TEMPORAL COVENANT WITH ABRAHAM
BY, JOHN E. PAGE
THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER DAY SAINTS
(Known as Strangites)
Originally Printed and Published in Voree, Wisconsin
Zion’s Reveille, Vol. 2, No. 15, p. 61/113
Zion’s Reveille, Vol. 2, No. 19, p. 77/129
Zion’s Reveille, Vol. 2, No. 20, p. 81/133
Gospel Tract #1, 1847
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God,
a workman that needeth not to be ashamed,
rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Tim. 2:15)
“But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
To him be glory both now and for ever.” (2 Peter 3:18)
(Zion’s Reveille, Vol. 1, No. 15, p. 61/113)
During the time of my ministry in Pittsburgh, I had handed to me a copy of the Christian Advocate, containing a lengthy article on the covenants made with Abraham, but have had no convenient opportunity of replying to it before, and it being a subject of much interest to all believers, and particularly the saints, I hand it over for the benefit of the readers of Zion’s Reveille, should you deem it worthy of your columns. It was written originally for the Christian Advocate, in 1842, but refused insertion. I send it without being revised, so the dates referred to are 1842.
Mr. Editor,–Sir, In looking over the columns of your paper of June the 22nd, 1842, I found a treaties of “A Pedo Baptist,” in which paper, together with some previous and subsequent numbers “A Pedo Baptist” has made an effort to show that the sign of circumcision of the foreskin of the flesh, as instituted with Abraham, by God, was a seal of the covenant of grace made with Abraham; and that circumcision ceased at the time of the introduction of Christian baptism, and that baptism was introduced in the room or stead of circumcision, consequently infants were legal claimants to baptism, in view of the claim that Abraham’s seed had on circumcision in their infancy.
And at the same time “A Pedo Baptist” intimates that there is no longer any “temporal, civil, or political interest” to be “subserved by the observance” of circumcision, by the following statement:
“Some have attempted to show that there were two covenants made with Abraham, one a spiritual covenant and the other a temporal one, and with the latter they connect circumcision. But if so our opponents are bound to show us what temporal, civil, or political interest was subserved by its observance of sufficient importance to justify its appointment. We have a right to press this point, and [page 2] will press it, and they must answer by pointing out clearly and definitely some such interest, or give up the ground as insupportable. To say that the all-wise Jehovah would enjoin upon his creatures the observance of an institution so painful and afflicting in its nature as circumcision, without any great and important end being subserved by its observance would be to accuse him of downright tyranny and nonsense.”
“I shall, in full, agree with “A Pedo Baptist” in the sentiment he had expressed, concerning the character of Almighty God, in enjoining on his creatures so painful and afflicting an institution, without some important end in view to be subserved by its observance.
We will indeaver to show that the all-wise God did institute two covenants with Abraham–the first a spiritual covenant, and the other a temporal one. And to the spiritual covenant He (God) affixed the seal of the circumcision of the heart, and to temporal covenant the circumcision of the literal flesh.
That the all-wise God did make a spiritual covenant with Abraham none will dispute; at least “A Pedo Baptist” and my humble self will not be at issue on this point; except it may be on what ought to be considered the seal to the spiritual covenant. I shall contend that the circumcision of the heart, or the Spirit of God regenerating the natural heart of man is the seal of the spiritual covenant. And that the circumcision of the flesh is the seal to the temporal covenant, and that the temporal covenant, with its seal is yet in force with Abraham’s literal seed, and that for the same purpose for which it was instituted, and that was this–to secure to Abraham and his natural seed an eternal inheritance of the land of Canaan literally, such as observed the covenant and the seal of the circumcision of the flesh.
I shall here assume the following position, illustrated by a plain figure:–There is no more connection existing between the two covenants made with Abraham, than there is in two covenants that might exist between a landlord and his tenant that occupies a house of the landlord’s. The first covenant proposed by the landlord is this–Mr. Tenant, you may occupy my house everlastingly, you and your seed after you, if you and your seed after you, and the stranger that is bought with your money will continue to pay me five dollars a head, every man-child of you at eight days old, from this time forth, everlastingly, and the payment of five dollars a head at eight days old, shall be a sign of the bargain or covenant everlastingly, in your generations, that is, as long as there continues to be generations of your seed on the earth.
The second covenant proposed by the landlord is this – Mr. Tenant, if you will continue to walk before me perfectly, and love me with all your might, mind, and strength, I will secure to you, and to your seed after you, and to all the families of the earth besides (if they [page 3] will comply with the same condition) all the necessary comforts and provisions of life; and through your seed there shall arise one who shall be the dispenser of all those comforts and provisions of life, to you and your seed, and all the families of the earth.
I ask, in that case, does the last covenant secure to all the families of the earth the possession of the house which the tenant occupies? I answer, no! Why? Because that privilege was signed away, and conveyed to the tenant and his seed, and such as was bought with the tenant’s money.
