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which was scattered among all nations to the four winds of heaven'; which was preserved a separate people, not mingling among any people in their dispersion; which is still a separate people in this, and other countries and cities ; scattered and peeled, as described by the prophet; a nation wonderful indeed, from their beginning hitherto.
Thus, in answering the question, Who are they? -we have anticipated, in one very important respect, the question
II. What are they?
They are God's witnesses, living witnesses ; bearing a testimony to the genuineness, the authenticity, and consequently, the inspiration of the Holy Scriptures ; a testimony which may indeed be denied, (ignorance or obstinacy may deny any thing,) which may indeed be cavilled at or evaded, but which cannot be refuted. Witnesses, therefore, manifesting the moral attributes of Jehovah, in a more striking manner than do any of his other works. Does any man inquire about the character of God-we answer, look at the Jews! behold, in his dealings with them, his sovereign prerogative of distinguishing grace; his holiness ; his severity, kind even in its heaviest judgments; his kindling compassion, when he beholds the repentance of his people; his tremendous indignation, when at last poured forth ; his faithfulness to his promise ; his mysterious Providence,-and all this, (with the great predicted result of it all,) for the manifestation of himself, that the world may know, that HE IS THE OMNIPOTENT ONE, and none else. “Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord; I have declared, and have saved, and I have showed, when there was no strange god among you : therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God. Yea, before the day was, I am He: and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work and who shall let it ?"
Having thus briefly answered the questions who, and what, are the Jews, we inquire
III. What shall they be?
To supply a scriptural answer to this interesting inquiry, is the object of the following pages.
NUMBERS xxiii, 9.
“ Lo! the people shall dwell alone, and shall not
be reckoned among the nations."
KNOWN unto God, are all his works from the beginning of the world. It is his distinguishing characteristic, that he calls things that are not, as though they were. The challenge by which the idolatry of the heathen is put to shame, is grounded upon this high prerogative of the true God. Thus şaith the Holy One of Israel, “Let them bring forth and shew us what shall happen. Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods. Who hath declared from the beginning that we may know? Yea, there is none that sheweth, yea, there is none that declareth. To whom will ye liken me and make me equal, and compare me that we may be like? Remember this, and shew yourselves men ; bring it again to mind, O ye transgressors. Remember the things of old, for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me: declaring the end from the beginning, and, from ancient times, the things that are not yet done ; saying, my counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.
Our present object is to examine, in the faith and fear of God, the meaning of what the Holy Ghost has spoken concerning the Jewish nation, by the mouth of the holy prophets. It is not, therefore, to the fancies of a poet that your attention is solicited : it is not to the equivocal evasions of a heathen oracle: it is not to the guessings of a visionary enthusiast; nor to the cunningly-devised fables of an ingenious priesthood. No, it is to the true sayings of the living and the true God. It is to the instructive providence and revealed purposes of Him, whose will is law, whose power is absolute; of Him, the great First Cause, in whom you live, and move, and have your being ; by whom kings reign, and princes decree justice ; by whom nations rise and fall; by whom our own nation has been raised, and blessed, and made a blessing ; by whom the Jewish nation was established, is dispersed, and (we believe) shall be restored again. The Lord God hath spoken-this is our sure warrant. To ascertain the right meaning of his words --this is our proper business.
The progress of events, by giving fulfilment to many of the predictions of the prophets; has borne testimony, in a way that cannot be resisted, to the