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; but do you
never thought to look at the title page and see who is the author.” The Archbishop :-"Never mind the author now, Mr. not think that it is rather too much to expect of an author, not only to write books for the instruction of his clergy, but also to supply his readers with brains to comprehend their drift? I am the author of the book in question. Good morning, Mr. .." His Grace then turned to another prelate who happened to be present, and gave utterance to the memorable caustic mot :-“This is a specimen of that class of my clergy who aim at nothing and always hit the mark." We cannot help thinking that had our correspondent known something of the works of the truly pious, truly learned, truly evangelical, and truly Protestant Dr. Delitzsch, he would neither have sunk into such deep grief nor have hazarded such a novel opinion about the clever little volume. If our correspondent means that Christ is lowered by Professor Delitzsch's giving the Jewish blasphemous remarks respecting our Saviour, then he must also "grieve much over" the Gospel narratives. Those blasphemous Jewish tirades against Christ and Christianity are still indulged in by the great majority of the votaries of the synagogue.* We think that Dr. Delitzsch has done good service by pointing out that Jewish blasphemous opposition to our Redeemer began with His ministry on earth; but that neither their opposition, nor that of the gates of hell themselves, prevailed in stemming the progress of a knowledge of Him.
On the subject of “ Our Israelitish Origin ” we received a quaint letter from a Canterbury lady. Our Anglo-Saxon Christian sister is somewhat unreasonable to visit upon us the opinions entertained by our correspondents. We took care to notify in each successive number that we do NOT IDENTIFY OURSELVES WITH THE VIEWS ESPOUSED BY OUR CORRESPONDENTS. As for the vexed question which provoked the angry letter from our Canterbury correspondent, we have hitherto expressed no opinion either one way or the other. We shall be glad to publish letters, characterised by reasonable arguments and Christian spirit, of the opponents to the theory. But we shall positively reject flippant and irrelevant epistles on either side. We cannot waste our space, for instance, on such arguments that the English cannot possibly be the descendants of the lost ten tribes, because the British Parliament disestablished the Irish Church. Let the opponents to the theory write with the same force of logic, and with the same gravity of style and spirit as distinguish the communications of Bath Israel, Jezreel, and others; and we shall insert their letters. But we repeat that ON NEITHER SIDE SHALL WE IDENTIFY OURSELVES WITH THE VIEWS ESPOUSED BY CORRESPONDENTS.
We only account ourselves responsible for the opinions, sentiments, and views propounded by our own chosen staff. We made the choice by reason
See No. 7, of First Series, p. 99. Also Wagenseil's Tela Ignsa Satanæ.
of identity of sentiment and conviction, on the various topics with which we respectively deal,
We begin our NEW SERIES, on this new year, in the plenitude of a well founded hope, in full assurance of faith that He, to whose truth we are privileged to bear witness, will be with us to guide us by His counsel, lead us into all truth, direct all our thoughts, and control all our words and works, through our Lord Jesus Christ.
New Year's Day, 1878.
THE PROMISES MADE UNTO THE FATHERS.
INTRODUCTION.—THE FIRST PROPHECY.
"MHE PROMISES MADE UNTO THE FATHERS," or, “THE TRUTH OF GOD,”
to confirm which, “ Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision," stand indissolubly associated with the two first predictions that we have any record of. By way of introduction to the THEME which we have set ourselves—according to announcement, at the conclusion of our last series-we shall begin with two essays on the critical exposition of those Prophecies. We commence with the very first. We intend giving the original, which is absolutely necessary for the right and full understanding of all Scripture. It is the original alone which can properly claim divine inspiration. The very first prophecy is the following:
ואיבה אשית בינך ובין האשה ובין זרעך ובין זרעה הוא ישופך ראש ואתה תשופנו עקב:
"And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."-Gen. iii. 15.