I ask again, does that forfeiture of the first covenant on the part of the tenant, disannul the latter? I say no! Does the forfeiture of the latter covenant on the part of the tenant, affect the first covenant? I answer yes! as far as life is concerned, in the enjoyment of the comforts and provisions of life. For as soon as the tenant ceased to walk perfectly before the landlord, so soon he forfeited his claim to the provisions of life, and consequently ceased to exist, and, as a matter of course, ceased to occupy the house.
Now for the application of the figure. The all-wise God is the landlord. The land of Canaan is the house. Abraham and his posterity, and those bought with his money, are the tenants or occupiers, the sign of circumcision is the five dollars.
The second covenant is between the same parties–all-wise God and Abraham his servant. Grace and salvation are the comforts and provisions of life, and Jesus Christ is the dispenser of those provisions or comforts of life, therefore all the families of the earth are to be saved, if saved at all, through Jesus Christ, whether of Abraham’s literal posterity or not.
So the sum of the matter relative to the two covenants made with Abraham is this–
The forfeiture of the temporal covenant, by the neglect of the ordinance of circumcision only disinherit such (as did so) to any claim to the land of Canaan, and nothing more; but such as adhere to the covenant and the seal (circumcision) have an everlasting claim to an inheritance in the land of Canaan, so that when Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, and those whose bones now lay in their tombs, in the land of Canaan, will come forth in the morning of the first resurrection, and inherit the land of Canaan, with all the posterity of Abraham, who have observed the covenant and the sign of circumcision, and also walked perfectly before God, and have availed themselves of the benefits of the spiritual covenant of grace and its sign, the circumcision of the heart.
One may ask the question, what avails the ordinance of baptism? I answer, the same now that it did in the days of old–it is the means of grace by which we obtain an absolution of our sins, and are introduced to the blood of Jesus Christ, which cleanses us from all sin; thus it prepares us to receive the Holy Spirit, by which we are [page 4] sealed unto the day of redemption, that is the resurrection of our bodies.
One may ask this question, what difference will there be in the circumstances of the seed of Abraham, who have observed the circumcision of the flesh, and the gentiles, who have become the spiritual seed of Abraham, by baptism into Christ through the gospel? I answer, Christ will reign on his throne in Jerusalem, and the literal seed of Abraham are immediately, as it were, on the spot to worship the king, the Lord of Hosts, at Jerusalem, while the Gentiles, or the spiritual seed of Abraham will have to go up from year to year to Jerusalem to worship the king, the Lord of Hosts.
Now for the Scripture proof of all those above-stated ideas, and also to show what “temporal, civil, or political interest was” and is to be “subserved by” the observance of the temporal covenant, and its sign, (circumcision of the flesh) as instituted by the all-wise God with Abraham his servant.
Note.–We shall agree with “A Pedo Baptist” that the word “everlasting” signifies “eternal,” in this case, as pertaining to the extent of the duration of the covenant and the seal.
First, we are to show that the temporal covenant relative to the literal land of Canaan, now called Palestine, situated between the great river Euphrates and the Mediterranean Sea, and the seal of that covenant was the circumcision of the flesh, and that the covenant and the seal are both yet in full force, and the “interest” that is yet to be “subserved” by this covenant and seal is this–The Jews, or the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, and the half tribe of Manassah, which are now in this, the nineteenth century, yet to be put in possession of the land of Canaan, and that, too, in company with their brethren the remaining part of the twelve tribes, called (in round numbers) the ten tribes, or fractionally called the nine and half tribes. The first called the house of Judah, the other the house of Israel. The house of Judah are now in the four corners of the earth, the house of Israel are in the north country, according to the prophets, which we will hereafter show.
Now to the task:–Gen. 17, 7, “And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee, in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.”
Eight verse, “And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting (or eternal) possession, and I will be their God.”
Ninth verse, “And God said unto Abraham, thou shalt keep my covenant, therefore, thou and thy seed after thee, in their generations.”
10. “This is my covenant which I shall keep between me and you, and thy seed after thee; Every man-child among you shall be [page 5] circumcised.
11. And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.
12. And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man-child in your generation; he that is born in thy house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed.
13. He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.
14. And the uncircumcised man-child, whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.”
Admitting the term everlasting to signify eternal, which I freely admit in this case.
We learn from the above quotations two important facts. First, the God of Abraham gave the land of Canaan to Abraham and his seed for an eternal, that is, a never-ending possession.
Second, we learn that the sign or seal to this temporal covenant was to continue as long as the covenant continued “in their generations,” as long as there was generations of them to possess the covenant promise, which sign or seal was the circumcision of the flesh, everlastingly, or eternally.
Yea, the third fact is apparent, which is this, all that do not continue to observe this sign of circumcision shall be cut off from among his people, both him that is born in the house of Abraham, and him that is bought with money. Again,
Gen. 26, 2, “And the Lord appeared unto him, (Isaac) and said, Go not down into Egypt: dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of.
