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CHAP. VIII.

diadem in the hand of her God'; when the name of the city shall be Jehovah Shammah, the Lord is Ezek. xlviii. 35. there,' and when all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the Lord Isa. lxi. 9. hath blessed. That day, when all this shall come to pass, will surely be a very glorious day, not only because Israel shall so be blessed, but because, when converted and restored, they are to be blessings to the whole earth. This subject, therefore, is one of the deepest interest to us Gentiles, because the recovery of the world, and the full development of Christ's kingdom, are bound up in the recovery of Israel. As the Apostle of the Gentiles, St. Paul earnestly presses this on our attention. 'I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall ? God Rom. xi. 11–15. forbid. But through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. Now, if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles, how much more their fulness. For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the recovery of them be but life from the dead ? From this, as well as from various other passages, we learn that the day of Israel's blessedness and glory shall be the day of the world's regeneration. It is then that word to Abraham shall have its full accomplishment, 'In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. Then, when God has set his King on his holy hill of Zion, the heathen shall be given to Him for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession. In this evangelization of the nations the converted Jews are prominently to share. To them, Isa. Ixvi. 19.

Isa, lii, 8-11,

Isa. lix. 20.

Isa. ii. 3.

Isa. lx. 1-3.

96 Incorporation of the Jews into Christ's Kingdom. CHAP. viii. it is said, that have not heard his fame nor seen

his glory, shall they be sent, and they shall declare his glory among the Gentiles. Then, when the Lord shall bring again Zion, all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God. Then, when the Redeemer shall come to Zion, out of Zion shall go forth the law and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem, to teach the people of his ways, and that they may walk in his paths. Then, when her light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon her, the Gentiles shall come to her light, and kings to the brightness of her rising ; her seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and her offspring among the people. Then will God make Jerusalem a praise in the earth : ‘Behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.' Therefore, because the blessedness of Israel will be the blessedness of all, the whole creation is called upon to exult in it. Sing, 0 ye heavens, for the Lord hath done it ; shout, ye lower parts of the earth; break forth into singing, ye mountains, O forest, and every tree therein ; for the Lord hath redeemed Jacob and glorified Himself in Israel.'

Isa. lxi. 9.

Isa. lxv. 18.

Isa, xliv. 23.

CHAPTER IX.

THE SIGN OF CHRIST'S ADVENT. THE RESURREC-
TION OF THE DEAD IN CHRIST. THE TRANS-

LATION OF THE LIVING SAINTS.

CHAP. IX.

FROM our Lord's own words we learn that his advent will be prefaced by premonitory signs of a prodigious and portentous character. And there Luke xxi. 25, 26. shall be signs in the sun and in the moon and in the stars, and upon the earth distress of nations with perplexity ; the sea and the waves roaring ; men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth; for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.' In the language of prophecy, the darkening of the material lights of this world betokens terrible danger and alarm, and convulsion in the fabric of human society. We are to understand, not only that the things here described will actually occur, but that in their occurrence they will be types and presages of the yet more fearful things that are to usher in and to attend the coming of the Lord. In the midst of, or following upon, these things will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. Then,' says our Lord, in continuation of his men- Matt. xxiv. 30. tion of the foregoing portents, 'then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven, and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they

CHAP. IX.

Luke sci. 28.

ones.

shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.' Here it must be carefully noted that before the advent itself there is to appear the sign of the advent; that is to say, before his actual coming there shall be some indication of the Lord's approach, such as shall be seen and recognized as an indication of it. What that sign is to be we are not told, and it is useless, therefore, to conjecture. Suffice it, that it shall be a sign so plain and unmistakable that on seeing it the tribes of the earth shall mourn. But that which shall cause alarm to the world at large, unmindful and unprepared for his coming, will be observed with joy by his faithful waiting

And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.'

It is very important to notice the indication here given of an intermediate period, to intervene between the appearing of the sign of Christ's advent and his

actual manifestation, because it falls in with and Matt. xxiv. 30,31. explains other revelations on the subject. It is in

this interval that the Son of Man will send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they

shall gather together his elect from the four winds, Matt. xxv. 1–13. from one end of heaven to the other. The parable

of the Ten Virgins affords similar intimation of an interval between the first indication of the coming and the coming itself. At midnight, while he was yet in the distance, there was a cry made, 'Behold, the bridegroom is coming ; go ye out to meet him.' This cry corresponds to the preliminary sign of the Son of Man in heaven. As on seeing that sign the

CHAP. IX.

saints lift up their heads with joy, knowing their redemption draweth nigh, so on hearing that cry the wise virgins arise, trim their lamps, go forth to meet the bridegroom, and come with him to the marriage ; while the foolish ones, having to go away and buy oil, do not get back till after the bridegroom's arrival, and so are excluded from the marriage. It is in this interval that the first resurrection will take place, the resurrection, that is, of the just, the saints sleeping in their graves, together with the translation and immediate transformation of the living saints. For this we say 1 Thess.iv.15--17 unto you by the word of the Lord,' writes St. Paul, • that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them that are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trump of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we, which are alive and remain, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air ; and so shall we ever be with the Lord.' So will it be Zech, xiv. 5. brought to pass that the Lord on his coming will bring his saints with Him. Caught up to meet the Lord in the air, with Him they shall descend to 1 Thess. üi. 13. the earth in their spiritual bodies, to take part in the redemptive glories and triumphs of his reign.

At this point, the First Resurrection, in its relation to the coming era of Christ's kingdom, must be considered. The term is found only in the Apocalypse, but not there only what it denotes. the rest of the dead lived not again till the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

But Rev. xx. 5 6.

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