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FIVEFOLD NAME OF ISRAEL'S REDEEMER.

ness.

deal, wondrously with his people: whose wonders, whose matchless majesty and power, the heavens shall praise; and whose unequalled right to possession, the earth shall at length acknowledge. His claim will at length be fully vindicated by his mighty arm. He will indeed give strength and power unto his people.

He is, secondly, v. 14 – 18, the 6 Counsellor" of the covenant of redemption. He hath counselled the harmony of the divine attributes in the bestowment of that covenant mercy, v. 14: "Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne," represented by the two tables of the law, as being put in the inward part of the temple, in the ark covered by the mercy seat, the throne of the God of Israel. And the two witnesses, “ mercy and truth shall go before thy face." "Blessed are the people that know the joyful sound," the word of reconciliation—the testimony of Jesus: They shall be united unto their King in grace and in glory: "In thy name shall they rejoice all the day; and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted: for thou art the glory of their strength; and in thy favour our horn shall be exalted. For the Lord is our defence; and the Holy One of Israel is our King." Such oneness, through redeeming love, will the Lord accomplish, as uniting his people to himself, according to his counsels of old, which will be found faithfulness and truth.

He is, thirdly, v. 19—25, spoken of as the Mighty One, upon whom our help is laid; it is He who bears creation up; and yet He is also one chosen out of the people. This is the Beloved, who was found in the form of a servant, the Messiah, the Christ, the Anointed—of whom the two great witnesses speak, represented by the two pillars before the temple of Solomon, the meaning of whose names is, He shall establish, In strength. So it is here said, "With whom my hand shall be established; mine arm also shall strengthen Him." When he before appeared, it was as in weakness,

and not as taking to him his great power, so as to appear as the Mighty One. He then allowed the enemy to exact upon him, and the son of wickedness did afflict him. Yea, he poured out his soul unto the death, and was numbered with the transgressors: but so it shall not be when he has received for himself the kingdom; when the now scattered members of his body are complete, and gathered into one

This shall be fulfilled; “ The enemy shall not exact upon him, nor the son of wickedness afflict him, And I will beat down his foes before his face, and plague all that hate him. But my faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him; and in my name shall his horn be exalted." His hand is to be set in the sea, which is to the west of the land; and his right hand in the rivers—the Euphrates and its kindred streams, which are towards the east, as the sea is towards the west. This implies that the face is turned towards the north, in defending the inheritance, when his foes arc to be beaten down before his face.

Fourthly, v. 26—33, is shewn that He, whose children we are, knows what it is to be a son, so that, as the First-born of creation, as the Father of everlasting compassion, He may the more be prepared to deal in tenderness towards those who are, under him, placed in covenant mercy, which is to endure for ever. His seed is to be made to endure for ever; and if his children forsake the law of the Lord, they shall suffer the needful correction. "Nevertheless my loving-kindness will I not utterly take from him; nor suffer my faithfulness to fail."

Fifthly, v. 34—37, He is recognised as the Prince of Peace--as He who was shadowed forth by Solomon, the son of David. Jesus was, according to the flesh, the son of David, the Prince appointed to sit upon his throne -anointed to be King in Zion: and the purpose of God shall not be frustrated.

“ Once have I sworn by my holiness, that I will not lie unto David. His seed shall endure for ever; and his throne as the sun before me.”

CONCLUSION OF THE FOURTH THUNDER.

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Does there seem to be a union of the heavenly with the earthly—of the city not made with hands, which shall descend out of heaven from God; with Jerusalem, built up

on her own little bill, when it is said, “ It shall be established for ever as the moon; and as a faithful witness in heaven." Then indeed there will be the sight of peace: "In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen."

The apparent failure of this covenant in the mere natural seed of David is recognised, v. 38—45; so that we must look beyond and forward, for the accomplishment of the promise, which, whatever failure may have taken place as to the type, shall most surely be accomplished in the proper subjects and objects thereof. The long waiting for that which, as to the fulness, can only be enjoyed in resurrection life is then intimated, v. 46—48. The what, and what manner of time, to which the prophecy applies being ascertained, the Lord is then put in remembrance of his former loving-kindnesses, which have to be

called to mind; and of the covenant with David, established in Him who is the Truth; and it is said, “ Remember, Lord, the reproach of thy servants." The sympathy of the body, whereby they bear each the other's burdens—whereby they each, as did the high-priest, bear the people of the Lord on their heart before Him, after the example of Christ in whom they are gathered into oneness, is then expressed, when it is said, “ I do bear in my bosom all the mighty people.”There is a sympathy with the reproach which hath been cast upon the name of Christ with the shame to which his name hath been put in the place of his feet, which shall yet be made glorious. The united prayer of Christ and his people will be heard; and the cry of Christ in his members, ascending through their exalted head, will be heard on high; and they shall have occasion to say, “ Blessed be the Lord for evermore." And the truth of the promise will he acknowledged on earth and in heaven. " Amen and Amen."

