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Patriarchism and Judaism, each during its earliest period, had the permanent glory of the Shekinah. Whence we might infer, that Christianity, during its best and most triumphant period, would not want the the same perpetual and sensible attestation of the divine presence."
Nor need we be astonished at this return of the Shekinah glory1 when we remember that it is this temple probably to which Haggai refers. For while it possibly had an incipient fulfilment in the first Advent of Jesus; yet its plenary fulfilment remains till this Millennial temple shall have been erected. For how can these words be true of the former temple: "I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts"? (Hag. ii. 7).
Bright Morning Star! we watch for thine uprising,
Thro' the thick gloom that deepens o'er the East,
The olive and the fig there bloom no more,
But ah! how changeless is their God and Saviour,
1 Isa. lx. 1-5, 11, 14, 19, lxvi. 15-20; Zech. ii. 4, 5. 2 Numbers xxiv. 17.
Besides, the glorified Saviour is to reign and rule in and through that temple in His theocratic supremacy; and perhaps give oracular responses from the Shekinah glory (see 2 Peter i. 17, 18). And as the ancient Shekinah glory was doubtless a type of the Son of God, as "the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ," it is every way reasonable to suppose that this Shekinah should return if a material temple is to be erected; because this was the glory of Solomon's temple, which made it so sacred to the Hebrews of that age. And we should not forget, too, that this will be the temple of Israel, though Gentile nations will come and worship with them as one sacred body; yet it is a revelation to Israel in supremacy. And this Shekinah would be congenial with, and adapted to, their predilections and preferences. It would recall the happiest and brightest days of Israel's worship; and in and through it they would see their own Jehovah, the same unchanging One, calling them to commune with Him. And as there will be no vail, the glory will be visible to all the worshippers, and flood them with its radiance, if not inspire them with its voices (1 Kings viii. 10; 2 Chron. v. 13; Ezek. x. 4; Exod. xxiv. 16).
All nations shall serve Him.-Psa. lxxii. 11.
"Fall down, ye nations, and adore
Where'er the morning spreads her wings,
Come from the West,-the bond, the free,
Ye thousand isles-in God rejoice.
Come from the South,-through desert-sands,
And Lybia pour her soul in prayer.
Come from the North,-let Europe raise,
For He hath bowed the heavens above,
To make with men His pure abode.
With smiles. O earth! thy Maker meet;
The Gospel now is preached to all.
THE PRIESTHOOD AND RITUAL OF THE AGE TO COME.
HAT there will be a priesthood, however modified its character, in the age to come, is clear from Ezek. xliv. 13, 22, 30, et alibi. But what will be this special office we are not informed; and they will be sacrificers,1 though they will need no great day of atonement. But probably they will be the teachers of the people, as Ezra was, expounding and explaining the will of the Lord, and affording counsel to all enquirers. And the thoughtful student may consult Ezek. xl. 45, xliv. 30, xlv. 4, xlviii. 10, 11. These will be the pastors of the coming age; and as the age will be a spiritual one, we may well infer that these will be no mere carnal functionaries, like many in the old Hebrew priesthood, but they will all be spiritual men, "feeding the flock of God which is among them, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind."
Possibly reference is made to this Millennial priesthood in Psa. cxxxii. 16: "I will clothe her priests with salvation, and her saints shall shout aloud for joy;" "the Lord hath chosen Zion, He hath desired
1 Perhaps sacrificers in an intercessory sense.
it for His habitation." Now, this can only be true when Jerusalem becomes "the throne of the Lord."1
To this same time and state, doubtless, also Isaiah refers in chap. lxi. 6: "But ye shall be named the priests of the Lord; men shall call you the ministers of our God." And the whole connection shows that the prediction pertains to the age to come; for it is connected with chap. Ix., which begins with the Epiphany of our Lord Jesus and His expressive invocation to His people to arise and shine in Millennial glory.
As to the ritual worship, little is said relative thereto, except the offering the sacrifices through the priesthood, and the offering of incense in every place. But there is one great rite which will have prominence in the age to come, and in the great temple, and that is the observance of the Feast of Tabernacles. Neither baptism nor the Lord's Supper, so far as we can learn, will have any place. For the sacrifice will take the place of the supper, and baptism will perhaps have served its purpose, and so will have been abrogated, so far as we can see. But preaching, or instruction, will, doubtless, have its place in the Millennial worship; and psalmody will have a prominent place, for we read in Jeremiah: "They shall come and SING in the height of Zion, and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all” (Jer. xxxi. 12).
And it is also evident from Ezek. xx. 40 that there will be the "offering of holy things" to the Lord in that day; for the context shows the reference to be to
1 "Redemption Draweth Nigh,” Dr. A. A. Bonar, p. 335.