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captivity of the two tribes of Benjamin and Judah; and finally, by the entire overthrow of their civil and ecclesiastical polity under Titus ;* and their consequent dispersion among all the nations of the earth.
No problem has ever more fully exercised the speculations of the Christian world, than the inquiry where the Ten Tribes are to be found. Portions of them are known to be situated in the Crimea, in Egypt, in Abyssinia, among the Affghans in India, and some probably in the vast population of China. The Rev. Joseph Wolff, with that intrepidity and zeal which marks his character, discovered remnants of them where they were originally carried, in the ancient Halah and Habor, once the cities of the Medes.t Others are said to have been recently found on the shores of the Caspian. There is a veil, however, thrown around the ten tribes that shrouds their history and existence in darkness, and which time alone and Providence can remove. But he who, at the great resurrection, will know how to collect the scattered particles of the human body, and form them into the same identity of substance, will be no less able, at the era of the spiritual resurrection of Israel, to bring together * “ Josephus's History of the Jewish War.”
† 2 Kings xvii. 6.
“bone to his bone," to make “the sinews and the flesh come upon them,” and to cover them with the skin above; and then breathing into them his own Divine Spirit, raise them up “an exceeding great army,” a spectacle that may well demand the admiration of men and angels.
The dispersion of the two tribes of Benjamin and Judah, and their continued preservation, is no less a signal proof of Divine interposition. How wonderfully is the chain of prophecy maintained in all its successive links throughout the whole of the Jewish history! Fifteen hundred years before the occurrence of the event, it was predicted by Moses, “ And the Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even to the other.”* By Hosea, “ They shall be wanderers among the nations.” + And by Zechariah, “I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the heaven.” I The Jews are to be seen in every nation of the habitable globe. The Lord has placed them there, as if to furnish a constant living monument of the truth of prophecy, and of the awfulness of his judgments. There is no mistaking the fact of their identity. God has set, as it were, a mark upon them, in the peculiarity of their lineaments, which at once * Deut. xxviii. 64.
+ Hosea ix. 17. Zech. ii. 6.
proclaim who and what they are. Their presence never fails to awaken a train of associations in every beholder. They are the world's remembrancers, God's witnesses, a subject of contemplation to men and angels. They stand alone among the various communities of men—mixed with all, united with none. “ The people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations.” *
Their preservation, under circumstances which must have led to the extinction of other races, is one of the most extraordinary events in the annals of time. They have no king, no political head, no form of government, no altar, no sacrifice,—without a home, without a country, and aliens from God; and yet they are still preserved. They have been 6 scattered, peeled, meted out, and trodden down,”+ and still remain unbroken and entire. To quote the forcible, and, I might say, the sublime language of a Jew, “ Persecution cannot dismay us, oppression cannot crush us, time itself cannot destroy us.” An unseen hand has always been stretched out to guard and protect them. “I never," said Frederic the Great, “laid my hands on that people without having reason to repent it.” “He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes.” Their preservation, during the * Numbers xxiii. 9. + Isaiah xviii. 2.
Psalm cv. 14.
whole period of their dispersion, was distinctly foretold: “I will make a full end of all the nations whither I have driven thee, but I will not make a full end of thee, but correct thee in measure ; yet will I not leave thee wholly unpunished.”* “ Although I have cast them far off among the heathen, although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary, in the countries where they shall come." +
“ For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve ; yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.”
They have been coeval with all the four universal empires—the Assyrian or Babylonian, the Medo-Persian, the Grecian, and the Roman, and yet have outlived them all.
They have survived the lapse of time, the overthrow of empires, the invasions of conquest, the vicissitudes to which all earthly things are subject, the fury of persecution, and, I had almost said, the wrath of Almighty God.
We proceed next to inquire, why the Jews have been so providentially preserved ; the certainty of their restoration and conversion ; and the duty of the Christian Church, in the meantime, towards this interesting and remarkable people. * Jer. xlvi. 28. + Ezek. xi. 16.
Amos ix. 9.
They have been preserved, because God has a special design of mercy towards them; and this design involves the event of their restoration and conversion. The elucidation of the former will be expressly undertaken by others; I shall, therefore, merely adduce the following passages to establish the certainty of their restoration, as this fact, by a singular misconception, is, by some, avowedly denied; and all the predictions relating to this event, supposed to have received their full accomplishment in their restoration from the Babylonian captivity.
The first passage to which I shall refer is in Isaiah xi. 11, 12 :
“ And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of
And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth....... And the Lord shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea : and with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men go over dry-shod. And