FIFTH THUNDER.

THE FATHER'S RECOGNITION OF THE LOST SON EPHRAIM.

ver. 18—20.

Ephraim having come to himself, acknowledges his utter Weakness and Worthlessness,

and casts himself upon the Mercy of his Father, who, embracing him, declares, that He has never forgotten him, and that He will surely have Mercy upon him.

“ I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself:

Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised,
As a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke :
Turn thou me, and I shall be turned;
For thou art the Lord my God.
Surely after that I was turned, I repented :
And after that I was instructed, I smote upon my thigh;
I was ashamed, yea, even confounded,
Because I did bear the reproach of my youth.
Ephraim! my dear son! a pleasant child !
For sinee I spake against him
I do earnestly remember him still:
Therefore my bowels are troubled for him;
I will surely have mercy upon him, saith the Lord."

Having before promised the recovery of the lost children of Israel; and having specially spoken comfort to Rachel, the mother of Joseph, of whose son Ephraim, the promised fulness of nations was to come, the Lord now points to the circumstances in which this people were to he found, when come to themselves.

We have now Ephraim's recognition of his Father, and his Father's recognition of him. The scene here described most strikingly reminds us of the parable of the Prodigal Son, who had wandered away from his father, and who stopped not until he had lost his all, Luke xv. 11—32. The man of the country, to whom he had hired himself, had sent him into his fields to feed swine; and, indeed, the English were fain to do the Pope's bidding, even to their becoming collectors of Peter's pence from a neighbouring people, who have since

so obstinately remained in subjection to the Man of Sin—Ephraim was lost, even to himself; but at length he has come to himself, and begins to ruminate upon what he is, and what he might be; and he finds that there is no help in himself; that it is his wisdom, no less than his duty, to throw himself, as all true Protestant worshippers profess to do, wholly upon his Father's good pleasure; and his Father, whose eye has ever followed him in all his wanderings, sees the condition of his son, and his ear is open to his cry. The voice of the prodigal son, Ephraim, is first represented as falling feebly upon the ear; and the Father, as if beginning to recognise it, even in the first breathings of true repentance, says,—"I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself"—Anon, the words of the voice are heard; and they are found ad

EPHRAIM BROUGHT TO REPENTANCE-HOSEA.

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dressed to the Father himself. They are an acknowledgment of his utter inability to do any thing good as of himself. Ephraim's pride and unworthiness are exposed to his view, and he begins to he subdued. — His Father had declared, “ The ox knoweth his owner:

" " but Israel doth not know." And he acknowledges the condemnation just, saying, “ Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised as a bullock unaccustomed," or untaught: The bullock, or ox, was the standard of Ephraim; and he confesses that this animal, even in its untaught state, was a fitting representation of his condition. The Lord has been punishing him for seeking a conformity to the nations around: he sought to be like them, in national policy, and also in religion; and the Lord punished him by giving him both the place and the name of the Gentiles, casting him out of the land, and taking from him the name of Israel, Hos. ch. i. 6—9. But Ephraim considered it not. He still went on frowardly—still indulged in worldly conformity, and want of consideration as to the dealings of God with regard to him. The means which God hath given him, whereby to provide for the poor, and glorify his Maker, he had used for the gratification of his own vanity, pleasure, and pride; and thought it a wonderful selfsacrifice if he bestowed a miserable pittance upon the objects for which his wealth had been bestowed upon him, or rather for which such treasures had been intrusted to his care. Nay, he even takes those treasures, and endows therewith wliat he acknowledges to be superstition and idolatry, through the cowardly fear of not having the arm of the wicked to trust to in the day of battle.--Ah! this trust in man—this departing from the Living God--this must be repented of.

