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thereupon, by a crown of thorns, by cruel scourging, by the dreadful nails, and sharp Roman spear, secured His own honour, the honour of God, and the truth of the original covenant, as the prophet that should come from Sinai, rise up from Seir, shine forth from Mount Paran, and come with ten thousand of His saints, holding in His right hand a fiery law to protect them; and prepared to write the same upon the hearts and in the minds of the people to whom (Paul declared) “pertained the adoption, and the glory, the first and outward giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises, whose are the fathers, and of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever, Amen." Paul knew very well that the cross of Christ was his Master's passport to the glory of David's throne; and that by the unbelief of his nation in the lowly Jesus, they must be broken off from their Holy One (because they rejected him) till the times of the Gentiles should be fulfilled: then, said the apostle, “There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob; for the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” Paul knew that God had never altered nor disowned his covenant; but the children of the promise they had broken it; and must be punished seven times (prophetic calculation) for despising the oath of God, the Lord, their Holy One. Never did Paul attempt to hold forth the absurd doctrine of a spiritual reign of the Messiah, the King of Israel, in the absence of that glorified body, which (Peter, by the Holy Ghost, declared) "is made of God both Lord and Christ, whom (said Peter) the Heavens must receive, until the times of the restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” I beg not to be understood that Paul denied the spiritual
kingdom and glory of his Master. O! no—the great apostle strictly adhered to the original divinity of Jesus Christ, and says, “Now the Lord is that Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” Paul described the kingdom of God, as a perfect scene of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost; and testified that flesh and blood should not inherit that kingdom: he also asserts positively that he himself knew Christ after the flesh no more; meaning that he was the Son of God, being the brightness of the Father's glory, the express image of His person; and essentially God manifest in the flesh”_separate from the likeness of sinful flesh, by His resurrection from the dead, having seen no corruption. The second appearing, which is the glorious epiphany of the Blessed One, is described by Paul in his First Epistle to the Thessalonians, fourth chapter, and sixteenth verse, as the coming of Jehovah; and this answers to the testimony of Jesus himself, concerning His return to this world; for he said that he would come in the glory of his Father, His own glory; and the holy angels. I do seriously declare that my mind is entirely free from any sentiment which favours infidelity concerning the majesty of my Saviour's reign upon earth. I sincerely believe in its literality; but not in a divorce from the Holy Ghost. I believe in the material resurrection of His body without the blood; for He said He had flesh and bones. As to the blood-O holy mystery–0 sacred offering—Where, where is it? saints and angels, can ye tell? I trow not~"Is it not sealed up among
His treasures, and laid up in store with him; but not in His glorified person, His kingdom entitled humanity.
Oh! the BLOOD of the Lamb! “Blood toucheth blood!” Meekly and prayerfully Jesus yielded up His life. He bowed His head—he gave up the ghost-the earth quaked—the sun was darkenedthe veil of the temple was rent in the midst, while the Son of man uttered his dying voice in a loud cry;—but, after He gave His spirit up to the Father, nature was quiet-quiet till the moment arrived for the emancipation of His body from the tomb—then nature's bosom heaved again, to give back to God His Son, the last Adam—a quickening spirit—and yet flesh and bones. This body material for the sake of his church, which is the bride of the Lamb, --and immaterial for the glory of God, must ascend back to Heaven, and is in the bosom of the Father, made both Lord and Christ. There He meekly waits, interceding, mediating, advocating, for mercy to endure-until Michael, the archangel, reports to the Father, that He must send Jesus Christ quickly. “Behold I come quickly”-yes—there is necessity-for Michael's battle with the devil, results in the latter coming down to the earth, that is, taking possession of a body prepared "the man of sin" isthe vile person”—“the wild animal”—and this commences the devil's “short time," and "great wrath”-three years and a half previous to the close of the vision of judgment upon Jerusalem and her children, on account of the transgression of desolation, which was committed by Manasseh, who “did evil in the sight of the Lord, like unto the abominations of the Gentiles, whom the Lord had cast out before the children of Israel.”
1. “Manasseh built the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and he reared altars for Baalim, and worshipped all the host of heaven.
2. “Also he built altars in the house of the Lord, whereof the Lord had said, In Jerusalem shall my name be for ever.
3. “And he built altars for all the host of heaven, in the two courts of the house of the Lord.
4. “He caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom.
5. “He observed enchantments and witchcrafts, dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards.
6. "He wrought much evil in the sight of the Lord to provoke him to anger. He seduced the children of the ancient covenant "to do more evil than the nations whom the Lord had driven out of the holy land.
7. “And he set a carved image, the idol which he had made in the house of God, of which God said to David and to Solomon his son, In this house and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen before all the tribes of Israel, will I set my name for ever.”
In the height of his mad career, Manasseh shed the blood of prophets whom God sent to warn the people, and he shed innocent blood (infants) very much, till he had filled Jerusalem with blood from one end to another—therefore, God said, that He would bring evil upon Jerusalem and Judah, that whosoever heareth of it, both his ears shall tingle. And I will stretch over Jerusalem the line of Samaria and the plummet of the house of Ahab; and I will wipe Jerusalem as a man wipeth a dish, wiping it, and turning it upside down. And I will forsake the remnant of mine inheritance, and deliver them into the hand of their enemies; and they shall become a prey and a spoil,” &c. &c.
This judgment of the Lord God of Israel, (which was revealed by His holy prophets) was executed about fifty years after the death of the most wilful and wicked king that ever swayed the sceptre of the kingdom of Israel or Judah; and Ezra remembered the cause when he recorded the judgment: When “the Lord God sent bands of the Chaldees, and bands of the Syrians, and bands of the children of Ammon, against Judah, the writer of the history exclaims, "Surely at the commandment of the Lord came this upon Judah, to remove them out of his sight, for the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he did. And also for the innocent blood which he shed (for he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood) which the Lord would not pardon. See 2 Kings, 24. 2, 4. The piety of Manasseh's father, and the more extraordinary'devotion of his grandson, were not mentioned at that time. "The transgression of desolation" must be avenged, or justice and judgment cease to be the habitation of God's throne; and two thousand three hundred days (a day for a year) is the time appointed for the duration of the vision of judgment, decreed against the beloved city. I have an impression that the carved image, which Manasseh placed in the holy temple, was suffered to remain just two thousand three hundred natural days; and God had said to the children of Israel, by Moses, that after the number of days (each day for a year,) they should bear theiriniquity concerning searching the land, &c.; and they should know His breach of promise." See Numbers, 14. 34. To Ezekiel, also, the Lord appointed a day for a year. See 4th chapter, verse 6. Concerning the fifty years (an interregnum period between the commission of the transgression of desolation and the captivity of Jehoiachim,) I have thought of that text, “As the days of a tree are the days of my people”—Isaiah, 65. 22; and two things occurred to my mind—the first, it seems probable that the idol was made in fifty daysperhaps there were fifty trees in the idol grove