Зображення сторінки

Spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord God.” Ezek. xxxix. 25—29. This clearly refers to the literal Israel, as it was they who “ went into captivity for their iniquity," who were led into captivity among the heathen ;” and it is they only who remain yet to be gathered “out of their enemies' lands.... unto their own land." Neither is this the restoration from Babylon, for all Israel did not then return; but, when this promise is fulfilled, there is “ left none of them any more there." It is also immediately subsequent to Israel's triumph over Gog, when they shall spoil those that spoiled them, and rob those that robbed them, saith the Lord.” ver. 10. It is, consequently, still future ; which is farther obvious from the Lord's gracious assurance, “ neither will I hide my face any more from them.”

If these predictions do not prove the future restoration of the literal Israel to the land of their fathers, it may certainly be asked, In what language could such a promise be made, that would not be equally liable to be misapplied, perverted, or discredited ? We may as well deny the literal conversion as the literal restoration of Israel-most of the passages which assure us of the one, predicting also the other. If it was not a figurative dispersion they suffered, neither will it be a figurative restoration they shall enjoy. And if dispersion was a part of the punishment of their national transgression, so also will restoration be obtained when forgiven of the Lord, and will be connected with their national repentance. And how wonderfully has the Lord preserved the Jews for this display of His soyereignty and grace! Although scattered into every nation of Europe,-nay, attracted into every country under heaven into which commerce has been introduced -- and possessed, as many of them are, of immense wealth-they have not been allowed to become the proprietors of any soil. They have no inheritance in other lands, and they have always cherished a passionate desire to return to their own. Throughout their long captivity, they have been thus kept unsubjected to the influence of other local attachments, and in a state of constant readiness for

migration ; and recent movements among them render it highly probable that the time of their general departure is at hand. By the dispensations of His providence, the Lord is manifestly preparing the way for their return. In the plenitude of their uncontrolled power, earthly potentates may indeed combine, and, with a view to perpetuate their systems of iniquity, may create kingdoms at will, allot to them the territories they shall possess, and appoint the kings by whom they shall be governed,* without asking counsel of the Lord, or regulating their decisions by His “ sure decree.”

In all their calculations, Israel may not be reckoned ; in their disposal of territory, no portion may be assigned for their inheritance. But the God of Jacob " has purposed, and who shall disannul it ?" “ Zion shall be redeemed with judgments, and her converts with righteousness." “ But ye, O mountains of Israel, ye shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to my people of Israel ; for they are at hand to come.”+ Is. i. 27. Ezek. xxxvi. 8.


* Written immediately after the annunciation of the allied Sovereigns of Europe having appointed Prince Leopold to the throne of Greece, and before the prince had tendered liis resignation.

+ In the Jewish Expositor for January 1830, (a monthly periodical deserving of more general circulation, being entirely devoted to the best interests of Israel, and containing regularly the correspondence of the Jewish Missionaries, there is an extract of a letter from Mr. Wolff, dated Cyprus, July 15, containing an account of 100 Jews, from Constantinople, having arrived at Jatta, while Mr. W. was there, on their way to Jerusalem. It is added, " A friend, on whose judgment and veracity equal confidence may be placed, writing from Constantinople, more recently, says that when he first arrived he heard of a great num ber of ships, hired by the Jews to convey them to Jerusalem. He found they were going in expectation of the near coming of their Mes siah. He adds, that thousands of families were preparing to embark from all quarters." This statement was confirmed by another friend, writing from the south of Europe, under date, November 28.




In the preceding Section, we have endeavored to prove, from the contexts of the passages adduced, that their only legitimate application is to the literal house of Israel; and that the restoration they predict is yet future. Distinct as these passages are, in proof of ihe positions maintained, those now to be cited are more obviously so, as the class of predictions they contain are still less capable of being alienated from their proper objects. Their accommodation to the Gentile church is still less admissible, because, from the distinctions they make, it is rendered more apparent that they relate to the descendants of Abraham. By express mention of the kingdom of Israel or the Ten Tribes, distinguished from that of Judah or the Two Tribes,* their reference to the literal Israel is put beyond question ; while the fact that the ten Tribes have received no general restoration since these predictions were given, renders it equally manifest that their promised return to the Holy Land is still future. Under Ezra, a small portion of the Israelites returned from Babylon to their own land, when liberated by Cyrus. But those who went up were in all only about fifty thousand, (including about seven thousand servants, Ezra ii. 64, 65.) not a fifth of the whole, and these appear to have been almost all, if not wholly, of the kingdom of Judah: namely the Two Tribes, Judah and Benjamin: (Ezra i. 6. iii. 9. iv. 1, 12.;) while we are expressly told that the “nations whom the great and noble Asnapper brought over, and set in the cities of Samaria,” when the Israelites were carried into Assyria, still continued to occupy them. (Ezra iv. 10.)

