Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

tailed as is furnished on this subject in the Scriptures, must appear

futile to all who bestow a due attention on their perusal. We will only refer to one, as quoted by Mr. Cox : “ Mr. Jones says, ' I am at a loss to see upon

what solid principles the sentiment, which is now so peremptorily insisted upon by our modern millennarians, I mean the restoration of the Jews, as a nation, to the land of Palestine, can be supported by any who admit the abrogation of the old covenant, as testified in the apostolic writings.' I would suggest two considerations in answer to this objection.—1. The original promise of Canaan to Abraham and his seed, was not through the law, but independent of it, before it; yea, before circumcision. Gen. XI. 143; XII. 14-16; with Rom. iv. 13. In short, it was a covenant of grace ; and so shall it be with Israel at their restoration. Jer. xxxi. 31-34. And the Lord, by the prophet Isaiah, (LI. 1, 2, directs Israel back to this original covenant, as a ground of comfort, and a reason for hope ; and then promises, (ver. 3,) to comfort Zion, and her waste places; ... 2. Consider what the apostle saith of his brethren, Rom. IX. 4. After he had mentioned the giving of the law, and the service of God, he then saith that to them pertain the promises. Now, as he says in another place, 'Is the law against the promises of God? God forbid !' (Gal. 11. 21 ;) so may we say in this case, Is the gospel against the promises of God? or, Is the abrogation of the law against the promises of God? God forbid !"

Of these, we shall begin with the earliest, which are certainly unconditional, as "all nations of the earth” are to “ be blessed” through Abraham's seed. A previous, or partial fulfilment, has resulted to the nations through the promised Messiah; but the existence of the Jewish people

H

in the condition in which they have remained since the destruction of Jerusalem, must be followed by the future conversion of a remnant from among them,—that, according to the renewed promise, this blessing may be fully realized. And thus we are clearly introduced to Christ's Second Advent and Millennial reign. No gradual change which has taken place, nor any conversion which we might contemplate, can signify any near approach to those remarkable, peculiar, and glorious promises which will be multiplied in their behalf, and that of the other nations of the earth who participate in them; for " in all the promises of spiritual blessings given to Israel, believing Gentiles, as belonging to the spiritual Israel, have an interest.”

Genesis xi. 1-3. Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee : and a I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great ; and b thou shalt be a blessing : and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee.

Genesis xvii. 7, 8. I will establish my covenant between me and thee, C and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an d everlasting possession ; and I will be their God. Chap. xxII. 18. In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.

Genesis xxviii. 14. Thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south : and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.

66. The Lord said unto Abraham, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art, northward and southward, and eastward, and westward; for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.' Gen. xi. 14, 15. The learned Dr. Mede, in his answer to Dr. Swift's fourth letter, writes as follows in respect to this passage, referring to our Saviour's demonstration of the resurrection, Matt. xxi; Mark xiii. God said to Moses in the bush, 'I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob: God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. Ergo, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob must one day rise again from the dead. The words must be understood with a supply of that they have reference to, which is the covenant which the Lord made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in respect whereof he calls himself their God. This covenant was to give unto them and to their seed the land wherein they were strangers; (mark it,) not their seed, or offspring only, but to themselves.

a Rom. iv. 11; Gal. ill. 7. b Gal. III. 14.

c Exod.

d 2 Sam. xx111. 5 ; xix. 5, 6; Rom. ix. 7, 8; Acts 11. 39. Heb. ix. 15.

e Gal. 11. 8.

“ To Abraham, Gen. xiii. 15, and xvii. 8. To Isaac, Gen. xxvi. 3. To Jacob, Gen. xxxv. 12. To all three, Exod. vi. 4, 8; Deut. 1. 8, xi. 21, and xxx. 20. If God then make good to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, this his covenant, whereby he undertook to be their God; then they must needs one day live again to inherit the promised land, which hitherto they have not done. For the God that has covenanted with them, covenanted not to make his promise good to them dead, but living. This is the strength of the divine argument, and irrefragable; which otherwise would not infer any such conclusions.

“ What else can be the meaning of these words, and I will remember the land,' but this, that God would put an end to its desolation, by restoring it to its ancient inhabitants, to be cultivated and replenished by them ?

“ It is a poor evasion, to say that this promise was fulfilled at their return from Babylon, because the restoration to their own land for a few ages, and a subsequent dispersion, for near four times as long a period, among all nations, without any hopes of return, can never be the true meaning of giving that land to the seed of Abraham for ever. Besides, it has justly been observed, that it is not unusual for the same thing, (the passover for instance,) to refer immediately to one event, and remotely to another;' so it is common for a prophecy to have a partial fulfilment in something at or near the time, and a more perfect one at some distant period. God's works being whole, and the end seen from the beginning, there is often a dignified analogy between them; system, as it were, within system; one train of events making way for another, and furnishing an earnest of its fulfilment. Thus, the kingdom of the Messiah is manifestly predicted in the 72nd Psalm, though it is mostly under the form of the prosperous reign of Solomon. The calamities threatened the Israelites were not to be inflicted at once, but gradually, and some repeatedly, as 'Ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat;' which has literally been fulfilled in the siege of Samaria by Benhadad, (2 Kings vi. 28, 29;) in the siege of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans; and in the last siege of Jerusalem by the Romans, as recorded by our own historian Josephus; so, likewise, the promise was to be fulfilled, as often as needed; as often as they are banished from the land given by the covenant to our fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, so often shall they be restored to enjoy it, and therefore the promise is yet to be fulfilled.”*

Frey's Joseph and Benjamin.

Deuteronomy xxx. 1-10. And it shall come to pass a when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee, and shalt breturn unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul ; that then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee.

If any of thine be driven out unto the utmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee : and the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it ; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers. And the LORD thy God will d circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live. And the LORD thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and on them that hate thee, who persecuted thee. And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the LORD, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day. And the LORD thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good : for the LORD will again rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy fathers : if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou e turn unto the LORD thy God, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.

Deuteronomy xxxII. 26, 27, 35, 36, 41–43. I said, 'I would scatter them into corners, I would make the remembrance of them to cease among men: were it not that I feared the wrath of the enemy, lest their adversaries should behave themselves strangely, and lest they should say, Our hand is high, and the LORD hath not done all this.

a Deut. iv. 30. c Psal. CXLVII. 2. Col. II. 11. Isai. LXII. 16.

b Deut. iv. 27–31; 2 Cor. 111. 14–16.

d John 11. 3—7; Rom. II. 28, 29; e Lam. III. 40-50.

f Luke xxi. 24 ;

« PreviousContinue »