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THE PURPOSE OF GOD ACCORDING TO ELECTION.
house of Judah, which you ought not to do. You are never, in Scripture, directed to look for the former among the Jews, but among the Gentiles.They are the fulness of the Gentiles," and as such, are, indeed, frequently contrasted with the Jews in Scripture. Wanting this key, so clearly held out to you throughout the word of God, you could not but remain under the infliction of that blindness in part which hath happened unto Israel.
You say that“The sovereignty of God, on this hypothesis, would be resolved into almost a carnal and mechanical selection of one family, instead of that largeness and fulness of love, which the holy Scriptures reveal." Is this language consistent with your having changed the words of the apostle, “ Fulness of the Gentiles," into "Fulness of the elect among the Gentiles?" Surely you did not introduce election in words, in the beginning of this paragraph, in order to deny election altogether in point of fact, in all that you were afterwards to say on the subject. This would be using an artifice, with which I will not accuse you. Yet, unless you explain yourself farther, you may, to a simplehearted reader, seem to have done this. Those who have observed the inconsistencies of human nature, and especially of theologians, writing on prophecy respecting the Jews, need not, however, have recourse to any such uncharitable hypothesis. I wish you to consider that it was not I, hut God, that chose Abraham, and his seed for ever, and that made with them an everlasting covenant; the promises of which, Christ did not come to take away, but to confirm. And I do see greater largeness and fulness of love in God's leading about and instructing a people, and preparing them afore as vessels unto glory, and then casting them out among the nations, to be afterwards, as placed in the most favourable localities, used as instruments of communicating blessing to the whole family of man:—More blessing I see in this, than if he had indiscriminately sent his word to any quarter
from Jerusalem--and not from Jerusalem, round about to Illyricumdirectly north westward, in the direction of the people he had prepared for his Name, and of whom he speaks, saying, "I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away."
Do you mean to say that God deals unrighteously and ungraciously with the human race, in making an election, whether of individuals or of nations, to be his special messengers or ministers of blessing unto others ? Or do you intend to deny that in point of fact he has not specially sent his word into the north country, after Backsliding Israel ? I call upon you to answer how else you can account for the existence of that law of Providence, as constant as the laws which regulate the movements of the heavenly bodies, according to which the whole tide of blessing hath flowed in the direction of the nations I haveidentified with Israel. And surely you will not maintain that the coming dispensation will show God to be ungracious and unrighteous, because Israel will therein be so exalted in the general ministration of blessing! Why should not the God of Israel be allowed, out of his free mercy, to place Ephraim, his first-born, in the position appointed him, and for which he hath for ages been preparing him, by his providential dealings? Why should the God of sovereign grace not be permitted to give to whom He will, the fitting qualifications for the service unto which he is pleased to call them? God will do all his pleasure. Yes, the Lord hath so far fulfilled his word, " I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her." He hath sowed her to himself in the earth; and he hath mercy on the outcast house of Israel, that had not obtained mercy upon Israel, as distinguished from Judah ; compare Hosea., ch. i. 6, 7, with ch. ii. 23. The name of his people was taken from them, but He is now saying unto them, "My people!" And may they, as knowing him to be indeed wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working,
NOTICE OF OTHER VIEWS.
speedily be brought to say unto Him, in the fulness of their hearts, “ My God."
As to other views, you say,
There is more reason to think there is a foundation for the opinion that the North American Indians were of the ten tribes, as shown with a good deal of apparent evidence in Mrs. Simon's “ Ten Tribes Identified."--I had examined Mrs. Simon's view long before our Israelitish origin was made known to me; but, however desirous I might be to see that at which the word of prophecy pointed, I certainly saw there no fulfilment of it. There was no evidence that they were a seed the Lord had blessed. They were not taking root downward, and filling the face of the world with fruit, as was predicted of Israel, whilst their own land would be forsaken and left like a wilderness. Here, at least, I can heartily accord with you in saying, that "we have no certainty yet respecting them." The injustice of the comparison you have ventured to make, between such a view and that I advocate, you will, I trust, yet be led to acknowledge.
With regard to the remnant said to be found by Mr. Samuel, the people in Daghistan, on the Caspian Sea, which you say were visited by him in 1837 and 1838, I believe there is as little certainty; and supposing they really had been visited by him, the Editor of his work acknowledges that their existence, as described, would not at all affect my argument.
