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wall of partition being thrown down; the enmity even the law of commandments contained in ordinances, being abolished in his flesh; of twain one new man being made, so that through him we both (Jew and Gentile) have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Against this, as a statement of New Testament doctrine, there is no objection ; on the contrary, it is most sound. In the Christian church there are no national distinc-% tions: all the living members of Christ, chosen of the Father before the foundation of the world, born into the world at divers times and in divers places, and born again of the Holy Ghost into the church, at the fulness of the time appointed for each; these all compose one body.* The kingdom they enjoy is spiritual, consisting of righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost: and Jesus Christ, their head, is King over them all. This is a part of the truth once delivered to the saints, and, as such, deserves that we should earnestly contend for it. But this is not the subject now before us: we are not expounding the conversations of Jesus, nor the apostolical epistles. The matter in hand is a prophecy which God spake by his servant Ezekiel; and the question is, are these doctrines of the Gospel the subject of this prophecy, or has the prophecy found its fulfilment in the promulgation of these doctrines? This I freely and fearlessly answer in the negative.

For, first, The interpretation before us makes the land to signify the Christian church. Now, what says the prophecy ?—" 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. For behold I am for you; and ye shall be tilled and sown; and I wTill multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, all of it: and the cities shall be inhabited, and the wastes shall be builded: and I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and bring fruit: and I will settle you after your old estates, and will do better unto you than at your

beginnings: the desolate land shall be

tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that passed by. And they shall say, The land that was desolate is become like the garden of * Eden; and the waste, and desolate, and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited."

Among other particulars here mentioned, it is clearly stated, first, that the land w^as desolate, but shall again be tilled and sown; and, secondly, that both men and beasts shall be multiplied upon the land. Compare this with the supposed interpretation. The land of the prophecy was desolate; its cities uninhabited, and laid waste: but the land of the interpretation was never desolate. In the darkest ages, the Christian church, though comparatively few in numbers, maintained its glorious character as God's righteous witness in the earth. The land of the prophecy shall have beasts as well as men multiplied in it; but the land of the interpretation is wholly composed of immortal creatures, to the exclusion of beasts. The interpretation, therefore, does not agree with the prophecy.

Again, the children of Israel of the prophecy are described as being wholly removed out of the land; but the children of Israel of the interpretation (the people of God) can never, from the nature of the case, be removed out of the land of the interpretation. The people of God compose the Christian church: remove them, and the church ceases to be. According to this interpre♦ tation, the children of Israel and the land are inseparable, yea, identical: if they be removed, the land is removed. But the prophecy describes them as removed from off the land, which remained in its place when they were gone. The interpretation, therefore, does not agree with the prophecy.

Again, the restoration of the prophecy is-a resettlement of the children of Israel in the land which their fathers had possessed, but from which they had been ejected: but the restoration according to this interpretation, is the conversion *of sinners to the Christian church, in which neither they not their fathers had ever been before, and from which, therefore, they never could have been ejected. The interpretation, consequently, does not agree with the prophecy.

Again, the two kingdoms of the prophecy were originally one, and are described as having been divided into two. Their re-union is predicted, and it is added, that they shall not be divided any more. But the kingdoms of the interpretation (Jews and Gentiles) were never one, and, consequently, could never' have been divided, so as to afford an opportunity for a prediction of their Re-union in Christ. The interpretation, therefore, does not agree with the prophecy.

Once more, the king of the prophecy is called David, and seems clearly to denote some individual of the regal family of the stock of Jesse, who should be renowned upon the throne of his 'great ancestor. The king of the interpretation is Jesus Christ, of the seed of David. This, therefore, corresponds exactly, but not in the sense intended by these interpreters—as is evident; for if four out of five parts of this interpretation fail, the fifth can have only an apparent agreement in some other sense, and not in the systematic sense intended by the interpreters. For example;—the King shall reign, and Jesus Christ is the King. These are propositions to * which both prophecy and interpreters will assent. But the prophecy declares, that the place of his reign is Judaea, and the people over whom he shall reign are the kingdoms of Judah and Israel united into one; while the interpreters declare that the place of his reign is the Christian church, and the people over whom he reigns are Jews and Gentiles in one body. Both these statements are true, but they concern different things, and the statement of the interpretation is not the meaning of the statement in the prophecy.

Surely we may conclude here, as before, that in all fairness this system of interpretation must be relinquished, so far, at least, as this prophecy of Ezekiel is concerned.

III. The impossibility of adhering consistently to either of these modes of interpretation has been felt, and a third mode has been adopted, which is neither more nor less than an inconsistent mixture of these two. It makes the land to mean Judaea, literally, in one part of the prophecy, and the Christian church, spiritually, in another part; the children of Israel to mean, literally, the Jews in one part, and, spiritually, Christians in another

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