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unclean, which God had cleansed. Now in this vision of St. Peter, no mention whatsoever is made either of the Jews or of the Gentiles, except under their types, the clean and unclean animals : and yet he found no difficulty in understanding its meaning. He conceived it to import, as it une doubtedly does import, that henceforth the Jews and the Gentiles were to form only one Church: and accordingly baptized Cornelius without any further hesitation. Precisely the same is the meaning of this prophecy of Isaiah. ' It began to be fulfilled in the day of the first advent, when the converted Gentiles were added to the Apostles and to such other of the Jews as had embraced Christianity. But this is only its inchoate and imperfect accomplishment: nor will it be altogether fulfilled, till the Gentiles shall have ceased to destroy throughout the whole of God's holy mountain, till both Judah and Israel shall be restored and converted, and till the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea *.
** The reader will find this point very fully and excellently discussed in the third lecture on the figurative language of the Holy Scriptures by the late Rev. W. Jones. It is worthy of notice, that the Law itself, no less than the Gospel, teaches us that the distinction between clean and unclean meuts was allu. sive to the distinction between the Jews and the Gentiles. “ Ye • shall not walk in the manners of the nations which I cast « out before you-me I am the Lord your God, which have seu parated you from other people; ye shall therefore put a
Accordingly the prophet goes on to inform us, that in that day the root of Jesse shall be an ensign unto the peoples, that the nations shall repair unto him, and that his resting-place shall be glorious. Whether by this ensign we are to understand the manifestation of the Shechinah immediately before the destruction of Antichrist, to which distant nations will humbly repair, bringing along with them the dispersion of Israel ; or the metaphorical unfurling of the banner of the cross, may perhaps admit of a doubt. The last idea however, namely that of a general diffusion of Christianity, is necessarily involved in the former. To this ensign both Jews and Gentiles will ultimately seek : for the whole Israel of God, Ephraim as well as Judah, will be converted and restored; and the whole Gentile world, after the overthrow of the Antichristian faction, will embrace the profession of pure and vital religion *. In order as it
* difference between clean beasts and unclean, and between “ unclean fowls and clean—and ye shall be holy unto ale; “ for I, the Lord, am holy, and have severed you from h other people that ye should be mine." (Levit. xx. 23.) Mr. Jones justly remarks, that “ this passage puts the nioral "intention of the distinction of mèuts out of dispute, and is " indeed a direct affirmation of it: the people of God were o to avoid unclean meats, as a sign that he had separated them " from unclean Gentiles to be holy unto himself.”
* “ When the ten tribes made a separation from Judah, Ephraim was looked upon as the principal tribe of that se
were, that we may not mistake the restoration here predicted for the restoration from the literal Bar bylon, Isaiah carefully teaches us, that the Lord shall put forth his hand a second time to recover the remnant of his people *; and that, not merely from Assyria and other eastern regions, but likewise from the isles of the west, or the maritime regions of Europe. He moreoyer teaches us that. Ephraim and Judah shall both be restored ; that their former enmity shall be done away; and that henceforth they shall jointly form only one nation. And he adds certain circumstances peculiar to the final restoration of Israel. Edom,
“ paration, and is often put for Israel, as that was a distinct “ kingdom from Judah. Thus the word is taken here; and " the verse imports, that the quarrels and dissentions which is used to be between those two rival kingdoms shall be quite ss at an end, and they shall both be governed by one king, 3* the Messiah. We may further observe, that in most of the “ prophecies, when the general restoration of the Jews is fore" told, Israel and Judah are joined together, as equally " sharers in the blessing.” Lowth's Comment. on Isaiah xi. 13.
*“ I take this pert of the chapter,” says Mr. Lowth very justly, “ from the tenth verse onward, to foretell those glo“rious times of the Church which shall be ushered in by the “ restoration of the Jewish nation; when they shall embrace “ the Gospel, and be restored to their own country from the ". several dispersions where they are scattered. This remark“able scene of Providence is plainly foretold by most of the ff prophets of the Old Testament, and by St. Paul in the 4 New.” Comment, on Isaiahı xi, 11,
Moab, Moab, and Animon, which had escaped out of the hand of Antichrist *, are to become subject, both temporally and spiritually, I apprehend, to the house of Jacobt: the tongue of the Egyptian sea, or the widely overflowing Nile, is to be dried up I: and the river of Assyria, or the great river Euphrates, is to be smitten into seven streams, so
* Dan. xi. 41. + It is possible however that these nations ought to be understood mystically, as typifying the various members of the Antichristian confederacy. Such an interpretation of the passage is preferred hy Mr. Lowth; and it accords no doubt with various prophecies that foretell the restoration of the Jews. “ These people,” says he, “ were all borderers upon Palestine, “ and took all occasions to shew their spite and ill will “ against the Jews. Upon which account, in the prophetical " dialect, they are often used in a general sense for the eneo “ mies of God's truth and people. The meaning therefore " of the place is, that God's people should have a complete “ victory over their enemies, whether they be the associates “ of Antichrist, or of whatsoever other denomination." Comment. on Isaiah xi. 14.
Both here, and in a succeeding prophecy (Isaiah xix. 5.), the Egyptian sea appears to mean the Nile, whether literal or symbolical, which, at the period of its overflowing, covers the country like a sea. (See Mr. Lowth in Loc.) This language is probably borrowed from the phraseology of the Egyptians themselves, who were wont, as we are informed by Diodorus Siculus, to style their river the Ocean. Os gaię Αιγυπτιοι νομιξεσιν Ωκεανον ειναι τον παρ' αυτους ποταμον Νειλον. (Bibl. Hist. L. 1. p. 12.) It is observable however, thạt der remiah in a similar manner calls the Euphrates the sea, when predicting the future state of Babylor in consequence of the manner in which it was taken by Cyrus. Compare Jerem. li. 42. with Bp. Newton's Dissert. x. vol. I, p. 298, 309.
that the ancient people of the Lord may pass over it dry-shod. Iu the symbolical language of prophecy, rivers denote bodies politic: whence the drying up of rivers signifies the overthrow of those bodies politic which they typify. Accordingly, in the parallel passage of Zechariah, this exhaustion of the mystical Nile and Euphrates is so explained *. We are taught, that these two political rivers are to be dried up, in order that there may be a highway for the remnant of Israel out of the land of Assyria : but, whether they will be dried up precisely at the same time, does not appear either from Isaiah or Zechariah. We may gather however from other prophecies which treat of the same subject, that the exhaustion of the Euphrates will precede the exhaustion of the Nile : though, how great an interval there will be between the two events, is no where definitely said. St. John informs us, that the Euphrates will be dried up under the sixth vial, that a way may be prepared for the kings from the rising of the sun : and he places the expedition and destruction of Antichrist subsequent to it, under the seventh vial, yet without making any mention of Egypt or the Nile, Daniel, on the other hand, does not take any notice of the exhaustion of the Euphrates; but he gives a very ininute account of the expedition of Antichrist, and represents his conquest of Egypt as