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Ezekiel meant this heavenly city is an interpretation and tradition among the Jews*: and as Jerusalem consisted of the upper and lower city, it was thereby a more exact and suitable type of the same true and heavenly city, which is also composed of an upper and lower city:-grace is glory begun, and glory is grace perfected and consummated. The church militant is not merely a type of the church triumphant, it is a part of it, it is the entrance into it, and the antechamber of it: they both together constitute one and the same house and city of God: they have the same Lord and Master; they have the same mind and spirit, the same hopes and joys, and differ from each other not in kind but in degree. Nor is it possible to determine at all times which of those churches is more particularly pointed out and referred to in the Scriptures, nor what character and circumstances are to be understood exclusively of the one, and what of the other. We know, indeed, that death divides them; but death is now only a sleep—the veil separates them, but it is quite thin and fragile, and consists merely of flesh and blood, and may help to distinguish them, but by no means to sever them; and that part which is wholly invisible and spiritual is infinitely greater and better, and infinitely more important and glorious, than
See Schoettgen, de Hieros, Cœlest.
that which is visible and material or corporeal *. Messiah, together with this city or church, had been, as already shewn, promised and foretokened to Abraham, through whose great and future Son, of whom Isaac was the type and pledge, all the families of the earth should be blessed, and who was to have the heathen for his inheritance, and the utmost parts of the earth for his possession. The land of Canaan likewise was constituted the type and prelibation of things future and invisible, viz. of the land which was to be occupied or inherited by the true Isaac, or Messiah's church and people; that is, as they were to fill the whole earth and to consist of all nations, it was the type and earnest of this world, and in it of the next. And in reference to this covenant with Abraham, and as a memorial of it, the promised land was called with peculiar emphasis and propriety, "the land," "the earth," " the world †;" it was then to the world what the Roman empire became afterwards, and which was also called otkovμevn, "the earth," "the world," and was the world in
* The beautiful lines of Waller on this subject must be felt and admired by all who read them :
"The church triumphant and the church below
In songs of praise their present union show;
May sing together, though we dwell apart."
type and indeed, in true worth and importance, it contained the church and the people of God, who were " the salt of the earth," and "the light of the world." And, therefore, when the Most High divided the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel; and no other people nor country was deemed worthy of being named or noticed in Scripture, unless in so far as it was somehow connected with it in friendship, or opposed to it in hostility. And how Abraham himself personally and literally inherited this whole land, and in it, typically, the whole world, has been already considered. Hence he is in this sense also styled by St. Paul "the heir of the world *." And all his seed, the followers of his faith and obedience in every age inherit the world as he did, not literally, but typically. "All are theirs, whether Paul or Apollos, or Cephas, or the WORLD, or life or death, all are theirs ." Isaac was the immediate and literal heir, and was to inherit the land" from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates;" which was verified in and by David and Solomon, who reigned over the kings from the river Euphrates to the river of Egypt, and thereby typically over the whole world. In David's covenant, Solomon was to have dominion
* Romans iv.
+ 1 Cor. iii.
"from sea to sea," and "from the river to the ends of the earth;" whereby that of Abraham was renewed and confirmed; and is again repeated in Zachariah, as not belonging to the literal Solomon, except in this imperfect sense, who was now long dead, but to the true and spiritual son of Abraham and of David, who was to be indeed heir of all things, not partially, nor typically, like Isaac or Solomon, but to the utmost extent, and in the strictest sense, and to have dominion "from one sea to another, and from the flood to the world's end." And hence Ezekiel in his last chapters hieroglyphically and enigmatically confirms and completes the covenants and oaths made unto Abraham and David, and denotes by the tribes and people of Israel what St. Paul and St. John denote by them, viz. the Israel of God, the Catholic church; and agreeably hereunto in his division of the land, the stranger inherited his portion or lot equally with the natural and trueborn Israelites, which could only take place under the Gospel. And to each of the tribes so mixed and so constituted, he assigns their lots or inheritances of the promised land, bounded by regular and parallel lines, and in continued series and unbroken superficial measure and extent, quite across the whole land, from the Mediterranean Sea, or the great sea, to the Jordan and the Dead Sea, that is, the whole earth, "from one sea to another, and from the flood to the world's end."
The prophet exhibits in this manner, in the visions of God and in prophetic perspective, the happy and glorious extension and establishment of the church throughout the world, whereby the Gospel shall be preached in all nations, and all the families of the earth shall call him blessed, and see the salvation of God. And it is obvious that all this is done for the purpose of adumbrating and foretokening still better promises, and yet greater and richer blessings, in the ultimate and eternal inheritance of the true and heavenly land of everlasting life and glory; according to the intimation to Daniel, that he should "stand in his lot at the end of the days;" when "the people will be all righteous, and inherit the land for ever." Ezekiel's land and city are hence the same which had been covenanted and secured to Abraham and his seed, both on earth and in heaven, and the gates of his city are like those of the Apocalypse, which indeed takes up and illustrates his visions, twelve for the twelve tribes of Israel, and each one pearl, its walls are jasper, and its streets are gold, and its name is JEHOVAH SHAMMAI, the Lord is there; for he dwells there in all his grace and in all his glory; and without it are "the carcases of the men that have transgressed, whose worm dieth not, and whose fire is not quenched." "Without are dogs, and whores and whoremongers, and whatsoever loveth and maketh a lie." And St. John gives the New Testament sense, and