of Satan: but the victory is not uncertain. Although the "heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing-the kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed; saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords: from us;-He that sitteth in the heavens shall

laugh the Lord shall have them in derision: Then shall he speak to them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure."-" Out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God."

The Psalmist, by the Holy Ghost, says of Christ"Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them to pieces, like a potter's vessel." Again-" He shall cut off the spirit of princes, he is terrible to the kings of the earth." Isaiah, by the revealing spirit, had the scenes of futurity opened to his view. He saw the glorious Redeemer marching through the earth in the greatness of his power; for he saw by prophetic vision, the great day of his wrath appear; and none but his redeemed were able to stand. In view of the dreadful scene, his soul was filled with astonishment; and he exclaims"Who is this that cometh from Edom? with dyed garments from Bazrah? this that is glorious in his apparel; travelling in the greatness of his strength? I, that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat PI have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me; for I will tread them in my anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments. For the day vengeance is in my heart, and the year of my redeemed is come-I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered there was none to uphold:


Therefore mine arm brought salvation unto me, and my fury it upheld me. And I will tread down the people in my anger, and make them drunk in my fury; and I will bring down their strength to the earth." From this it appears that the nations of the earth, will be gathered like the grapes of a vineyard; and cast into the great winepress of the wrath of God Almighty; and the great Redeemer will thresh them in his anger, and trample them in his fury. Their destruction must be inevitable, if their laws and governments are directly opposed to the Mediator's kingdom-When he shall come out of his place to shake terribly the nations of the earth; then the earth* will no longer cover the blood of the slain : for he will make inquisition for blood; and write up the nations. Then he will stain the pride of all glory, and bring into contempt all the honourable of the earth. The nations will be like stubble before the devouring fire; and will be chased away like chaff before the whirlwind; and no place will be found for them.

The interpretation of the symbols of the four great empires by the prophet Daniel, fully confirms this idea. In first describing the vision to Nebu chadnezzar, he says: "Thou sawest, till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet, that were of iron and clay; and brake

The earth, in symbolical language, is supposed by the writer to denote civilized nations, in distinction from uncivilized; which are sym bolized by the agitated sea. Civilized nations will no longer cover the blood of the slain, under the specious idea of defending their rights and liberties.

them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing-floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them; and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain; and filled the whole earth." The prophet thus interprets the vision:

And in the days of these kings, shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; but it shall break in pieces, and consume all these kingdoms; and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands; and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter."

Thus, we see, that the kingdoms of the world, by not submitting to the kingdom of our Lord, but by making war with the Lamb, are devoted to awful destruction, for the Lamb will overcome them. His kingdom will stand, for it is an everlasting kingdom; and of his dominion there shall be no end. The gospel dispensation, (or the kingdom of heaven,) must remain for ever, as it is governed by the same spirit which prevails in the eternal fountain of blessedness himself. It is therefore emphatically called the Kingdom of God; not only in distinction from the kingdoms of this world, but in distinction from all the other dispensations of the Church. It is not of this world-It is the kingdom of heaven; the reign of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.


2. If the Mediator's kingdom is not of this world, but spiritual, heavenly, and divine; and the kingdoins of this world are opposed to it; then we may infer, that the kingdoms of this world must belong to the kingdom of Satan. There are but two kingdoms in our world. At the head of one is the Mediator, and at the head of the other is Satan. Satan is the God of this world, and reigns without a rival in the hearts of the children of disobedience. He is the Prince of the power of the air. All the kingdoms of this world, and the glory of them, are given to him*, until the time that God shall write up the nations, and make inquisition for blood. Then the great battle of God Almighty will be fought, and the beast, and the false prophet will be cast into a lake of fire; and Satan will be bound a thousand years; and the saints will take the kingdom, and possess it; and wars shall cease from under heaven. After the thousand years, Satan will again be let loose; "And shall go out to deceive the nations, which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle; the number of whom is as the sand of the sea." "And the Devil who deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever." Thus it appears that Satan is the main spring of all warlike powers, and when he is

[ocr errors]

* If the kingdoms of this world do not belong to Satan, then it was no temptation to our Lord when he offered them to him. It is expressly said that he was "tempted of Satan."

« PreviousContinue »