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terity was led up into the land, and possessed it; yet I contend that even these never held it according to the full terms of the promise, and that their possession of it was but the type and pledge, which the Lord usually grants, when the great promise is deferred to a distant period. Thus the Apostle, in his Epistle to the Hebrews argues, that if the rest in the land, into which they were led under Joshua, were the real rest covenanted, then would not God afterwards have spoken of a future rest, as he does in David. f And in the Epistle to the Ephesians he reminds children of the promise attached to the fifth commandment; (viz. that their days may be long in the land;) which would be unmeaning, as regards gentile children, were it applicable only to the Jews; and the more so, as the Jews themselves were then just about to be again ejected from the land. As to that interpretation which refers it to the comparative longevity in those times of obedient children, it is contradicted by the fact, that persecutions shortened the lives of christians below the ordinary term, instead of their " living long upon the earth." In regard to the terms of the grant also; the land was given to Abraham from the River of Egypt to Euphrates ; g but his seed did not possess it to this extent, unless it were for a short period during the reign of Solomon. And if we take that grant to Abraham as St. Paul explains it, viz. "that he should be heir of the world" h it has plainly never been fulfilled. It was likewise given to them for an everlasting possession; and Amos therefore speaks of a time when Israel " shall no more be pulled up out of their land;" *• which of necessity points to some future occupation, since they
have possessed it, only to be twice * pulled up/ and now for nearly two thousand years peeled and scattered among the nations.
The early christian Fathers fully concur in this view. Treating of the blessing pronounced by Isaac on Jacob,—" God give thee of the dew "of heaven and the fatness of the "earth, &c. Let people serve thee "and nations bow down to thee, "&c."—Irenseus says, "that it was "not made good to him in this life, "and therefore without doubt those l< words had a further aim and pros"pect on the times of the kingdom, "when the just rising from the dead "shall reign, and when nature re"newed and set at liberty shall "yield plenty and abundance of all "things, being blest with the dew "of heaven and great fertility of "the earth." Likewise in his fifth book against heresies, he takes Ezekiel xxxvii, 11—14, to signify a literal resurrection. The descendants of Abraham are described in this place as captive at Babylon; and the promise to them appears so hopeless, that they cry, " Our hope is lost, ive are cut off for our parts." Then the answer of God comes to them, "Behold, O my people I will "open your graves, and cause you "to come up out of your graves, "and bring you into the land of (C Israel, and ye shall know that I "am the Lord, when I have opened "your graves, O my people, and "brought you up out of your graves, "and shall put my spirit in you, "and ye shall live, and I shall place '' you in your own land; then shall "ye know that I the Lord have "spoken and performed, saith the "Lord."
The words of St. Paul (Acts xxvi, 6—8) plainly evince that the expectation of the Apostle in regard
Compare Gen. xv, & xxvii, 12. ]l Rom. iv, 13. * Amos ix, 15. J Dan. xii, 2 & 13. k Gal. iii, 16. 1 John viii, 58; Rev. xxii, 16.
to the promised land was, that it should be fulfilled to the Patriarchs by a resurrection. "And now (he "says) I stand and am judged for the "hope of the promise made of God "unto our fathers ■ unto which pro"mise our twelve tribes, instantly "serving God day and night, hope "to come. For which hope's sake, "King Agrippa, I am accused of "the Jews. Why should it be (< thought a thing incredible with "you, that God should raise the "dead?'' Here the promise to the Fathers is coupled with the resurrection of the dead, which are both evidently in the mind of the Apostle. But what was the promise to the Fathers? There is no express mention to them of a resurrection; and though several things are included in the promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, yet there is not one of them which requires a resurrection to fulfil it, except the promise of the land. It was this which must have led Paul to couple the promise of the Fathers with the resurrection from the dead. Agreeably with which expectation, Daniel, when favoured with divers revelations concerning Christ's kingdom and the reign of the saints, is assured, that his intermediate decease shall not prevent him from participating; but that many that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake,—and that he shall rest, yet stand in his lot at the end of those days, which were then specially numbered to him J
3. In regard to the seed it must further be observed, that, in the interpretation of these promises in Genesis, the Apostle Paul insists that they specially refer to Christ.
"Now to Abraham and his seed (: were the promises made. He "saith not And to seeds, as of "many; but as of one—And to "thy seed, which is Christ."k Therefore the remaining posterity are only the seed, in as much as they are in Christ, being of the faith of Abraham: they are members of Christ's body and blessed in Him. Indeed I may say, that Abraham himself, to whom the promise is addressed, is only partaker of it in Christ; who, as he is the root as well as the branch of David, was before Abraham.1 To Christ the world especially belongs, being created "by him and For him;TM—that is to say, when it shall be redeemed from the curse and renovated: "for it is the world to come whereof we speak."
