« ZurückWeiter »
IS R A EL.
BY A CLERGYMAN OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND.
FROM THE SECOND LONDON EDITION.
ORRIN ROGERS, 67 SOUTH SECOND STREET.
E. G. Dorsey, Printer
FUTURE DESTINY OF ISRAEL.
What have Christians to do with the question? and what does it matter to them what the future destiny of Irsael may be? Is it not a question to which no sure and satisfactory answer can be given, and which, if it could be answered with certainty, is rather curious than useful?
Reader, if you view the question in this light, we differ entirely; and I cannot help thinking, that you know but little of those Scriptures which reveal the future destiny of Israel, and show its intimate connection with the destiny of the Christian church and of the whole world.
The seed of Abraham were once in an exclusive manner the people of God. In Jewry was God known, and his name was great in Israel, at a time when he was unknown in all the world beside. The nations lay in darkness and ignorance, which the Jews, to whom the oracles of God were committed, were not commissioned to remove. This high distinction the Hebrew nation lost by unbelief; and the kingdom of God, which had been known to them only, was offered to the Gentiles. Thus their fall became the riches of the world. *
“Now," says the Apostle, “if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles, how much more their fulness?-if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?” “The receiving of them”-then hath God not cast off his people, but they shall be again received. But how? Will the receiving of them be, as some Christians imagine, only a reception into the favour of God by their conversion to the faith of Christ, and their incorporation into the Christian church? or will it be, as the Jews have ever believed, and still confidently expect, a restoration to their own land, and the restitution of the kingdom of
* Rom. xi. 12.
Israel, under the personal reign of Messiah? They expect to see in Him the king of all the earth, and in particular the king of the Jews; and to form under him the first of the nations. These two views are widely different; and it is well worth while to inquire which is the right one—that is, which is sanctioned by the word of God, from whence alone both Jews and Christians profess to derive their expectations concerning the future destiny of Israel.
The kingdom of Israel, as it was originally constituted, was in the strictest sense of the term a theocracy. God was their King—and though all the earth was his, it was promised to them that they should be unto him “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”* By whatever inferior agents the government might be administered, the Lord himself alone, and at all times, was their king. “Israel was his dominion," and therefore, when they desired to have a king, like the other nations, “the Lord said unto Samuel, «Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee, for they have not rejected thee; but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them?"-"ye said unto me, 'Nay, but a king shall reign over us when the Lord your God was your king.""$
Before the coming of Shiloh, however, the sceptre had departed from Judah, and the kingdom of Israel was no more. The tabernacle of David had fallen, and the throne of David was vacant; but the angel who announced the birth of Jesus, declared, “The Lord God shall give unto Him the throNE OF AIS FATHER David, and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever.”'ll
True it is, that he of whom this word from heaven was spoken is the King of GRACE-Head over all things to his church-ruling, by his Spirit, in the hearts of his faithful people. True it is, that He is also the King of GLORY_of one substance with the Father, and seated at his right hand in equal majesty—to Him all power in heaven and on earth is given, and in Him the whole glory of creation shall centre, when all things shall be gathered together in Him. But he has “many crowns:” and this promise of the Father—this annunciation of the angel, respects the throne of his Father David;" and no sophistry of spiritualization can show, that David, the father of Christ according to the flesh, ever sat on the throne of grace, or of glory, or on any throne but that of the literal Israel.
Such was the annunciation of the angel; and what do you imagine that those to whom it became known during our
* Exod. xix. 2. + Psalm cxiv. 2. # 1 Sam. viii, 7. & 1 Sam, xii. 12. || Luke i. 32, 33.