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own country; and it appears likewise from the prophecy (what indeed is highly probable in itself), that several members of the kingdom of Ephraim or the ten tribes, now scattered through the east, will be both invited and induced by him to join themselves to his confederacy. Such however is not the way, in which God has decreed to restore the main body of his ancient people. The king shall be utterly overthrown; and many of his Israelitish allies shall perish with him *.
Yet the rest of these misguided wretches, when distress is upon them, will rise early to seek the Lord. They will look upon him whom they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one that mourneth for an only son. They will join their believing brethren, who had been restored by the instrumentality of the great maritime power; and with them will say, Come, and let us return unto the Lord.
To express the political revivification of the house of Israel, Hosea, like Isaiah and Ezekiel, uses the allegory of a resurrection t. After two days God will bring life into them; yea, in the third day he will raise them up, and they shall live in his presence.
These three days mean, I apprehend, the three great days of Patriarchism, Judaism, and Christianity; that is, according to the tradition of the house of Elias, the day before the law, the day under the law, and the day of the Messiah. After the two first, and in the evening of the third, immediately before the commencement of the Millennium, the resurrection of the whole house of Israel will take place; first the resurrection of Judah, and afterwards the resurrection of Ephraim. Then the ancient people of God shall know, and pursue after the knowledge of the Lord : for his coming forth is sure as the return of the morning; and he shall abundantly water with his Spirit that Church, which has long been a waste and desolate wilderness I.
passage can only relate to certain individuals of the kingdom of the ten tribes ; for the main body of the ten tribes will be restored after the overthrow of Antichrist, and in consequence of the fugitives from his army being scattered through all countries. Isaiah lxvi. 15—24.
f" The restoration of the Jewish nation is often described, as if it were a new life from the dead.” Mr. Lowth in loc.
# Bp. Horsley interprets this passage somewhat differently from what, upon an attentive consideration of it, I have ventured to do: we both however make
Horrible indeed have been the spiritual fornications both of Judah and Israel; yet, when the Lord shall bring back the captivity of his people, great will be the harvestwork appointed for Judah*. While he shall be made, on the period of this figurative resurrection to be the same. “Jehovah, who had. departed, will return ; and again exhibit the signs of his presence among his chosen people. So the converted and restored Jews will live in his presence. The two days and the third day seem to denote three distinct periods of the Jewish people. The first day is the captivity of the ten tribes by the Assyrians, and of the two under the Babylonians, considered as one judgment upon the nation ; beginning with the captivity of the ten, and completed in that of the two. The second day is the whole period of the present condition of the Jews, beginning with the dispersion of the nation with the Romans. The third day is the period yet to come, beginning with their restoration at the second advent. R. Tanchum, as he is quoted by Dr. Pococke, was not far, I think, from the true meaning of the place. The prophet, he says, points out two times,_and those are the first captivity, and a second. After which shall follow a third time; Redemption : after which shall be no depression or servitude. And this I take to be the sense of the prophecy in immediate application to the Jews. Nevertheless, whoever is well acquainted with the allegorical style of prophecy, when he recollects, that our Lord's sufferings were instead of the sufferings and death of sinners ; that we are baptized into his death ; and by baptism into his death are buried with him ; and that he, rising on the third day, raised us to the hope of life and immortality; will easily perceive no very obscure, though but an oblique, allusion to our Lord's resurrection on the third day: since every believer may speak of our Lord's death and resurrection, as a common death and resurrection of all believers.” Bp. Horsley in loc.
My objection to his Lordship’s interpretation is this: the Jews indeed have gone into two captivities, which might in some sort be termed two days ; but the ten tribes have gone only into one, from which they have never yet returned. Now, since the prophet directs us jointly to consider the captivity both of Judah and Israel, are we warranted in dividing the unbroken captivity of Israel into two days, merely because Fudah has twice been led away captive?
