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Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour.”—“ Fear not: I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from afar, and my daughters from the ends of the earth ;-every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.'
2. I proceed to the second particular which I purposed to prove from the New Testament, viz. the pardon and sanctification of the entire nation, when brought back to Palestine; which is declared in the same place in Romans that assures us of the restoration of the literal Israel : 66 There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, who shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: for this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.”
But further than this, he declares in another more expressly of Israel: “ That if the first fruit be holy, the lump is holy; and if the root be holy, so branches." The first fruits here appear to be those saints, who, in consideration of this covenant, have been from the time of Abraham to Paul gathered out of Israel and sanctified. These are here declared to be an earnest and pledge
* Isa. xliji. 1--7. See also 2 Kings xiii. 23.
of what God will hereafter do with the lump, or entire nation. The root of Israel must, I take it, be the same as the root of David ; and as
6 both he that sanctifieth, and they that are sanctified, are all of one,”* so every branch in him is holy likewise.
It is by anticipation, however, that Israel is here spoken of as the lump, and as the branches destined to be holy.
In this respect, “ God hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel:" + it is the covenant purpose of God to bless;f it cannot be reversed: as touching the election they are beloved for the fathers' sakes; “ for the gifts and calling of God are without repentance,” or change of mind.
There is nothing contrary in all this to God's dealings with those individuals whom he sanctifies; the conversion of the heart being at all times an act of sovereign grace; as you, dear brethren, who are sanctified and enlightened by the Spirit, well know from your experience. All those holy ones, who have obtained a good report through faith, would have perished in unbelief, like those whose carcases fell in the wilderness, but for the mercy and power of God. Paul instances himself as
one of the election of Grace: and * Heb. ii. 11.
+ Numb. xxiii. 21. Numb. xxiii. 20.
$ Rom. xi. 28.
a remarkable instance indeed he was; who, up to the moment of his conversion, was a blasphemer, a persecutor, and injurious. But he obtained mercy, (he tells us,) for this express cause, “ That in him first Jesus Christ might show forth all long-suffering, for a pattern (or type, as it is in the original,) to them which should hereafter believe in Christ to life everlasting."*
3. I may be the more brief in regard to the third point, viz. the future possession of the land, because it is so necessarily involved in the promise of a national restoration of the people. For, unless they are to be restored to their own inheritance, they are now, nationally, as much a people as they can be. And by the same rule, to restore the land would be useless, unless the people were to be restored likewise; for, to whom is it to be restored, if not to Israel? But there is a declaration made by our Lord Jesus, in regard to the land, of a character precisely similar with that which Paul was moved to write in regard to the literal Israel. For does the latter assert, that blindness in part hath happened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in? so our Lord expressly declares, “ That they shall be led away captive into all nations; and that Jerusalem—the metropolis of the land-shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the
• 1 Tim. i. 16.
Gentiles be fulfilled."* As surely therefore as, in the one case, Israel is to be restored, when the election is completed from among the Gentiles, so surely, when the remainder of those Gentiles shall have filled up the measure of their iniquity, and their times of domination over captive Israel shall be completed, the Lord shall inherit Judah, his portion, in the holy land, and choose Jerusalem again.t Yea, he gave an earnest in regard to those, who in the meanwhile sleep in him, by raising from the dead, after he had himself burst the grave, many bodies of the saints which slept, who went as a blessed first fruits of this covenant into Jerusalem, the holy city, and appeared unto many. I
IV. Now lest any should, notwithstanding what has been said, consider that the promise of the land has been sufficiently fulfilled, by the occupation of it by Israel before and after the Babylonish captivity, bear with me whilst I finally set before you a summary of the reasons, why such a fulfilment is * Luke xxi. 24.
+ Zech. ii. 12. Matt. xxvii. 53. This is probably among the events to which Daniel alludes, when he predicts, that between the period of Messiah's being cut off, and the ceasing of the daily sacrifice, he should confirm the covenant with many. For surely the resurrection of many of the saints which slept, was as much calculated to encourage and strengthen those, who had yet to fight the good fight of faith, as the outpouring of the Spirit. (Dan. ix. 26, 27.)
not consistent with the covenant under consideration.
1. First, and principally, the covenant of Abraham was not formally in force until after the death of Christ, and it is unreasonable to allege, that an occupation of Palestine under another covenant, is the same thing as the occupation of the land under that particular covenant, in which such occupation is promised. And here I beg you to observe the striking fact, that Israel's seed was not led up to the possession of Canaan until after the Mosaical compact was introduced, which suspended the covenant with Abraham; and that as soon as the time arrived for the removing of the Mosaical dispensation out of the way, Israel was ejected from the land, scattered to the winds, and have now continued for nearly eighteen long centuries outcasts from their inheritance !
2. Secondly, as to the particulars of the covenant: if some of Israel's seed have inherited, there has, nevertheless, been no inheriting at all by Christ, the great Seed, to whom the land was especially promised in the first instance, and therefore called by the prophets, “ Immanuel's land,” and “ the Lord's land."* The mere circumstance that Christ was born and dwelt in the land is no proof
* Is. viii. 8; Hos. ix. 3.