|CHARLES HADDON SPURGEON
"I think we do not attach sufficient importance to
the restoration of the Jews. We do not think enough of it. But certainly, if
there is anything promised in the Bible, it is this." Vol. 1 pg 214.
"The day shall yet come when the Jews, who were the first Apostles to the
Gentiles, the first missionaries to us, who were far off, shall be gathered in
again. Until that shall be, the fullness of the Churches' glory can never come.
Matchless benefits to the world are bound up with the restoration of Israel;
their gathering in shall be as life from the dead." Vol. 17 pgs 703,704.
"The Restoration and Conversion of the Jews" .
Spurgeon preaching on:
"And that repentance
and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations,
beginning at Jerusalem." —Luke 24:47
...The third reason why the Lord Jesus told them to begin at Jerusalem
may have been that he knew that there would come a time when some of his
disciples would despise the Jews, and therefore he said — When you
preach my gospel, begin with them. This is a standing commandment, and
everywhere we ought to preach the gospel to the Jew as well as to the
Gentile; Paul even says, "to the Jew first." Some seem to think that
there ought to be no mission to the Jews — that there is no hope of
converting them, that they are of no use when they are converted, and so
on. I have even heard some who call themselves Christians speak
slightingly of the Jewish people. What! and your Lord and Master a Jew!
There is no race on earth so exalted as they are. They are the seed of
Abraham, God's friend. We have nobles and dukes in England, but how far
could they trace their pedigree? Why, up to a nobody. But the poorest
Jew on earth is descended linearly from Jacob, and Isaac, and Abraham.
Instead of treating them with anything like disrespect, the Saviour
says, "Begin at Jerusalem." Just as we say, "Ladies first," so it is
"the Jew first." They take precedence among races, and are to be first
waited on at the gospel feast. Jesus would have us entertain a deep
regard to that nation which God chose of old, and out of which Christ
also came, for he is of the seed of Abraham according to the flesh. He
puts those first who knew him first.
Let us never sneer at a Jew again; for our Lord teaches us the rule of
his house when he says, "Begin at Jerusalem." Let the seed of Israel
first have the gospel presented to them, and if they reject it we shall
be clear of their blood. But we shall not be faithful to our orders
unless we have taken note of Jews as well as Gentiles.
- - Delivered on Thursday Evening, June 14th, 1883, by C. H. SPURGEON,
At the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington, UK
When preaching before the House of Commons in 1649, John Owen spoke of "the
bringing home of his ancient people to be one fold with the fullness of the
Gentiles....in answer to millions of prayers put up at the throne of grace for
this very glory, in all generations. Vol. 8 pg 266. Days of prayer and
humiliation were kept in Scotland, one particular object being "that the
promised conversion of His ancient people of the Jews may be hastened."
"This day, from the Dust, where I lay prostrate before the Lord, I lifted
up my Cries.... for the conversion of the Jewish nation, and for my own having
the Happiness, at some time or other, to Baptize a Jew that should by my
ministry be brought home unto the Lord." The Theology of Mission in the
Puritan Tradition pg 247.
"He ever discovered a most compassionate concern for the Jews, and did upon
all occasions pray for their
conversion with extraordinary earnestness. The Non Conformists Memorial Vol 2 pg
"When the Gentiles shall come in, the Jews also shall return from their
defection to the obedience of faith; and thus shall be completed the salvation
of the whole Israel of God, which must be gathered from both; and yet in such a
way that the Jews shall obtain the first place, being as it were the first born
in God's family....as Jews are the first born, what the prophet declares must be
fulfilled, especially in them; for that Scripture calls all the people of God
Israelites, it is to be ascribed to the preeminence of that nation, who God had
preferred to all other nations....God distinctly claims for Himself a certain
seed, so that His redemption may be effectual in His elect and peculiar
nation....God was not unmindful of the covenant which He had made with their
fathers, and by which he testified that according to his eternal purpose He
loved that nation; and this he confirms by this remarkable declaration, - that
the grace of divine calling cannot be made void." Calvin's Commentaries,
Vol 19 , Epistle to the Romans, Baker House, pg 434 to 440.
In a sermon preached in Dundee in 1811, Walter Tait gave 3 reasons why
Christians should have a particular regard for the Jews: " 1. Because their
salvation must be peculiarly honoring to God. 2. Because taking any peculiar
interest in the salvation of the Jews is only making a proper return for the
spiritual advantages we enjoy by them. 3. Because their final restoration must
have a favorable aspect on the conversion of the whole Gentile world."
