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represent one kingdom. The wars which had been carried on be. tween the ten and two tribes from this time cease: “Common sufferings during the captivity became the means of reviving a kinder feeling.” And as Matthew Henry very properly remarks,“ Their being joint sharers in the favor of God, and the great and common deliverance wrought out for them all, should help to unite them. God's loving them all was a good reason why they should love one another. Times of common joy, as well as times of common suffer. ing, should be healing, loving times.” Benson on the passage, “I will make them one nation," says: “ This promise was in a great degree fulfilled in the restoration of the Jews to their own land from their captivity in Babylon-for then many of the house of Is. rael returned with the house of Judah, and were united in one body with them, and were under one and the same governor, Zerubbabel." Bishop Newton, after appropriate remarks on the strange opinion, that the ten tribes are utterly extinct, having been utterly destroyed by their enemies—as also after animadverting upon the notion, that they all returned to Judea with the two tribes-says :-" The truth I conceive to lie between these two opinions. Neither did all who remained behind comply with the idolatry of the Gentiles among whom they lived. But, whether they remained, or whether they returned, this prophecy of Isaiah was fulfilled, " Within threescore and five years shall Ephraim be broken, that it be not a people," Isa. vii, 8. We may also add, so was the prophecy of Ezekiel fulfilled by events succeeding the breaking of Ephraim; for, as the Jearned expositor immediately adds after the above quotation, “ The kingdom, the commonwealth of Israel was utterly broken: they no longer subsisted as a distinct people from Judah; they no longer maintained a separate religion; they joined themselves to the Jews from whom they had been unhappily divided ; they lost the name of Israel as a name of distinction, and were thenceforth all in com. mon called Jews.” “ This witness is true," and other respectable commentators might be quoted on this point, but they are not necessary. The facts are clearly ascertained that the Jews did return to their own land ; and then or before the distinctions of a political nature, which had subsisted between Israel and Judah during a space of two hundred years, were annihilated ; and when they rebuilt Jerusalem and the temple, they might be said " to serve the Lord with one consent,” Zeph. iii, 9. On the loftier and gospel appropriation of Ezekiel's prophecy, with its parallels, it is not necessary to dwell here; suffice it to say, that the restoration and union of Israel and Judah, after their northern banishment and suf. ferings, are considered adumbrative of the unity and peace which they shall enjoy when they acknowledge the Christ. This is the highest sense of prophecy, and that upon which the Christian may dwell with complacency and peculiar pleasure. “Upon this prin. ciple," as Dr. Pye Smith observes, “ we regard the Church of God in Israel as being designed to represent the true Church of God under Christianity. Upon this ground we should make those applications which the principle warrants. But it is not a double sense; it is one and the same sense. In consequence of the original design it is applied to two subjects--to the first partially, and to the second fully and completely. The former was the temporary representa
tive of the latter." It is on these principles of interpretation we argue that the literal gathering is "passed already," and therefore the prophecies under consideration have been partially fulfilled ; but they shall be consummated when Israel shall be saved with an everlasting salvation, and “the covenant of peace” experimentally ratified among both Jews and Gentiles. Ezek. xxxvii, 26, 27.
We have thus endeavored to bring to view some of the prophe- cies which relate to the gathering of Israel; and have given, as we humbly conceive, a Scriptural and rational view of the same. Should any object, that many passages referring to the subject are omitted, we beg to say, that we consider every passage bearing on the restoration of the Jews easy of explanation on the principles of interpretation above laid down, and from the parallel quotations illustrated in this paper, and which may be found by any marginal Bible. We have materials for a full exposition of prophecy referring to this subject, but have chosen to condense the whole, in order now to assist those who take any interest in the future prospects of the remarkable people whose temporal circumstances and spiritual condition are involved in the matter of the present discussion. We shall only add a few remarks on the prophecies delivered subsequent to the restoration under Cyrus. It appears very clear that if the doctrine of the future gathering be true, we shall find promissory declarations relative thereto, apart from the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities, and in the writings of those prophets who flourished after the return of the Jews under the auspices of the Persian monarch; but we venture to affirm that no such declarations can be found. Malachi, the last of the prophets, and probably the only one who could with propriety be said to have flourished after the completion of the reformation under Nehemiah, never hints at any such gathering. The people in his day had too generally forgotten their promises and obligations, and the prophet exhibits their ingratitude, and proclaims their punishment. He also states, that, on the fulfilment of certain conditions, they should be blessed and prosperous. But, let any unprejudiced person read the prophecies of Malachi, which respect the future happiness of the people to whom he speaks, and he must be forcibly struck with the essential difference of phraseology that is employed by him, and the prophets who fulfilled their mission before and during the capti. vities. And why this difference? To our mind it is sufficiently obvious. The literal gathering having taken place before the call of Malachi, he does not speak of it as to come. It is not remarkable that the former prophets should contemplate that event, and dwell upon it with delight. Nor that they should be directed to explain and illustrate the assurances respecting a spiritual restoration through Christ, by the use and application of the national events which prophetically involved their deliverance from their enemies in a foreign land.
