« PreviousContinue »
"the people were covered,) but also that believers might con"ceive hope of a future order. For otherwise it would little "or nothing profit, that the multitude should be left dissipated "in manner of a dismembered body, or confused mass. Neither is it impertinently added, before the ancients;' but that the Jews might know that the power of God should be manifest " and illustrious, &c. For so he reigns, that we may perceive 66 him PRESENT with us. For if it should be beyond our com"prehension, no comfort would redound to us thereby. ·
For glory, others read gloriously, others glorious: I had " rather take it in the substantive, glory; (although it makes no "difference in the sense ;) for it teacheth how great shall be the magnificence and glory of God by erecting the kingdom of Christ, in that thereby all splendor is obscured, and only the glory of Christ must be eminent and conspicuous. Whence it follows, that then, at length, God shall enjoy his own right among us, and have his due honor, when all his creatures being gathered into order, he alone is resplendent in our eyes."
Chapter xxv, especially from v. 7; & Chapter xxvi, 14, 19.
The late invention of chapters must not hinder our prospect of the continued sense of this prophecy.* For the Prophet having said, "then shall the moon be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of hosts, shall reign in Mount Zion, &c." now follows with solemn praise to God, for his preparation to, and manifestation of that his glorious reign only that in this chapter the sense is extended to the future state of the New Testament Church. This may be proved by apostolical expositions and applications of all the main parts of it, which are three; viz. first the destruction of the enemies of the Church; (v. 2, &c.) -secondly, the deliverance of the Church; (v. 4, &c.) thirdly, the joyful state of the Church upon that their deliverance. (vv. 6-8, &c.)
St. John, in Rev. vii, makes these three parts a state yet to At verses 1-3, you have the destruction of the enemy.
*The division of the Bible into chapters and verses was not generally received by christians till Robert Stephens adopted them in his edition of the Greek New Testament published in 1552. ED.
There were four angels, that had power in their hands to hurt the four quarters of the earth, both by sea and land, as soon as the servants of God should be sealed. Those that were to be hurt, were those that had held the servants of God under tribulation. (v. 14.) And those enemies were to be hurt by a storm, viz. by the blowing of the four winds upon the sea, the earth, and the trees; (vv. 2, 3 ;) even as Isaiah in this chapter calls the state of the wicked a storm, and compares it in their opposition against the godly, to "a blast of a storm dashed against the wall," whose fury the wall stops, breaks and scatters, so that those who stand under it are sheltered.
Next, for the deliverance of the Church, St John prophesies, that the Lord shall be among his people, in manner of dwelling; (v. 15;) and that his people" shall hunger no more, neither
thirst any more, nor shall the sun light on them, (or as it is in "the Greek, fall upon them, in a way of smiting, blasting, or "scorching,) nor any heat. (v. 16.) For the Lamb which is "amidst them shall feed them, &c. and shall wipe away all tears
from their eyes." (v. 17.) To which St. Paul, speaking of the resurrection of the saints which is before the ultimate day of judgement, annexes this, "then shall be brought to pass that saying, Death is swallowed up in victory.'" And again, St. Paul, speaking of the conversion of the Jews, uses this expression, But even to this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart: nevertheless when they shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away;" viz. by the presence of the Lord. All which expressions of John and Paul, in relation to the deliverance of the Church, are exactly in the sense and words of the Prophet-"This is the Lord, we have waited for him, for in this mountain shall the hand of the Lord rest ;" (v. 9, 10;) whereby is signified God's presence amongst his people. And He shall be a succour to his people from the fury of their enemies, as the heat is sheltered off with the shadow of a cloud. (vv. 4, 5.) And he will "feed them with a feast of fat things." (v. 6.) And he will "destroy the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations;" therefore among the rest, upon the Jews. (v. 7.) "And he will swallow up death in victory; " (v. 8
i 1 Cor. xv, 54. j 2 Cor. iii, 15, 16.
and 1 Cor. xv, 54,) and at chap. xxvi, 19, compared with verse 14, They shall not rise, but thy dead men shall rise.”*
As for the third part,—the agreement between Isaiah and John, prophesying of the joyful state of the Church, and their joying in it, he that hath but half an eye may see that it signifies, that great will be the glory of the Church, when those things mentioned by Isaiah and John shall be fulfilled; and that it can signify no less then a glorious restoration of the Church on earth, as all circumstances concur in both places. Compare Rev. vii, 9-12; and Isaiah xxv, 1-4.
