Isai. Ix. 8. Who are these that, fly as a cloud, and as the doves
to their windows.
THERE is much spoken in the holy Scriptures
respecting the glory of the latter day. This whole
chapter is occupied with the subject. The predic-
tions contained in it have never yet been verifie(i.
Great as was the spread of the Gospel in the Apo-
stolic age, it was nothing in comparison of that to
which we are taught to look forward at a period that
is now fast approaching. The prophet, whilst oc-
cupied in the contemplation of that day, saw it, as it
were, already commenced, and the whole Gentile
world flocking to Christ, even as doves to their
windows. The language in which he depicts that
day is suited to the time at which he wrote. Jeru-
salem was then the centre of union to all the tribes.
Thither all the males went up thrice a year : there
the sacrifices were offered : and thither all Gentile
proselytes also came to present their offerings to the
Lord. But all these things were typical of the
Christian Church, which shall be estabhshed on the
face of the whole earth, and of the spiritual sacrifices
which all who come up to our Zion shall offer there.
I propose to consider our text,
I. In reference to the millennial period —
The question is evidently the language of surprise
and joy : and the answer to it is given in the whola
context. Let us attend to,
I. The prophet's own description of that day
[Then shall light burst forth, almost as at the first crea-
tion, when " God said, Let there be light ; and there was
light." The gross darkness which at present covers the whole
earth will be dispelled by the rising of the Sun of Righteous-
ness, and " all flesh will see the salvation of God ^" " The
Gentiles, from one end of the earth even to the other, will
then come to Zion's light, and kings to the brightness of her
risuig :" and with them they will bring whatsoever they have
whereby they may glorify their God ; the whole land, as it
were, being covered with their retinue. " The multitude of
camels shall cover thee," says the Lord, " the dromedaries of
Midian and Ephah : all they from Sheba shall come : they
shall bring gold and incense ; and they shall shew forth the
praises of the Lord''." The very cattle shall feel, as it were,
impressc I with a holy zeal to honour God, and come up vo-
luntarily ambitious of the honour of being offered in sacrifice
upon his altar : " All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered
together unto thee ; the rams of ebaioth shall minister unto
thee : they shall come up with acceptance on mine altar ; and
I will
» Luke iii. §. " vcr..2«^6.
454 ISAIAH, Lx. 8. [534.
I will glorify the House of my glory "=." All this Jehovah re-
vealed to the prophet, and made to pass, as it were, before
his eyes ; assuring him, that the Isles of Western Europe
should take the lead in this glorious work : " Surely the isles
shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshishjirst, (O that our
happy Isle might have this distinguished honour, and employ
her shipping in this glorious cause !) to bring thy sons from
far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of
the Lord thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel ; for he
hath glorified thee''."
And in what manner shall this event take place ? Shall it
resemble any thing that has ever yet existed in the world ?
o : it will infinitely surpass any thing that occurred even in
the Apostolic age. Then indeed there was one day, the day
of Pentecost, when God's power was revealed, and three
thousand were converted to the faith of Christ: but at the
period to which we are looking forward, " a nation will be
born in a day^" A Pentecostal efFvision of the Spirit will be
a daily occurrence ; and not in one place only, but in every
part of the globe : so that the converts will come " flying"
in inconceivable numbers, " like a cloud," and with the ai'dour
and celerity of " doves flying to their windows."
Certainly this description of the Millennium is highly figu-
rative : yet we conceive it to be fully justified by,]
1. The testimony of other Prophets respecting it —
[All the Prophets, with more or less clearness, testify of
this day. David speaks very fully and strongly respecting it.
He tells us, that " the utmost ends of the earth are given to
Christ for his possession*^;" that " all kings shall fall down
before him, and " all nations shall serve him^;" and that " the
whole earth shall be filled with his glory''." The prophet
Daniel repeatedly declares, that " the stone which has been
cut out without hands shall break in pieces all the kingdoms
of the earth, and become a great mountain, and fill the whole
earth," and " stand for ever';" and that " all people, nations,
and languages, shall serve" our adorable Redeemer; and that
" his dominion should never pass away ^" Habakkuk assures
us, that " the knowledge of the Lord shall in that day cover
the earth, as deeply and extensively as the waters cover the
seaV Zechariah also, who delights to dwell on this glorious
subject, asserts, that " the Lord shall be King over all the
earth ; that in that day there shall be one Lord, and his name
one:" and that " from that time there shall be no more the Ca-
naanite in the House of the Lord of Hosts"'." Thus, without
* ver. /. * ver. Q. * ver. 22. with Ixvi. 6.
* Ps. ii. 8. «f Ps. Ixxii. 11. " ib. ver.lp.
* Dan. ii. 34,3^,44. "Dan. vii. 14. 'Hab. ii,l4.
" Zech.xiv. 9, 21.
multiplying passages to the same effect, we see, beyond a
doubt, that a blessed season is approaching, when God will,
as it were, " create all things new "," and there shall be " new
heavens, and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness"."]
It will not be unprofitable to consider our text,
II. In reference to the present time —
But here we must notice it rather ivilh regret —
[Though so many centuries have elapsed since the de-
livery of this prophecy, we are, though not in time, yet in ap-
pearance, almost as far as ever from its accomplishment.
