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perceive how this restoration, which does not suppose anything contrary to the establishment of rulers as in other cases, militates against the spiritual reign of the Messiah over them, and mankind at large. I do not pretend to know “ the times and the seasons, which the Father has reserved in his own hands." I do not presume to point out the political means by which this may be effected, although the transfer of countries, by treaty or otherwise, is not unknown in the world; nor is it unlikely that great political changes may arise, in connexion with the present possessors of Palestine, which may very materially affect its future destination. I do not see any obstacles to the sudden and general conversion of the Jews, if such be indeed the will of Providence, which were not surmounted to our utter astonishment in Tahiti, after years of labour, apparently in vain, and when a nation was, as it were, “ born in a day;" nor do I feel the force of that objection particularly, that this event of the return of the Jews to their native land, is not distinctly noticed in the New Testament, although it naturally presents itself, and possesses weight which demands consideration; because it appears to me that the constant insisting of the apostles upon the spiritual nature of our Lord's kingdom, was rendered absolutely necessary, by the exclusively carnal expectations of the Jews ; and that as to the fact itself, if indeed it be the concurrent representation of the Old Testament, they would consider further confirmation unnecessary, unless it incidentally arose, because they regarded its evidence as conclusive, and constantly appealed to it as such. It is true, that the Gentiles are represented as one with the Jews; but the admission of the Gentiles to equal rights, and their participation of the common salvation, no more abrogates the first and preeminent distinction of the Jews, than the division of the family estate among the younger children, upon their attaining their majority, alienates or diminishes the priority and pre-eminence of the first-born. The propositions which I have endeavoured to illustrate are these :—That the Jews are dispersed in consequence of their sins, and their rejection of the Messiah: That they are reserved for a future restoration: That they shall receive the Messiah in the spirituality of his dominion : and, That they shall return, and be established, as a nation, in their native land.
This, then, is the whole that I can presume to advance upon this subject. “Do I now persuade men? or do I seek to please men ?” Assuredly not ;-nor to establish or overturn systems. I leave these to struggle and fight for themselves—to rise or fall by themselves. For some, I have probably gone too far - for
others, not far enough. What then? I was to state “ The aspect of prophecy respecting the present and future state of the Jews.” I have produced all that I can clearly seemand thus much I think I do see distinctly. So far, therefore, and no further I venture: for after all, it is not what man in his speculations can render plausible, but what God in his word has made certain. And now I solicit, nay, I demand, your sympathy, and prayers, and pious exertions, on behalf of these poor Jews—I demand it in the name of the Son of God himself, who threw all the compassion of his heart into the passage selected as the groundwork of this discussion, and illustrated his emotions of tenderness by the impulses of nature, and the instinctive love of the parent bird to her helpless brood. I may have erred in the application of some particular points of prophecy, but I cannot have mistaken the principle, so clearly defined, so powerfully enforced, that “ God hath not cast off his people.” Their sufferings have been bitter, and their apostasy has been obstinately maintained ; but their unslumbering Guardian has watched over them; and with him “one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” He has determined their recovery, and “ faithful is he who hath promised, who also will do it.” Their winter has been long and dreary, but the spring, although it may be late, like that of nature, shall also like that be certain. The voice of nature unites with that of Jesus to rouse your attention towards them, and awaken your sympathies with them. Not long since you looked abroad upon a scene of barren desolation, and vegetation seemed to sleep the sleep of death. The spirit of life is abroad; late and slow were its visits, but they are come, and the long repose of the creation is broken. The lymph no longer hides in its secret receptacles, but diffusing itself through the ten thousand visible and invisible veins of the plant and tree, hangs out the ensigns of its vitality in leaves and blossoms. And is not the spirit of religion abroad in your churches and in the world ? In that moral spring for which you are looking, according to the Divine promise, in the regeneration of the universe, shall not the Jewish exile, in his wandering, hear the words of his own native song—“Lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land. The fig-tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, and come away.” Is not the very interest so powerfully and so widely excited a token for good ? “ Thou shalt arise and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time is come. For thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favour the dust thereof. So the heathen shall fear the name of the Lord, and all the kings of the earth thy glory. When the Lord shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory.” And does not Jesus connect with the sentence which he pronounced, the restoration which he meditated ? “() Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that, killest the prophets and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not ! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” () children of Abraham the friend of God, scattered far from your own mountains, and dispersed wide among all nations, though many a dark age has passed over you in your banishment, HE, the Shepherd of Israel, will at last come to gather you to his fold: your wanderings will at length terminate; and the years which you have spent in the captivity of unbelief, shall have their expected and clearlypredicted end. Amen!