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generation. For I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed; for the Lord dwelleth in Zion." Joel iii. 17, 20, 21.
On this subject, instead of connecting and comparing Scripture with Scripture, in order to obtain its combined evidence, it has been more usual to assume that Christ will not reign personally upon earth, and then to endeavour by any means to explain all these passages, as they individually occur, consistently with the views entertained. Even with this resolution it must occasionally prove difficult really to believe that some of the preceding promises mean nothing more than the universal prevalence of holiness, and the greater effusion of the Holy Spirit, while the Redeemer. still remains in heaven. And if such an accommodation prove inadmissible, as an explanation of declarations so explicit as have been already quoted, there are others which still less admit of any spiritual interpretation. In a most important and interesting prediction clearly referring to future times, the prophet Isaiah says, "Behold the Lord rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt: and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence, and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it. In that day shall Egypt be like unto women; and it shall be afraid and fear because of the shaking of the hand of the Lord of Hosts which he shaketh over it..... In that day shall there be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to the Lord. And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto the Lord of Hosts in the land of Egypt; for they shall cry unto the Lord because of the oppressors, and he shall send them a SAVIOUR, and a Great One, and He shall deliver them. And the Lord shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the Lord in that day, and shall do sacrifice and oblation; yea, they shall vow a vow unto the Lord and perform it." Is. xix. 1, 16, 19, 20, 21.
The connection in which the coming of the Lord here stands to the conversion of Egypt leaves no doubt of its being yet unfulfilled; while the expressions used seem only applicable to a personal coming. It is while groaning under the yoke of earthly "oppressors," the prayer is addressed to the Lord for deliverance; when they have been given "into the hand of a cruel lord, and a fierce king shall rule over them." ver. 4. Their prayer is answered, for the Lord
"shall SEND them a Saviour," who is the Lord, and shall come riding upon "a swift cloud," and "shall deliver them" from that oppression. How is it possible to interpret this of any other than a personal coming of the Saviour? The manner of His coming-upon a "cloud"-corresponds exactly with the prediction given by Himself concerning his Return: "Then shall they see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory;" (Luke xxi. 27.) and which was subsequently repeated by attendant angels at His ascension in the cloud: "shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." (Acts i. 11.) In neither of these, nor in any other New Testament prediction, have we any intimation of the place to which he shall descend; and it is to be observed that the prediction under consideration is the ONLY ONE the Scriptures contain of the Saviour's coming in, or on, or with a cloud, or clouds, to any specific place. But if He ever comes to earth again, (and there are few indeed who doubt or question this,) it must be to some place. Why then disbelieve the fact, that on this swift cloud, He "shall come into Egypt?" This was the theatre of God's early wonders in behalf of his ancient people, and His coming thither at this time is probably connected with their future deliverance.* In the prophecy,
Moses thus concludes his prophecy of their dispersion and sufferings: "And the Lord shall bring thee into Egypt again with ships, by the way whereof I spake unto thee; thou shalt see it no more again and there ye shall be sold unto your enemies for bond-men and bond-women, and no man shall buy you." Deut. xxviii. 68. Although well aware that this is supposed to have been fulfilled when many of the Jews were carried into Egypt by Titus, still we apprehend the prediction refers to future times. It stands in order posterior to all the threatenings of their being scattered into all nations-they are to be brought to Egypt in ships, a mode of conveyance not adopted by Titus, so far as we remember to have noticed they are to be sold, until men refuse to buy them; but although, after their captivity by Titus, they were employed in Egypt at the public works of the Roman government, we do not know that they were "sold" at all. There are many of the Jews still in Egypt, nearly eighteen hundred years after that captivity, but from a parenthetical clause in the prophecy of Moses, we are led to conclude that when thus brought thither in ships they shall not long continue : "Thou shalt see it no more again."-And that there is some connection between Israel and Egypt, at the restoration of the former, appears from many prophecies. On the consideration of these, however, we do not enter. If we believe that the Lord has really been pleased to declare his purpose of coming to Egypt, in preference to any where else, His wisdom being infinite his sovereignty is not to be questioned, although we may not know fully His more particular designs.
"the land of Judah" is introduced, as "a terror unto Egypt:' (ver. 17.) and in what way the circumstances of Israel may yet be involved with those of Egypt, it is impossible to say.
