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things from this Chapter in his Defcription of the State of the New Jerufalem, (Rev. xxi. 23, 24, 25, 26, and xxii. 5.) which is not to appear but at the fecond coming of Chrift, the Glory here promifed muft refer to the fame time; especially fince we have not as yet feen these Promifes fulfilled at his firft coming, or prefent Kingdom; nor does there feem to be room for their Completion fo long as Antichrift reigns. The Prophet fays that all Enemies shall be deftroyed, and all Nations fhall come to Sion. He promises that perpetual Peace and Juftice fhall reign there, together with Plenty of all good things.
Thefe moft excellent and noble Promifes are frequently repeated by the Prophets, and are, alas! a long time expected by us.
Farther, the Tenor of this whole Chapter and Argument demonftrates that these things concern the Ifraelites. To pafs by the Names of Sion, Ifrael, the Sanctuary, Jacob, &c. the Prophet fpeaks of the People's returning as Doves to their Windows, (v. 8.) that is, to their accustomed Seats, or Receptacles. Thither they fly like Clouds fo fwift, and numerous, that they cover the Face of Heaven.
The Chaldee Paraphraft feems thus to understand the Words; Who are they that appear like the swifteft Clouds? The Children of Ifrael in their Tranfmigration, who are gathered together, and come to their own Land, as Doves which return to their Houfes. Now this is not applicable to the Chriftians who have not been driven from their Country, and therefore cannot well be fuppofed to be returning thither. And laftly, the Divine Schechinah, which is twice promifed in this Chapter (v. 2, 13.) to return in that future State more glorioufly, has hitherto belonged to the Jews and not to the Chriftians.
This Chapter is connected with those that immediately follow, which purfue the fame Subject, and tend to make the Glory of the Messiah, and the Restauration of Ifrael more clear and illuftrious. I should be tedious if I fhould take notice of all thofe Particulars which distinguish Ifrael from other Nations, and prefigure their future Condition. Let the Reader ferioufly confider these three Chapters, and he will foon perceive how far they concern the Ifraelites.
The fixty third Chapter begins thus; (v. 2, 3, 4.) Who is this that cometh from Edom, with died Garments from Bozrah? This that is glorious in his Apparel, travelling in the greatness of his Strength? I that Speak in Righteousness, mighty to fave.
Wherefore art thou red in thy Apparel, and thy Garments like him that treadeth in the Wine Vat?
I have trodden the Wine-Press alone, and of the People there was none with me; for I will tread them in mine Anger, and trample them in my Fury, and their Blood fhall be Sprinkled upon my Garments, and I will ftain all my Raiment. For the Day of Vengeance is in mine Heart, and the Year of my redeemed is come.
The generality of Chriftian Expofitors, as well as the ancient Jews, rightly affirm that the Prophet here fpeaks concerning the Meffiah. Moreover, the Words themselves (compared with the thirty fourth Chapter) point out fome notable Slaughter. I cannot but compare this Paffage of the Prophet with one of St. John's Visions, (Rev. xix.) where when he had defcribed a glorious General of a great Army, he adds, (v. 13.) And he was clothed with a Vefture dipt in Blood, and his Name is called, THE WORD OF GOD.
Whoever denies that is Chrift himself, must be very Bold, to fay no worse. St. John farther fays, (v. 15.) This is he who treadeth the Wine-Prefs of the
Fierceness and Wrath of Almighty God. (Compare this with the twenty fourth Chapter of this Book, 19, 20.)
These Descriptions agree fo well with the Words of Ifaiah, that I must understand the Words of them both to refer to the fame Warrior, and the very fame Slaughter; upon which Account they can by no means be applied to the Babylonish or Maccabean Times, or any other before the Difperfion of the Children of Ifrael; nor do I think it worth while to spend time in confuting fuch Opinions.
But God, or the Prophet moved by his Spirit, asks Chrift the Reafon why his Garments were fo red, and whence there came fo great an Effusion of Blood? This Colour, this Slaughter does not become the mild and immaculate Lamb of God, as being more fuitable to a Wolf, or a Lion; Christ tacitly anfwers, that he was defervedly wrath with the Enemies of God, with degenerate Rebels and wicked Apoftates: and their Blood was not to be fpared. I will, fays he, revenge the Injuries offered to God, as becomes the Lion of Judah. (Gen. xxix. 8, 9, 11.)