4. Before I pass on to the next head I must notice an objection, which may still operate on the minds of some readers; viz. that the New Testament Scriptures declare of the kingdom, that it is to be in heaven, whilst the exposition I have given makes it to be on earth. In reply, there is no such phrase in Scripture as "kingdom in heaven;" it is always " kingdom of heaven;" which I have shown in my last paper to be peculiar to St. Matthew's Gospel,* being rendered by the other Evangelists 'kingdom of God.' And I would here make a further observation in regard to those Scriptures, which, as I have admitted at page 27 of the last Number, do refer to this present Gospel dispensation, and are therefore called by divines 'the kingdom of grace;' viz. that this very circumstance disproves the necessity of interpreting the phrase ' kingdom of heaven' as of a kingdom in heaven; for if these refer to the gospel dispensation, they clearly speak of transactions which are to take place on earth.
m Compare Rom. xi, 36 with Col. i, 16 and Heb. ii, 5—10.
* Nearly thirty times repeated, and always in the plural, ?) j3a<n\eut Tojv vpaviov, "the kingdom of the heavem."
The kingdom, however, which is assigned in Daniel to the Son of man and to the saints, is "the kingdom, "dominion, and the greatness of the "kingdom Under the whole hea"ven."n St. Paul, in his Epistle to Timothy, speaks of the Lord's heavenly kingdom,0 and in Hebrews of a heavenly country, or the heavenly Jerusalem -V which leads us to the proper meaning of the phrase 'kingdom of heaven / viz. that it is a kingdom of a heavenly nature. It is heavenly, because it is "set up by the God of heaven ;"—it is heavenly, because the God-man from heaven wall rule in it;—it is heavenly, because all things, both in heaven and earth, will be at his command, being put under him ;Q.—and finally it is heavenly, because its principles, its laws, its spirit is heavenly, being "the will of God done On Earth as it is in heaven."
It is declared that the saints in that kingdom shall have heavenly bodies: a heavenly body however does not necessarily signify a body in heaven, but a body of a heavenly nature. The first and second verses of the 2d Corinthians, chap, v, will further prove this, and make evident likewise, that the glorious body of believers (though now, as it were, reserved in heaven) is first to be enjoyed on earth. Speaking of the present body, which the Apostle calls "our earthly house of tabernacle,"r he says, that if it were dissolved, awe have a building of "God, a house not made with "hands, eternal in the heavens"
and then immediately adds, that in this tabernacle we groan, "earnestly "desiring to be clothed upon with "our house which is From heaven." This shows, that the very house prepared in heaven, is ultimately to be revealed from heaven. I do not suppose that there are as many bodies prepared in heaven, as there are saints who have existed and wdio shall be born on earth; but that in heaven is the great exemplar of them all—the Lord Jesus. For thus also in 1 Cor. xv, the Apostle tells us, "The first man (by which, from the "context, he means our first body, "made in the likeness of the first "Adam)—is of the earth, earthy: "the second man is the Lord From "heaven;'—and that, as we have "borne the image of the earthy '' [man], we shall also bear the image "of the heavenly." And this will be effected (as he tells us in Philippianss) by His descending from heaven; "when he will change our "vile body, that it may be fashion"ed like unto his glorious body, ac"cording to the working whereby "he is able to subdue all things to "himself."
There are many other things which are said to be 'prepared,'' laid up/ and ' reserved in heaven / which are nevertheless to be enjoyed on earth, and which will be made manifest in the day when the Lord shall appear. Thus St. Paul in the Epistle to the Hebrews, speaking, of temporal goods, says, "that they joy"fully suffered the loss of them, "knowing that they had in heaven "a better and an enduring sub"stance."* And this Peter explains to be "an inheritance incorruptible "and undefiled and that fadeth not "away, reserved in heaven for you, "who are kept by the power of •' God through faith unto salvation "ready to be revealed in the last "time:' u
I have necessarily anticipated in these remarks some things, which belong more immediately to the Resurrection; but I trust the Reader will perceive, that what is proved in regard to the glorious body or house of the believer, is equally applicable to the heavenly kingdom. I proceed now to the second point, viz. that Zion is to be a special place of manifestation.
II. Every reader of the Scriptures must be familiar with the numerous promises and glorious things spoken of Mount Zion and Jerusalem; but owing to the unhappy mode, derived from Origen, of spiritualizing or rather of explaining away these passages, their force and significance are lost. But I must first, in order to prevent confusion in the mind from the use of different terms when speaking of these places, shew that Zion, Jerusalem, the Mount of God, and House of the Lord, all mean one and the same thing ;—that is to say, they all refer to the region of Mount Zion, or to some particular spot or structure within that region. This I shall prove by three different texts. The first is in Isaiah ii, 1, 2, Ci And "it shall come to pass in the last "days, that 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 1' of Zion shall go forth the lawr, and "the word of the Lord from Jeru<c salem."
