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it: they intended only her ruin. But God interposed a cloud, and its shadow abated the heat of their wrath.

Now if this were the whole of the prophecy we might be induced to suppose that it had been entirely fulfilled by the destruction of Babylon literally, and the restoration of the Jews from the Babylonish captivity. That destruction took place 200 years after Isaiah, under Cyrus, by means of a mixed army of Medes and Persians; and immediately on getting the possession of the kingdom, he made proclamation that such of the Jews as chose, might return to their own land. But the Prophet does not end here: there follow events for which he gives praise in the next verses, and concerning which, we have an inspired comment, which enables us to feel assured that we possess true light upon the whole strain of this prophecy. "And on this mountain"-the mountain already mentioned in chapter 24, verse 23, before the Prophet burst forth in his song, the mount Zion, wherein the Lord shall then be reigning "On this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wine 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,-or covering of the face, the blind from the face of all people, the veil, another name for the covering of the face-"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." Now what events are these, and when have they been, or shall they be fulfilled? I said we have an inspired comment upon the subject: it is quoted by St. Paul, who tells us distinctly when it shall come to pass. I allude to the opening of the 8th verse. "He will swallow up death in victory." In the 15th chapter of the 1st Epistle to the Corinthians, the 54th verse, we read thus: "So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory." "He will swallow up death in victory," saith the Prophet. When? The Apostle's answer is: When this mortal shall have put on immortality, and this corruptible incorruption. And when is that? At the 52nd verse he tells us, "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump. For the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we,"-we, in opposition to the dead-we who are alive, and remain on the earth

at that moment-"we shall be changed." He made the same distinction in the 51st verse: "we shall not all sleep,"—not all die, or sleep in Jesus,-"but we shall all be changed,"-whether sleeping or waking: "the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed, for this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality;" and when this shall be done-the dead raised incorruptible, and we that are alive changed-"then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory." Now, when is this? You will learn by referring to the 23d verse: "Every man in his own order: Christ the first fruits;" -who hath already put on immortality-"afterward they that are Christ's at his coming; then cometh the end,"* that is, the end of this dispensation-of our Lord's present rule-of the period for which he is sitting at the right hand of God: "The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, until”— when?"until thine enemies shall be made thy footstool." When all are put down, then is the end, when thou wilt leave my right hand, and sit on thine own throne. That is the end here intended: when he shall have delivered up the kingdom which he at present enjoys,-where he wields the authority, the universal kingdom of God,-the invisible kingdom of providence. He has now overcome and sat down on the Father's throne: when all things shall be subdued to him, he will leave that, and sit down upon his own,† reigning in mount Zion and in Jerusalem: "when he hath put down all rule, and all authority and power, for he must reign till he hath put all enemies under his feet." So it is said, "Sit thou on my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool." "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death." But how is he an enemy? Only as applied to the members of Christ's body. Death, as it regards his enemies, is his friend-his messenger-his agent; but as it regards the members of his body, it is his enemy, holding them in subjection. "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death, for God hath put all things under Christ's feet; only Christ now waits on the throne of the Father's kingdom, till the time shall come for putting an end to that last enemy of his, which is death. Of course, when it is said that all things are put under Christ, God manifest in the flesh-the invisible Jehovah is excepted. And when the Lord Jesus shall (in the exercise of his present almighty authority on the Father's throne) have subdued all things unto himself, then shall he be

The original expressions are exactly rendered by our words afterwards and then. First Christ himself, afterwards (Tara) they that are Christ's at his coming, then (sira) the end, &c. + Rev. iii. 21.

prepared to leave the Father's throne, and set up his own kingdom upon the earth as the second Adam; himself, in manifested manhood, subject to God, who hath thus put all things in subjection to the glorified Man, that the invisible Jehovah may be, all in all, the acknowledged head of him who is the constituted head of all things; for the head of all creation is Christ, and the head of Christ is the invisible Jehovah in Trinity. It is, then, when the name Jesus shall cease to be at the Father's right hand, and shall have returned to this earth in like manner as he went away; and when the resurrection of the members of Jesus shall have taken place, then shall this saying be fulfilled, "Death is swallowed up in victory," and then this prophecy of Isaiah shall be completed.

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This mode, my Brethren, of viewing this passage of the 15th chapter of Corinthians, which is felt to be difficult,* harmonizes well with the context, for it makes the whole strain, to the 28th verse, to proclaim the resurrection of the saints; it makes it to have for its object the declaration of the coming of the Lord at the end of the present dispensation, and of the manifestation of his members, delivered from death.

what follows is found strictly in place: "Else what shall they do which are baptised for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptised for the dead, and why stand we in jeopardy every hour?

