1 My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
2 Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever.
3 Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty.
4 And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things.
5 Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king's enemies; whereby the people fall under thee.
6 Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre.
7 Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
8 All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad.
9 Kings' daughters were among thy honourable women: upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir.
10 Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father's house;
11 So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him.
All possible excellence unites in him
- the greatness of God and the loveliness of man; the power of omnipotence and the gentleness of friendship; the justice of the highest and the kindness of the most merciful; the spotlessness of perfection and the compassionateness of the most erring; all depths of manly wisdom and knowledge with all grace and tenderness of womanly true affection.
Mercy and truth embrace; righteousness and peace salute; strength and beauty unite; unutterable grace is poured into his lips; ineffable majesty girds him; honour and glory rejoice in his presence. To know him truly is to
"know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge" "He is thy Lord, worship thou him."
Consider how immeasurably his interestingness and glory are heightened for us by the meaning he has for the noble earth we inhabit and the poor afflicted race to which we belong.
We may know an excellent friend, but he can do nothing for us. He is powerless to bless. To that extent our appreciations are diminished. It is only an artificial philosophy that attaches a sinister meaning to this fact. There is nothing evil in it in right connections. We esteem an excellent friend, and we rejoice for his sake in his good fortune if he have any; but if he have power and disposition to bless his neighbours as well, an additional number of our faculties are engaged, and the stream of gratification is broadened.
A friend of this sort is simply overpoweringly interesting, though you don't meet with him often. Now such a friend Christ is for all the world at last. Consider the whole ground is covered by that description in which he calls himself
"The Light of the world."
12 And the daughter of Tyre shall be there with a gift; even the rich among the people shall intreat thy favour.
The angel proclamation in Midheaven Rev 14: 6
...the acceptance of the proclamation by the British "Isles afar off' - "the Mart of Nations"- places all the wealth of the British Empire at the disposal of the Lamb and his 144,000.
...When the union predicted between Christ and his Brethren hath ensued, and their throne established on Mount Zion, it is declared...
"the Daughter of Tyre shall be there with a gift".
This shows that in the day when Christ shall make "the blessed of the Father" princes in all the earth (v.16), there will be a Merchant-Power among "the powers that be," to which the prophetic title of "the Daughter of Tyre" will be applicable. This can be no other than Britain, the mart of modern nations, which inherits the wealth and commerce of her ancient mother; who, after being forgotten seventy years, revived and sang as a harlot; and like her British Daughter,
"committed fornication with all the kingdoms of the world upon the face of the earth".
The merchandise and revenue of the revived Tyrian Mother passed from her to Alexandria, Venice, Lisbon, and at length to Britannia; who holds on to them as her own peculiar and especial inheritance. She hopes to monopolize them as long as the sun and moon endure.
Though this is objected to by other nations, and among these the United States, they have not the ability, and never will have, to divert them to their own ports and coffers. The decree of heaven is against them; for
"the abundance of the sea shall be turned unto Zion, and the wealth of the nations shall come to her:" "for the nation and kingdom that will not serve the city of Yahweh, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel, shall perish, and be utterly wasted" (Isa. 60:5,11,12,14).
Thus the commerce and riches of the world, instead of migrating westward, are to return to the Holy Land, where Tyre of old used to rejoice with Israel, when Solomon and Hiram were in league. And this will come to pass when Britain shall have exchanged her present rulers for "those who dwell before Yahweh" when the nations of the British Empire are ruled by the Lamb and his 144,000 on Mount Zion by the Eternal Power incarnate in Jesus and his Brethren "glorified together" (Rom. 8:17). Then, in the words of the prophet,
"The merchandise and hire of Tyre shall be holiness to Yahweh; it shall not be treasured nor laid up; for her merchandise shall be for them who dwell before Yahweh, to eat sufficiently, and for durable clothing" (Isa. 23:18).
"the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just;" "for to the sinner God giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that He may give to him that is good before God" (Prov. 13:22; Ecc. 2:26).
