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ture, extent, and duration ; cannot, consistently with the limits we have prescribed to ourselves, be here ex? plained. These subjects are indeed of the most interesting concern, and fall perfectly within the plan of the present work. But the discussion would lead to deep and extensive research ; and if pursued, it must be done in a supplementary volume.
At present it will be sufficient to furnish proof that a restoration is to take place. : . There are several things in the transactions of God with Abraham, and in the history of the patriarchs; which imply such an event. Abraham's call had immediate, and express respect to the land of Ca.
The land was promised, not to his seed on ly, but to him personally. Genesis xii. 15.-“For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed forever.” 17th verse. “Arise walk through the land in the length of it, and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee." The words have -express respect, not only to his seed, but to him per sonally. Abraham himself was to inherit it. : A miracle was wrought to assure him of it. See the 15th chapter. In the 17th chapter, 81h verse, it is promised to him distinctly, and secured to him as an everlasting possession. Yet it is remarked, and evidently remarked with design, by the Martyr Stephen, Acts vii: “And he
gave him none inheritance in it; no, not so much as to set his foot on ; yet he promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child." Agreeably to this it is remarked in the eleventh of Hebrews, that Abraham went into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance; and that he sojourned in the land of promise as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles, with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise.” This idea is suggested also in Exodus vi. 4. • And I have also established my covenant with them, (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage ; wherein they were strangers." These passages unitedly inform us that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, were mere strangers in this country; and that they never had actual possession of it according to promise. How are these facts reconcileable with the execution of the covenant ? Perhaps the fulfilment of this article of it is yet a future eveni. So far as the scriptures favor this idea, and it is apprehended they do favor it greatly, they authorize us to expect a restoration. There are several circumstances also in the history of the patriarchs, which pretty evidently look forward to such an event. God's plan is one, is of a piece, and reaches down to very remote periods of time.' Many of the events which go to constitute this plan, considered in themselves, may seem frivolous, and not worth detailing in a serious narrative ; yet may be important in their connexion with the result. The formal purchase of the cave of Machpelah; the burial of Sarah, of Abraham, Isaac, Rebecca, Jacob, and Leah in that place ; the oath imposed by Jacob, and taken by Joseph, that he would see that his father's bones had sepulture there ; the care with which, in conformity to a similar oath, the bones of Joseph were carried up by the Israelites when they left Egypt for the same purpose; the language of heirship to this land, which is wrought into the cove: nant, and runs through every part of scripture; the ejection of the idolatrous inhabitants of the land, as in, truders, by a series of miracles'; the very much that is said of this land in distinction from all other lands, as specially God's property ; (see Leviticus xxv. 23) as a land which God's eye is perpetually upon, and which he careth for; and its being made expressly typical of the blessedness of saints, which is not limited in duration, seem to look forward, with no little force of evi. dence, to a final, and peculiarly triumphant possession of this land. Christ is eminently the heir. He is heir of the aggregate good conveyed in the promises. But it cannot be supposed he has ever yet entered into possession, according to the true intent of this character. It would seem he must yet, at some period, eject his enemies; who, to the prejudice of his rights, and
those of his people, have occupied this land ; and take rightful possession of it, in a manner becoming the spirit of the promise, and the dignity of his character,
Several of the prophecies in the Revelation, particularly the one recorded in the 20th chapter, respecting the attempts of Gog upon the beloved city, suppose the church to hold a local position, and that the city is rais. ed from its ruins.
But let us resort to the less questionable evidence of scripture prediction. The first passage which we shall notice of this kind, is in the 26th of Leviticus. The reader is requested to take his bible in his hand, and turn to this chapter. He will pleasę to read, from the beginning of the fourteenth verse, to the end of the chapter. The whole of the passage is connected, and looks forward to future periods. It seems to be a de. signed prehistory of great apostacies of the Israelitish people, and the desolating judgments, which, in consequence, they would experience. From the beginning of the 27th to the end of the 39th verse, is a description, which applies to the last great apostacy, and evidently coincides with the events which have taken place under the present dispersion. This apostacy is not to be the final condition of this people. A general repentance is supposed ; verse 40. “ If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they have trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me, and that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brougit them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised heart be humbled, and they then accept the punishment of their iniquities.” This is the preparatory scene, which, though hypothetically spoken of, is plainly to take place. The consequence is to be a restoration. " Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land." The exact agreement between this passage, and facts, as far as time has proceeded, constrains us to consider it as of the nature of a prediction. The apostate Jews are then to be brought to a general repentance. The consequence will be the execution of the Abrahamic covenant in their behalf. And this execution of the covenant is particularly to respect the land. Why does God engage to remember this covenant, in connexion with remembering the land, unless the absolute promises of it extend to such an event ?
A corresponding passage we have in Deuteronomy iv. 29, 30, 31. “ But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart, and with all thy soul. When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days ; if thou turn unto the Lord thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice, (for the Lord thy God is a merciful God, he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of the fathers which he sware unto thee.” The same preparatory events are here supposed, and the same consequent good is secured. God will remember the covenant to fulfil it in every promise of it. The 29th and 30th chapters of this book contain a republication of the same truths. The prediction has here however a fuller explanation, and one which goes much to confirm the doctrine of a restoration. See the 3d verse of the 30th chapter. « That then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion on thee, and will return, and gather thee from all the nations whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee. If any of thine be driven out into the outmost parts of heaven; from thence will the Lord thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee. And the Lord thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it, and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers. And the Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou
mayest live." Here a restoration to the land is promised. It is promised conditionally indeed. Yei it is evident the condition is to take place. As the condition is to take place, the words are cquivalent with a prediction. They teach us, that the dispersed fugitives are all to be gathered in. They are to be planted in the land, and under circumstances of unparalleled glory. They are to be sanctified, from the least unto the greatest, so as to be sincerely, and most affectionately devoted to God.
The closing verse in the song of Moses, recorded in the 32d chapter, evidently refers to this event.“ Rejoice, O ye nations with his people, for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people.” The land is here distinctly mentioned as to be visited with mercy. This can imply nothing less than that the proper heirs shall come into possession of it.
Let us next turn our eye to the closing verses of the following chapter. Here is the blessing with which Moses was inspired to bless Israel before his decease. “ There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun, who rideth upon the heaven for thine help, and in his excel. lency on the sky. The eternal God is thy refuge ; and underneath are the everlasting arms ; and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee, and shall say, destroy them. Israel then shall dwell in safety alone ; the fountain of Jacob shall be upon a land of corn and wine ; also the heavens shall drop down dew. Happy ait thou O Israel ; who is like unto thee, people, saved by the Lord, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency. And thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee, and thou shalt tread upon their high places.” It may be said, these words refer to the conquest of Canaäil, under the conduct of Joshua. No doubt they do in part. But it would be wholly contrary to the spirit of the covenant, and to the analogy of the scripture, to confine them to this event. The possession in which this conquest terminated, was but partial, interrupted, and temporary ; nor is there any thing which has been experienced, which equals the