« ZurückWeiter »
same great event, it appears to be rather a subject for our faith, than for our disputation. In no other sense can they be again used; for " there remaineth no more sacrifice for sin,” and “ Christ by his one offering has perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” But that in this sense they may possibly be restored, appears from other passages besides what is found in Ezekiel. The Psalmist says: “Do good in thy good pleasure to Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem. Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burntoffering and whole burnt-offering : then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar” (Ps. li. 18, 19). And again in Malachi iii. 4 : “ Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in days of old, and as in former years.
The Christian church will undoubtedly never be subject to any of these rites and observances, so as to be brought into bondage by them; and if it be so that either they or the Jews, or both, be required to observe them, it will be as a commemorative service, similar to, and perhaps in place of, the Lord's Supper; for the Apostle, speaking of the institution of that ordinance, limited its duration to the Lord's second coming : “For as oft as ye eat this flesh, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death
TILL HE COME.'
This cleansing of the Sanctuary, however, will not be merely external; it will be attended with an entire conversion of the nation to the obedience of faith in the blood and righteousness of Christ. “For I will take you,” saith the Lord God, “ from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them ” (Ez. xxxvi. 24—27). “And David my servant shall be king over them : and they all shall have one shepherd....And the heathen shall know that I the Lord do sanctify Israel, WHEN my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore" (Ez. xxxvii. 24—28).
Thus it is certain that the tabernacle of David, which has for so long a period been fallen down, shall yet be raised and restored to perfection and to beauty. Though it has been so greatly polluted—trampled upon by heathens and
apostates of every name and grade; by Persians, Grecians, Romans, Saracens, Papists, and Turks—it shall yet become an object of desire and veneration to all nations. Zechariah says (ch. xiv. 16): “And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem, shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles." Also in ch. viii. 21, 22: “And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the Lord, and to seek the Lord of hosts ; I will go also. Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the Lord.”
But it was not merely the Jewish sanctuary, but “ the Host,” that the Mohammedans were to tread under their feet--the Christian Church as well as that of the Jewish. Their abominations have not merely covered the face of Judea; but in all those places where the light of Christian truth once shone with such distinguished brightness-places which are associated with ideas sacred and solemn to the mind of every believer —there the darkness and impurities of this degrading apostasy have totally extinguished every vestige of truth; and instead of the churches which were planted by the Apostles, and from which a noble army of martyrs and believers have ascended to God and the Lamb, nothing but desolation and ruin are now to be
The seven churches of the Apocalypse, and those of Corinth, Galatia, Colosse, Phillippi, Thessalonica, and others--all have vanished, even in name, before this army of " locusts ; and so completely has the truth been “cast down to the ground,” that wherever this system of infidelity and imposture has prevailed, the sacred records of inspiration, whether in the hands of Jews or Christians, have never been tolerated ; nor the name of Christ mentioned, but to be blasphemed.
It was the Christian religion, thus spread over the whole Eastern world in these once flourishing and primitive churches, before which Idolatry and Heathenism had fallen like Dagon before the Ark, that I consider is intended by the “Host of Heaven”_"he waxed great, even to the host of heaven." And although in the time of Mahomet “ Ichabod” might have been written upon them all—for the glory had departed, and false doctrines and the most gross ignorance universally prevailed-yet against Christ their head, “the Prince of the host,” it was, that this arch impostor magnified himself: he took away the “ daily sacrifice,” the worship of Christ in its outward forms, and obliterated even its very name. The question therefore which was put in verse 13, “ How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under be thus rendered :
“ How long
shall the vision concerning the Christian worship, and the desolation of Judea, to give both the sanctuary of the one, and the churches of the other, to be trodden under foot?” The answer to which question was the chronological period of this prophecy : Unto two thousand three hundred days, then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.”
It has been well observed, that "it may be almost reckoned as a maxim, that no prophecy can be accurately interpreted, until it is either past, or on the point of being fulfilled.” Whilst such a maxim will account for the many mistakes which have been made by writers of a former age, particularly in the interpretation of this prophecy, it will at the same time, presuming that we are now upon the eve of its ful. filment, account for that clearer light and greater certainty at which we are now able to arrive, on the subject of this and other unfulfilled prophecies. The great difficulty which has ever been experienced in regard to the chronology of two thousand three hundred is, when to fix its commencement; and many have been the conjectures on the subject.
In searching for the event that is intended by the Holy Ghost to fix this important point of time, I feel deeply the necessity of confining our inquiries within the limits prescribed by the prophetical axioms which I have advanced, par