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LEC. 11.]

GREAT PREDICTED EARTHQUAKE.

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Multitudes, multitudes, in the valley of

decision : For the day of the Lord is near in the

valley of decision. The sun and the moon shall be darkened, And the stars shall withdraw their shining. The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, And utter his voice from Jerusalem ; And the heavens and the earth shall shake: But the Lord will be the hope of his people, And the strength of the children of Israel. So shall ye know that I am the Lord your

God, Dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain ; Then shall Jerusalem be holy, And there shall no strangers pass through

her any more. And it shall come to pass in that day That the mountains shall drop down new

wine, And the hills shall flow with milk, And all the rivers of Judah shall flow with

waters, And a fountain shall come forth of the

house of the Lord, And shall water the valley of Shittim."

The same river, and the paradisaical character of its banks, are still more minutely described, in Ezekiel, xlvii;—as the preceding events, connected with the destruction of the King of the North and all his multitude, at the time of the great earthquake, and grand deliverance of Israel, are described in xxxviii. 20, 21, and xxxix. 21, 22:“ All the men that are upon the face of the

earth, Shall shake at my presence, And the mountains shall be thrown down, And the steep places shall fall, And every wall shall fall to the ground. And I will call for a sword against him, Throughout all my mountains, saith the

Lord God: Every man's sword shall be against his

brother." “ And. I will set my glory among the

heathen, And all the heathen shall see My judgment, that I have executed, And my hand that I have laid upon them. So the house of Israel shall know That I am the Lord, their God, From that day, and forward."

The same things are frequently adverted to in Isaiah,—as in ch. xxx, 25, 26:“ And there shall be upon every high

mountain,
And upon every high hill,
Rivers and streams of water,
In the day of the great slaughter,
When the towers fall."

—Here it is added, that a wonderful change shall also take place in the atmosphere, so that,“ The light of the moon shall be as the

light of the sun, And the light of the sun be sevenfold, As the light of seven days, In the day that the Lord bindeth up the

breach of his people, And healeth the stroke of their wound."

So also, speaking of the great deliverance of Israel, it is said, (ch. xxxii. 20, 21);

Look upon Zion !

The city of our solemnities; Thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet

habitation, A tabernacle that shall not be taken down; Not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be

removed, Neither shall any of the cords thereof be

broken.
But there the glorious Lord...unto us,
A place of broad rivers—streams.
Wherein shall go no galley with oars,
Neither shall gallant ship pass thereby :

For the Lord is our Judge,
The Lord is our Lawgiver,
The Lord is our King :

He will save us." Israel, as having been sojourning in these maritime parts, have been the better prepared for enjoying their own land, when it shall be made a place of broad rivers and streams." There, however, their ships of war will not be required: the Lord will be their sure defence, so that they may, without hesitation or reserve, devote their whole energies to the furtherance of peace and diffusion of blessing.

The same things are frequently adverted to in the book of Psalms. Thus, in Psalm xlvi.—after describing the great earthquake, by which the mountains are “carried into the midst of the sea," and during which,“ the God of Jacob" is found a sure Refuge for his people,—the discovery of blessing is made:

A river! the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the Most High." The destruction of the enemy, and consequent deliverance and peace of Israel, are in the same Psalm described as taking place at that time.

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PROMISED MERCY UPON THE LAND AND PEOPLE OF ISRAEL. [LEC. II.

These are the times when refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;— the times of the restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets, since the world began."—Acts, iii. 21.

Thus shall abundant room and provision be made for returning Israel; to enjoy, during the millennial age, the good their God hath promised to bestow upon them :—Ps. lxvii. 6, 7. “ Then shall the earth yield her increase, And God, even our own God, shall bless us. God shall bless us, And all the ends of the earth shall fear

him." In this land was Adam, in innocence, place and Israel, when holiness to the Lord. In this land did both Adam and Israel break the covenant, whereby they held possession of the land; and thence were they both driven to till the common ground: and because of the sin of the one, and of the other, hath the curse devoured the earth. But in this very land did the Prince of Glory condescend to bear the shame; and in this very land shall he occasionally condescend to bear the glory, and to sway his sceptre over the renewed earth, the world,—the universe. As yet shall be accomplished that which is written; Is. ü 2—5:

“And it shall come to pass in the last

days, The mountain of the Lord's house shall be

established In the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, And let us go up to the mountain of the

Lord, To the house of the God of Jacob; And he will teach us of his ways, And we will walk in his paths : For out of Zion shall go forth the law, And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, And shall rebuke many people; And they shall beat their swords into

plow-shares, And their spears into pruning. books: Nation shall not lift up sword against

nation. Neither shall they learn war any more. О house of Jacob, Come ye, And let us walk in the light of the Lord."

