"The Former of All Things"


Jeremiah li. "The portion of Jacob is not like them; for he is the former of all things: and Israel is the rod of his inheritance; the Lord of hosts is his name."

In this verse the "portion of Jacob" is the Seed: for he is called the "former of all things." The text also states, "And Israel is the rod of his inheritance." Of these it is said in the succeeding verses, "Thou art my battle-axe and weapons of war: for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms:

"And with thee will I break in pieces the horse and his rider; and with thee will I break in pieces the chariot and his rider;

"With thee also will I break in pieces man and woman; and with thee will I break in pieces old and young; and with thee will I break in pieces the young man and the maid;

"I will also break in pieces with thee the shepherd and his flock; and with thee will I break in pieces the husbandman and his yoke of oxen; and with thee will I break in pieces captains and rulers."

Therefore it follows that in the great struggle for the overthrow of evil the people are "weapons of war," and "the portion of Jacob" is the battleaxe thereof. The weapons of war may become bruised and broken, they may become lost to sight, but in the restoration of Jerusalem they also will be restored. That a plan for the overthrow of evil, perfect in all its details, was laid down from the beginning cannot be doubted. The Scriptures are thoroughly united in this respect; in Zion the plan was laid, and in Zion it will be completed. Zion comprehended all the details, good and bad: every contingency was guarded against; every incident provided for; not one item was left to chance or to the ruling of an unseen force: for there was no unseen force. Each avenue was manifest to the Master-hand, and no path or byway was unperceived by him in all its indefinite reaches. The Scriptures not only show this, but they carry the proof with them: for it is not possible, or probable, that man could or would, of his own free will and accord, clothe his thoughts in language which should remain unsolved for hundreds, nay, thousands of years. But if one man through vagary should do this, would the assumption be at all tenable that a number of men could thus write, could conceive the same substance and embodiments, and hide them from ages and generations? Such an assumption would not hold good, and therefore one directing hand must be acknowledged in the dictation of the Scriptures. If one Master-hand be acknowledged, then their truth is confirmed, and their prophecies and decrees are and shall be fulfilled; hence the decree against Babylon shall be carried out: of this the text states, "Behold, I am against thee, destroying mountain, saith the Lord, which destroyest all the earth: and I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and roll thee down from the rocks, and will make thee a burnt mountain.

"And they shall not take of thee a stone for a corner, nor a stone for foundations; but thou shalt be desolate forever, saith the Lord." This prophecy seems to relate more especially to Lucifer, who is the same with the great destroying angel, Death.