land. But if the doctrine of their future literal gathering be true, it is remarkable that Malachi never hints it, nor even by allusion makes that gathering, either past or future, the basis of any of his annunciations of mercy and forgiveness. Who then can resist the conviction, that the future literal gathering of the Jews to their own land is not the doctrine of Scripture? This is the more certain, inasmuch as all the promises made by Moses to the chil.
dren of Israel respecting their perpetual possession of Canaan are conditional; and it requires no argument to prove that the specified conditions were not fulfilled. And when, because of the violation of the covenant on the part of the Jews, they are banished unto a foreign land, and the prophets are directed to foreshow their restor
ation; yet that restoration is conditional, and as these conditions • were fulfilled they were restored. But their continuance in the
land of their fathers, after their return from Assyria and Babylon, was also conditional. And it may be, that the conditions were summed up in their hearty reception and proper treatment of the Messiah. But“ he came unto his own, and his own received him not.” His blood was upon the Jews and their children ; and the Roman eagle fell upon his prey with terrible sury. In connection with this their last national overthrow we have no intimation of a literal gathering, nor have we the slightest allusion to the supposed future possession of Palestine by the tribes of Israel. We are aware that some such inferences have been drawn. Nevertheless we are persuaded that no such inference could have been drawn from an unbiased examination of the passages alluded to. The hypothesis was first formed from a false exposition of prophecy, and then the inference seemed to follow as a matter of course.
The sum of what has been said on the prophecies relating to the literal gathering of the Jews is as follows:-An opinion very gene. rally prevails, that the descendants of Abraham shall from the various nations in which they now dwell return to Palestine, commonly called their own land. But, on examination, it is found
First, That all the predictions respecting the return of the Jews to their own land were delivered before the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities, and refer to those events.
Secondly, That the return of a vast body of the Israelites to Ju. dea after the proclamation of Cyrus was the fulfilment of those prophecies, as far as they can be understood literally; and this was the understanding of the prophets who flourished during that temporal restoration.
Thirdly, That those parts of the prophecies relating to the restoration of Israel which have been explained literally, but which it is asserted could not have been fulfilled in the return of the Jews from the land of the north, will be graciously accomplished when “they shall look upon him whom they have pierced,' and seek an evangelical Canaan-a"glorious rest,” in and through his atoning blood.
Fourthly, That, beyond all contradiction, no single prophecy respecting a return to their own land was delivered to the Jews subsequent to the events of which we have spoken-namely, their restoration under Cyrus.
The conclusion therefore is, that the literal return of the Jews to their own land, or Judea, as a national event, is past and not future, and every assumption to the contrary is based upon a false interpretation of prophecy, and will not be realized.
