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present dispensation there never will be) that has been employed as a nation, as the servant of God in holiness and Truth. As yet, Israel is the only nation which has been tried in such a relation, and they have utterly failed. Of the Gentiles it is said, "Thou never barest rule over them they were not called by thy name.' "Whatever the Harlot and the Beast in the Revelation may mean, none who receive the testimony of that Book can question that they-first, the Harlot, and then the Beast-constitute the attractive centre of the nations during the closing hours of the present dispensation. How can nations, whilst tending to such a centre, be the servants of God for blessing?

It is true, indeed, that a time is coming, and may, possibly, be near, when Israel will return, unbelieving and unforgiven, to their Land: and it is true also that Gentile nations will assist them in that return. But alas, how different such a return from their final regathering under the hand of the Lord their God for good. There is no past period of the world's history, nor any past period of Israel's history, so dark with the blackness of evil, as that fearful period which will commence by their (now possibly near) return in unbelief to their own Land. The following words in Ezekiel xxii. 18 yet await their fulfilment: "Son of man, the House of Israel is to me become dross: all they are brass, and tin, and iron, and lead, in the midst of the furnace; they are even the dross of silver. Therefore thus saith the Lord God: Because ye are all become dross, behold, therefore I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem. As they gather silver, and brass, and iron, and lead, and tin, into the midst of the furnace, to blow the fire upon it, to melt it; so will I gather you in mine anger and in my fury, and I will leave you there, and melt you. Yea, I will gather you, and blow upon you in the fire of my wrath, and ye shall be melted in the midst thereof. As silver is melted in the midst of the furnace, so shall ye be melted in the midst thereof; and ye shall know that I the Lord have poured out my fury upon you." How different these words of woe and judgment, from the words of peace and blessing in the chapter before us! What contrast can be more vivid?

Almost from the moment the Apostles died, Professing Christianity has sought to sanctify its own position in the earth, or else the position of the nations with whom it has chosen to associate itself, by the perverted use of many a holy and blessed passage which belongs to another and future age, when the hour of the Truth's triumph shall have come. Thus, that bright and holy vision of a woman clothed with the Sun, &c., (Rev. xii.) has been said (and it is still repeated

by many a living writer) to represent God's estimate of the practical condition of professing Christianity as exhibited in the days of Constantine, and the still more heavenly vision of those standing on the sea of crystal having the harps of God (Rev. xv.) is said to represent the present condition of Protestant England. If Ecclesiastical corruption (for what subsequent corruption was not found germinant, and more than germinant, in the days of Constantine ?)—and if human progress, that is, the progress of unregenerate man, are holy and blessed in the sight of God, then, these interpretations may stand. But let us remember that it is very easy to pervert the light of Scripture so as to deepen darkness. If the light that should guide us become darkness, how great must be that darkness!

When "human progress as it is called, shall have reached that climax of evil which shall cause "the Ancient of days" to sit in judgment on the great words and blasphemies of the last human Head of evil-and when the Son of Man shall have been brought before the Ancient of days and be invested with that power over earth before which every nation, and tongue, and people shall finally bow (See Dan. vii.)—and when it shall be said first in Heaven, and afterward on earth, "The sovereignty of the world (ʼn Baridɛia tov koσμov) του κόσμου) hath become the sovereignty of our Lord and of His Christ, (Rev. xi.) -and when that ten-horned Beast "dreadful and terrrible, and strong exceedingly," that denotes the kingdoms of the Roman World, shall have been judged and given to the burning flame, then, and not before, the time shall come for the eighteenth of Isaiah to be fulfilled. It is a chapter whose fulfilment belongs not to "the day of man," but to "the Day of the Lord." It belongs not to the night of evil, but to the dawn of "the morning without clouds."

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NOTES ON ISAIAH XVIII.

THIS Chapter has for its subject the regathering of forgiven Israel to their own Land, when the day of their evil and of their sorrow shall have passed for ever; and when, standing under the grace of the New Covenant, they shall form, not as individuals merely, but as a nation, the centre of the earth's government in the power of Truth. For this purpose they are to be regathered at the commencement of the millennial day, and in this chapter we find one of the spared Gentile nations summoned in order to aid in the regathering. As the last manifested act of rebellion, in this dispensation, is to be a confederation of certain nations against Israel, saying, "Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance" (See Ps. lxxxiii. 4)-so, the first act by which any of the spared nations will prove their allegiance to the God of Israel, will be by aiding in the regathering of His people.

We must not, however, expect to find in prophecies which belong, as this does, to the next dispensation, the same definiteness and specification that is found in prophecies that pertain to the present dispensation. To know where and under what circumstances transgression is "to come to the full"-and to be taught respecting the course, and place, and final form of development of the last great Apostasy, must be necessary for the present practical guidance of our steps but there is not the same necessity for our being taught, circumstantially, concerning a dispensation to which we do not ourelves belong. To know that there will be a nation that shall, in the morning of the future day of the earth's blessing, be summoned to the honoured office of regathering Israel is important, for it throws a bright and cheering ray upon the earth's future, beyond the darkness of the present night of sorrow. But to know where and what that nation will be is not important: for such knowledge could afford no element of present moral guidance. The Land, therefore, to which this work of blessing is assigned, is not designated by name, but is described only in general terms-too general for any to be able to say what Land it is, until the hour of its action shall arrive.

