Imágenes de páginas

LEC. v.]



for the literal interpretation of Scripture, should not gainsay:

“Thus saith the Lord God to Jerusalem, Thy birth and thy nativity is of the land

of Canaan ; Thy father was an Amorite, And thy mother an Hittite."

[ocr errors]

The very first mothers of the Jews; Shuah, the mother of Judah's first three children ; and also Tamar, mother of Phares and Zara ; were, it would seem, Canaanites of the children of Heth. And the men of Jerusalem, the first stock of its inhabitants, were Jebusites, belonging to the nation of the Amerites. But, was that tribe, or that city, therefore, excluded from the inheritance of Israel? No. Of that very tribe,—although into the line of his ancestry was brought another Canaanitess, Rahab, of Jericho; and, also, the Moabitess, Ruth,—of that very tribe, by this very line, came Christ, the Saviour, the promised Son of David, the rightful King of Israel. And this very city did he make one of the principal scenes of his ministry; and here it was that he commanded his apostles to commence their ministry, after his resurrection: here it was that the Holy Ghost descended in such power, upon the day of Pentecost; and hence was the glad sound of salvation, in the name of Jesus, sent forth unto the ends of the earth. Say we these things—do we then bring forward these historical truths—for the purpose of disparaging the Jew? No: far be it: —but to illustrate the truth respecting Israel ; and to show, that those who were taken out of the land cannot be more lost among theGentiles,than were the people that remained in the land. If there was one people cursed above another, it was Edom, of the children of Abraham : it was Canaan, among the more immediate descendants of Noah: and with both of these the Jews have become most signally mingled, so as to become one people with them, and so as to inherit the curse of both. As Ham, the father of Canaan, exposed Noah, the saviour of his family, to shame, so have his chil

dren, as being the inhabitants of Jerusalem, exposed to shame the Saviour of the world, and that, upon the accursed tree; and as Edom pursued his brother Jacob with constant red, so did his descendants among the Jews pursue, with unceasing hatred, not only Christ, the Head, but also his followers, so long as they had the power. But, shall they be excluded ? No: Even although the Canaanites, dwelling along the sea coast, were also ultimately taken up into Judah ; yet still,—even granting that with them is Ashkelon, and Ashdod, and Ekron, —still we have the word of prophecy, (Zech. ix. 7):

He that remaineth, even he,—for our God; and he shall be as a governor in Judah; and Ekron as a Jebusite." —Even Ekron shall be as that portion of the Canaanites, who were built up in the very midst of His people. But, if God will deal thus kindly with the Jews, who are thus so unequivocally one with the children of the curse; it may be expected, that He will deal at least equally, according to promise, with that other house, which comprehends the body of the people, so as to be called all Israel ; and which, however mingled among the Gentiles, cannot be worse mingled than the Jews are about whose case, as the subject of prophecy, so little doubt has been generally entertained.

When the great restoration of Israel is referred to in prophecy, let it be again remembered, it is Israel, or Ephraim, that is chiefly spoken of. It is that house of Israel which has been accounted lost, that is ever brought to remembrance. Jerusalem and her daughters shall not return, until they return in the midst of Samaria and her daughters; and also, it would seem, amid the children of Lot : and not by her own covenant, which she has broken, shall Judah be given possession of the land; but in the right of the One Seed, Christ, the true First-born, their crucified Messiah, upon whom they shall look, and mourn their unbelief and ingratitude. Then shall they



[LEC. v.

also acknowledge that God has, indeed, been a Father to Israel, and that Ephraim is his first-born, in whose religious privileges, as well as temporal blessings, they shall be glad to participate. Then shall the children of Judah walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north, to the land that the Lord had given unto the fathers, in the name of the promised Messiah. This grand gathering together will, it would seem, take place in the north; and chiefly in the north-west. But it is not alone here, where Antichrist hath his seat, and where Christ hath so much been for a stone of stumbling, and rock of offence, to both houses of Israel, -it is not only here that the lost sheep of the house of Israel shall

be recovered. The remnant left in all the countries around, shall also be brought back unto their father's house. The prophet Isaiah, besides having mentioned, in the preceding part of chapter xi, the great release from the wicked, here in the north-west, takes, in verse 11, quite a circuit all round the land,—mentioning Egypt and Pathros, in the south, Gush and Elam, in the east, Shinar and Hamath, northward, and the Islands of the Sea, in the west.

It is not of Judah, alone, whose captivity was restored from Babylon, and who was not taken captive by Assyria, which Israel was, at the time Isaiah prophesied—it was of All Israel, that the prophet foretold as follows, Is. xi. 11—16:

"And it shall come to pass in that day,
The Lord shall set again his hand the second time.
To recover the remnant of his people,
Which shall be left from Assyria,
And from Egypt, and from Pathros,
And from Cush, and from Elam,
And from Shinar. and from Hamath,
And from the islands of the sea.

