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Nothing can be more explicit than this language. The elect church is ONE, of whatever national materials composed. Abraham and Polycarp, Moses and Athanasius, Jeremiah and Luther, are builded into one temple, united in one body, partakers of one promise in Christ, and sanctified by one Spirit. The mainspring of the godly character of Moses was, that he preferred the reproach of Christ to worldly wealth and honour. The mainspring of every Christian's character is the same. And St. Paul, addressing the Gentile Christians of Galatia, says, "As many of you as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs, according to the (one) promise.' It is obvious, however, that this oneness of the election of God, composed of individuals gathered out of all nations, presents no difficulty in the way of the national separation for which
Thus we have cleared our way another step. The remnant of individuals selected from the Jews in each age, and truly converted to the faith of Jesus of Nazareth, have certainly not continued a separate people; neither are they, nor can they be, a separate church. They have been incorporated with the church of Christ, which knows nothing of distinctions. But with the Jews, considered nationally, it is far otherwise. The wall of separation between them and other nations is in no sense or degree broken down; and our belief is, that as the language of our text never yet has ceased, so also it never will cease to be applicable to them in the letter of it.
In alleging this perpetual and manifest separation, it is now obvious that we speak exclusively of THE PEOPLE OF JUDAH
CONSIDERED AS A NATION.
III. Having said so much in explanation of what we mean, when we speak of the Jews being a separate people during the times of the Gentiles, let us now put the argument for their uninterrupted separation into this form.
This oneness of the elect church, the Lamb's wife, (Compare Canticles vi. 9, My love, my undefiled is but one, with Rev. xxi. 9,) supplies a formidable, I think, indeed, an unanswerable objection to the opinion advanced by some writers, that the faithful, under the Old Testament dispensation, and the faithful under the Gospel, are to be distinguished in the millennial kingdom: the latter, as the spiritual and glorified; the former, as the spiritual, not yet glorified: the latter, as the New Jerusalem, which comes down from heaven; the former, as the subordinate kings and princes of the world. All the faithful compose one body. As many of the Gentiles as are of faith, are blessed with faithful Abraham.* This unbroken aggregate is the bride of the Lamb, the New Jerusalem; and the subordinate dominion the regenerated earth, is reserved, not for risen Jewish saints, but for the restored Jewish nation. *See Note C in the Appendix.
As a matter of observation, we begin by saying they are at this moment a separate people, scattered in all nations, yet mingling with none. This is a plain fact, which even ignorance herself, with all her hardihood, can scarcely deny. But how is this fact to be accounted for? A modern writer on physiology, who labours to prove that man is matter, and nothing else; that the soul is organized brain, and nothing else; in his chapter on the causes of the varieties of the human species, finding the Jews, amongst other classes, forced upon his attention, thus cursorily disposes of this important question:"The Jews exhibit one of the most striking instances of national formation, unaltered by the most various changes. They have been scattered for ages over the face of the whole earth; but their peculiar religious opinions and practices have kept the race uncommonly pure."* Now, it must be admitted that this, so far, is not very philosophical. It is merely saying they are separate because they are separate. The question is, how came they to adhere so strictly and so long to their peculiar religious opinions and practices, under the varied circumstances. of their outward condition? The Romans adopted the opinions and practices of the Greeks; the Goths those of the Romans; and when Christianity was promulgated, Greeks, and Romans, and Goths, adopted the opinions and practices of certain poor Galileans. How is it, then, that the Jews, scattered among all these nations, have kept aloof from them all, retaining their own peculiar opinions and practices? Surely it is not too
Laurence on Physiology, &c. page 468, Edit. 3.
It may be urged, that the writer's object was simply to enumerate, among the varieties of organization, that one exhibited by the Jews; and not at all to discuss the question of why they continue a separate people. To what purpose, then, is their separation spoken of at all? Still more; why is any reason assigned for it? The truth is, the separate state of the Jewish people, in opinion and practice, is too closely connected with the evidences for the inspiration of the Scriptures, to be a matter of real, however it may be of affected, indifference to any of our modern Sadducees. That I am fully warranted in reckoning Mr. Laurence among this class, requires no proof, to any person acquainted with his writings. Let his criticism on the popular notion of life be taken as a specimen. (Page 52.) I forbear to transcribe it, for obvious reasons. The following passage, however, from page 72, may, I think, be transcribed with advantage. It is characteristic of the school to which Mr. Laurence belongs, and it contains its own antidote. "Some hold, that an immaterial principle, and others, that a natural, but invisible and very subtle agent, is superadded to the obvious structure of the body, and enables it to exhibit vital phenomena. The former explanation will be of use to those who are conversant with immaterial beings, and who understand how they are connected with, and act upon matter; but I know no description of persons likely to benefit by the latter. For subtle matter is still matter; and if this fine stuff can possess vital properties, surely they may reside in a fabric which differs only in being a little coarser." With such passages in the body of his work, it is vain, or something worse, for Mr. Laurence, in his Introductory Reply to the Charges of Mr. Abernethy, to disclaim all intention of interfering with the theological doctrine of the soul.
much to expect that a philosopher, in assigning any reason whatever for their so doing, would, if he could, give a better reason than that they did so because they did so. And, therefore, surely it is not too much to conclude, that since he does. not give a better, he has none better to give. And thus we perceive how a well-informed, acute, and useful man,—a great man, so long as he confines himself to his legitimate sphere,unwittingly brings glory to God by his own discomfiture, when he presumes to assail that holy ground which Jehovah hath consecrated to place his name there.