ROBERT MURRAY M'CHEYNE
"To the Jew first. Converted Israel, he declared, will give life to the
dead world....just as we have found, among the parched hills of Judah, that the
evening dew, coming silently down, gave life to every plant, making the grass to
spring and the flowers to put forth their sweetest fragrance, so shall converted
Israel be when they come as dew upon a dead, dry world. The remnant of Jacob
shall be in the midst of many people as a dew from the Lord, as the showers upon
the grass, that tarrieth not for man, nor waiteth for the sons of men."
Micah 5:7. Memoir and Remains of R. M. M'Cheyne - 1966 reprint pg 489. In 1840
M'Cheyne went to Ulster to plead for the interest of the Jews. This stirred up
great interest. The following year the Irish General Assembly resolved to
establish work among the Jews. They established missions in Syria and Germany,
believing "missionary enterprise is one of the means to bring about the
restoration of Israel in accordance with the Scriptures." * Minutes of the
General Assembly. 1840-1850 .
"To the Jew first, and also to the Greek...it does
not appear sufficient to regard this priority as that merely of time. In this
text there is no suggestion to the effect that the priority is merely that of
time. the implication appears to be rather that the power of God unto salvation
through faith has primary relevance to the Jew, and the analogy of Scripture
would indicate that this peculiar relevance to the Jew arises from the fact that
the Jew had been chosen by God to be the recipient of the promise of the gospel
and that to him were committed the oracles of God...
While it is true that in respect of the privileges accruing from Christ's
accomplishments there is now no longer Jew or Gentile and the Gentiles "are
fellow-heirs, and fellow-members of the body, and fellow-partakers of the
promise in Christ Jesus throughout the gospel"(Eph. 3:6), yet it does not
follow that Israel no longer fulfills any particular design in the realization
of God; worldwide saving purpose...
Israel are both "enemies" and "beloved" at the same time,
enemies as regards the gospel, beloved as regards the
election..."Beloved" thus means that God has not suspended or
rescinded his relation to Israel as his chosen people in terms of the covenants
made with their fathers.
Unfaithful as Israel has been and broken off for that reason, yet God still
sustains his peculiar relation of love to them, a relation that will be
demonstrated and vindicated in the restoration."*The Epistles to the
Romans, John Murray, Wm B Eerdmans Publishing Col, 1984, Vol 1 pg 28 and Vol. II
pp. 14-15 and 76-101, passim.
JOHN "RABBI" DUNCAN
"Our hands now became so full of work that
frequently we had not time so much as to eat bread; from early morning until
late at night we were occupied guiding, counselling and instructing those who
were inquiring earnestly what they must do to be saved....for a time the whole
Jewish community was deeply moved wondering where unto these things would grow.
* The Life of John Duncan, David Brown pg 334.
"The Jews are not yet come in under Christ's banner; but God, that hath
persuaded Japhet to come to the tents of Shem, will persuade Shem to come into
the tents of Japhet, Gen. 9:27.. the fullness of the Gentiles is not yet come in
Rom 11:25...but God will gather all the sheep His father hath given Him into one
fold that there may be one sheepfold and one shepherd John 10:16.... the
faithful Jews rejoiced to think of the calling of the Gentiles; and why should
not we joy to think of the calling of the Jews..*The Complete Works of Richard
Sibbes by A.B. Grosart Vol 1 pg 99. And when the fullness of the Gentiles is
come in, then comes the conversion of the Jews. Why may we not expect it? they
were the people of God. We see christ believed on in the world. We may therefor
expect that they will also be called, there being many of them, and keeping
their nation distinct from others. Richard Sibbs vol 5 pg 517
In his work the Mystery of Israel's Salvation Explained and Applied says the
following : "That there shall be a general conversion of the tribes of
Israel, is a truth which in some measure hath been known and believed in all
ages of the church of God, since the Apostles' days....only in these late days
these things have obtained credit much more universally than herefore."
"There is a veil of miserable blindness upon their hearts that they cannot,
they will not, see the truth ; but, sayeth the Apostle, "this shall be
taken away". And (sayeth he) "it shall turn". What is this? I
answer; "it", there may note the body of the Jewish nation, or the
words may be read, "they shall turn" (i.e. the blinded minds of the
Jews shall turn) "unto the Lord".