And he shall set up an ensign for the nations,
And shall assemble the outcasts of Israel;
And gather together the dispersed of Judah,
From the four corners of the earth.
The envy also of Ephraim shall depart,
And the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off :
Ephraim shall not envy Judah,
And Judah shall not vex Ephraim.
But they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west;
They shall spoil them of the east together;
They shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab;
And the children of Amman shall obey them.
And the Lord shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea;
And with his mighty wind shall He shake his hand over the river,
And shall smite it in the seven streams,
And make men go over dry shod.
And there shall he an highway for the remnant of his people.
Which shall be left from Assyria;
Like as it was to Israel,
In the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt."



"For they—a nation void of counsel,
Neither—understanding in them.
О that they were wise, they understood this,
—They would consider their latter end !

How should one chase a thousand,
And two put ten thousand to flight,
Except then- Rock had sold them,

And the Lord had shut them up ?
For their rock—not as our Rock,
Even our enemies themselves—judges.
For their vine--of the vine of Sodom,

And of the fields of Gomorrah ;
Their grapes—grapes of gall, their clusters—bitter.
Their wine—the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps."

Deut. xxxii. 28-33.

Certainty of the Recovery of Israel.—Objections.--Israel have become mingled among the Gentiles. What is to become of the Gentiles ?—The literal and spiritual Israel, one. --Abraham's Three Families, correspondent to the Three Sons of Noah.--Ishmael and Ham.

-Children of Keturah and Shem.—Jacob and Japhet. The wo of Prophecy points northward, to the place whither Israel had gone, and whence they are yet to be brought.

--The great Prophetic line of Empires running north-west.--Antichrist, the consummation of the Tyrant Empires in the north-west; Is. xi. 1—5, 6_-10.—Four songs of fourteeen lines each, (Is. ix. 8—21; x. 1—1,) describing the progress of Israel's Punishment.--First: Israel, immediately before their Removal from the Land.—Second : Israel, as being removed by the Assyrian.-Third: Israel, after removal, in the same place with Judah.--Fourth : Israel, before the Great Judgment.—Our Saviour's Ministry went out northward. That of the Apostles proceeded north-westward. - The Epistles all sent to places in the same direction- The Apocalypse carries our view onward to our own part of the World.—Conclusion of the Argument: Here are to be found the Sheep of God's pasture.

Notwithstanding the clearness of the prophetic word, respecting the recovery of Israel, in the latter time, their very existence has, like the birth of a son to Sarah, appeared to many, all but impossible. Just as sure, however, as Isaac was born, shall the nations that were to come of Jacob, be forthcoming. We have the word of God for the one, as well as for the other; and, if this

may avail any thing, we have it far more frequently. The prophets ex

patiate greatly upon this; and the New Testament has very explicit information upon the point. But, let us, for a moment, turn aside, to hear what man has to say upon the matter, that so we may the better be prepared to see the value of that mass of evidence, which has been provided in the kind providence of God, to remove his objections, and confirm him in the truth of God's most holy Word.

Some have supposed, that Israel, if




not lost, are yet, at least, so mixed among other people,—so blended with the Gentiles, as that they cannot be restored. And, it is, indeed, true, that "Ephraim hath mingled himself among the people;" and that the Lord hath sown Israel to himself in the earth; and that, like seed sown in the earth, he was, for a while, to all appearance, lost; but it is also true that,(Is. xxvii. 6)

"He shall cause them that come of Jacob,

to take root; Israel shall blossom and bud, And fill the face of the world with fruit."

strumentality righteousness and praise may spring forth and spread abroad in the sight of all people. Such was the design of God with regard to them, from the beginning; and He will do all his pleasure.

Perhaps some have run into the contrary extreme, and have supposed that something very remarkable is to distinguish the children of Israel, so as to make them shine out individually, as the favourites of Heaven, to the exclusion, as it were, of other people;that they are, and will remain, altogether distinct. Such seem to forget all that is said in Scripture, about the intermarriage of this people with other nations; and they overlook what is constantly occurring in the world, all down from the days of the Apostles, who left their children among the Gentiles. But, is it true, that the Gentiles are so to be excluded? Or, is it not rather true, that Israel has been and shall be, exalted, for the purpose of communicating blessing to the Gentiles? What saith Isaiah, to the stranger, who upon finding God's wonderful manifestation of love to the children of Israel, throughout all generations, may be apt to murmur, “ The Lord hath utterly separated me from his people;” (lvi. 6—(8:

The seed of God was, therefore, not in reality to be lost. His design, with regard to the people, shall, most assuredly, be at length accomplished. To the same purpose do we read, in the same prophet, (lxi. 9--11), "And their seed shall be known among

the Gentiles, And their offspring among the people ; All that see them shall acknowledge them, That they, the seed the Lord hath

blessed. I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For he hath clothed me with the garments

of salvation, He hath covered me with the robe of

righteousness; As a bridegroom decketh with ornaments, And as a bride adorneth with her jewels. For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, And as the garden causeth the things that

are sown in it to spring forth; So the Lord God will cause righteousness

and praise, To spring forth before all the nations."

