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the country from north to south, there will remain, for each tribe, a portion of less then twenty miles in width, and 150 miles in length. This division of the land entirely differs from that which was made in the days of Joshua, in which the tribes were not only differently placed, but confused and intermixed ; while here distinct lots are assigned to each of the twelve tribes in a regular mathematical form. It seems to denote the equality of privileges which subsists among all the tribes of believers, of whatever nation, and whatever their previous character may have been."
Ver. 15. “The whole plan of the division of the country, lying out of the city, temple, and all its appendages, is perfectly regular and uniform ; and would, therefore, convey to the minds of the Jews the most complete idea they were capable of conceiving of the most perfect church, commonwealth, city, temple, and conveniences, on the largest and grandest scale for the Divine worship; and it, doubtless, ultimately points out the land of Immanuel, the” Millennial “ church, the house of the living God. 1 Tim. 111. 15.”
Mr. Bickersteth observes, “ God has wonderfully provided for a deep and continued interest being preserved in every part of prophecy, by giving to it that largeness of aspect which comprehends the whole of his dispensations, and will not be fully developed till they be ended. This, which occasions one part of its obscurity, and the discussions upon it, does also serve to keep alive men's attention to it, to the very end, and manifests therein the wisdom of the Father of lights."
No. XIX.- Page 330.
:: OP A TEMPLE BY THE JEWS, AT THEIR RESTORATION. si “ Respecting the building of a temple” by the Jews on the restoration,
" and having an altar and sacrifice, &c., my answer to the whole is in the affirmative. For 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 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 2. such and such dimensions, to erect so many houses, to plant vineyards, to esta
blish certain factories, &c. ; but not a word is said in this compact about keep
ing the Sabbath, and building a place of worship, forming a church and admi1. nistering 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 dey portment; 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 d worship, that they had constituted no church, and consequently administered zu 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 In no mention of these things ? Would such a supposition not be a stigma on
their character? Would it not loudly proclaim their former religious profes
sions 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, whenever 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, why should it be thought strange to believe that our dear people, who have, for nearly eighteen hundred years, most conscientiously observed all the religious rites which God gave to our fathers, in all countries, amongst all people, and under all cir. cumstances, 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 immoveable in worshipping 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 act so basely.'
“ 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 fulfilment of the prophecies. Now you will easily perceive that this writer 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 Zech. xi. 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 splendour, 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 Saviour 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?
“ If the Jews return to their own land, will they rebuild the city of Jerusalem ? will they have a temple, altar, sacrifice, and priest ?”
“ First, as it respects Jerusalem, there can be no reasonable doubt in the mind of those who will be guided by the plain word of God. Almost in every passage where the restoration of our people is mentioned, the building of the city of Jerusalem, in its own place, is also mentioned. Read only the following predictions : Jer. xxx. 8—11, 18; xxxi. 38—40 ; Zech. xi. 148. Nor ought we to lose sight of the prediction of the blessed Jesus himself, who said, 'And Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled,' Lu. xxi, 24., which evidently implies that when the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled, Jerusalem shall no longer be trodden down, but be rebuilt and inhabited again by her own people.” Dr. Guise, Dr. Doddridge, and Dr. Gill, all speak to the same effect.
“Let it be considered as a most remarkable circumstance and strong argument in favour of our people's returning again to the land of our fathers, that they are so situated that at the shortest notice they are ready and able to depart as easily as when they came out of Egypt.”
“ The Rev. J. Lunn says, “The many disappointments which that people have met with, in attempting to obtain a settlement, or the privileges of citizens in different countries, may indeed be looked upon as a punishment, and part of the curse that lies upon them for their sin in crucifying the Saviour and continuing so long to reject his Gospel; and no doubt, so it is; but when we consider the kindness of Providence to them in other respects, his preserving, supporting, and even multiplying them, notwithstanding the numberless massacres and persecutions they have sustained; I say, when we consider these things, we cannot help thinking that Providence, in disappointing them of a settlement, has some other end in view besides punishing them for their infidelity. If we deny the restoration of the Jews, we will find it hard to account for their prosperity. But if we admit of their future restoration then the reason not only of their worldly prosperity, but of all the other dispensations of Providence towards them, is most apparent. He denies them a settlement in the countries where they are, to prevent their having any attachment to them, and that they may be under no temptation to stay still, or look back, whensoever they are called in the course of Providence to remove, and for this reason, also, he suffers them to be hated and persecuted, namely, that they may be the more willing to quit the places where they are so used; and, lastly, he endows them with riches, that they may have wherewith to support themselves on their journey to their native country, and to establish themselves therein : for, as many of them live at a great distance from Palestine, to travel so far, and to erect a settlement for themselves in a country almost desolate, is a thing to be done not without considerable wealth; and their being endowed with such wealth, as it renders their return possible, so it adds to the probability of it.”
