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Elpis Israel
by Dr. John Thomas

We might attain to eternal life at the end of the reign; but in the glory of the kingdom, and in the administration of its affairs, as heirs of the world with Abraham and his seed, we should have had no part; for it was the unbelief of the forty-second generation of Israel that became the riches of the Gentiles.

The fourth generation "could not enter in because of unbelief".

Neither can we unless we also believe what they rejected; for the same gospel that was preached to them, was preached by the apostles to the forty-second generation, but cannot be said to be preached to us of this century.

I am endeavouring, however, to set it before the people in this book; although I feel it a difficult work, seeing that men's minds are so mystified, and pre-occupied with the jargon of the schools.

God's rest in Canaan -- by which is not meant that all his saints will be living there, though all that abide there will be a righteous people; the things which belong to Canaan will overspread the world; and where there are nations to be governed, there will there be saints to rule -- but this rest, I say, is the great theme of the gospel, whether preached by Moses, by Jesus, or by the apostles.

The rest and the kingdom are but different terms, though substantially the same.

They will both be of Canaan, and are both the subject of the promise made of God to Abraham and his seed for ever.


The covenant made with Abraham promised an immortal inheritor of Canaan; and in Jacob's last prophecy it was plainly revealed that he should be its King, and should descend from Judah.

By this it was understood that Judah would be the royal tribe: but it was not known what family of Judah he would be born of.

This was a matter which remained in abeyance until the fourteenth generation.

The nation had been long settled in Canaan.

For four hundred and fifty years the laws of the kingdom had been administered by judges, until at length the people demanded a king who should go in and out before them, as among the neighbour nations.

This happened in the days of Samuel the prophet, who laid their request before the Lord.

Though He was displeased at the demand, as it was in effect a rejection of Him, He neverthe less granted their request, and gave them Saul, of the tribe of Benjamin, until another man upon whom He had set His heart should have been sufficiently trained in the school of adversity to take his place.

This was David, the son of Jesse, and of the tribe of Judah.

God ordered Samuel to anoint him king over Israel.

By this act, David became the Lord's anointed, or Christ; and when he ascended the throne, ruled the nation as Jehovah's king.

In the former part of his reign he was much engaged in war, which was at length terminated by the Lord giving him rest from all his enemies.

At this crisis of his history, it came into his heart to build a magnificent temple for the ark and cherubim of glory.

Though the Lord highly approved of the feeling which prompted the resolution, He forbade his carrying it into effect.

The work was too momentous to be undertaken by one in David's case.

Jehovah being the real king of Israel, did not permit a national temple to be erected in His kingdom by a subordinate ruler without His primary direction.