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A correspondent writes, "Watch the Jew if you would be posted." We do watch them with great interest, but from totally different reasons. Many are interested in the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the return of fleshly Israel to Palestine as the promised establishment of the "Kingdom of God," and many now are deeply absorbed by the question, "Are not the English speaking peoples of the world a part of the lost ten tribes of Israel?" They think they see a similarity between England and America, &c., with some of the prophecies concerning Ephraim and Manassah. They seem to think, and present some evidences which appear reasonable, that these things are so, and we have no objection to its being proven so. We believe that fleshly Israel will, in the near future, be recognized as the chief nation of earth, "Jerusalem be a rejoicing and her people a joy," and that ten men shall lay hold, out of all nations, of the skirts of one Jew,
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saying, we will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you. (`Zech. 8:23`.)
Nor have we any objection to its being seen that some of the prophecies will have a very literal fulfillment in them, but we do object to the ignoring of our birthright in Christ, and the statement that it is through fleshly Israel only that the promise made to Abraham shall be fulfilled–"In thee and thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." The natural seed can never fulfill any except the natural part of that promise and others like it. The great and glorious part of it belongs to "the seed which is Christ," "and if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise." (`Gal. 3:29`.) When the spiritual children of Abraham are all selected from the world and glorified, then in their "blessing all families" we understand prophecy to teach that fleshly Israel will be the principal instrument through which the blessing will flow. We watch the Jews because in their preparations we see that God is making ready the instrument. Before their restoration is complete we expect to be "changed" and made "like unto Christ's glorious body" –or, in a word, that "The Kingdom of God" will be set up (organized). When established, its outward representative will be "Jerusalem rebuilt upon her old heaps," but the New Jerusalem is "The Bride." This is the city which in truth will "reign over the kings of the earth." But while the natural kingdom of Israel may be seen, "the eternal is unseen." The kingdom of heaven cometh not with observation, neither shall ye say lo, here, or lo, there, for it will be in your midst– and "except a man be born again he cannot see or enter into it.
When established, "The Law shall go forth from Mount Zion (spiritual mountain or kingdom) and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem." Yes, our redemption precedes theirs, as Jesus said when he had cursed the fig tree (their nation): "When ye see the fig tree put forth his leaves ye say that summer is nigh, so likewise ye, when these things come to pass, lift up your heads and rejoice, knowing that your redemption draweth nigh."
As, therefore, corroborative of our faith in "our high calling" soon being realized, we "watch the Jew." We subjoin a few items of news concerning them from various parts of the world:
The Jewish Chronicle says: "If subjected to rigid tests it may appear unreasoning that scattered millions of the Jews, inhabiting all climes, speaking all languages, and subject to all forms of government, should yet turn toward the East with the utmost solicitude, and feel for the Holy Land a reverence and affection which centuries of exile are incapable of eradicating. In this, as in some other respects, the Jewish mind is peculiarly constituted. Other races have been expatriated, and have forgotten the land from which they sprung; other races have colonized lands and have founded distinct nationalities, or have only hung on to the parent stem by the slender ligatures of language and custom. It is not so with the Jews. Citizens of all countries, they are Jews, and through each and all there runs a sympathetic chord which vibrates to the touch of the skilled player."
Again, the same paper writes: "They might as well attempt to turn the course of the Atlantic as to stem this irresistible tide. In the total population of 36,000, the Jews in Jerusalem were reckoned two years ago to have increased 13,000, and now they are numbered at 18,000; and the contributions for their support from the Jews of other countries were estimated at L.60,000 ($300,000) a year."
The Scotch Record says: "There always was an indescribable yearning in the Jew toward the land owned by his ancestors. At this time this indescribable yearning has turned to Jerusalem such a stream of emigration that some of the Jews were proposing to arrest it by assisting the pauper emigrants to turn to their own countries."
A leading London Journal has recently thus adverted to this: "The possession of Palestine and a part of Syria by a people who have retained an indestructible nationality, while they have learned a complete cosmopolitanism during some eighteen centuries, a nation at once European and Asiatic–Asiatic in its origin, and European in its education, would not be by any means a bad arrangement. It might not be impolitic on the part of the European powers to assist in placing so influential a people in so important a position, as the inevitable decay of Turkish power renders a change of government necessary. All the difficulties and jealousies incident to any project of joint occupation would be avoided; for the Jew is at once of no nation and of all. No people could better solve what before many years must become the Syrian difficulty."
`Jer. 16:14`, says: "I will bring them again into their own land that I gave to their fathers."
Dr. Moody Stuart stated, at the late general assembly of the "Free Church," quoting a very remarkable statement which was recently made by one of the Jewish organs in England, namely: "If it is the good will of Providence that there should arise out of the accumulated ashes of desolation which covers Palestine, an era of glory which shall unite the Jews in the cradle of their race and their religion, that consummation could not take place under happier auspices than those of England, (although it was remarked that the time for this was not yet). In addition to the growing desire of the Jews to return to their own land, and signs of desire elsewhere to hasten their return, there was (he thought) another element in the hope of the world's peace being cemented by their occupying the lands of their fathers."
`Is. 55:5`, says: "Nations that know not thee shall run unto thee."
The following was translated from a French Newspaper: "Judging by reports, which appear tolerably well confirmed, the Jews are little by little retaking possession of their ancient patrimony. Eighty years ago the Sublime Porte permitted residence in the Holy City to only three hundred Israelites. Forty years ago this number was raised, but the Jews were obliged to reside in a special quarter of the city which bore their name. This last restriction, however, disappeared in its turn ten years ago, and since then the Jews have bought up all the land in Jerusalem that could be bought, and have even built entire streets of houses outside the walls. Synagogues and Jewish hospitals have multiplied. The German Jews have no less than sixteen charity associations, and in the interior of the city one may count already twenty eight congregations. Two journals have been established. In
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the Rothschild and other Jewish hospitals, six thousand patients are ministered to annually. A Venetian Jew has given 60,000 francs to found a school of agriculture in Palestine. Baron Rothschild, at the time of the last loan of 200,000,000, made to Turkey, accepted a mortgage on the whole of Palestine. Owing to the Jewish immigration, the population of Palestine has doubled during the last ten years."
`Jer. 32:41-44`: "I will rejoice over them (Israel) to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul….And fields shall be bought in this land; …men shall buy fields for money and subscribe evidences, and seal them, and take evidences in the land of Benjamin, and in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, and in the cities of the mountains, and in the cities of the valley, and in the cities of the south, for I will cause their captivity to return, saith the Lord."
Not only has the Lord commenced bringing them back, but He arranges for their reception and comfort on arrival. Late advices state that the Rothschilds have just sent to Jerusalem $60,000 to be expended in building a large reception house for the newly-arriving Jews, where they will receive temporary accommodations until able to arrange for their permanent homes. This is in addition to large buildings already in use for the same purpose.
And now the latest news through the press is that a prominent man in Constantinople, Mr. OLIPHANT, has proposed to the Turkish government that it place 1,500,000 acres of fertile land lying on the east of the river Jordan in the hands of a colonization company whose business it will be to promote the immigration thither of Hebrews from all countries of the world. And just as the Lord opens the way for their return to Palestine, He, as it were, forces them out of other lands. Orders have been issued within the last ten days by the "Russian Church," at the instance of the Czar, compelling the removal of Hebrews from all except the Polish provinces of that vast Empire. This is the more remarkable when we reflect that nearly one-third of the Jewish population of the world resides there.
— March, 1880 —