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this epistle is written and limited to the seven churches in Asia, and not to all the world; nor is it written merely as descriptive of the seven distinct states of the Christian churches--but “ John to the seven churches in Asia ;" and certainly Divine Wisdom knew best how to word and applyit.
Please particularly to observe, that I am now writing of place, inclusive of state, and not merely state, exclusive of place. The last is a very great and common error, attaching to nearly all evangelicals and spiritualizers I have met with : they see the present hidden, invisible principles and virtues of this intermediate administration of the Gospel, and blend them with the embodiment of these principles and virtues, and improperly call them the Kingdom itself, which is to succeed this dispensation or administration.
These present hidden principles and virtues of this dispensation of state are only a preparation, or preparatory state, until the Kingdom is embodied and made visible in a substance redeemed and purified by fire. See “ The Three Administrations under the Gospel Dispensation," page 109, under the numbers 7—7.
But to return to the point now under consideration-the establishment of the Kingdom and Glory in Mount Zion in Jerusalem as the only place for these invisible principles and virtues to be included in a visible kingdom. Joel says,
(ii. 32,)“for in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said."
Obadiah, 17th verse, says, “But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness.”
Now will any one be so kind as to inform me, what manner of use can there be in using such language, in particularizing place by the mouth of both these prophets, when deliverance is to be all over the world, without respect to any place at all.
I must confess I cannot see the propriety of using any such language. Isaiah xxv. 6—10, declares definitely the place where all the blessings promised are to be, and where the hand or glory of the Lord is to rest. 66 And in this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined. And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it. And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we
will be glad and rejoice in his salvation. For in this mountain shall the hand of the Lord rest, and Moab shall be trodden down under him, even as straw is trodden down for the dunghill.”
Again, to return to Jeremiah jii. 17, where he declares, “At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the Lord;" certainly, wherever the throne of Adonai, Jehovah, is set up, there will be manifested, in a most pre-eminent manner, the Glory, beauty, strength and excellency of the kingdom. We should think it strange, and absurd to an alarming extent, if the glory and excellency of the throne of the kingdom of Great Britain was eclipsed by all other places exceeding the glory, beauty, and riches of the place of the throne of the kingdom; consequently the place of the throne of his feet in mount Zion, in Jerusalem, is to be superlatively Glorious and excellent.
If I could only have honestly believed and entertained the thought, consistent with my light and conviction, that the fullest degree of the glory of the coming kingdom might have been possessed in state without any connection with place, I might have still remained at home in my ceiled house, with a beloved and virtuous wife and lovely family. Great and precious were the many privileges that I enjoyed there, and I feel most sensibly the deprivation of them; but the light and conviction of God's precious promises, in reference to the return of the Jews and the setting up
his lasting kingdom at mount Zion and Jerusalem, became so great, taken in connection with the signs of the times, that I could no longer remain at home; therefore I have forsaken houses, brethren, sisters, mother, wife, children, and lands, for the kingdom of God's sake. (See Luke xviii. 29, and Matthew xix. 28.) Not the abstract principles and virtues of the kingdom, most certainly; these I could possess in my heart by my own fireside; but the visible kingdom of God, now about being set up-as declared by all the prophets and apostles—in Mount Zion and Jerusalem, (see Dan. vii.) I am spending my time, talents, labour, and money in offering protection* and assistance to that Israel now despised, rejected by men, and trodden down; but who will soon be a “ Crown of Glory in the hand of the Lord, and a Royal Diadem in the hand of thy God. Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken, neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate : (this being termed Forsaken and Desolate cannot in any sense apply to the state and condition of the present Christian Church during this dispensation) but thou shalt be called Hephzi-bah, and thy land Beulah (i. e. married): for the Lord delighteth in
* This was my only motive in going to Washington, and applying for the Consulship of Jerusalem and Syria, without reward or salary.
thee, and thy land shall be married.” Mark, land married, not spirit. “For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee : and as the hridegroom rejoiceth over the bride”—(How is this ? most certainly as a bride! Ah! here we descry the bride, the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God prepared as a bride adorned for her husband : Rev. xxi. 2.) “She is the only one of her mother, the choice one of her that bare her,” (Cant. vi. 9). But to return to Isaiah. “I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence, and give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth. The Lord hath sworn by his right hand, and by the arm of his strength, Surely I will no more;" (consequently this promise, I will no more,was not fulfilled at the Babylonish captivity)give thy corn to be meat for thine enemies; and the sons of the stranger shall not drink thy wine, for that which thou hast laboured:' for Jerusalem's corn and wine has been, and is now, meat and drink for their enemies ever since the Babylonish captivity; and, therefore, when God will no more do this, has yet to be fulfilled.
Now we must remember the Abrahamic covenant, under which there is righteousness through circumcision by faith (see Rom. iii. 30)—through