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WHATEVER is calculated to throw light on the great subject of prophecy touching the speedy Coming of Our Lord, a subject which is now eliciting great interest and attention in the church, is hailed by every lover of truth, with joy and gladness. Truth should be, with every person, the great desideratum. Although it may infringe upon our prepossessions, and appear quite contrary to all our former education, yet, we should seek it, and hail it, as paramount to everything beside. Neither should it be forgotten that our educational prejudices are frequently a great barrier, intercepting our way to truth. Hence, all our prejudices should be laid aside, and we should seek the truth in the love of it.
The following address is designed to remove one of the grand obstacles (to many minds) in the way of the pre-millennial and speedy Advent of Christ, viz., the restoration of the carnal Jews to the land of Palestine-the land of their fathers. Nothing can be more clear than that the Jews, the literal descendants of the house of Jacob, are in the Scriptures but the shadow of the heavenly family in Christ; precisely the same as their Tabernacle, Temple, Canaan, Jerusalem, Joshua and David, were shadows of the heavenly patterns. As the shadow is lost in the substance, so the Jew disappears in the manifestation of the sons of God; and the Jews' Canaan is lost in the world to come-bis Zion in the appearing of the New Jerusalem, and his restoration in the resurrection from the dead. For all the Israel of God will be restored at the resurrection of the just, in the likeness of Christ, their elder brother, the second Adam, who is the first fruits of the dead, “at his appearing and kingdom.” This is the TRUE “restoration of Israel,” not to take place in this world, and only to be realized when “death is swallowed up in victory."
If this view of the subject is correct, as we believe the following pages irrefragably show, then we most certainly stand upon the very threshold of eternity; and as we live, there is but a step between us and the judgment of the great day. Craving God's blessing upon this little work, we send it forth to the world, commending it to the careful perusal of every lover of truth, trusting it will prove a means of arousing many of the slumbering virgins, preparatory to the coming of the Bridegroom and the great marriage supper of the Lamb.
J. V. HIMES. Boston, Dec. 14, 1842.
Acts i. 6, 7-"When they, therefore, were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times and seasons which the Father hath put in his own power."
The question of the disciples in this text, implies three things: 1. That Israel once had a kingdom. 2. That it was then subverted, and had been taken from them. 3. That they understood that it was some time or other to be restored again.
The answer of Christ, so far from correcting their views, or intimating that they were mistaken in their expectations, tended directly to confirm them in the opinion they already entertained. “It is not for you to know," &c. As much as to say, although there are appropriated times and seasons for the occurrence of what you anticipate, and they are yet future, it is not for you to know them.
If it be affirmed that the disciples of Christ expected a temporal kingdom under the Messiah, it is denied, and the proof is demanded. That they expected a visible kingdom is true; but they expected also that it would be eternal in its duration, and not temporal. Their opinion was based on the Scriptures, which everywhere represented the kingdom of Messiah to be everlasting, without end. That they erred in respect to the subjects of that kingdom, is freely admitted—they supposing the Jews were the favorites of heaven.
In pursuing the subject, we shall consider,-
III. THE RESTORATION OF THE KINGDOM-ITS HEIRS AND SUBJECTS.
IV. THE TIMES AND SEASONS OF ITS RESTORATION.
I. THE KINGDOM OF ISRAEL—WHAT IT WAS. The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Haran, when he was probably an idolator, and called him into Canaan, with the promise that he would give it to Abraham and his seed for an everlasting possession; and yet according to Stephen, Acts 7th chapter, he did not give Abraham enough, when alive, to set his foot on; yet he promised he would give it him for a possession, when as yet he had no child. God assured him that his seed should sojourn in a strange land, and be entreated evil 400 years, and afterward come forth and serve him in that land of promise. When the time drew near that the people should be returned to the land of promise, Moses was raised up to deliver them from Egypt. He brought them through the Red Sea into the wilderness, where a civil and political government was organized, derived immediately from Jehovah, their Great King. The system of civil and political jurisprudence, as well as their religious institutions, were of heaven's own legislation. The administrators of this government were of Divine appointment. Under this government, the people, with Joshua, by Divine appointment the successor of Moses, at their head, entered the “ land of promise,” as God had spoken to Abraham. After casting out and destroying their enemies, the land was divided among them by lot, and the political institutions given to Moses were carried into effect. For 450 years, until Samuel, God governed them by Judges, and was himself their King. So it was in fact a kingdom, even under the Judges. But the people became dissatisfied with this system, and requested a king, like the nations around them. Samuel complained to God that he was rejected; “ And the Lord said unto Samuel,-Hearken unto the people in all that they say unto thee, for they have not REJECTED THEE, but they have REJECTED ME, that I should not REIGN OVER THEM.” 1 Sam. viii. 7. He then raised up Saul, of the tribe of Benjamin, to reign over Israel ; and God again legislated for them, and adapted their laws to a kingly government. He gave them the manner of the kingdom. Saul sinned, and was put away, and David, the son of Jesse, of the tribe of Judah, filled his place.
We find the identity of this kingdom to lie in-The royal house-The territory- The heirs and subjectsThe capital and government.
1. In the house of David, God promised to perpetuate the royalty of the kingdom forever. 1 Chron. xvii. 9–14.
“9. Also I will ordain a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, and they shall dwell in their place, and shall be moved no more; neither shall the children of wickedness waste them any more, as at the beginning,
“10. And since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel. Moreover, I will subdue all thine enemies. Furthermore, I tell thee that the Lord will build thee a house.
“11. And it shall come to pass, when thy days be expired, that thou must go to be with thy fathers, that I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish his kingdom.
“ 12. He shall build me a house, and I will establish his throne forever.
" 13. I will be his father, and he shall be my son, and I will not take my mercy away from him, as I took it from him that was before thee.
“ 14. But I will settle him in my house and in my kingdom FOREVER ; and his throne shall be established for EVERMORE."
From this text we learn, 1. That David's throne and
kingdom was to be ETERNAL. 2. That the son of David, who should fill that throne, will be the Son of God. So Paul applies it, in Heb. i. : “ To which of the angels said he at any time, thou art my son ?" And again," I will be to him a father, and he shall be my son.” 3. That the kingdom in which he should reign, is “ the kingdom of God." "I will settle him in my house and in MY KINGDOM forever: and his throne shall be established for evermore." 4. That this promise is unconditional and immutable. "I will not take my mercy away from him as I took it away from him that was before thee.” Saul sinned and was REJECTED ENTIRELY; David was elected to the office FOREVER. But, said God, “ If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments; if they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments; then will I visit their transgression with a rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless, my loving-kindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail. My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. Once have I sworn by my holiness, that I will not lie unto David. His seed shall endure FOREVER, and his throne as the sun before me. It shall be established FOREVER as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven." Ps. lxxxix. 30-37.
The heir of David's throne is thus described by Isaiah, ix. 6, 7,4" Tor unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given : and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this."
This king is " THE MIGHTY GOD—THE EVER. LASTING FATHER.” The government is on the throne of David and his kingdom.” Is not the kingdom of God on earth and the kingdom of David one and the