The prophets predict great sufferings as to be endured by the children of Israel after their Restoration to Palestine, from the attack of confederated nations. In their time of affliction and necessity, the Lord promises to manifest Himself for their succour. This is briefly but distinctly declared by the prophet Zechariah: "Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the Lord go forth and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And HIS FEET shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof, toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah; and the Lord my God shall come, and ALL THE SAINTS with thee. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear nor dark; but it shall be one day which shall be known to the Lord, not day nor night; but it shall come to pass that at evening-time it shall be light." Zech. xiv. 1-7.
This prediction is not more remarkable for the importance of its statements than for the particularity with which they are given. It has more the appearance of a narrative of past events than of a prophecy of things to come. It is really vexatious to be under a necessity of endeavouring to elucidate the meaning of language already as distinct as words can make it. It is mortifying to be compelled to insist that the Jerusalem here spoken of is the literal city of that name-that it is a real attack it shall sustain, and a real capture it shall endure-that "the mount of Olives which is before Jerusalem on the east" is the literal mount
of that name—that it is a natural or more properly speaking a miraculous earthquake by which it shall be cleft, and a real flight by which it is followed. All this appears so obvious, that we feel puzzled how to attempt to prove it; for, if its own internal evidence cannot be received as sufficient, we should despair of ever finding any other more satisfactory. Is not that a literal city which contains "people, and "women," and "houses," and against which "nations" are gathered to "battle?" And if this be the literal "Jerusalem," can that be any thing else than the literal "Mount of Olives" which is, and always has been, "before Jerusalem on the east?" If this be the literal mount, then is not that also a literal "earthquake" by which it is rent, resembling that which took place in the days of Uzziah? And if all these be literal, What can we understand by the Lord's feet standing upon the literal Mount of Olives, but the fact of His Personal presence, His premillennial appearance to take into His own hands the government of the world?—“And the Lord shall be King over all the earth; in that day shall there be one Lord, and His name one.' ver. 9. Nor does He come alone, but having "all the saints with thee”. the very truth declared in almost every passage of the New Testament concerning the Saviour's Return. It is no spiritual, no figurative advent which has such an accompaniment, but the real personal coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.*
"I Referring to the restoration of Israel, the Lord says, will set up one Shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant THE BELOVED; he shall feed them, and he shall be their Shepherd. And I the Lord will be their
In his "Fall of Babylon," (p. 44,) Mr. Mason quotes the above passage as the account of a literal or natural earthquake;" but in his Gentiles' Fulness, (p. 201,) combating the opinion that the coming of the Lord with all His saints is His personal advent, he unhesitatingly rejects the interpretation he had himself thus given, and denies that the earthquake is to be "literally understood." This way of explaining the ancient predictions, he there says, (forgetting his own recorded explanation,)" must be rejected as a very false interpretation of Scripture, and as an unwarrantable Putting conand dangerous way of exhibiting Divine operations." sistency out of the question, is there not, we would ask, something both unwarrantable and dangerous," in thus moulding Divine predictions to our taste or convenience?
God, and my servant THE BELOVED a PRINCE among them I the Lord have spoken it." Ezek. xxxiv. 23, 24. "Then the moon shall be confounded and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of Hosts shall reign in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously." Is. xxiv. 23. Such quotations might easily be multiplied, in proof 'of Christ's presence on earth during the Millennium; but we shall now allude to only one other point of evidence: The prophet Ezekiel having seen the measurements taken of the temple to be erected in Jerusalem, and which forms the subject of more immediate inquiry in the following Section, he was afterwards brought to "the gate that looketh towards the east: and, behold, the Glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east; and His voice was like a noise of many waters; and the earth shined with His glory....And the Glory of the Lord came into the House, by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east. And He said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name shall the house of Israel no more defile, neither they nor their kings....Now let them put away their whoredom and the carcases of their kings far from me, and I will dwell in the midst of them for ever." Ezek. xliii. 1-9. "Then he brought me back the way of the gate of the outward sanctuary which looketh toward the east, and it was shut. Then said the Lord unto me, This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and NO MAN shall enter in by it; BECAUSE the Lord the God of Israel hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut." Ezek. xliv. 1, 2. An altar of wood was also shown to the prophet in the temple, when it was said to him, "This is the able that is before the Lord." Ezek. xli. 22.
THE TEMPLE REBUILT.
IN the prophecies, allusion is often made to, and predictions given concerning, a splendid temple which is yet to be