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lords over God's heritage, but loving the souls of men, and consulting for their interests present and to come.
Those political economists who have to do with money, and have no more occupation than to keep the purse, and tell us how it may be laid out for the greatest advantage, are doing as much to bring the dignities of the state under the law of profit and loss, insisting for a paid magistracy and a cheap government and other such things, as we of the ministry have done, by our selfseeking, to bring our holier office under the same base bondage. I have sat in the assembly of the nobles and learned of the land, and heard them applaud the sentiment, that a teacher of youth who depends upon the fees of his pupils is in the best condition for teaching what is true, and sure to teach what is best. Behold, then, here for what judgment came upon Mount Zion and Jerusalem; even for this, that they looked upon all offices in a mercantile point of light, and served them as the means of gaining so much bodily and domestic enjoyment: in one word, that the mercenary spirit had gained the upper hand in the church and in the state. How near to, or how far from, the same evil consummation we are, I leave others to judge, while I go on to shew the calamity which in times of old this spirit brought upon the church and state of God.
Ver. 12: “ Therefore shall Zion for your sake be ploughed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps ; and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest.”. Zion, as we have said, was the place which God had chosen for his babitation, for the place of the soles of his feet: Jerusalem was the place which he had chosen for the chief city of his people; to which place the tribes of the Lord should go up, and all nations of the earth should gather themselves to worship. Therefore from the beginning he made his temple to be a house of prayer for all nations, appointing by far the most spacious of the courts thereof unto the Gentiles; and the covenant of circumcision was always open to Gentiles, as well as to Jews. It was set up at first, as it shall be at last, a place on the earth where Jehovah shall dwell visibly, and utter his voice-not as a cloud, but as He who in that day shall come in his Father's glory, and in his own, and in the glory of his holy angels, when he shall reign in Mount Zion before his ancients gloriously. The keeping of the city and temple where God's name was placed had been given to the families of David and of Aaron, in the royalty and the priesthood; but God kept in his own hand the power of raising up prophets, to warn both king and priest, and also people, when he saw them leaving his ways. These trustees and functionaries of God for the commonweal had betrayed their trust. Zion and Jerusalem had become the habitation of cruelty and profanity. The prophets labour, and are at a loss, to describe their wickedness. The name of the Lord which was upon them became polluted. Men thought he was no better than Baal or Ashtaroth; or even worse than they. He finds it necessary to assert his holiness ; to prevent his name from being dishonoured; to ease himself of his adversaries; and therefore he arises to punish the people whom he loved, and overwhelm the city and the place which he had chosen for himself. He sacrificeth his affections to establish his holiness; he denieth himself to his own flesh, and he hideth himself from the yearnings of his own bowels, and proceeds to do his “strange act,” and to bring to pass his “strange work.” And this is the spirit in which God hath always visited man for his transgressions; as a father contending with his froward child, as a brother chastening his brother, as a man afflicting his own flesh; because man was made in his image, and in flesh he had decreed that his image should for ever stand displayed; that in flesh God should be manifested, that into flesh his own Son should come, and of flesh prove all the good and evil. How low soever he brought flesh, so low must his Son descend; its evils sustain, its punishment, its woes, its denunciations. God's every word against flesh is a word against his Son, a word against Himself
. Ah me! what a depth this is! a brutish man understandeth it not; but only those whom the Lord doth instruct. Woe is me, that the sins of flesh should have cost my God such suffering ! Children, let us never offend him any more, for it grieves Him at his heart to punish us. But punish he will; for, see you, he spared not his own Son. The desolation of Zion and of Jerusalem I love rather to study in the Lamentations of Jeremiah, than in the writings of men. Hear him, and weep for Zion : “How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people ! how is she become as a widow ! she that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary!...... The ways of Zion do mourn, because none come to the solemn feasts : all her gates are desolate: her priests sigh, her virgins are afflicted, and she is in bitterness.... All her people sigh, they seek bread; they have given their pleasant things for meat to relieve the soul : see, O Lord, and consider, for I am become vile. Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the Lord hath afficted me in the day of his fierce anger” (Lam. i. 1, 4, 11, 12). “Her gates are sunk into the ground; he hath destroyed and broken her bars ; her king and her princes are among the Gentiles: the law is no more; her prophets also find no vision from the Lord. The elders of the daughter of Zion sit upon the ground, and keep silence: they have cast up dust upon their heads; they have girded themselves with sackcloth; the virgins of Jerusalem hang down their heads to the ground. .... All that pass by clap their hands at thee; they hiss and wag their head at the daughter of Jerusalem, saying, Is this the city that men call The Perfection of beauty, The Joy of the whole earth ?” (Lam. ii. 9, 10, 15). “ Her Nazarites were purer than snow, they were whiter than milk, they were more ruddy in body than rubies, their polishing was of sapphire. Their visage is blacker than a coal; they are not known in the streets : their skin cleaveth to their bones; it is withered, it is become like a stick. They that be slain with the sword are better than they that be slain with hunger : for these pine away, stricken through for want of the fruits of the field. The hands of the pitiful women have sodden their own children, they were their meat in the destruction of the daughter of my people” (Lam. iv. 7—10). “ Our skin was black like an oven, because of the terrible famine. They ravished the women in Zion, and the maids in the cities of Judah. Princes are hanged up by their hand : the faces of elders were not honoured. They took the young men to grind, and the children fell under the wood. The elders have ceased from the gate, the young men from their music” (Lam. v. 10–14). Let this suffice for the proof how truly these words were fulfilled, and in what way, and to what extent. There is no other language but the language of the prophets equal to the description of it. But now we come to a brighter passage in the progress of our prophecy, which, as it forms the second part of our subject, we separate as the matter of another interpretation.
