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nation, is very strikingly described in Ezekiel xxxvii. The Lord commanded the prophet to take “one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then” to “take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions: and join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand. And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not shew us what thou meanest by these ? say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand. And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes. And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God ; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them to their own land : and I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all :...AND DAVID MY SERv ANT sh ALL BE KING over them : and they all shall have one shepherd : they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them. And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have
dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they and
* Ver. 17–22, 24, 25. + Gen. xlix. 10.
and that they shall never more be divided into two kingdoms—finally, that one king shall be king to them all, and that king be David, that is Christ, and that He shall be their prince for ever—in these words, I say, events are spoken of clear, consistent, in perfect harmony with each other, and with all the Lord's former dealings with this people. And they are events which must be future, for nothing of the kind has ever yet happened—the Jews are not yet gathered in on every side, and restored to their own land—the Twelve Tribes are not yet firmly and indissolubly joined together in one nation—nor since this prophecy, has one king reigned over them, which when it happens is to be for ever ! What construction then can be put upon such predictions, but that if they have not happened, they will happen 2 What can we possibly understand by them but that the Jews will be restored to their own land from their present wide-spread dispersion—that they will all be united in one body—and that Christ will reign over them We have an undoubted right to say, that, as all the former prophecies concerning the Jews, and likewise concerning the various particulars of the life and death of Christ during his incarnation, were literally fulfilled, so shall these be fulfilled in like manner. The Jews have done right in expecting their Messiah to come as a king; it is an expectation for which they have the strongest Divine sanction; and which, whenever it happens, will be their crowning blessing. The fatal mistake they made—the rock on which they split—was, overlooking their Messiah's first coming; and, as is done in our day respecting his second coming, perverting every thing that was said respecting it. They were wilfully ignorant; it was contrary to their pre-conceived ideas, their wishes, their schemes, and hence the very thought almost drove them to madness, and continues to do so up to the present moment. And yet, after all this opposition, this wilful rejection, this determined unbelief, after all He was their long expected Saviour— the burden of their prophecies—the end of all their types and shadows. Independently of His sufferings and death, their bloody sacrifices had no other end, no other object; and many of their clearest prophecies could have no other fulfilment: and yet they could not or would not see it. “He came unto his own, and his own received him not.” Such was their mistake; and we are guilty of a similar one ; if we reject the equally clear predictions of his second coming, which speak of him as a king. To say that all these unequivocal expressions merely express a spiritual reign, appears an unwarranted and an unnatural forcing of words from their plain straightforward meaning; for a spiritual reign comports not with our ideas of a sovereign. David, in his own person, had no doubt a spiritual reign in the hearts of the Israelites long before he possessed the throne;
THE SOUNDING OF THE FIFTH TRUMPET. 169
stationary, but rather precarious greatness; a third of rapid decline.* Elmacinus divides their history into three books: the first, their origin and increase, from 622 to 746; the second, their declension ; the third, their distractions and dissipations. Still more to the point, Mr. Mills, in his History of Mohammedanism, considers the foundation of Bagdad as a marked chronological era in the Saracenic empire; the period which preceded it being that of the undivided Caliphate, or the rise of the Saracenic power; while the period which succeeds it, that of the divided Caliphate, or the decline and fall of the Saracenic power.” This brings me to the last observation I have to make, which is this, that the very circumstance of a divided caliphate shews they were no longer the prophetic locusts; for they had only one king over them; whereas, after the foundation of Bagdad, the chair of Mahomet was disputed by three caliphs, or commanders of the Faithful, who reigned with almost equal magnificence at Bagdad, Cairo, and Cordova.
* On the Middle Ages, Vol. II. p. 176. t Mills' History of Mahommedanism, p. 44, 104, 105,132.