« הקודםהמשך »
manifestly miraculous, as were Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego in Nebuchadnezzar's furnace.
2. How will those others be saved, who are distinguished from the overcomers who compose the camp of the saints, and the inhabitants of the New Jerusalem ; and who, Rev. xxi 24, are called nations of them which are saved ?
Ans. They will be saved by attaching themselves to the saints in such ways, as, according to the covenant of grace, connections are admitted; which federal principles, to their full extent, have ever been regarded in mediatorial interventions, of which the Scriptures afford a great variety of examples.
Here let it be noticed, that safety, according to the mediatorial plan, does not in the least arise from personal worthiness, but wholly from the strength of the medium to which resort is made. The only thing contemplated in taking shelter from the storm, is the strength of the refuge........ The most worthy man, and the most worthless, under good cover, are equally safe, and without it they are equally exposed, and it is manifest that the covenant of grace, which constitutes the church and people of the saints, admits of connections to the extent of including them who merely take hold of their skirts.
Ham was saved in the ark of Noah, although, as to his personal character, it appears that he was little better than a brute. And what if he were no better? Natural brute beasts were saved in the ark. When the hail storm was coming upon Egypt, some of the servants of Pharaoh made their servants and cattle flee into the houses, and they were saved. Exod. ix. 20; others left their servants and cattle in the field, and they perished. Doubtless, there were some as good servants and cattle among those that were left out
and died, as among those that were housed and lived. And no reason is assigned why some were thus saved, ar:l others destroyed, but merely this, that some of the Egyptians had their fears awakened by the omenous words of Moses, whilst others, more bold, disregarded the threatening. It appears that a multitude of people, who were not Israelites, went with Moses out of Egypt, and attaching themselves closely to the church, were taken with them under the pillar of fire and cloud, and with them passed safely through
But their subsequent conduct proved beyond all doubt, that this merciful intervention took place without regard to any personal recommendations, and merely from the circumstance, that the wonders wrought by Moses in Egypt had induced them thus to attach themselves to the hosts of Israel. Another striking instance of interposition upon federal principles, took place in favor of the Gebionites under the administration of Joshua. These people belonged to the accursed nations of Canaan; and though they brought themselves into a compact with Israel in à most artful and deceptive manner, yet the transaction had sufficient strength, upon covenant grouod, to save them from the impending wrath.
“ Now all these things happened for ensamples ;” and they were written for instruction in the great subject of gospel RIGHTEOUSNESS. They have been understood as being typical things, and as looking forward to the great salvation. That the antichristian party, who have wickedly and proudly oppressed God's servants; will be cut off root and branch by the burning day approaching, admits of no doubt. Repentance will be hid from them; they will despise to make their humble suit to the saints, though they might yet be found at their gate,; and if they should, the diges
which had licked their sores, would claim the at.. tention of their pity, at such a moment, in prefer. ence to their pitiless masters. But that some portions of mankind, who may remain in darkness, without God and without Christ, to the very eve of this world, may yet be snatched from the fiery deluge, by ketching hold on the mantles of the saints, in such circumstances, as that the principles of mercy and truth will not allow of their being shaken off, is an idea that appears to be strongly suggested by the Scriptures.
It appears that there are now existing some nations of the earth, which have, in some respects, a radical interest in the church covenant; and which, to this day, remain uncalled, and ignorant of the mercy of God in Christ; such as the posterity of Ishmael, and the children of Abraham by Keturah; whoever they be, the angel of the covenant will look them up, though it should be at the last midnight hour. Not one twig connected with the grand root of the covenant of grace, will be forgotten in that great day of salvation. There is a great difference between the character of a hypocritical apostate, and a inan who is simply in a state of nature, and has never enjoyed sanctuary privileges; and who, therefore, has not incurred the awful dooin of one who “ turns away from the heavenly calling.”. And it may be supposed to accord well with the ways of a righteous God, that in the day which shall reveal his righteousness thio'out the whole world, some striking discrimination should be made between these very different classes of men ; such as shall greatly illustrate the gloryofthe “ Judge - of all the earth.”
Isaiah says, speaking of this great day, chap. iv. 1, “ And in that day, seven women shall take
hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own " bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us. « be called by thy name to take away our re"proach.”. Seven persons, who were so connected with Noah as to be called by his name, were saved with him in the ark. This passage seems to allude to that event, and intimates that every individual saint, who by his valiant and victorious opposition to the antichristian apostacy, is worthy to be called a man, will have in that day a mediatorial prerogative, equal to that of Noah. And Zachariah says, chap. viii. 23, * Thus saith the Lord of Hosts, In those days * it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take “ hold out of all languages of the nations, even “shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a “ Jew, saying, We will go with you; for we have « heard that God is with you.” This passage would seem sufficient alone to explain the question, how it will come to pass, that in the new world there will be found « nations which are "saved;" and which will compose the families and kingdoms over which the overcomers, according to the promises, will preside and reign as the heirs and inheritors of the world. And nothing can be contemplated more natural, or more deeply affecting, than the scene so pathetically described by the prophets, of these spared nations coming up to pay their homage at the gates of the New Jerusalem; and of their bringing “their glory and honour” into that beloved city, by whose mediatorial power they had been saved from the burning, and in whose benign light they still live and are blessed.
SECTION III....The beloved City.
THE holy city, New Jerusalem, as presented by the prophets, is the seat of glory. She appears, in the millennial day, prepared as the bride, the Lamb's wife, at the feast of marriage. In this city, “the blessed of the Father," patriarchs, prophets, apostles, martyrs, and all the overcomers in the wars of the Lord, will be gathered together in one complete and “ gene«ral assembly;" and in the immediate presence of Jehovah-Jesus, they will there inherit, and enjoy the full possession of that “ kingdom” which was“ prepared for them “ from the foundation “ of the world.” It will be composed of an assemblage of glories, such as has never yet been fully disclosed in heaven; or in the paradise of. heaven.
The truth of God is presented bodily, and as: in complete fulfilment, in the whole frame of this city. The grand primary distinction made in the covenant in favour of the church of Israel, arising from the part they took with the angel christ in the arduous service-work under the law, appears in her “GREAT AND High wall," which has “twelve gates;" and at her gates, which have “twelve angels," and" names written “ thereon," which are the names of the “ twelve “ tribes of the children of Israel.” And the ili lustrious distinction in favour of the gospel church, in relation to the rich and free grace abounding to us through Christ Jesus, appears. also in her “twelve foundations, which have “ in them the names of the twelve apostles of the “ Lamb.” In this city, the blessing of Abraham will be realized in all its parts; the blessing of