When the restitution of all things, to the state they were in Eden, shall take place, then shall Israel, through the same redeeming love, whereby the outward blessings have been recovered, be given an inward beauty and moral fruitfulness, correspondent to the goodness which the Lord will then manifest, to the mountains and plains, the streams and the sea-coasts, of the land which had been promised to the fathers, and which they shall then be given, in everlasting possession.". Hos. xiv. 4—7:

“ I will heal their backslidings,
I will love them freely :
For mine anger is turned away from him.
I will be as the dew unto Israel :
He shall grow as the lily,
And cast forth his roots as Lebanon.
His branches shall spread,
And his beauty shall be as the olive tree,
And his smell as Lebanon.
They that dwell under his shadow shall return;
They shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine,
The scent thereof as the wine of Lebanon."

LECTURE III.

THE PROMISES MADE UNTO THE FATHERS.

The Spirit invites to a consideration of the words of promise.

“ Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak;
And hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.

My doctrine shall drop as the rain,
My speech shall distil as the dew,
As the small rain upon the tender herb,

And as the showers upon the grass."
The Spirit reveals the Son, the sure Foundation, who came not to destroy, but to fulfil.

“ Because I will publish the name of the Lord :
Ascribe ye greatness unto our God.

—The Rock, his work--perfect :

For all his ways --judgment :
A God of truth and without iniquity,

Just and right--He."
The Son, by the Spirit, introduces the backsliding children unto their Father, who hath

already dealt with them according to covenant mercy.
They have corrupted themselves, their spot--not—of his children:

perverse and crooked generation.
Do

ye thus requite the Lord ?
O foolish people and unwise !

Hath not He, thy Father, bought thee?
Hath He not made thee, and established thee? Deut. xxxii. 1—6.

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The Great Empires conquered, but enjoyed not the Land.—The Frank's Possession of it.- The King of the North may attempt to fix his Metropolis there.--Possession not to be had through the Law, but by Christ, Rom. iv. 13—18. – Calling of Abraham.--What is meant by the Seed to whom the Land was absolutely promised ? - The One Seed, Christ.-Whether a natural or an adopted seed ? ---Whether of Ishmael, or of Isaac, was to come the multitudinous Seed ?—The Three Birthright Blessings distinctly specified, and written in the very Names of the Three Great Receivers, Gen. xxii. Promises to Isaac, Gen. xxiv. 2—4.—Isaac Blessing Jacob.--Jacob's Vision at Bethel, and his Interview with the Angel of the Covenant, in returning. The first Birthright Blessing, the Double Portion, and Multiplicity more particularly confined to the House of Joseph, and to the Tribe of Ephraim. --The Three Birthright Blessings possessed by the rejoicing Multitude mentioned, Rev. vii.

We are apt to look upon the terms earth and world as exactly synonymous. They appear, however, to have a considerable distinction of meaning, in several parts of Scripture. The Hebrew term earth, or land, aretz, from which, it is likely, our word earth is derived, seems to be more specially applied to that distinguished portion of the globe, which is so much the subject of promise. The term world

seems not to be so applied, except when the other parts of the globe are meant also to be included. The two are distinguished, both as to creation and redemption. In Psalm xc. 2, God is said to have “ formed the earth and the world." And in Psalm xxiv. referring to the Lord's return, when He comes to claim his own, it is said " the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell

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THE LAND NEVER YET FULLY POSSESSED.

[LEC. III.

6 He

therein." It is upon the earth, more especially, that the physical changes are to take place, preparatory to the establishment of the millennial kingdom, as is intimated, Is. xxiv. The earth, or land, will be dreadfully convulsed; after which the dry deserts will be found well watered, and blooming with perennial beauty. At the close of the Millennium, not only shall the barren land have been thus recovered from barrenness, but great revolutions having also occurred in the world abroad, the very sea will be made to give way to scenes of greater beauty, and more full of goodness to man. Then, as is expressed in Rev. xxi. 1, “ There shall be no more sea." It is before that time of the world's entire recovery, and at the commencement of the Millennium, that the land of Israel is to be so entirely changed. This change, it is intimated, Heb. xi. 8—16. was clearly understood by the Patriarchs. Abraham is there said to have been called to "go out into a place, which he should afterwards receive for an inheritance." And "he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country." It was indeed the land of promise,—the land which he should afterwards receive for an inheritance: but the time was not yet come for the possession. It was, as yet, to them, only as a strange country, wherein they, at that time, sought no permanent dwelling: but there Abraham, with Isaac and Jacob, heirs of the same promise, dwelt only in tabernacles. Abraham looked for something further than was yet in the land : " He looked for a city, which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God." These Patriarchs, it is expressly said, "all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off; and were persuaded of, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things, declare plainly, that they seek a country." They looked for a more blessed state of things than was then to he enjoyed. They looked for the land as it shall be, when the will of

God shall be done on earth, as it is in heaven. They desired a better country; that is, a heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, as if he had failed in his promise to them; but, even after they were dead, without having received the promises, God stills calls himself their God,--the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: and why? because He will perform to them the promises. hath prepared for them a city,"—the New Jerusalem, that cometh down from God out of heaven; and which shall be the heavenly seat of dominion under the whole heaven. Then shall Abraham be found the heir, not merely of the land, but of the world. The promise of the land may, indeed, be said to imply that of the world; just as the possession of a throne implies the possession of the empire over which the throne is placed.

