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resurrection, and crowns Jesus with the glad tidings, to the Jews first, and then to all people. The identity of the people demonstrated; Israel and Chris
tians one. This has been done in passing ; nevertheless, we show it also in its order. As the promise, and the hope and the King of Israel belong not to the flesh, and neither come of the flesh, nor follow in the line of the flesh; but come from the Holy Spirit of promise, and follow in the line of the spiritual seed, and will be fulfilled and realized in Jesus and the resurrection; it follows that the true Israel are a spiritual seed, as all true Christians are, Abraham being the father of us all. Rom. iv, 16. True Christians, like Christ, and true Jews, like Abraham, Samuel, and David, must live by faith, and die in hope, and rise from the dead to possess the promised inheritance. The Holy Spirit defines the meaning of the word Jew in the New Testament; and we may safely apply the same meaning to it in the Old Testament, in many places. “He is not a Jew which is one outwardly,—but he is a Jew which is one inwardly,” Rom. ii, 28. “They are not all Israel who are of Israel,” but only those who are circumcised of heart. They only can inherit the promise to whom the promise was made; and they are Jews inwardly. The promise was made to the spiritual seed, “which is Christ :" the natural children cannot inherit it. The Promiser will pay to the Promisee, and to no other, except through him. The Promisee is Christ, in whom Christians are Abraham's seed, true Jews, “and heirs according to the promise.” He hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us, and made in himself of twain one new man, bringing the Gentile aliens and strangers into the commonwealth of Israel, and the covenants of promise by his blood.* Eph. ii. The identity of the people is therefore complete in Christ the Lord; and to say they are not one, is blasphemous : to say that the Gentiles are aliens still, that they are not in the covenants of promise, and are not entitled to “the hope of Israel," as free citizens of the holy Jerusalem, would seem to be a contradicting of the Holy Ghost.
* An alien, or a stranger, made a free citizen of the commonwealth, becomes a commonwealth's man, and takes the name and privileges of the commonwealth's people, whether Greeks or Jews. So the Gentiles, being made free of the commonwealth of Israel, take the name and privileges of Israelites; as a naturalized foreigner becomes an American citizen, entitled to inherit and vote as an American.
The country of Israel's dispersion. The holy people, whether Jews or Christians, lie buried in all lands, especially in the northern hemisphere. The country of their dispersion is the wide world, and the narrow grave: but they are to be gathered and restored; this is their hope. “They shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, and he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, and from one end of heaven to the other,” Matt. xxiv, 30. “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord," 1 Thess. iv, 17. All the elect, “the seed of the house of Jacob,” are to be thus gathered under Messiah, in one body, never to leave him more. “His camp is very great;" “Their king shall pass before them, the Lord on the head of them.” By the prophet Ezekiel the Lord expresses a similar purpose: “I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.-A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you, and ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.- In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities, I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded,” Ezek. xxxvi, 24–33.
Having thus declared his purpose, promising them, not their descendants, a return to the holy land, a new heart, and a new spirit, when he had cleansed them from all their iniquities, the Holy Spirit, in the next chapter, unfolds the way of accomplishing all this at once to every generation of Israel, by the vision of the valley of dry bones: the most particular description of the resurrection found in the Old Testament, which, if understood in a figure instead of a fact, is less than the chaff to the wheat. The sublimest record of prophecy, describing the 'most glorious event of man's existence, his resurrection from the dead, is often taken for a sketch of temporal politics, covering the plain doctrine of the resurrection to eternal life with the fantastic triumph and reign of Judaism in mortality. Wherever else the doctrine of the resurrection is found, it is illustriously recorded in the thirty-seventh chapter of Ezekiel: “Thus saith the Lord God, Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as he commanded me; and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army. Then he said unto me, Son of man, these
bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost; we are cut off for our parts. [They say: We are dying ; our hope in Israel is cut off; we have no part in the promised inheritance of the land.] Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, and shall put my Spirit in you, and ye shall live ; and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord,” Ezek. xxxvii, 9–15. Then follows a description of the mode of their habitation under David their king for ever in their own land, and the new covenant of everlasting peace.
Words cannot make this plainer. “Hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good ?" Num. xxiii, 19. The country of Israel's dispersion, Jews and Christians, is this world, the realm of sin and death, the king of terrors : but a Deliverer is coming, who will assemble the dispersed of Israel, and lead captivity captive from the prison-house of death, and set his prisoners free. “Who hath heard such a thing?" exclaims Isaiah ; “who hath seen such a thing ? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? Shall a nation be born at once ? For as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her chil dren,” Isa. lxvi, 8.* Them that sleep in Jesus will God bring with
* St. Irenæus, in ch. 34 of his book against the heretics, discourses freely of the kingdom of the saints, in the new earth at the resurrection of the just, which that eminent divine of the second century unfolds in citations from Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and the parable of the watchful servant to whom the Lord gave the government at his coming. He quotes from Isaiah xxvi, 19, “ Thy dead men shall live;" from Ezek. xxxvii, 12, “ Behold, O my people, I will open your graves.” Also Ezek. xxviii, 25, “ When I shall have gathered the house of Israel from all people among whom they are scattered ;" which he takes to be all saints in the resurrection of the dead, exactly in the sense of this article.
