Imagens das páginas

horn iron, and thy hoofs brass, and thou shalt beat ia pieces many people.' (Mic. iv. 11, 13.)

After this day of vengeance, the days of refreshing shall come, and they are thus foretold by Micah, who had the brightest discoveries of the glory of Shiloh, and of the gathering of the people unto him, after the destruction of the antichristian powers. But ' in the last days,' saith that Prophet, the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains; people shall flow unto it, and many nations [both awed by the Lord's tremendous judgments, and encouraged by his offers of grace and pardon] shall come, and say, Come let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths : For the law [of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus making men free from the law of sin and death] shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he [Jehovah Shiloh] shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off, and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks : Nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more : But they shall sit every man under his vive, and wone shall make them afraid : For the mouth of the Lord of Hosts hath spoken it : And the Lord shall reign over them in mount Zion, from henceforth even for ever.' (Mic. iv. 1, 7.)

That the Lord Jehovah, who shall thus reign in mount Zion, when all spears shall be beat into ploughshares and into pruning-hooks, is our Melchisedec, the King of Salem, the Solomon of the Christian Church, the Prince of Peace, whose name is called the mighty God,' by Isaiah, and 'of whose government and peace, upon the throne of David, there shall be no end,' can be proved even to a Jew by the following reasons: (1.) This divine King is described, as doing the things which characterize the Messiah, game19, bruising the serpent, destroying the wicked, gathering Israel, and reigning over the nations: For unto him shall the gathering of the people be.' (2.) Micah calls

him the 'Ruler of Israel,' the Messiah, and describes his human and divine nature, as clearly as does Isaiah • Thou Bethlehem, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall come forth he that is to be Ruler in Israel, [here we see the child born unto us in Bethlehem,] whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting :' And in these last words we behold the eternal generation and Divinity of the Son of God. (Mic. v. 2.) And that Herod himself, with the Jewish Priests and the Scribes, made no doubt but this prophecy related to the Messiab, is evident from the account given by St. Matthew : For when King Herod had heard that the King of the Jews was born,' and when he had gathered the Chief Priest,' &c. by quoting this very prophecy of Micah, they proved to him, that the Messiah, he ! whose goings forth have been from everlasting,' was to be born at Bethlehem.

The Prophet Habakkuk, in that sublime hymn, called his prayer, has many expressions, very descriptive o the days of vengeance. “God came from Teman (say he) and the Holy One from mount Paran. His glor covered the heavens, and the earth was full of hi praise. Before him went the pestilence, and burnin coals went forth at his feet. He stood and measure the earth: He beheld and drove asunder the nation aud the everlasting mountains were scattered, the per petual hills did bow: His ways are everlasting. I sa the tents of Cushan in affliction : And the curtains the land of Midian did tremble. The mountains sa thee, and they trembled : The deep uttered his voic and lifted up his hands on high. The sun and mo stood still in their habitation. Thou didst mai through the land in indignation, thou didst thresh 1 Heathen in auger. Thou wentest forth for the salvati of thy people, even for salvation with thine anoint Thou didst wound the head out of the house of wicked.' And as the Prophet considers these deso ing judgments as being preparatory to the salvation God's people, so, speaking in the name of the wh church, he describes the greatness of that salvation, when he says, a few verses after, * • Although the fig. tree should not blossom, and there should be no fruit in the vine ; yet will I rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hiuds' feet, and he will make me walk upon mine high places.' For, as he assures us in the preceding chapter, The earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea,' a passage which contains a most glorious testimony to the days of refreshing, during which, as Isaiah bears witness,

the people shall be all righteous, the work of his bands, and the branch of his planting, that he may be glorified.'

Zephaniah is very express upon this subject. Having described, at large, in the first and second chapters of bis Prophecy, the ruin that should come upon Judea, and the neighbouring countries, he proceeds, (chap. iii. 3,) to foretel the vengeance that should come upon ail nations, “Wait ye upon me, saith the Lord, until the day that I rise up to the prey : For my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce auger : For all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy. Then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent. From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia, my suppliants, Che daughter of my dispersed, shall bring nine offering. The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor weak lies ; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in tbeir mouth : For they shall feed and lie down, 24 none shall make them afraid.' In prospect of this glorious time, the Prophet calls upon the church toder the ancient name of Zion, Jerusalem, and srael, to break forth in praise to Jehovah the Redeeme, who will then be indeed 'Emmanuel, God with us. Ess, O daughter of Zion : Shout, O Israel : Be glad med rejoice with all thine heart, O daughter of Jern

salem. The Lord hath taken away thy judgments: He hath cast out thine enemy: The King of Israel, even Jehovah, is iu the midst of thee : Thou shalt sec evil no more. In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not; and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack. The Lord, thy God in the nsidst of thee, is mighty: He will save : He will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love; he will joy over thee with singing. Behold at that time, (adds the Lord,) I will undo all that afflict thee, and I will save her that balteth, aud gather her that was driven out; and I will get them praise and fame in every land, where they have been put to shame. At that time I will bring you again, even the time that I gather you, for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the Lord.' Now, Sir, who is this King of Israel that is in the midst of us and is mighty, and who declares he will save, but the Word made flesh, that dwelt among us, and came to save his people from their sins ?

Zechariah speaks to the same purpose. In the second chapter, having mentioned the vengeauce that should be taken upon the Babylonians, and other nations, that had spoiled God's people of old, au em. blem of the wrath that will be poured upon the modern Babylon, he describes the days of refreshing in the . following words, 'Sing and rejoice, o daughter of Zion. For, lo ! I come, and dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord : ['This seems to refer primarily to the coming of Christ in the flesh :) Aud many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, (viz. the Gentile nations,] and shall be my people. And I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto thee. And the Lord shall inherit Judah, his portion, in the holy land. and shall choose Jerusalem again ;' which plaiulý foretels the conversion of the Jews, and their restora. tion to their own land. And, perhaps, the following words, “ Be silent all flesh before the Lord, for he is raised up out of his holy habitation,' may be intended

að au intimation of the conversion of all mankind, their attendance upon the Lord in his ordinances, and their worshipping himn in spirit and in truth.

Malachi, also, the last of the Prophets, foretels, and that with great clearness, this two-fold work of the Messiah. Having pointed him out as the Lord that should come to his Temple, the Messenger of the Covenant, in whom (to be shortly revealed) the pious Jews delighted, rejoicing, like faithful Abraham, in the foresight of his day;' he next informs us, what would be the effect of his manifestation in onr flesh. But who,' says he, may abide the day of his coming? And who shall stand when he appeareth? For he is like refiner's fire, and like fuller's soap, and he shall sit as a retiner and purifier of silver, [and by the spirit of judgment, as well as spirit of burning,] he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.' Then, the times of refreshing shall succeed the days of vengeance, and the offering of Judah and Jerusalem shall be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in the former years.' For while the Lord comes near to judgment,' and is a 'swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the bireling in his wages, the widow and the fatherless. and that turn away the stranger from his right, and fear not the Lord ;' they that fear himspeak often one to another, and the Lord hearkens and hears, and a book of remembrance is written for those that fear the Lord and think upon his name ; and they shall be pide, saith the Lord, in the day when I make up my jewels. Then shall ye turn and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God, and him that serveth him not.' And he speaks more clearly still in the next (the last) chapter. He first describes the days of vengeance. Behold the day cometh that shall burn as an oven, and all the woud. and all that do wickedly shall be as stubble :

« AnteriorContinuar »