ON THE NUMBER OF THE BEAST.
The number 666, being that of the name of the Beast, is generally understood to be a number formed of the letters of a word, according to the mode of arithmetical notation in use among the Jews and other nations, and continually had recourse to in the cabalistic researches of the Rabbis.
The harlot who sits on the scarlet-coloured beast has also a title written on her forehead, of which the word Mystery stands foremost. It is therefore not unreasonable to infer that there exists some connexion betwixt the word mystery and the number of the beast, and probably the mystery of iniquity has some reference to both.
Now, in the xlixth chapter of Genesis it is recorded, that, as Jacob was blessing his sons, when he came to Simeon and Levi he pronounced, if not an actual curse upon them, yet a severe reprehension of their conduct, inasmuch as they had treacherously fallen upon and destroyed a defenceless people, who had previously been put off their guard through deceit, under a pre
בְּטֵלָס אַל־תָּבא נַפְשִׁי said of these two men
tence of being admitted into religious communion; and Jacob
O my soul, come not thou into their secret.
The word opba, which Buxtorf translates in arcanum consilium eorum, “ into their secret council,” bears a considerable affinity to the word mystery; and it is somewhat singular that it also contains the precise number of the beast.
It is far from my intention to signify that this is the actual word held out for the trial and exercise of wisdom, but there is in some respects so strong a coincidence here, that probably I may be pardoned if I think that it may be admitted as at least a harmless addition to the many interpretations already attempted of that mysterious number.
P. July 21, 1830.
FORMS OF EVIL IN THE CHURCH.
HAVING been led to turn my attention to the several forms of evil by which it is declared in Scripture that the church should be infested, especially in the last times, I find them to fall under three great heads or classes. This classification is found in many parts of Scripture, but for the present I only advert to the first Psalm : “ Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful." Ungodliness is a counsel, an act of the mind-sin is a way, a system of conductscornfulness is a seat, a fixed purpose and resolute determination to evil. O'ywn, avopor, ungodly; lawless ones, unbelievers. O'NUN, apaprwlot, sinners ; turning aside, missing the way. Oors, loquor, scornful, scoffers, who hate and persecute the truth. The ungodly are spoken of in Isai. lvii. 20; Jer. v. 26; Ezek. iii. 18; Psalm cix. 2-6. The sinners in Num. xxxii. 14, 15; Ezek. xviii. 24 ; Judges xx. 16. The scornful, Isai. xxviii
. 14, 22; xxix. 20; Prov. i. 22, 29, 30; ix. 7, 8, xiii. 1; xxi. 24. And these characterise the last days; as Luke xvi. 14; 2 Pet. iii. 3; Jude 18. Reference to the time of their destruction may also be made in the "chaff," Psalm i. 4; Isai. xvii. 13; Dan. ii. 35; Matt. iii. 12; Luke iii. 17. And in ver. 5, reference may be made to the first resurrection, 19p", avaot noovtai.
ON THE NAMES OF GOD.
The pious soul, when meditating on the Divine Nature, soon finds itself in that state of mind which led the philosopher of old, as each time which he had required for his answer expired, to double and double the period he had demanded to resolve the question “ What is God? The natural reason of man is astounded and bewildered in such contemplations, and a Christian turns with avidity to the Scriptures, and eagerly seizes on the information which they furnish, to arrest his wanderings and quiet his fears. How often will he carry back his desires to that primeval state, when Adam heard the voice of the Lord God in the garden and shrunk not back from the interview; when a single moment of the presence of God conveyed, to Adam's unfallen soul, ideas now inconceivable by man! Our thoughts labour in vain to conceive the bliss of that unrestrained communion which subsisted in Paradise between the Creator and his innocent creatures; and we marvel how they could even for a moment forget the blessed intercourse, and listen to the tempter while he told out his lie; or how they, who must have known God so well, could entertain the expectation of becoming as gods. But it is done; and we, his fallen, degenerate race, have now to strain our thoughts to collect some dribblets of that Divine knowledge which poured in a full tide upon Adam's soul. “ Hardly do we judge aright of things on earth, but things in heaven who can know?” Yet, blessed be God, we have a Repairer of the breach, and a Comforter is promised to lead us into all truth. May the Spirit of Truth, who proceedeth from the Father and the Son, be present with us now, while, with no irreverent or presumptuous feeling, but with most unfeigned humility, we enter upon our present inquiry; desiring to know the Name of Jehovah that we may be joyful in him, and fear this glorious and fearful name, the Lord Our God (Deut. xxviii. 58; Psa. Ixxxiii. 18).
Every thoughtful reader of the Scripture must have remarked the importance which is continually attached to the Name of the Lord God. Not only was its sanctity reverently guarded by one of the Commandments written by the finger of God, “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain, but wherever it was placed it conferred upon the recipient some of its own sacredness; and wherever it is known there is the fulness of joy, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it. VOL. 11.NO. 111.