The designation which St. Peter attached to the “ sure word of prophecy," is exceedingly beautiful and sublime. He termed it, "a light that shineth in a dark place."* It is a peculiarly suitable emblem, which exh bits strikingly the nature of prophecy; it serves as a beacon-light, as a lighthouse, to inform the child of God, that he is not always to be tossed about amongst the wicked, as on the billows of a raging and trackless ocean; but that a brighter day is coming-a day in which Satan and his seed, the most virulent and mortal enemies of the children of God, shall be destroyed, bruised under the feet of the Church and her seedwhen peace and happiness, truth and justice, religion and piety, shall reign as far as creation's utmost bounds. If such be the tendency of prophecy, how appropriate, then, is St. Peter's appellation, that it is "a light that shineth in a dark place." Oh, what a cheering lamp must the word of prophecy have been to the few faithful of the children of Israel, during their suffering of Egypt's cruel bondage. We can imagine, as we take a retrospective view of the black clouds of oppression which overshadowed them there, when task-masters were set over them to afflict
* 2 Peter i, 19.
them with their burdens, and to embitter their lives with hard bondage, in mortar, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field; we say, we can imagine that during these many years of woe and affliction they endured there, numbers of the children of Israel were thinking that they would for ever be doomed to that dreary and direful dispensation, that they were forgotten of the Lord, as though His promise had come to an end, and the house of bondage was to be their home for ever, and whispering to each other despondingly, and with an air of utter despair, saying, “What of the night, what of the night? Is the blackness of our darkness to be interminable ?” Whilst the small band of the faithful, with an eye of faith fixed upon the “sure word of prophecy,” rejoining, “ Thus saith the Lord to our father Abraham, That nation whom they shall serve, will I judge; and afterward shall they come out with great substance. “Our patriarch Joseph also, whom this new king affects not to know, when he died, made mention of our departing from this house of bondage, saying, God will surely visit you.”+ So that the word of prophecy proved "a light which shineth in a dark place" to Israel in Egypt.
We shall, in the course of our successive articles under this head, dilate on the prophecies relating to Israel's deliverance from the Babylonish captivity, and prove of them, as we have hinted with regard to those relating to Egypt's bondage, that they were as lights shining in a dark place, to God's children there. We shall also dwell on the present mighty dispersion, and demonstrate the truth and fulness of St. Peter's declaration. Yea, many of our brethren after the flesh, who reject almost altogether St. Peter's divine doctrines, would fervently attest the veracity of his statement respecting the “sure word of prophecy.” For we know many of our brethren, who are ignorant of the way-the only way-of salvation, and are thus deprived of the joyful hope set before the Christian, yet are they oftentimes cheered, frequently are their countenances lit up with delight, in the midst of the many and perplexing persecutions they are continually called upon to suffer. When black and dreadful clouds of cruelty frown upon them, and overwhelming oppression comes in like a flood upon a Jewish congregation, many of that congregation feel their oppressed and darkened soul lighted up with the word of prophecy, which speaks in such strains as the following :-" Therefore fear thou not, O my servant Jacob, saith the Lord ; neither be dismayed, O Israel: for, lo, I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid. For I am with thee, saith the Lord, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee; but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished." | "And it shall come to pass, that as ye were a curse among the heathen, 0 house of Judah, and house of Israel; so will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing : fear not, but let your hands be strong. For thus saith the Lord of Hosts, As I thought to punish you, when your fathers provoked me to wrath, saith the Lord of Hosts, and I repented not; so again have I thought in these days to do well unto Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah : fear ye not.
+ Gen. xv. 14.
† Gen. 1. 25; Heb, xi. 22.
I Jer. xxx, 10, 11.
Thus saith the Lord of Hosts, It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities : and the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the Lord, and to seek the Lord of Hosts ; I will go also. Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of Hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the Lord. Thus saith the Lord of Hosts, In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold, out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you; for we have heard that God is with you."
."* So that even unbelieving Israel bear cogent testimony to the correctness of St. Peter's description of the prophetic word; they confess that in this instance, at least, Simon Bar Jonas spoke as he was moved by the Holy Ghost, viz., that the “sure word of prophecy" serves as “a light which shineth in a dark place.”