There is not one sixth of the human race that have ever so
much as heard of the Lord Jesus Christ ; and of those who
are called by his name, the great mass are as far from any
spiritual knowledge of him as the Heathen themselves. Look
through Europe, or through our own highly-favoured king-
dom, or even through our own immediate neighbourhood, and
say, Whether you see, or hear of, any thing resembling the
description in our text ? Where do we find that ardent
desire after God ; that flocking of multitudes to Mount Zion ;
that surrender of themselves to God as living sacrifices ; that
determination to lose no time, but to press forward with in-
creasing ardour, till they have found their rest in Christ ?
Here and there an individual may be found that is inquirmg
the way to Zion : but what appearance is there of a cloud,
borne forward by the breath of the Almighty ; or of a flock
winging their way to Zion, with a zeal that regards no ob-
stacte, "and a rapidity that suffers no delay ? I may rather
ask. Where is the place in which the great mass of the mha-
bitants would not regard such zeal as an enthusiasm that was
to be repressed, rather than as a piety deserving hnitation?
Instead therefore of saying. Who are these P we must rather
say, " Where are there aui/, who fly as a cloud, and as the
doves to their windows ?" If some there be, still, m compa-
rison of the bulk of nominal Christians, they are but as "the
gleanings of the olive, two or three upon the topmost bough. J
Yet we may also in some degree notice it with joy —
ri bless God, there are sovie, and some also in this place,
who do seek their rest in Christ, and do fly towards it with
unabated ardour. Yes, and with surprise also, as well as
iov, may I ask, " Who are these ?" They were once as far ott
from God as the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah and as
unlikely to devote themselves to God as the flocks of Kedar,
or the rams of ebaioth. Their education, their age their
associates, their habits, all rendered such a change highly
improbable ; and give us a decisive evidence, that He ^ho^has
-Isai. lxr.17. "aPet. ill. 13.
456 ISAIAH, LX. 8. [534.
wrought so eftectually in them, can accomplish the same
blessed change over the face of the whole earth. We there-
fore do rejoice, both for the individuals whose zeal is so
kindled, and for those also who are provoked to emidation
by the example that is set before them. And we pray God
that their numbers may be increased a thousand-fold ; and
that in this place, as well as in the world at large, " aHttle
one may become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation.
May the Lord hasten it in his timeP!"]
Application —
To those who have begun their flight — •
[Let me say, Suffer nothing to retard you, nothing to
divert you from your purpose. If, instead of having a cloud,
or a flock, to accompany you, you are but a solitary indivi-
dual, let not that discourage you. Your object is not less
praise-worthy on that account. Lot was not the less right in
maintaining his love for piety, because all around him were
confederate in evil courses ; nor w^as oah the less approved
of God, because the whole world agreed in loading him with
derision. If many will join you, be thankful for it: but, if
there be not another in all the cities of the world that wiU flee
with you to the mountain, go out of Sodom, and stop not in
all the plain. The judgments which are coming on every
unbeheving soul, will amply vindicate your honour, whilst
your personal safety will abundantly repay your toil.
Yet go not alone, if you can by any means induce others to
accompany you in your heavenly flight. Yea, be zealous and
active in hastening forward the day that is spoken of in our
text. Though the work itself is God's, yet it is to be accom-
Slished by human means. If salvation be through the Lord
esus Christ, and through him alone, he must be made known
to the benighted heathen : for " how can they call on Him in
whom they have not believed ? and how can they believe in
Him of whom they have not heard ? And how can they hear
without a preacher''?"
I thank God that means are now using by different Socie-
ties to diffuse the Holy Scriptures throughout the world, and
to send forth Missionaries to instruct both Jews and Gentiles.
Aid these Societies then with all your power. It is particu-
larly said in the verse following my text, that those who wait
upon the Lord, " bring their silver and their gold with them.'*
Let not this be forgotten by you. Let your property be conse-
crated to this holy service : account this its best and most
appropriate use : and, instead of giving grudgingly or of ne-
cessity to so good a work, regard it as your highest honour
to contribute even in the smallest degree to the salvation of
' P ver.23. ^ Rom. X. 14,15.
your fellow-creatiires, and to the establishment of the Re-
deemer's kingdom upon earth.]
2. To those who have no such blessed object in
view —
[What shall I say ? I would take up a lamentation over
them ; and, in the language of surprise and grief, say, " Who
are these who do not fly as a cloud, or as the doves to tlieir
windows ?" What ! have they never heard what a Saviour
there is? or, are they ignorant how much they stand in need
of mercy through him? Dear Brethren, be persuaded that
there is no refuge for you but in Him: to him you miist come,
if you would ever find rest unto your souls. I beseech you,
therefore, flee to him as your only hope : be in earnest : let
not the doves flying to their windows outstrip you in your
course. And bring to him all that you are, and all that you
have. So shall the angels in the presence of God rejoice over
you : so shall the Church of Christ also be edified through
you : and so shall you be meet for the Church above, whither
a whole cloud of witnesses are gone before you, and where
you shall soon unite with them for ever in the service of your

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