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universal reception of the gospel, in consequence of the plentiful effusion of the influences of the Holy Spirit.

Much of the opposition which has been made to the doctrine of the glorious personal reign of Messiah on earth, is perhaps to be attributed to the too frequent neglect of the light shed upon Unfulfilled Prophecy, by the addresses of our Lord, and the writings of his apostles. By availing ourselves of the aid to be derived from a careful comparison of scripture with scripture, a more accurate conception may be obtained of the nature and peculiar blessings of that happy era.

There is, however, an intimate connection between the predictions of the Redeemer's Millennial reign and the promises given to Israel; and as those of the latter class are by many as little understood as those of the former, it

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be proper, before entering upon the consideration of that doctrine, first to point attention to some of the Scripture declarations concerning Abraham's race, classified under distinct heads. So completely blended indeed are these promises with all that is predicted of the Millennial age, as to render surprising the ignorance and unbelief displayed on this subject, by many not otherwise ignorant of the Scriptures.

SECTION II.

THE CONVERSION OF ISRAEL.

The distinguishing goodness of God has been illustriously displayed in his dealings with the children of Abraham. From the time when He appeared to the patriarch in “ Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran,” down through the long lapse of ages which have since intervened, the history of this people beautifully exemplifies the doctrine of a special providence, and places in the most attractive light the longsuffering and sovereign mercy of God. It is a record of human depravity, displaying deep forgetfulness of the way in wbich they were continually led, and tells of their in. vincible ingratitude to God for bis abandant goodness and many wonderful interpositions in their favour, and in giving into their hands nations greater and stronger than they.

Throughout, it is one continued display of Heaven's love and man's rebellion--of the most signal manifestations of divine interference in their behalf, followed by the most criminal departure from their gracious Deliverer. In studying the annals of Israel, we see that although their perversity of disposition and untowardness of character often call forth the chastisements of Heaven, still the lovingkindness of the Lord is not withdrawn, and renewedly is his favour manifested towards them.

If He takes vengeance on their devices, it is still in measure, and by his love he again woos them to himself. Various kinds and degrees of punishment have at different periods been meted out to them, for their awful apostasies from the living and true God; but their last and longest and most severe affliction has been that which followed their arrival at the summit of their rebellion, in the crucifixion of the Lord of glory, and which they still continue to endure. But even from the guilt of this, Prophecy declares, they will yet be cleansed - being washed in the blood they so wantonly. shed. Although, in His righteous displeasure, the Lord has long left them to wander in the vain imagination of their own hearts, he has not forsaken them altogether. They shall yet be converted and healed; they shall yet be restored to purity and peace, to holiness and happiness. Then shall

, they see and acknowledge the enormity of their sin, in having “ denied the Holy One and the Just,” and in haying s killed the Prince of life.” “I will cleanse them," says the Lord, “from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me." Jer. xxxiii. 8. 6 Neither will I hide my face any more from them; for I have poured out my Spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord God.” Ezek. xxxix. 29. This conversion is, therefore, to be followed by no future apostasy; and accordingly it is said in the 22d verse, “So the house of Israel shall know that I am the Lord their God, from that day and forward.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 :

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flesh, 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.” Ezek. xi. 17-20. « Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and shall be clean; from all your filthi·ness, and from all your idols will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments and do them."* Ezek. xxxvi. 25–27.

This conversion of Israel is secured in covenant : hold, the days come, saitḥ the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah. This shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law. in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people." Jer. xxxi. 31–33.

“ And they shall be my people, and I will be their God; and I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them and of their children after them. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from

Although in these precious spiritual privileges, Christians, as pertaining to the spiritual Israel, have an interest, yet are the promises given directly to the literal Israel, whose restoration to their own land is indeed the principal theme of most of the predictions from which we have quoted. As this is, however, the subject of the following Section, we have wholly abstained from introducing it in this, although from the intimate connection with which both are predicted, the quotations are often made at the expense of an unnatural rending from the context, a feature which characterizes more or less nearly all the earlier Sections of the work. Our design, of concentrating in so limited a space as much as possible of the direct Scriptural Evidence bearing immediately upon the particular doctrines discussed, has rendered this unavoidable ; but, except in the present Section, we have always studied to obviate the evils which would result from forming a judgment on mere detached fragments, (a mode by which, alas! the word of God is often grievously perverted,) by adducing such parts as are calculated to show the general bearing of the whole. "Still we would entreat the reader to study with care the contexts of all the passages referred to.

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me." Jer. xxxii. 38-40. “ In those days and in that time, saith the Lord, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together, going and weeping; they shall go and seek the Lord their God.

They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward, saying, Come and let us join ourselves to the Lord in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten.” Jer. 1. 4, 5. " And it shall come to pass, that he that

left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem: when the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof, by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning." Is. iv. 3, 4. Their mourning shall at once be general and particular. The promise of the Redeemer is, “And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications; and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon, (where, on the death of the good king Josiah, all Judah and Jerusalem made great lamentation. 2 Chron. xxxv. 24, 25.] And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart; all the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart. In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness." Zech. xii. 10-14. xiii. 1. Their national conversion will be sudden and general, when it takes place. But as many have already been converted to the faith of the gospeland individual conversion we trust shall be greatly increased—so does Prophecy foretell great future destruction as still awaiting them. In the appointed time, however, God's gracious promise will be fulfilled ;-" I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day," Zech. iii. 9.

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“ And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God.” Is. X. 20, 21. Neither shall they defile theniselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions; but I will save them out of all their dwelling places, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them; so shall they be my people, and I will be their God.” Ezek. xxxvii. 23. “ In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah: We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks. Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever, for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.” Is. xxvi. 1-4. The 12th chapter of Isaiah is a similar song of joy and salvation prepared to be sung by them at the same time. *

Although we learn from the prophetic Scriptures, that their national conversion will yet be preceded by great and important events, still we trust it is to be realized at no distant day. Those strong prejudices against Jesus of Nazareth, which formerly prevented their examination of the evidence for the truth of Christianity, are passing rapidly away; and the Hebrew New Testament is now diligently perused by multitudes, with candour. From the numerous instances in which their inquiries have been followed by a perception of its heavenly origin and inestimable value, we look forward to the time, as near at hand, when the love of God shall be more generally shed abroad

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* Much of the book of Psalms also, is the inspired matter of Israel's praise, containing the most decided references to the period of their Conversion and Restoration. By attending to the fact, that a large portion of these songs are not designed to celebrate past events, relative to David or any other individual, but are rather prophetic compositions applicable to Israel as a nation, and relativato future times, (as is in general obvious from the internal evidence they con. tain,) much of the obscurity which is thrown around them by Expositors instantly vanishes, and their beautiful significancy becomes apparent.

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