Page images

rejoicing under the sovereignty and sway of a loving and affectionate God.

When Christ comes, the Sabbath of the earth will then come. “There remaineth,” says the Apostle, “a Sabbath-keeping" - or, as we very properly translate it, “a rest for the people of God.” Earth will rest from its groans, humanity will rest from its toils; all things will bask in the glory and sunshine of an everlasting Sabbath; and all that has been injured in the weary work-day of the world's history, will be refreshed, restored, and made glorious, in its last and its everlasting Sabbath. All disputes among us will be put an end to; every denomination of true Christians will then discover that each was but a side chapel in the same grand cathedral, worshipping under the same roof, resting on the same floor, chanting the same divine hymn, only in different dialects of the same mother tongue; and that, instead of quarrelling as they now do, they ought to have forgiven the smaller points in which they differed, for the sake of the magnificent and glorious one on which they were at one.

If all this is to take place - if all earth is to be restored, if humanity is to be reconstituted, reconsecrated, and made happy — if there is to be an everlasting Sabbath-peace, joy, and righteousness overspreading the whole earth — then, surely, that day should be our earnest and prayerful desire; its advent should be our joyous hope. His promise remains waiting for the hour when prophecy shall be history, and prediction shall be fact. “I will shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land :" and as sure as you expect him, so sure the Desire of all nations will come, and the universe shall be filled with his glory; and there is no temple therein, but the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.

The nearer the day of his advent comes, the deeper the desire of nations for it will grow. Christians will pray more earnestly for his coming. Weary humanity will thirst more intensely for a cessation of its griefs, its cares, its fears, its woes and travail. And when longer delay would issue in despair, the sign of the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven will end all signs and sacraments, and introduce the glory that endures for ever.



The people, the creation, the Church of Christ, has a noble destiny. It is expressed in these words: “In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, Holiness unto the Lord; and the pots in the Lord's house shall be like the bowls before the altar. Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the Lord of hosts; and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts." Zech. xiv. 20, 21.

In the 30th verse of the 39th chapter of Exodus it is stated, that on the plate of the holy crown of pure gold, which was to be worn around the brow of the high priest of Israel, there should be the engraving as of a signet—"Holiness to the Lord.”

Now, says the prophet Zechariah, an age comes when every one shall be as holy as the high priest was; and everything shall be as holy as that mitre was; and over all the length and breadth of God's created universe, like a beautiful illuminated scroll, shall be written and seen, as well as actually embodied, “ Holiness to the Lord.” That this is not a present, but a future scene, is obvious from the words of the prophet. He does not say it has been in the past; but, “In that day” – that is, some future day—“there shall be upon the bells of the horses" – that is, the very humblest and lowest parts of his covering and furniture — and upon all the pots and vessels in every house and sanctuary this sublime designation, “Holiness to the Lord.”

When is this to be? The prophet says it shall be “in that day.” Let us try to find out when and what that day shall be, by noticing the continuity of this prophecy with what is said in a previous chapter. In the 9th chapter of Zechariah, at tho 9th verse, we read the prophecy of the coming of Christ, his humiliation, suffering, and sorrow. " Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion : behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.” This was literally fulfilled when he came to suffer. The next is, “ And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle-bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen; and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth. As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water.” So in the 11th chapter, at the 12th verse: “And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price: and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.” The reference is obvious. So in the 13th chapter, at the 6th verse: “And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends. Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts : smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.” These are descriptions of the first event. The second event that follows is the dispersion of the Jews, recorded at great length in the 11th chapter of this prophecy, at the 6th verse: “I will no more pity the inhabitants of the land”- that is, Palestine—“saith the Lord: but, lo, I will deliver the men every one into his neighbour's hand, and into the hand of his king: and they shall smite the land, and out of their hand I will not deliver them. And I will feed the flock of slaughter, even you, O poor of the flock. And I took unto me two staves; the one I called Beauty, and the other I called Bands: and I fed the flock” – a symbolical allusion. In the 16th verse, there is the prophecy of the raising up of a shepherd, of a leader. The whole of the 11th chapter evidently predicts the dispersion of the Jews. The 12th chapter describes the restoration of the Jews, which is given at very great length and with very great fulness and beauty. “I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling.” “In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David, and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before

« PreviousContinue »