But to return to the prophecy. "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." It is not denied that the glad tidings of salvation by Jesus Christ, as now proclaimed in the preaching of the Gospel, supply a spiritual feast, to which this language may most appropriately be adapted. Blessed indeed are they who taste, by faith, that the Lord is gracious. Rich and precious beyond expression is the feast of his pardoning and sympathising love to every quickened sinner. The spouse in the Canticles proclaims it to be better than wine, and the Psalmist expatiates upon its sweetness as exceeding that of honey and the honeycomb. But in contemplating this prophecy, and anticipating its fulfilment at the period pointed out by the Apostle, we are compelled to look beyond the announcements of the Gospel, and the spiritual richness of Christain experience, for the full interpretation of this verse.

It is the reiterated testimony of Scripture, that when Israel shall be restored, the word of the Lord shall go forth from mount Zion, and the law from Jerusalem. The waters of life.

* But many millennarians explain it differently-and this interpretation of the passage is not essential to their general views.

shall go forth and heal the nations, and ten men out of every nation shall lay hold of the skirt of a Jew at that time and say, "We will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you:" and all shall go to Jerusalem to the feast of tabernacles, and see the Lord of Hosts manifested in the human nature of Jesus reigning in mount Zion.* This is the feast that shall be made on the mountain on that day, for all people,—of which the Gospel feast in the hearts of the elect is the type and

earnest.

But with respect to Babylon, I must again claim your attention for a few moments, in order to make the early part of this subject still more clear. During the Old Testament dispensation, the people of God wore a strictly national aspect. In habits, manners, worship, and residence, they were totally different from all other nations-they occupied outwardly and manifestly a distinct country. The great and successful persecutors and oppressors of the people of God wore also a national aspect. First they were the Egyptians, then the Assyrians, then the Babylonians, then the Persians, then the Grecians, and subsequently the Romans. But among them all BABYLON was pre-eminent:t so much so, as to give a general name to the whole persecuting power. Thus, as we have seen, she was not only spoken of by the prophets, living during the period of her power and tyranny, but in anticipation by those who lived long before her glory commenced.

Under the New Testament dispensation the people of God wear a two-fold aspect, national and spiritual,-national as regards their outward privileges, spiritual as regards their religious character; the great oppressor, the persecutor, the successful opponent of the people of God, wears, in like manner, a two-fold aspect,-national and anti-spiritual,-national, in opposition to their outward privileges, to their properties, and even their lives; and anti-spiritual, in her deadly hostility to THE TRUTH, the life and soul of the church of God. The perfection of this hostility to outward privilege and spiritual truth, is found in the Romish system, which is a mixture of worldly policy and anti-scriptural falsehood. This applies not merely to the outward letter of that system. The mischief is at work in some degree or modification wherever there is worldly pride, hatred of the truth, persecution for the truth's sake, intolerance, luxury, heedlessness about eternity,-wherever self is worshipped instead of God,-wherever there is the spirit that was in Babylon, prompting her to say, "I am a lady of

Isaiah ii. 2-4. Zech. viii. 20-23, and xiv. 16.

+ Its king was the head of gold of the image, (Dan. ii. 31—38,) and as being the principal or leading kingdom, may properly give its name to the whole.

kingdoms, and I shall be a lady for ever,"-wherever this usurps the heart individually, or the authority nationally, there is the virus [or venom] of the Babylonish system: but the perfection of that system is found specially at Rome; and therefore we find the persecutor of the people of God is set forth under the New Testament, by the name of Babylon, and by the description of a city standing on seven hills, which is a description of Rome. The language of St. John in the Revelations, upon this subject, is of almost historical plainness. The name of Babylon has been only transferred from the Old Testament, as a standing title, descriptive of the persecutors of the people of God, just as Cæsar was for the Roman emperors. It was a symbol, a patronymic for all persecutors; and so we find them denominated by that title hundreds of years after the literal Babylon was no more.

The language of the Old Testament, also, applied to the literal Babylon, furnished a mode of speech which was adopted by the Apostles under the New, to set forth the anti-spiritual oppressors of the people of God under the present dispensation: so that the language applied to the literal Babylon is now transferable to the Romish system, wherever found; that is, to all opposers, neglecters, and scorners of the truth and the people of God; while the language applied to the literal Israel, continues applicable to that nation still beloved for the father's sake, and at the same time becomes transferable to the spiritual Israel, the chosen of God gathered out of every kindred, and nation, and tongue, and people, and grafted into Israel's olive tree.

With these observations before us, the parallel between the prophecy in this and the following chapter, and that in St. John, is most striking. The events predicted by the Prophet, and grouped together for synchronical fulfilment, are-1. The destruction of Babylon, as we have seen in our text, and more largely in the 24th chapter. 2. The coming of the Lord:" "Behold the Lord cometh out of his place, to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain." In connection with this he says: 3. "In that day the Lord with his sore, and great, and strong sword shall punish Leviathan, the piercing serpent, even Leviathan, that crooked serpent, and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea." These are the Scriptural appellations for Satan. A third event, therefore, here predicted, is the peculiar punishment of the devil at that time. And, 4, the resurrection of the people of God; "he will swallow up death in victory."

Now turn and look at the terribly convincing parallel, in

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