One thing is certain, these predictions of Ezekiel
have not yet been fulfilled. The twelve tribes of
Israel have not been converted and restored to
their own land. This land has not been divided in
the manner set forth by the prophet ; nor has such
a city and temple as he describes been built. Jeru-
salem and the temple were rebuilt after the return
of a portion of the Jews from Babylon, but not in
the style foretold by Ezekiel, nor anything ap-
Another question arises : Will these predictions
ever have a literal fulfilment? Was such the in-
tention of the Spirit who indited them ? The de-
scriptions throughout look like a literal fulfilment.
They are so minute and particular, as almost to
force upon one the idea of such a fulfilment. But
will it ever be realised? It must be borne in mind,
that if we insist upon a literal fulfilment, we must
carry it honestly through. If any part of the
prediction is to be taken literally, all must be.
The question returns then : Are we to suppose that
this prediction of Ezekiel ever will be literally
I think not. The supposition is inadmissible, if
not impossible. It can never be. Who believes that
the Holy Land, now somewhat irregularly shaped, is
ever to be transformed into a quadrangle such as
has been described ; and that the twelve tribes of
Israel — each a distinct community — are to be re-
covered and settled there ? Or, if they should be,
who believes that they would be willing to give
up nearly half of their small territory to the priests
and Levites, and other officials, reserving to them-
selves only twelve narrow strips, running across the
country from east to west ? Nor is this the worst
of it : How long could the twelve tribes of Israel
live on these narrow strips, embracing at the
farthest not more than three thousand square
miles — a tenth part as much as the state of Mame ?
Who can beUeve that a temple, such as Ezekiel
describes, is yet to be built in Palestine, and that
the entire Mosaic ritual, with its feasts and fasts,
its bloody sacrifices and offerings, is to be estab-
lished there, and that too for converted Christian
men, when the apostles assure us that Judaism, as
such, is dead, and that the ritual of Moses has
vanished away ? Who believes that a stream of
water, small at first, but miraculously increased as
it passes along, until it becomes a mighty river, is
to issue from the foundations of this new temple,
and pour its waters into the Dead Sea, removing at
once the nauseous deadly qualities of the sea, and
filling it with fish and other living creatures. If
Ezekiel's vision is to be accepted literally, then all
these things are to come to pass ; and yet who
believes them ? Who can believe them ?
The question returns then. What is the import
of Ezekiel's vision, and of the chapters on which
we have remarked? How are they to be under-
stood? And what were they designed to teach?
We answer : They are to be understood, not
literally, but, like the Apocalypse, symbolically;
and thus interpreted, they are fall of rich and
glorious meaning. Thus the resurrection of the
dry bones is a symbol, teaching the future con-
version of the Jews, and perhaps of the Gentiles
also, to Christ. The assault of Gog and Magog
portends the great conflict which is to usher in the
millennium. The city with its surroundings, and
the temple with its services, set forth the glory of
the millennial Church, and the purity of its worship.
The stream issuing from the temple, and pouring
into the Dead Sea to heal its waters and fill it with
life, is a beautiful symbol of the healing influences
of the sanctuary of God. If this world of death is
ever to be recovered to Christ, it must be by an
influence such as this. Such, as it seems to me, are
some of the teachings of Ezekiel's vision, — more
rich and glorious infinitely, than any literal inter-
pretation can be.
And if it be inquired further, why the symbolical
method of teaching was here adopted — why, if the
Divine Spirit wished to inculcate lessons such as
these. He did not do it in plain, literal, didactic
terms ? I have only to answer, that Ezekiel was a
Jew and a priest, and those to be instructed and
comforted by. him were Jews. All their ideas of
religion were associated with a temple service — with
the official work of the priests, and the sacrifices
and offerings of the temple. Hence, the promise
of great spiritual blessings — a great and future re-
vival of religion — must be made to them in con-
nection with a new city and temple. It could be
made intelligibly in no other way. The pious
in Israel were encouraged and comforted by the
vision of Ezekiel, as they could not have been if
the prediction had been given in more Hteral
It is for lis, who have the brighter hght and
more spiritual teachings of the Gospel, to look
through the shadows to the substance — to study
these venerable s}Tnbols, and gather from them the
lich and glonous instructions which they were in-
tended to impart.
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AN EXPOSITOKY AND FRACTICAL COMMENTAIIY
BOOKS OF SCRIPTURE,
AERANGED IN CHHONOLOGICAL OEDEE.
Translated from the German work edited by the late Dr C. G. Bartk, Cuh/r,
Wiertt-mhrfj. First American ^rom. the xecfmd English Edition. Im-
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SOLD BY SUBSCRIPTION.
