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Miller’s Works, vol. 1. Views of the Prophecies and Prophetic Chronology

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    LETTER II. ON THE RETURN OF THE JEWS

    DEAR BRO. HIMES:- I am now at home-found my family and friends well; yesterday was very sick, owing to my great anxiety to see home, and my fatigue on my journey. To-day I feel much better, and shall employ a little time in writing to you.MWV1 225.1

    Those souls whom I have addressed in my six months’ tour are continually before me, sleeping or waking. I can see them perishing by thousands; and when I reflect on the accountability of their teachers, who cry “peace and safety,” I am in pain for them. How many souls will brothers Phelps, Cambell, and others, who are sticklers for the Jews’ return, and for a temporal millennium, be the means of lulling to sleep; and while they are flattering themselves that their teachers are right, find, to their eternal cost, that their preparation for the eternal world was delayed a few days too long, on the vain supposition that the Jews must return and a millennium intervene. Why will they not listen to reason and scripture? Peter was converted from such a selfish and bigoted mind, when he said, “Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons.” Acts 10:34, 35. And yet, truly, if the Jews ever return, they must be respected of God; for will not all acknowledge that they are to be gathered by God out of all nations, etc.? Isaiah 66:20: “And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the Lord out of all nations, upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the Lord, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the Lord.” They are not gathered because they work righteousness, or because they are children of faith; but because they are “God’s ancient covenant people.” For if they believe, they are grafted in among the Gentile believers, and are no more Jews in that sense. Romans 10:12: “For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.”MWV1 225.2

    Now if the Jew be restored because he is a Jew, then Peter needed another conversion; for he said he perceived that God was no respecter of persons. What a pity that Peter had not the aid of brother Phelps and his deacon to teach him better. Again-how foolish Paul must have been to wish himself accursed, Romans 9:3: “For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen, according to the flesh;” when brother Phelps, Skinner, and the notorious Whittemore, 1These gentlemen, with a few others, made themselves conspicuous by their hostility to Mr. Miller and his views, when in Boston in the winter of 1840. if they had lived in his day, could have told him, in five words, “Father Paul, God will not cast away his ancient covenant people; for all Israel shall be saved.”MWV1 226.1

    Once more-if James had lived in the days of the Boston trio, he might have written a very different epistle than the one he wrote to the “twelve tribes scattered abroad.” Instead of pointing to the law of liberty and faith in Christ Jesus as their justification, and respect of persons, he might have told them to remain steadfast as Jews, and in the end they would all be gathered in and saved. Yes, how different would James have written, if he had believed in the return of the Jews, and the salvation of God’s ancient covenant people.MWV1 226.2

    If then the Jew, as a Jew in the flesh, must have another day, God must have respect of persons, without any reference to the work of righteousness. Or God must give the Gentile another day, after the Jew. Romans 1:16, 17: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, the just shall live by faith.”MWV1 226.3

    Here we are plainly taught that the Jew has had his day, and now the Gentile has his. Romans 2:7, 11, 28, 29: “To them who, by patient continuance in well-doing seek for glory, and honor, and immortality, eternal life; for there is no respect of persons with God. For he is not a Jew which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh: but he is a Jew which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.”MWV1 227.1

    These passages show plainly, that the Jews have had their day, and have been visited with the indignation and wrath of God, of which they are a sample unto us who afterwards should live ungodly. Now, if they, as unbelievers, after suffering, as a nation, the vengeance of God, are to be gathered again and restored to their privileges, land and laws, then the Gentiles, after suffering the vengeance of eternal life, are to be restored again to their present privileges, country, and laws. Will the trio agree to this? I think not. Yet the type must agree with the antitype. But the gospel promise, which was before the law made to Abraham, was in Christ unto all them which believe, both Jew and Gentile. This is certainly the apostle’s reasoning in the 3rd and 4th chapters of Romans, and he says not one word about the Jews’ return, when he sums up the advantage the Jew had over the Gentile. Romans 3:1, 9: “What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin.”MWV1 227.2

    Not a word about this return, and inheritance of Judea again. Yet, if so, their restoration would be a great advantage over the Gentile. Deuteronomy 30:7:MWV1 227.3