To thefe Sayings the Prophet fubjoins, that God was mindful of the Henfe of Ifrael, (v. 6, 7,) and was afflicted in all their Afflictions. And then he commemorates their Deliverance out of Egypt, by the Angel of his Prefence, (v. 9.) or Face, Mofes being the Sub-adminiftrator, with mighty Miracles and Prodigies; that fo the Ifraelites might not defpair of any future Redemption. Lastly, the Prophet pours out moft ardent Prayers for the Welfare of Ifrael, and befeeches God for his tender Mercies fake, together with his Omnipotence, and by all thofe Oaths which he had fworn to their Fathers, that altho' Abraham was ignorant of them, that he would not forget them. Nor is his Zeal against
the Adverfaries of God lefs fervent in the following Chapter, (Ixiv. 1, 2.) Oh that thou wouldst rend the Heavens, that thou wouldst come down, that the Mountains might flow down at thy Prefence; as when the melting Fire burneth it causeth the Water to boil; and many other terrible and unexpected things follow, all which lead us to the Expectation of fome fignal Slaughter of the Enemies of God, and Reftauration of Ifrael before the End of the World. I fhall only add, that according to the Chaldee Paraphraft, there is in these Chapters mention often made of the Return of the Schechinah to Ifrael, which had disappeared for a confiderable time. (See c. lxiii. 17, and c. lxiv. 3, 6.
The fixty fifth Chapter follows. In which it is principally worthy of Remark, that here is first of all mention exprefly made of the new Heavens, and the new Earth. I fay exprefly, for in the fore going Prophecies God had promifed to restore (c. li 3.) Paradife, together with all thofe Bleffings which accompanies that State, fuch as Plenty of all good things, abundance of Pleasure, where the Beasts should lose their Fiercenefs, and everlasting Peace be established; without any Sickness, Grief, or Moleftation. These things, I fay, are often pro mised, as we have before obferved, in going gra dually over the Sermons of this Prophet. (See the abovementioned Places, c. ii. 4. xi. 5, 6, 8, 9, xxv. 8. xxx. 23, 24, 25, 26. xxxv. throughout. li. 16.)
Having premised this, let us attend to what the Prophet adds in this Chapter. He Prophecies concerning the Reftitution of Ifrael, (v. 8, 9.) yet he does not thereby mean the whole Body of that People, but a Remnant only like Seed. For as the Apoftle fays, they are not all Ifrael, which are of Ifrael. (Rom. ix. 6.) As for others who were dege
nerate, and imitated the Manners of the Heathens, he denounces fevere Threatnings against them, (v. 11, 12.) and affures them, that they shall be an Abhorring unto others, and leave their Names for a Curfe. And lastly, the true Worship of God being again established, and the Condition of Things changed, God promises that all former Troubles fhall be forgotten by his People. (v. 16, 17, 18, 19.) For behold (fays God) I create new Heavens, and a new Earth and the former shall not be remembred, nor come into Mind. But be you glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for behold I create ferufalem a Rejoicing, and her People a Joy. And I will rejoice in Jerufalem, and joy in my People, and the Voice of Weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the Voice of Crying.
Here are two things foretold by God, a Creation of a new World; and farther he fays, that he will rejoice over that new World, and his People at Jerufalem; and that no Weeping or Lamentation shall be heard there any more. (Compare Ifciah xxv. 8. XXX. 19. with Jer. xxxi. 12.)
I know there are many Controverfies raised about this new World; efpecially whether thefe Prophecies are to be understood concerning the natural as well as the moral World, or only with regard to the latter, there being no Change or Alteration made in Nature. This Controverfy is to be decided from diverse Sorts of Arguments; firft from the Ufe and Signification of the Words themfelves. Then from the Marks and Characters of this new World, by which it is diftinguished from the former or prefent; and laftly, from the Explications of other Prophets, who treat about the fame Subject.
As to the firft of thefe, it is well known that the Jews under the Name of the Heavens and Earth, always understood the Natural World, according to