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1. This event is plainly and repeatedly foretold in the scriptures of truth. The apostle, in the text and context, mentions the restoration of the Jews. He demands 6 What shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?” And he goes on
" And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in; for God is able to graft them in again. For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, (lest you should be wise in your own conceits,) that blindness, in part, is happened unto Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy, they also may obtain mercy.” The apostle here argues the restoration of the Jews, upon the ground of the promise to Abraham, and represents it to be as certain, that the Jews should, in some future period, embrace the gospel, as that the Gentiles already had embraced it; or in other words, that it is as certain the Jews shall be called in, as that they have been cut off. If we now look back into the Old Testament, we shall find that the prophets, who foretold the dispersion of the Jews, have as plainly predicted their future conversion and restoration. In the twenty-seventh chapter of Isaiah, we read, " It shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall beat off from the channel of the river unto the stream of Egypt, and ye shall be gathered one by one, O ye children of Israel. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come, which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the Lord in the holy mount at Jerusalem.” We find a prediction similar to this in the eleventh chapter of Ezekiel. “Thus saith the Lord God; although I have cast them far off among the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come. Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord God; I will even gather you from the people and assemble you out of the countries where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel. And they shall come thither, and they shall take away all the detestable things thereof, and all the abominations thereof from thence. And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their Hesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: that they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God." Another plain prediction of this event we find in the
” first chapter of Hosea. “ Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured, nor numbered: and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God. 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,” or seed of God. The restoration of the Jews is still more literally foretold by the prophet Amos. By him God says, “I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; and they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled out of their land, which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God." The prophet Zechariah not only predicts the return of the Jews to their own land, but also describes the purity of their worship after their return. He says," Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited — Yea, every pot in Jerusalem shall be holiness unto the Lord of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts.” These are very few of the many predictions of the prophets, concerning the future conversion and restoration of the Jews. I might cite many more passages, and even chapters, in favor of the Jews' being called in; but those I have read are sufficient to establish the point, so far as predictions unfulfilled can establish it.
2. The remarkable preservation of the Jews in their state of dispersion, confirms the predictions which have been cited, and affords a strong presumptive evidence of their future restoration. They have been scattered among all nations for almost two thousand years, and yet remain a distinct people, totally unconnected with all others in their modes of living, and rites of worship. This cannot be accounted for by the common principles of human nature, nor by the example of any other nation in the world. All other conquered nations have, in time, lost their laws, their customs, their manners and their religion, and be. come blended with their conquerors. Hence the preservation of the Jews for so many ages, and in so many parts of the
world, as a distinct nation, must be ascribed to the peculiar care of Providence. For some reason or other, God has preserved and distinguished the seed of Abraham amidst all the wars and revolutions in the world. And what other reason can be assigned for this singular interposition of Providence, but the divine purpose of restoring them to their native land? This, indeed, is a good reason why they should be preserved, and kept from mingling with any other nation. In this view, they have been, ever since their dispersion, a standing monuinent of the truth of God in his predictions, and of the faithfulness of God in his promise to Abraham. His extraordinary conduct towards this people for more than eighteen hundred years past, has been an ocular demonstration to the world, that he intends to collect them into one body, and lead them back to the land of their nativity. And this is farther confirmed,
3. By their peculiar circumstances, as well as by their past preservation. They never have been permitted to own any particular country, or to establish any particular government, but always have been subjected to the laws and revolutions of the nations among whom they have been dispersed. And though they have generally enjoyed the temporal blessing of Abraham, yet their wealth has always consisted in personal and not in landed property. So that they have no partial attachment to any particular place, or people, or government; but constantly stand ready to march to judea, whenever Providence shall open
way for their return to the land of their fathers' sepulchres. They are now as completely prepared to return from every place and nation where they live, as they were to return from their Babylonish captivity in the days of Ezra. And they are waiting and longing for the promised Messiah to appear at their head, and lead them in triumph to their native land. Whenever, therefore, God shall take the veil from their hearts, and cause them to look upon him whom their fathers pierced with a believing and penitent eye, they will undoubtedly confide in the promise to Abraham, and form a strong and irresistible resolution to surmount all obstacles, and force their way through all nations to the land of promise. This, the predictions, the promises, and the providence of God, all conspire to put beyond doubt. I now proceed to mention, II.
