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ther branch of this prophecy. They dwell in the presence of their brethren. Their cruelties and robberies have provoked many and mighty nations to attempt their extirpation from the face of the earth. Cyrus, that great conqueror of the East, who subdued all the great nation of Chaldea, reduced Babylon, that magnificent city, once the wonder of the world, and vanquished many other people, yet failed, was bafiled and repulsed by these wild archers and savage tribes. Alexander the great, the famed conqueror of the world, whose wrath was wrought up to the utmost fury against them, they mocked his menaces, despised his mighty armies, and he died under all the mortification of disappointment. Antigonus, his greatest successor, though different times he attempted their destruction, was confounded and unsuccessful. The Romans, who vanquished a great part of Europe, Asia and Africa, and received the denomination of the conquerors of the world for many ages, sent against this people the greatest commanders, and most potent armies they ever had ; they sent against them Lucullus, Pompey, and others, each of whose names were as an host; they sent army after army, and while the nations of Asia around them were reduced to a state of vassalage, this astonishing people maintained their liberty and independency, and enjoy their own country, rights and government, even to this day. What do these events, what does this prophecy teach us? They demonstrate to us the almighty power of God in their miraculous preservation, and that nothing could produce such predictions, but the foreknowledge of the Most High. These things prove to us, beyond all rational contradiction, that the holy scriptures are given by the inspiraa tion of God.
I shall now direct your attention, to a
Third argument in favour of the divinity of the sacred oracles. We have seen a nation dwelling in the same country, inhabiting, the same territory, and sustaining an uniformity of disposition, customs and manners, for a multitude of ages, and no people on
carth ever continued thus sò long, and all exactly corresponding to divine prophecy; let us now look at another nation, of a very different character, placed in a different situation, subjected to different vicissitudes, which, instead of inhabiting one country, have been dispersed through all the countries of the world, and yet remain a distinct and remarkable people. If we can prove that there has been a great and powerful nation, and of long continuance, that they have been vanquished and carried captive into a foreign land ; that they have been restored to their country; that they have fourished again as a mighty kingdom ; that they have again been subdued, their land desolated, their cities and their capital destroyed; and that they are now scattered among all nations, and that they are in all their dispersions, distinct from all others, and that this has been their case for more than seventeen hundred years, and yet they are a people known unto all; and we find prophecies particularly designating those events, and describing those people in their present state, in the view of the whole world, will not this afford an irresistable conviction of the truth of divine revelation. These predictions, and their perfect accomplishment we see in the most luminous manner, in the nation and now existing condition of the Jews. Was it not early foretold that they sliould be a great and flourishing nation, and that they should inhabit the land of Canaan ? Did not they dwell in that country for a multitude of generations ? Were they not at last totally vanquished by the Assyrians and Chaldeans? Did not the former destroy and carry away ten tribes; and the latter, the other two into Babylon? Was it not predicted that these last tribes should be held in their Babylonish captivity seventy years, and that at the end of this period, they should be restored to their own land, that they should rebuild their city Jerusalem, and their temple ? All which was punctually fulfilled. And did they not continue a great and respectable nation for many ages?
But the final overthrow of this unhappy people, the desolation of their country, their banishment from their own land, their dispersion among all nations, and their present existing state, must be more especially attended to. And we can only now see lect a very few of the miny prsphecies strongly descriptive of these events. Wer: we not sure that the predictions were delivered long agy, and that we now behold them daily accomplishing before our eyes, we should be tempted to suppose them a history of things past, rather than of things to come.
That the land of Judea, is a waste barren, and desolate country at the present time, is testified to us by all historians and travellers ; it is such a notorious fact, that none pretend to deny it, though it was once a land Aowing with milk and honey. Let us hear what Moses and the prophets say on this head. Moses declares, *“ Your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste." Isaiah says, 7 “ Your country is desolate, your cities are burnt “ with fire ; your land strangers devour it in your presence, and “it is desolate as overthrown by strangers." Jeremiah also predicted the same event. † “ They have trodden my portion under “ foot, they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness ; “they have made it desolate, and being desolate it mourneth unto “me." Now has not this been the unhappy state of the land of Fudea, for a multitude of ages? And is not this its melancholy condition at this very day? And what could indite the history of these things so many centuries before they happened, but the spirit of God ?
Observe likewise the prophecies concerning the banishment of the Jews, from their own land, and their dispersion over the face of the whole earth. $“ Ye shall be plucked from off the land, “ whither thou goest to possess it. ll And thou shalt be removed “ into all the kingdoms of the earth, • The Lord shall scatter thee “among all people, from one end of the earth even unto the other." . What people have ever been scattered like the Jews ? Where is the kingdon or natioa in Europe, Asia, Africa or America, in
which there are not many of this dispersed and forlorn people? Are they not exterminated from their own country, spread over the face of the earth, and intermixed with all nations? And yet they remain to the present time, a distinct people, clearly known to all, and clearly distinguished from all. This was foretold by Moses. *" Yet for all that, when they be in the land of their “ enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, “ to destroy them utterly." Thus speaks Jeremiah, 7" I will $ make a full end of ail the nations whether I have driven thee, “ but I will not make a full end of thee.” Thus the Jews are erected as a monument in the midst of all nations, of all tribes and languages, of the truth of divine revelation. Was the pillar in the wilderness, which shed light through all the Israelitish encampment by night, so that they stood in no need of candle or lamp in their tents, and covered the whole host with a shady cloud by day, so as to screen them from the scorching beams of the sun in that parched desart and sultry clime? Was this a standing miracle to the Israelites, of the presence of Almighty God with them, and is not the exact fulfillment of prophecy with regard to the Jews equally before all nations, a standing iniracle of the power of God in favor 'of the scripture as being of divine inspiration? Why should I mention, that it was predicted, † “ They « should become an astonishment, a proverb, and a by-wor! « among all nations. That their plagues should be wonderful “ and of long continuance,” all which, and a thousand other prophecies respecting this nation, have been accomplished and are now accomplishing in the view of the whole world. Was there ever any thing besides like this under the sun ? What evidence of revelation can the unbeliever wish, if this does not demonstrate that the scriptures are given by the inspiration of God ?
This subject would now admit of a very large and useful improvement, but I must close with one counsel only.
Seeing the truth of the Scriptures can be established as it were by occular demonstration, how should all be induced to search them, for our life is in them, even the life of our immortal souls ? . How should we give the most earrest heed unto them, as a light shining in a dark place ? How should we be all attention to them, lest at any time we should let them slip? Remember if we believe not Moses and the prophets, neither should we believe, if one came to us from the dead. O, for God's sake, for the sake of . our never dying souls, let us believe with all our hearts. Let us fervently pray, saying, “ Lord we believe, help thou our unbe. « lief." If the word spoken" by Angels was stedfast, and every strangression received a just recompence of reward, how shall “ we escape if we neglect so great salvation ; which at the first “ began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us " by thein that heard them ; God also bearing them witness by “ signs and wonders, divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy “ Ghost."* Let us without wavering, stedfastly and perseveringly believe that all Scripture is given by inspiration of God.
* Heb. ii. 1, 2, 3. 4.