St. Chrysostom, on the second chapter of Isaiah, claims the promises there made in the Jews' name for all Christians of the Gentiles, nothing wondering at the use of Jewish terms in that chapter : for, what was spoken was adumbrated by the use of the names, Jerusalem and the Jews, as David, in the name of Solomon, prophesies of a far greater than Solomon, and as Jacob, on his deathbed, addressed his son Judah by name, and in his name gave promise of Messiah: “To him shall the gathering of the Gentiles be." With many examples of this sort, what wonder if the names of Israel be used by the prophets to convey promises and prophecies appropriate to the Gentile church ?
him. All the sons of God will be manifested, as their elder Brother was, by the resurrection : and the earth will bring forth in the great day of the Lord a nation at once, “a holy nation, a peculiar people :” sifted among all nations, like wheat, but not one grain shall be lost. These things are otherwise understood by the many; but when the Lord, who has spoken it, has also performed it, he will open the graves of his people, and bring up his people out of their graves, and he will put a new heart and a new spirit in them, and will bring them into the land which he gave to Abraham and his seed; and he will be their King for ever. If this be not the resurrection, language fails to teach that doctrine: it accomplishes the fullness of both Jews and Gentiles, when "all Israel shall be saved” from the land of their dispersion, which is this land of death.
The land of promise to Israel. The land of their captivity and dispersion being “this present evil world,” the people of God have the promise of “a better country, even a heavenly,”—which is the world to come. Their captivity is the state of death ; their deliverance is from mortality and the grave; and their restoration is to immortality and the paradise of God. All the prophets expatiate on the glories of the promised land, and the triumph of Israel's return to it. The imagery is earthy, and cannot fail to blind the eyes which look not through the drapery of clouds to “the testimony of Jesus” in the clouds. But when we read, as in Isaiah lx, 20, “The Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended," we perceive that the description belongs to the world to come, eternal joy and light not being promised to any condition of this world. “For in their land they shall possess the double : everlasting joy shall be upon them: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the Lord hath blessed," Isa. Ixi, 7, 9. Now, the seed which the Lord hath blessed is not the natural seed of Abraham : not to them belongs everlasting joy; or, if it does, the saints possess it with them, and that not in this world's Jerusalem, but in the New Jerusalem. Ezekiel describes the city with much particularity, and calls it “THE LORD IS THERE.” Waters flow from its temple in a swelling stream, which heals the waters of the sea : “and every thing shall live whither the river cometh,” Ezek. xlvii, 9. Trees of fruit for food, and leaves for medicine, bearing monthly, grow on either side of the river, and it is the city and country into which Messiah will lead his restored people, and rule over them there for ever. It
er and their restor expatiate on the Sit The imagery and the grave : All the prophet of Israel's retuwhich look
and the trail to blind timony of Jeword shall
appears to be the same city, river of life, fruitful banks, and blessed country, that John describes in the last chapter of Revelation. “ The hope of Israel” is the hope of all the spiritual seed, both Jew and Christian, to attain to the promised land, which appears to be the same heavenly country where Messiah is their King for ever. He will gather them from the land of their dispersion and captivity, and will lead them to a state of eternal rest and blessedness, in that world of which the great Creator says, “Behold, I make all things new.” This is the hope of Israel, even
Their restoration. Magnificent descriptions of this are repeatedly given in the prophets, too resplendent for this present evil world. All the terrors of the Lord's person are arrayed against the enemies of the holy people; he comes with power and great glory; he takes vengeance on all that oppress them; he leads them manifestly; he rules them personally; he plants them in their own land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land : the sinful kingdom he will destroy from off the face of the earth; evil doers he will cut off; the thing that hurts, defiles, or makes a lie, shall not be in his kingdom; but “thy people shall be all righteous,"_every one. Isa. lx, 21; iv, 3; Rev. xxi, 27.
If the carnal Jews must have a restoration in order to fulfil the Scriptures, it is apparent that the restoration of which the prophets delight to speak embraces all the chosen and faithful in Christ; and any peculiar promise to the carnal Jews, compared to the literal promise of the resurrection, is no better than a pine torch compared to the sun: suitable for a type, and withal a most useful and necessary thing to guide the traveler in a land of darkness : but when the sun is once risen, the pine torch is no longer of use; it is a troublesome incumbrance, and every wise traveler will dispense with it. The almighty and blessed God is able to drown the world, and to save one family; is able to burn the world, and to save one nation ; is able to destroy all the kingdoms of the world, save only the natural Jews—and they are very confident he will do it. “Lo, I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; for I am with thee, saith the Lord, to save thee; though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee," Jer. Xxx, 11. Intimations of this sort abound in the prophets; and if the natural Jews are “the holy people," the Gentiles are “the sinful kingdom ;" and if the Jews have a restoration in the blood of old Adam, the Gentiles may never see it: the return of the