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Separate existence of the Jews.


(p. 169). Subsequently, he speaks again of this latter fact, and in more comprehensive terms. "The Jews at Khiva intermarry with the Mohammedans at Khiva, while the respective parties preserve each their separate religion," (p. 287). Perhaps facts of this sort would be frequently disclosed, were the residences of the Jews in the Oriental world better known.

Dr. Hyde, in his Religion of the Ancient Persians, relates a fact bearing on the question before us. "The most ancient Persians," he says, "whose pure and genuine posterity remaining at this day among the Mohammedans and others (or in a manner by themselves), live in Persia and in India, cherishing their ancient religion and ancient customs, and retaining their most ancient rites to this day, neither eating nor drinking willingly with any except their own; and even among themselves contracting marriages with none but those of their own tribes; and with foreigners, as far as possible, having communication in nothing except in trade," (p. 2). Here is separate existence in the midst of another people, analogous to that witnessed in the case of the Jews. The instance is on a smaller scale, indeed; yet it is probably of longer duration.

The facts now mentioned may suggest the inquiry, in respect to the separate existence of the Jews, whether, in truth, there is need of any such special providence of God as is sometimes supposed, to account for the phenomenon. A providence there is indeed a providence in all things: and a providence here unquestionably. And the separate existence of the Jews to this hour, has had its use in the economy of God's proceedings in behalf of his kingdom. They are a testimony-not voluntarily, but in the deep counsels of God-to the truth of the Christian religion. Here they are, the very people with whom Christianity had its origin. Their rejection of the Messiah, and leaving that religion to rise alone in the world, and against all their opposition and rage, shows it to be divine. Augustine calls the Jews the librarians of the Christian church, (vide Lardner, IV. 530, 531). Their present sufferings also show the verity of the New Testament predictions, (vide Lardner, VI. 590). But neither these things, nor the separate existence of the Jews, are any certain evidence, as far as we can see, of their going back to Palestine, and of the reorganization of their state there: which would be, to 'build again the things that have been destroyed' (Gal. 2: 18), and so far as it had influence on the world, to roll its affairs back two thousand years.

Nor is the particular expectation and desire of the Jews to return to Palestine, any certain evidence that they will ever there realize that for which some are looking. They had an expectation and desire of an earthly kingdom, when Christ was with them: but the thing desired was not granted them. We have freely admitted that, in the progress of time, numbers of the Jews may, and, in all probability will, return to Palestine. Still, when they are converted to Christ, they will think less about such return. The great body of Judah never came up from Babylon; a less proportion still from the Ten tribes in Media and Assyria. And to our mind, there is no decisive proof, that they ever will come up. When they are converted to Christ, and obtain an interest in his salvation, they will obtain the blessing the covenant promises them. And so of the more modern dispersion. While some will go up to Palestine, as the way is prepared, others, comfortable and prosperous, will prefer to continue where they are. The Rothschilds will perhaps not remove their banking house to Jerusalem, nor Neander forsake his professor's chair at Berlin, nor M. M. Noah his judges' bench at New York. And so of many others. Let the Jews be converted, and embrace the gospel, and the blessing of the covenant with Abraham will be upon them, and they may go anywhere, or stay anywhere, and it will be well with them,well on earth and well in heaven.

As to the present state of the Jews, in that they possess in general only movable property, and are thus in circumstances to leave their present residences for the land of their fathers at short notice, this may have arisen, in some cases, from their desire to return, but more generally, probably, from the cruel oppressions and exactions to which they have been subjected by the nations among whom they have lived. The laws may have forbidden them to hold the more fixed kinds of property. Or they have themselves avoided those kinds of property, as more exposed to depredation. They have wished to keep their property hidden as far as practicable, from the public view, lest it should be taken from them; and in a condition easy to be removed, that they might flee with it from one city to another, or from one country to another, as occasion might require, to save it from the hands of rapacious governments, or individual plunderers. But really this fact, of possessing in general only movable property, is of very small account as an argument for a literal return to Palestine. If they expected an angel's voice at midnight, bidding them arise and depart, there might be something in it. But suppose the


Influence of the Converted Jews on the Gentiles.


Jews were actually to repair to Palestine within a year, what would hinder their converting real into personal and movable estate, in one quarter part of the time to elapse before their departure? In any ordinary way of the occurrence of such an event, estates might be changed from one form to another, with perfect ease and facility, as the case might require. Whether their possessions, therefore, be in real or personal estate, is a very small consideration, in reference to the matter before us.

And the condition of the land, as now thinly inhabited and desolate, and thus affording room for the returning Jews, is only in keeping with the condition of several surrounding countries, as Egypt and Syria, and, indeed, almost the whole of that part of the Oriental world. In those genial regions, once, human nature and human institutions flourished. There were the highest developments on that spot, which those ages of the world produced. The nations then existing there, wrought out their great problems, and, in connection with their movements, abused great light; and a reaction has taken place there-a period of obscuration, as the former was of brightness. Undoubtedly all those realms are yet to be revived under the Messiah's reign. Within them every interest of man is yet to flourish, and flourish more abundantly than in any former period, and in connection with the same flourishing condition of those interests in other parts of the world. But that the Jews must return and establish Judaism there, as the channel through which this result is to be reached; and that this is a main burden of ancient prophecy; is not only unsupported by the New Testament, but savors, in our judgment, more of the fanciful than of the solid, and is contrary to the leading views the New Testament gives us of the spirituality of Christ's kingdom.