Mr. Gibbon ascribes the continued separation of the Jews. to "the sullen obstinacy with which they maintained their peculiar rites and unsocial manners," and which, he says, "seemed to mark them out a distinct species of men, who boldly professed, or who faintly disguised, their implacable hatred to the rest of human kind."* Here the question recurs -how came they thus sullenly and obstinately to maintain their peculiar rites, while other nations, larger and mightier, and more polished in every human acquirement, gave up their peculiar rites? The same writer, in another place, ascribes this to what he calls the selfish policy of the nation. Now, admitting that the circumstances of their separation secured to them some national advantage, (the very reverse of which is the case,) still, to ascribe the continuance of that separation to a national policy, is to suppose a marvellous unity of purpose, and a persevering conformity to that purpose, among large bodies of men, who for ages have been free to think and act for themselves, and have had no communication one with another. If such a supposition had been made in favour of Christianity, our accomplished historian would have been one of the first to fasten upon it the fang of some well-turned sarcasm; seeing how difficult, nay, how impossible, it is, to get any set of men, (who may differ without fear of an inquisition,) to agree either in purpose or practice, for any length of time, even with the advantage of uninterrupted communication.
What shall we say, then? Is the separation of the Jewish people up to this day to be ascribed to accident, or to the special purpose and agency of Almighty God? To allege the former, when we contemplate the variety of their circumstances, rich and poor, learned and ignorant, their numbers, their ever-varying temptations to give up their offensive peculiarities, the extent and duration of their dispersion, and the diverse characters of the nations among whom they are dispersed in the face of all these considerations, we repeat, to say that they are kept separate by accident, is to ascribe rather * Decline and Fall, &c. ch. xv.
more to a happy combination of second causes, arriving by various means at the same end, than is altogether consistent with our boasted rational scepticism, which takes nothing for granted. Except, indeed, that as a love of self-indulgence, in despite of the remonstrances of conscience, lies at the root of infidelity, our sceptics have no objection to ascribe omniscience. and omnipotence to accident; because, however skilful accident may have shewn itself hitherto, they do not give it credit for the exercise of a final retributive justice; and have, therefore, no fear of being cast into hell by it. I am aware, that a celebrated modern penitent, himself once a sceptic, says, that a love of sin does not always lie at the root of infidelity; but I am compelled to differ from him; because he who knew infallibly the windings of the human heart, and their influence on the will and judgment, has declared distinctly, that "this is the condemnation; that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light;" not because the evidence for the light is insufficient, not because the rays of the light are contradictory, but "because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil, hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved." To allege, on the contrary, that the separation of the Jewish people is by the special purpose and agency of Almighty God, is to say no more than is legitimately proved by the undeniable facts, that prophecies, accurately describing such a state of things, were written in Hebrew, translated into Greek, circulated among the most enlightened nations of the world, and so multiplied in copies, as to render subsequent adaptation absolutely impossible; and all this previous to the dispersion of the people from their own land.
If, then, it be proved that the separation of the Jews hitherto, is according to the divine purpose, the argument, which supports itself upon the supposition that their peculiarities as a people, recognised in the word of God, ceased at the time of Christ, falls to the ground. And if their peculiarities did not cease at the time of Christ, then when did they cease? And if not yet, then when will they cease? We conceive, that the burthen of proof is thus fairly thrown upon those who deny the perpetual separation of the kingdom of Judah to be a theme of divine prophecy.
IV. But our case can be made stronger still; and we now proceed to state some of our direct reasons for believing, that as the Jewish nation have been kept separate from all people until now, so also they will be kept separate unto the end. I
* Evidence against Catholicism, by Mr. Blanco White, pp. 6, 7. + St. John iii. 19, 20.
shall confine myself to three reasons for this belief, and state them as briefly as possible.
First, it is predicted by Moses, and repeated by Jeremiah and Ezekiel, that the Jews should be a taunt, and a reproach, and a proverb, and a by-word, among all the nations whither the Lord their God would scatter them. (See Deut. xxviii. 37; Jer. xxiv. 8, 9; Ezek. v. 13, 14, 15.) Now it is manifest, that if at any time they should amalgamate among the nations, lose their distinguishing peculiarities, become as the people among whom they are scattered, and cease to dwell alone; these prophecies would immediately cease to be applicable to them; merging in the tide of human society, they would no longer present, as they now do, a prominent object, miraculously sustained upon its surface, in despite of all the buffetings of its angry insulting waves. Proverbial reproach, then, is a revealed characteristic of their dispersion; but proverbial reproach necessarily implies continued separation; therefore, continued separation is a revealed characteristic of their dispersion. This proves a certain continuance of separation, without doubt; but how does it appear, that such continuance is to endure till the close of the dispensation? This leads to our second reason.
It is copiously predicted, that the cup of the Lord's anger shall continue in the hands of the Jews until the time appointed of the Lord, not merely to take it out of their hand, but also to transfer it into the hands of those who, till then, will have oppressed them. The language, declaring this, is grounded on the existing circumstances of the nation in the days of the prophets. Edom, who broke the yoke of his brother from off his neck, according to the prophecy of Isaac (Gen. xxvii. 40); the Assyrian, who carried away Israel (2 Kings xvii. and xviii.); and Babylon, who held Judah in captivity, were the great types of all the subsequent enemies of the chosen nation, whether Romans, Turks, or professing Christians. The day of Jerusalem's recovery is the day of their ruin. In that day, it will be a righteous thing in the servants of the Lord to execute unsparing destruction upon his and their enemies. In the prophetic anticipation of that day, Psalm cxxxvii. seems to have been written. It opens with a description of Judah in the Babylonish captivity, maintaining his undiminished affection for Zion; and it concludes with these truly awful expressions,-"Remember, O Lord, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem, who said, Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof. O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed, happy shall he be that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us. Happy shall he be that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones." At the time of Judah's restoration from