Elements of Prophecy, in connection with the Church, the Jews, and the Gentiles.

J. N. Darby.

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The first grand and capital point is to have the end and design of God clearly and settledly in mind, so that it should be constantly before us as the key and test of all. For "no prophecy of scripture is of any private interpretation . . . but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." The divine glory is ever the end of all things; but I speak now of the effect of divine counsels in which God glorifies Himself. Now this is altogether in Christ, known in the various glories in which He is revealed. In the church the office of the Holy Ghost, who moved the holy men of old, is to take the things of Christ and shew them to us. Hence, though Jerusalem, or Israel, or even the church, may be that in connection with which Christ may be glorified, it is only as connected with Him that they acquire this importance. So of the word even of the Old Testament scriptures: they are all to make us wise unto salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus. On the other hand, as it is evident that this alone gives, to whatever subject may be mentioned, its true and just importance, so, if Jerusalem is connected with Christ, with His affections and glory, Jerusalem becomes important; and I get in its connection with Christ, so far as I understand His glory, the key to interpret all that is said of it. It has, in the mind of God, its development in connection with the manifestation of His glory.

There may have been in the times of Israel certain manifestations of the governmental dealings of God, important for their faith and subjection to God by the way, which were partial accomplishments of such or such a prophecy. But these, though true, and though research may discover them, are, in a certain sense, comparatively lost now in the sum of the whole scheme of all which closes in Christ. It may be interesting and instructive historically, as regards God's dealings, to observe them in their place, but they become history - important, interesting history - not prophecy, for us.

The first point, then, important to understand is, that neither the church, nor Jerusalem, nor the Gentiles, are in themselves the objects of prophecy, still less Nineveh, or Babylon, or the like, but Christ. But this is what gives us the true scope and intelligence of the real importance and place of each subject; namely, as Christ is to be the centre in which all things in heaven and earth are to be united, various subjects become the sphere of His glory, as connected with Him, and each subject is set in its place in its connection with Him, and by this connection I get the means of understanding what is said about it. Thus, if the church is the Lamb's wife, it is in this character and in this relationship I must apprehend what regards it. If Jerusalem is the city of the great King, it is in this that I shall get the key to the dealings of God with it. If the saints are to live and reign with Christ, and to be kings and priests unto God and His Father, here I shall find the intelligence of what concerns them in this character: not united with the Bridegroom, but associated with the King and Priest. And so of the rest.

42 Not only is this the only way of understanding prophecy as to the objects of it, but, the affections being right, the understanding is clear - the eye is simple and the body full of light. I see with God in the matter, for He regards Christ; and thus prophecy becomes sanctifying, not speculative, because what it teaches becomes a part of Christ's glory for the soul. The importance of this cannot be well overrated. I ought not to have to persuade Christians of the truth of this; I gladly would of its importance. This, however, is the work of God. Objectively, I may cite Ephesians 1:9-11 as stating this great truth according to the purpose of God.

I may now endeavour to present some of the main subjects or landmarks for the study of prophecy; that is, of the revelation of God's ways for accomplishing His glory in Christ. No present circumstances, note, though they may be historically instructive and also confirmatory of faith, can be the proper accomplishment of prophetic truth; because, though they may be conducive to it, under God's superintending government, and a lesson at the time and afterwards, they are not identified with the manifestation of God's glory in Christ, nor the immediate objects in which that manifestation takes place (for we are supposing things precedently accomplished). This shews that, in accomplishment, all necessarily is found in the actors of the scene at the close, when judgment will fully manifest, not in measure to intelligent faith, but by the public acts of God, what His judgment is; and as this judgment is on ripened evil, the full character of this (whose principles have from the beginning been working, been discerned spiritually, judged partially so as to stay their power for the accomplishment of God's gracious designs) - the full character, I say, of their fruit will then be shewn, and God publicly justified in His judgment before all, as well as bringing in blessing, by setting aside in power the evil, and replacing it by His own reign in good. And this is the vast moral difference of our present state, as well as of true saints in all times, from the world to come. We have the power of God internally, through grace and by the Spirit, to make good the will and glory of God in the midst of evil while subsisting; whereas then, i.e., by the presence of Christ, the evil will be put away by power, and good be at ease.

