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poral restoration of this people. Their inward and evangelical conversion to the grace of the Messiah is so incalculably greater in every point. of view, and is revealed with so much clearer an evidence, as justly to absorb our admiration and gratitude. To this our attention will be yet further directed whilst we proceed to consider,
THE MANNER IN WHICH THEIR CONVERSION WILL BE ACCOMPLISHED-by taking away their ungodliness, and restoring to them the covenant of God's mercy. There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. The reference is to the fifty-ninth chapter of Isaiah. The Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord. And as for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord; my Spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and for ever. The general bearing of this great promise the apostle adapts, after his usual manner, to his immediate design. The great Deliverer had come to Zion when the apostle wrote, and had appeared for the especial consolation of those who turned from iniquity in Jacob; and thus
the covenant of grace had been established with the believing portion of the Jewish people. But the great body of the nation remained obdurate and persisted in rejecting this Deliverer ;-He came unto his own, and his own received him not: the apostle therefore, in referring to the prophecy, of which so large a part remained to be accomplished, appears to have been guided by the Holy Spirit, to vary the language of the promise without altering its general design. He declares, that the Deliverer, according to the scope of the prophecy, shall again come as it were from Zion, to accomplish the designs of his incarnation; he shall then turn away ungodliness from Jacob; he shall remove the guilt and the dominion of iniquity; he shall establish again his covenant of peace with them, receive them into his church, and make them his spiritual people. In his first appearance in the flesh he came to Zion, unto them who by his grace had turned from iniquity and waited for his redemption in Jacob; in this future and spiritual advent of his mercy he shall come, not to Zion, but, as it were, out of it, and shall by a surprising operation of his Spirit turn away ungodliness from Jacob; thus actually becoming their deliverer, and pardoning and rescuing the longlost nation".
the Hebrew text in Isaiah. The version of the LXX is,
The manner of their deliverance, which is here described, is deserving of the more notice, as it encourages us to exert every endeavour in attempting their conversion. We are led to expect that the particular way in which their salvation will be effected, will be by their being par
Καὶ ἥξει ἕνεκεν Σιὼν ὅ ῥυόμενος, καὶ ἀποστρέψει ἀσεβείας ἀπὸ Ἰακώβ. To this the words of St. Paul nearly agree: "H§u ex Σiùv ô ῥυόμενος, καὶ ἀποστρέψει ασεβείας απο Ιακωβ. Bishop Lowth translates the verse, "And the Redeemer shall come to Sion; and shall turn away iniquity from Jacob; saith Jehovah." He adds the following note, "So LXX and St. Paul, Rom.
מיעקב and יהשיב,ביצקב and לשבי xi. 26, reading, instead of
Syr. likewise reads,
; and Chald. to the same sense, b. Our translators have expressed the sense of the present reading of the Hebrew text; "And unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob."
Vitringa observes, that the EYEXEY Ewy of the LXX is the exact rendering of my; and he conceives that the reason why St. Paul varies this to ex Ev is, that he had in his view, not only this precise passage in Isaiah, but also other similar places where redemption is described as coming out of Sion; thus Ps. xiv. 7. "O that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion!" and again, Ps. 1. 2. "Out of Zion the perfection of beauty God hath shined." The apostle, he thinks, uniting these places in his mind, and illustrating them in his usual manner, admonishes us that these words of Isaiah do not relate to the deliverances from Babylon, nor to the first advent of Christ, but to the future conversion of the Jews. He then quotes the words of Cocceius, "When the deliverer comes to Sion, then he comes, as it were, out of it (tum quasi EX EA PRODIT) in order that he, who had not been seen or known by it before, may be acknowledged in it and by it." Vitringa in loc.
doned, and turned from sin, and admitted into the covenant of the gospel. This is extremely important. If, indeed, we had any reason to expect a properly miraculous interference of God, in order to effect a miraculous conversion, the case would be very different. But the description before us is that of the inward grace of the Spirit of God operating on their hearts, as it operates on the hearts of Gentiles in every individual case of true conversion. For what is there properly speaking miraculous, in turning away sinners from ungodliness, in taking away their sins, in receiving them into the evangelical covenant? Is not this what we see continually take place around us? Is not this the effect of the ordinary ministry of the word, accompanied with the ordinary influences of divine grace? And what, then, do we want to bless our efforts with the Jewish unbeliever? What do we require? Any thing essentially different from the power which subdues the Gentile? Any thing miraculous? Extraordinary signs from heaven? Popular or civil changes? An overwhelming torrent of calamity on the one hand, or of temporal elevation on the other? Surely no. We only need this spiritual Deliverer, who by his mighty, but secret and ordinary grace, shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. We only want this covenant of grace and salvation, connected with the taking away of sin, to be renewed with this
people. Then the means of instruction and conversion which we use would be efficacious, the Jewish converts would flock to the standard of the cross, the flame of genuine piety would spread from heart to heart, from family to family, from one remnant of the scattered nation to another, till all Israel should partake of the salvation of God.
I do not mean to dissemble that the case of the Jew is by far worse in itself than the ordinary cases of unbelievers of the Gentiles. I have fully admitted the blindness and obduracy which, by the judgment of God, rest upon them. But still I cannot but consider the manner of their future conversion, which is here described, as leading to the encouraging expectation of that blindness being about to yield to a mighty indeed, but not a miraculous, operation of the Most High. However deep their guilt, and depravity, and blindness, they are still not beyond the limits of that ungodliness from which the Deliverer shall turn them. However far removed from the knowledge or love of their Messiah, they are still not beyond the gracious purposes of that covenant which is at length to rescue and save them.
This last point deserves a single observation. The express mention of a Covenant consisting
The reference of the apostle is probably not only to the passage in Isaiah to which we have referred, but to other