* “ Harvest-work is cut out for Fudah at the season of bringing back the captivity. The tribe of Judah is in some extraordinary way to be an instrument of the general restoration of the Jewish people.". (Bp. Horsley in loc.). The Bishop adds, what I cannot refrain from esteeming rather too sweeping a clause, “ Observe, that the vintage is always an image of the season of judge ment; but the harvest, of the in-gathering of the objects of God's final mercy. I am not aware, that a single unexceptionable instance is to be found, in which the harvest is a type of judgment. In Rev. xiv. 15, 16. the sickle is thrust into the ripe harvest, and the earth is reaped; that is, the elect are gathered from the four winds of heaven : the wheat of God is gathered into his barn (Matt. xiii. 30.). After this reaping of the earth, the sickle is applied to the clusters of the vine; and they are cast into the great wine-press of the wrath of God (Rev. xiv. 18, 19, 20.): this is judgment. In Joel iii. 13. the ripe harvest is the harvest of the vine, that is the grapes fit for gathering, as appears by the context. In Jerem.li
. 33. the act of threshing the corn upon the floor, not the harvest, is the image of judgment. It is true, the burning of the tares in our Saviour's parable (Matt. xiii.) is a work of judgment, and of the time of harvest, previ. ous to the binding up of the sheaves. But it is an incidental adjunct of the business, not the harvest itself. I believe the harvest is never primarily, and in itself, an image of vengeance.”
Notwithstanding the deservedly high authority of Bp. Horsley, I still rest in my former opinion, that the apocalyptic harvest is a harvest of judgment, not of mercy (see any Dissert. on the 1260 years, Vol. II. p. 312, 313. 2d edit. p. 345– 348); in which I am supported by Bp. Newton, Lowman, Bengelius, Dod.
the one hand, a sharp threshing instrument having teeth to thresh the mountains like chaff; while he shall arise and thresh the enemies of the Lord with a horn of iron,
dridge, and particularly Mede, who has elaborately and minutely discussed the point. He observes that the idea of a harvest includes three things ; the reaping of the corn, the gathering of it in, and the threshing of it: whence it is made a type in Scripture of two direct opposites; of destruction, when the reaping and the threshing are considered ; of restitution and salvation, when the ingathering is considered (Mede's Works B. III. p. 520). Bp. Horsley separates the threshing from the harvest in Jerem. li. 33 ; allowing that the threshing denotes judgment, but denying that the harvest has ever such a signification. I cannot think, that the text in question warrants this separation. “The daughter of Babylon is like a threshing floor, it is time to thresh her:yet a little while, and the time of her harvest shall come.” Here the time of her harvest seems manifestly to be used as synonymous with the threshing of her : and, if this be the case, her harvest must be a harvest of wrath. Or, if we deny that they are synonymous, and separate them from each other, shall be authorized by the plain import of the text to say, that the threshing of Babylon denotes indeed a signal judgment about to befall her ; but that her harvest, which in a little while is coming, means some signal mercy about to be vouchsafed to her ? Does not the text, on the contrary, force us to think with Mede, that the threshing is considered as a part of the harvest ; and that they both alike typify God's vengeance upon Babylon ? But, however this may be, there is another passage, in which both the reaping and the in-gathering of the harvest are decidedly used to symbolize an act, not of mercy, but of judgment. Speaking of the dispersion of the whole house of Israel, and of the very small remnant that should be left in the land, Isaiah uses the allegory both of the harvest, and of the conclusion of the vintage and olive-season, “ In that day it shall come to pass,
that the glory of Jacob shall be made thin, and the fatness of his flesh shall wax lean : and it shall be, as when the harvest man gathereth the corn, and his arm reapeth the ears ; and it shall be, as he that gathereth ears in the valley of Rephaim. Yet gleaning grapes shall be left in it, as the shaking of an olivetree, two or three berries in the top of the uppermost bough, four or five in the outmost branches of its fruitfulness” (Isaiah xvii. 4, 5, 6). In what his Lordship says respecting the harvest mentioned by Joel, I believe him to be perfectly right : that harvest is plainly a harvest of grapes, not of corn ; and the vintage of Joel undoubtedly relates to the same period as the vintage of the Apocalypse: they both equally typify the overthrow of the Antichristian confederacy.