In Micah iv, 1, 2, there is a passage almost word for word the same; 1 the mountain of the Lord' and 'the house of the God of Jacob' being made the same; and Zion and Jerusalem also the same. The third place is Isaiah xxvii, 13, where speaking of the return of Israel it is said :—" They shall worship the Lord in the holy mount at Jerusalem:'
Now the first mention which we have of this place is in Genesis, in the account of Abraham returning from the overthrow of the kings. v It is here called Salem, (which signifies peace, i. e. the place of peace,) and Melchizedec was king of it. This Melchizedec is held up as an eminent type of Christ on various accounts; but among the reasons is, that he was a priest and king, and specially as being king of Salem : ^ for "in Salem also is his tabernacle, and his dwelling-place in Zion." x *
The next mention which we have of this region is also in Genesis, when the Lord commands Abraham, who had seen the type of Christ reigning at Salem, to take his son Isaac, another type of Christ, and offer him up for a burnt offering on a mount, which he should point out in the land of Moriah : y for Abraham must also be instructed, that the Son of Man must suffer. And this land or region of Moriah is no other than Sion and Jerusalem; for in 2 Chron. hi, 1, we are told, that Solomon began to build the house of the Lord at Jerusalem in Mount Moriah; where the Lord appeared unto David his father.* And Abraham after this transaction on Mount Moriah calls the name of the place Jehovah Jireh; which is thus explained in our translation, "In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen. z
u 1 Pet. i, 4, 5. v Chap, xiv, 18. ^ Heb. vii, 1—3. :< Psalm lxxvi, 2.
* The Rev. H. Blunt, in his Lectures on the History of Abraham, page 98, takes occasion to deny that Salem, of which Melchizedec was king and priest, could be the same as Jerusalem; on the ground, that the supposition is irreconcileable with the geographical situation of Jerusalem, in regard to the route of Abraham, when Melchizedec came out to meet him. He therefore concludes with Jerome, that well known opponent in after times of millennarian doctrines, that Salim (which was the ancient Scythopolis) must be intended. The assertion, however, instead of being borne out by the facts of the case, is decidedly contradicted by them. The route of Abraham homeward (for he was returning to Mamre, and not to Sodom as Mr. Blunt states) from Damascus, would necessarily lead him either right through Jerusalem, or close by it. So that, whether Melchizedec came up in company with the king of Sodom to Shaveh, the kings' dale, (as it was afterwards called,) and which was in the west of Heshbon; or whether he came out from Salem only upon the approach of Abraham to that place; the situation of Jerusalem corroborates the opinion, that it was the
Of the circumstances which caused this region to fall into the hands of the Jebusites we are not informed; only it appears to have been in their possession at the time when David besieged and took it, and made it the royal city. He now gave it the name of Jerusalem; which Cruden says is made up of the two former names Jireh-salem, and may refer to the two appearances, the one to Abraham, the other to David, both pledges of future manifestation. The Jebusites called it Jehus, which signifies '' despised or trodden under foot," which it now is again, and will remain so, till the times of the Gentiles shall be fulfilled; and then as
Zechariah informs us, a "the Lord "shall inherit Judah his portion in "the holy land, and shall choose "Jerusalem again."
Observe then now a remarkable prophecy concerning this mountain in Isaiah, "In this mountain shall "the Lord of Hosts make unto all "people a feast of fat things, a "feast of wines on the lees, of fat "things full of marrow, of wines on "the lees well refined. And he "will destroy in this mountain the '' face of the covering cast over all "people, and the vail that is spread "over all nations. He will swallow "up death in victory, and the Lord "God will wipe away tears from off "all faces, and the rebuke of his "people shall he take away from off "all the earth: for the Lord hath. "spoken it. And it shall be said in "that day, lo, this is our God; we "have waited for him, and he will '* save us; this is the Lord; we "have waited for him, we will be "glad and rejoice in his salvation. "For in this mountain shall the hand "of the Lord rest" (xxv, 6—10.) Passing by the ordinary explanation of the feast of fat things, I shall notice only the usual interpretation of death being swallowed up in victory in this mount; viz. that it was fulfilled by the resurrection of Jesus. And hi as much as he was the first fruits or earnest of the victory, I agree that his resurrection was an incipient fulfilment of the promise; but the fifteenth chapter of St. Paul's
Salem here mentioned. If he were in company with the king of Sodom, it is still more unlikely that it should have been Salim. The Fathers before Jerome always considered Salem to he Jerusalem; (which opinion the learned Heideggar supports in his Hist. Patriarch.) and there ought to be much stronger grounds, than those brought forward either by Jerome or Mr. Blunt, to lead us to conclude, that in all the four places of Scripture in which Salem is mentioned the text is incorrect.
* The floor of Araunah, or Oman, the Jebusite was the spot; and the appearance of the angel to David when the pestilence was stayed, and his being openly answered on this spot by fire from heaven is, I presume, the circumstance intended. 1 Chron.
xxi, 18—28. * „,.--.»
y Chap, xxii, 2. z Gen. xxh, 14. a Zech. n, 1/,