13 The king's daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold.
14 She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework: the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee.
Needlework brings the idea of thought, carefulness, preparation, toil. We are all familiar with the idea of character being represented by clothing. The nature of the former is indicated by the quality of the latter, while sin is figuratively described as nakedness.
The Spirit has chosen in this way to show that all mankind naturally possess a character so opposed to his standard of righteousness, that he will not regard them unless their thoughts become percolated with his wisdom and their wills intertwined with his, so that two distinct materials become woven into one.
This was perfectly effected by Christ, who of "twain made one new man." He was figuratively, as well as literally, clothed in a vesture without seam, woven throughout. There seems nothing in the whole Scriptures that more beautifully expresses the process of development from filthy garments to wrought gold than this raiment of needlework.
We know how it was fashioned-the piercing needle slowly and surely tearing away the old fabric to make way for the new, the threads of purple and blue and scarlet, day by day wrenched from their firmly fastened settings, to be replaced by the gold whose interweavings at last obliterated the gaudy old pattern, and in its stead presented a robe of purest gold.
It is reserved in heaven, awaiting the presentation of her who prepares raiment of needlework. When the fire has tried the last golden thread, and the needle has woven the last encircling stitch, the King will return to invest her with his own clothing of wrought gold, so that she will be all glorious within.
The question comes, what are we doing in this matter? Are we daubing patches on our old filthy garments? Or are we buying gold tried in the fire for "needlework"? Are we complacently appropriating garments of divers colours? Whose moth eaten texture for lack of strength and durability, is the counterpart of the apron of fig leaves-mere vegetation of a season? Or are we tearing into shreds the old Adamic nature with the golden strands of "faith" and the piercing needle of "works"?
Those who have chosen the latter course tell us that it is a daily, hourly, work of many details. The robe is formed of minute fibres. Character is made up of little things. Our minds may be storehouses of golden grain, or pestilential graves which appear not, and the men that walk over them are not aware of them. In mind, as in matter, the great depends on the small. Who can estimate the importance of the apostolic counsel,
"Bring every thought into subjection."
What wandering, vain, we may say, vacant thoughts we let go constantly, forgetting that they may be converted into fragments of gold, and that we should ply the needle much more readily for having a good accumulation of material at hand. If we are to become rooted and grounded in our "work," it will be by whipping our leisure thoughts into the channel of divine wisdom.
We have all traced the robe in outline,-taken many difficult curves and followed the divine pattern strictly,-heedless of the numerous counterfeits offered by friendly counsel, until we thought we had arrived at the pinnacle of the divine command when we emerged from the waters of baptism "clothed," and were ready to stand in the King's presence.
We see now the robe had to be filled in. Springing from its outline, we see tribulation, patience, experience, hope, love of God, resulting in a wealth of sweetness and beauty. Dare we say that without these the robe would have been perfect? And can we tell how much more is necessary? We agonise for its completion-but-we remember the injunction,
"Occupy till I come."
The Christadelphian, Jan 1886
Seventh Sign of the Times
The seventh sign is in the holy heavenly in Christ. It is the preparation of the Bride. Before the nuptials of princes and their betrothed, there is preparation for the festivities.
In the matrimonial arrangements and customs of the Orientals, there was the betrothal by marriage contract, an entering into covenant; and the festive ceremony by which the actual union of the parties was affirmed. This last was the wedding.
Between the betrothal and the wedding years often intervened, during which many incidents might occur to frustrate the union. But things being favorable, the time at length arrived to fulfil the covenant. This being understood, there was a general movement among the friends of the Bridegroom. The following from Ward's View of the History of the Hindoos will be found beautifully illustrative of the customs connected with the expectation of the bridegroom.
"At a marriage the procession of which I saw some years ago," says Mr. Ward, "the bridegroom came from a distance, and the bride lived at Serampore, to which place the bridegroom was to come by water. After waiting two or three hours, at length, near midnight, it was announced, as if in the very words of scripture,
"Behold! the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him."
