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committed two evils; they have forsaken me the Fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water." (Jer. ii. 13.) Having forsaken God, and being now forsaken of God, their broken cisterns are empty; and such is their lamentable condition, that one drop of water, would be an acquisition to their destitute state.
In the expressive imagery of the parable, Abraham recognises the consanguinity claimed by the Jews in their dispersed condition; and he replies, "SON, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things; and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented." The imagery implies, that their conditions have been reversed. Lazarus, or the Gentiles, had suffered from the evil things; and now the Rich man, or Jews, becoming poor, as Lazarus had formerly been, suffers as a consequence. But Lazarus is comforted by the contrast of his present with his former condition; and it is this contrast of the present condition of the Rich man, with his former abundance, that constitutes his torment. Read the 28th chapter of Deuteronomy, and behold the picture of the Rich man in Hades. Never was history more graphically correct, even in the most particular minutia, than is this prediction of God's prophet of what should befall the Jews, provided they should forsake the counsel of their God, and transgress His commandments. And this prophecy was written and promulgated, before Jerusalem was inhabited by the Jews; yea, centuries before ORNAN the Jebusite thrashed his grain on the ground where Solomon, in later times, built the splendid Temple!
The imagery contained in Abraham's excuse, for refusing the request of the Jews, his son, is full of emphasis-"And besides all this, [there is an obstacle in the way,] between us and you there is a great gulf fixed; so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, would come from thence." Paul explains this phrase great gulf; (Rom. xi.) "What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded. According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear, unto this day. And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock; and a recompense unto them: let
their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway." But the final event is expressed; "For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all." This is God's purpose according to election; to treat the Jews as enemies, as concerning the Gospel, for the beggar Lazarus, or the Gentiles' sake. Blindness, unbelief, is the great gulf, that no Jew can pass. And from Abraham's bosom, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Jews' rejected Messiah, and in his Gospel, which to the Jews is a stumblingblock, is the great gulf that no Christian can pass.
But the poor Jew, in his desperate condition, is represented in the imagery of the parable, as solicitous for the well-being of his brethren; therefore the Rich man, as a last effort, says, "I pray thee, therefore, Father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house; for I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment." The imagery contained in this declaration and request, and in the conclusion of the parable, is most unquestionably intended as an illustration of the parable itself, in respect to the intention of the speaker; with a view to furnish a key to the truth, and verify a very important particular mentioned by the prophet, of an exception in God's judgments on rebellious Israel. Viz:
"Then I cut asunder mine other staff, even Bands, that I might break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel." (Zech. xi. 14.)† Also, Hosea, (xi. 8, 9,) "How shall I give thee up, Ephraim ? how shall I deliver thee, Israel? how shall I make thee as Admah? how shall I set thee as Zeboim? Mine heart is turned within me, my repentings are kindled together. I will not execute the fierceness of mine anger, I will not return to destroy Ephraim: for I am God, and not man; the HOLY ONE in the midst of thee; and I will not enter into the city."
* Missionary societies have expended large sums of money in attempts to pass this Great Gulf; with the same success that attended Capt. Parry's attempt to get to the North Pole, etc.
+ See Sermon XVIII. The Parabola of the Prophets; of the staff BEAUTY.
See Gen. xiv. 2; Deut. xxix. 23. Admah and Zeboim, were cities in the same region with Sodom and Gomorrha, situated in the vale of Siddim, southeast from Jerusalem, between the mountains of Judea and Arabia; their site occupying the location that is now the Dead sea. "The king of Sodom went out to meet Abraham, after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer," etc.
The land given to the children of Israel (the twelve tribes,) for a possession, is bounded by Lebanon, or mount Libanus, on the North-the Mediterranean sea,_on_the West-the dead sea, and Arabia Petrea, on the Southand by the desert of Damascus, (called, in ancient times, the wilderness, also, in modern times, Arabia Deserta,) and the river Euphrates, on the East. The tribes of Judah and Benjamin; (with others of the twelve tribes,) received their inheritance in the Southern moiety; and when a political division took place, after the death of SOLOMON, under Rehoboam his son, a new kingdom, called the kingdom of Israel, was set up, under Jeroboam; who "made two calves of gold, and said unto the people, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem; behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And he set the one in Beth-el, and the other put he in Dan." (1 Kings xii. 25-29.) And Jeroboam also · built Schechem in mount Ephraim."
We therefore see, that ten tribes, were designated in the parabola of the prophet, as EPHRAIM-Samaria being
* Omri, a successor of Jeroboam, bought the hill, or mount, called Samaria, of Shemer; and built a City, and called it Samaria. (1 Kings xvi. 24.) This gave the name of Samaritans to those that dwelt there. Therefore, the city built on this mount, was called the City of Samaria; and in prophetic metonymy, the Head of Ephraim; also, the elder sister of Judah, or Jerusalem. And Samaria was denounced, for setting up the calf idolatrous Egypt. "Thy calf, O Samaria, hath cast thee off," &c. (Hosea viii. 5.) See 1 Kings xi. 26 to 40th verses, inclusive; of the cause of the division of Judah and Israel, by which ten tribes were given to Jeroboam; and only two tribes, viz: Judah and Benjamin, remained to the kingdom of Judah; save those who had settled, and acquired property in the cities of Judah; they continued, of necessity, the subjects of Judah, although they belonged, lineally, to the ten tribes that revolted. Jeroboam was an Ephrathite-that is, an inhabitant of a place called Ephratah, and a descendant of Ephraim, the second son of Joseph. Jesse, the father of David, was of the same lineage.
