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if a man can number the dust of the earth, ther shall thy seed be numbered " (Gen. xiii. 16). And this covenant was repeated and confirmed soon after in these words: "Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them; and He said. unto him, So shall thy seed be" (Gen. xv. 5). This was again repeated and confirmed to Isaac: "I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed" (Gen. xxvi. 4).
Now these predictive promises, in the form of a covenant, made and repeated both to Abraham and Isaac, and afterwards to Jacob, have never yet been fulfilled, but await their fulfilment in the age to come, when the two sticks of Ephraim and Judah shall become one in the hand of Jehovah. This shows how large the population of those times will become, both in the case of restored Israel and "the hosts of nations."
II. AS TO TRADE AND COMMERCE.
Then, as a consequence, this predicted longevity and enormous population will be a stimulus to widespread and successful commerce and international negotiations in the way of trade. This will become a social and national necessity for the support and prosperity of the world.
Nor is prophetic Scripture altogether silent relative to this condition of things; for the allusions, though incidental and passing, are neither few nor uninteresting; but show by fair inference, that invention,
discovery, and all the useful arts, will be brought under tribute for purposes of trade and commerce, and the conveniences of social and domestic life.
"Therefore thy gates shall be open continually, they shall not be shut day nor night, that men may bring into it the wealth (margin) of the Gentiles" (Isa. lx. 11). Here trade and commerce seem to be intended.
66 They shall build houses, and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them; they shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat" (Isa. lxv. 21). Here not only peace and safety is intended, but also general intercourse in the way of trade.
But very probably the commerce of the coming age will consist very largely in agriculture and husbandry, because the earth, having been rendered more prolific and productive, the people will find it so much more to their advantage to cultivate these, and those arts which are helpful to the development of them.
Yet we read of CITIES in the age to come, which imply at least a good degree of progress in trade, and the arts and manufactures. Ezekiel says (xxxvi. 35): "The waste cities are become fenced and inhabited." Verse 38: "As the holy flock, as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts, so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men." So also Amos ix. 14: "They shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them." Zechariah declares the same thing in chap. i. 17: Thy cities, through prosperity, shall yet be spread abroad" (See also Ezek. xxxvi. 33, 34).
Now this repeated reference to the cities of the Mil
lennial age fairly implies that there will be a thriving trade and commerce, for this is the very purpose for which cities are formed and men are congregated within them. Since it is by the formation of cities, articles of trade and merchandise are brought together for exhibition, inspection, and sale, into one great centre, where the scattered residents of the rural districts can assemble for trade and commerce, as occasion may require, or at stated intervals. And by the mention of gold and silver, and brass and stone, in various parts of the prophetic Scriptures, it would appear that these materials will be manufactured into articles of ornament and utility in the houses and homes of the coming age. (See Isa. xxiii. 17, 18, and Zech. xiv. 20).
Thus we have seen a little of the peaceful and prosperous life of this Millennial age, when, through the reign of righteousness and peace, national and social life will make the hearth and home, the cottage and mansion (for all will not be of social equality even then) a scene of happy fellowship and domestic felicity. And let it not be forgotten that all this will result from the rule of Jesus, who will reign throughout all the earth: "There shall be one Lord, and His name One."
"Lo! former scenes, predicted once,
And future scenes, expected still,
Then hail the kingdom of the Lord!
O city of the Lord! begin
Lift up the lonely voice;
O from the streams of distant lands Unto Jehovah sing!
And joyful from the mountain tops Shout to the Lord, the King!
Let all combined with one accord
THE LANGUAGE IN THE AGE TO COME.
Y reference to some parts of the prophetic Word it would appear that in the Millennial period there will be but one language spoken throughout the whole world. And certainly, considering the unique and catholic character of that dispensation, there would appear to be great wisdom and propriety in this arrangement, though, to us, the conception of it is beset with perplexing difficulties. Yet all these difficulties must vanish at once if we take into consideration who it is who introduces and inaugurates this new world, or age. For when we consider that He is the Almighty God, who is "able to subdue all things unto Himself;" then all the difficulties, whether real or apparent, vanish from our view.
The principal text which speaks of this one language is Zeph. iii. 9: "Then will I turn unto the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve Him with one consent." Thus it would appear that the results of the divine displeasure at Babel will be remedied, and the human family will again speak one language. But what this language will be is uncertain, though probably it will be the ancient Hebrew, or that spoken in the first ages of the
1 "Palestine Re-peopled," by Rev. Jas. Neil, p. 130.