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peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings (or kingdoms] thy glory; and thou shalt be called by a new name which the mouth of the Lord shall name. Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken, neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate ; but thou shalt be called Hephzi-bah, and thy land Beulah; for the Lord delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married. young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee; and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee." Is. Ixii. 1-5. As at is the literal Jerusalem which has been termed Forsaken," and the literal land of Israel which has been termed "Desolate," so surely it is the literal city and land which will be “no more” so called, when this promise is fulfilled. The distinction between the Gentiles and those apostrophized by the prophet, is besides clearly expressed: “The Gentiles shall see thy righteousness." It is not therefore their own but Jerusalem's righteousness, (as is common in all languages, the place for the people,) which the Gentiles shall see; and accordingly the prophecy proceeds ; “ I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace, day nor night. (Ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence; and give Him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.) The Lord hath sworn by His right hand, and by the arm of his strength, Surely I will no more give thy corn to be meat for thine enemies; and the sons of the stranger shall not drink thy wine, for the which thou hast labor. ed: but they that have gathered it shall eat it, and praise the Lord; and they that have brought it together shall drink it in the courts of my holiness.” ver. 6–9. 'fhat it is the literal Jerusalem (the city for the people) that is addressed, is thus more obvious. It is the literal Israel's “corn" that has been meat for their “enemies,” and the wine for which they laboured have strangers
drunk. It will, therefore, be in the literal Israel's better days that this shall “ no more” be the case, even when the Lord shall make the now forsaken Jerusalem “ a praise in the earth.” And accordingly, in the following verse the call is made to “prepare the way" for their restoration : " Prepare ye the way of the people.” •
' And when their highway has been “cast up," and when the “ stones” which impede them in their journey Zionward, have been removed ; and when a “standard" has been elevated, around which they may rally; and when their “ Salvation" shall have come, then men “shall call them, The Holy People, the Redeemed of the Lord, and, [again apostrophizing Jerusalem,] thou shalt be called, Sought out, (in contrast to her name during the dispersion, a city not forsaken." ver. 11, 12.
In this bold but beautiful figure of personification the Lord again addresses Zion : "Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them,
unto the name of the Lord thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee. And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee; for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favour have I had mercy on thee. Therefore thy gates shall be open continually, they shall not be shut day nor night, that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought. For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly was. ted..... The sons also of those that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, The City of the Lord, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel. Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated; so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations. Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breast of kings: and thou shalt know that I the Lord am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob. For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass,
and for stones iron: I will also make thy officers peace, and thine exactors righteousness. Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders ; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise. The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory. Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. Thy people also shall be all righteous; they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified. A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: 1 the Lord will hasten it in his time." Is. Ix. 9-22.
There are few prophecies more frequently misapplied than this, and there are few that have a greater number of marks by which we may distinguish its proper objects. A single glance at the whole chapter is sufficient to prove its application to the literal Israel, and we have therefore quoted at some length. The prophecy abounds with beautiful figures, but they are figures having no reference to the Gentile church.* Throughout, a distinction maintained between “the Gentiles" and those to whom the prophecy immediately relates. It is figuratively addressed to Zion, as representing the people of Israel, the " sons" brought from far." These have the attendance of the Gentiles, from whom they are clearly distinguished: “ The Gentiles shall come to thy light;" and "the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee"-pointing out a perfect distinction between those coming and those to whom they do come.
When Zion's "sons” are brought “from far," they shall bring
* Though often overlooked, there is a wide difference between figurative language and that which is sometimes called spiritual. The former may be used for the illustration of any subject, but the power of the latter is uniformly exercised in clustering blessings of every nature (and sometimes incongruously enough) around the Gentile church. Figurative language, properly applied, is equally elegant and useful ; but the end the other is frequently made to serve is only an abuse of words.
" their silver and their gold with them.” This accords with other predictions concerning their restoration, but it is sometimes applied to the converts to Christianity consecrating their wealth to the service of the Lord. But although this is a duty to which believers are bound to attend, it has nothing to do with the prediction be
It is Israel's bringing their valuable property with them when they shall return from far, from those countries into which they have been led captive. But the sons of Zion are not merely to bring their wealth with them, but they are themselves to be brought; and that by a conveyance, the mere mention of which should be sufficient to prevent its ever being applied to the Gentile church : " And the ships of Tarshish first to bring thy sons from far.” ver. 9. “ Ships," while perfectly suited, and really requisite, for the restoration of Israel from many of the lands into which they have been scattered, are quite unnecessary as a mode of admision to the fellowship of the church. Farther, it was the literal Israel, and not the church, whom God "smote" in His “ wrath ;" it was the literal Israel whom the nations “afflicted” and “ despised,” who were “forsaken” and “hated;" and to them, in happy contrast to their past and present state, does the promise apply : “ Violence shall no more be heard in thy land; wasting nor destruction within thy borders.” ver. 18. And as their being brought “ from far,” accords with the predictions contained in preceding Sections, so also with these do the promises harmonize that Israel “ shall be all righteous," and that “ they shall inherit the land for ever;" and that they shall be greatly multiplied : “ A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation.” May the Lord " hasten it in His time!"
With such numerous checks, it is surprising that any of God's people should seek to alienate the prophecy from those to whom it has been given.
given. The promises are conceived to be too great, and the prediction too sublime, to refer to the debased, despised, oppressed, and infidel Hebrews. But God's ways are not as our ways, nor His thoughts as ours. Of the aggravation of their past and present guilt, man cannot form so cor
rect an estimate as the Holy Spirit, and none can speak more decidedly the language of its just condemnation than does the word of God. Yet, for His own glory, Jehovah hath • chosen Zion; He hath desired it for His habitation." He will yet "clothe her priests with salvation; and her saints shall shout aloud for joy.” (Ps. cxxxii. 13–16.) It is not to apostate Israel, but to [srael reclaimed from the error of their ways, that such abundant glory is reserved. When they shall obtain external homage, they shall be possessed of internal grace. The prophecy itself declares that their “ people shall be all righteous;" and to the period of their conversion does the apostle Paul also place its fulfilment, while he gives the whole weight of his inspired testimony to the legitimacy of its application to the literal Israel. The verses we have quoted form part of a prediction which is continued from the preceding chapter, the conclusion of which, (slightly accommodated, being quoted from the Greek translation of the Seventy,) the apostle adduced to the Romans, applying it directly to the literal Israel : "For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits, [how much needed, and how much neglected is the admonition now !] that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles bè come in; and so all Israel shall be saved; as it is written, (Is. lix. 20.] There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob; for this is my covenant unto them when I shall take away their sins.” Rom. xi. 25—27. Here the apostle, expressly drawing a distinction between the Hebrews and the Gentiles-a distinction unequivocally maintained throughout his argument-proves his position, concerning the future national salvation of Israel, by the quotation of a portion of the very prophecy we have already been considering. But had that prophecy been given in promise to the Gentile church, rather than concerning the literal Israel, who had then been“ broken off because of unbelief,” its evidence would have been altogether inadmissible. The apostle's proof would be at once rendered worthless by such a supposition. His