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the Lord hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem. The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.”
The beam that shines on Zion's hill,
Shall lighten every land;
I. The restored Jewish nation shall have national pre-eminence in the earth. .
This is the main point with Isaiah. He does, indeed, describe, with all but historical accuracy, the work of salvation by Messiah, at his first coming. He does, indeed, mourn with Æolian plaintiveness, over the present degraded state of Zion, till Messiah returns with power as her Redeemer. But when that longed-for era is set before him by the Spirit, however the prelude of his strain may touch on other topics, and introduce
as coming with vengeance on Moab. or Babylon, or Bozra, it is but the prelude. The risen glory of the Jewish nation, is the brightness of the field of view, in his prophetic glass. There he hastens, there the chorus rests, and swells, and prolongs, and repeats its tones of ecstatic harmony. The soul of the seer is satisfied with the theme. The Spirit of the Lord is willing that he should be so. “ Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. The abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee. The multitude of camels shall cover thee; the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah, all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall show forth the praises of the Lord. Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the Lord thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee. And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee; for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favour have I had mercy on thee. Therefore, thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought. For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted. The sons also of them that afflicted thee, shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee, shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee the city of the Lord, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel. Whereas, thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee.”—The utter impossibility of applying such expressions as these to the Christian church, which has never been so forsaken, corroborates our former arguments, condemns the evasive system of figurative interpretation, and identifies the party addressed by the prophet, to wit, the long forsaken and hated, but in the end, restored and glorious nation of the twelve tribes of Israel.-"I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations. Strangers shall stand and feed your flocks; and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and vine-dressers. But ye shall be named the priests of the Lord; men shall call you the ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves.”
This prophecy last quoted, describes the nature of the Jewish national glory, when their king shall be king over all the earth. One king, and his name one. It will not consist in such elements of superiority, as now constitute the glory of nations. Military and naval prowess, literary fame, commercial prosperity, splendid attainments in the arts and sciences for the enjoyment and embellishment of social life, enlightened and liberal policy, improving revenues-in a word, internal resources, and external power-domestic arrangements, which leave all other nations far behind us; and foreign influence, to dictate laws to the world ; making advantageous treaties to the aggrandisement of our empire, and the extension of our commerce; or magnanimously making disadvantageous treaties,
to the glory of our generosity. These, and such as these, are now the themes of national triumph; in these consists the pre-eminence of national glory. But the pre-eminence of the restored Jewish nation, will consist in a superiority of a wholly different nature from this.
The national glory of this dispensation is inseparable from unrighteousness. National honours are now the grand prizes of successful ambition ; national emoluments, of successful traffic. Whether combination or opposition be traced in the various wheels of the machine, it is SELF that supplies the moving power : interest and vanity compose the main-springs. Principle is outraged, friendships violated, truth disregarded, consistency scoffed at : envy, hatred, and malice, are inspired into the rival pretenders to the prizes, and pride into their triumphant possessors. Deceit and fraud, dishonesty and dishonour, are in the way ; loftiness and tyranny, luxury and self-indulgence, are at the end. This is but too susceptible of proof, if such proof were our present object. Indeed, it is not denied, all disguise is thrown off; and the man who would now talk of disinterested patriotism, in any other way than with a sneer at the hypocrisy of the pretension, would be considered as more eligible for exportation to Utopia, than for a seat in our sensible senate-house.
The restored Jewish nation, on the contrary, shall be, what our world has never yet seen, nor
shall see, till Israel presents the glorious consummation-A RIGHTEOUS NATION! “ In that day, shall this song be sung in the land of Judah ..... Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation, which keepeth the truth, may enter in.” “ Thy people also shall be all righteous : they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified. A little one shall become a thousand; and a small one a strong nation: I the Lord will hasten it in his time. I will put my law into their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them. And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them: I will not turn away from them to do them good, but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean; from all your filthiness, and from all your idols will I cleanse you; a new heart also will I give you . . . . . and I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them ..... I will also save you from all your uncleannesses. .... The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies, neither shall a deceitful