3. Sojourn in this land; and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries; and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father.
4. And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries.” Again,
Gen. 28, 1, “And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him. And charged him, and said unto him,”
3. “And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee that thou mayest be a multitude of people.
4. And give thee the blessings of Abraham, to thee, and to thy seed with thee, that thou mayest inherit the land (of Canaan) wherein thou art a stranger, which God gave unto Abraham.”
Again, the Lord said unto Jacob,
Thirteenth verse, “And behold the Lord stood above it (the ladder) and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham, thy father, and the God of Isaac. The land (Canaan) whereon thou liest, to thee will I give [page 6] it, and to thy seed.” Again,
I Chron. 16,15, “Be ye mindful always of his covenant, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations.”
16. Even the covenant which he made with Abraham and of his oath unto Isaac.
17. Saying unto thee will I give the land of CANAAN the lot of your inheritance.”
Read the 105 Psalm 6-11, By the above scripture we learn that the all-wise God extended the same covenant which he made with Abraham, to Isaac also, and to Jacob by his own audible voice, and that, too, by an oath, even to a thousand generation, which will extend the covenant to many thousand years yet future to this year. However we consider the limited space of a thousand generations to signify an unlimited duration of time. Yet admitting it only extended the covenant to a thousand generations, we still have the argument, when we consider the extent of this space of time from Abraham.
We lack yet some few years of four thousand since Abraham to the present time. Therefore if, according to Matthew’s rule, (1st chapter) of counting generations, we will say forty years (for the sake of round numbers) make one generation, we want forty thousand years for a thousand generations, consequently we want more than thirty-six thousand years yet future to fill the space of time confirmed by an oath of the Most High God, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and their seed after them, to possess the land of Canaan. Therefore the reader may accommodate himself relative to how many years make a generation. However, I never knew any to claim less than twenty years for one generation. Admitting that, we have the arguments still, for in that case we will want more than sixteen thousand years yet future to give us a thousand generations.
The reader is requested to turn to his Bible and read those scriptures to which we refer, in order to be fully prepared to see clearly what is yet in future, to be realized by Abraham’s seed, in the participation of the fullness of the temporal covenant, made to Abraham and sealed with the everlasting sign of circumcision.
First notice that the covenant or promise of the Lord, concerning the land of Canaan, to Abraham, was made in the land of Haran, situated in the north-east Mesopotamia. Read
Gen. 12, 1 to 7. Unto Abraham was born Isaac, in the city of Gerar, a capital city of the Philistines, now the south west extremity of the land of Canaan, which was also given to Isaac for an everlasting possession. Read Gen. 21, 1 to 4; 26, 1 to 4. Unto Isaac was born Jacob and Esau. Read Gen. 28, 3 and 4. Unto Jacob was born twelve sons. Read Gen. 29 & 30; also 35, 18. From these twelve sons there arose a [page 7] progeny of seventy souls, that lived in the land of Canaan, when there arose a famine in the land of Canaan, on which occasion Jacob, with his eleven sons, and their posterity, went down into Egypt and there found Joseph, who had been sold into Egypt, through the conspiracy of his brother.
(To be continued.)
(ZION’S REVEILLE, Vol. 2, No. 19, p. 77/129)
That gave rise to the fulfillment of the word of the Lord to Abraham concerning his seed, Gen. xv. 13, 14, which prophecy, or word of the Lord, was literally fulfilled to the letter of the word‑-“And he (the Lord) said unto Abram, know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them, and they shall afflict them 400 years.” Read Ex. xlvi. xlvii. and xii. 40, “Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was 430 years”-‑read the 41 ver. We have, from the 12th ch. of Exodus, all the books of Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy as the history of the travels of the children of Israel through the wilderness of Arabia to the land of Canaan, a journey of forty years; which might (under ordinary circumstances) have been performed in less than one month, and had been performed by Abraham and others, of olden time, in a very short time: and, also by Joseph and his relatives, seventeen years after Jacob came down into Egypt; to sojourn there, when Jacob died and his sons returned to the land of Canaan to bury him in the land which was given to Abram, Isaac, and Jacob and their posterity. an everlasting (or eternal) possession.
The same land concerning which Joseph through faith, gave commandment relative to his bones, when he died, to have them carried to the same place of the burial of his progenitors for their deposit, one might inquire, why all this ceremony concerning the dead bones of these illustrious saints? I answer, that, in the morning of the resurrection of Abraham and his children to possess the land eternally, they might be found there to be with the Savior, who will come and “set his feet on the mount of Olives and bring all tile saints with him.” Read Zechariah, xii. xiii. xiv., also Ezekiel, xxxvi. xxxvii., Amos, ix. 8 to 15 inclusive. All this is founded on the strength of the eternal covenant and the eternal seal (circumcision) as given to Abraham and his seed, to be perpetuated “in their generations;” and the land of Canaan continue to exist in the presence of God, who swear by himself to give it to Abram and his seed in their generations for an everlasting (or eternal) possession; “and the Lord should be king over all the earth; in that day there shall be one Lord, and his name one; Zach. xiv. 9. Read Joshua, iii., Here begins the possession of the land of Canaan by the children of Israel, under the reign of Joshua.
