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sional, and, I must be bold to add, an unanswerable appeal to them: but now we go where no man can follow, who requires any further proof than the simple dictum of the Holy Scriptures, thus saith the Lord. We enter upon a narrow path, clearly traced, indeed, by the inspiring hand of the Holy Ghost, that glorious, ready writer, whose pens are the prophets; but not admitting of any excursive corroboration. History, however is still of use to us; because, containing the fulfilment of some prophecies, it contains, at the same time, a guide to the interpretation of the prophetic language: and it is of use still further, so far as the prophets themselves point to it, as typical, or as containing analogical similitudes. Analogies and types, drawn from revelation itself, cannot of course be expected to have any influence upon the minds of those who deny the divine authority of that revelation; and as I have reason (from various private letters lately received) to believe that some such persons are here present, and have followed the subject with us thus far, I would now, with earnestness and much affection, entreat them, as my beloved brethren, and fellow-sinners in Adam, to revert to what has been briefly said upon the fact of the separation of the Jews from all nations, unto this day, and with solemn candour to come to a
resolute determination of mind upon the arguments there adduced; remembering, that it is not the Shibboleth of a party amongst men that is at stake, but their own everlasting salvation, both body and soul. The condition of such persons is truly appalling. In the good providence of God, they have beenbaptized in the name of his dear Son, and have had the oracles of his truth intrusted to their care, and pressed upon their perusal. They have thus been transferred from the wide waste of Tyre and Sid on, into the cultivated enclosure of Chorazin and Bethsaida. But they have despised the baptism; they have resisted the Holy Ghost; they have neglected, nay, even denied the Scriptures. Under the watchful care of the husbandman, they have produced no fruit, but proved barren cumberers of the ground; yea, worse, they have been as noxious weeds, distilling poison, and blighting, by their baneful influence, many a fair and promising flower. They cannot stand in the judgment, absolutely, as ignorant and comparatively irresponsible heathen men. No; they must appear before God relatively as deserters and apostates. May the abounding mercy of Jehovah, in Christ Jesus, whom they deny, be extended to them with power, now while it is yet time; pardoning all their sins, including this deadly sin of unbelief; and may the Holy Ghost graciously guide them into the saving truth of the Holy Scriptures!
With the great majority, however, amongst us, thus saith the Scripture, is all sufficient proof. Our difficulty is in ascertaining unequivocally what the Scripture does say; and our differences of opinion, one from the other, are differences of interpretation only, not of standard.
The question now before us is, What has God revealed concerning his purposes towards the Jews, at and subsequent to the termination of the times of the Gentiles? An adequate answer to this inquiry would include a great variety of of particulars. On the present occasion, let us specially consider—
Their Penitence In Their Dispersion,
as immediately leading to their restoration to the land of their forefathers.
They shall acknowledge their iniquity, and the consequent righteousness of God's chastisements: they shall recognize his hand in their dispersion among their enemies: they shall accept their punishment from him as a token of holy love; and they shall cry to him for deliverance out of their distresses. These shall be the beginnings in them of the manifestation of God's sovereign mercy towards them, preparatory and immediately antecedent to their restoration. This state of mind and heart is frequently spoken of, as the obviously implied condition, upon the performance of which their restoration hangs suspended: but God has graciously made the condition of one promise, the subject matter absolutely of another; thus pledging himself to work in them all that he requires from them.
I. In support of these positions, I appeal, in the first place, directly to the language of the predictions, in its natural and obvious meaning. The subject is fully stated in our text, and the verses immediately connected with it. The dispersion and misery of the people, after the destruction of their city (that is, as I think, and shall endeavour to prove in its place, their present dispersion,) being largely predicted up to verse 39, it is written at verse 40, If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass, to hie h they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me (here is their acknowledgment of their national guilt,) and that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies (here is their recognition of God's hand in their dispersion): if then, their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity, (here is their submission of heart, acquiescing in, instead of resisting their punishment) then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac; and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember, and I will remember The Land. (Here is the promise put conditionally, depending for its fufilment upon this state of penitence being produced in the nation.) The desolation of the land is reiterated in the next verse (43), and then (44, 45) the promise is put absolutely; that which before was introduced, as waiting for the performance of a condition, being now enumerated among the unconditional certainties, which the Lord God of Israel will surely bring to pass. When they be in the land of their enemies, 1 will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them; for I am the Lord thy God. But I Will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt, in the sight of the heathen, that I might be their God. 1 am the Lord.