43 The next simple remark that I have to make is that, though the relationship of heaven with earth may be discovered to us, in so far as heaven and those there are revealed as the established governing power (that is, that there are, in the seat of government placed above, objects of special revelation), yet the proper subject of prophecy is the earth, and God's government of it. Ant it is only so far as the heavenly company are connected with the government of the earth that they become a collateral subject of prophetic revelation.

Further, providence is not the subject of prophecy. By providence I mean the ordering of the course of all things by divine power, in such sort that all results which happen in the world are according to the divine purpose and will. Often inscrutable to us in its reasons and even the means it employs, and leaving the government of God obscure, still it is certain to faith, and that by which it remains true that God is not mocked - what a man sows this will he reap. Faith will recognise the hand of God in many things, and believes it in everything; but to the world all of it is hidden. Certain principles, universal with God in their application, by this means are verified, as "righteousness exalteth a nation." The men of this world see nothing of the bearing of the moral causes on the effect, or, if they do see the causes, the result issuing thence is that they ascribe the effect to them, and God is shut out. His immediate action and government is excluded. Now the subjects of prophecy are the contrary of this. The public products of God, coming in in power, are revealed. They are either the day of the Lord, or the characteristic results which bring it about - a judgment which man has to acknowledge as of God. Now it is evident that the day of the Lord, properly speaking, closes the history of this world; it is the opposite of that secret course of government which is carried on, and from the checks of which the pride of man rises again to pursue his course of evil. When God sets to His hand, the proud helpers do stoop under Him.

44 I do not deny that certain grand and remarkable judicial interventions of God are called, in a subordinate sense, the day of the Lord, in virtue of their practical analogy with that time of which it shall be said "the Lord alone is exalted in that day." But even these are in contrast with the course of providential government, which, in its very idea, does not interrupt but regulate the ordinary course of events. There are prophecies which may, to some, seem to refer to the course of providence, but these confirm, in a remarkable way, the distinction.

Take the ten horns. What is the providential history of these horns, taken as usually applied by commentators? Scourges, which continued some one hundred and fifty years, from first to last, working the overthrow of the Roman Empire, as previously settled, and establishing themselves as conquerors in all its Western territory. We may enquire, if done humbly, with profit, why this scourge was permitted. Whether it was the public civil evil, or the corruption of the church. What moral causes led to it. How it executed the moral judgment of God on the evil. Why the East was spared. How it led the way to a more terrible spiritual tyranny than had yet been seen in the world.

Take the prophetic account. A beast rises out of the sea with ten horns all full grown, after which a little horn comes up, and the beast, horns and all, are the subject of God's judgment, not the executors of it. This is prophecy; that was providence. We have what characterises the object of prophecy and its judgment, and the reason of it. All the providential part, out of which commentators have woven an immense system, is left out - so of the statue. It is all there at once, the application of it to the empires given, the character of four, the closing object of judgment in the feet and toes, and the execution. Of the providential course of events, by which one takes the place of the other, we find nothing.

45 I have taken the cases which would seem to give the greatest room for it, and of which in this respect men have said the most. And with what result? Such that, if taken as a literal accomplishment, a child can see the discrepancy. What analogy between one hundred and fifty years' war to destroy an empire, and ten kingdoms, all in full energy and growth, arising out of it and forming part of it as the symbol of its force?

In the Apocalypse, before the end, we find summary judgments executed with progressive severity in the seals, trumpets, and vials, before the King comes forth to destroy the beast: judgments inflicted of God; but not, in Scripture, providential history. They are all proper immediate judgments, though they be but preparatory, and introductory, inflicted on either the circumstances or the persons of the men of this world - on the wicked. The hand of God is seen. But there is no explanation of causes or providential course. We find their moral state, exceptionally, in that which they refuse to repent of in one case; but, in general, it is not the course of events guided by providence to order all things well, but the earth subject to the judicial vengeance of God. No careful reader can question this. The end of providence is the present ordering of God's government to bring about His designs. The Apocalyptic history consists of judgments inflicted.

Further, we may add, that providence is occupied in the daily discipline of the children of God. Prophecy treats of the judgments of God (removing out of His sight those whom He judges), and of the full blessing of His people. I do not think any prophecy can be alleged speaking of a course of events applied to His people while they are owned. The nearest approach to it is Isaiah 9:7 to 10:25; but these are inflicted judgments, and no course of providence.

Having thus spoken of the subjects of prophecy morally, I may turn to the positive subjects it embraces.