Read Joshua, v. 2, At that time the Lord said unto Joshua, “Make thee sharp knives and circumcise again the children of Israel the second time. [page 8]
3. ver., And Joshua made him sharp knives and circumcised the children of Israel at the hill of the foreskin.
4. And this is the cause why Joshua did circumcise all the people that came out of Egypt that were males; even all the men died in the wilderness by the way after they came out of Egypt.
5. Now all the people that came out were circumcised; but all the people that were born in the wilderness by the way as they came forth out of Egypt, them they had not circumcised.
6. For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, till all the people that were men of war which came out of Egypt were consumed, because they obeyed not the voice of the Lord; unto whom the Lord swear that he would not shew them the land which the Lord swear unto their fathers, that he would give us a land that floweth with milk and honey.
7. And their children, whom he raised up in stead of them, Joshua circumcised; for they were uncircumcised, because they had not circumcised them by the way.
8. And it came to pass when they had done circumcising all the people, that they abode in their places in the camp till they were whole.”
Why the necessity of this universal circumcision of the whole camp of Israel? Ans. Because, in fact, they had no legal claim to possess the land, unless they claimed it in the name of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and that too on the strength of the covenant and seal made to their fathers, being obedient to the Lord according to the stipulations made in the covenant.
Immediately after the death of Joshua the children of Israel appointed them judges, or the Lord raised up judges to conduct the temporal affairs of Israel.
Read Judges, ii. 8 to 16, id. iii. 10, iv. 4, x. 2, 3, xii. 8, xiv. 15 20, xvi. 31, &c., “Until they desired a king to be given to them to judge them in the like manner of the other nations.”
Read 1 Samuel, viii., id. xi. 16, “Saul anointed the first king in Israel.” Id., xv. 1, “Samuel sent to anoint Saul king.”
Read 2 Samuel, ii. 4 7, “David second king in Israel.” Id. r. 3.
1 Kings. i. 39, “Solomon anointed third king in Israel.”
Read 1 Kings, xi. xii. We have the account of the division of the kingdom of Israel into two kingdoms, which took place in about one year after the death of Solomon. The tribes of Judah, Benjamin and the half tribe of Manassah adhered to “Rehoboam;” while the remainder of the tribes adhered to “Jeroboam.” Let the reader here be very particular to notice that ever after the division of the kingdom of Israel they have ever remained divided to this date. (A. D. 1842.) Let it be recollected that Rehoboam was the “son of Solomon,” and reigned over the two and half tribes which was ever [page 9] after called the “kingdom of Judah” to this day. Jereboam had been the “servant of Solomon” and reigned over the remaining nine and half tribes (commonly called the ten tribes) in Samaria, which was called over after the “kingdom of Israel” to this day. Thus the kings of Israel, from the first till last, stand arranged thus:‑-
1. Saul reigned 40 years.
2. David reigned 40 1/2 years.
3. Solomon reigned 40 years.
4. Rehoboam reigned 1 year.
Of Judah alone,
Rehoboam reigned 17 years.
Abijam reigned 3 years.
Asa reigned 41 years.
Jehoshaphat reigned 25 years.
Jehoram reigned 4 years.
Ahaziah reigned 1 year.
Interval 6 years.
Joash reigned 40 years.
Amaziah reigned 29 years.
Uzziah reigned 52 years.
Jotham reigned 16 years.
Ahaz reigned 16 years.
Hezekiah reigned 29 years.
Manasseh reigned 55 years.
Amon reigned 2 years.
Josiah reigned 31 years.
Jehoahaz reigned 1/4 year.
Johoiakim reigned 11 years.
Jehoiachin reigned 1/4 year.
Zedekiah reigned 11 years.
Of Israel Alone,
Jeroboam reigned 22 years.
Nahab reigned 2 years.
Baasha reigned 24 years.
Elah reigned 2 years.
Zimri reigned 7 days.
Omri reigned 12 years.
Ahab reigned 22 years.
Ahaziah reigned 2 years.
Jehoram reigned 12 years.
Jehu reigned 28 years.
Jehoahaz reigned 17 years.
Joash reigned 16 years.
Jeroboam II. reigned 41 years.
Zachariah reigned 1/2 year.
Shallum reigned 1 month.
Menahem reigned 10 years.
Pekaiah reigned 2 years.
Pekah reigned 20 years.
Interval 9 years.
Hoshea reigned 9 years.
Captivity of Judah by Nebuchaduezzar 588 years before Christ.
Captivity of Israel by Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, 720 years before Christ.
For the captivity of Israel, read 2 Kings, xvii. 3 to 6 inclusive.
For the captivity of Judah, read id., xxiv. xxv.
Let the reader notice, in particular, that the Assyrian captivity never, as a body, or people, or nation, returned to the land of Canaan. But Judah, after 70 years bondage in Babylon, returned as a body or people, and did build Jerusalem. Read Nehemiah, iv, v. vi. Which return took place under the reign of the heathen kings, “Cyrus” and “Artaxerxes.” lead Ezra, i. to vii. inclusive.
Thus the kingdom of Judah (called the Jews) builded Jerusalem and tarried there until the year 70 of the christian era, when Titus, the son of Vespasian of Rome, (quite a distinct people from either Assyria or Babylon,) captivated the Jews. In this last captivity of [page 10] the Jews the prophecy of our Lord was fulfilled, which is found in Luke. xxi. 24, “And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations; and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the gentiles, until the times of the gentiles be fulfilled.”
Thus, reader, we have sought out the principal or leading items of the national history of Abraham and his natural seed, as far as it pertains to their national distinction from all other nations or people on the earth, and as far as the scriptures give it to us. And this national distinction was all founded on the covenant made to Abraham and his seed, by no less authority than the decree of God; and that decree confirmed by an oath unto a “thousand generations.”
Therefore the ecclesiastical or political history of that people is only as it were merely commenced, if the covenant and its seal has any strength or validity, and the God of Abraham is unchangeable, and his covenants and promises are sure and eternal.
We are next to find what remains yet in future to transpire on the strength of the temporal covenant, made to Abraham and his seed. 89th Psalm, 34 ver., The Lord says: “My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.”
The covenant made by the “lips” of the Lord to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and their seed was, that they should have all the land of Canaan for an “everlasting possession.” Mr. “A Pedo Baptist” has said “that the term everlasting signified eternal.” To this I have conceded in this case. Therefore, as eternal is a duration without end there remains something “important,” worthy of a God, yet to take place with Abraham’s seed, to carry out the stipulations of the covenant.
The last we hear of the ten tribes we found them captivated by the Assyrians, unless we admit a sentence from the Apochropha, 2 Esdras, 13 ch., which says thus: “And they (the ten tribes) dwelt there (in Assyria) until they took this council among themselves, that they would go into a far country where no man dwelt, of a year and a half journey, and the same region is called Assereth.” What country Assereth may be, is a matter of considerable inquiry with many ecclesiastical writers. Some have formed an opinion that the Indians of America are the ten lost tribes; this is the opinion of Mr. Josiah Priest. If I mistake not, it is the opinion of M. M. Noah, of New York, a Jew of considerable notoriety.
But the writer of this article dissents from that opinion for reasons which he will not here state, inasmuch as the precise location of the ten tribes at present is not the subject of the present inquiry. Sufficient to our purpose at present is to look for them to come from the north country, as the prophets have said, as we shall quote hereafter. The Jews, we find by natural observation, are among all nations, in the four corners of the earth, “scattered among all the nations and kingdoms [page 11] of the earth,” as the prophets have said they should be. Before I proceed further I will here propose an important question to the reader. What has ever happened or transpired with Israel and Judah in fulfillment of prophecy, but what has happened according to the literal sense or application of the prophecy to the letter of the word? I answer, nothing; therefore we will look for the remainder of the word of prophecy to be fulfilled in the same literal sense as the past, such as has not been already fulfilled with Israel and Judah.
The reader will do well to turn to the 28 ch. of Deut., and read the word of prophecy through Moses to all Israel, wherein the Lord sets forth the unchangeable condition by which Israel should possess the promised land of Canaan and never be driven from it.
In the same chapter the Lord sets forth the condition by which they should be “scattered among all the nations and kingdoms of the earth;” the condition in which we find them at the present day. Please turn to the xxx, ch. and read from 1 to 10 ver.:
1st ver. “And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse which I have set before thee, and thou shall call them to mind among all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath driven thee,
2. And shall return unto the Lord thy God, and shall obey his voice, according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy, children, with all thy heart, and with all thy soul;
3. That then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all nations, whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee.
4. If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the Lord thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee.
5. And the Lord thy God will bring them into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers.
6. And the Lord thy God will circumcise thy HEART, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul that thou mayest live.
7. And the Lord thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and on them that hate thee, which persecuted thee.
8. And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the Lord, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day.
9. And the Lord thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thy hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land for good: for the Lord will again rejoice over thy fathers.
10. If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the Lord thy God with all thy heart [page 12] and with all thy soul.”
Turn to the 9th ch. of Amos, and read from the eleventh verse to the end. I will only insert the two last verses:‑-
14. “And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens and eat the fruit of them.
15. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God.”
The above scriptures are so plain relative to their true meaning, or application, they need no illustration more than to say that they mean as they say and say as they mean, in a literal point of light, for they will not admit any other construction.
