Page images

and with hoofs of brass * : he shall, on the other hand, become in an eminent manner the seed of


termed a hartest. This difference indeed there is between the two prophets, that Jeremiah dwells upon the third part of the harvest, the threshing ; while St. John selects the imagery of the first part, the reuping: yet I cannot but think, that the context of both passages sufficiently shews, that a harvest of judgment, not of mercy, is intended. The apocalyptic harrest, both by its chronologically preceding the vintage, and by its being confined to the earth, or the Roman empire, cannot denote either the general in-gathering of Judah and Israel, or the unitersål influx of all nutions to the Millennian church: and since, like the vintage, it is exclusively confined to the idolstrous and persecuting Romun empire, since in both cases the sickle is equally thrust into this empire ; I feel myself compelled to conclude, that, like the vintage, it denotes some signal judgment. This judgment I have supposed to be the first part of the third woe ; a woe, which must be expected to mark a period in history no less striking than the successive founding of the Saracenic and Turkish empires : a woe, which is ushered in by an event nu less singular than definite, the fall of a tenth part of the great Roman city or of one of the ten original Gothico. Roman kingdoms by an earthquake. This judgment in short have supposed to be the horrors of the French revolution, commencing on the 12th of August 1792, and ushered in by the tall of the monarchy both arbitrary and limited, which at that time was the only one that remained of all the ten original kingdoms; a revolution, which in its consequences, or (to adopt the prophetic phraseology) during the reaping of the harvest of the earth, has been felt to the remotest parts of the Roman empire : and as yet I have seen no reason to alter my opinion.

To return from this not unnecessary digression: the harvest. work, appointed for Judah, may be either of mercy or of judg


the Church, and shall be peculiarly instrumental in gathering in the last ages the great harvest of God's elect into his mystic granary.


The successive restoration of Judah and Israel.

Hosea xi. Š. How shall I give thee up,

0 Ephraim ; abandon thee, O Israel? How shall I make thee as Admah; place thee in the condition of Zeboim? My heart is turned upon me; my bowels yearn altogether. 9. I will not execute the fury of mine anger; I will not return t to make destruction of Ephraim. For God I am, and not man; the Holy One in the midst of thee,

ment, perhaps of both. At least we find, that, as Judah will probably be made an instrument of turning many to righteousness, so he will likewise be made a sharp threshing instrument to thresh all the enemies of God. His harvest-work will be double and opposite. It will consist both of an in-gathering of the good, and of a threshing of the wicked even with hoofs of brass.

* Isaiah xli. 15-Micah iv. 13-See also Zechar. xii. 2-6.

+ I will not return.] “ When I come a second time, it will " not be to destroy. An indirect promise of coming again, not for judgment, but for mercy." Bp. Horsley iu loc. TOL, II,


although I am no frequenter of cities *. 10. They walk after the Lord. Like a lion he shall roart: verily he himself shall roar; and children shall hurry



* I an no frequenter of cities.] “ Dwelling with thee, but " in a peculiar aud extraordinary manner, not after the inan

ner of men. I am no frequenter of cities in general.” Bp. Horsley in loc.

+ Like a lion he shall rour.] I fully agree with Bp. Horsley, that the prophet speaks of two distinct successive roarings of the Lord; and that, as the first roaring brings children from the west, so the second brings thein from Egypt and Assyria. But I cannot think, that the one relates to the first advent of our Lord and the conversion of the Gentiles ; and the other, contradise tinctively to his second advent and the conversion of the natural Israel. When Hosea is predicting that the whole liouse of Israel shall walk with the Lord, it seems both unnatural and unnecessary to suppose that he suddenly digresses to the con. version of the Gentiles at the first advent. And, when we find it repeatedly declared by the prophets, that the house of Israel shall be restored in two grand divisions, first the house of Judah from the west, and afterwards the house of Joseph from the east and the north; I cannot but think it most natural, and most consonant with the tenor of the present prediction, to apply the two rvarings with their respective effects to the two-fold and successive restoration of the whole house of Israel.

| Children shall hurry.) Bp. Horsley argues, that, since the expression is neither their children, nor my children, but simply children, the natural Israel is thereby excluded, and the Gentile converts at the first advent are pointed out, as those that hurried from the west. This argument seems to me to destroy itself by proving too much. Some children of the same family, that hurry from the west, hurry likewise from Egypt and Assyria: for to whom can the they, which is the subject to the second

from the west *. 11. They shall hurry like the sparrow from Egypt, and like the dove from Assyria ľ: and I will settle them in their own houses, saith the Lord. 12. Ephraim hath compassed me about with treachery, and the house of Israel with deceit. But Judah shall yet

[ocr errors]

verb shall hurry, relate, except the children, which is the subject to the first verb shall hurry? Children then equally hurry from the west at the first roaring, and from Egypt and Assyria at the second roaring. But, if children simply cannot mean the natural Israel in one case, neither can they mean the natural Israel jn the other case. His Lordship however maintains, that they (i. e. the children, for to wliat antecedent can they be referred except the children?) do mean the natural Israel in the second case: it will follow therefore, that children (the antecedent of they) must mean another branch of the natural Israel in the first case. Or, è converso, if children in the one case do not mean part of the natural Israel ; then neither can they (the children) in the other case mean part of the natural Israel. Mr. Lowth understands the passage as I do.

* Shall hurry from the west.] Isaiah similarly predicts the return of Judah. “ They shall lift up their voice; they shall exult in the majesty of the Lord; they shall shout from the “ west. Wherefore glorify ye the Lord by Urim, the name of " the Lord God of Israel in the isles of the sea" (Isaiah xxiv. 14, 15.). And again : “Surely the isles shall wait for me, " and the ships of Tarshisha first, to bring thy sons froin far.” Isaiah lx. 9.

+ They shall hurry--from Egypt--and Assyria.] Thus Isaiah foretells the restoration of those that were lost in Assyria and were outcasts in the land of Egypt. See Isaialı xxvii. 12, 13. and compare xi. 15, 16.--xix. 23, 24, 25. and Zechar. x. 10, 11. See Mr. Lowth in loc.



obtain dominion * with God, and shall be established with the Holy Ones f.


This prophecy relates to the restoration of the whole house of Israel, for both Judah and Ephraim are particularized in it. Long as the captivity of Judah has been, longer yet as the captivity of Ephraim has been ; yet God will never forget or abandon his people Israel. In due season they shall surely walk after the Lord, notwithstanding they now seem to be forsaken by him. When that season arrives, twice will he exalt his voice, and roar aloud. At the first roaring, children shall hurry from the west : the converted Jew's shall be rapidly brought back from the western regions of Europe by the instrumentality of the great muritime power. At the second roaring, other children

[ocr errors]

* Obtain dominion.] “ A promisory allusion to a final resto“ ration of the Jewish monarchy.” Bp. Horsley in loc.'

+ Established with the Holy Ones.] “ The word established

may signify either the constancy of Judah's fidelity torthe Holy " Ones; or the firmness of the support which he shall receive “ from them. The Holy Oncs, the lIoly Trinity. By the use " of this plural word the prophecy clearly points to the con" version of the Jewish people to the Christian faith. Even the “ Jewish expositors, R. Tanchum and Kimchi, understand " this.plural word in this place as signifying God.” Bp. Forsley in loc.


« PreviousContinue »