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God is with you." Besides, it is thought God will not only pour out his Spirit upon his people, and bring them to embrace the gospel, before he carries them to Judea, but that he will conduct them thither by a series of great and signal dispensations of providence. And should he do this, it will have a powerful tendency to alarm the world, and convince them of the reality and importance of true religion, and serve to raise multitudes from spiritual death to spiritual life. This leads me to observe,
3. That the conversion and restoration of the Jews will have a direct and happy tendency to bring on the latter day glory. There is abundant evidence in scripture that the time is coming when the gospel shall spread, and the kingdom of Christ shall extend through all the earth. God has promised to give unto Christ “ the heathen for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession.” God says by Isaiah, “ It shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills, and all nations shall flow unto it.” Daniel, in explaining Nebuchadnezzar's dream, says, “ In the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a king. dom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever." John tells us that when the seventh angel sounded, " there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of bis Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever." And again he says, “I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit, and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years should be fulfilled." Upon these predictions, and such as these, there is good ground to believe that Satan shall be bound, and Christ shall reign a thousand years, and that the world, during that long period, shall become not only nominal, but real christians. And since this glorious day will be brought on by the instrumentality of men and means, there is reason to think the conversion and restoration of the Jews will prepare the way for it. It is highly probable that their conversion and restoration will be one of the last steps God will take to promote universal peace and prosperity in the Christian church. It is easy to see how the conversion and return of the Jews will in many ways facilitate the universal spread of the gospel. And there is no doubt
. they will be as much engaged to spread the gospel, as they ever had been to oppose it. They may be the means of throwing much light upon both the Old and New Testament, not only in respect to divine predictions, but in respect to many difficulties which have puzzled not only the enemies, but the friends of divine revelation. The same changes and revolutions which will prepare the way for their return, will equally prepare the way for carrying the gospel to the ends of the earth. Their return, therefore, the apostle represents as the fulness of the Gentiles, who will then be united with them; and so all Israel shall be saved; that is, the whole number of God's elect, who are his spiritual Israel. These are some of the great and happy effects of the conversion and restoration of the Jews. And if these should be produced by the calling in of that long lost people, their conversion to the gospel will be more beneficial to the cause of Christ, than their opposition to it has been detrimental. Their return will be emphatically like life from the dead, to the stupid, unbelieving, perishing world.
1. It appears from what has been said concerning the restoration of the Jews, that there is a growing evidence in favor of the divine inspiration of the scriptures. Many of us can remember the time when the Bible was almost universally allowed to be the word of God, and given by divine inspiration; but of late years, not a few have risen up who profess to disbelieve the divinity of the scriptures, and freely call them a cunningly devised fable. But it seems to be too late in the day to disbelieve and dispute the divine authority of the Bible, which has stood the test of both the learned and the unlearned world for ages; and especially, since the evidences of its divinity have been constantly and rapidly increasing, by the fulfilling of prophecies. It must be allowed that miracles and prophecies are the two highest kinds of external evidence that can be given in favor of divine inspiration. God gave both these kinds of credentials to those whom he employed to write the Bible, and to deliver his messages to mankind. The evidence of miracles has ceased; but the evidence of prophecy has been continued and increased, from the day that God foretold that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head, to the present time. Through this long period of nearly six thousand years, the fulfilling of divine predictions has been continually accumulating new and higher evidences of the truth and authenticity of the Bible; or that “the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” A great many of their predictions have been
actually and visibly fulfilled. The prediction concerning the Deluge has been fulfilled. The prediction concerning Jacob and his family's going into Egypt, has been fulfilled. The prediction concerning the destruction of the king of Egypt, and the return of the children of Israel to Canaan, has been fulfilled. The prediction of the captivity and dispersion of the ten tribes of Israel, has been fulfilled. The prediction of the captivity of the two tribes in Babylon, and their return at the end of seventy years, has been fulfilled. The numerous predictions of the coming, life, death, resurrection and ascension of Christ, have been fulfilled. Christ's predictions concerning the spread of the gospel, the destruction of the temple, the cutting off and dispersion of the Jews, have been, and still are fulfilling. The prediction concerning the Ishmaelites, has been, and still is fulfilling. The predictions of the utter extinction of the seven churches of Asia, have been fulfilled. The predictions concerning the rise and fall of the Mohammedans, and the predictions concerning the rise and fall of the Man of sin, have been and still are fulfilling. These are some of the most important events that ever have taken place, or ever will take place, from the beginning to the end of time. They have been intimately connected, as causes and effects of one another, and at the same time connected with all other events that have not been foretold, and that might, for aught the prophets knew, defeat their predictions. The prophets, who foretold these events, lived in different parts, and in different ages of the world, so that they could not combine together to form a scheme to deceive mankind. The accomplishment, therefore, of their predictions concerning such distant, numerous and important events, amounts to a moral demonstration that they were divinely inspired. The evidence of miracles in favor of the divine inspiration of the scriptures, is continually decreasing; but the evidence arising from the fulfilment of prophecies is continually increasing, and will continue to grow stronger and stronger till all the predictions in the Bible are completely fulfilled. If we look into the Bible and read the predictions there, and then look into sacred and profane history and read the fulfilment and fulfilling of them there, the evidence in favor of the divine inspiration of the scriptures must appear irresistible. There is no reasoning against fact. The burden of proof lies on those who call in question the inspiration of the sacred oracles. It would be a Herculean labor for any one to undertake to prove that there was no such man as Abraham, who is mentioned in profane, as well as sacred history; or to prove that his seed did not once possess the land of Canaan; or to prove that they did not build a magnificent temple, which was once destroyed and rebuilt; or to prove that Jerusalem was not destroyed by Titus; or that the Jews are not still dispersed all over the world; or that Christ was not crucified without the gates of Jerusalem; or that his professed followers did not propagate his religion; or that Papists and Mohammedans have not opposed and persecuted them. But until these facts are disproved, the evidences that all scripture is given by inspiration of God, must stand in their full and irresistible force. And if they need any farther corroborating support, it is continually increasing by the present state of Mohammedans, Ishmaelites, Jews and Christians.