    “And the Lord thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and on them that hate thee, which persecuted thee.” Isaiah 11:14: “But they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west; they shall spoil them of the east together: they shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab; and the children of Ammon shall obey them.” Isaiah 54:7, 8, 15: “For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer. Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake.” Hosea 1:11: “Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel.”MWV1 228.1

    If these passages mean the Jews, then certainly they will rule over the Gentiles; and it was an unpardonable neglect in the apostle to the Gentiles not to give us warning of it. But he does tell us that the chief advantage of the Jew was, that he had the praise of God, which advantage the Gentile now has over the Jew. So it is to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile.MWV1 228.2

    Again-are the Jews to be gathered to their own land, and never pulled up again? Amos 9:15: “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.” If so, how can Paul reconcile Galatians 6:15: “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature?” Ephesians 1:10: “For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” Also 2:12, 16: “That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: and that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby.”MWV1 228.3

    And how would our dear Savior explain John 10:16: “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” How is this explained, if the Jews are to be a separate people again, and never pulled up? When will Christ break down the partition wall? When will he unite Jew and Gentile in one body? And if the church be the fulness of him, (see Ephesians 1:22, 23:) “And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all,”-how can the Jew, as a Jew, be a part of his body, inheriting old Jerusalem, while the church is the fulness of him who inherits all things, and the Jew at the same time contribute to the prosperity of the New Jerusalem? Can brother Phelps, or Cambell his prompter, answer these questions? Let us have plain, distinct answers; keep to the point. But, say these judaizing teachers, what shall we do with all those passages in the prophets that speak the Jews’ return to their own land? I answer, sirs, will you be so good as to notice that all the passages which you dare quote to prove your doctrine were written or prophesied before the Jews were restored from Babylon, and had their literal fulfilment in that event.MWV1 229.1

    But, say you, some of them, such as they should “never be pulled up,” “David shall be their king forever,” etc. etc., were not fulfilled. Very well, gentlemen. If you will examine your Bibles you will find every prophecy which could not be fulfilled literally, has a direct allusion to the new covenant, and cannot be fulfilled under the old. There, Israel, Judah, and my people are to be understood as spiritual Israel, etc., as in Isaiah 11:10, 12: “And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people: to it shall the Gentiles seek; and his rest shall be glorious. And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.”MWV1 229.2

    The 11th verse speaks of the gathering of the remnant of his people. The 10th and 12th verses show that it is under the new covenant. Also Jeremiah 32:37, 40: “Behold, I will gather them out of all countries whither I have driven them in mine anger, and in my fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely; and I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.”MWV1 230.1

    Verses 36th and 37th speak of their being gathered out of Babylon; 38th and 40th show plainly that it is under the new covenant. Again, Ezekiel 37:21, 28: “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: and the heathen shall know that I the Lord do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.”MWV1 230.2

    The 21st and 22nd verses speak of the children of Israel being gathered, the 23rd and 24th show the new covenant, 25th speaks of their dwelling in the land forever, 26th and 28th of the new covenant. These specimens show how the prophecies may be understood, and the scriptures harmonize; but if we take into consideration the names and phrases used by the prophets under the Old Testament, we must, unless we are willingly ignorant, see that no other names would or could be used with propriety, but such as have been used. And every bible student must have discovered this, and seen that if it were not so, in vain might we look for any prophecy in the Old Testament concerning the church in the New. By thus having a veil over their faces, and thus construing scripture, Skinner and Whittemore can throw all judgment on the poor Jews, andMWV1 230.3

    Phelps and Cambell can give them all the promises. But father Paul gives to each a portion in due season: “Tribulation and anguish upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; but glory, honor, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile.”MWV1 231.1

    If brother Cambell’s book is published, send me a copy, and if brother Phelps publishes his lectures, send them also. I long for the privilege of squaring them by the Bible, the rule which will sweep away the cobwebs of man-made wisdom, like darkness before the rising sun. I have not had time to read “Miller Exploded,” nor “Miller Overthrown.” If they are as sarcastic and foolish as I am informed they are, I shall take no pains to answer them. Let the authors meet him whose word they have ridiculed. I remain, as ever, yours, WILLIAM MILLER. Low Hampton, March 31, 1840.MWV1 231.2