Imatges de pÓgina
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reign, over them; as is faid*, "And I will raife up one thepherd over them, and he fhall feed them, (even) my fervant David: he hall feed them, and he fhall be their hepherd." and which agrees with the tenth principle of Ifaiah.

Sixth, that the symbol of the divine prefence, and the spirit of prophecy, will then be restored to them, as aforetime; as is said†, "And I the LORD will be their God," and which agrees with the eighth principle of Ifaiah.

Seventh, that they fhall not return to captivity more as mentioned, "And they fhall be no more a prey to the nations," and which agrees agrees with the eleventh principle of Ifaiah.

Now, it is manifest from all history, both facred and profane, that not one of these principles have hitherto ever been accomplished: for it cannot be faid, that they were. fulfilled at their return from the Babylonish captivity; becaufe God did not then take vengeance on Edom, and the other nations,

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prior to their redemption; as here described by the Prophet. And it is well known that the ten tribes did not then return. Neither did a king of the house of David reign over them during the continuance of the fecond temple. Neither was there any appearance of the divine prefence in the faid temple; nor was the fpirit of prophecy among them. And

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far more convincing proof than all, is, that a few centuries after their return, they were again carried into this long and dreadful cap• tivity, where they have remained upwards of feventeen hundred years: all which, is a demonstration, that this prophecy was not fulfilled at their return from Babylon. And it is equally clear, from the acts recorded of Jefus in the New Teftament, that none of these principles were accomplished in his perfon; nor during the time of his ministry. And it would only be wafting of time, to no manner of purpose, to prove that they can

* The Archbishop of Armagh, thinks it may refer to Chrift; but with how little probability of truth, may be perceived from his Note on Chap. xxxiv. 25 it is as follows. "This prophecy may refer to Zerubabel, to Christ, and to a future defcendant of David, who fhall reign over the Jews after their restoration,"

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not by any means be applied to the fpiritualizing scheme of the Christians: whence it is demonftrable, that this prophecy remains to be fulfilled at the appearance of the true Meffiah.

The fourth prophecy commences verse 16th, of the chapter we have been treating of; and is continued to the end of the laft verfe of the fame.

The purport of this prophecy, is as follows. The Prophet having prophefied that God would affemble the outcafts of Ifrael, and reftore them to their own land; and knowing that schoffers and unbelievers might fay, if God is fo earnest to restore them to their land, why did he drive them out from thence: he therefore obferves that, when they were in their land, they defiled it by their wickedness; fo that if they were driven out, it was on account of their manifold fins; ver. 16—19. "The word of the LORD came alfo unto me, faying: Son of man, when the house of Ifrael dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their way and their doings: their way was before me as the defilement of a removed woman. Wherefore I poured out my fury upon them for the VOL. II. M m

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blood which they had shed upon the land, and (because) they had polluted it with their idols. And I fcattered them among the nations, and they were difperfed through the countries according to their way, and according to their doings I judged them."

It must be observed, that the Prophet's comparing their evil doings to the defilement of a removed woman; is not to fhew the heinousness of their offence; but on the contrary, is highly favourable to them: for under the image of a menftruous woman, the Prophet fhews, that at no time whatsoever, during their defolations, and captivity, did God ever give a bill of divorcement to the nation; so as to repudiate them: "for Ifrael is not forfaken of his God." And there-. fore, although when they dwelt in their land, they defiled it; and for which reason, they were driven out; yet, was it never the intention of God, when he fcattered them among the nations, to spend his wrath upon them, to confume them, and utterly caft them off; so that they should no more be his people; No: But they were only confidered to be in the fame ftate as a removed woman; who,

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during all the days of her defilement, is removed from her husband; but after her purification, the again returns to his bofom; even fo is it with the nation: for fhe is, as it were, fanctified* to God by his precepts, and wedded to him by the written contract of his law and therefore, when the finned against him, he, as her husband, removed her, because of her defilement; and scattered the nation though the countries; judging them according to their doings: yet nevertheless, it was always in his mind to restore them, as the menftruous woman is restored to her husband after a certain time.

The Prophet however, proceeds to fhew that, even from this temporary removal, God's name was profaned among the nations whither they went: verfe 20th. "And when they came to the nations whither they went, they profaned mine holy name, in that it was laid concerning them, These (are) the people of the LORD, and they are gone forth out of his land." Not that they themselves

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This is a term made use of in the marriage ceremony of the nation. See Levi's Ceremonies of the Jews, P. 133. Note 3d

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