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and restoration of the Jews. That the ancient people of God are to be converted to the faith of Christ, is a truth universally acknowledged by those, who have paid any attention to the prophetical Scriptures; and though the promises of their restoration to the land of their fathers, have by some interpreters been explained in a spiritual or symbolical sense, yet as I know not any late commentator of note who has adopted this opinion, I shall not enter upon the refutation of it, but content myself with quoting one or two passages of Scripture, which seem to me sufficient to establish the certainty of that great event.
“ And it shall come to pass when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, “ which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call “ them to mind among all the nations, whither the “ Lord thy God hath driven thee, and shalt return “ unto the Lord thy God, and shalt obey his voice,
according to all that I command thee this day, " thou and thy children, with all thine heart and “ with all thy soul; that then the Lord thy God will “ turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, “and will return and gather thee, from all the “ nations whither the Lord thy God hath scattered “ thee.
If any of thine be driven out into the “ utmost parts of heaven, from thence will the Lord
thy God gather thee, and from thence will he “ fetch thee. And the Lord thy God will bring “ thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, “ and thou shalt possess it ; and he will do thee good “ and multiply thee above thy fathers." * • Behold
* Deuter. XXX. 1-7.
“ I will gather them out of all the nations, whither
assuredly with my whole heart and my whole só soul.” *
Now to affirm, as some have done, that the fore. going promises were fulfilled, in the very partial restoration which took place after the captivity of Babylon, seems to me to be a mockery of the Scriptures of truth. The events predicted in these passages are evidently future, and will only receive their accomplishment, when God shall set his hand the second time t to gather the remnant of his people from the lands of their captivity.
Further, that the restoration of the Jews is to take place during the period of the vials, will appear for the following reasons; Ist. In Dan. xii. 7. it is announced, that at the accomplishing to scatter the power of the holy people, or
or in other words the restoration of Israel, all the things contained in that vision shall be finished. But the last of these things is the fall of a certain king “between the seas in the “ glorious holy mountain.” And whether we follow the interpretation of Mede and Bishop Newton, or of Mr. Faber, with respect to the power
* Dan. xi. 45.
* Jerem. xxxii. 37-42.
+ Isaiah xi. U.
which is there intended, his fall will in either case happen at the period of the vials, and consequently the restoration of Israel, which synchronizes with his fall, must also take place at the time of the vials. 2dly. In Dan. xii. 1. it is said, that their restoration is to happen during a time of trouble, such as there never was since there was a nation. But this from the chronology of Daniel's vision, can be no other, than the closing period of the vials. 3d. The prophecy contained in the beginning of the sixty-third chapter of Isaiah, which manifestly relates to the national redemption of Israel, describes the treading of the winepress of the wrath of God in terms so similar to Rev. xiv. 19, 20. and xix. 15. that we cannot be mistaken in identifying the three passages. But the two last texts belong to the seventh vial, and describe the awful carnage at Armageddon: therefore the redemption of Israel takes place at the same period.
From the passage in Deuteronomy quoted above, I think it is certainly to be inferred, that the conversion of the Jews is to begin before their restoration. But on the other hand, there is a passage in Ezekiel,* from which it would appear, that they are not to be completely sanctified or washed with clean water, until after their return to their own land. By comparing both these prophecies, we therefore discover, that though their conversion will have commenced before they are restored; it will not be completed till after that event. In confirmation of this conclusion, there is a very remarkable description, in the prophecy of Zechariah,t of a great national * Ezek. xxxvi. 24, 25.
+ Zechar. xii. 9-14,
mourning, which is to take place among the returned Jews in their own land, when they shall look on him whom they have pierced ; and as thal text is evidently parallel with Rev. i. 7,* it follows that they both relate to the same appearance of our Saviour, which is clearly that of the second advent. Upon this passage in Zechariah many interpreters have accordingly founded an opinion, which I think quite correet, that the complete conversion of the Jewish nation will not take place till our Lord comes again with the clouds of heaven, at the destruction of Daniel's fourth beast, or the Roman empire, † which happens at the close of the Apocalyptic vials.
In exact conformity to these conclusions, we are taught in the prophecies of Joel, that at the very time when the Lord shall turn the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, he will also gather all nations, and will bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there, for his people Israel. I " Assemble yourselves and come, all ye heathen, and
gather yourselves together round about: thither “cause thy mighty ones to come down, O Lord. " Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the
valley of Jehoshaphat, for there will I sit to judge “all the heathen round about. Put ye in the sickle, “ for the harvest is ripe : come, get you down, for the
press is full, the fats overflow, for their wickedness “ is great. Multitudes, multitudes, in the valley of “ decision : for the day of the Lord is near in the
* Compare with this view the Greek text of Rev. i. 7, and that of the Seventy on Zech. xii. 9-14, and it will be seen that the two texts manifestly describe the same scene. + Dan. vii. 12, 13.
# Joel iii. I,
valley of decision. The sun and moon shall be “ darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their “shining. The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, “ and utter his voice from Jerusalem, and the “ heavens and the earth shall shake; but the Lord " will be the hope of his people, and the strength of “ the children of Israel."*
The scene here disclosed to our view, is evidently the same as that described in Rev. xix. 11-19. and all the other' parallel passages which have been quoted : and the great confederacy of the nations which is overwhelmed at the valley of Jehoshaphat, is manifestly that consisting of the beast and the kings of the earth, which St. John saw gathered together to the battle of Armageddon.
From all that has been said, we have reason to believe therefore, that during the remainder of the period assigned for the effusion of the vials, the conversion of the Jews, which seems already beginning, will proceed with accelerated velocity. When a considerable body of them are converted, it is natural to suppose, that they will pour out the most ardent and affectionate prayers for their unbelieving brethren, and for the redemption of the nation. Their supplications shall be answered. God will, in a manner hidden from us at present, gather together the whole nation from the countries where they now sojourn, and bring them into the land of their fathers, some of them in a converted state, but perhaps the greater part still being unconverted, at least in the spiritual sense of that word. During these events, it is probable that the western Roman
* Joel iii. 11-16.