All the persons employed now lighted their lamps, and ran with them on their heads, to fill up their stations in the procession; some of them had lost their lights, and were unprepared, but it was then too late to seek them and the cavalcade moved forward to the house of the bride, at which place the company entered a large and splendidly illuminated area before the house, covered with an awning, where a great multitude of friends, dressed in their best apparel, were seated upon mats.
The bridegroom was carried in the arms of a friend, and placed in a superb seat in the midst of the company, where he sat a short time, and then went into the house, the door of which was immediately shut, and guarded by Sepoys. I and others expostulated with the doorkeepers, but in vain. Never was I so struck with our Lord's beautiful parable of the Ten Virgins, as at this moment:—and the door was shut."
This parable is illustrative of the spiritual condition of two classes of the immersed in relation to the Kingdom of the Heavens at the time of the union of the Bridegroom with those who are with him to inherit it with all its attributes. The two classes, in the Greek were termed the intelligent and the fools. They all pass for companion virgins of the bride, (Psal. 45:14,) until their interview with the bridegroom opens their eyes to the delusion.
The five intelligent virgins took oil in their vessels, their understandings were anointed with the glad tidings of the kingdom, as exhibited in the sure word of prophecy, and the revealed mystery; and by which "their lamps," that is, they themselves, "shone as lights in the world:" but the fools, the
"slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken,"
are as lamps gone out with no oil for replenishing. While in this relative condition which strikingly illustrates the spiritual state of Baptists, Campbellites, Christians, Millerites, Mormons and popular immersionists of all shades of "sincere faith" in the anointed sonship of Jesus; but who neither know, nor care for, the teaching of the prophets more than for an old Jewish almanac; resulting from the long absence of the bridegroom, during which drowsiness came over professors, and they all fell fast asleep: while in this condition, the cry or proclamation will be raised at midnight (for the Lord descends with a shout,) "Behold the bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him!"
The fools all hear it; and all wake up, but they are like men seized with panic and perplexity, not knowing what to do, or where to go—their lamps are gone out, and they have no oil in their vessels; their heads are empty, and they cannot shine.
But while they are fumbling about, picking their charred wicks, and peering into their empty oil-cans, shaking and draining, to see if no light-producing combustible is there; fatiguing themselves also in running from this reverend oilman to that, and finding all their unction only an extinguisher of light, a darkener of counsel by words without knowledge, the bridegroom appears, enters in with the wise and shuts the door.
They rush with despair into the place of the bridegroom's presence; and knocking at the door, which he had ordered to be shut, exclaim, "Lord, Lord, open unto us!" But the inexorable "Sepoys" repulse them, announcing the master's fiat of "no admission here, for I know you not." "I do not acknowledge you as my friends, and shall not admit strangers."
The intelligent virgins are "the wise" of Dan. 12:10, of whom it is said, "they shall understand," and elsewhere "the wise shall inherit glory." Daniel instructs us that there will be some among the living in "the time of the end," when the words of his prophesy are to be understood.
"The words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end: * * * but the wise shall understand."
These intelligent believers among the living, constitute, in the aggregate, the company with whom Christ entered into covenant, having espoused, or betrothed it to himself; in which betrothal he sanctified it, having cleansed it in the laver of the water with doctrine.
In Eph. 5:23, the apostle terms this sanctified company of intelligent virgins an Ecclesia, because they have been called out by gospel invitation from among the fools, to become the future rulers of the world for God. He styles them also in ch. 1:23, the Body of Christ, and in the former reference, regards it as related to Christ, as Eve was to the first Adam.
He contemplates it in two states—the present, in which it is the Body to be saved; and the future, in which it is the Body saved. When saved, it will be "a glorious Ecclesia, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; holy, and without blemish, members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones: Christ and his Ecclesia then being "One Flesh," which at present they are not.
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, Dec 1860
15 With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought: they shall enter into the king's palace.
16 Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children, whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth.
17 I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations: therefore shall the people praise thee for ever and ever.