As to the Nestorians, since described by Dr. Grant, they may indeed he those ready to perish in the land of Assyria: but they cannot be the fulness of the nations to come of Ephraim; and who were to be received into the blessing, not in the countries into which they were taken, but in those into which they should afterwards come. What you say with regard to the remnant said to be found, may well be said of the Nestorian community: " In any case this can only be a fragment of the whole."
It remains that I notice China, with regard to which you seem to have some
expectation. You observe that, “ If part of the ten tribes are in China, it is singular that both countries, Palestine and China, should, at this time (December, 1840), be so remarkably brought under the attention of Europe." China is, I believe, the last resource of the unbelievers in our Israelitish origin. The only proof, as far as I know, of Israel's having gone into China, is very unreasonable. It is not derived from the Bible, but from the apocryphal book of Esdras, where we are told, that after the ten tribes had been taken across the great waters by the Assyrians, they resolved to go into a farther country. And so, passing the springs of the Euphrates, they went a long journey of a yearand-a-half, to go into a land wherein never man dwelt, that they might there serve Him whose service they had so neglected in their own land. By their being said to pass the springs of the Euphrates, it is supposed they went eastward.
But any one, by looking at the map, may see, that, as being by the Assyrians carried away beyond the great waters, into the cities of the Medes, they were already eastward of the Euphrates; and needed not to repass it at the springs, except as passing north-westward, in the di. rection pointed out in the following Lectures; and whither the good Shepherd, who came to seek and to save that which was lost, hath followed them in the whole ministration of the Gospel; as well as with all the blessings of his providential goodness: so that he can in truth say, "I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away."
And surely the Lord's thus accomplishing his word, in leading his people “ in a way they knew not," and in, at length, making " darkness light before them, and crooked things straight;" in preserving them through so many great and strange revolutions, making an end of all the nations among whom they were scattered, but still preserving and increasing them :—from so small a beginning, enlarging them even unto all the ends of the earth; and, from the gates of death, raising them
PRACTICAL USE OF OUR ISRAELITISH ORIGIN.
up to make them the head of the heathen;—in giving to them, in these last days, all the advantages he said he would bestow, so that there hath not failed one good thing of all that the Lord had said he would do for them:- Surely the truth and the mercy of God towards the children of Israel, convey no barren lessons to us: to those in whose behalf God hath so manifested his wisdom, his power, and his goodness. Surely we are thus instructed that nothing is too hard for the Lord, and that we may henceforth fully confide in him in every strait. That we have only to avoid sin and unbelief, which brought such overwhelming calamities upon our fathers; and obediently trust in that Almighty Saviour, who hath, according to his word, delivered Israel thus far out of all their ills, and brought them into this state in which they may reasonably indulge in an expectancy as to the full accomplishment of all his promises. Surely we are taught that there is no wisdom, nor might against the Lord; and that our wisdom is to have the mind of Christ; and our might is in leaving ourselves in his hands, to be the instruments of his good pleasure, towards the children of men,
for good unto all. Surely if God hath been working in all these things according to his word, although man, perceived it not working according to his written word, which we held in our hands, and yet we perceived it not: but doubtfully regarded this word, as if there were no unity in the designs of God Eternal, nor power in the Almighty to accomplish that which He had promised unto our fathers: Surely, if thus we have been darkness, whilst the Lord hath been light about us;surely we shall henceforth mistrust ourselves: and we shall not implicitly confide in any creature, however raised in the world, or exalted in wisdom, or honoured even in the cause of God: but we shall say, Let the Lord alone be exalted; God is my refuge; and underneath are the everlasting arms.—Surely now it shall be said, as in Isa. xii. 1—3.—"O Lord, I will
praise Thee. Though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me." And surely we shall now in truth address ourselves to the work appointed us even the proclaiming the praise of God among all the people of Israel, as in v. 4, and even unto all the earth, as in v. 5. And especially to the house of Judah, the first, who shall he the last, but not the least, as showing the salvation of Israel. V. 6.
But, alas! although God has been thus far so good, how ungrateful have we been! We look upon the body of Israel, but as yet we may almost say, “ No breath is therein;" no harvest of Israel, like to the first-fruits of Judah, has as yet been enjoyed. We are, however, promised, that God shall most assuredly accomplish to scatter the power of the holy people. He will bring them together, and put his Spirit within them, and declare them to be his people, and He will be their God.