As to present movements among the nations in that quarter, little need be said. What they will work out, no one knows. Nor are they the main hope for the advancement of religion in the earth. "The kingdom of God cometh not with observation." In some way, providences will be adapted to further the great work of God in the earth. But how, before their occurrence, it may not be practicable for us to say.

The influence of the conversion of the Jews, on the conversion of the rest of the world, has often been made the subject of disquisition. The apostle says that their rejection of the gospel was the occasion of giving the gospel to the rest of the world, and that their conversion will confer upon the world a still higher benefit. "If the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing

VOL. IV. No. 15.


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?" (Rom. 11: 12, 15.)

The order which some have supposed will be observed in this matter is the following: First, the restoration of the people to the literal Canaan; secondly, that they will then rebuild the city Jerusalem, and reëstablish Judaism for a season, perhaps forty years; thirdly, that they will afterward be besieged by many nations, according to the prediction of Zechariah, which nations shall be destroyed miraculously by God himself; fourthly, in that day, and in view of this deliverance, Judah and Israel shall be converted unto God; and, finally, the Messiah, having descended from heaven, shall reign on the earth, in connection with this community, for a thousand years.-(Rev. J. S. C. F. Frey, Judah and Israel, pp. 288, 302, 304.)

To this advent of the Messiah is applied, as we have before noticed, in a literal sense, the prediction of Zechariah: “His feet shall stand upon the Mount of Olives, and the mount shall cleave in the midst, eastward and westward, and there shall be a very great valley; and half the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south,” (14: 4).


A distinguished clergyman, at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Meliorating the Condition of the Jews, held in New York, May, 1846, said, the belief he devoutly held was, "that the literal interpretation of prophecy is the only consistent one; that the Jewish people would yet return to the land of promise; and that the Lord Jesus Christ would himself personally reign among them, literally making the literal Jerusalem the throne of the Lord, and using Jacob for his battle-axe to subdue the nations to himself.” "Fill the world with converted Jews, flowing forth from Jerusalem, as Jehovah's throne, and you send forth a power to gather in the harvest of the earth. Where, I ask, is the Mount of Olives, on which his blessed feet are once more to stand? For this I look. No millennium do I expect from the present gradual diffusion of the witness of the gospel, or until Israel has seen the descending Saviour, and returned under their holy David to the land that God gave them by covenant for an everlasting possession. Everything else is but a prelude. Then, and not till then, will the triumph come. When a converted Israelite," he adds, " four years

1 Stephen H. Tyng, D. D. of New York.

2 Michael Solomon.


Immediate Efforts for the Conversion of the World 499

ago, was about to proceed on his mission to Jerusalem, I thought, and indeed remarked to a friend, 'Who knows but he may live to see the feet of the Saviour alight on Olivet?" (Vide Jewish Chronicle for June 1846.) Statements resembling these, more or less modified, are not unfrequently heard from other quarters.

Now this view of the case seems to us fundamentally erroneous. Must the affairs of God's kingdom of grace stand still, or nearly so, till the Jews are gathered back to Palestine? till the Redeemer descends in his bodily presence upon Mount Olivet? till he establishes there an earthly throne, and thence dispenses his commands by Jewish missionaries? Is the literal the true, that all nations must go thrice a year, nay, every new moon, and every sabbath, to pay their homage at Jerusalem? that all must come bending to the Jew, and " lick the dust of his feet?" Where, then, is the spirituality of our religion? where the glorious teachings of Christ and his apostles, assuring us, that, under this dispensation, between the Jew and the Gentile there is no difference? The literal, to the full extent, cannot be the true interpretation.

Nor need the world stand still in regard to the kingdom of God. The way is already prepared for action. "Preach the gospel to every creature," (Mark 16: 15). The Jew need not wait for the Gentile, nor the Gentile for the Jew. Thrust in thy sickle now, for the time of harvest is already come. Very true, the conversion of the Jews will give an impulse to the course of righteousness in the earth. The conversion of any people gives such impulse. The handfuls gathered at the Sandwich Islands the past few years, have sent a thrill through the whole Christian world. Much more, when the many millions of the seed of Abraham are gathered in— a people of great interest from their past history, and of higher present character-will a thrill be felt. It shall be as life from the dead. Whether they are gathered into Palestine, or gathered to Christ in the places they already occupy, will not be material as to this result. Indeed, if there be a difference, if the Jews are to be Christ's peculiar agents in carrying forward his kingdom in the earth, it would seem to be better that they should be dispersed somewhat as they now are. This gathering everything into Jerusalem, is not the way to make it most effectual on the world. Accordingly, at the beginning, when the apostles and evangelists were hanging around Jerusalem, God sent a persecution among them to scatter them, (Acts 8: 1, 4). And when they were scattered, then it was that the kingdom spread, and rose. So now, if the Jews are to be God's great agents, above all others, in his

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