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down thy sanctuary: we are thine: thou never barest rule over them: they were not called by thy name. Oh! that thou wouldst rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down
We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have
taken us away Be not wroth, very sore,
O Lord, neither remember iniquity for ever: behold, see, we beseech thee; we are all thy people. Thy holy cities are a wilderness; Zion is a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation! Our holy and our beautiful house, where our fathers praised thee, is burned up with fire; and all our pleasant things are laid waste. Wilt thou refrain thyself for these things, O Lord? wilt thou hold thy peace, and afflict us very sore?" Isaiah lxiii. and Ixiv.
national restoration of Israel to the land of their fathers, we may well ask what is to become of the promises so often repeated, that God would give unto Abraham and his seed the land of Canaan for ever? Are we to suppose that, in this respect, there is to be a deviation from the general rule of the Divine procedure, as laid down by St. Paul, that "the gifts and calling of God are without repentance? This would not only be contrary to those general assurances of the Divine faith'and veracity, which are to be found in the Scriptures; but altogether inconsistent with the many express promises to the posterity of Abraham, of their restoration to their own land in the latter days.—Jewish Expositor for 1821.
Ezek. xxxvii. 21,22. "Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I ivill take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: and I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all; and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all"
These words, and numerous predictions similarly worded, seem to require, for their fulfilment the actual restoration of the twelve tribes of Israel to the land occupied by their forefathers, and their permanent establishment therein as one nation. We have already argued, and I trust on scriptural grounds (the only ground which in this question can supply firm footing for a moment), in favour of the opinion, that, at the conclusion of the times of the Gentiles, God will give to the Jewish people a penitent spirit, to confess their iniquity, and accept their deserved punishment at his hand, preparatory to their restoration to Judea; and we concluded by strengthening our interpretation upon this important point, by an analogy drawn from the doctrines of the New Testament, the revealed dealings and purposes of God, as they relate to the Catholic church of his elect people in Jesus Christ.
Our present object is to state more expressly, and to defend, that interpretation on which our faith rests, in anticipating the
Literal Re-occupation Of Palestine by the Jews.
It may, perhaps, appear to some of you, that this point is so clearly and repeatedly stated by the prophets, and is now so generally admitted, that it does not require any detailed proof; and there may be some feeling of impatience among you, at our dwelling so long upon what you consider the plain and easy, and obvious parts of the subject; anxious as you are to have the deeper and more neglected branches of the prophetic records pressed upon the attention of the church. I cannot, however forget, that this fundamental point is still denied by many who profess, and who seem truly to enjoy the religion of the New. Testament Neither can I lose sight of the importance of being well fortified with scriptural authorities in support of this literal restoration, which seems to me to be inseparably connected with the glorious personal advent of the King of the Jews, his reign upon the earth, and the final
and universal conversion of the nations. My* heart's desire and prayer before God is, that t may be guided by the Holy Ghost to advance that interpretation which is according to his will, and that my Christian Brethen who hear me, may be induced fairly to search the Scriptures for themselves, to ascertain whether these things be so.
The Jews shall be restored as a nation to the land of their forefathers. In proof of this, I refer to the language of our text, as plain and explicit. For the further confirmation of this opinion, two modes may be adopted; either, first, the enumeration of parallel passages, asserting the application of them all to this view of the subject, and challenging any other interpretation which will bear comparison with the respective contexts; or, secondly, the selection of some one passage, and a detailed exposure of the inconsistency of every interpretation if it, except the one which maintains the literal return of the twelve tribes to their own land; leaving that one, therefore, in undisputed possession of the field of truth.
I shall now adopt the latter mode, and make choice of the words of our text, in connexion with the remarkable context in which they are found: "Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen; whither they be gone; and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land; and I will make them one nation in the land, upon the mountains of Israel, and one king shall be king to them ah\ and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all." Here we have five particulars distinctly enumerated:
1. The land.
2. The children of Israel.
3. The restoration.
4. The two kingdoms.
And, 5. The one king. And whatever interpretation we adopt in reference to any one of these particulars, let us be consistent, and carry that interpretation throughout, applying it fairly to the other four particulars.
I. The first interpretation of this prophecy, to which I would direct your attention, is that which makes the land to mean Judea literally; the children of Israel to mean the Jewish people; the restoration to mean the return of Judah from Babylon, and their re-settlement in their land under Ezra and Nehemiah; the two kingdoms to mean Judah, and some individuals of the other tribes, who returned from Babylon with Judah; and the one king to mean the rulers of the kingdom of Judah, subsequent to their return from Babylon.