Therefore, it remains yet future for Israel to be restored to the land of their fathers, “no more to be pulled up out of their land;” for as yet they are at this time pulled up out of the land given to their fathers, viz. the land of Canaan.
And further, the “temporal interest” of the stock of Abraham is “subserved” by the covenant made to Abraham.
Isaiah 1xv. 9, “And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains; and mine elect shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there.
10. And Sharon shall be a fold of flocks, and the valley of Achor a place for the herds to lie down in, for my people that have sought me.”
SHARON is an exceedingly beautiful and fertile plain, stretching along the Mediterranean shore, south of Mount Carmel, from Cesarea to Joppa. Its fertility and beauty are often alluded to by the sacred writers. 1 Chron. xxvii. 29, id. v. 16. Sol. Songs, ii. l.–Isaiah, xxxiii. 9, xxxv. 2.
In the spring of 1834, Mr. Thompson, an American missionary, passed over this plain. The view of it, from a high tower in Ramla, is thus described :‑-
“The whole valley of Sharon, from the mountains of Jerusalem to the sea, and from the foot of Carmel to the hills of Gaza, is spread before you like a painted map, and is extremely beautiful, especially at evening, when the last rays of the setting sun gild the distant mountain tops; the weary husbundman returns from his labor, and the bleating flocks come frisking and joyful to their fold. At such a time I saw it, and lingered long in pensive meditation, until the stars looked out from the sky and the cool breezes of evening began to shed soft dews on the feverish land. What a paradise was here when Solomon reigned in Jerusalem and sang of the roses of SHARON! And what a heaven upon earth will be here again, when He that is greater than Solomon shall sit on the throne of David his [page 13] father; “for in his day shall the righteous flourish, and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth.”‘
Isaiah had a correct view of the nature of the covenant of the Lord, made to Abraham in the following language
lxv. 17, “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.
18. But be ye glad and rejoice forever in that which I create; for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people (Israel) a joy.
19. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people; and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.
20. There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days; for the child shall die a hundred years old; but the sinner being a hundred years old shall be accursed.
21. And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.
22, They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat; for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
23. They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them.
24. And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.
25. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall cat straw like the bullock; and dust shall be the serpents meat.
26. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain saith the Lord.” Read xi. ch.
Psalm cxliv. 12 ver., “That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may bee as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace:
13. That our garners may be full, affording all manner of store; that our sheep may bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our streets:
14. That our oxen may be strong to labor, that there be no breaking in, nor going out; that there be no complaining in our streets.
15. Happy is that people, that is in such a case; yea, happy is that people, whose God is the Lord.”
From these last quoted scriptures we learn that this earth is to be restored to its first creative beauty that characterized it in the morning of creation, when God looked upon the workmanship of his own hand and pronounced it “very good.” Read Genesis i. & ii. chapters.
We learn that in the morning of creation the whole family of the brutal creation then subsisted on every green herb for meat; then, as [page 14] a matter of course, the lion, wolf and the leopard together with many, other species of the brutal creation, were not carnivorous as we now find them, subsisting one on the other.
Therefore, we are to look for the words of Peter to be true and valid:‑-
Acts, iii. 20, “And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you ;
21. Whom the heaven must receive until the times of RESTITUTION of all things, which GOD hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.”
Therefore, to do this work of restitution as the prophets have declared, the consequence is, this now sinful, contaminated earth must be, and will be, created anew, and thus become a new earth; and Jerusalem, in the land of Canaan, become a holy city of the Lord, and weeping, sorrowing and crying be totally done away; and the house of Judah and the house of Israel become one kingdom, as the prophets have declared; and then will they enjoy the land of Canaan given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and their dead after them, for an everlasting possession, according to the covenant made to them and sealed by the sign of circumcision, which is now, and ever will be, as faithfully remembered of the Lord as the rainbow in the clouds is remembered of the Lord in fulfillment of the covenant made to Noah, that he would no more drown the earth with a flood, but “reserve it unto fire and the perdition of the ungodly.”
When “the earth will be burned, and few men left,” read Isaiah xxiv. 5 6, then, and not till then, will Israel possess the land of Canaan, as the prophets have declared; then will be realized what “temporal interest is subserved” by the observance of the institution of the circumcision of the flesh as instituted with Abraham and his seed, to be remembered and observed by them everlastingly.
(Zion’s Reveille, Vol. 2, No. 20, p. 81/133)
The following scriptures will suffice for the present on this point, setting forth the “temporal interest” that is to be “subserved” by the temporal covenant and its seal, (circumcision:)‑-Please read Ezekiel, xxxvi.–Ezekial, xxxiv. 27, “And the tree of the field shall yield her fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase, and they shall be safe in their land, and shall know that I am the Lord, when I have broken the bands of their yoke, and delivered them out of the hand of those that served themselves of them.”
Id. xxxvi. 7, Therefore thus saith the Lord God, I have lifted up my hand. Surely the heathen (gentiles) that are about you, they shall bear their shame.