"Ho, Land shadowing with wings."]* The first word, should not be translated "Woe," but " Ho"!-a word of summons. It is the same word that is used in Isaiah lv. 1-"Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters": and in Zech. ii. 6. " Ho, ho, come forth and flee from the land of the north, saith the Lord." This translation of " is given both by Lowth and Horsley in this passage. A similar correction should be made in Is. x. 5, where Antichrist is summoned to the work of trampling down Israel for the last time. "Ho, to the Assyrian," or "Ho, to Asshur."

The Land thus summoned, is described as a Land "shadowing with wings"—the emblem of cherishing and protective power; a power which, perhaps, previous to the time here spoken of, may have been directed towards the fugitives of Israel during their last great persecution under Antichrist. But however this may be, it is here definitely commissioned to put forth its kindly power in aiding Israel, whilst they yet bear marks of being a people that have been long trampled down and trodden under foot.

The Land thus addressed is further described as being "beyond "+

* Literally, 'shadow of wings'-σkiα птEρVYWν. Aquila. There seems no reasonable ground of doubt that hy is kindred to y, a shade, a defence, being a reduplicate and intensive form. If the other sense of 'sound' or 'clashing 'strepitus alarum, adopted by Gesenius and others, be taken, the general sense of the passage is the same. In the one case attention is directed to the kindliness of the power in the other, to the rapidity and energy with which it is exercisedthe object in either case being Israel.

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Horsley observes" The second principal sense of the root by is to shade, to overshade, to shelter, and as a noun, "shade," "abadow," a shelter;" and this is the sense in which it is most frequently used . . . . It is certainly an objection of no great weight against these renderings, that the word hy in its reduplicate form, is not to be found in any other text in the sense of "shade," or "overshadowing." According to the principles of the Hebrew language, the reduplication of the letters of a root only gives intensity to the sense, whatever it may be. So that in whatsover sense a word in the simple form is used, in the same it may be used in the reduplicate form, if the occasion requires an intension of the signification- byby, late obumbrans alis." Horsley.

+ For the meaning of followed by in the sense of "beyond," see the strictly parallel use in Deut. xxx. 13-" beyond the sea:" and especially Zeph. iii. 10, which I should translate thus: "From beyond the rivers of Cush, my suppliants, the daughter of my dispersed, they (the nations) shall bring-my offering: that is, the nations shall bring forgiven Israel as an offering or present to Jehovah.

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or external to the rivers of Cush. There was an African Cush (Ethiopia) bordering on the Nile, south of Egypt, and also an Asiatic Cush, referred to in Genesis ii. 13, in connexion with the rivers that issued from Eden. "And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is that that compasseth the whole land of Cush." The African Cush, or Ethiopia, is referred to in many places, such as Daniel xi. 43, 2 Kings xix. 9, and elsewhere. The Asiatic Cush is situate near the head of the Persian Gulph, and is therefore related to the Euphrates, just as the African Cush is to the Nile. Accordingly, the Nile and the Euphrates-the one the pride of Egypt, the other of Assyria, are here referred to as the rivers of Cush. They are again mentioned in a subsequent part of this chapter, and are there expressly made to symbolise the power by which the Land of God's people, has been, from generation to generation, "spoiled." "Whose Land the Rivers have spoiled." It is very evident from this verse that the Nile and the Euphrates are not, in this chapter, used to denote merely geographical limits, but that they also denote that specific power with which, during "the Times of the Gentiles" (that is, from Nebuchadnezzar until Antichrist), God has invested certain Gentile nations in order that they might trample down Jerusalem. No country therefore can be regarded as "external to the rivers of Cush," that has, in any degree, inherited or shared the power which those rivers symbolise. All the four great empires - Chaldæa, Persia, Greece, and Rome, have successively possessed the power denoted by these Rivers; and in virtue thereof have held the Land of Israel in subjection. Nor is the period of that subjection over: "the Times of the Gentiles" are not yet ended. The last relation of the Roman nations to Israel and the Land of Israel, we have yet to see. Antichrist, or, as he is called in Isaiah, "the Assyrian," will, as the Head of the whole Roman World (πασης της οικουμενης) which will then be divided into

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regionibus quæ trans flumina sunt Chusææ, supplices meos, dispersorum filiam, velut munus mihi, adducent Gentes. In the "Critici Sacri" there is the following note of Drusius: "Adductus auctoritate Chaldæi Paraphrastæ libenter pro * supplices mei filia,' legerim' supplices meos filiam'; ut significet munus quod Deo adducetur, fore ipsos Judæos dispersos per loca quæ sunt trans flumina Æthiopiæ. Ut ut sit, Jonathæ verba clara et perspicua sunt. E transfluvialibus partibus India per miserationes revertentur exsules populi mei, qui deportati fuerant, eosque adducent velut munera.”

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