Besides the creation, of which He is the Head, in which we may comprise angels, there are three great spheres in which Christ's glory is displayed - the church, the Jews, and the Gentiles. The church, properly speaking, is not the subject of prophecy. As to Old Testament prophecy, the New declares in the most absolute and positive manner that it was a mystery hidden in all ages, and now revealed to the apostles and prophets by the Spirit. The church belongs to heaven, is the body of Christ seated there, and while He is so seated. Prophecy relates to earth. The church is viewed, it is true, when it takes part in the government of the earth for that reason; and the marriage of the Lamb and the description of the heavenly Jerusalem give the epoch from which dates the character of this relationship with earth.

46 In the New, the relationship of the church with Christ caused the Holy Ghost to remain in it, and communicate the needed light on its position while waiting for the Lord. There was no presence of God attached to formal institutions subsisting, to consistency with which a series of prophets was to recall a people (necessarily, while they subsisted, the people of God). In one respect, however, though the church was not the proper subject of prophecy, while it subsisted as owned of God, certain things connected with it are predicted; that is, its decay and corruption, as a present moral warring; but this passes into mere apostate wickedness, as a distinct object of judgment.

Hence when, as I doubt not, and as a vast number of Christians believe, the Lord would give a picture of the church's history as an external body in the world, in a state for the most part in which He could not at all own it as His heavenly body, He selects, with divine wisdom, seven churches which afforded the moral character of the states into which it would successively fall, and presses His judgments morally on them. But it is not made a positive subject of prophecy. Whatever may be our judgment of the subsequent part of the Apocalypse, which treats of events subsequent to the period of the seven churches, it certainly consists of judgments on the world, not of any prophecy of the church, save as stated at the close. There is the simple fact, that the beast overcomes certain saints, and that he puts to death two witnesses. No general prophecy of the church itself is found in the course of the Apocalypse. It was right to give these facts.

The reason is evident to one who knows what the church is. It is not of the world. It, as such, sits in heavenly places in Christ, where prophecy reaches not. It never will be established on earth, as the Jews. It is not its calling. The government of God will never settle it there in peace. His blessing for it will be to take it away from earth, to be with the Lord in the air. A partial application of the Apocalypse to what has the name of the church, but is the power of evil in the world, I do not deny; but this does not make the church a subject of prophecy. Accordingly, we find, as we have said, the church in heaven at the end in connection with the earth, when all is united in Christ; but no account of any dealings of God to establish it, or a progress towards a result of any kind. She is to reign with Christ, and suffer with Him.

47 The remaining spheres of the display of the glory of the blessed Lord are the Jews and Gentiles, subjects in different degrees of His earthly government, as the church was the full exhibition of His sovereign grace in redemption, which places her in heavenly places in Christ, that in the ages to come God might shew the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus. This distinction is full of interest. Man is not governed in introducing him into the church. He is taken as a rebellious lost sinner, a hater of God, a child of wrath, be he Jew or Gentile, and set in the same place as Christ. This is not government, it is grace. The Jews are the centre of God's immediate government, morally displayed according to His revealed will. The Gentiles are brought to recognise His power and sovereignty displayed in His dealings with them. I speak of the thing, properly speaking, in its revealed character; for every sinner in all ages, is saved as such, individually, by grace, and every Christian is under the immediate government of the Father as of the heavenly family; but even so the object of government is different. With the Christian, it is to prepare him for heaven; with the Jews, on the contrary, it is to display God's righteousness on the earth: I speak of them as a body or people. Christ and the church suffer for righteousness, and reign. The Jews, as a people, suffer for sin, and the result of their history will be, "Verily, there is a reward for the righteous; verily, there is a God that judgeth the earth."

Further, prophecy does not apply to a state where God's people, responsible under the government of God, walk well, so that He can bless them as walking under His own eye in testimony of His favour. This special intervention, for such prophecy is, applied to the case of their failure. Hence, when Shiloh was overthrown and the ark taken, Samuel was raised up, of whom the Lord therefore says, "Beginning at Samuel and all the prophets." This character of prophecy is completely . evident in reading the prophets, who addressed their prophecies to the people in general. Indeed, its principle is evident. But, if they shewed the people their transgressions, they pointed out constantly the Messiah, the great Deliverer. Thus it is in Hannah's song (1 Sam. 2:9, 10), where the government of the world by Jehovah in sovereignty* and the exaltation of Messiah are fully brought out. So, historically, Samuel was raised up on the failure and ruin of Israel, and introduced David Prophecy judges the people in their responsibility, and announces the sovereign purpose of God.

