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under whose government all the nations of the earth shall finally be assembled.
Moses, in giving directions concerning the Priests and the Levites, admonishes them, when they should come to the land which the Lord bad given them, not to learn to do after the abomination of those nations, nor in
instance to listen to deceivers ; and he adds, “ the Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a prophet from the midst of thy brethren, like unto me, unto him shall ye hearken.” Some divines have considered this passage as predictive of the advent of the great prophet, who shall more fully instruct his people in the counsels of the Most High. Others think that the context necessarily confines it to Joshua the prophet, who should immediately succeed him, or to the order of prophets raised upin his place to instruct the people, in whatever related to their religious concerns. Notwithstanding therefore its apparent relation to our subject, we shall not venture to apply it.
Numerous are the passages in the prophecies of Isaiah, and other succeeding prophets
, which confirm the above assurances. We need not subjoin, that the completion of various events predicted by them are vouchers of the future accomplishments.
66 It shall come to pass,” says Isaiah, “ that the mountain of the
Lord's house be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills, and all nations shall flow unto it."* The same prophet, anticipating the future, as if the event had already taken place, declares, “ the people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined."f “ The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea." that day there shall be a root in Jesse which shall stand as an ensign of the people ; to it shall all the Gentiles seek.”S “ He shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles ;--the isles shall wait for his law," &c.|| “ Look unto me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.”T “The Gentile shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. “ I am sought of them that asked not for me, I am found of them that sought me not. I said, behold me, behold me, to a nation that was not called by my name.”It
The extent of blessings in reserve for those
* Isa. ch. ii. v. 2.
+ Isa. ch. ix. v. 2, 3. Isa. ch. xi. v. 9.
§ Isaiab ch. xi. v: 11 1 Isa. ch. xlii. from v. 1 to 12. Isa. ch. xlv. V. 22. ** Isa. ch. lx. v. 1 to 11.
Isa. ch. xlv. v. I.
who are not of the house of Israel, is beautifully represented by Ezekiel, under the image of a goodly cedar, under whose wide-spreading branches shall dwell all fowl of every wing.*
The prophecies of Daniel respecting distant ages, are expressed in obscure and mystical language. There is however one passage suffici. ently explicit for our purpose. " I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought him near before him ; and there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages should serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom which shall not be destroyed.”
We are moreover made acquainted with the nature of this blessing. It will consist in the universal and cordial admission of all those principles, and in the cultivation of all those affections, which we have proved, from the nature of man, to be essential to his well-being, Principles and dispositions that shall subdue the ignorance, immoralities, and impieties which have deluged the world, and introduce universal
* Ezek, ch. xvii. y. 22, 23.
peace, prosperity, and social happiness. . In other words, the love of virtue, implicit obedience to the laws of moral obligation, and the consolations of rational religion, shall prevail.
We are also informed that this new and desi. rable æra is to be introduced by a distinguished personage, in whom are centered the sublimest virtues ; in whom will be united superior dignity and elevation of character, with a state of humiliation and personal sufferings. To this state of things is there a partial reference in the passages already quoted. In other passages, all the circumstances which are so conducive to universal felicity, are, according to the impetuosity of prophetic language, collected together in one glorious assemblage.
6. There shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, aud a branch shall grow out of his roots, and the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; 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 equity, for the meek of the earth; and he shall smite the earth,"_not with a sword, but“ with
the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteous ness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.” The subjugation of all the turbulent passions, which have always diffused misery proportionate to their prevalence, while they degrade rational man to a level with the most noxious animals; and the delightful harmony that shall result from mutual good-will, are beautifully described by those striking metaphors, “ The wolf shall 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 suckling shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall
put his hand on the cockatrice's den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain ; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. Human ingenuity shall no longer be exercised to invent instruments of destruction, to be admired in proportion as they become tremendous, but to discover, multiply, and diffuse the means
# Is, ch, xi. y. 1, 9.