Thus, I think, it appears, that a harvest symbolizes the two opposites of judgment and mercy. How we are to understand it in any particular passage must be determined by the context. Now the context of the apocalyptic harvest seems to me most definitely to teach us, that a harvest of judgment is intended. Throughout the whole book of Revelation, with the exception of a few places which sufficiently explain themselves (such as Rev. xx. 8, 9, 11-and xxi. 1, 24) the earth is used as a symbol of the Roman empire pagan and papal. Upon this earth all the vials of God's wrath are poured out, whatever subsequent distinction may be made in their effusion (Rev. xvi. 1.). It is the vine of this earth that is to be gathered, when her grapes are fully ripe : and it is the ripe harvest of this self-same earth that is to be reaped, when the time for reaping is come (Read attentively Rev. xiv. 14-20). Here we may note, that it is not, as in our Lord's parable (Matt. xiii. 24, 38), said to be the harvest of a field, which is afterwards formally explained to mean the world : but, as the sic thrust into the earth to gather the vine of the earth, so is the sickle likewise thrust into the earth to reap the harvest of the earth. If then the earth mean the Roman empire in the case of the vintage, which cannot reasonably be doubted, since those that are cast into the wine-press are the Roman beast,
and with hoofs of brass*: he shall, on the other hand, become in an eminent manner the seed of the Church, and shall be peculiarly instrumental in gathering the great harvest of God's elect into the granary of the millennian church.
the false prophet, and the kings of that same earth, and since (according to the acknowledged principles of symbolical imagery) the vine of the earth must denote the corrupt church of the mystic Babylon, whose abominations,—whose ripe clusters of iniquity,—will eventually occasion the ruin of its supporter the secular beast (Dan. vii. 11.) if, I say, the earth mean the Roman empire in the case of the vintage, must we not conclude, from the almost studied similarity of phraseology used by the prophet, that the earth means likewise the Roman empire in the case of the harvest ? And, if this be allowed, what idea can we annex to a reaping of the harvest of the Roman empire, which, like the grapes of that same empire, is declared to be ripe, except an idea of some tremendous judgment that should precede the vintage and more or less affect the whole empire? In such an opinion also we shall be the more confirmed by finding, that a judgment abo'it : hetall Babylon, the constant apocalyptic type of the Roman church and empire, is by Jeremiah expressly termed a harvest. This diffe. rence 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 reaping : yet I cannot but think, that the context of both passages sufficiently shews, that a harvest of judgment, not of mercy is intend. ed. The apocalyptic harvest, by being confined to the earth or the Roman empire, cannot denote either the general in-gathering of Fudah and Israel, or the universal influx of all nations to the Millennian church : and since, like the vintage, it is exclusively confined to the idolatrous and persecuting Roman 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 no 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 I have supposed to be the horrors of the French revolution, commencing on the 12th of August 1792, and ushered in by the fall 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 judgment, perhaps of both. At least we find, that, as Fudah will probably be made an instrument of turning many to righteousness, so he will likewise be made a sharp threshing instru. ment 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.
The successive restoration of Judah and Israel.
Hosea xi. 8. How shall I give thee up, O 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 * to make destruction of Ephraim. For God I am, and not man ; the Holy One in the midst of thee, although I am no frequenter of cities f. 10. They shali walk after the Lord. Like a lion he shall roar si verily he himself shall roar; and children shall hurry from the
* 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 in loc.
t I am no frequenter of cities.) “ Dwelling with thee, but in a peculiar and extraordinary manner, not after the manner of men. I am no frequenter of cities in general.” Bp. Horsley in loc.
+ Like a lion he shall roar.] 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 them 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, contradistinctively to his second advent and the conversion of the natural Israel. When Hosea is predicting that the whole house of Israel shall walk with the Lord, it seems both unnatural and unnecessary to suppose that he suddenly digresses to the conversion 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 Foseph 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 roarings 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 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 in the other case. His Lordship however maintains, that they (i. e. the children, for to what 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