But we have a second instance. For in Rev. xxi, 1-4; John applies those three parts of Isa. xxv (viz. the Church's salvation, the enemies' destruction, and the Church's exaltation) to a future glorious state of the Church yet to be upon the earth. I saw, saith John, a new heaven, and a new earth; for the first heaven, and the first earth were passed away, and there was no more sea." Even Pareus confesses that new must be in quality, not in substance; which plainly condescends to a glorious state of the Church to be on earth: for the highest heaven above is of so much better a substance physically (as the philosophers rationally contend) that it needs not be made better in quality. Therefore the meaning must be, that the lower heavens, and the earth below, shall be qualified with freedom from all evil, (as to the Church, and the inhabitants of earth high and low,) and shall
* Upon Isa. xxvi, 14, 19, note what the Hebrew Rabbins, the Septuagint, the ancient Jews, and the ancient Greek and Latin Fathers, say. R. Solomon saith, "They shall live that died for THY sake: (bringing in the Prophet as speaking "to God :) the royal decree went forth from thy presence, saying, 'MY DEAD "BODIES SHALL RISE AGAIN-the dead bodies of my people, whose bones fell for 66 my sake, to them there shall be a resurrection.'" This by way of an antithesis answers to that in v. 14, above written. "The Rephaim (expressed in the Hebrew text, though omitted, I know not why, in the English; which the Chaldee and Jerome render giants) shall not rise again, but these shall rise again." Thus R. Solomon. The Rephaim he interprets of the wicked "who remit, or slack their hands from the law." The Septuagint renders it Aνασησονται δι νεκροι και εγερθήσονται οι εν τοις μνημειοις. Jerome, “ vivent mortui tui, interfecti mei resurgent." And that the ancient Jews interpreted this place of Isaiah touching the resurrection of the dead, appears by Gemara Sanhedrim, сар. 11. "The Sadducees asked R. Gamaliel, whence he could prove that God would quicken or make alive the dead. He answered them, 'Out of the Law, Deut. xxxi, 16; out of the Prophets, Isa. xxvi, 19; out of the holy Writings, Cant. vii, 9.'" The Greek and Latin Fathers likewise interpret this place of the resurrection of the dead, viz. Irenæus, lib. v, c. 15, and c. 34; yea and of the resurrection of the just.-Tertul. de Resur. c. 31; Aug. lib. xx, de Civit. Dei; Clemens Rom. in Ep. ad Cor.
be made better both physically and morally. The old heaven and earth must pass away; the enemies of the Church must be removed, or converted; Adam's curse shall cease ;k and in this state shall dwell righteousness, and pure worship. And the cessation of sea, signifies also the removing of all enmities against the Church far from her. For if it be taken figuratively it signifies, no more brinish waters of false doctrine in the Church; (as waters sometimes in the Scriptures signify doctrines ;) and no more wicked men among the Church, which are compared to the "troubled sea:"m for there shall be (as John tells us in this of Revelation xxi) no unclean thing to enter into this estate. If taken literally, (as it is by some acute wits,) it signifies, that at the time of this great restoration the sea shall be no longer totally fluid, but, at least at top, in most parts of the habitable world, crusted over, consolidated and compacted, to be as a chrystaline heaven below, and thus a highway for all parts of the world to travel each to other for spiritual communion, without any impediment of wind or weather. Then there will be no need of trafficking for riches; nor shall the knowledge of the Lord be bound from the poor Indians, who have not the help of navigation. Then neither the Egyptian sea with its seven streams, nor the great Euphrates, shall hinder Jews or Gentiles from personal and spiritual communion and communication. God would rather thus alter, or else dry up, all seas, than that the glory and welfare of his Church should be hindered. To what we have said touching the meaning of the cessation of sea, our new Annotationists concur thus far: "No more sea (say they) either literally, for there will need none for trade: the "fire perhaps at the world's end will dry it up or figuratively,
no more war against, nor trouble in the Church,—the Church "shall not be like the raging sea, but like the quiet earth." St. John goes on with the description; "I saw New Jerusalem com
ing down from heaven, &c. saying, the tabernacle of God is "with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his 'people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God '(all which clearly relate to a state on earth) and God shall "wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more
“death, nor sorrow, nor crying, nor pain." Which words exactly answer to Isaiah's words, in verse 8, of swallowing up death, and wiping away all tears.
In like manner St. John carries down other passages of Isaiah xxv to future times. For what is there spoken at verses 2 and 12, (of making the city of strangers a heap, a defenced city a ruin, a palace to be no city, a high fortress into dust,) are applied by John to the fall of Antichrist, and the ruin of his nest, viz. the city where he rests: "The city of nations fell, and great Babylon came in remembrance before God." See Rev. xvi, 19, and xviii, 2, 10, 18.
Chapter xxxiii, 20, 21.
I will only ask this question of all the men and books in the world; When was ever fulfilled, since Isaiah's time, that which is here spoken, "Thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habita“tion, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down; not one of the
stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any of the "cords thereof be broken; but there the glorious Lord will be "to us a place of broad rivers and streams, wherein shall
go no galley with oars, neither shall gallant ship pass by?" For about seventy years after Isaiah prophesied, Jerusalem was taken by the king of Babylon, and the king and nobles carried away captive. And whereas they returned again about 536, B. C. and enjoyed their country a good space of time; yet about 167, B. C. Antiochus Epiphanes, being ejected out of Egypt by the Romans, invades Jerusalem with a great army, and spoils and wastes both city and temple. About seventy one years after Christ's birth, the temple was destroyed by Titus the Roman. About sixty one years after that, (viz. A. D. 131,) the city was destroyed by Adrian the Roman emperor. After this the Saracens and Turks invade Jerusalem and Judea, and possess it to this day.
Chapter xxxiv, 1-18.
vv. 1-7. "Come near ye nations to hear, and hearken ye
people; let the earth hear and all that is therein; the world "and all things that come forth of it: (observe, this prophecy