The inheritance of Judah, was bounded, South, by the Dead sea, and a line running Westwardly to the river of Egypt, etc.-On the West, by the Mediterranean sea-East, by Dead sea and river Jordan-North, by a line running from the river Jordan Westwardly, South of Jerusalem and the valley of the Son of Hinnom, gehenna, to the Mediterranean sea. Subsequently, Simeon received his inheritance out of Judah's; consequently, geographically considered, there were three tribes in the land of Judea, besides individuals from the other tribes, that dwelt in the cities of Judea. And Benjamin's inheritance, lay between Judah's and the inheritance of Joseph's children, South of Samaria. Benjamin being bounded South, by Judah's North line; consequently, Jerusalem, and the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, were within Benjamin's territorial limits. Eastwardly, his line extended to the river Jordan; but Westwardly, not so far as the shore of the Mediterranean sea.
"the head of Ephraim," the elder sister of Judah, and the capital of Israel, in the land of Canaan, as Jerusalem was the capital city of Judah, in the land of Judea. (See Ezek. xvi. 46.)
The phrase, father's house, to which the poor Jews, or the Rich man, desired that Lazarus might be sent, is a metaphor, signifying the moral house of Abraham, the father of the whole house of Israel, under the law. In the parable of the ten virgins, the number is made to conform to the ten commandments of the Decalogue. The Decalogue, metaphorically, is the Law, which the Jews put away, as a man repudiates his wife; and they married another, taking to themselves the commandments or doctrines of men; even the idolatry of heathen nations, and became infidels, as respects the law and commandments of JEHOVAH. Jesus, in his parabola, represents the judgments of God, as being against Judah and Jerusalem, particularly; and Samaria, the head of Ephraim, and elder sister of Judah, as excepted in the terrible catas trophe.*
But a terribly severe censure is conveyed in the imagery, against the Rich man, the house of Judah-"If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead." For this imagery puts into the mouth of the guilty inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem, the confession, that, connected with the predictions of the prophets, of the coming of the Messiah, and the character he should sustain, and manifest by his acts, his resurrection from the dead, would be irresistible evidence of the truth of his doctrine, and the pretensions of his person to be received as the Sent, and the Messiah of God the Father; to every person or man whomsoever, whose infidelity was not proof against all evidence and testimony, and all the deductions of reason, as well as all the convictions of common sense! And the imagery is rendered still more explanatory, and illustrative, when seen in its extensive, and emphatically comprehensive sens For it is a fact, as notorious as the light of heaven at noonday, that the sentiment or princi
* It is a wonderful coincident, of this exception, that the ten tribes, so far from having been included in the judgments denounced against Judah and Jerusalem, and predicting that the guilty inhabitants "should take their inheritance in themselves in the sight of the heathen;" (Ezek. xxii. 15, 16,) in their scattered and dispersed state; that the excepted ten tribes have been lost, blotted out, by an amalgamation with the Gentiles!
ple imbodied in the imagery, has been interwoven in the proverbs or aphorisms of every civilized nation on the globe. Actions speak louder than words; says the proverb. And "Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham. But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God; this did not Abraham." (John viii. 39, 40.)
Again-Consider the motive to action: "The world hateth me, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil." (John vii. 7.) Again-"I have greater witness than that of John; for THE WORKS which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, BEAR WITNESS OF ME, that the Father hath sent me." (John v. 36.) And Pilate, the Roman governor, when the Jews brought Jesus before his tribunal, and accused him, affirmed, after hearing all that could be said, "I find no fault in him." What an eulogium is this! And "Pilate said unto them the third time, [in answer to their clamour,] Why, what evil hath he done?" (Luke xxiii.) Immaculate purity of life, and innocency of conduct, negatively-affirmatively, Jesus went about doing good! Volumes could add nothing to this testimony.
The five brethren, therefore, who were excepted in the catastrophe that overwhelmed guilty Judah and Jerusalem, were the moiety of the moral house of Abraham, or the Israelites under the law, who dwelt in the land of Canaan.*
When the patriarch Jacob, on his death bed, called his sons together, to bless them, the Spirit of prophecy came upon him, and with an Eye that pierced through the vista of time, he beheld, and denounced the wickedness of the Levitical priesthood-" Simeon and LEVI are brethren; instruments of CRUELTY are in their habitations. O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united." (Gen. xlix.
* The prediction of the prophet Ezekiel, (xvi. 35—42,) of the destruction of the parabolic moiety of the patients of the moral house of Abraham-the exception, affirming the distinction, v. 46, naming Samaria, the head of Ephraim, the metaphor of the ten tribes ;-also, the instruments of God's judgment on Jerusalem, the Rich man signified to be, v. 37-42, in the parabola, the heathen Roman power, or nations, (including their allies,) the lovers!" from whom idolatrous Judah received their errors, etc., is truly wonderful!!! Read, and ponder Ezek xvi.
SIMEON is associated with LEVI, (the priesthood,) on account of his cruel, vindictive spirit. See Gen. xxxiv. 25, etc,