“ That the Messiah is meant by David, as in Ezek. XXXIV. 23, 24., &c., is acknowledged by all our Rabbins. Zohar, Exod., p. 93., c. 3. Jerusalem, Talmud, Berachoth, v. 1; Bab. Tal. Megilah, xviii. 1; Abarbanel Mash. Yeshua, Lv. 4. Ab. Ezra, in loco. Chizuk. Emuna, 44 ; Michlal. Yophi, Ps. cxliv. 14; Abendana, Note in Mich. Yophi, 1 Kings, xi. 39; Hagg. ii. 23. The Targum says, “ Seek the worship of the Lord their God, and obey Messiah the Son of David their King.'”
No. XX.- Page 264. EXTRACT FROM THE PHYSICAL THEORY OF ANOTHER LIFE, RELATIVE
TO THE FINAL CONDITION OF THE WICKED. “ An instantaneous change, either from good to evil, or from evil to good, effected in a sovereign manner by a foreign power, and effected irrespectively of an economy of motives, would rather be the annihilation of one being, and the creation of another, than the changing of the character of the same being; for it is of the very nature of a change of character that there be an internal process, a concurrence of the will, and an attendant yielding of the rational faculties to rational inducements, and also the giving way of one species of desires, and of one class of habits to another.
“That the Sovereign Benevolence may, indeed, if it pleases, so touch the springs of our motives as to bring about effectively a change of character, is by no means to be denied; and indeed such an act of grace lies at the foundation of that economy of mercy under which we are now placed; but then this exertion of spiritual influence always flows in the channel of moral means and inducements; nor are we entitled to look for it under any other conditions than those explicitly laid down, and solemnly insisted upon by the inspired writers, who strictly confine our expectations of efficacious grace to the present economy, and who, in the tones of awful warning, announce this to be the day of salvation, and this the accepted season of mercy.
“ A little consideration may convince us, that to indulge an expectation of a sudden and physical restoration of moral soundness, by a sovereign act, in the same way that we look for a renovation of our corporeal faculties, must directly tend to bring the mind into a state in which nothing less than the most prodigious of all miracles could avail to its restoration. The first principles of a moral economy are immediately nullified when we persuade ourselves that our moral nature does not differ from our animal organization, in relation to
the divine power, and that the one, like the other, might be reinstated by a word.”
No. XXI. ON THE USE AND IMPORTANCE OF PROPHECY.--BY THE REV. J. W. BROOKS.
“ There are circumstances which appear not only to render the question of the practical utility and comparative importance of prophecy in a measure capable of demonstration ; but which even seem to bespeak its superior importance. First, may be instanced, the comparative bnlk of the prophetic Scriptures : for if we regard the number of books directly prophetical, together with the copious prophetical passages in other books, especially the Psalms, the declared typical character of much Scripture history, (1 Cor. x. 11, of the ceremonial law, of the tabernacle service, Epistle to Hebrews, passim,) all which, as they were adumbrations of things to come, partook of a prophetical complexion; the natural and unprejudiced conclusion would be that the subject is of very great importance.”
“ It is by some conceded that fulfilled prophecy may be useful : it is only unfulfilled prophecy they consider dangerous, and its study to be consequently avoided. The intelligent reader will at once perceive that this dogma would not only divert us from the cordial reception and serious consideration of a portion of God's word, but that it betrays a great want of acquaintance with the intent and use of prophecy. ... And he is more concerned to keep his eye continually fixed on the latter, on the right understanding of which does the correctness of his views in regard to the expectations and destinies, of the church entirely depend.”
“Let us suppose that an ingenuous inquirer were induced implicitly to adopt the notion, that it were unsafe to give heed to other than fulfilled prophecy; in what perplexity would he find himself immediately involved! For how is he, in the first place, to ascertain what is fulfilled, and what is unfulfilled, without studying both? Prophecies containing warnings must, according to this system, not be studiously considered until the danger be overpast in regard to which the warning is given ; whereby the purport and use of such prophecies would be manifestly frustrated. The want of familiarity with their prophets prevented the Jews, during our Lord's ministry on earth, from perceiving and understanding the peculiar signs of their own times, and exposed them to the severe rebuke and awful charge of HYPOCRISY !”
“The book of the Revelation concludes by declaring, that he is accursed who keeps this prophecy, or any part of it, back : for such is the scope of the words. (Rev. XXII. 19.) How different is this from the admonitions of the danger of looking at prophecy, put forth so frequently in an authoritative tone by those who ought rather diligently to exhort their hearers to hearken to it, and to keep the words.' Where do we meet with one single warning of the kind in Scripture ?-Had it been needful to have clogged the subject with such restrictions, doubtless the Holy Spirit would have done it, and not have left it to fallible human beings, who are commonly the victims, more or less, of preju