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[130] Yet it becomes us to speak of unfulfilled prophecy with reserve and humility; while the general result is clear, the particular mode of accomplishment is left in obscurity for the most important practical purposes--the exercise of faith, and hope, and humility. Let us then be satisfied with general views, without being anxious to understand or state the exact mode in which God will accomplish his purposes, and explain the various minute particulars connected with them; about which after all, we may entirely mistake, for we are not prophets, and should not speak as if we were. While we search the prophets diligently, let us be willing to suspend our judgment concerning such deep subjects as the various particulars of God's purposes, till it shall please him to make them manifest by the event. Surely there is much wisdom in the saying of one of the fathersmelius est dubitare de occultis quam litigare de incertis.

Having given these general remarks, we need not pursue the subject much farther as to particular prophecies respecting the Jews in the Old Testament yet unfulfilled.

The following rules have been given to assist in ascertaining whether prophecies respecting the Jews are yet to be fulfilled. 1. When Judea and Israel are both included in the promised blessings, as Isaiah xi. 12;-2. When permanent blessings are promised to them, as Ezekiel xxxix. 29;—3. When the time for the fulfilment is designated by the latter [131] days," as in Hosea iii. 5;-4. When they are accompanied by predictions of universal peace, as in Isaiah xi.

We would not enter into a particular examination of these rules, wḥich would lead to a lengthened discussion; but only observe generally, that it is well, in interpreting any particular prophecy, to consider whether it may not have received its designed first accomplishment as it regards the Jews,-or be now in a course of spiritual accomplishment,-or be hereafter to be accomplished in a higher and more extended sense. It is not quite clear that the term “for ever," annexed to promises, necessarily implies perpetuity. The statutes and ordinances of the Jews were said to be for ever, (Exod. xii. 17; xxxi. 16.) when they appear only to have been given while that dispensation lasted: though we know not so distinctly the purposes of Jehovah respecting the Jews, as to speak without hesitation.

Two or three instances may illustrate the subject. In Isaiah ii. 1–5, there is a promise of the extension of the Redeemer's kingdom, by the going forth of the law out of Zion. That it was in some degree fulfilled in the apostolic times will be generally admitted; we are now also come to Mount Zion, Heb. xii. 22, and a fuller literal accomplishment will doubtless yet take place. In like manner, Isaiah Ix. 1-5, began its course of accomplishment on the day of Pentecost, and will, in the fulness of time, through the converted Jews,* be more abundantly [132] and literally fulfilled, and all be realized. The prophecy of Zechariah, (viii. 23.) that “ten men should take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew,” was remarkably accomplished in the preaching of the word by the apostles, though we would not preclude a further accomplishment hereafter.

For a particular explanation of the various prophecies, the reader is referred to the writings of those who have deeply studied this subject; especially Mede, Bishop Newton, Woodhouse, Cuninghame, &c. Scott's Answer to Rabbi Crool contains also much information. Expectations of a mere earthly kingdom, and worldly splendour and glory, as they are far below the promised glory, so also they seem inconsistent with our Saviour's declaration, John xviii. 36, “My kingdom is not of this world;" but this declaration must be taken in connexion with those which shew that a universal kingdom of Christ shall be established on the ruins of all others, Daniel ii. 44; vii. 27, and Rev. xi. 15. The special blessings which Christ bestows on his people, in his kingdom, are holy, spiritual, and heavenly; whatever be its outward glory.

The glory of the Jewish nation when restored and converted, and the blessedness from this to the whole earth, is the theme of

many a glowing prediction of scripture, which our former statements will shew remain yet to be realized. The author, in a sermon before the Jews' Society, has dwelt at some [133] length on this subject. See the Sermon in the Author's Occasional Works. He stated his views thus :

The salvation of Israel is connected with THE COMING OF THE SAVIOUR. St. Paul shews, that “all Israel shall be saved; as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer. Rom. xi. 26. So Isaiah declares, “ Behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you,” Isaiah xxxv. 4; and in his eleventh chapter, he connects the restoration of Israel with the reign of Christ. Daniel also foretells, “At that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince, which standeth for the children of thy

* Archbishop Leighton, in a sermon on Isaiah lx. 1, applies the text to the whole church of Christ; yet thus speaks of it with reference to the Jews :-“Undoubtedly the people of the Jews shall once more be commanded to arise and shine, and their return shall be the riches of the Gentiles, and that shall be a more glorious time than ever the church of Christ did yet behold.” Nor is there any inconvenience if we think that the high expressions of this prophecy have some spiritual reference to that time, since the great doctor of the Gentiles applies some words of the former chapter to that purpose. (Rom. xi. 29.) They forget a main point of the church's glory, who pray not daily for the conversion of the Jews.

people; and there shall be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation, even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book," Dan. xii. 1. So in the Psalms it is predicted, “When the Lord shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory, Psalms cii. 16. The precise period of our Lord's return is nowhere, I apprehend, revealed to us; but whether it precedes, or accompanies, or follows the return of Judah and Israel to their own land, varied expressions in God's word lead us to the conclusion that it is immediately connected with that event. In Micha ii. 13, a passage applied by Lowth to the general restoration of the Jewish nation, we have this statement: “ The breaker is gone up before them; they have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it, and their king shall pass before them, and the Lord on the head of them,” Micah ii. 13. We read in Zechariah xii. 9, 10. “ It shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come [134] against Jerusalem; and I will pour upon the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem the spirit of grace and of supplications; and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced; and they shall mourn for him.” And again: “ Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle: and his feet shall stand upon Mount Olivet,” Zech. xiv. 3; and presently afterwards, “the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee." And so, in the closing book of Revelation, it is declared, “ Behold, he cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him." Rev. i. 7.

