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by Dr. John Thomas
But what does the text before us say he returns for?
To set up David's kingdom which is in ruins.
But again, what ulterior purpose is to be effected through this restitution?
The turning the Gentiles from their delusions, to serve God according to the institutions of the Age to come.
The people for the Lord's name are the saints or "heirs of the kingdom".
Such an institution requires administrators; and as from its nature only righteous and immortal men can inherit it, it became necessary to call them out, first from Israel, and then from the nations, upon the principle of the obedience of faith.
This is one reason why so many ages have elapsed from the promise of it to Abraham until now.
If it had been possible to set it up in Abraham's time, where would have been the kings and priests to answer its requirements, seeing it is to rule over all nations?
It would have been a kingdom without rulers.
Hence, the gospel, or glad tidings, concerning it have been preached for the purpose of obtaining kings, priests, and princes of all ranks and degrees, for the kingdom, when the time comes for the God of heaven to establish it by the hand of His servant, the Lord Christ.
If Jew or Gentile aspire to this glorious station in the Age to come, "the prize" is attainable on the simple condition of believing the things concerning the Kingdom and the name of Jesus Christ, and of being baptized; and thenceforth walking as becomes men who are to be, not only the rulers, but the companions of Christ, and examples of the nations in righteousness, equity, and faith.
The time, however, for collecting together the nobility of the kingdom is almost elapsed.
It has been continuous with the desolation of Jerusalem.
She was to be "trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles should be fulfilled".
These times are almost accomplished.
Only a few more years remain, and then "the accepted time and day of salvation" will have passed.
The door into the kingdom will be shut, and no more can obtain a right to enter it.
Men who may survive the worse than Egyptian plagues coming upon them, may live in the future age in hope of immortality when the age has passed away; but in the glory and honour of Shiloh's "everlasting dominion," they will have neither part nor lot in the matter.
THE PRIESTHOOD OF SHILOH.
In the everlasting covenant made with David, the son promised him, who is to sit upon his throne and to wear his crown for ever, is also set forth as a sacrificial victim; as it is written, "In suffering for iniquity I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes due to the children of Adam".
So the passage is rendered by Adam Clarke.
It is in strict accordance with the truth in the case: and in agreement with the testimony, which says, "He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed".