PROPOSITION 47. The Jews had the strongest possible assurance given to them that the Kingdom based on these covenants would be realized.
Attention has already been directed (Prop. 18) to the fact that the prophecies pertaining to this Kingdom shall not, in their ultimate fulfilment, fail, i.e., they are unconditional. The reason for this is that they are evolved from covenants confirmed by oath; and hence, in view of their absolute certainty (no matter how postponed), God has given expression to language which affirms beyond all doubt that this Kingdom, sustaining a covenanted relationship, would at some time in the future be established; and this, too, as covenanted in connection with the national salvation of the Jewish nation. Thus, e.g., read Jer. 31:35–37, and 33:19–26; Isa. 54:9, 10, etc.[*]
Note. It has been remarked by various writers, that the covenant name of Jehovah or Jahveh, by which the unchangeableness of God is expressed, indicates the absolute certainty of ultimate fulfilment.
Obs. 1. Hence it follows: that the Jews were not so grossly ignorant as many Gentiles now think; that they were correct in their apprehensions concerning the Messiah’s Kingdom being identified with the restored Davidic. Language could not possibly make it any plainer or stronger. The sun may refuse to shine, the moon and the stars may depart, the sea may no longer war with its waves, day and night may not alternate in their season, the ordinances of heaven and earth may be repealed (comp. e.g. Jer. 33:17–26, Isa. 54:9, Jer. 31:35, 36, Ps. 89:36, 37, etc.), but the promises of God shall not fail in restoring the overthrown Davidic Kingdom; God will perform the promises made to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, and the Prophets, respecting the Jewish nation. Men may foolishly ridicule and sneer at these things because still unrealized, calling them “Jewish notions, fables, and prejudices,” but God’s word stands pledged, as solemnly and sacredly as word can be substantiated, for their fulfilment. It is idle, it is folly—yea more, it is sinful to censure the Jews for a belief so clearly founded and so unmistakably encouraged.
Obs. 2. Let the reader place himself in the period before the First Advent, with the Old Test. in his hands. Now what would be his belief in the Kingdom, with those covenants and prophecies, confirmed by oath and most expressive assurances? Surely it would be identical with that of the Jews themselves; it could not be otherwise, if there was faith in God’s Word and God’s oath. Can we believe that the First Advent of the Messiah obliterated this belief, destroyed the nature of the Kingdom, erased the grammatical sense of covenant and prophecy, and cancelled the oath of the Unchangeable? Multitudes do this, but we cannot, dare not follow the multitude in this matter. God’s assurances are too weighty, His Word is too pure, to allow of such a destructive process.
Obs. 3. The attitude of a portion of the modern Jews is to be regretted. Leavened with infidelity, they have lost all faith in the most precise and determinate utterances that can indicate the determination of God to verify His promises to the nation, and yet they profess to believe in this same God, in His veracity, etc. This is utterly inconsistent, and simply faithless, when their own scattered condition and continued preservation among the nations (as predicted) confirms the assurances of this God. If the covenants, and the prophecies based upon them, are not worthy of credence to a Jew, what is there then in the Old Test. worthy of belief? Their unbelief may reject the proffered blessings, but it cannot change the Purpose of God, for (Ps. 33:11) “the counsel of the Lord standeth forever.” Although the Jews are dispersed, under punishment for unbelief, yet there is something so distinguishing in their national relationship to the Divine Purpose that God, foreseeing all that has occurred in the past, still most graciously declares (Lev. 26:44), “Yet for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them: for I am the Lord their God.” Whether they believe it or not, mercy follows them for the sake of the covenant, and mercy will yet verify that covenant in the history of the nation, for “their God” has sworn it.
Obs. 4. A class of writers has arisen, who, professing to be very critical, tell us that Abraham’s life, and indeed the whole Bible, must be subjected to “Historical Criticism.” To this there could be no objection, if honestly conducted; but in the hands of this class, this phrase, stripped of its applied generalities and pretentious adjuncts, simply means to receive just as much as any one pleases to accept. By this process, Clarke (Ten Religions, p. 403) informs us that “not a little will be gained for the Jewish Scriptures by this position. If they lose the authority which attaches to the Word of God, they will gain the interest which belongs to the utterance of Man.” These men, while professing admiration for Moses, the Prophets, etc., virtually convict them of false pretences, deception, etc. Judas-like, they kiss while in the act of betraying; Joab-like, they pretend friendship while stabbing.1 To this class, the solemnly covenanted promises of God and the assurances respecting the Kingdom are all idle dreams; men who believe and trust in them are self-deceived and fanatical; history that corroborates prophetic announcements is merely a coincidence; the faith of ages, sustained by personal experience and Providence, is nothing but a mistaken belief.