The object of this work is twofold: first, to facilitate the study of the Iluly
Scriptures, by arranging them in stricthj chronological order, so that the sacred
narrative may form one continuous and connected histoiy, from Genesis to
Eevelntion; and, secondly, to elucidate the Sacred Text by expository annotations,
and at the same time to furnish arguments against the pernicious effects of
The spirit of the work is that of implicit faith in the Divine Inspiration of the
Bible. It is believed the book will commend itself at once to the notice of clergy-
men and others, whose duty it is to explain and apply the lessons of divine truth ;
and, indeed, that it wUI prove a valuable help to all students of God's Holy Word.
Published by Hoyt, Fogg and Breed.
From Rev. E. B. Webb, D.D., Pastor, Shawmut Church, Boston,
The chief peculiarity of this work is that it follows the veritable order of
history, — the grand procession of recorded events. Provided only that the text
is not tampered with, no variation or arrangement of the sacred books can destroy
their divine authority. Whatever their order, they constitute still the Word of God.
But could they be arranged just as they came into existence, — book following
book, and psalm following the event that called it forth, and prophecy set in the
course of the events with which it was connected, — we should have the most
natural arrangement possible, — continuous sacred history in the original order.
Just this is attempted in this Commentaiy. The arrangement is similar to
that of Townsend; the commentary is much more. The arrangement itself is a
commentary, just as the arrangement of Webster's speeches in connection with
the questions and causes and events which produced them would be the best
commentary upon them.
The 4'2d Fsalm, for instance, is a precious piece of devotional reading, as it
stands among the other Psalms. ' As the heart panteth after the water-brooks,'
etc. But inserted in its chronological connections, and read in the hght of
historical events, it is impressive and striking, as well as devotional.
So the prophets, instead of being gathered together in one part of the Bible by
themselves, are introduced into the reigns, and among the events where they
actually appeared. And thus history and prophecy are made mutually to explain
and authenticate each other. And so the events and scenes of Scripture are made
to move again in a grand panoramic review before the mind's eye.
To a multitude of persons who have been familiar only with the common
version of King James, and the ordinary commentaries upon it, this will be a
most welcome, suggestive, and instructive commentary. Widely known in
England, I shall be happy to see it known in America also.
From Rev. J. J. Carruthers, D.D., Pastor Second Cong. Church, Portland.
This work — admirably translated from the German — is the result of mar-
vellous industry and extensive erudition, applied to the elucidation of the Holy
Scriptures. Its main peculiarity lies in the arrangement of the sacred books.
The author follows the recognised chronological order of their respective dates,
the book of Job, for example, following immediately after that of Genesis, and
the Psalms of David being severally allocated to that portion of individual and
national history to which they respectively belong. The prophetic portions of
the Old Testament are, in like manner, interwoven with the histories, so as to
indicate the precise period of their composition, and the original purpose of their
divine inspiration. Pursuing the same general plan, the author harmonizes the
four Gospel narrations, and interweaves with the Acts of the Apostles the epistles
successively addressed to the churches of the saints. The whole is divided into
convenient sections, and every part of each section commented on so clearly, as
to convey a distinct impression of its meaning, its proper application, and its
It is a work of prodigious labour, but labour obviously expended con amove
by the distinguished author. There is a delightful glow of devotional power per-
vading his explanatory and practical remarks, and rendering his work a valuable
companion to the private Christian in his closet as well as to the professional
scholar in his study. I have no hesitation, therefore, in commending it to all who
can afford to buy it, and are willing to procure, at a comparatively small expense,
an effective auxiliary to the profitable perusal of the Word of God.
Published by Hoyt, Fogg and Breed.
From Rev. Samuel H. Merrill, Agent American Bible Society, Portland.
This Commentary, first introduced to the English public a few years since, is,
both in design and in execution, a work of sterling value. Its design is to give to
those who have not the advantage of an acquaintance with the original languages,
a clear and comprehensive knowledge of the Word of God. In the prosecution
of this design, the results of profound learning are given, but not the processes by
which those results are reached. It has several striking peculiarities, amongst
which is this, that throughout, in the doctrinal, no less than in the prophetical,
devotional, and hisforiccU books, the order of history is strictly observed. As the
book of Job belongs to the patriarchal period, it is here introduced immediately
after Genesis. So the more memorable of the psalms are each introduced accord-
ing to the time of its composition, and in connection with the events which
called it forth. This arrangement itself deepens the interest of the reader in the
text, and greatly helps to elucidate its meaning. <
Unlike too many works of the German school of theology, this takes for
granted the full inspiration of the Bible, and its single object is to bring out its
true meaning, and impress it upon the heart. ' JIultum in Parvo" is its motto.
This work, uniting the excellences of Doddridge, of Campbell, of Townsend,
and of others whose valuable expositions have long been familiar to the Christian
public, and breathing throughout a spirit of earnest devotion, meets a want which
has long been felt. As a help to a clear understanding of the Divine oracles, if
the choice were between this and all others, we should give the preference to this.
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