The people that have come of Israel, are thus to be distinguished among the Gentiles, and are to be found, a people, whose superiority is acknowledged by all impartial witnesses. They are also to be found, as a people eminently blessed by divine grace, as well as by nature and providence. Theirs are the garments of salvation,—the robe of righteousness. And, here again, the beautiful emblem, of seed sown in the earth, is brought forth, to illustrate the case of a people, whose growth is naturally progressive, yet such as may well astonish the world; and it is, that through their in

Also the sons of the stranger,
That join themselves to the Lord,

To serve him,
And to love the name of the Lord,

To be his servants,
Every one that keepeth the Sabbath from

polluting it, And taketh hold of my covenant; Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, And make them joyful in my house of prayer; Their burnt-offerings and their sacrifices, Accepted upon mine altar; For mine house shall be called An house of prayer for all people. The Lord God, which gathereth the outcasts

of Israel, Saith, Yet will I gather others to him, Besides those that are gathered unto him."

Yes, thus it is written, even with regard to then- great and final settlement in the land, (Ezekiel, xlvii. 21– 23),

LEC. vi.]



“So shall ye divide this land unto you, According to the tribes of Israel

And it shall come to pass,
Ye shall divide it by lot for an inheritance

unto you, And to the strangers that sojourn among you Which shall beget children among you;

And they shall be unto you as born in the

Among the children of Israel ;
They shall have inheritance with you,
Among the tribes of Israel.

And it shall come to pass,
In what tribe the stranger sojourneth,
There shall ye give him his inheritance,

Saith the Lord God."

An opinion was once prevalent, that the prophecies respecting Israel, applied to these Christian nations, as being the spiritual, or surrogate Israel, and that we are not to look to the literal Israel as to the people in whom the Scriptures are to be fulfilled. Now, it is indeed true that the prophecies do apply to these Christian nations, but not to the exclusion of the literal Israel: for these nations do not only contain the main body of the spiritual,—they are also, as we shall see, the literal Israel.

On the other hand, the idea has lately been scouted by some, of applying these prophecies to nations called Gentile,—for it is said, the prophecies refer exclusively to the literal Israel: and it is true that the prophecies do indeed apply to the literal Israel,—but, for that very reason, they apply to the modern nations of Europe--and especially to the English nation, lineally descended from the lost son, Ephraim.

The opposing parties, as to prophecy, have thus had each a portion of the truth, which they have been attempting to magnify into the whole truth; and thus have they come into such direct contradiction; and thus are they so widely separating from each other. Here is common ground, upon which they may meet and embrace brethren, both in the flesh and the spirit; forgetting their disputes, as lost in admiration at the wonderful kindness towards them of the God of their fathers; and as feeling the responsibility under which they are placed, as the

depositories of the divine bounty, to minister, to the Jew, on the one hand, and the Gentile, on the other, the manifold wisdom of God. Such being the importance of the subject, let us earnestly apply our minds to a patient investigation of the truth respecting it. And, first, let us look at the indications afforded us of the place of Israel's sojourn,—as these may be discovered in the course of God's providence, and the leadings of his word.

There is symmetry in God's working:—and here it may not be foreign to our subject to revert again to the case of Abraham, to whom the promises were first, and so emphatically, made. He may be said to have had three families, which seem to have been designed to leaven, as it were, the three families of Noah, already adverted to. Abraham's first son, Ishmael, was by Hagar, the Egyptian. He received his portion in Arabia; and he has multiplied and spread as was promised. He has mainly spread southward; so that great part of Africa may now be said to be leavened by his posterity. Along the south bank of the Mediterranean, even as far as the Atlantic Ocean, the Arabs have extended their conquests. Had not the Gothic race come into Europe, Ishmael would also, most likely, have been given to possess it. But there was a barrier placed here, which they could never entirely remove. The prophecy delivered to Hagar has been amply fulfilled in her son Ishmael; (Gen. xvi. 10—12):

“I will multiply thy seed exceedingly,
That it shall not be numbered for multitude.
Behold, thou art with child,
And shalt bear a son,
And shalt call his name Ishmael;
Because the Lord hath heard thy affliction.
And he will be a wild man;
His hand will be against every man,
And every man's hand against him ;
And he shall dwell in the presence of all

his brethren."


Isaac, Sarah's child, was Abraham's second son, and in him was the promised seed to be called.

Abraham's third family was by Keturah; of whom it is said, Gen.

« AnteriorContinuar »