« 上一页继续 »
sanctification is mentioned in them all. This is the very event designed in the promise of God, that he will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and the house of Judah. For the apostle particularly applies this promise to that spiritual recovery of the un. believing Jews of which he is speaking: See the 26 and 27th verses.
“ 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. 37
If the same triumphant scene be in the view both of the prophets and the apostle, no doubt can remain respecting a restoration ; for all the passages, which have been quoted from the prophets, blend a restoration to the land with this deliverance from sin. The promises are all as explicit and absolute with respect to the one, as with respect to the other. They are inseparably united.
Upon the whole, the scripture testimony is full and decisive, in favor of a final restoration of the Jews to the land of their inheritance.
The present state of this people seems evidently to coincide, in a very remarkable manner, with the repre. 'sentations of scripture, and to indicate the approach of such an event.
: Their continuance as a distinct people, dispersed among nations of diverse languages, and characters ; scarce admitted to the privilege of citizenship, and often severely opressed and persecuted; without a ter. ritory and internal polity, yet as absolutely separated from the rest of the world as if they had, is a standing miracle; and is to be accounted for, only upon theprinciple of their being under a special Providence, which holds them in a proper posture, to be made subjects of this admirable deliverance.
This dispersed state of the Jews being exactly in a. greement with prophecy, is perfectly adapted to spread conviction, and to accelerate the progress of Christianity through the world, when this most desirable event shall take place. The ten tribes are indeed now
lost in the mass of mankind. But prophecy secures their restoration. And that adorable being who de., clareth the end from the beginning, saying, my counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure; will, be. yond all doubt, by means wholly unknown to us at present, execute his promise. These tribes will be sought out. Their descent from Abraham will be clearly evinced.' Their subjection, jointly with the Jews, to the Messiah, will be cordial. Their restoration will be on the open and public stage of the world, and be as glorious, as their present state is calamitous and wretched.
This restoration of the unbelieving part of Israel, is to be attended with an immense increase of the Church among the Gentiles. Zion is to enlarge the place of her tent, and stretch forth the curtains of her habitation. She is to break forth on the right hand, and on the left. The forces of the Gentiles are to be brought to her. Every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall swear to her glorious king. The heathen shall be giv: en to him for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession. Says Paul,
"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?". Then the tabernacle of God shall be with men. They shall be his people, and he will be their God. 'And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain ; for the former things will have passed away.
Now let us suppose this restoration to be a reality. Let the scene come before us according to preceding evidence. Let the present infidel occupants of the Country of Palestine, be considered, as totally extirpated ; and the descendants of Abraham, as universally sanctified, peacefully resettled in this their proper inheritance; the covenant, in all the parts of it, as it has been explained, will appear to be fully confirmed and executed. The character of the whole Church will be, what the covenant contemplated, holy. Nothing mere. ly political or civil will go to form this character. Hypocritical professions and mere external services, which the heart contradicts, will have no place.
The relations, laws, intercourse, and worship of the Church, will be wholly removed from, and have no foundation in, civil principle. Covenant means will be in full operation, and produce their effect. Infant membership will necessarily prevail ; and infant baptism be necessarily and universally carried into practice. The union of the natural and the adopted children, be carried to its highest perfection ; alid nothing remain, to hurt or offend, in all God's holy mountain. The
parent shall not weep over his child, as excluded from the covenant, and unallied to the Savior. Househoids shall not be in a state of moral disagreement. But the parent shall joyfully lead the little ones of his house up to God, as his, saying, in daily prayer, “Here am I, and the children which God hath graciously given me.” In all this the collected seed of Abraham, and the saved of the Gentiles, as forming the one great family, will be in a state of perfect covenant equality.
Containing several deductions, and addresses.
THE preceding illustrations suggest several conclusions, which will here be noticed.
1. There is undeniable evidence in what has been exhibited, that the Old Testament is equally important with the New : and that concurrently, not separately, they constitute a revelation of the divine will to mana kind.
The scripture, comprising both Testaments, is to be viewed, as a dispensation of God's one, eternal cove. nant, instituted for the redemption of sinners. In this light it lays before us one entire, harmonious scheme, which originates in the purpose of God, embraces the salvation of the whole church, progresses through ages, extends into eternity, and results in a good worthy of unlimited benevolence. This scheme is superadded to the instructions of natural reason. It is ut. terly beyond the contrivance of human ingenuity.-The execution of it is altogether above human capacity. It has a character altogether the reverse of human attachments and pursuits. It is not calculated to subserve one purpose of selfishness, either personal or political. It is holy in its doctrines, its institutions, its means, and its effects. All its parts are in perfect agreement with each other. Though dispensed gradually, and by a considerable number of persons, from Adam to the time when inspiration ceased, and in divers manners, by types, symbols, and characters, it is throughout,connected and harmonious. The Old Testament and the New, exhibit this one scheme. They perfectly coincide with, and support each other. They not only coincide with each other, but with the whole
series of facts. The world is precisely in that moral state of apostacy and depravity, which this scheme supposes and expressly teaches. The church in fact rises, is perpetuated in that line, and by those means, and as a subject of those spiritual blessings, which the covenant holds out to view. It is distinguished from the world, is engaged in an unceasing warfare with it, is enlarged, caused to triumph, and proceeds on to its destined perfection, exactly as the scripture describes. The promise agrees with the purpose revealed, and is unfailingly executed. Jews and Gentiles are precisely in the situation which the scripture predicts. The blessing is extending farther and farther among the nations
of the earth; and things are evidently in train, for the introduction of that splendid era, when the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established above the tops of the mountains, and exalted above the, hills, and all nations shall flow unto it. It would therefore seem, that he who has just apprehensions of the scheme presented in the scripture, as one and entire ; and is attentive to facts, as coincident with it, can no more question whether it be a revelation from God, than he can doubt whether the material world be the product of his power.
2. It is a conclusion in which the preceding illustrations result, that the faith of all the primitive saints under the Old Testament dispensation, through every period till Christ came, terminated upon the same thing, that the faith of christian believers terminates up, on. The Savior had not indeed appeared. His per, sonal glory, offices, and work, were indistinctly apprehended. The nature of his salvation was less clearly understood. The eternal joys of heaven, and the in. supportable miseries of hell, were not impressively de. scribed. Still the promise of an eternal inheritance, which is the essence of God's new, and everlasting covenant, is the thing on which faith has ever relied. This promise is unalterable. It is the same to one, that it is to another. It is of the same gracious character. It secures the same spiritual and intermin