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how could I doubt it for a moment, even if the word of God were perfectly silent on the subject ? Suppose a company of five thousand pious and conscientious Christians had gone to Africa to colonize, and had drawn up various articles how to proceed when arrived there; viz. to build a city of such and such dimensions, to erect so many houses, to plant vineyards, to establish certain factories, &c. &c.; but not a word is said in this compact about keeping the Sabbath and building a place of worship, forming a church and administering the ordinances; and suppose also that intelligence has been received, giving an account of their safe arrival and establishment according to the original agreement, but again not a word is mentioned about their religious deportment; would any one who had known these five thousand pious Christians suppose for a moment that they kept no Sabbath, that they had no place of worship, that they had constituted no church, and conse. quently administered no ordinances, merely because they had not expressly covenanted to do so, and because the intelligence that has reached us of their perfect establishment made no mention of these things? Would such a supposition not be a stigma on their character ? Would it not loudly proclaim their former religious professions to have been a hypocrisy of the most heinous kind? Or, must it not rather be taken for granted, by all who believe them to be sincere Christians, that after their arrival, in imitation of the pious patriarchs, who, wherever they pitched their tents, erected immediately an altar unto the Lord, the very first thing they attended to after their safe arrival, was to build a house of worship, and to walk in all God's appointed ways? And now, my dear Benjamin, why should it be thought strange to believe that our dear people, who have, for nearly eighteen hundred yours, most conscientiously observod all the religious rites which God gave to our fathers, in all countries, amongst all people, and under all circumstances, as far as the law of God allows them to observe them in a strange land, although these observances exposed them to reproach, hatred, persecution, and death itself, would, when they are brought back by the wonderful goodness of God, to the land which God gave to our fathers, build again a temple for the worship of God, erect an altar unto the Lord, and offer up their sacrifices, and observe all other ceremonies which they observed before their dispersion by the Romans? Did they not do so after their return from the Babylonish captivity? How strange and unaccountable would it appear if our people, who, whilst the chastening hand of God was upon them for ages, were, notwithstanding, steadfast and immovable in wor. shiping that God, should cast off all their religious profession, love and attachment to him, when he has performed his promises in delivering them out of their captivity, and brought them back to the goodly land? Would not such a supposition charge them with " having denied the faith, and become worse than infidels ?”' God forbid that they should ever act so basely.
$ 13. I am aware, my dear Benjamin, that this sentiment is not only open to an objection which I hope to meet by and by; but some will even charge me with heresy. For a learned and pious author has already thus expressed himself: “ It will not be denied that the possession of the land of Canaan by the natural posterity of Abraham form. ed an integral part of that covenant. Accordingly as long as that covenant remained in force, Israel retained posses. sion of the land; but when Paul wrote his episile to the Hebrews, that econonny had waxed old, and was ready to vanish away. Now, to me," he says, “it appears, that to contend for the return of the Jews, as a nation, to their own land, is in effect to build again the things that are destroyed ;'-it is virtually denying tha tho Sinai covenant has vanished away it is pleading for its restoration—it is,
in a word, denying that Christ is come, or, if come, it is denying that his kingdom is not of this world.”
These are hard sayings, my dear Benjamin. Here is multum in parvo. A bad spirit, bad theology, and bad rea. soning. This is condemning in a lump a host of the most eminently learned and pious Christians in every age, who have believed that the Jews will return again to their own country. Here is a sad confounding of the covenant which God made with Abraham, which had the land of Canaan for its object, the natural posterity of Abraham for its subjects, and circumcision for its seal ; and that covenant which the Lord made with our fathers when he brought them out of Egypt, which had the promised Messiah, and salvation by him, for its antitype. The former is called the Abrahamic, the second the Sinaic covenant. Hence the latter vanished away when Christ came, as the shadow gives way to the substance; but when and where did God say that thc Abrahamic covenant should be disannulled, or vanish away? On the contrary," heaven and earth may sooner cease than this covenant.” Jer. 31 : 35-38. These two covenants are as distinct in their nature and duration, As the covenant made with Noah and that made at the foot of Mount Sinai. And although the Abrahamic was ineluded in the Sinaic, yet as the former existed before the latter was made, so likewise it continued in force after the other waxed old and vanished away. Besides, what has the mere restoration of the Jews to their own land to do with the coming of Christ ? What difference does it make where the Jews reside, whether in Judea or Europe ? You know, my dear Benjamin, that I have proved that the Messiah has come, not from the location of the Jews, but from his having fulfilled all that was written of him in the Law, in the Prophets, and in the book of Psalms; and you will doubtless remember that I have also proved, in a variety of particulars, that Christ's kingdom is not of this world; yet I believe that he will reign on the earth for a thousand years, but not in a worldly spirit, after the manner and customs of this world.
Having, I trust, my dear Benjamin, established the point, that our beloved people, both Judah and Ephraim, are to return to the literal Canaan before their conversion ; that they will rebuild Jerusalem, and establish Judaism for a season, and afterwards be converted, “and seek the Lord their God, and David their king, and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days;" I will now endeavor to answer the principal objections brought against this sentiment.
$ 14. A writer in the Christian Spectator of 1826, over the signature of Aleph, proposes the following question : “ Will the Jews, after their conversion to Christianity, be restored to any of their former peculiar distinctions ?" He then goes on to state his imaginary difficulties in a literal fulállment of the prophecies. Now you will easily perceive, my dear Benjamin, that this writer, by putting "the cart before the horse," has run into a slough of despond, from which he thought he could extricate himself only by making a desperate leap—of spiritualizing all that the prophets have said concerning the future condition of our people and nation. Had he put the question thus,“ Will the Jews be restored to any of their former peculiar distinctions, and afterwards be converted to Christianity ?! all would have been plain and easy. This has been the fatal mistake of almost all the writers in opposition to the literal restoration of our people that I have seen, viz. putting the conversion of Israel before their restoration instead of after it,
Aleph objects that the New Testament speaks only of their spiritual conversion, but is silent respecting the return to Canaan, &c. Answer, The reason is plain : the Jews were, at that time, still in their own land; the only question agitated was, whether all Israel was cut off, or only a part. Nor was the literal restoration denied till ages after their dispersion by the Romans.
Next he says, “that at the time of the conversion of the Jews, there will be but one fold, under one shepherd." True, this is my belief, but that does not prevent their literal return before their conversion, and their re-establishing Judaism, and remaining, probably for forty years, till the Lord shall pour out the spirit of grace and supplication, agreeably to Zechariah, 12: 10–14.
Again he objects, that “the end for which God kept them distinct is answered." How does Aleph know that God had but one end to answer, in keeping our people distinct from all other nations of the earth?
If the end has been obtained, why has God kept them distinct in so wonderful a manner hitherto ? Does God act without design? May not the Lord have some wise design in bringing them back to their own land, and permitting them to re-establish Judaism in all its former splendor, and afterwards opening their eyes to see infinitely more glory in Jesus and his cross than in these things, and thus laying aside Judaism, for the establishment of which they had waited so long, and trusting only in Jesus Christ, as their Savior and their God? Would not such a mode be a much greater display of the power of the Gospel, than if the Jews were converted gradually in their dispersed state? But I must forbear.
He further objects, that because Christ did not comply with the repeated wishes of the Jews to restore to them the kingdom, therefore he will never restore it. Answer, That Christ did not comply with their carnal wishes, was because that was not his errand at his first coming; but when did he say that he would never restore them after their dispersion, or that he would never reign personally on the earth?
$ 15. Others have objected, “that their return is pro