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Isa. xxiv. 23
CHAP. VIII. away ungodliness from Jacob; for this is my cove
nant with them, when I shall take away their sins.'
That covenant can He not break, nor alter the thing Ps. lxxxix. 34, 35. that is gone out of his lips. What God has sworn
once in his holiness, to his servants Abraham and Jer. xxii,5,6. David, shall of a surety come to pass. Therefore do
we know that the days will come when Judah shall be saved and Israel shall dwell safely, even in the days when the Lord shall raise unto David a righteous Branch, who as the Lord of Hosts shall reign in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.
And here it may be observed that the exact and literal fulfilment, in the past and present history of the Jews, of prophecies relating to their dispersion and to other calamities that have fallen upon them, is a guarantee of the exact and literal fulfilment of the prophecies which predict their future conversion and restoration. In the present condition of the Jews, in all that has happened to them, are realized the judgments predicted for their disobedience. In their moral and social status, now and for centuries past, they are a living monument of the truth of the word of prophecy. It is not too much to say that in them we see prophecy turned into history. If, then, that which was predicted in the way of curse has been so literally and precisely fulfilled, are we not warranted in looking for a fulfilment, equally precise and literal, of all that is predicted concerning the future glory and blessedness of God's ancient people?
What, then, does Holy Scripture reveal concerning Israel's future? This is a large subject, but I
will take the most prominent points, adducing one or two passages in support of each. First, it is distinctly promised that there shall be a conversion of the whole people to the Lord. “Behold, the days Jer. xxxi. 31 – 34 come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband to them, saith the Lord: but this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel ; after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts, and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord : for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.' In this prophecy are most distinctly promised the forgiveness of the sins of this people, the renewal of their hearts, the illumination of their minds, and their reinstatement in the divine favour. And with this agree a multitude of other passages to the same effect, declaring how God will pardon and purify them, and along therewith will restore them to their own land, and beautify them with his salvation. Zion shall be redeemed Isa. i. 27. with judgment and her converts with righteousness.
Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken ; neither Isa. Ixii. 4. shall thy land any more be termed Desolate.'
I Isa. i. 26. will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy coun
Isa, lx, 21.
Isa. liv, 13.
Isa, cliv, 22.
CHAP. VIII. sellors as at the beginning ; afterward thou shalt
be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city. “Thy people shall be all righteous ; they shall inherit the land for ever.' 'All thy children shall be taught of the Lord, and great shall be the peace of thy children.'. Surely these passages, and they are not a hundredth part of what might be quoted, are evidence enough that in his own good time the God of Israel will visit his ancient people with mercy, blotting out as a thick cloud their transgressions, and as a cloud their sins. And in order to this, it is said, the Lord will cause them to return to Him in a way of deep repentance. Very bitter, we are told, will be their mourning, even as one mourneth for his first-born, when the Lord shall pour upon them the spirit of grace and supplications, and they shall turn and look upon Him whom they pierced
But all this will not be brought to pass until the Zech. xii.-xiv. coming of the Lord. The Scriptures do, indeed,
intimate that there is to be a partial return of the Jews to their own land, while still unconverted ; that there they shall re-occupy Jerusalem and build their temple ; that there they shall be subjected to a terrible and final tribulation ; and that, when on the very point of utter destruction, the Lord shall appear for their deliverance; and then it is that the spirit of grace and supplications shall be poured upon the house of David and upon the inhabitants
of Jerusalem, and they shall look on Him whom Ezek. r. 34–38. they pierced, and mourn. Further, it is intimated
that the lost tribes shall be recovered, who shall be brought in by the way of the wilderness, as their
Zech. xii, 10.
fathers of old, and that there the Lord will meet with them, and plead with them face to face for their conversion and cleansing. Then, when all Israel has been converted and restored, the Lord Jesus will reign in their midst, and Jerusalem shall become the beauty and the glory of the whole earth.
Sing and rejoice, 0 daughter of Zion: for lo, I Zech. ii. 10, 12. come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord. And the Lord shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again.' Thus it is that all Israel shall be saved, when there shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob; and He Rom. xi. 26. who has been a light to lighten the Gentiles shall Luke i. 32. become the glory of his people Israel.
From the foregoing we learn, that though God's covenant with his ancient people has, on account of their sin and unbelief, been suspended, it has not been annulled. During the present era it is in abeyance, wherein the gospel is being preached as a witness to the Gentiles, to take out from them a people for the Lord. The present era is therefore Acts xv. 14. called the “Times of the Gentiles,' and until these be fulfilled Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Luke xxi. 24. Gentiles. The Jews did always resist the Holy Acts vii. 51. Ghost, and so, during the dispensation of the Spirit, they have as a people been given up to their own hearts' blindness. And this blindness, St. Paul Rom. xi. 25. tells us, will remain until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in, until, i.e., the full number has been gathered in, according to the purpose of the election of grace. But in the coming era, when the Lord Ps. cii. 16. shall appear in his glory, it will be to build up
2 Sam, vii. 16.
Ps. lxxxix. 4.
CHAP VII. Zion. When, in the next stage of his kingdom,
Christ shall be manifested personally and visibly to reign on the earth, it will be as David's Son and to sit on David's throne. So was it sworn unto David, “ Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations.' So was it predicted, as we have seen, by Jeremiah : 'I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely.' So it was
promised by the angel in his annunciation to the Luke i. 31–33. Virgin Mary : “Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy
womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest ; and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of his father David : and He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever ; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.'
Now, if these and the other passages which have been quoted be taken in the simple literality of their meaning, and we have no right to take them in any other way, then nothing can be more clear than that the coming of Christ in his kingdom is to be associated with the conversion and restoration of God's ancient people, and that Jerusalem shall be the throne of his glory. And surely that will be a very blessed and glorious day, when the God of Abraham shall thus, in remembrance of his covenant, visit his chosen people with mercy, kindling their repentance, pardoning their sins, sanctifying them unto Himself, and reinstating them in his favour; when Zion shall be a crown of glory and a royal
Isa. lxii. 3.