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'restoration be brought together?' (1. 10.) God will do it, no doubt; but will they be miraculously transported from one country to another? This is no where intimated.l
P. 125.1. 10. I will not enter into any argument concerning the texts of scripture here adduced: though it may be well doubted, whether, they all relate to the futoire ' restoration of Israel' or not; for I do not deny that they may be literally fulfilled in that event. But the misquotation of one passage from Isaiah must be noticed. The text is, " Darkness shall cover the earth, and gross "darkness the people," or peoples, which includes Israel also. Mr. C. puts " the kingdoms," as excluding Israel. But I apprehend that the calling of the gentiles in the primitive times, the restoration of Israel, and the conversion of the gentiles all over the earth, and the millennium, are all predicted in this chapter. 2
P. 126.1. 11. ' Every true son of Abraham.'— Does this include upright proselytes? Does it exclude wicked Israelites? The New Testament necessarily suggests to Christians another view of 'the true sons of Abraham,'3 but on that it would be improper to insist.
P. 126. 12. ' Afraid to come near him.'—" Ten "men, out of all languages of the nations, even "shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, "saying, We will go with you; for we have "heard that God is with you."4 Christians believe that love will draw the gentiles to converted Israel; Jews imagine that fear will drive them to a distance from them. I own I had rather be loved than dreaded; "perfect love casteth out "fear."
1 Is. xi. 11—16. Ixvi. 19, 20. * Is. lx.
'Rom. iv. 11—18. Gal. iii. 7, 29. 4 Zech. vui. 23.
P. 126. 1. 16. The twenty-fourth chapter of Isaiah is generally considered as a prophecy which more especially relates to Israel, and to all their dispersions and sufferings hitherto; with intimations of mercy to the gentiles, and to a remnant of Israel;1 and a glorious event to the whole: but the interpretation of it does not concern our main subject. No doubt very great troubles will be experienced by the nations of the earth, at that grand crisis which will terminate in the glorious millennium; and the conclusion of the chapter certainly predicts that event, however the other parts of it may be explained.
P. 126.1. 19. The two last verses in the thirteenth chapter of Zechariah most evidently predict the desolations of Jerusalem by the Romans; the subsequent miseries of the Jews; and the future conversion of Israel.2
P. 126.1. 21. "The breaker," &c—There is no doubt concerning the meaning of the word translated " the Breaker," in Micah.3 Let it here also be conceded, (though this is far from certain,) that the conversion and restoration of Israel are predicted; and that " the Breaker" is the Messiah: (Note, p. 126:) yet there is no intimation of his coming at that time; but only of his marching before the Jews, or "at the head of "them." He will, no doubt, at that time break in pieces all obstinate opposers, as " with an iron ". rod;" but he will also break through all hindrances and impediments; he will break off the chains and bondage of Israel; he will break through the impediment, arising from the pride, impenitence and unbelief of their uncircumcised hearts, the opposition of their carnal prejudices, and reigning sins; their " neck of steel and brow "of brass." i He will "break the stout heart, "and bind up the broken heart." He once broke the gates of the grave; he still quickens the dead in sin; and at length, "all that are in the graves "shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they "that have done good, unto the resurrection of "life; and they that have done evil, to the resur"rection of damnation." 2
1 Is. xxiv. 10—16. ;Zcch. xiii. 8, 9. 'Micah ii. 13.
The term "Breaker," may therefore mean far more, than 'crushing the gentiles.' All are his "enemies," who " will not have him to reign "over them:"3 and " his hand shall find out "all his enemies, and make them as a fiery "oven in the day of wrath." 4 But whether all the gentiles, or the gentiles exclusively be those enemies, constitutes another and very different question. "The nation and kingdom that will "not serve thee shall perish ;" but not such nations or individuals as welcome the salvation of Zion's King, and join themselves to his people.
P. 126.1. 28. ' Who hath believed,' &c—This is the only place in which the fifty-third of Isaiah is quoted or referred to: and, as some further notice must be taken of it, I shall not examine particularly this application of the question with which it begins: the New Testament applies it far otherwise.l But it may be asked, in what sense could this be the report of the gentiles? How could they say, "Who hath believed ovx report?"
1 Is. xlviii. 4. J John v. 28—29.
3 Luke xix. 27. 'Psalm xxi. 8, 0.
P. 127. I. 23. 'Pick up every Jew,' &c—This conduct will scarcely be adopted by the enemies of God and Israel. As far as the prophecies adduced relate to events yet future, the full and clear understanding of them must be. waited for till the accomplishment take place. (1. 9—21.) It cannot, however, be supposed that those gentiles, who so zealously and laboriously concur in bringing Israel into their own land, will be involved in the destruction of those who obstinately oppose them.
P. 127.1.30. 'Your brethren.' —Probably it will be found that " the brethren" here spoken of2 will be the converted gentiles, presented as an oblation to Jehovah, by the Jews, " on whose "skirt they have laid hold:" 3 for when it is said, "I will also take of them for priests and Levites," it does not appear how Israelites of the other tribes could possibly be* meant. None who are not already Levites can be taken according to the law as Levites, none as priests who are not priests of Aaron's race. But to take of the gentiles ministers of religion, as the priests and Levites were in Israel, was an event worthy to be dignified by
a place in prophecy; and the more so as it was remote from every thought and expectation of the Jews.'
P. 128.1. 12. * Next to this,' &c.—This accords more nearly with our sentiments, than with the previous statement of the author: and, with all the attention of which I am capable, I cannot find out what his sentiments are concerning 'all the 'nations of the earth,' after the opposition to the restoration of Israel has finally ceased; exeept that they are to be " servants to Israel:" (1.19.) but it does not so clearly appear, whether they will be the accepted worshippers of Israel's God, or not. I shall soon proceed to consider the prophecy in the forty-ninth of Isaiah; and shall here only observe, that Mr. C. has substituted nations for nation: thus shifting off from the nation of Israel that which is spoken of it, and charging it on the nations of the heathen. The Hebrew is singular. Whether the prophecies concerning the subjection of the nations to Israel ought to be understood of an outward subjection to the restored Jews, or not, might be questioned: but I have already conceded most freely, that converted Israel will have a precedency in honour and love above all other people; no subjection will ever be required by Israel, when "the Lord has circumcised his "heart," except that of love; and the superiority will be exercised in meekness, equity, and kindness; from which none except obstinate enemies will be excepted.
There are several prophecies, which clearly imply a subjection of all nations to one power, or collective body; in many of which the names,