These varied quotations all bear to one point, that the Lord Jesus will personally and visibly come, not only for the destruction of his enemies, but also in mercy to his people Israel.

That announcement, which the angel made to Mary before his birth, “ The Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David; and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end,” Luke i. 32, is still to be fulfilled: our Lord Christ has never yet had the throne of David, nor reigned over the house of Jacob, which includes the twelve tribes of Israel.

Their future history is to be the very contrast of their present state. They are all to be sought out, gathered together, and restored to their own land. God himself will take this work especially under his own care. Ezek. xxxiv. 11-13. The nations of the earth are described as assisting in it, Isaiah xlix. 22; Ixvi. 20.

When thus gathered from all lands, and re-assembled [135] once more in their own country, they will be placed under the care and government of our Lord Christ.

“ I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David.” Ezek. xxxiv. 23; Luke i. 32, 33. Who can conceive the joy of that Shepherd, who wept over their desolation, in the recovering again of these his lost sheep; or, who can imagine their joy after all their wanderings, terrors, dangers, and miseries, in being thus sought out and restored, governed and for ever blessed by Him?

In that full and minute description given by Ezekiel of the latter-day glory, of the city, the temple, and the promised land, the prophet closes all by stating, “ The name of the city from that day shall be, the Lord is there. Ezek. xlviii. 13. Again, “ Thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken,” (Isa. Ixii. 12.) is a part of their promised glory. The very expression, city, shews gathering together, and national restoration, both union and a kingdom. And when Zion is thus a city not forsaken, that prediction will be realized, “ Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations.” Isaiah Ix. 15.

Great are the blessings to be bestowed upon Israel: and what shall be the issue of all this? Glory will be given to God in the highest, and universal joy diffused among all holy beings.

The conversion and salvation, the restoration and glory of Israel, will eminently display the honour of the triune Jehovah. What riches of forbearance, patience, long-suffering, and faithfulness will it manifest in our heavenly Father! How wonderful [136] the glories of his electing love in once rebellious, and then recovered Israel! What efficacy in our Redeemer's blood! What a prevalency in his intercession for his worst and bitterest enemies! What omnipotent energy and grace in the Holy Ghost, by his overcoming all their infidelity, prejudices, and obstinacy! Oh, what a bright and valuable jewel in the Redeemer's many crowns, (Rev. xix. 12,) at the latter day, will be converted Israel, holy and joyful in their own land!

What joy also in heaven! If the angels joy over one sinner that repents, (Luke xv. 10,) what will be their joy over the restoration of the long-lost, the ancient people of God? Heaven itself is filled with patriarchs, and kings, prophets, apostles, and martyrs, the very ancestors of these Jews. They cannot be uninterested in the remnant to be saved. Oh! how will hallelujahs afresh resound through all the heavenly mansions, when their own descendants, after so many ages of delay, at length return to the Saviour, and yield themselves to him!

Nor will the nations of the earth be without their share in this general joy. " The Gentiles are to rejoice with his people.” Deut. xxxii. 43. Songs of glory will at length burst forth from every land to the Divine Redeemer. When we are told, “ He has remembered his mercy and truth towards the house of Israel," it is added, " And all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth; make a loud noise, rejoice and sing praise.” Psalms xcviii. 3. And so “ the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” Hab. ii. 14.

[137] The whole history of the Jewish church* foretold and illustrated by prophecy, presents many a striking lesson. It shews us the sovereign, righteous, and merciful government of Jehovah: the fatal consequences of unbelief; the infinite importance of knowing the day of salvation, and rightly improving our spiritual privileges. It holds forth many an affecting illustration of the wisdom and power, the forbearance and loving-kindness, the justice and compassion of the great Lord of all.

CHAPTER IX.

PROPHECIES RESPECTING NATIONS AND COUNTRIES CONNECTED

WITH THE JEWS.

[138] As all the prophecies bear on Christ and his church, whether Jewish or Christian, but little is said about nations

* The Rev. H. Howarth, in his Hulsean Lectures, "on Jesus of Nazareth," speaking of the influence of the Jews now, says, "The world's wealth is their's -the wheels of the mightiest governments of modern days have been moved by their assistance. Wars are proclaimed and treaties guaranteed not without their potent intervention; and although still an humbled and unobtrusive race, none are ignorant of their real sway, nor of the almost omnipotent control which they can exert over the destinies of states.” In his notes he refers to a Memoir of N. M. Rothschild, in the Metropolitan Magazine, 1836, which speaks of the continental wars as reducing the inferior princes of Germany to a state of painful obligation to the leading members of the Hebrew persuasion, who had so long been treated with scorn.

The journal du Commerce states that the five brothers the Rothschilds have taken part in most of the great financial affairs of France, of England, and almost every country. Their power was at one time such that they were free to make either peace or war.

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