Page images

result of the position which has made Palestine for so many ages the thoroughfare and scourge of the world.”

This is perhaps as striking as anything that can well be said in regard to the central position of the Holy Land in ancient times. The question is, whether it is in such a position in relation to the world in its present and prospective condition as to make it a desirable and important land for an active, versatile, and wealthy people to occupy.

Civilization has undoubtedly travelled from East to West. It has now reached the western shores of America. But there is a remarkable refluent motion in our times. India has ever been a prize for which the world has eagerly contended, for India possesses immense wealth. We do not profess to be deep in the secrets of the cabinets of Europe, and it is fortunately unnecessary to be so in order to see what any thoughtful person may make out for himself. England, Russia, and France, are the great powers, and it is plain to the humblest politician that they are all seeking power Eastward. The last general war in Europe, just closed, was on the borders of the Black Sea Russia fights with Circassia, and presses even to the borders of China. England holds India, and attempted Affghanistan. France has Algiers, and keeps an eye on Egypt. All three have ambassadors, who watch each other, at the courts of Turkey and Persia.

The Euphrates has been explored, with a view to its being made navigable for steam vessels. The overland journey to India is now made by the Mediterranean and Egypt, but a plan is on foot for a railway across Syria. In fact, a strong nation possessing Syria, would be in the very focus of intrigue, activity, and importance, in our time, and still more, we may suppose, in the times that are approaching. Through California and Australia we are tending towards Asia by the West as well as by the East. Whatever part of this argument fails, it is not the want of important and interesting political position in Palestine.

The natural conclusion of our subject-perhaps already too much protracted—is a statement, as brief as possible, of the object of the Restoration of the Jews to Palestine ; what we suppose will be accomplished by it, and what they are to do or not to do in the Holy Land.

Negatively, then, we do not believe in the personal reign of our Saviour in Palestine; we do not believe that the Jews are to be his body-guard; we do not believe that they are to be pre-eminent in any special way in the millennial state in Palestine; we believe that there is, but one Church, that the middle wall of partition is broken down, and that in Christ there is neither Jew nor Gentile. We reject the entire millenarian theory, believing that there is no foundation for it in Scripture.

But there are many and interesting prophecies that are fulfilling at this hour. Petra is silent and deserted as predicted of old; Egypt has long been the “basest of kingdoms." The fallen capitals of the pillars of Tyre are still visible in the clear depths of the Mediterranean. Ruinous mounds and doleful marshes and the desolate cry of wild beasts, lead the traveller to the spot where lofty Babylon hung her gardens in the air and sported in her thousand boats upon the lordly Euphrates. Winged bulls, strange arrow-headed inscriptions and wild oriental sculptures have revealed the city of Sennacherib. And when the Christian wanders by the shores of Gennesareth, and asks for Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum—he meets a dispute over a spring or a few fallen columns-a doubt concerning the shadow of a name.

Especially is it interesting to observe the fulfillment of the prophecy in the other line of Abraham through Ishmael. We fear that there is a rationalizing spirit abroad which tends to confine the supernatural to ancient times. Yet see how, sheer across all the wonderful events connected with the coming of our Saviour, and the establishment of the Christian dispensation, the promise to Ishmael remained unbroken and continuous. See, too, how the history of the world lies in the prophecy of Noah, in regard to his sons. “God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem, and Canaan shall be his servant.” Examine the ruling races, Greek, Roman, Tartar, Russian, Persian, Sanscrit, Anglo-Saxon, and read their history and their habitation by the light of this prophecy.

Now, we propose merely to consider the Restoration of the Jews in the same light as these other prophecies. It is our im

pression that we do a great injury to the simple and natural interpretation of Scripture when, because the Millenarians incorporate upon this question of the Restoration of the Jews, certain Judaizing, carnal and untenable theories, we give up the whole question as of the same nature with millenarianism. Why not say that the commentator who dwells upon the Arab prophecy is millenarianizing ? Why not give up the prophecy concerning Japheth, as mixing up religion and politics? In a word, let us try to follow a common sense interpretation of Scripture, just as it is.

As to the question, then, what will the Jews do in the Holy Land ? we reply that they will do just what the English do in England, or the Americans in America. They will traffic, will cultivate the soil, will fill professional and mechanical pursuits, and be a Christian people, in an interesting and important country.

