This Theocracy or Kingdom is exclusively given to the natural descendants of Abraham, in their corporate capacity.
PROPOSITION 29. This Theocracy or Kingdom is exclusively given to the natural descendants of Abraham, in their corporate capacity.
This follows from the preceding Propositions, and cannot be denied by any one without doing violence to the Scriptures. For the entire tenor of the Word shows that the nation was selected and favored in this respect beyond all other nations. No others could enjoy the privileges and blessings which it conferred, and contemplated to confer, without being adopted into the nation, and provision for such a contingency was early (Ex. 12:48, Numb. 9:14) made.
Obs. 1. The Proposition simply repeats, in another form, an idea to which it is desirable to give some prominence, since it has an important bearing in tracing the proper conception of the Kingdom. It teaches that the Kingdom is solely given to the seed of Abraham, which embraced the Jews. For God condescended only to act as earthly Ruler in behalf of that one nation, the election being thus practically demonstrated in their nationality. If this Kingdom is to be given to any other than a believing Jew, we certainly, in view of the plain language confining it to such (Comp. Prop. 24), ought to have the matter stated in the most express manner. If Gentiles, as Gentiles, without adoption or engrafting, so that they shall be legally regarded as Abraham’s seed, can receive this kingdom, then, in view of the numerous counter statements to the contrary, the most precise and determinate instructions should be presented, affirming the same. Now the lack of these—our opponents relying on pure inference—is evidence of the correctness of our position, that the Kingdom belongs to the faithful Jews and to those who are received as such because of faith in the Messiah. Abraham’s seed, however produced, natural or engrafted, receive the Kingdom.
Obs. 2. So sure is this Kingdom to the seed of Abraham, by virtue of covenant and oath, that when the Lord was displeased with the nation at the establishment of the Theocracy and threatened its extermination, yet, to insure the fulfilment of His pledged word, He proposed that of Moses He would raise up such a nation. The same is intimated by John the Baptist (Matt. 3:9) when, the Jews refusing to repent, he told them that God could, if it was requisite, raise up children to Abraham by supernatural power. Such instances teach that, rather than fail, God can work to any extent demanded, but always in the Jewish line—i.e. all who are ever to enjoy His special Theocratic favor must, in some way, be regarded as the descendants, the children of Abraham.
Obs. 3. This gives us one of the reasons why intermarriages with heathen were forbidden, why Ezra and Nehemiah manifested such zeal in purging the Jewish nation, why the amalgamation of the Jewish with other nations was prohibited. The introduction of others into the nation could only be lawfully preferred in accord with a proper confession of faith, and then could they participate in the Theocratic privileges and blessings.
Obs. 4. No reader of the Old Test. can fail to see that the Theocratic idea is the nation’s foundation principle, permeating all that pertains to it.[*]
Note. Why is it that in the Scriptures God passes by (excepting in a few hostile predictions) the mighty monarchies and kingdoms of the earth, which are the boast and pride of profane history, and centres His interest alone in the small Jewish nation? Unbelievers consider this a great defect, and ridicule its occurrance. But the answer is a consistent and logical one: God, in virtue of covenant and relationship, could not consistently take any other position in honor to Himself, and the nation which forms the basis of His Theocratic rule and manifestation.
Obs. 5. This feature, the Theocracy alone pertaining to the Jews, was their proud boast, as seen e.g. Deut. 4:32–40, Ps. 147:20.
Obs. 6. This is the Key to the significant superscription of the cross: “This is the King of the Jews.” But whilst we must not forestall coming phases in our argument, leaving them to arrive in their regular historical and logical order, yet it may be in place to urge the reader to consider why Jesus should be specifically designated on the cross only as “the King of the Jews,” and not of Jews and Gentiles or of nations generally. There must be some valid reason why, as the King of the Jews, He becomes the King over all nations.