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devouring fire? (the Shechinah Glory) who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hand from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil; he shall dwell on high : his place of defence shall be the munition of rocks: bread shall be given him: his waters shall be sure. Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty : they shall behold the land that is very far off. Thine heart shall meditate terror. Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities: thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down; not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any of her cords thereof be broken. But there the glorious Lord will be unto us as a place of broad rivers and streams; wherein shall go no galley with oars, neither gallant ship pass thereby.”
Concerning the man of sin, called in the Scriptures “The Assyrian,” the Lord hath said, “He shall not come into this city (Zion or Jerusalem,) nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shields, nor cast a bank against it. For I will defend this city to save it for mine own sake, and for my servant David's sake.” Then the angel of the Lord (the Shechinah) went forth, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred and fourscore and five thousand : and when they arose (i. e. the children of Israel) early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses.” (Isaiah xxxvii. 33, 35, 36.) I am sensible that this is an historical relation of what has really transpired; but I am fully of the same mind with some of our best expositors, that it is a double prophecy, like many others which we find in the Prophets, that had in that day a partial fulfilment, and will have a complete fulfilment at the coming of our Blessed Lord. This is evident from the whole chapter, and also from the tenth chapter of Isaiah, 10-12, where we read of God having “performed his whole work upon mount Zion and in Jerusalem, by punishing the stout heart of the king of Assyria by the Shechinah. Thus, therefore, shall the Lord, the Lord of hosts, send among his fat ones a leanness; and under his Glory he shall kindle a burning like the burning of a fire. And the Light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour his thorns and briers in one day." No one surely will say that this has had its fulfilment; but it certainly will in connection with what is plainly declared by the other inspired writers.
Some improperly identify the Mystery of Iniquity with the Man of Sin. The Mystery of Iniquity was already at work in the Apostle's day; but
the Man of Sin was not. The latter is mentioned as the last precursor and sign of the coming of our Blessed Lord, and is given as a special warning to the Thessalonians (ii. 3); therefore he could not yet have appeared in the Apostle's day, but was to appear just before the Lord's coming, and “ whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and destroy with the brightness of his coming." This, therefore, I think is the order in which coming events will develop themselves :
1. The manifestation of a personal Antichrist for 1260 days, or three and a half years. (See Rev. xii. 3.)
2. The great tribulation during his reign.
3. The Shechinah (surrounding our Saviour), which destroys the Man of Sin by the spirit of his mouth, and by the brightness of his coming.
4. Then his personal manifestation. When the Man of Sin appears or arises, we may then know where we are in respect to time; for it will be just 1260 literal days, or three and a half years, to the coming of the Shechinah,—this “all-consuming, all-devouring fire,” which will destroy him when he and the false prophet will be cast alive in the burning lake. Under this ensign the children of Israel will be gathered as the caphoreth; and it will expiate pardon, and cover them, for it is their mercy seat; it will be light to them, but darkness to the Egyptians, as it ever has been.
“Glorious things of thee are spoken,
Zion, City of our God;
Formed thee for his own abode.
On the rock of ages founded,
What can shake thy sure repose ? With the power of God surrounded,
Thou may'st smile at all thy foes.
Round each habitation hov'ring,
See the cloud and fire appear, For a glory and a covering,
Showing that the Lord is here.
Blessed inhabitants of Zion,
Wash'd in the Redeemer's blood ! Jesus, whom their souls rely on,
Makes them Kings and Priests to God."
THIS PRESENT GOSPEL DISPENSATION.
Much difficulty and apparent contradiction have occurred to the honest inquirer and Biblestudent, and ever will involve him in doubt and confusion, until he discover that there are three distinct administrations under the Gospel; and that by improperly applying what was said under the one, to what belongs only to another, is the cause of the present confusion and contradiction in understanding the declarations, prophecies, and promises of the living and only true God to the sons and daughters of men.
I have therefore arranged the three Administrations, with the declarations, prophecies, and promises applicable to each, in parallel columns; the corresponding figures 1, &c. are for the purpose of more clearly shewing the contrast between them.
1st Administration. 2nd Administration. 3rd Administration. 1. 1.
1. Christ's first coming in Christ's administration Christ's coming in Body, and born of the of the Spirit; being an ad-Body the second time; Virgin ; being the Ist dis-ministration of judgment being an administration pensation alone to the to the Jews, but mercy to of judgment to the GenJews-beginning his first the Gentiles.
tiles, but mercy to the preaching at Jerusalem,