« AnteriorContinuar »
Shiloh being come, “to him would the gathering “ of the peoples be:” “ All nations would bless “ themselves in him," and find a “ more glorious “ rest” than Israel did in Canaan. Now the gentiles could not flock to the Messiah, as to a standard :? they could not seek to him, and find a “ glorious rest in him ; if there were no Messiah for the gentiles.'3
“ In this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make “ to all peoples" (plural) “a feast of fat things, “ a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of “ marrow, of wines on the lees well refined. And “ he will destroy in this mountain the face of the so
covering cast over all peoples, and the veil “ which is spread over all nations, &c.” 4 How, or when, has this prophecy been fulfilled, or can it be fulfilled, except the blessings of Messiah's reign be imparted to all nations ? And how is it possible, if there be ‘no Messiah for the gentiles.'
“Behold my Servant, whom I uphold, my Elect “in whom my soul delighteth, I have put my Spirit upon
him ; he shall bring forth judg“ ment to the gentiles.--He shall not fail or be
discouraged, till he have set judgment in the “ earth; and the isles shall wait for his law." 5 “ In his name shall the gentiles trust.” (Sept.) Thus the evangelist quotes it. His law, evidently means his instruction, doctrine, command, as in another prophecy of Isaiah. " For his law shall “ the gentiles look with expectation :” Spray?“ The Lord hath called thee in righteousness, and
! 1. Matt. xi. 28-30. Heb. iv. 8,9. Is. v. 26. xiii. 2. xviii. 3. xxx. 17. Heb.
See also Is. xix. 23—25. * Is. xxv. 548. Is. xlii. 1-4. 6 Is.ii. 2-4. 7 Is. xlii. 5. li. 5. Heb.
“ will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and “ will give thee for a covenant of the people, for
a light to the gentiles ; to open the blind eyes,
to bring out the prisoners from the prison ; and " them that sit in darkness out of the prison“ house.”—“ Sing unto the Lord a new song ; “and his praise from the end of the earth, ye that go
down to the sea, and all that is therein ; the “ isles and all the inhabitants thereof." |_What!
Is there no Messiah for the gentiles?' When so the gentiles shall wait for his law;" and he “shall be the light of the gentiles.” “When all “ the inhabitants of the isles shall sing," on account of him, “ a new song unto the Lord.” 2 Who can help recollecting, in this connexion, the words of old Simeon ? “Mine eyes have seen thy “ salvation ; which thou hast prepared before the “ face of all people ; a light to lighten the gentiles, “and to be the glory of thy people Israel.” 3
« And now, saith the Lord, who formed me “ from the womb, to be his servant, to bring Jacob
again to him ; though Israel be not gathered,
yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the Lord, “and my God shall be my strength. And he “ said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be
my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and “ to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also “ give thee for a light of the gentiles, that thou
mayest be my salvation to the ends of the “ earth.” 4
Some parts of this prediction will come again under consideration : but the question
'Is. xlii. 6, 7, 10-12. Zech. ix. 11. Acts xxvi. 18–20. ? Rev. v. 9, 10. xiv. 3. Luke ii. 25-32 Acts xiii. 47. xxviii. 28. * Is. xlix. 5-12. * Is. xlix. 22,23. ? Is. lv. 4, 5. See also Is. Ix. Ixv. 1, 2, compared with Rom. x. 19–21.
here recurs, Is the whole a prophecy of the Messiah, or is it not? If not, whom, and what events, does it foretel? When has it been, or when will it be, fulfilled ? It is impossible to give any other interpretation of it, considered clause by clause, than that which refers it to the Messiah ; the treatment, which he met with from the Jews, and the calling of the gentiles : but how can these things be, if there be 'no Messiah for the gen
tiles ?'. It foretels also, that Israel, as a nation would not be gathered by the Messiah ; but only a remnant of them, called “ the preserved of “ Israel.” For “ the Redeemer of Israel, and his
holy One,” addressed “him whom man des
piseth, whom the nation abhorreth, a servant of “ rulers ; ” yet it is predicted that “ kings shall
see and arise, princes also shall worship, because “ of the Lord, who is faithful ;” with much more to the same effect. 1 “Behold,” says the Lord, “ I have given him for a witness to the people, a “ leader and a commander to the people. Behold, " thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and “ nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee."2 Who is this, to whom “nations that knew him “not shall run,” but “ Shiloh, to whom the ga“thering of the people shall be?” Is not then the Messiah predicted as the Messiah of the gentiles ? 3
In fact, I feel myself in this part of my subject pressed with a considerable difficulty; having only the choice of two things, each apart unde
'Is. Ixv. 14, 15, compared with Acts xi. 26. Ixvi. 18-22.
sirable: namely, either to pass over, and as it were suppress, a great part of the evidence; or to weary the reader with tedious argument, and superfluous evidence. I, therefore, only just touch upon points which might with great advantage be more fully pressed, were proofs scanty ; and pass over, or merely refer to, portions of scripture, alone sufficient to decide the argument, beyond all reasonable controversy. Some of these will come in our way, on other topics ; and I must hasten to conclude this part, by a few quotations from the other prophets.
“ O Lord,” says Jeremiah,“ my strength and my fortress, the gentiles shall come unto thee “ from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely “our fathers inherited lies, vanity, and things “ wherein there is no profit."! Certainly “ the
gentiles to the ends of the earth” are here represented, as, of their own accord,“ coming unto” the true God, as renouncing idols, and as avowing themselves his worshippers. But shall this take place under thie Messiah's reign, or at some other time
Do the apostles give the true meaning of the predictions of Hosea, when they apply them to the conversion of the gentiles? “I will call them
my people, which were not my people, and her « beloved, which was not beloved : and it shall
come to pass, that in the place where it was " said unto them, Ye are not my people, there “shall they be called the children of the living
“ God.” 1 Certainly, apart from all claims of inspiration, the application must be considered as very reasonable and apposite, by every attentive and impartial reader.
One would suppose that a man, not previously biassed either way, could hardly avoid falling in with the apostle James's application of a prophecy: by Amos.
“ Simeon hath declared how God did at the first visit the gentiles, to take out of them “ a people for his name: and to this agree the “ words of the prophets, as it is written, After this “ I will return, and build again the tabernacle of
David, which is fallen down; and I will build " again the ruins thereof, and will set them up ; “ that the residue of men may seek after the
Lord, and all the gentiles, upon whom my name “ is called, saith the Lord who doeth all these
things." The variation of the Septuagint, whence for substance the quotation is made, from the Hebrew text, as it stands at present, does not at all affect the general meaning. But the reader may observe, that in Amos this prediction concerning the gentiles is introduced between a remarkable prophecy of the dispersion of Israel, as at this day, and another as remarkable a prediction of his restoration ;3 and that it is expressly connected with the kingdom of the Son of David.
Again, another prophet says, “ The Lord will “famish all the gods of the earth ; and men shall
worship him, every one from his place, even all Compare Hos.i. 10. ii. 23. with Rom. ix. 25, 26. 1 Pet. ïi. 9, 10. Compare Amos ix. 11, 12. with Acts xv. 14–17. > Amos ix. 9-15.