"The Lion of the Covenant" Cameron preached on May 30, 1680 from the
text "and ye will not come to me, that ye might have life". In the
midst of this sermon which has been described as one of the most remarkable
blessed of the Lord preached in Scotland, Cameron fell into a "rap of calm
weeping", and his hearers wept with him. Compelled for the moment to stop,
he "prayed for the restoration of the Jews". John Herkless tells us
that 200 years later, the memory of those services, had not died out among the
people of the districts where Cameron spoke. Richard Cameron, John Herkless,
1896, pg 109
"There will come a time when the generality of mankind both Jew and
Gentile, will come to Jesus Christ. He hath had but little takings of the world
yet, but he will have before he hath done. " Sermon 34 Vol 1 pg 520.
"There may be some prayers which you must be content never yourselves to
see answered in this world, the accomplishment of them not falling out in your
time; such as those you haply make for the calling of the Jews, the utter
downfall of God's enemies and the flourishing of the Gospel...all which prayers
are not yet lost, but will be answered."* Works of Thomas Goodwin Vol 3 pg
"Jewish infidelity shall be overthrown...the Jews in all their dispersions
shall cast away their old infidelity, and shall have their hearts wonderfully
changed, and abhor themselves for their past unbelief and obstinacy.
They shall flow together to the blessed Jesus, penitently, humbly, and joyfully
owning him as their glorious King and only Savior, and shall with all their
hearts, as one heart and voice, declare his praised unto other nations.. Nothing
is more certainly foretold than this national conversion of the Jews in Rom 11.
Besides the prophecies of the calling of the Jews, we have a remarkable
providential seal of the fulfillment of this great event, by a kind of continual
miracle, viz. their being preserved a distinct nation...the world affords
nothing else like it. There is undoubtedly a remarkable hand of providence in
it. When they shall be called, that ancient people, who alone were so long God's
people for so long a time, shall be his people again, never to be rejected more.
They shall be gathered together into one fold, together with the
Gentiles..." *The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol 1 Banner of Truth Trust,
1976, pg 607.
A Scottish missionary to the Gentiles in India he also remembered Israel's place
in the unfulfilled promises of Scripture. He spoke on The Conversion of the
Jews; and Its Bearing on the Conversion of the Gentiles. His address was
published posthumously in Edinburgh in 1853. In a Preface, Braidwood writes,
"We could not but express our conviction that the circulation of it was
fitted to edify the body of Christ generally; while it would prove to all how
strongly the missionaries to the Gentiles sympathize in efforts for the
conversion of the Jews." And he closes his Preface with these
considerations "to stir up our hearts to faith and prayer for Israel":
1. The national restoration of the Jews, and its blessed effects on the world.
For what have they been preserved, but for some wondrous end? If their lapse is
the world's wealth, and their loss the wealth of the Gentiles, how much more
shall their replenishment be all this? Rom 11.12.
2. "The Jews are the whole world's benefactors. Through Jewish hands and
eyes God has sent his lively oracles of truth to us. They penned, and they
preserved the Bible.
3." Our Redeemer - the God-man- who has all power in heaven and earth, is
their kinsman. "He took on Him the seed of Abraham."
4."Viewed nationally, the Jews are the most miserable of all nations. The
Messiah wept over Jerusalem, their capital, before the curse fell on it: ought
not we to weep over the accumulated progressive woe springing from the curse,
and drinking up the nation's spirit for eighteen centuries?
5." Their covenant prospects are bright beyond all conception. On the grand
day of their realization, will anyone of us all regret that we pitied Israel
apostate and outcast?"
"The second great event, which, according to the common faith of the
Church, is to precede the second advent of Christ, is the national conversion of
the Jews ...that there is to be such a national conversion may be argued from
the original call and destination of that people. God called Abraham and
promised that through him, and in his seed, all the nations of the earth should
be blessed...A presumptive argument is drawn from the strange preservation of
the Jews through so many centuries as a distinct people.
As the rejection of the Jews was not total, so neither is it final. First, God
did not design to cast away his people entirely, but by their rejection, in the
first place to facilitate the progress of the gospel among the Gentiles, and
ultimately to make the conversion of the Gentiles the means of converting the
Jews...Because if the rejection of the Jews has been a source of blessing, much
more will their restoration be the means of good...The restoration of the Jews
to the privileges of God's people is included in the ancient predictions and
promises made respecting them...The plan of God, therefore, contemplated the
calling of the Gentiles, the temporary rejection and final restoration of the
He shows that the rejection of the Jews was not intended to result in their
being finally cast away, but to secure the more rapid progress of the gospel
among the heathen, in order that their conversion might react upon the Jews, and
be the means of bringing all, at last, within the fold of the Redeemer...