This resurrection of Israel, after having been lost, and buried, and scattered, is most justly in Scripture held forth as a grand type of the resurrection of the bodies of the individual saints, just as the resurrection of the Saviour was a grand pledge of this resurrection of Israel. And thus the words which are in the Old Testament used with regard to the resurrection of Israel, are in the New applied to the literal rising up of the saints from the dust of death. Compare Hos. xiii. 14. with 1 Cor. xv. 54—57; the same omniscience, faithfulness, and power, are manifest in the one instance as in the other. This grand subject of prophecy, which has a special reference to the loving-kindness of Jehovah, and the spiritual life of his people thence resulting, has thus also a prime reference to the two grand supports of this life, the objects of our faith and of our hope
:—our faith, which looks hack to the death and the resurrection of Jesus: who, at the same time that he made atonement for our sins, was confirming the promises made of God unto the fathers, with regard to their natural or literal seed, whose national
FARTHER IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF THE SUBJECT.
death had taken place; and who, after two days and a half, would be raised up, and made to stand in his eight. In regard to all which, this subject points forward to the object of our hope: to the appearing of our Lord in glory, and our own individual resurrection from the grave, with the whole body of the redeemed people of God, to share, fully and for ever, in the glory and blessedness of our already risen Head.
This subject has important aspects. It is calculated to draw the whole house of Israel into love and unity with each other, in self-distrust and mutual forgiveness; for all have been blind, and yet all have had some different portion of the truth. It is calculated to bring them into humble and holy effort for the good of the whole human race; for that, as we have seen, is the purpose for which they have been raised up, and not for proud oppressive pre-eminence. Seeing that such must be the results of this important truth respecting Israel, can we wonder that the subject occupies so overwhelming a portion of the Old Testament Scriptures? And seeing that this subject has not been understood, can we wonder that these Scriptures have been left in comparative neglect? They have been like a maze of sentences, expatiating as if in rhapsody upon a subject of which the mind had formed no definite idea: and which sentences have consequently been variously, and in all cases, but dimly shaped out by the various imaginations of men. And truly, when the Lord hath done his marvellous work, even a marvellous work and a wonder, he will shame all human wisdom, and, in that day, shall the deaf hear the words of the book: See Is. xxix. 18, 19. Most true it is that the consideration of this subject is necessary to the understanding the great body of the Old Testament Scripture, which chiefly consists of details of the Lord's various training of Israel, and prophecies respecting what would be done with, and by them, in after ages. This view is equally necessary to an understanding of the
course of Providence generally, and of the things that have happened, and are happening, to these kingdoms in particular. The origin of nations — the scattering of peoples, and the revolutions of empires—the formation of many of the most important national characteristics in politics, religion, and civil manners, are otherwise all involved in obscurity; but thus they become light thus the grand connecting links of history are discovered and gathered up; and all the nations are shown to be debtors to Israel, and Israel shown to be debtors to all the earth.
But, after all, there seems to be wisdom in God's hitherto hiding from Israel his true origin. It would at first, perhaps, have been an embarrassing matter to have employed these nations in the multiplication of Bibles, and in the spreading them abroad among all nations, had they been made acquainted with the fact that they themselves are the people with regard to whose origin and destiny so much has been said in the Scriptures. The witnesses have been transmitted, as if silently, to all nations, without its being known what they would testify in this respect; and then shall they all with, as it were, one voice, als though in every language under heaven, proclaim the wonderful works of God in his dealings with Israel. Then, astonished at our own stupidity, and the Lord's great goodness, our months shall be filled with laughter, and our hearts with rejoicing. And even they far off among the heathen shall say, “ The Lord hath done great things for them!" And we shall say, “ The Lord hath done great things for us! We are glad!"
That you may soon see and admire the marvellous goodness of our God toward the house of Israel, according as he spake unto our fathers from the days of old; and that you may thus be the better prepared to state clearly, and vindicate fully, his truth, is the heart's desire of yours in the love of our dear Lord Jesus,
SEVEN SEALS, SEVEN THUNDERS, AND FIVE-FOLD
NAME OF IMMANUEL.
AUTHOR OF LECTURES ON “OUR ISRAELITISH ORIGIN."
ISAIAH lvii. 13, 14.
And shall say,
JOHN xvi. 24. “ Hitherto have ye asked nothing in My Name: Ask and receive, that your joy may be full."
B. WERTHEIM, PATERNOSTER ROW.