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In the east, "Divine Providence raised up the Mohammedan power, to be a tremendous scourge to the children of Israel. For a while, Mohammed
them every token of friendship, and -respect. But finding them inflexible, he changed his garb of friendship for the fury of a fiend. He filled his Koran with curses against them, armed his disciples, with the sabre tó extirpate them, obliged parents to instil mortal enmity into the minds of their children, besieged their cities, demolished their synagogues, drove them into exile, and forbade them to return upon pain of death. Little did the impious man think, that he was a minister of justice to accomplish the predictions of the word of God, and thus to stamp an eternal infamy upon his own religion. Surely the hearts of all men are in the hands of God, and he will cause even the wrath of man to praise him.
Under the influence of such a system, the wretched condition of the Jews may be easily anticipated. So long as Mussulmauns consider it a duty to persecute
artifice will be employed to increase their wretchedness, and to add horror to despair itself. Stripped of every religious and civil privilege, compelled to perform the most menial services, to yield submission to the meanest subject, they are preserved as a spectacle to angels and to men, of the just indignation of heaven.
And while one judgment has followed another in rapid succession; judgments which must have blotted out the existence of any other nation under heaven, the children of Israel have been continued by an invisible hand, as a standing monument of the veracity of God.
During this period, the condition of the Jews in the west was not less miserable, and affecting. I refer to the Crusades. Who can describe their consternation, when the pretended champions of the Cross waved their banners over Europe, with this motto inscribed upon them, “LET THE NAME OF ISRAEL BE NO MORE REMEMBERED." All hope of safety was lost. Parents were torn from their children, and families; their houses were consumed; their synagogues laid in ruins. Some fled to the caves and holes of the earth; others surrendered, and were immediately murdered by a furious populace; some escaped the sword by a pretended conversion to the Christian religion; others despairing of redress came to the horrid resolution of destroying themselves.
This crusade, was the commencement of a long series of inhuman and savage cruelties; the history of which, is but a detail of persecutions, proscriptions, banishments, and massacres. In Spain five hundred thousand were obliged to quit the kingdom, and leave behind them their tender children, under the age of fourteen, in the hands of their persecutors. How exactly does this correspond with the prediction recorded against them, “Thy sons, and thy daughters shall be given to another people, and thine eyes
shall look, and fail for the longing for them all the day long." In Portugal, to reproach a man by the name of a Jew, was a crime punishable with death. In France, they were not permitted to appear in the streets of Paris, except by particular permission; were sold, as beasts, at public auctions; and during two centuries were banished and recalled no less than at five different times. In England, after suffering every species of
eruelty, and torture, they requested the privilege of departing to a more friendly climate, but even this request was utterly rejected. In several European countries they were accused of poisoning the rivers, and streams, and in consequence of this accusation one million and five hundred thousand were murderously destroyed.
During this long and perpetual captivity, recollect that they have been deceived by more than twenty impostors; that they have spent whole months in sackcloth, and weeping for the appearing of the Messiah. And while they have been, like the bush of Horeb, burning, yet not consumed, they have raised to heaven the affecting inquiry, O Lord, how long. “O that
my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people.”
II. THEIR FINAL RESTORATION.
Upon this subject, the promise is explicit, and decisive, Afterwards they shall return.
But does this imply both a literal and spiritual restoration? The simple word of God is our safest guide. Let us compare the language in which the two events, their return from Babylon, and their final restoration, are recorded.
In the 29th chapter of Jeremiah, we have the following account of the return froin the Babylonish captivity. For thus saith the Lord, after seventy years are accomplished at Babylon, I will visit you, and will perform my good word towards you in causing you to return to THIS PLACE, and I will gather you from all nations and from all places, whither I have driven you, saith the
Lord, and I will bring you again into the place, whence
Compare with this the description given in Ezekiel of the final return of the Jews. I say final, because it is so considered by the Apostle Paul in his Epistle to the Hebrews. I will take the Children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone,
and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own
AND THEY SHALL DWELL IN THE LAND THAT I HAVE GIVEN UNTO JACOB, MY SERVANT, WHEREIN_YOUR FATHERS HAVE DWELT, AND THEY SHALL DWELL THEREIN, even they and their children, and their children's children, forever and ever. And my Servant David shall be their Prince forever.
Let these two predictions fall into the hands of a Jew, contemporary with the prophet Jeremiah. He reads the former, and says, “My brethren are to be captives at Babylon, seventy years; after that they are to return to their own land, and be a beloved people.' He reads the latter, ‘My Brethren are to go again into captivity, so long a captivity that it will be said of Jerusalem, it has been always waste; they shall be cast out from God, excluded from all their religious, and civil privileges even till the latter days; then they shall return to the land which was given to our Father Abraham. God himself will dwell with them, and establish with them an everlasting covenant which shall never be forgotten.'
Place the same predictions in the hands of a Christian, who has the advantage of looking back upon the accomplishment of one of them. Does he object to a Kteral interpretation of the latter, because there is
Jer. xxxii, 20,
figurative language attached to it. He finds figurative language in the other; yet the Jews did literally return. Would not an impartial examination of these two predietions, recorded precisely in the same terms, constrain him to adopt the sentiment, that as one was literally fulfilled, the other must be. The outcasts of Israel will yet be gathered to their own land.
Besides, what was the opinion of the prophet? Did he design to inform the Jewish nation, that one prediction was literal, and the other not, and yet employ the same language in the latter, that was used in the former? How could the reader discover the truth, when no intimation is given of this change? Is it credible that the prophet should conceal a point of 80 much magnitude, as he considered this to be, in a phraseology altogether unintelligible. Would he keep the world in darkness upon a doctrine, which he designed to present in the light of day.
It will be acknowledged log all, that the prophecy relating to the present captivity of the Jews has thus far received a literal accomplishment. The children of Israel have literally remained without a King and without a Prince; they are carried away captive; and are strangers in a strange land. Can we adopt the opinion that it is literal language till the close of the captivity; and the rest of it figurative,
But the objection is made, if there be a literal restoration, the whole Jewish economy will be re-established.' Is this a necessary consequence? The description given us of heaven is highly figurative; yet no one doubts of the existence of such a place, in distinction from the world of despair. No one will
if there be a heaver, and an assembly of saints,