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A BRIEF VIEW
PROMOTING CHRISTIANITY AMONGST THE JEWS.
A BRIEF VIEW,
In every question concerning the path of duty, or the grounds of encouragement, it is always most satisfying to a Christian mind, to waive the endless disputations of
and to come at once to the plain declarations of Scripture, simply enquiring How “it is written?" and What “the Lord hath spoken ?”
The cause of the London Society can never be put. upon stronger grounds than when this principle is adopted. Our duty to proclaim the tidings of Salvation to the Jews can never be questioned, while the commandment stands, in unequivocal language, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature." (Mark xvi. 15.) Here the London Society stands exactly upon the same broad and firm ground, which is the basis equally of all endeavours to promote the eternal interests of our fellowsinners at home, and of all missionary exertions abroad. The Jews “are by nature children of wrath, even as others,"—they are living and dying, not merely in ignorance of that “only Name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved,” (Acts iv. 12,) but in direct and positive enmity against it. They are guilty of a more awful rejection of the great and only Salvation than the heathen can be. Their state is therefore more dangerous, and claims our deeper interest and compassion. And, if there be any priority of claim, upon Scriptural grounds, which should serve to direct and determine our first endeavours to a particular people,--surely no nation can dispute it with the Jew, so long as we find it written, “ Thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his Name among all nations, BEGINNING AT JERUSALEM,” (Luke xxiv. 46, 47,) and while the uniform practice of even “the Apostle of the
Gentiles” stands on record for our instruction. (Acts xiii. 5, 14, 46, xiv. 1, xvii. 1-3, 10, 17, xviii. 4–6, 19, xix. 8, xxviii. 17-23.)
“But," it is objected, “the Jews are so hardened, degraded, and perverse,--so prejudiced and sunk in unbelief and sin,-so enslaved to the world and the flesh,—that it seems impossible we should succeed.” Truly “ with men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible,” (Mark x. 27,) and “the Gospel of Christ is THE POWER OF Gov unto salvation to every one that believeth ; TO THE JEW FIRST, and also to the Greek.” (Rom. i. 16.) Our encouragement, therefore, to labour among the Jews, stands, thus far, upon exactly the same grounds as that to labour among Gentiles: and it is remarkable that, even here, the priority of the Jew is acknowledged. We must go forth, then, among them preaching the word in faith—in dependence upon the power and Spirit of God to make it effectual to some.
But it is desirable, that Christians should search their Bibles yet further on this subject. They would then find some special grounds of encouragement to labour among the Jews; and, each for himself, would be enabled to answer the doubts and difficulties arising in his own mind (from human infirmity, or from the suggestions of Satan) and the objections brought forward by others, upon this simple principle, “I the LORD have spoken it, and I will do it.” (Ez. xxxvi. 36.)
“ And what has the LORD spoken concerning Israel ?" We may give a brief and comprehensive answer to this question, by referring to a single passage of Scripture. Take, for instance, Ez. xxxvi. and xxxvii.
Here we shall find three things especially promised concerning Israel.
1. Restoration to their own land. “ I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.” (Ez. xxxvi. 24.) “ And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers." (v. 28.) “ Thus saith the Lord God; In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded. And the desolate land shall be tilled, wbereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that passed by.
And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited. Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the LORD build the ruined places, and plant that that was desolate : I the LORD have spoken it, and I will do it.” (Ver. 33–36.) And xxxvii. 19–22 is equally clear and decisive: “Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand. And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes. And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land; And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one King shall be king to them all : and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all.” Whereon it should be observed, that the promise extends to Ephraim as well as to Judah ; to the ten tribes, as well as to the two.
2. Spiritual Conversion. “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean : from all your filthinesss, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgements, and do them." (xxxvi. 25—27.) “Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions : but I will save them out of all their dwelling-places, wherein they sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God. And David my servant shall be King over them; and they shall all have one Shepherd : and they shall also walk in my judgements, and observe my statutes, and do them.” (xxxvii. 23, 24.) Where it is, evidently, the mystical David that is intended : that is to