{*It will be well for the reader to consult this passage, which, as the introduction of the new order of Israel, gives the character of prophecy in a very remarkable manner.}

48 But this leads me to note two characters of prophecy, arising, as regards the Jews, from two different positions in which we find them in Scripture: first, a people more or less fully owned of God (God acting amongst them on known principles of government); secondly, rejected for a time (the sovereign power in the earth being confided to Gentiles). This last period forms the times of the Gentiles.

For the moment, I confine myself to the Jews. God, while He could in any sort own His people, addressed Himself directly to them. Until Nebuchadnezzar's time, God's throne and presence was in the midst of Israel. From that period, the sovereign power in the earth ceased to be immediately exercised by God and was confided to man, among those who were not His people, in the person of Nebuchadnezzar. This was a change of immense importance, both in respect of the government of the world, and God's judgment of His people. Both lead the way to the great objects of prophecy developed at the close - the restoration, through tribulation, of a rebellious people, and the judgment of an unfaithful and apostate Gentile head of power. However the previous relationship of Israel and the nations is not left out; but we must introduce another all-important point for the development of this.

Israel, we have seen, as between it and Jehovah, had been unfaithful, and Ichabod written on it; the ark of God, His glory and strength in Israel, delivered into the enemy's hand; enemies left in the land by their unfaithfulness. But God comes in, in sovereign grace, and raises up David, figure of Christ, who descended from him according to the flesh, king of Israel in grace and deliverance. Evil arising in his descendants, the major part of Israel revolt from the king of his family: two tribes remain, and to a residue of them brought back from Babylon, Christ is presented and rejected. Hence two things gave occasion to Israel's judgment - idolatry and rebellion against Jehovah, and the rejection of Christ.

49 Having brought out this second ground of judgment, I leave it for the moment, in order to consider the former ground, rebellion against Jehovah. Israel ought to have been the witness of the blessedness of being in such a relationship with the Lord. "Happy are the people who are in such a case; yea, blessed are the people who have the Lord for their God." Israel, on the contrary, learnt the ways of the heathen; yea, became more corrupt than they, and the Lord allowed the surrounding nations to attack and distress them. This had its full development in the ten tribes; the house of David, raised up in grace, being for a time a stay to Judah. Though all the surrounding nations had their share in these attacks, the principal in result was Asshur. Accordingly, in the end, this power prevails entirely against Israel and overruns Judah, the Lord only at the close defending Jerusalem, where the son of David was a stay in righteousness. Still, if Israel had deserved all this chastisement, these rods of chastening had in their animosity despised the Lord, His people, and His throne. Asshur especially had exalted himself against Him that hewed therewith. Hence they become the objects of destroying judgment themselves.

All these elements are found at the close, though they have a partial historical fulfilment, Nebuchadnezzar executing the judgment at that time. The nations will overrun the country. The Assyrian, in particular, will be the scourge of God as an overflowing flood, and the double event will take place; first Judah and Jerusalem then (by an attack before the end* - proof of its application at the close) the whole people will be overwhelmed; but afterwards, when the true Son of David shall be there, and the land will be actually Immanuel's land, Jerusalem will be preserved and all these nations judged. Jerusalem shall tread them down as sheaves upon the threshing floor. These vast circumstances, under God's teaching, open out a vast mass of prophecies, of which Isaiah gives the most complete and orderly course, other prophets taking up divers parts of it.

{*There will be two attacks. Jerusalem will be trodden down by the first; at the second, Christ will be there, and the judgment takes place. Isaiah and Zechariah are clear as to this.}