It is rather remarkable, that a spot so eminently fitted for being the throne of universal empire, as is this land, should yet never have been occupied, as such, by any of the great powers that, since the rise of the Assyrian empire, have aimed at the sovereignty of the world. It is true that these three great states of ancient times, Tyre, Egypt, and Assyria, were on its several bounds: but the eligibility of the land itself seems not to have been observed. The Assyrian, with a force like that of his mighty river, swept over it, carrying away the house of Israel captive, and threatening also the destruction of Judah: but he stayed not in the land. He left only the wreck of some conquered nations, in the room of captive Israel. The Babylonian came next, and completed the removal of the people of promise, by taking away Judah also: but he seems not to have thought of occupying this glorious position, from which to issue his arbitrary mandates to all people, nations, and languages, that dwell upon the face of all the earth. The Medes and Persians next bore sway. They gave so far release to Judah, as to allow him to return to the land of his fathers; unthinking

LEC. 111.]

THE ADVANTAGES OF THE LAND NOT YET ENJOYED.

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that they were thus parting with the throne of the world. The Macedonian conqueror passed over the land, as one not knowing its value; and took up his abode in Babylon, which was to be destroyed. Three of the great kingdoms, into which his empire was divided, bordered upon this land; north, south, and east. Still the throne of the earth was left comparatively empty: but much disturbed by two of these,—Egypt on the one hand, and Syria on the other. The Romans came next, throwing their covering wings over the oppressed Jews; and, at length, filling with desolation the land of Immanuel: but they thought not of making this the throne of their glory; although, ultimately, they removed the chief seat of their empire eastward, as far as Byzantium. These, the Macedonians and the Romans, as coming by sea, and drawing the people out towards them, seem to have been the fishers, that it was prophesied (Jer. xvi. 16) would fish Israel out of their land. Afterwards came the hunters, who were to hunt them. These were the Arabians, or Saracens, on the one hand, and the Turks on the other. The former swept over the land from south to north; and, northward of the land, erected some principal seats of their empire, as in Bagdad and Aleppo. The Turks hunted from east to west, as far as Constantinople, anciently Byzantium, where they erected the throne of that empire, which is now tottering to its fall.

It is remarkable, that although all these nations have in their turn trod Jerusalem under foot; and have, in all directions, swept over the land to further conquests, yet none of them have in truth enjoyed the land: and it is as remarkable, that the only kingdom of Jerusalem which has been at all set up, since the expulsion of the Jews, is that of the Franks, at the time of the Crusades : the only enterprise in which all the western nations ever fully united. The land however was not then prepared for Israel; nor were they prepared for it: and their wisdom will be to wait their

being given possession of it through the power of the blood of Jesus. They will again go up to take possession : and the King of the North will come up to contend with them for this throne of universal sovereignty; and will seek to make a prey of them, when they are there gathered with their treasures, out of many countries.—Ezek. xxxviii

. By its being said in Daniel, (xi. 45,) that “ he shall plant the tabernacles of his palaces, between the seas, in the glorious holy mountain," it would seem that he will have perceived the eligibility of that land, as so beautifully seated between the seas, and as supplying such facilities for building; and will be making preparations for the erecting there a splendid metropolis for the immense empire he shall then have acquired; as having swept away the Turk, and overthrown the King of the South; and united Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya, with his many hands from the North quarters. But, as has been described by so many of the prophets of Israel," he shall come to his end, and none shall help him." The land shall be kept for the people to whom it was promised in the days of old; and who have been ever in training to become a nation of kings and priests unto God.

The promise of the Land to a peculiar people, is one of the first and surest things with which we are made acquainted in the Scriptures of truth. And in order clearly to understand our subject, it would be better, before going farther, briefly to consider the promises made unto the fathers on this subject: and it is worthy of remark that these promises, especially those to Abraham, were promises, properly such; and not conditional upon man's part, as were those afterwards made with the nation of Israel, upon their going to take temporary possession of the land. That temporary possession of the land they received upon the terms of a covenant which they afterwards broke. Thus did they forfeit their right to the possession, and so were removed out of the

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