8. But ye, O mountains of Israel, ye shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to my people of Israel; for they are at hand to come.
9 For, behold, I am for you, and I will turn unto you, and ye shall be tilled and sown: [page 15]
10 And I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, even all of it: and the cities shall be inhabited, and the wastes shall be builded:
11 And I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and bring fruit: and I will settle you after your old estates, and will do better unto you than at your beginnings: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.
12 Yea, I will cause men to walk upon you, even my people Israel; and they shall possess thee, and thou shalt be their inheritance, and thou shalt no more henceforth bereave them of men.
28. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.
29. I will also save you from all your uncleanness, and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you.
30. And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen, (gentiles.)
What we have quoted on the topic of the “temporal interest that is to be subserved” by the observance of circumcision, we deem to be quite sufficient; the scriptures being so plain on the subject, we think that more comment would be superfluous.
We will next show what “political interest” is to be “subserved” by the remembrance and observance of the “temporal covenant” and circumcision, as instituted with Abraham and his seed.
We have before found Abraham’s seed a distinct government, or kingdom, in the days of Saul, David and Solomon. In the days of these aforementioned three kings, the whole kingdom of the twelve tribes of Israel were under one form of government, and one king was king to them all. “But in process of time we found them divided into two kingdoms. In the days of Rehoboam the son of Solomon, and Jeroboam the servant of Solomon, we found the nine and half tribes revolting against Rehoboam, and declaring themselves to be a separate kingdom or government, with their seat of government at Samaria; while the tribes of Judah, Benjamin and the half tribes of Manassah still retaining Rehoboam to be their king and Jerusalem to be their seat of government Thus we find the seed of Abraham on the strength of the covenant made to Abraham their father, possessing the land of Canaan divided into two kingdoms, which have never to this date (1842) been restored to be one kingdom. But, to the contrary, found them under two separate kingdoms, acknowledging two parallel lines of kings, one called the kings of Judah, the other the kings of Israel, as we have found above‑-twenty kings in each line up to their several captivities. The kingdom of Israel was captivated by the Assyrians 720 years before Christ. The kingdom of Judah was captivated by the Chaldeans, or Babylonians, more than a century after the captivity of Israel.[page 16]
N. B. Israel never returned as a people, or government, to the land of Canaan; but Judah did, as we have above shown, and tarried at Jerusalem till they were captivated by Titus of Rome.
And where shall we look for Israel now? I answer, in the “north country.”
where shall we look for Judah? I answer, in the four corners of the earth. Shall we ever see them literally restored to the land of Canaan, both Israel and Judah, and again set up a separate kingdom on the land of Canaan? I answer, yes, verily, if the covenant of God to Abraham and his seed be good and valid, on the veracity of God’s word by himself and the prophets.
Read Isaiah, xi. 11, “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the SECOND time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and front Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.
12. And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts (lost) of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the FOUR corners if the earth.”
We understand that the first time that the Lord set his hand to gather Israel and Judah, was when he sent his son, who cried unto the Jews in these words:‑-
”Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem! Thou that stonest the prophets and killest them that are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together unto thee as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, but you would not.”
We deem the ten lost tribes to be (in a legal point of light) as much the children of Jerusalem as the Jews, unto whom he (Christ) was then addressing himself. Therefore, as a matter of course, there needs to be a second setting to of the hands of the Lord to do that which was not accomplished the first time. The reader is here requested to read the eighth chapter of Zechariah. I only insert the last verse,‑-“Thus saith the Lord of hosts, In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men 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.”
Jeremiah iii. 12, “Go and proclaim these words toward the NORTH, and say, Return thou back‑sliding Israel, (ten tribes,) &c.
17. At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the Lord; and all nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem; neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart.
18. In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the NORTH to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers,” (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.)
Please read id. xvi. 14, 15, 16, also xxiii. 7, 8. The reader is requested [page 17] to read the xxx. xxxi. xxxii. xxxiii. We only insert a few select passages.
xxx. 10, “Therefore fear thou not, 0 my servant Jacob, saith the Lord; neither be dismayed, 0 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.
18 Thus said: the Lord: Behold, I will bring again the captivity of Jacob’s tents, and have mercy on his dwelling places; and the city (Jerusalem) shall be builded upon her own heap, and the palace shall remain after the manner thereof.
19. And out of them shall proceed thanksgiving, and the voice of them that make merry; and I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small.
20. Their children also shall be as aforetime, and their congregation shall be established before me, and I will punish all that oppress them.”
Words added to the next following verse would be quite superfluous to make it any plainer to the understanding, that Israel will be an independent kingdom, and appoint their own political officers to rule their own kingdom.
21. “And their NOBLES shall be of themselves, and their GOVERNOR shall proceed from the midst of them; and I will cause him (the governor) to draw near, and he shall approach unto me: for who is this that engaged his heart to approach unto me I with the Lord.