Some of the great and happy effects which will flow from this event. Though we are in a great measure ignorant of the ways and means by which God will gather his ancient people from the various and distant places of their dispersion, and conduct them to their own land, which is now inhabited by their most inveterate and inhuman enemies; yet we must conclude that this extraordinary event cannot be brought about without producing great and happy effects. It must certainly
make a very sensible impression upon all the nations from which they are taken; and indeed, upon all other nations, who will necessarily become acquainted with such a signal interposition of Providence. Besides, we must suppose that God will answer some important purposes, by means of their conversion and restoration; for he always has made them instrumental of carrying into effect his wise and gracious designs. Here then it may be observed,
1. That the restoration of the Jews to their own land, will greatly confirm the truth of divine revelation. There are more particular and express predictions concerning the restoration of the Jews, than concerning any other event foretold in the Old and New Testament. And whenever this event shall take place, it will be more easy to discern the agreement between the predictions and their accomplishment, than it has been in any other case whatever. It will be an ocular accomplishment, and such as all men, whether learned or unlearned, are equally able to understand. With regard to the fulfilment of many
divine predictions, wise and good men differ in opinion; some supposing there has been, and others supposing there has not been an accomplishment of them. But when the Jews shall be actually called in and put into possession of Judea, all men will be united in the belief that this great and astonishing event is a complete fulfilment of all the predictions respecting the seed of Abraham. The nature of this event, the long time it had been predicted, the multitude of predictions respecting it, and the great and numerous obstacles in the way of bringing it to pass, will all serve to confirm the truth of prophecy, and the inspiration of the whole canon of scripture. This event will unite the testimony of all nations and all events, for two thousand years together, in favor of divine revelation. It will strike learned and unlearned infidels dumb in every part of the world where the Jews had resided, and from which they shall be taken and carried to the holy land where Christ was crucified, and where the gospel of his grace was first published. Nor will this event give less evidence of the truth of Christianity to Mohammedans, than to infidels. It must carry conviction to all men that the Bible is the word of God, and Christianity the only true and divine religion. In this view, the restoration of the Jews is a most desirable event; and it may become still more important before it takes place, by reason of the great spread of infidelity among the nations called Christian. It is not improbable that the Jews will be converted and restored at the very time that infidelity shall rise to its height, and threaten the entire extinction of Christianity. How happy for the world will it be, if the restoration of the Jews should silence atheists, deists, and all descriptions of infidels, and es
tablish the truth of divine revelation in the minds of all unbe. lievers !
2. The restoration of the Jews will not only confirm the truth of divine revelation, but awaken all nations from their long infatuation and stupidity, and fix their attention on the great realities of the future and eternal world. This is more than intimated by the apostle, who says, “ Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles, how much more their fulness? For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?” According to this lively representation, the restoration of the Jews shall have a greater tendency to convert mankind to Christianity, than their dispersion had. And we know that their dispersion broke down the middle wall of partition between them and the Gentile world, and opened the way for spreading the gospel far and wide among other nations. The same effect, but in a greater degree, shall be produced, the apostle tells us, by their restoration. As their dispersion was a means of reconciling the world to God, so their restoration shall be a greater means of enlightening and converting sinners among all nations. Their conversion and restoration shall be like life from the dead to those sitting in the regions of the shadow of death. And this may be greatly owing to the methods God may employ to bring about their restoration. It is supposed by many that he will convert them to the belief and love of the gospel in the places where they are dispersed, before he collects them together, and conducts them to Jerusalem, where they formerly celebrated divine ordinances. And should this be the case, their views, and feelings, and character, and faith in the promises, must have a powerful tendency to awaken the attention of all nations to the being, perfections, laws and government of God, and to the gospel of Christ. Should they return to their own country mourning and rejoicing, they will solemnly reprove the infidelity, stupidity and criminality of the gospelized world. The prophet Zechariah represents them as returning in this manner, and producing this great and happy effect. « Thus saith the Lord, I am returned to Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem ; and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the Lord of hosts, the holy mountain. Behold, I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country, and I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem ; and they shall be my people, and I will be their God in truth and righteousness. Thus saith the Lord of hosts, In those days it shall come to pass that ten men shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you; for we have heard that