50 But the family of David itself, as placed responsibly on the throne of the Lord at Jerusalem, was, we know, unfaithful, and the sin of Manasseh made their government insupportable to Jehovah. Judah was removed out of His sight, as Israel had been. But, then, what remained of the sphere of the direct government of God on a given law? Nothing. His glory left Jerusalem and the earth, for it had filled the temple of Jerusalem. (See Ezekiel 1-10.) This judgment then was of a far weightier character and import. It removed the government of God from upon the earth, and confided power to the head of the Gentiles. Israel was laid aside for a time. But Judah, providentially restored in a partial way, have Messiah presented to them, but, as we have seen, reject Him, declaring that they have no king but Caesar. This placed Judah under the Gentile power, not only as a chastening for their rebellion against Jehovah in the person of their King and of David's race, but on the ground of their own rejection of the promised Messiah and taking the Gentile for their head. This also consequently has its accomplishment in judgment in the latter days. The special Gentile part of it is scarcely alluded to in the prophets, who address Israel as more or less owned. It is the subject of Daniel, and we may add of the Apocalypse, for a reason we will add just now. Judah is seen in prophecy in the latter days under the oppression of the head of Gentile power, deceived by a false Christ, and oppressed. But God regards Israel still as His, having caused it to pass through the deepest tribulation. Those who, through grace, cleave to the Lord, call upon His name, and receive the word of the Spirit of Christ, instead of joining idolatry with the Gentiles and their chief, will be delivered, and the apostate Gentile power and the false prophet judged.

Another element introduces itself here. On the rejection of the Jews, as we know, Christianity came in. But alas! man was as unfaithful here as in Judaism. Early in the apostles' time, the mystery of iniquity began to work, resulting in an apostasy, and the ten kings of the Gentile world make war with the Lamb. In a word, a public apostasy in the sphere of Christian profession and the revelation of the man of sin, the open war of the beast and kings associated with him against the Lord, came in as an element of the latter-day events, completing the character and description of the Gentile power, which had taken the place of God's throne at Jerusalem, and to whom He had confided authority in the world. This, with its antecedents, is that which the Apocalypse furnishes of the prophetic volume.

51 The result of the destruction of this power, as well as of that of the Assyrian and other nations, is the establishment of Israel in blessing under Christ upon the earth, the throne of the Lord being thus re-established in surety at Jerusalem. The destruction of the Gentile power does not reach this latter period entirely. Hence Daniel, who treats of the period of Gentile power, never speaks of the millennium. He is made just to reach the deliverance, and stops there. The effect of the destruction of the Gentile power is to reunite the Lord, Jerusalem and Israel, and then comes the judgment of the Assyrian and the various enemies who have risen up against the Lord and His people. This brings in the full reign of peace.* Their connection with Israel has led in many respects to the anticipation of what regards the Gentiles. However, it will be well to speak of them also.

{*As regards Israel, the moral effect is this. In order to save themselves from the overflowing scourge, Judah, who had rejected Christ, will associate themselves with Antichrist and the apostate Gentiles, and even join in idolatry; but the scourge will for all that pass through. A residue, despised, suffering, and rejected, will recoil from this, own Jehovah, and gradually grow up into more light, but in the midst of such distress as never was. When all hope is shut out and the enemy is coming up again in pride, the Lord will appear and save them, and take them up against all their enemies.

As regards the ten tribes, at least the great body of them, this will not be their history. Having determined to be like the Gentiles, God has not suffered it; they are not under Antichrist and not cut off in the land, but brought, like Israel coming out of Egypt, under God s rod, and the rebels cut off, so as not to enter. Israel and Judah will then be under one Head, Christ, who will gather from all sides any left in divers lands.}

We have a double character of the Gentiles in Scripture, as will have been already seen: their opposition to the people of God when they had this character, at least externally; and their pride, and rebellion, and oppression of those who had borne the name of His people, when power was given to them of God. The difference of these two states was great. Until the time of Nebuchadnezzar, various kingdoms and nations were owned as such in the providential government of God, though left entirely, morally, to themselves, their existence being the fruit of His own judgment in Babel.

52 Israel was the centre of this general system, being owned as His people (known alone of all the families of the earth), the Lord having, in separating the sons of Adam and dividing to the nations their inheritance, set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. But Israel having failed in this position, and the nations, and especially Assyria, having been guilty of wrong, God judges them all, for "it contemneth the rod of his son" (Ezek. 21:10), and how should the rest subsist? The whole governmental order is set aside, and with Israel the independence of all the nations is lost; and wheresoever the children of men dwell, the dominion of Adam is placed in the hands of the head of the Gentiles. Of all these nations, which existed previous to Nebuchadnezzar (besides which Isaiah 18 refers to some unnamed people outside their limits, and Ezekiel introduces the northern Gog in his inroad in the latter days), the history and judgment in the latter day is given in the prophets; and they are found in one way or another hostile to Israel, and gathered against Jerusalem in the latter day. In general, we find Zechariah 12 and 14, Isaiah 30, Micah 4, and other passages, reveal the gathering of the nations against Jerusalem. But these passages reveal also that it is taken once, and a second time is not, because the Lord is there and defends it. The nations themselves are judged. In this the haughty pride of the nations is broken, as that of Israel (who, save the residue, have sought help far from God, and have been broken and oppressed) is brought down by their own trials. And, however the nations may have exalted themselves, they are found to bow to the sovereignty and power of God, and own that He is in the midst of Israel whom they have despised. Those spared of them will own Jehovah in Zion when He has appeared - Zion established in peace by the presence of Jehovah.