The future restoration of the Jews is, in itself, a more probable event than the
introduction of the Gentiles into the church of God. This, of course, supposes
that God regarded the Jews, on account of their relation to him, with peculiar
favor, and that there is still something in their relation to the ancient
servants of God and his covenant with them, which causes them to be regarded
with special interest. As men look upon the
children of their early friends with kinder feelings than on the children of
strangers, God refers to this fact to make us sensible that he still retains
purposes of peculiar mercy towards his ancient people.
As the restoration of the Jews is not only a most desirable event, but one which
God has determined to accomplish, Christians should keep it constantly in view
even in their labors for the conversion of the Gentiles."**Systematic
Theology V3,James Clark & Co. 1906, p 805 and A Commentary on the Epistle to
the Romans, Presbyterian Board of Publication, 1836, pp 270-285.
"Now two things he exhorts the Gentiles to, with reference to the rejected
Jews: - to have a respect for the Jews, notwithstanding, and to desire their
conversion. This is intimated in the prospect he gives them of the advantage
that would accrue to the church by their conversion, Rom. 11:12, 15. It would be
as life from the dead; and therefore, they must not insult or triumph over those
poor Jews, but rather pity them, and desire their welfare, and long for the
receiving of them in again.
Another thing that qualifies this doctrine of the Jews rejection is that though
for the present they are cast off, yet the rejection is not final; but, when the
fullness of time is come, they will be taken in again. They are not cast off for
ever, but mercy is remembered in the midst of wrath.
The Jews are in a sense a holy nation (Ex. 14:6) being descended from holy
parents. Now it cannot be imagined that such a holy nation should be totally and
finally cast off. This proves that the seed of believers, as such, are within
the pale of the visible church, and within the verge of the covenant, till they
do, by their unbelief, throw themselves out; for, if the root be holy, so are
the branches...though grace does not run in the blood, yet external privileges
do (till they are forfeited), even to a thousand generations...The Jewish
branches are reckoned holy, because the root was so. This is expressed more
plainly (Rom. 11:28)
Though particular persons and generations wear off in belief, yet there having
been a national church membership, though for the present suspended, we may
expect that it will be revived...It is called a mystery (Rom 11:25), that which
was not obvious, and which one would not expect upon the view of the present
state of that people, who appeared generally so obstinate against Christ and
Christianity that it was a riddle, to talk of their unanimous conversion. Alas!
who shall live when God doeth this?"
*Matthew Henry's Commentary, V 6, MacDonald Publishing Company, pp 448-453.
Once at a missionary meeting Simeon had seemed so carried away with the future
of the Jews that a friend passed him a slip of paper with a question, "Six
millions of Jews and six hundred millions of Gentiles - which is the most
important?" Simeon at once scribbled back, "If the conversion of the
six is to be life from the dead to the six hundred what then? W. T. Gidney The
History of The London Society For Promoting Christianity Among The Jews. 1908 pg
The casting off of the Jews, was our calling; but the calling of the Jews shall
not be our casting off, but our greater enriching in grace, and that two ways:
First in the regard of the company of believers, when the thousands of Israel
shall come in, which shall doubtless cause many Gentiles which now lie in
ignorance, error and doubt, to receive the gospel and join in with them. The
world shall then be a golden world, rich in golden men. Secondly, in respect of
the graces, which shall then in more abundance be rained down upon the
church." The Works of Elnathan Parr, 3rd ed. 1633 pg 175
"O to see the sight, next to Christ's Coming in the clouds, the most
joyful! Our elder brethren the Jews fall
upon one another's necks and kiss each other! They have been long asunder; they
will be kind to one
another when they meet. O day! O longed for and lovely day - dawn! O sweet Jesus
let me see that sight
which will be as life from the dead, thee and thy ancient people in mutual
O that there were nations, kindreds, tongues, and all the people of Christ's
habitable world, encompassing
his throne with cries and tears for the spirit of supplication to be poured down
on the inhabitants of Judah for that effect.
Letters of Samuel Rutherford Bonar's edition, pg 122-3 and early letters of
" Methinks I hear the nation of the Jews ( for such is the cry of their
case) crying aloud to you from their dispersion, We were once the Church of God,
beloved, while you were not; we have now been rejected of God for more than
sixteen hundred years, because of our unbelief, and for this long, very long
while, wrath to the uttermost hath been lying upon us! There are many promises
and predictions that we shall be grafted in again...Pray therefore, and wrestle
with God, that he may, according to his promise, pour forth upon the Spirit of
grace and supplication, that we may look upon him whom we have pierced, and
mourn"... Help us with your prayers." A Second Volume of Sermons 1750