Page images

thens be judged; then will this mighty army of Gog be destroyed with an rutter destruction; then will the Lord set his hand the second time to recover the remnant of his people ; and then will the Messiah come, of whom the prophet now speaks. “But thou Bethlehem Ephratha, wilt have become small among the thousands of Juda ;, from thee shall he come forth unto me, the ruler in Israel, whose ancestry were from of old, from ancient days.

Thus-The ancient family of Ephrata will have become small among the families of Israel, of the Jews, consonant to the prophecy of Ezekiel, chap. 21—26. “Exalt thou that is low; abase the high. Perverted, perverted, perverted will I make it; and it shall not be, until he comes, whose right it is, and I will give it him." And it is this family who, according to Ezekiel's prophecy, were to be abased, in Israel, in Juda ; whose reign was to be perverted till the Messiah should come; it is this family of whom the prophet Micah speaks: “And thou Bethlehem Ephrata," (and not the town.) From this family was he and is he to come “whose right it is.” This family was not to be re-exalted until he come whose right it is; this family of Ephratha, who, in the time of Ezekiel and Micah, were exalted in Israel, were to be abased ; their diadem was to be perverted; it was to become small among the thousands, among the families of Juda, as the very next verse in Micah has it: “Therefore will I give them up until the time that she which travaileth has brought forth : then the remnant of his brethren shall return to the children of Israel.” “Give them up." Of the town of Bethlehem it cannot be said give them up; the plural, them, will not apply ; but of the family, the plural will apply as well as the singular. According to Ezekiel, the family was not to be known particularly, but were to be abased, and the diadem or crown given up, perverted : and according to Micah, the family was to become small among the families of Juda. According to Ezekiel, this was to last till he come whose right it is; and according to Micah, until the time that she wbieb travaileth has brought forth her children; so that he will not come until that time, that is, till the daughter of Zion, the Jewish nation, which travaileth to this day, has brought forth her children, which will not be till after the war of Gog; then is the time for him to come, and not before ;

we need not look for him before; our business now is to travail, to be in pain, and labour to bring forth, and he will deliver us."

I shall hereafter have occasion to revert to this prophecy, but for the present sufficient is said to show that the town of Bethlehem was not intended by the prophet, because particularly " them,” will not apply to the town, neither will “ Then the remnant of his brethren shall return to the children of Israel.” The remnant of the town of Bethlehem's brethren.-What kind of sense can be made of this ? A town cannot be said to have brethren. It will only, and can only apply to the family of Ephratba, out of which the Messiah will come; and whether he is born in the town of Bethlehem or not, is of no matter of consequence, so that he is born of the family. The lineage, neither, (as I'take it,) does the prophet Micah here intend to inform us that he shall be there born, but only that he shall descend from that family, that is, from the family of Bethlehem Ephratba.

Here again, gen:lemen of the American Society, for meliorating the condition of the Jews, you may plainly perceive that this prophecy, wbich has, by .....ians, evangelists, commentators, and divines, been thought and produced to strengthen their hypothesis, will, and is turned, and when correctly understood, makes against your religion, sufficiently to overturn its whole foundation. Will you then, still preserve silence ? I consider you all as convinced of error ; will you not then, leave the wickedness of your ways, and turn to God for a lengthening of your tranquillity ? has then the Unclean Spirit, gotten so sure, so strong a hold of you, that although you have no answer to give, no defence to make, though you stand before the world, with fallen countenances, as criminals, in utter despair--are you still so blindly infatuated by the spirit of deep sleep, as, to refuse to listen to reason and scripture? For shame, gentlemen shake off the poisonous, deadening lethargy from you; draw, tear the scales from off your eyes, and act, yourselves, as you would advise others to have acted, in your present situation. In sober seriousness, your duty is now, to acknowledge your errors, and make known your convictions, to the world before whom you stand already, at least, silenced, if not convicted. You can no longer honestly preach ......ianity; you cannot pretend to be soldiers of Jesus unless you acknowledge yourselves disgraced cowards; who, after having given a general challenge to Jews, to examine, and be converted, after having forced them into the arena, and obliged them to face you, on the first attack of the most puny champion among them, you are all utterly discomfited, confounded and defeated ! Gentlemen, I can only consider you as conquered opponents, as fallen enemies; and although, am willing to return you your sword, and allow youto try its metal on my armour ; I cannot allow you to use it in any other part of the field, only on me, till you have fairly conquered me; not even on a stronger, more potent, or more noble adversary.