That this conclusion is fully sustained and demonstrated by the evidence of New Testament writers will be examined hereafter. In the meantime we beg to call the attention of the Christian Church to the present spiritually benighted and perilous condition of the Jewish race. In all parts of the world there are some of these ne. glected sons of Abraham; and in every part they present the same features of ignorance and depravity. Misunderstanding the Old
Testament and rejecting the New, they are bigotedly opposed to evangelical religion, and mystified by talmudical writings and false glosses. There are exceptions, for there are inquiring Jews; but they are comparatively few who, thus inquiring, have received the truth in the love of it. There exists then strong necessity for vigorous and united exertion for the spread of the gospel among the Jews. Let none be beguiled by the false supposition that they must return to Judea before they can be converted to Christ, or receive the promised outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Content to follow the leadings of Providence in reference to the political condition of the Jews, and rejoicing at every melioration of their temporal disad. vantages which shall facilitate their conversion, let us to the Jews become as Jews, entering into their lot, and sympathizing in their misery, if by any means we may save some. And as there is such danger of being misled by human speculation about the future na. tionality of the Jews, and the expediency of their resettlement in Judea, we cannot forbear quoting the nervous and evangelical rebuke of the Rev. W. Jowett. In that author's admirable work, entitled “Christian Researches in Syria and Palestine," he thus remarks upon the subject above alluded to: “How much beneath the standard of right feeling in a Christian public would be such speculations on conquests, commercial contracts, or political expe. diency. How easily might multitudes of Christians be misled on topics of this nature! That for which the contributions, the efforts, and the prayers of the religious part of mankind should be especially desired in reference to the Jewseis no other than their spiritual conversion; here no limit need be placed to guard the public mind against excess or error, but such as is common generally to all religious subjects." To this we may add the memorable words of Archbishop Leighton: “ They forget a main point of the Church's glory who pray not daily for the conversion of the Jews.”
It may be proper for us to say, that we assume nothing with respect to the inference which the writer of the above draws from the prophecies he has collated concerning the literal restoration of the Jews. It is a controverted point. But as the subject has been elaborated by him in a way to place the evidence on which he rests his conclusion in a clear light, the reader has the advantage of his labor to assist him in forming his own judgment.-Eds.
For the Methodist Magazine and Quarterly Review.
TRIBUTE TO THE MEMORY OF PRESIDENT FISK,
BY PROFESSOR WHEDON, OF THE WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY.
Delivered before the Young Men's Missionary and Bible Societies, at the John.
street Methodist E. Church, New. York, May 17, 1839.
Published by request of these societies. We are assembled this evening, my friends, to pay a tribute to the character of one dear to the hearts of many, and revered by the memories of all. And if here, in this sacred temple, peculiarly consecrated to the pure worship of the alone Jehovah, the congregation be convoked in memory of a dear, yet human object; if through these vaults the anthem roll its peals, and even from this sacred desk the voice of eulogy pronounce its periods ; let not a scrupulous piety tremble, lest we repeat the ancient error of those who deified the departed hero, or who canonized the ascended saint. Rightly and truly blessed be, and are the memories of those whose living persons were virtue's noblest models, whose deaths were piety's loftiest triumphs, and whose tombs are vocal with syllables of the purest monition that the breezes of earth ever wafted, and registered with the most sacred mementos that the sun of heaven ever illumined. And surely, surely, if the intense but painful interest of the world has often been concentrated upon the morbid development of all the splendid infirmities and brilliant madnesses that have ever sermented in the brain of wayward and misanthropic genius—if a depraved curiosity has been wickedly attracted and disgustingly satiated with the open publication of the private registries of talented profligacy-if even history has drawn the world's eye, in raptured fascination upon the triumphant footsteps of giant ambition and stupendous crime—then, indeed, piety may pause in contemplation of one of her purest models; science may pay her tribute to one of her noblest champions; humanity may drop a tear upon the grave of one of her most sympathizing sons; and all may unite in consecrating an affectionate memento, and wreathing a sacred laurel for the memory and name of WILBUR Fisk.
To give an extended detail of the events of Dr. Fisk's life forms no part of my design. His biography, assigned by himself as it has been to an official and amply competent hand, will, we trust, give justice to the subject, and satisfaction to the public. Rich, as such a character must be in beautiful religious example, and fertile in moral lesson, it would not be very easy, as surely it would not be very desirable, to omit those higher and holier bearings of our subject; yet as the Christian and ministerial character of Dr. Fisk have been made subjects of eloquent discourse, from the pulpit and through the press, by some of his ministerial brethren, who, from their intimate association with him, were well qualified to make his tomb preach through their voice, we may be permitted this evening to dwell more at large upon the intellectual, scholastic, and literary departments of his character.