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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 48

Chapter VI. — Israel's Position

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Chapter VI.

Israel's Position.

Thrice happy days! thrice happy man who saw
Their dawn! . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . and like
A cedar, nourished well, Jerusalem grew
And towered on high, and spread, and flourished fair;
And underneath her bows the nations lodged;
All nations lodged, and sang the song of peace.
. . . . . . . . .
How fair the daughter of Jerusalem then!
How gloriously from Zion hill she looked!
Clothed with the sun, and in her train the moon,
And on her head a coronet of stars;
And girdling round her waist, with heavenly grace,
The bow of mercy bright; and in her hand
Immanuel's cross, her sceptre and her hope.
Desire of every land! the nations came
And worshipped at her feet; all nations came
Flocking like doves."—Pollok.

Nothing is more plainly affirmed in the Divine Word of prophecy than the fact that this pre-eminence which we have been reviewing is promised to Israel. It was first promised to Abraham, repeated to Isaac, and solemnly confirmed to Jacob, in unconditional and irrevocable language. No terms were enjoined; no conditions named. The words were definite, emphatic, eternal. The same promise is often repeated throughout the Bible, and its immutability established. Then, if Britain is now inheriting the promise, and executing the commission given only to God's people Israel, Who can the British be if not Israel? If Britain be not Israel, where will be the faithfulness of God's promise to his chosen race? When from her "sea-beat throne, in awful march Britannia towers" along in her peaceful triumph, and fills the whole earth, establishing herself as the last of the prophetic empires: how shall Israel find room to occupy the whole earth if she be not Britain? There can be no clashing in the Divine management of the universe. He moves all things in harmony. Signs innumerable tell us that the day of Israel's recovery is at hand. When the glory of her morning bursts in upon the world she shall be known as a power in the earth. The notion so prevalent that Israel is to emerge from her long obscurity as a small, rude, and feeble race, unknown in the activity of the world, is one foreign to the spirit of prophecy. Israel shall be known as a giant for strength, and as a fair virgin for beauty, in the day when the Lord shall bring again the dispersed of Jacob. Her history shall be known to the world, and her integrity shall be to the nations as a source of confidence and esteem. But we shall seek in vain for a people to occupy this position if we deny to Britain the privilege. To my mind, viewing history and prophecy in a candid, faithful spirit, I can see no way of avoiding the conclusion that Britain is Israel.

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The kingdom of Israel has been long unknown to the world, and her children have forgotten their ancestry, but the all-seeing eye of her king Jehovah has never lost sight of her, although he cast her off for a season; she had acted wickedly and required correction; but the Divine hand which guides the brilliant orbs through the depths of the unfathomable universe, was still guiding her, and preparing her for her final and glorious destiny. He saw that chastisement was good, and he applied the rod in merciful justice and wisdom. And now, as the days approach, when it shall be known that the "saints are to possess the kingdom," we behold Him bringing forth His people from their concealed condition, in honour and praise throughout the whole earth. But we see not yet all sin and evil put away from the people—not far off however is that day. Then "all shall know the Lord, from the least even unto the greatest." The Lord's people shall be a people "all glorious in holiness"

It is absolutely impossible to dispute the fact that the last great empire is to be constituted by the descendants of the Hebrew patriarchs as the chief nation—the ruling people. It is also as clear that it is the power of the Israelites which is raised by God for the destruction of the "kingdoms of the worlds." How distinct is Jeremiah upon this point (li. v. 20), speaking to Jacob, Jehovah says "Thou art my battle axe and weapons of war, for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms." This breaking in pieces is significant, and singularly parallels the prophecy of Daniel, and I have no doubt that Daniel ii.. 38 and 44 refers to the same breaking in pieces, which Daniel was already acquainted with, being mentioned nine several times in that one chapter of Jeremiah, each time being predicated of Israel. Israel is therefore the instrument used by God to execute these designs in the world. We have already seen that this was the commission given to the "Stone cut out of the mountain without hands," and literally accomplished by the British nation.

In the seventh chapter we are very carefully instructed concerning the nationality of the people who are to compose the rulers of the last empire. Verse 18th says, "but the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever and ever." Verse 22nd continues, "Until the ancient of days came, and judgment was given unto the saints of the Most High: And the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom." Verse 27th—"And the kingdom and the dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an ever-lasting kingdom, and all dominions (rulers) shall serve and obey Him." Again in chapter eight, verse 24, the same word is used to indicate God's Israel; also in chapter twelve, verse 7th, the people of Israel are called the "holy people" or saints. That the expression here repeatedly used refers to the nation Israel is generally admitted, and therefore scarce calls for argument, still one standard authority may aid the doubtful.

