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lous in our eyes, an exercise for our faith, ever met perhaps by the oppositions of science falsely so called. For, confessedly, “the right hand of the Lord bringeth mighty things to pass :" the awaking of one out of sleep, is permitted us in scripture, to use as a metaphor of the resumption by Divine Providence, of that miraculous interference in the affairs of men, such as our fathers have told us concerning "the noble' works that God did in their days, and in the old time before them.”

But there is a cause of error of an opposite nature, requiring in the expounders of prophecy still more serious caution— I mean that cold, and, I think, degrading style of interpretation, which some have vaunted as most rational, which affects to consider all the sublimest language of the prophetic scriptures, as the bombastic imagery of an Eastern Poetry, a species of “ Hieroglyphical grandiloquence,” whose high-wrought description, whether of threatened judgments, or of promised mercies to come, are to be conventionally understood and taken to mean in reality nothing very great or extraordinary !

To adopt this style of interpretation, as a late very learned prelate has justly remarked, “is to suppose that the prophets describe things comparatively small under the greatest images ; and this being once granted, what assurance have we that the magnificent promises to the faithful will ever take effect in the extent of the terms in which they are conveyed? The language of prophecy is, indeed, poetical and figurative; but the hyperbole is a figure which never can be admitted in the Divine promises : on the contrary, it is always to be presumed that more is meant than the highest figures can express adequately."*

These sentiments, surely, are most honourable to the truth of God, and will be found most conducive to the right understanding of his holy word. "The deep things of God," and "the words" " which the Holy Ghost teacheth,” are not to be judged of as the metaphors of human rhetoric, nor supposed

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to have been drawn up, according to the rules which regulate " the enticing words of man's wisdom, and their "great swelling words of vanity.” In the grandest language that displays the threatened judgment or the promised mercy, I doubt not, we shall not fail, when all is fulfilled, to find every where the simplicity of truth : “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."

The language of prophecy, as of the scriptures in general, is confessedly often figurative, and on some occasions, no doubt, it may require a nice discrimination to point out what is figuratively to be understood and what literally. "Comparing spiritual things with spiritual,” should, of course, be the plan pursued, in places where difficulty occurs. I think, however, the remark of Hooker, “I hold it for a most infallible rule in expositions of sacred scripture,” that, "where the literal construction will stand, that which is farthest from the letter is commonly the worst,”* is worthy of the greatest consideration, in all our attempts to explain the word of God, and especially so in our endeavours to understand the language of unfulfilled prophecy; and here too, from the sense of our partial knowledge, we should hesitate much in drawing our conclusion that the literal construction will not stand.”

This we know, that “the very image” of every “shadow of good things to come,” which yet falls upon the Church of Christ, must stand forth before us; every oath and covenant of God, the language of whose promise, if we may so speak, though ofttimes remembered, is not yet exhausted, must be so kept and fulfilled by the “ God of Truth,” that his servants “shall know in all their hearts and in all their souls that not one thing has failed of all the good things which the Lord their God spake concerning them.”+ The complete and ultimate verification not only of every typical prophecy that remains unfulfilled; but the completing and filling up of every typical

Ecclesiastical Poetry, Book v. 59.

+ Joshua xüi. 14.

or symbolical fulfilment of prophecy, where any thing has fallen short of the original prediction, all these are the subjects of unaccomplished prophecy—and "one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law” “and the prophets,” “ till all be fulfilled.”

We would, therefore, in humble hope of the blessing of God, availing ourselves of what we have learned from the accomplishment of former prophecies, direct our attention to what remains to be fulfilled, and prepare ourselves to mark the signs in the passing event of our times and surely they are eventful times !-and with the “word of prophecy” in our hands, we would watch the openings of Providence, as he " that changes times and seasons, removeth kings, and setteth up kings,” shall be pleased to disclose during the short day of our pilgrimage upon earth. We would obey the command to "watch," and should the Lord delay his coming till our appointed hour is past, our watch will be relieved, by those who shall arise after us. And we, if we have obtained like precious faith” with them of old, shall depart and be with Christ in spirit,” while our bodies sleep in the dust of the earth, till the full time is come: and, with Daniel and all the redeemed out of mankind, we shall stand in our lot at the last day."

of the Lord !" And although the scoffers of these last days may have found, and may still find, occasions to mock at the disappointed expectations of his people,—“where is the promise of his coming ?" let them not be discouraged, or be tempted to neglect the sure word of prophecy. The direction is: “though it tarry, wait for it.” “Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and has long patience for it, until he receives the early and the latter rain. Be ye

also patient; stablish your hearts : for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh."

We are often admonished, in regarding passing events, and watching for the fulfilment of prophecy, lest our imagination should be distorted with the love of the marvellous; and certainly the admonition is not always unnecessary; but we must remember that “great is our God and great is his power, ay, and his wisdom is infinite !" When we are inquiring what God is about to do, we may expect that some things will be marvel

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that one bond of this people of most tenacious memory were not an indignant and resentful feeling of the cruelties and persecutions heaped on them in old times, by various nations of the earth, and not least by our European ancestors; and fixed in their minds by the contempt and slight of an age which abhors the name of barbarity !” “But if they are kept together in some measure by the sense of their wrongs, it is hope wrought up by faith to the highest degree of certainty, that forms the most powerful bond of their identity, and constitutes them a nation apart, which can be bound to no Gentile government by permanent ties of citizenship. This feeling exists so strongly, and with such increasing intenseness, that many Jews of late years, under the persuasion that the accomplishment of the restoration of Israel is at hand, have actually transported their wealth and their families to Syria, quitting the milder rule of European governments for the exactions and tyranny of a Turkish bassa. Twenty years ago there was at Saffet and Jerusalem but a small number of Polish Jews, some few hundreds at the most; there are now, at the very least, ten thousand.”— Quarterly Review, July, 1828.

* James v. 7, 8.

lous in our eyes, an exercise for our faith, ever met perhaps by the oppositions of science falsely so called. For, confessedly, “the right hand of the Lord bringeth mighty things to pass :" the awaking of one out of sleep, is permitted us in scripture, to use as a metaphor of the resumption by Divine Providence, of that miraculous interference in the affairs of men, such as our fathers have told us concerning “the noble works that God did in their days, and in the old time before them.”

But there is a cause of error of an opposite nature, requiring in the expounders of prophecy still more serious caution-I mean that cold, and, I think, degrading style of interpretation, which some have vaunted as most rational, which affects to consider all the sublimest language of the prophetic scriptures, as the bombastic imagery of an Eastern Poetry, a species of " Hieroglyphical grandiloquence,” whose high-wrought description, whether of threatened judgments, or of promised mercies to come, are to be conventionally understood and taken to mean in reality nothing very great or extraordinary !

To adopt this style of interpretation, as a late very learned prelate has justly remarked, “is to suppose that the prophets describe things comparatively small under the greatest images; and this being once granted, what assurance have we that the magnificent promises to the faithful will ever take effect in the extent of the terms in which they are conveyed ? The language of prophecy is, indeed, poetical and figurative; but the hyperbole is a figure which never can be admitted in the Divine promises : on the contrary, it is always to be presumed that more is meant than the highest figures can express adequately."

These sentiments, surely, are most honourable to the truth of God, and will be found most conducive to the right understanding of his holy word. The deep things of God," and “ the words" ' which the Holy Ghost teacheth,” are not to be judged of as the metaphors of human rhetoric, nor supposed

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