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as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken, may remain. Wherefore, we receiving a kingdom. which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly fear.' Here, St. Paul quotes from the passage under consideration in Haggai, and applies it to the doing away of the old order of things, the Mosaic dispensation, and the introducing and establishing of the dispensation of grace, which constitutes a heavenly kingdom, that cannot be removed. At this change of dispensations, there was a 'removing,' as St. Paul calls it, of those things that were shaken, viz. the whole Jewish polity, which had been in a shaken state, from the time that Judea was fall en into the hands of the Romans.
And now, with regard to the other preliminary subject of remark, the exceeding glory of this second temple. The people who were engaged in rebuilding the house of the Lord, labored under some discouragements, one of which was, that they could not build such a temple now as Solomon built; not so large, so stately, so sumptuous a one, as that was. This circumstance drew tears from the eyes of many, when the dimensions of it were first laid, about fifteen years before.5 And still, it made the work go on heavily, that the glory of this house was in their eyes, in comparison with the former, as nothing.6
But the prophet urged them to be strong, and in good courage, by the consideration that the spirit of the Lord, or his favor, should be with them. And with the favor and peace of God, they ought to be satisfied, though the external magnificence of their house of worship should not answer all the demands of worldly pride. Another consideration which should lift up their hearts with joy, was, that in a short time there should be a shaking of the heavens and the earth, and the desire of all nations should come; and the Lord would fill that house with glory, so that its glory should be greater than that of the former.
But the glory of this latter house, which should exceed the glory of the former, could not consist in external appearance. This latter house was, indeed, in after times, very much beautified and adorned by Herod; and we find the disciples of
5 Ezra iii. 12.
⚫ Haggai ii. 3.
Jesus, admiring the magnificence of the buildings of the temple; but it was nothing in comparison with Solomon's temple. And besides, the Jews own that there were several of the divine glories of the first temple, wanting in this, the ark, the Urim and Thummim, the fire from heaven, and the Shechinah ;-so that we cannot conceive how the glory of this latter house, should in any thing exceed that of the former, but in that which would indeed excel all the glories of the first house, the presence of the promised Messiah in it,-his being presented there, The Glory of his people Israel, and The Desire of all Nations. His presence in this second temple was truly an exceeding glory in it; and he introduced there the doctrines of that second covenant, whose glory so far excelled that of the first covenant, that the glory of that was by comparison, as nothing. For St. Paul says, speaking of the two covenants,
Even that which was made glorious, had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory which excelleth. For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.'
Thus the glory with which God would fill this second temple, excelling the glory of the first, was the glorious presence in it of Immanuel, God with us, and the glorious doctrines of his gospel. For Christ did indeed come while this second temple was standing; and he wrought miracles and preached his doctrines in it.
We come now, to consider the important saying which heads. this article, The desire of all nations shall come.'
I. It will help us to a profitable understanding of our subject, briefly to inquire concerning the natural desire of all nations. The nations of the earth, finding themselves subject to more or less evil, have generally discovered an uneasiness in their present condition, and a longing for some sort of deliverance, for a blessed emancipation and a participation of greater and more enduring good.
Without the light of direct revelation on the subject, men have not acquired a definite, substantial, and satisfying hope, concerning the attainment of that greater good which was the object of their wishes; but the constitution of their minds, and the circumstances in which they have found themselves placed on earth, have produced a strong desire; and this de
sire has led to the framing of various philosophical systems, designed to afford something to feed the desiring mind.
Ancient philosophers quite generally accounted for the evil that is in the world, by supposing an evil divinity, or some evil principle, acting against the mind of the supreme and benevolent Deity, and so becoming the cause of evil to man. Zoroaster, a famous philosopher of antiquity, who is supposed to have lived about the time of Abraham, imagined two principles, or powers, inferior to the supreme Deity, which were the causes of good and evil. To the cause of good he gave the name Oromasdes; and to the cause of evil, Arimanius. And the first fountain of being, the supreme Divinity, he called Mithras.
These two first mentioned subordinate powers, he conceived to be perpetually at variance; the former tending to produce good, the latter, evil. But he supposed that, through the intervention of the Supreme Being, Mithras, the contest would at last terminate in favor of the good principle. And all philosophers, who have philosophised according to the nat ural desire of all nations, have conceived of an ultimate interposition of the supreme Divinity, to overcome and destroy evil. True, they who have been the tools of tyrants, and have invented religious schemes for the support of earthly tyranny, have made even the supreme God a tyrant like themselves, and threatened all who would not submit to their requirements, with endless evil. But such has not been the philosophy of those benevolent men, who have labored to do something for the promotion of human happiness on earth, by teaching doctrines as well calculated as human reason could discover, to satisfy the wants of the human mind. True, these philosophers have not been able to give such proofs and arguments as would produce all the wished for satisfaction; but in their efforts for satisfaction, we read what are the movings of the constitutional desire of the human mind, through all ages and all nations of the earth.
And this superior future good, which has in all ages and countries been a subject of human desire and speculation, God has made a subject of special revelation. To his servants through whom he chose to reveal the counsels of his will, God, at sundry times and in divers manners, made promise of future unalloyed good; and of a divine personage, who should be the medium of that good to the human race. Un
to our first parents God gave assurance, that a seed should arise from their progeny, who should bruise the serpent's head. The serpent was there used as an emblem of the evil which was just introduced into the world, and the plain sense of the testimony is, that evil should be overcome and destroyed. To Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, God promised that in one who should be raised up of their descendants, should all nations and kindreds and families of the earth be blessed. Job, of the land of Uz, under the oppression of sore grief, and in the hope of the victory of good, prophesied, saying, 'I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skinworms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God." Or, as the marginal reading is: After I shall awake, though this body be destroyed, yet out of my flesh shall I see God.' David sung of the promise of God, to give unto his Son the heathen for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession. And of him all the prophets bare witness, that he should be the covenant of life unto the people of Israel, and the salvation of God unto the ends of the earth, even that the desire of all nations should come.
II. This promised seed of the woman, this promised seed of Abraham, this promised Redeemer of man, this promised covenant of Israel and salvation of the world, this promised desire of all nations, is JESUS CHRIST.
The Jews stand condemned by their own Scriptures for rejecting Jesus of Nazareth. Their prophet Daniel testified that it should be but seventy weeks, which according to the rule for reckoning prophetic time given in Ezek. iv. 5, 6, is four hundred and ninety years, from the commandment to rebuild Jerusalem, till the coming of the Messiah.10 And here the prophet Haggai certified, that the Redeemer, the desire of all nations, should come while that second temple, which was then building, should be yet standing. He brought the word of the Lord to the builders of the second temple, saying, 'Yet once,'-as if he had said, the Old Testament church has but one stage more to travel. Five stages were now passed, from Adam to Noah, thence to Abraham, thence to
7 Gen. iii. 15.
8 Gen. xii. 3; xviii. 18; xxii. 18.
9 Job. xix. 25.
Moses, thence to Solomon's temple, thence to the captivity; and now yet one stage more, which is the sixth, and then comes the seventh, or sabbath of the Messiah's kingdom. 'Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens and the earth, and I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come; and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts.' Hence it is seen that this promised Saviour, the desire of all nations, was to come while that house should be standing; for in connexion with his coming, that house was to be filled with glory. But that house has now long since been demolished, and the very foundations thereof ploughed up. Where then is the Jews' Messiah? He came at the time appointed. He came unto his own, and his own received him not.' And because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets, which were read every sabbath day amongst them, they fulfilled them in condemning him.'
The time when Jesus came, is manifestly the time to which the prophets had pointed, as the time for the coming of the true Messiah. He came while the second temple was yet standing, and his glorious presence was introduced into that house. And the Jews themselves had so understood their prophets, that there was among them a general looking for the Messiah about that time. This is manifest from their readiness to follow after false pretenders to Immanuel's office.
But why should Christ be called the Desire of all nations? It is not because of his personal appearance. For the mere personal appearance of an individual called by the name of Jesus Christ, would be no more desirable than the personal appearance of an individual called by any other name. But it is because of the desirable good to mankind to be accomplished through Christ, that he is called the Desire of all nations.
We have seen that the human species on earth, feeling burdened with evil, an aching void within the breast which nothing earthly fills, groaning and travailing in pain together, desire emancipation into the glorious liberty of the sons of God. Their desires have made them dream and sing of the future victory of good, of golden ages, and of halcyon days. And in Jesus Christ God has given to the human race that rich immortal inheritance of good, which exceeds by far all that they had