In Hosea, who dwells so much upon the case of Ephraim, it is said, ch. x. 1, 2, “ Israel is an empty vine; he bringeth forth fruit unto himself: according to the multitude of his fruit, he hath increased the altars—accord

ing to the goodness of his land, they have made goodly images. Their heart is divided: now shall they be found faulty: he shall break down their altars—he shall spoil their images." ver. 4. “ They have spoken words, swearing falsely, in making a covenant: thus judgment springeth up as hemlock in the furrows of the field." ver. 12, “ Sow to yourselves in righteousness; reap in mercy—break up your fallow ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you." Ephraim will at length see the folly of his own way, and the wisdom of an entire return unto his Father : and, conscious of his own ignorance, weakness, and proneness to err, he will at length be prevailed upon to throw himself upon the free mercy of his God and Father—the forgiving grace—the almighty power of Jehovah, saying, “ Turn thou me, and I shall be turned, for thou art the Lord my God.” - There is a forsaking every false ground of confidence, and a taking the Lord himself as the Portion of his people; and as He who can, and who will, put forth power in those that make Him their defence, Ephraim will yet in truth, in the spirit of adoption, claim the Lord as his God.--As the Lord, who only is able to direct—as God, who alone is mighty to deliver; and, entirely distrusting his own wisdom and power, he will make those of the Most High his own: which can alone be done in the right of the Redeemer. To strengthen in this wise resolution, there is, then, a musing over past experience—there is a recognition of the imperfection of all our past turnings unto God. There was a turning when we forsook the worship of Odin and other new gods, and embraced Christianity; but this was fast getting into the corrupt form of Popery, and was thus a repentance that needed to be repented of: which second repentance took place when the purer doctrines of the Reformation were embraced. Still there was not the full instruction in the word and the ways of GodTrue, the Scrip

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THE FUTURE POSSESSION OF THE LAND.

Then the bounds of Israel's peculiar Inheritance are described, as reaching on the north side from the Great, or Mediterranean Sea, along by Damascus towards Hauran; and then the east side, from Hauran to the East Sea; and then on the south side, from Tamar in the wilderness, to the Mediterranean Sea; along which shall be the border on the west side. Although the Lord shall have his peculiar portion in the midst of the land; and Israel his in the midst of the earth: yet neither shall the Lord the less inherit all nations, nor Israel cease to fill the face of the world with fruit: encompassing all nations with blessing, as well as for being a glory unto the Lord in the midst of all the Gentiles, whom also it was promised they should inherit. And as the Lord's house is to be an house of prayer for all people, and as Israel shall be followers of God as dear children; they shall make their land a home for all people: who, from year to year, shall come up to worship the King, the Lord of Hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles:-rejoicing together in the unity of brotherly love; and in holy reverence towards their King; and outwardly expressing in acts of true devotion, and joyful fellowship, their hearts' obedience to these two great commandments, love to God and love to man, the law of this blessed kingdom of the glorified Messiah:- Thus accordingly love shall be shown by the children of Israel to the strangers: “They shall have Inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel. And it shall come to pass that in what tribe the stranger sojourneth, there shall ye give him his Inheritance, saith the Lord God.” Thus shall the Inheritance of Israel be ;- not for selfish gratification, but for the communication of blessing unto all, ch. xlvii. 13-23.

Then we have the order in which the tribeships shall lie in stripes, as it were, eastward and westward: beginning with Dan on the north side, and so proceeding with Asher, and Naphtali, and Manasseh, and Ephraim, and Reuben, and Judah, to the north of

the Holy Portion, for the Temple and the Priesthood, and the city, and the prince. And then, on the south side of this holy oblation, the tribeships are appointed of Benjami and Simeon, and Issachar, and Zebulun, and Gad. “ This is the land that ye shall divide by lot unto the children of Israel for Inheritance: and these are their portions, saith the Lord God.” The division of the tribeships is not that which was when Israel were previously in the land: neither is the description correspondent to that which is prophesied of the tribes by Jacob, as to what was to befall them in the last days: the application of which prophecy, as well as that of Moses, must be looked for elsewhere ; and may serve for the recognition of the tribes in their present localities, as in dispersion.

The stretching out of the tribeships, in peaceful lines, seems to indicate that they are placed together, not that each may gather itself up in individual strength, as for conflict, but spread itself out to the uttermost for intercommunion; and as if to embrace the globe from the east even unto the west. Reuben, whose by birth was the birthright, is placed between Joseph, who got by adoption the birthright, and Judah who obtained the dominion. This may express the forgiving grace of the Father of Israel; and the courteous affection with which his children shall dwell together in unity near the courts of his house. The removal of the curse is most strikingly manifested in the case of Judah, who is, of the three, nearest to the house of the Lord, in which they shall now indeed praise the Lord, and in truth bow the knee to Him whom formerly they rejected. And the Lord's choosing his portion between those of Judah and Benjamin, who previously joined in putting Him away from them, casting him out of their city, is indeed a lesson of forgiving grace.

The fulness of the earthly blessing of Judah and Benjamin, as given by Jacob and Moses, remains to be possessed ; and it shall be

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