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and revolutionary spirit, are each striving for the mastery. A great crisis seems to be at hand. “ Jerusalem,”
are told, “shall be built up in troublous times."
The Turkish empire is evidently approaching the period of its dissolution. The sixth vial has for some time been poured out on the mystical Euphrates, that “the waters thereof may be dried up, that the way of the kings of the east may be
The Mahommedan power is the great political and moral impediment that stands in the way of the restoration of the Jews; and the drying up, or gradual exhaustion of that empire, typified by the pouring out of the vial on the river Euphrates, is the process that is now, and has been for some time, in course of operation.
Among the Jews themselves there is observable
A prevailing spirit of inquiry;
A disposition to receive and examine the Scriptures, and a declining reverence for Talmudical doctrine.
A Jew in a distinguished city in the East informed me, that were it not for the dread of a bitter persecution, there were hundreds, he might
* Rev. xvi. 12.
say thousands, of Jews, who were now secretly convinced of the truth of Christianity, and fully prepared to embrace it.
We next notice,
The blessing promised to those who love the cause of Israel, and labour to promote it.
“ Blessed is he that blesseth thee, and cursed is he that curseth thee.” * “ Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; they shall prosper that love thee.”+
The truth of this fact has been illustrated in every age, from the times of Joseph to the period in which we now live.
In the case of Potiphar. " And it came to pass from the time that he had made him (Joseph) overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake; and the blessing of the Lord was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field.” I
In that of Pharaoh ; in the preservation of his land in the seven years of famine.
In the example of Cyrus ; of whom it was said, 6 I will give to Jerusalem one that bringeth good tidings." S
In the instance of the Centurion, whose servant was healed, and of whom it was said, “ He loveth our nation, and he hath built us a synagogue.” Il " Numbers xxiv. 9. † Psalm cxxii. 6. Gen. xxxix. 5. § Isaiah xli. 27.
|| Luke vii. 5.
Nor is it less remarkable that as blessings followed the friends of Israel, so did judgments overtake their oppressors. “I was wroth with my people, I have given them into thine hand: thou didst show them no mercy.”* Then follows the denunciation in verse 9, “ These two things shall come to thee in a moment in one day, the loss of children and widowhood.” There is also a threatened judgment, of a most appalling and comprehensive character, that still awaits its accomplishment
6 And it shall come to pass, in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.”+
Reverting, however, to the promised blessing, I would especially appeal to those who have taken an interest in the cause of Israel, and ask whether, in so doing, they have not seen this promise amply verified in their own experience ? Whether they cannot trace many providential dealings to this source? Whether the Bible has not become more endeared to them, and more intelligible, in proportion as it has been viewed in connexion with God's purposes of mercy towards his ancient people? The knowledge of the Jewish cause, in its grand outline, and in the two fundamental features of their restoration and conversion, is essential to the right understanding • Isaiah xlvii. 6.
f Zech. xii. 9.
of the sacred Scriptures. It is the key of interpretation; and tends to enlarge our conceptions of the adorable wisdom, sovereign power, and grace of God.
It is through this medium that we see the lengths and the breadths, the heights and the depths, and “the love of Christ that passeth knowledge.” Having now been engaged in this cause about thirty years, I trust I may
be permitted to say, that I have found it to be a labour of love, of personal profit, and delightthat it was the first means of rescuing me from that paralyzing system of interpretation, which is called “ spiritualizing the promises ;” that is to say, ascribing all the promises to spiritual Israel instead of allowing their primary application to the literal seed of Abraham; and their secondary, and more enlarged accomplishment, in the person of the Gentile Church. It is laid down by an eminent writer, as a fundamental principle in the right interpretation of the Scriptures, never to overlook the literal sense and meaning of a passage, when the natural import of the words bears that construction. By the non-observance of this rule, the plain meaning of words has been violated and perverted; and an attempt been made to defraud the Jew, the original claimant, the heir by promise, by descent, and by a grant and tenure confirmed to him by the oath of God himself, of his inalien
able right to the covenanted mercies of Jehovah. It is no small ground for thankfulness to be delivered from error. It is still more so to comprehend and to embrace the truth. Let it be remembered, too, that this is no speculative question, but one of deep vital importance, of conscientious principle, and of great practical results. It involves the inquiry, What is the Church's duty to the Jews, what are God's purposes of mercy to them, and what is the connexion between the accomplishment of these purposes, and the future glory of the Redeemer's kingdom? I have now lived long enough to see these things better understood, though much still remains to be effected, I have beheld this small grain of mustard-seed gradually becoming a great tree, bearing its fruit, at home and abroad, and expanding its branches on every side. Nor is it a small consolation that the Church of England has been the honoured instrument of putting forth this great cause, and of proclaiming to the cities of Judah, Behold your God.” A Church engaged in such an advocacy, can never fall. “God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.”* Animated by such hopes, and cheered by such recollections, I can thank God, and take courage. It will sweeten the last
* Psalm xlvi. 5.