It must be owned, that if St. Peter's definition of the “word of pro phecy” is applicable to such as refer to temporal delivernnces, as those which predicted the deliverance from Egypt, Babylon, and to that from the four corners of the earth, which is still future ; his definition is infinitely more applicable to the prediction made in the Garden of Eden, immediately after the disobedience of our first parents, who
“Soon found their eyes how open'd, and their minds
How darken'd;"and Satan's impious insinuation was then indeed in a certain sense verified. Their eyes were indeed opened, and they discovered that they knew
“Both good and evil; good lost, and evil found.” Before Adam apostatised from God, he enjoyed the fulness of light; he used to behold God and angel with rapture and joy; he stood in no need of prophetic predictions, to be informed of his conflicts and conquests, inasmuch as he was then under the immediate protection of his Creator; not having as yet thrown off his allegiance to the King of Glory and of light. But no sooner did Satan seduce him into rebellion against his Lord God, than that prince of darkness got the dominion over him, and his heart as well as his understanding became darkened; and thus the father of the human race, no longer fit to hold communion with celestial beings, who must needs have dazzled his sight “ with their blaze insufferably bright,” was driven out of the presence of the Father of lights, and launched, as it were, on a troubled and raging main, in a shattered bark, steered by one, who sought to destroy both his soul and body. Oh, what an awfully gloomy prospect before man: we remember our Lord's sermon on the Mount, which contains the following terrible words :
_" If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness."| The conscious, helpless rebel must have apprehended, that since that spiritual tyrant obtained the victory over him, he would for ever keep him in vassalage under his kingdom of darkness, and man would thus be led into perdition, without being able to make an effort to resist. The first prophecy must have been, therefore, in an especial manner, a light which shone in a dark place to our first parents. How
must that prophecy have inspired the first sinners with hope! The Almighty said, as it were, to the old serpent the Devil, in the hearing of his conquered captives, “Be not overjoyed with the prey which thy wickedness and malice have placed within thy power; thou shalt not enjoy the spoil. I will put enmity between thee and the woman. Thou thinkest she is altogether such an one as thyself, she will henceforth act as thou wouldst have her to do; be not deceived, the pernicious and souldestroying peace, which thou hast put in the woman's heart towards thee, shall not remain long undisturbed. I will plant mortal enmity between yor; there shall be nothing common between you. Moreover, not only shall there exist mortal hatred between thee and the woman, there shall also be enmity between thy seed and her seed. Flatter not thyself that by the intercourse thy children may have with hers, those of the latter may be allured into thy power, and act in accordance with thy unholy will and rebellious disposition. No, that which cometh into thy mind shall not be at all. There shall be no fellowship between thy children of darkness and hers, who are destined to be children of light. Moreover, think not that thy victory will issue in thy favour; judge not that thou wilt assuredly be able to overcome in a fallen state those whom thou didst vanquish in an unfallen state. The woman's seed shall bruise thy head, whilst thou shalt only bruise its heel.” Such we consider to be a brief, but correct paraphrase of the first prophecy. We say then again, what a cheering lamp must that prophecy have proved to our first parents. We imagine that we almost overheard their conversation, when quitting the garden of Eden ; whilst the woman mourning silently over the sad prospect of the predicted "sorrow," and the man mutė, by reason of despondency, in consequence of the foretold “thorns and thistles,” and the ruin that they both thus laid up in store for their offspring. We say we imagine we overhear the dead silence broken by the recollection of the words of the Lord—Though the accursed serpent may bruise our, or our children's heels, he can do nothing more; his own head shall ultimately be crushed.
We confess that we do not hold to the dogma which many Christian writers have espoused-viz., that this prophecy refers only, or principally, to Christ. We have no sympathy with Milton's poetical flight from this prophecy. His muse sings here too much of Popery. His paraphrase may be familiar to many of our readers, which is the following:
"Between thee and the woman I will put
So spake this oracle, then verified
The realm itself of Satan, long usurp'd.”