But, if Paul is correct, the national conversion of the Jews will usher in millennial glory. The Most High may, if he think proper, establish a perfectly arbitrary connection between these two events. But there are two respects in which some connection may be observed between them. The first is well put by Mr. Barnes, in his notes upon the eleventh of Isaiah : The conversion of the Jews shall be attended with a sudden removal of the obstructions to the Gospel, and to its rapid spread everywhere among the nations.” For this he gives three reasons : 1. That they are scattered among all nations, and so a sudden impulse communicated to them will reach the world. 2. They speak nearly all the languages of the world, and the law of God is with them everywhere. 3. They make the best missionaries, as is seen in the Apostles.

Let us now add to this view of Mr. Barnes, the additional one of the impression which would be made upon the world by the visible closing up of the great drama of prophecy. The Mohammedan empire passes away before the eyes of a world, quickened to earnest attention by the movements of these remarkable times; the missionary efforts spread wider and still wider over the heathen world, and become more and more successful; the judgment of Popery draws on, and the awful events connected in prophecy with the destruction of the mystic Babylon, burst in all their horror upon mankind; whatever else is acknowledged as belonging to those times of convulsion which precede the dawning of the Sun of Righteousness, is upon the world; but it yet waits for another sign. And, lo! from every part of the earth a common impulse agitates the children of Abraham; preserved distinct, and preserving their property wondrously, so that it can be hastily gathered together, they are ready to move as were their ancestors in Egypt at the Passover. From every country in Europe; from remotest Asia; from America, North and South ; from Africa; from the islands of the sea; wherever there is a Jew, the hand of Jehovah is upon him. They move, as their fathers moved at the three great festivals, from the extremities of the land to Jerusalem. From every part of the habitable earth they gather to the Holy Land; and looking upon Him, whom they pierced, they go mourning, yet rejoicing, the Spirit of grace and of supplications poured out upon them. They speak everywhere, as they journey, of Jesus of Nazareth. Their lips are touched with the fire of heaven. Multitudes believe. An impulse mightier than that of the Crusades sways not Europe only, but mankind. God remembers Abraham, his friend, and his children are permitted to be the heralds of mercy to universal humanity. Jew and Gentile bury all ancient enmity; the lines of sect and party in the Church are obliterated; one visible Catholic unity blesses all the children of our common Father. The Resurrection of the world has come. “For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be but LIFE FROM THE DEAD.


Yahveh Christ, or The Memorial Name. By ALEXANDER MacWHORTER, Yale University, &c.*

It is pleasant to read a work written by a discoverer for the purpose of publishing his discovery to the world. He is full of his theme. He writes because he cannot help it. Like the prophet, should he hold his peace, the burning fire shut up in his bones would consume him. The style into which he involuntarily falls, may perhaps be somewhat dogmatic and denunciatory, but then it can hardly fail also to be marked by directness, strength, and earnestness. Whether, therefore, his discovery be real or imaginary, he secures our sympathy and holds our attention, even when we disagree with him. On this account, we have derived not a little enjoyment from the book the title of which is given above.

The book is evidently the work of a discoverer and the record of his discovery. The author has evidently found something which, if it was ever known before, has been lost for at least a thousand years; something, too, the importance of which, in his judgment, can hardly be exaggerated. It is not barely a discovery, but a great, an invaluable discovery. Great and invaluable though it be, however, we must be pardoned for confessing our inability to find it. It is hidden from our eyes. The discoverer is discovered at a glance. The discovery is undiscoverable after the most diligent search.

I. It is true, that, in the first line of the title to the book, we read the odd looking word “Yahveh" in connection with Christ ;” and for a moment we are startled by the suspicion that we hold in our hands an attempt to persuade mankind that the Lord's Anointed is no longer to be sought in Jesus of Nazareth, but in some new avatar of Vishnu, perhaps, or in some remotely Oriental personage recently arisen, and claim

* The Editors have not sufficiently examined the subject of this Article to give a definite opinion in regard to it, but commend the Article to the Christian public, as an interesting one, from a very competent writer.-EDITORS.

« PreviousContinue »