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this our prayers, alms, and all due exertions must devoutly tend.
4. Viewing the aborigines of America as the outcast tribes of Israel; an interesting view is given of some prophetic passages, which appear nearly connected with their restoration.
In Isai. xl. 3, relative to this restoration of the ancient people of God, we read; “ The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness; Prepare ye the way of the Lord ; make straight in the desart a high way for our God.” This received a primary and typical fulfilment in the ministry of John the Baptist, in the wilderness of Judea, to introduce Christ. Hence the passage was applied to him. But it was to receive its ultimate and most interesting fulfilment at a period connected with the commencement of the Millennium, when the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together;" as the subsequent text decides. It is intimately connected with the restoration of the Hebrews; as appears in its context. “Comfort ye, comfort ye, my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, (a name here put for all the Hebrew family, as it was their capital in the days of David and Solomon,) and cry unto her that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned ; for she hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins." Here is the final Hebrew restoration, after the time of their doubly long corrective rejection for their sins shall have expired. The voice in the wilderness then follows, as the great means of this restoration.
A wilderness has justly been considered as a symbol of a region of moral darkness and spiritual death. It has been considered as a symbol of the heathen world; and it is a striking emblem of it. And the emblem receives strength from the consideration, that it is in a sense literally true. The voice, which restores Israel, is heard in the vast wilderness of America, a literal wilderness of thousands of miles, where the dry bones of the outcasts of Israel have for thousands of years been scattered. The voice crying in the wilderness has a special appropriation to these Hebrews. As it had a kind of literal ful. filment in the preaching of the forerunner John, for a short time in the wilderness of Judea; so it is to have a kind of literal fulfilment, upon a much greater scale, in the missions, which shall recover the ten tribes from the vast wilderness of America.
Of the same period and event, the same erangelical prophet says, Isai. xxxv. 1. 66 The wil. derness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose; it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice even with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, and the excellency of Carmel and Sharon; they shall see the glory of the Lord and the excellency of our God." In such passages, while the prediction is to have its mystical and full accomplishment in the conversion of the heathen world to God; the prophetic eye evidently rested with signal pleasure, on a literal restoration of his long lost brethren, as involved in the event, and as furnishing the ground of the figure. They will be literally, and the fulness of the gentiles mystically, restored and brought to Zion.
As the wilderness of Judea in a small degree rejoiced and blossomed as the rose, when John the Baptist performed his ministry in it; so the wilderness and solitary place of our vast conti
nent, containing the lost tribes of the house of Israel, will, on a most enlarged scale, rejoice and blossom as the rose, when the long lost tribes shall be found there, and shall be gathered to Zion. The event in relation to these ancient heirs of the covenant, stated in the last verse of this chapter, will then receive a signal fulfilment; "And the redeemed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” Upon this final restoration of his brethren, this prophet exults in lofty strains. Several of the many of these strains shall be here inserted. Isai. xlix. "Listen O isles unto me; (or ye lands
away over the sca) hearken ye people from afar. I will make all my mountains a way; and my high way
shall be exalted. Behold these shall come from far; and lo, these from the north, and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim.Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, 0 earth ; and break forth into singing, O mountains ; for the Lord hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted."
Such texts have a special allusion to the lost tribes of the house of Israel. And their being called over mountains, and over seas, from the west, and from afar, receives an emphasis from the consideration of their being gathered from the vast wilds of America.
With the prophet Hosea, the rejection and recovery of the ten tribes are a great object. In chapter 2d, their rejection, and the cause of it, are stated, and alao a promise of their return. God threatens to strip them naked, and “make them as a wilderness."
16 And I will visit upon her the days of Baalim, wherein she burned in
cense to them;"! i. e. to her false gods.
This visiting upon her her idolatries, was to be done in her subsequent outcast state, in which God there says; "she is not my wise, neither am I her husband.” But he says, v. 14—“Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her.And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope ; and she shall sing there as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt.” Here is Israel's restoration ; and it is from the wilderness, where long they had been planted during the period of their outcast state. In this wilderness, God eventually speaks comfortably to thein, and restores them, as he restored from Egypt. Here God gives them "the valley of Achor for a door of hope." The first encampment of the Hebrews in the valley of Achor, was to them a pledge of their eventual possession of the promised land, after the Lord had there turned from the fierceness of his wrath; Josh. vii. 26.
Upon the same event God says; Isai. xliii. 19, 20; “ Behold I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth ; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. The beasts of the field shall honour me; the dragons and the owls; because I give water in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, to my chosen." If such texts have a glorious, general, mystical fulfilment in the conversion of pagan lands; yet this does not preclude, but rather implies the fact, that the people whose restoration is in them particularly foretold, shall be recovered from a vast wilderness; and their conversion shall be
almost like the conversion of dragons and owls of the desert. Rivers of knowledge and grace shall in such wilds be opened for God's chosen. It will then truly be fulfilled, that God in comforting Zion, will “make her wilderness like Eden and her desert like the garden of the Lord;"? Isai. li. 3. Such passages will have a degree of both literal and mystical fulfilment.
A signal beauty will then be discovered in such passages as the following; Isai. xli. 14. “Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel ; I will help thee, saith the Lord God, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. I will open rivers in the high places, and fountains in the midst of vallies: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree; and I will set in the desert the fir tree, the pine, and the box tree together, that they may see and know and understand together, that the hand of the Lord hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it.” The view given of the place of the long banishment of the ten tribes, gives a lustre to such predictions of their restoration.These will have a striking fulfilment in the vast wilds of our continent, when the glad tidings of salvation shall be carried to the natives of these extensive dreary forests, and those regions of wretchedness and death shall become vocal with the high praises of God, sung by his ancient Israel.
5. If it be a fact that the native Americans are the tribes of Israel, new evidence is hence furnished of the divinity of our holy scriptures. A new field of evidence is here opened from a race of men, “outcast” from all civil society for