2. The sovereignty of God appears as plainly from his conduct towards his peculiar people, as from his declarations in his word. His sovereignty consists in giving and denying temporal and spiritual favors to whom he pleases. He claims a right to do what he will with his own. He claims a right to give temporal favors to one, and not to another, and to give spiritual blessings to one, and not to another, and to soften the heart of one, and to harden the heart of another. Such declarations of his amiable and awful sovereignty we find every where in his word. But many endeavor to explain away these declarations of his sovereignty, as being inconsistent with his moral rectitude, and the essential perfections of his nature. There would, indeed, be great plausibility in giving such a construction to his claims of absolute sovereignty, if he had never acted it out. But it appears from the whole history of his conduct towards Abraham and his posterity, that he exercised the most absolute sovereignty towards them. He promised to give to Abraham and to his seed such temporal and spiritual blessings as he denied to mankind in general. In Abraham's family, he preferred Isaac to Ishmael. In Isaac's family, he preferred Jacob to Esau. Moses was preferred to Aaron in his father's family. In the twelve tribes, Judah and Benjamin were preferred before the other ten tribes. And taking the whole nation together, how often did God, for ages, destroy kings and kingdoms, to promote their temporal and spiritual peace, safety and prosperity. He distinguished them, in all these respects, from every other nation on the face of the earth. And though for a long time past he has scattered them through the world, and subjected them to the scorn, derision and tyranny of other nations; yet he has exercised a particular providence over them, by which ihey are preparing, in time to come, to stand again as his peculiar people at the head of the religious world. God's conduct towards his people Israel, illustrates and establishes his sovereignty, not only in national, but personal election and reprobation. This appears from what the apostle says in the ninth of Romans. “ For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth ; it was said unto her, the elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy. For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might show my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.” Those who deny the doctrine of personal election and reprobation, acknowledge the doctrine of national election and reprobation. But the apostle supposed this to be inconsistent; for he makes use of the doctrine of national election and reprobation to prove the doctrine of personal election and reprobation; and he proves both doctrines from the conduct of God towards Abraharn and his seed. And we know that God did in fact soften the hearts of Moses, Aaron, and other pious Israelites, while he hardened the hearts of Pharaoh and the Egyptians; and that he softened the hearts of Caleb and Joshua, while he hardened the hearts of the Canaanites, and of many Israelites that fell in the wilderness. There is not a plainer truth in the Bible than this, that God not only professes to act, but does act, as an absolute sovereign in bestowing and denying temporal favors, and in softening and hardening the hearts of men.
3. If the Jews shall be called in, and their restoration shall produce such great and happy effects as have been mentioned, then we may safely conclude that God is as really promoting the prosperity of the church in general, at one time as at anoth
Zion has often thought that her God had forsaken her; and the children of Zion very often imagine that God is not only slow, but negligent, in carrying into effect his gracious designs towards the church. But God, by all his apparently retrograde movements, is actually promoting the great interests of his kingdom as fast as possible. He was as really fulfilling his promise to Abraham while his seed were four hundred years in bondage, as while he was pouring down his blessings upon them in the land of promise. God has as constantly and irresistibly carried on his cause since the casting away of the Jews, as before ; since the rise of Mohammed and the Man of sin, as before ; and since the prevalence of the grossest errors and delusions in the Christian world, as before. God is never slack,