Of right, I challenge your arms, I consider them mine by right of conquest, and against me only can you in honour use them, if you have sufficient hardihood left in your compositions. Turn, then, gentlemen ; let us sift this matter fairly, and then after discovering the truth, join in love, and defend it side by side, on whichever side truth and righteousness shall be. At all events, let us together strive to be as it is written :

והמשכילים יזהירו כזוהר הרקיע:

"And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament."

Dan. xii. 3.


(Continued from page 165.) .. I THINK it necessary, before we proceed, to clear up the objec

tions generally made against such prophecies, as declare and foretell the deliverance of the Jews, from their present dispersion; and the glorious restoration of God's favour, and the different methods which are taken in the explanation and application of those prophecies, and first

Some pretend that the promises were made good; and that the prephecies received their accomplishment, at the return from the Babylonish captivity, and that consequently, the hopes of a future deliverence are vain, and without foundation. In order to clear up this point, let the prophecies be compared with what, Ezra and Nehemiah relate, befel the nation at their return from Babylon, and see if all those glorious promises did then receive their accomplishments? To those passages which I transcribed in my last, I shall here. add one whole chapter of Isaiah, that according to his description of those glorious times, the comparison may be made.

“Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is “ risen upon thee. For behold the darkness shall cover the earth, “and gross darkness the people : but the Lord shall arise upon "thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee, and the Gentiles shall

come to thy light, and kings to the brigbtness of thy rising ;-lift “ up thine eyes round about, and see : all they gather themselves

together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then thou shalt see, and “flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; be“cause the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the “forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee. The 'multitude of “camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah ; "all they from Sheba shall come : they shall bring gold and in“cense; and they shall show forth the praises of the LORD. All “the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee : the rams “of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee : they shall come up with ac

ceptance on mine altar, and I will glorify the house of my glory. “Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows?

Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshih first, to “ bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto " the name of the LORD thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, be“ cause he hath glorified thee. And the sons of strangers shall build “ up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in my " wrath I smote thee, but in my favour have I had mercy on thee. “Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be “shut day nor night ; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the “Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought. For the nation and “kingdom that will not serve thee sball perish; yea, those nations “shall be utterly wasted. The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, “the fir-tree, the pine-tree, and the box together, to beautify the

place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet

glorious. The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come “ bending unto thee : and all they that despised thee shall bow " themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee “The city of the Lord, The Zion of the Holy one of Israel. “Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no man went " through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of ma"ny generations. Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gențilęs, " and shalt sack the breast of kings : and thou shalt know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the Mighty One of “ Jacob. For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring "silver, and for wood brass, and for stones iron : I will also make "thy officers peace, and thine exactors righteousness. Violence “shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction with"in thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy "gates Praise. The sun shall be to more thy light by day: " neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: "but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy "God thy glory. Thy sun shall no more go down; neither'shall "thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be thine ever' lasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. “ Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the " land for ever, the brauch of my planting, the work of my hands, “that I may be glorified: A little one shall become a thousand, "and a small one a strong nation: I the LORD will hasten it in his “time."*

This is the glorious state of the Jews, according to the prophet's description. It will be tiresome to make extracts from Ezra and Nehemiah, to prove that nothing like this appeared to the nation at their return from Babylon. I shall, therefore, refer you to the accounts, which these writers give of this miserable return, and the many bardships and interruptions the buildings meet with, together with the weakness and wickedness of those few who did return, and shall content myself with giving you a few passages from the history now in the greatest vogue.

“It will be convenient (says the historian) to premise some few things concerning the state of the Jews, during this new epoch'; for, from this time, they are no more to be looked upon as that free, rich, and glorious people which they had been, either under the former theocracy, as Josephus justly terms it, or under their opulent and warlike monarchs; and the direction of their prophets, their condition, government, manners, their very name is now entirely changed; and though some of them we find to have attained to very considerable posts, or growing exceeding rich in the land of their captivity, yet these are but few in comparison of

* Isiah ch. 60.

« PreviousContinue »