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vents were the chief seats of the plague. On this account did not enter it."*
An English clergyman, who recently travelled through Palestine, in speaking of the fulfilment of the judgments predicted by the prophets, as now manifest in the miseries of this people, relates the following facts, which he says he had from undoubted authority. “The houses of Jerusalem belong to Turks. If a Jew wants a habitation, he must therefore have a hatred for his landlord. The landlord has a right to demand a year’s rent, to be paid on taking possession ; but yet he may eject the tenant at a short notice. The Mahomedan law sanctions the claim of an ejected tenant for the repayment of an adequate portion of the rent; but he must prove his case before the Cadi. A Jew's testimony is not admissible. A Christian's is refused. No Turk will bear witness on behalf of a Jew. So, then, at any moment a Jew may be turned into the street; and, in addition to this calamity, must lose all the year's rent which he paid in advance. Moreover, if a Jew engage in any little trade, he hardly earns enough to sustain life. If he possess any thing beyond this, he is an object towards which, rapacity glances its greedy and cruel eye. The poor Jews throughout Palestine derive nearly all their sustenance from contributions made by the richer Jews in various parts of Europe.”+
When the inbabitants of the world after the flood, attempted to build a tower, whose top was to reach unto heaven they were punished for their presumption, by being obliged to disperse themselves over the world. · Were the inhabitants of New Jerusalem to attempt to surround the square of country which is described in
* See Abridged Edition, page 28, Griffin and Co., Glasgow. + See “The Christian Witness” for Feb., 1850.
the 17th verse with a wall as high in proportion as its length and breadth, they would be imitating the builders of the tower of Babel. But by a reference to the Prophet Isaiah we may understand more clearly, the kind of defence which is intended to surround the holy city. We find it thus written : “ Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise.* The foundations of the wall of the city St. John describes are to be “ garnished with all manner of precious stones," and the Evangelist enumerates twelve of what we call precious stones, or jewels. A reference to the prophet Malachi explains this apparently difficult portion of the prophecy. After he has described the individuals who are to be punished when the Saviour appears again on earth, he thus comforts the Lord's people. Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another; and the LORD hearkened and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts in that day when I make up my jewels; and I shall spare them as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.t We may learn from this prophecy, that as the Spiritual Temple is to be composed of “living stones,” the brightest ornaments of it are to be “ precious stones, or jewels,” or “ trees of righteousness,” which figures of speech all express the idea of superior men, richly endowed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit; and we learn also that one way in which they may be known from the rest of the less precious stones, which are also to perform their part in the erection of the Spiritual Temple, is, that they com
municated their ideas to each other frequently, on the subjects contained in the prophetic writings. The pearls mentioned in the 21st verse, are emblems of purity. Sea-ports in Europe are, generally speaking, hot beds of vice, from the circumstance of strangers from all countries introducing manners and customs unfavorable to progressive virtue : but when the following prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled the sea-ports of Zion will be different. “ The Heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment; and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner : but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished. Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Art thou not it which hath dried the sea, the waters of the great deep; that hath made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over? Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion, and everlasting joy upon their head : they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.*
We find by this prophecy, that as the Red Sea was dried up, to enable the Lord's people (who had no ships then,) to reach their old “inheritance ;” so the Pacific Ocean is now the way appointed by the same Almighty Ruler of the Universe, for his ransomed people to reach their new “Inheritance of Peace ;” and as they by degrees occupy the ports, and assist in making laws and regulations, for governing them on benevolent and Christian principles, not on selfish and Anti-christian ones, they will make this new “ Inheritance," a praise in the earth.
When we find St. John describing the street of the
city as composed of pure gold, we must remember that gold is emblematic of perfection. Such expressions even in conversation, are frequently heard as the following, viz., “a golden opportunity,” “golden opinions,” a "golden moment,” &c.; and as knowledge was to be increased, and the arts and sciences brought to perfection, before the prophecy was understood, the golden street, probably means a rail-road. And if we could imagine a rail-road carried through this great island from east to west, with vineyards, olive-yards, and orange orchards growing on each side of it; and as nearly as the natural impediments of mountains, rivers, &c., would admit, constructed along the 30th degree of south latitude, St. John's prophecy would be fulfilled. This does not appear to me a more impracticable project than constructing a tunnel under the Thames, which I have always considered waste of industry, as there were plenty of bridges over it.
The following description, which Shakspeare gives of Great Britain, well espresses the condition to which Pride and Competition lave reduced her inhabitants in the present day. How thankful then ought those younger sons and daughters, who are excluded from a share in the lands of England, Scotland, and Ireland, be, to have a land to come to, where they can purchase an inheritance for their children, and which they will find equally " bound in with the triumphant sea.”
This royal throne of kings, this scepterd isle,
Which serves it in the office of a wall,