Attention is forcibly called to this distinction in certain predictions which relate to the different circumstances in which they have so long been placed Israel being outcast and Judah dispersed.

For at the time Samaria was taken by Shalmanezer he “ carried Israel [the Ten Tribes] away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah, and in Habor, by the river of Gozan; and in the cities of the Medes.... And the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Ava, and from Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instend of the children of Israel; and they possessed Samaria and dwelt in the cities thereof." 2 Kings xvii. 6, 24. Of the captive Israelites, individuals would doubtless embrace opportunities of returning, but it is known with certainty that no general restoration of them has since taken place. The testimony of History proves, that, both in the first and fifth centuries of the Christian era, they were still in or near the places, of their original settlement; but latterly they have disappeared from observation, and various conjectures are now entertained concerning their present situation and circumstances.* The Lord will, however, in His own time, bring them from their hiding place, as in the following predictions they are clearly distinguished from the kingdom of Judah, with whom they are to be restored and afterwards re-united.

With justice, therefore, in arguing the question, we might have assumed that those predictions which declare their combined restoration, even the whole house of Israel,” still remain unaccomplished. In addition to the evidence of this palpable fact, we will, however as in the preceding Section, endeavor to prove, from


* The features and customs of the American Indians have led many to believe them to be of Jewish extraction; and it was the opinion of Sir William Penn, that they were no other than the remnant of the Ten Tribes of Israel. Various authors have since adopted the same view; and a work entitled “ The Hope of Israel” has lately been pnblished, endeavoring to establish the fact. The work itself we have nos yet seen ; but if the numerous striking coincidences mentioned in its Întroduction (as quoted in the Jewish Expositor for January, 1830) have been satisfactorily ascertained' they may certainly be considered as forming “Presumptive Evidence that the Aborigines of the Western Hemisphere are the long-lost Ten Tribes of Israel.” Among those who entertain a different opinion of their place of concealment, it may not be uninteresting to mention, are two converted Jews, who, unconnected with any Society, sailed from Greenock in September, 1830, for Calcutta, with the design of seeking the Ten Tribes in Central India.


the several contexts themselves, that this restoration has not yet been obtained.

“For, lo! the days come, saith the Lord, that I will bring again the captivity of my people, Israel and Judah, saith the Lord : and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.” Jer. xxx. 3. The inspired prophet imme diately adds, “ and these are the words which the Lord spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah.ver. 4. It might almost be supposed, from this renewed specification, that the repetition was designed to prevent the possibility of any alienation of the consolations the prophecy presents, by the misapplication of it to the Gentile church. Their return being to the same "land" which the Lord gave to “ their fathers,” the restoration must be literal. Nor is there any necessity to destroy the meaning of language, by calling this a prediction of their conversion, (a misnomer at which we have sometimes occasion to marvel) that being also distinctly foretold : “ They shall serve the Lord their God and The BELOVED,* their King, whom I will raise up unto them.” ver. 9. This, therefore, is an unnaccomplished prediction, as neither the house of Israel nor that of Judah yet“ serve” The Beloved—the King they shall ultimately acknowledge and serve.

The same prophet again records a similar prediction: "In those days, the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north, to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers.” Jer. iii. 18. If, then, “the land given for an inheritance” to their fathers was the land of Palestine, their return must be to it.

This will be “in those days” when they shall call Jerusalem the Throne of the Lord, and all the na


* In an admirable Letter to the Rev. Dr. Hamilton of Strathblane, by Henry Drummond, Esq., in “Defence of the Students of Prophecy, the proper meaning of the name “ David,” used in our Translation of this and other prophecies concerning the Saviour, is well explained. Signifying, as it does, “ The Beloved,” (a title applied to the Saviour in the New Testament, Eph. i. 6.,) for the sake of perspicuity we have, in the above quotation, and in others of a similar nature, made the substitution.

« НазадПродовжити »