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argument evidently rests upon the fact of the prediction referred to having been given in favour of those whose “ fall” was “the riches of the world," and "the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles ; " --which fall shall continue “ until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in," or till the close of the present Gentile dispensation.
Higher sanction cannot be required in favour of the interpretation already given of the above sublime prediction, as applicable to the Hebrew nation; to whom we have seen it is absolutely limited by the language of the prophecy itself. And we are thus admonished of the error of transferring to the Gentile church blessings pronounced on Israel. In general, the slightest examination of the context is sufficient to show to whom any prophecy refers; and this is particularly the case in the predictions concerning the honour which Israel shall obtain after their restoration. We quote another, parts of which are subjected to the same misapplication so often noticed : I will inake all my mountains & way," saith the Lord, “and my highways shall be exalted. Behold, these shall come from far: and, lo, these from the north and from the west : and these from the land of Sinim. Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains : for the Lord hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted. But Zion said, the Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palm of my hands; thy walls are continually before me. Thy children shall make haste ; thy destroyers, and they that made thee waste, shall go forth of thee. Lift up thine eyes round about, and behold: all these gather themselves together, and come to thee. As I live, saith the Lord, thou shalt surelv clothe thee with them all, as with an ornament, and bind them on thee, as a bride doeth. For thy waste and thy desolate places, and the land of thy destruction, shall even now be too narrow by reason of the inhabitants, and they that swallowed thee up shall be far away. The children which thou shalt have, after thou hast lost the other, shall say again in thine ears, The place is too strait for me: give place to me that I may dwell. Then shalt thou say in thine heart, Who hath begotten me these, seeing I have lost my children, and am desolate, a captive, and removing to and fro ? and who hath brought up these? Behold, I was left alone; these, where had 'they been? Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I will lift up mine hand 10 the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and They shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders. And kings shall be thy nursing-fathers, and their queens thy nursing-mothers : they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet: and thou shalt know that I am the Lord : for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me." Is. xlix. 11–23.
In the preceding Sections, it has been fully shown who they are, that at the commencement of the Millennium, shall come “ from the north and from the west, and from the land of Sinim.” It has also been ascertained, to what Zion it has been said, “thy children, shall make haste;" that it is that Zion which the destroyers have so long made" waste;" she who yet complains, “I have lost [by dispersion] my children, and am desolate.” It is the same Zion whose “sons and daughters” are brought to their own land,—brought by friendly “Gen. tiles.” The pen of Inspiration here clearly draws the distinction so often overlooked by those interpreters who refer such predictions to the Gentlle church ; "Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people; and they shall bring thy [Zion's] sons, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders"--a beautiful figure of the tender and affectionale solicitude which be. lieving Gentiles shall yet feel in the interests of God's ancient people, and the assistance they shall render in their restoration. The figure is still continued in language which proves that the restoration of Israel to their land, will, at a future time, in some countries at least, become an object of royal concern; and that the ho. mage of the rulers of nations, in their official capacity, shall be presented to them : “ Kings shall be thy nursing-fathers, and queens thy nursing-mothers : they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet.” What a change must be effected in the minds of men, when the Lord shall have “ turned again the captivity of Zion !"—when, instead of being “ spoiled evermore,” Israel shall “ eat the riches of the Gentiles"-when, instead of their “old desolations,"
;" “ the sons of strangers shall build up their walls” -when instead of the oppression and tyranny they everywhere experience, “the nation and kingdom that will not serve them shall perish.”
The assistance rendered by Gentiles to Israel in returning to their own land is beautifully recognized in Scripture Prophecy as a service done to God, and they themselves are acknowledged as a “present” to Him. " In that time shall the present be brought unto the Lord of hosts, of a people scattered and peeled, (and from a people terrible from their beginning hitherto,) a nation meted out and trodden under foot, whose land the rivers have spoiled, to the place of the name of the Lord of hosts, the Mount Zion.” Is. xviii. 7. The “ time” referred to in the context is one of great commotion and distress; a period deeply interesting to “ All the inhabitants of the world, and dwellers on the earth.” ver. 3. In this time of awful trouble shall the restoration of Israel take place. (Dan. xii. 12.) They shall be aided in their return by others. The love of a mighty people shall be excited in their behalf; the love of a Christian people, for they shall bring Israel as a present "unto the Lord”—even literal Israel, the people who have been “scattered and peeled." They shall bring them not merely into the fellowship of the church, but to a particular place, the place of the name of the Lord of hosts,” which place is “ the Mount Zion.”
“And they shall build the o!d wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations. And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of
the alien shall be your plowmen and your vine-dress
But shall be named the Priests of the Lord; men shall call you the Priests of our God; ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves.” Is. Ixi. 4–6. In these verses it is ev, ident, that those thus honoured are not Gentiles, but a people distinguished from them. They shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, but are themselves that people who, in Scripture Prophecy and in Gospel narrative alike, are contrasted with them. They are those whose “ waste cities" need to be repaired, and whose “ former desolations” require to be raised, “even the desolations of many generations.” When again they shall possess their land in peace and in security, and when blessed with the forgiveness and especial favour of God, Gentiles shall willingly be their servants in tending their flocks, in cultivating their fields, and in dressing their vineyards; while they themselves are more honourably occupied in the service of God," but ye shall be named the Priests of the Lord; and men shall call you the Ministers of our God." The Lord - shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root; Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit." Is. xxvii. 6. 6 And it shall come to pass
shall be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith the Lord, they shall say no more, The Ark of the covenant of the Lord ; neither shall it come to mind, neither shall they remember it, neither shall they visit it, neither shall that be done any more. At that time they shall call Jerusalem The Throne of the Lord, and all nations shall be gathered into it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem ; neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil hearts.” Jer. iii. 16, 17. That this is the period of the Millennium, the last sentence sufficiently indicates. It is also connected immediately with the restoration both of Israel and of Judah, (ver. 18.) the context having been already considered. “ And thou, O tower of the flock, the stronghold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion, THE KINGDOM shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem.” Mic. iv. 8. This is also at the future restora
tion of Israel and Judah, when the Lord shall “ assemble her that halteth,” and “ gather her that is driven out.” ver. 6, 7. “In that day shall the Lord of Hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty unto the residue of his people."* Is. xxviii. 5.
JERUSALEM REBUILT AND ENLARGED.
Part of the provision made for the long-dispersed, outcast, and despised Israel, is the rebuilding of Jerusalem, the capital, and formerly the glory of their land. “ Thus saith the Lord, Again there shall be heard in this place, which ye say shall be desolate without man and beast, even in the city of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, (that are desolate without man, and without inhabitant, and without beast,) the voice of joy and the voice of gladness; the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride; the voice of them that shall say, Praise the Lord of Losts." Jer. xxxii. 10, 12. That this promise refers to future times is evident from its being when the Lord will cause both “the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return,” ver. 7; and " in those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely; and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS." ver. 16. Such descriptions of the safety and holiness of Jerusalem cannot apply to any part of her previous history, but refer decidedly to the period of the Millennium.
A similar prediction concerning the rebuilding of
Much of the difficulty which many experience in believing that these sublime and gracious promises shall really be accomplished, arises from their estimating God's designs concerning the future by present appearances, and from their always viewing the predictions with reference to human probability. But it ought to be remembered, that if “the Lord has spoken good concerning Israel,” that what He has promised he is able also to perform. It is charged as an aggravated part of the provocation in the wilderness, that they “tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.” Ps. lxxviii. 41.