In Smith's Dictionary of the Bible we find this term unhesitatingly referred to Israel the literal nation in these words: "In the majority of page 34 cases it seems to be used in a theocratic rather than a moral sense, so that while having often a secondary reference, more or less marked, to holiness as the prescribed and appropriate character of those who bear it; it is applied indiscriminately (especially in the later books) to the Israelites as a nation consecrated to God." And the passages already quoted are referred to as being so understood. It seems to be used in the sense of the separated, consecrated or chosen people nationally. However, it it is evident that the nation of Israel is to hold the dominion of the world in the last days, and that, so long as human rule obtains, it shall not pass from them to another people. Consequently, since we gather from every source of evidence that Britain has taken up the commission, and possesses every mark of that magnificent and final empire, so far as time has yet evolved, the only conclusion open for us is that Britain and Israel are the same.

Moreover, since the last empire, which was to be one of Universal dominion was to be "set up by the God of heaven"—to be one specially chosen by Divine wisdom for that purpose, Can we possibly suppose that He who promised perpetuity of seed and supremacy of race to Abraham, can have withdrawn from that voluntary, unconditional, covenant—can have cast aside and rejected the nation of His early choice, notwithstanding His frequent asseverations that He would fulfil the articles of the covenant, in language as emphatic and absolute as that affirming the original agreement, and having done so, at last select a Gentile people on whom to bestow the privileges which He had solemnly conferred, in irrevocable terms, upon the Hebrews, thus nullifying thousands of His prophetic messages to the Hebrew nation? The facts are:—(1.) God promised the final dominion of the world to the Hebrew people. (2.) Daniel represents this world-wide empire under the symbol of a little stone becoming detached from the mountain, and ultimately filling the whole earth. (3.) History, ancient, modern, and contemporary, show that Britain is the only nation which can be recognised in the vision of the Stone. (4.) Modern history shows that to Britain alone have the promises to the Hebrews been given. (5) And by her only is the commission given to Israel being fulfilled. Consequently, the unavoidable conclusion is that Britain is the chosen nation, and if the chosen nation, then Israel.

It is most surprising to notice how in the life of the British some of the more important promises to the Patriarch and his descendants are being fulfilled; even a century ago our poets sang of it unconsciously. Just notice one instance which shows how the words of Young harmonise with the language of Isaiah Ix. 5, "The abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, and the wealth of the Gentiles (nations) shall come unto thee." Showing that such is in fact the glory of Britain, the Poet sings:—

"Luxurious Isle! what tide that flows,
Or stream that glides, or wind that blows,
Or genial sun that shines, or shower that pours,
But flows glides, breathes, shines, pours for thee?
How every heart delates to see
Each land, each season blending on thy shore!

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All these one British harvest make!
The servant Ocean for thy sake
Both sinks and swells; his arms thy bosom wrap,
And fondly give, in boundless dower
To mighty Georges growing power,
The wafted world into thy loaded lap.

Vast naval ensigns strewed around
The wandering foreigner confound!
How stands the deep-awed Continent aghast
As her proud sceptred sons survey
At every port, on every quay,
Huge mountains rise of anchor, cable, mast!

The unwieldy tun, the ponderous bale!
Each prince his own clime sets to sale
Sees here, by subjects of a British king.
How Earth's abridged! All nations range
A narrow spot,—our thronged exchange;
And send their streams of Plenty from their spring.

Nor earth alone, all Nature bends
In aid of Britain's glorious ends!
Toils she in trade, or bleeds in honest wars?
Her keel each yielding sea enthralls,
Each willing wind her canvas calls,
Her pilot into service 'lists the stars.

Pregnant with blessings, Britain! Swear,
No sordid son of thine shall dare
Offend the Donor of thy wealth and peace.
Who now His whole creation drains
To pour into thy tumid veins
That wealth of Nations—Commerce and Increase:

Commerce brings riches; riches crown
Fair Virtue with the first renown.
A large revenue, and a large expense,
When hearts for others' welfare glow,
And spend as free as gods bestow,
Gives the full bloom to moral excellence."

The End.