22. And ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.”
Ezekiel xxxvii. 21, “And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God: Behold I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will GATHER them on every side, and bring them into their OWN LAND:
22. And I will make them ONE nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and ONE KING shall be KING to them ALL; and they shall be no more TWO nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all.
24. And David my servant shall be KING over them, &c.
25. And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, &c.”
Zechariah xiv. 9, ” And the Lord shall be KING over all the earth, &c.”
This proves that David will be a subaltern king under the Lord, while the Lord (Jesus Christ) shall be king over all the earth. David’s jurisdiction will only extend over the land of Canaan. Please read the whole of the 37 chapter of Ezekiel for the resurrection of the whole house of Israel, “to stand upon their feet, an exceeding great army to dwell on the land of Israel.”
Some have supposed that this valley of “dry bones” includes [page 18] the whole world, Jews, Gentiles and all other people; it is true that all in Christ will have a part in the first resurrection, but mind you, the gentile saints must, as a matter of course, possess the other portions of the earth, inasmuch as the land of Canaan was given expressly to Abraham and his seed for an everlasting (or eternal) possession. Therefore the valley of dry bones is spoken of as Israel, distinct from all other people.
For proof that the saints will possess the earth after the resurrection, read Rev. v. 9, 10, and all of the 14 chapter of Zechariah, and the 37 Psalm, and the 20 chapter of Re., also the 72 Psalm.
Concluding remarks on this topic of the “political interest” that is to be “subserved” by the observance of the covenant and its seal, (circumcision,) as instituted with Abraham concerning the land of Canaan.
Some have supposed, and even preach, that all that has happened with Abraham and his seed in respect to the land of Canaan, was only a figure or type of an invisible Canaan, or a spiritual Canaan, or the heaven of the spirits of the departed saints. But I have it yet to learn where there is one text of revelation to sustain the supposition as correct. Heb. xi. 8, Paul, in respect to Abraham’s faith, says:‑-By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed: and he went out (of Haran) not knowing whither he went.
9. By faith he (Abraham) sojourned in the land of promise, (Canaan,) us in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise.
10. For he (Abraham) looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.”
Acts vii. 5, Stephen says, concerning Abraham and the land of Canaan, “And he (the Lord) gave him (Abraham) none inheritance in it, (Canaan,) no not so much as to set his foot on; yet he (the Lord) promised that he would give it to him (Abraham) for a possession, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child.”
Ques. Where did Abraham look for a city whose builder and maker is God?
Ans. In the land of Canaan is where he looked for it, though he, (Abraham,) Isaac and Jacob and a multitude of others, died having not received the promise, but seeing it afar oft and were persuaded of them; i. e. they had the assurance that the promise was true and that they should partake of the fullness of the promise, and though they should die they would one day possess the land of Canaan and on it a city that had foundations whose builder and maker is God.
Ques. What will the city be called?
Ans. Ezekiel xlviii. 35, “It was round about eighteen thousand measures; and the name of the city from that day shall be THE Lord is there.” The reader will do well to read the whole chapter to find the [page 19] location of the inheritance of one tribe with another; and for a particular account of the land, the building of the city and the temple, please read the fortieth chapter to the end of the book. This city, called “The Lord is there,” is called by other prophets Jerusalem.
Zechariah, xiv. please read its plain literal meaning, or true application; it is too plain to need comment.
Proving the fact that when Jerusalem is built again, according to the prophets, that all the power of the assembled nations shall not succeed to destroy Jerusalem; but at the advent of her (Jerusalem’s) King he will set his feet on the Mount of Olives, (the identical spot from where he ascended‑-read Acts, i. 11, 12.) “and bring all his saints with him,” and in the company Abraham and his family or seed that has observed the sign of circumcision, by which they will claim an everlasting inheritance on the land of Canaan.
Zech. xiv. 10, “All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon SOUTH of Jerusalem; and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin’s gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hangnail unto the king’s wine‑presses.
11. And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.
9. And the Lord shall be King over all the EARTH, &c.
16. And it shall come to pass, every one that is left of all nations which came against Jerusalem, shall even go up from year to year to worship the KING, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.
17. And it shall be that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the KING, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.
20. In that day there shall be upon the bells of the horses HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD and the pots in the Lord’s house (temple] shall be like the bowls before the altar.”
The reader will please read in connection Ezekiel xxxviii. xxxix. Joel iii. Zech. xiv. 1, 2, 3. Rev. xvi. 13, 14. Id. xvii. 12, 13, 14. Id. xix. 11 to 21. Id. xiv. 20, “And the wine‑press was trodden without the city, (Jerusalem,) and blood came out of the wine‑press, even to the horse‑bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs”‑-which would be two hundred miles. Thus we see that Abraham and his seed, their king (Jesus) at their head, will be a political and an independent kingdom or government, and will eventually conquer all other nations; and that too by virtue of the “temporal covenant” which God made to Abraham and his seed concerning the land of Canaan.