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after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge!” Now as the dealings of the Lord with the Jewish nation, in times past, illustrate this doctrine of the church; so also does this doctrine, now existing in the church, confirm our interpretation of the prophecies, that thus it shall be again with the Jewish nation. Their sorrow must precede their restoration.
We may go one step further, though the subject more properly belongs to our next Lecture, and say, that the unchanging faithfulness of God to his church, confirmed by many infallible promises, is
• To those who maintain that no such promises are given: that certainty in the matter of salvation is a most dangerous doctrine: that the Lord Jesus Christ travailed in agony and bloody sweat even unto death, leaving it to the option of fallen creatures, whether he shall ever see of the travail of his soul and be satisfied, or not: there is, of course, no strength in this branch of the analogy.' But to as many as are persuaded that Jehovah has mercifully taken the end as well as the beginning of this work into his own hand; that his purpose is unchangeable, and his covenant for the accomplishment of it ordered in all things and sure; that the revealed office of the Holy Ghost is effectually (by means, indeed, of motives working in the moral constitution of the creature, but still effectually and invariably) to apply what the Lord Jesus has perfectly prepared : and that the final salvation, therefore, soul and body, of every member of the mystical body of Christ is infallibly certain, because God is unalterably true.--To as many, I repeat, as are
a token and pledge of the sure accomplishment of his promise of final restoration to the Jews, when their uncircumcised hearts shall be humbled, and when he shall remember his covenant with Jacob, with Isaac, and with Abraham, and shall remember the land. Concerning the church, we say, salvation is promised to the penitent; and except they repent, they cannot be saved : and, again, repentance is promised to them that they may be saved ; and being penitent, saved they most surely shall be. Concerning the Jewish nation, we say, restoration is promised to the penitent nation; and except they repent, they cannot be restored : and, again, repentance is promised to them, that they may be restored ; and being penitent, restored they most surely shall be.
V. Finally, those prophecies which seem opposed to the view here taken of the penitence of the nation, and which have been frequently quoted against it, apply, I conceive, to a totally different branch of the subject. In Ezekiel xx. 42, 43, we read, as addressed to the Jewish nation, “ Ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel, into the country for the which I lifted up mine hand (I sware) to give it to your fathers : and there shall ye remember your
cast into the mould of this sound and orthodox doctrine of the Catholic church, there is, in the analogy before us, a demonstration of the return of the Jews to their own land.
ways, and all your doings wherein ye have been defiled, and ye shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for all your evils which ye have committed.” And in the thirty-sixth chapter, we read, “ I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land: then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean, &c. ..... (24, 25.) Ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers. (28.) I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen; then shall ye remember your own evil ways,” &c. (30, 31.) Also in Zechariah, chap. xii. 6, we read, “ Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem. And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon 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, as one mourneth for his only son; and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his first-born.” These, and similar passages, seem to me to predict the conversion of the Jews to the faith of a crucified Messiah, after they are in their own land; and when the Lord, whom their fathers pierced, shall appear personally among them, for it is in the land, even on the Mount of Olives, that
. It is of this conversion that the Apostle Paul speaks in Rom. xi. 23; and 2 Cor. iii. 16.
his personal appearance to them shall take place. (Zech. xiv. 4.) This, therefore, does not interfere with the view already advanced from other predictions, of a preliminary penitence as Jews, preparatory to their restoration. I understand the thirtyfirst chapter of Jeremiah, as embracing this whole subject in its order. In verse 18, the preliminary penitence of Israel is declared: “I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus, Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock un. accustomed to the yoke: turn thou me, and I shall be turned ; for thou art the Lord my God. Surely after I was turned, (here is the secret grace of God, securing the repentance,) I repented; and after I was instructed, I smote upon my thigh : I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth.” Then fol. lows the kindling mercy of God towards the penitent, (20): “ Ephraim, my dear son! a pleasant child ! for since I spake against him, I do earnestly remember him still, therefore my bowels are troubled for him: I will surely have mercy upon him, saith the Lord.”
In the next verses, the restoration of the people to the land is the theme: “ Set thee up way-marks, make thee high heaps ; set thine heart toward the highway, even the way which thou wentest: turn again, O virgin of Israel, turn again to these thy cities ..... there shall dwell in Judah itself, and in all the cities thereof together, husbandmen,
and they that go forth with flocks ..... I will sow the house of Israel, and the house of Judah, (the two kingdoms, however diversely treated in the interim, are associated as one in the predictions of final and permanent blessedness,) with the seed of man, and with the seed of beast: and it shall come to pass, that like as I have watched over them to pluck up, and to break down, and to throw down, and to destroy, and to afflict, so will I watch over them, to build and to plant, saith the Lord.” (21—28.) And then follows a description of their true change of heart, when the Lord shall make with them a new covenant, and write his laws in their inward parts." (29-34.)
A penitential cry, therefore, to the God of their fathers, uttered by them as Jews, and as a nation, is what we are first to expect. Already, as we have heard from an eye-witness of the interesting scene, some of them assemble themselves on the eve of their sabbath, under the walls of Jerusalem, where the abomination of desolation still standeth, and chant in mournful melody the lamentations of their Jeremiah, or sing with something like a dawn of hope
“ Ail Bene, Ail Bene,
Bene Betkha bekarob!
Bimheira, bimheira, beyamenu bekarob !
Bene Betkha bekarob !