Such is the history of the nations, as such, but the statue (or the beasts) is besides all this a distinct history, as we have seen, and also a distinct prophetic subject. Man used the power confided to him of God to exalt himself against Him, to oppress His people and trample down His sanctuary. Nor was this all: the last beast in particular imbrued his hands (vainly washed before men) in the guiltless blood of the Son of God, and thus associated himself with the apostate part of the Jewish people.

Alas! this was not all. The mystery of iniquity working in the midst of the church brought on apostasy there, and evil men, crept in, brought out the peculiar character of those to be judged by Christ at His coming in the last day. This apostasy gave occasion to the rise of the man of sin, the full expression of the wickedness of the human heart under the full power of Satan. Owning no God, setting up to be God, deceiving as a false Christ by signs and wonders; such is the religious end of man left to himself; all this associated with and maintaining the public power of Satan on the earth. Such is the last character of the power of the Gentiles where Christianity had been introduced. It will have at once an atheistical and an apostate Gentile form, growing out of and accompanied by apostate Christian forms. The last rebellious and self-exalting actings of power at Jerusalem will bring down ruin on the chief and his supporters by the manifestation of the Lord Jesus. Thereon will follow what we have already spoken of - the taking up of royal power in Israel by the Lord Christ, and the destruction of all the enemies who will have gathered together against Him.

53 Here it is we find the church in prophecy. The marriage of the Lamb having taken place with the church already gone up on high, the saints come forth with the Lord on the white horse to the triumphant destruction of the beast and the false prophet. And then the church is seen in her relationship with the earth in blessing, as the heavenly Jerusalem: striking contrast with the corrupt and corrupting intercourse of Babylon with the kings of the earth, which ends in the nations and the beast hating and destroying her.

In this scene of woe, which precedes the destruction of the beast, we find in the prophets a remnant of Jews, who, in the depth of their distress, look, and learn more and more to look, to Jehovah, being animated by the prophetic Spirit of Christ and taught by it. To this the whole body of Psalms apply, giving us, besides Christ's sympathy with them, the various expression of it. Isaiah 65 and 66 dwell upon this remnant. One other circumstance must be noted here, of which prophecy speaks. Before the execution of judgment, there will be within the circle of special evil, and without it, a testimony of God. These must not be confounded. In the earlier half of the last week of Daniel, there will be a testimony rendered to the God of the earth. The beast, rising up in his last form, will put an end to this, adding this to his other wickedness, in order to please men and pursue his career of evil unchecked. During the last half week there is none, save the refusal to adore the beast. At the same time, there will be a testimony of the coming kingdom sent abroad among the nations, that all who have ears to hear may, through grace, escape the coming judgment. This gives occasion to the judgment of Matthew 25. For this the reader may consult Matthew 24:14; Revelation 14; Psalm 96.

54 The result will be the full establishment of what was shadowed, or rather connected with the responsibility of man, in the previous condition - namely, the full blessing of that people and the throne of the Lord at Jerusalem; but there is added what was shadowed out in the Gentile power - the full dominion of the Son of man over the world. It remains to add, that Old and New Testament prophecy alike declares that Satan will be bound, driven from on high (whence he has corrupted even the good that God has placed in the hands of men), and from earth soon after. He is shut up in the bottomless pit, and the blessing of the world is uninterrupted till he be loosed again. Even then it does not appear that the saints will suffer. They will be assembled together apart from those seduced. The judgment of the dead follows, and the new heavens and the new earth, the mediatorial kingdom being closed and delivered up, and the family of the last Adam enjoying the full everlasting blessing acquired for them by their Head.