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SOME months ago having met with an account of a society professedly instituted for the conVERSION OF THE Jews, I was induced to give a particular attention to the prophecies on that subject, having myself always entertained an idea, that the time for the realizing of that glorious hope is get premature ;* and moreover, that the conversion and restoration of that people, “terrible from their beginning hitherto,”+ is a work in which God will have no need of converting societies, nor will admit of any participation in it with the arm of flesh. The judicial blindness upon Israel is declared by the prophets, and our Savi. our himself, and the apostles, to be the immediate work of God, and an afflictive judgment, which was to lie heavy upon them for a great length of time, even “ till the fulness of the gentiles should come in ;” answering nevertheless, all the while,
* Dan. xii, 7, 11, 12.
Isai. lix. 16; lxiii. 3.
* Isai. xviii,
wise and gracious purposes of the christian dis. pensation. It cannot therefore' possibly be removed until “ the fulness of time is come,” as many abortive attempts have heretofore proved, nor even then can the supernatural veil drawn over their hearts by the hand of God, be withdrawn by any other hand.
I am very far from being singular in this opin. ion. “ The numbers, dispersion, and adherence of the jews to their religion,” says Mr Addison, “ have furnished every age, and every nation of the world, with the strongest arguments for the christian faith; not only as these very particulars are foretold of them, but as they themselves are the depositories of these and all the other prophe. cies which tend to their own confusion. Their number (moderately computed at 5,000,000) furnishes us with a sufficient cloud of witnesses that attest the truth of the Old Bible. Their dispersion spreads these witnesses through all parts of the world. The adherence to their religion makes their testimony unquestionable. Had the whole body of the jews been converted to christianity, we should certainly have thought all the prophecies of the Old Testament, that relate to the coming and history of our blessed Saviour, forged by Christians, and have looked upon shem, with the prophecies of the Sibyls, as made many years after the events they pretend to fore.
appears, I think, very manifest, that no human endeavours in the way of conversion, can be of any material advantage to the hastening of that great national change and regeneration. All that can be done is to go on before with the pickaxe and spade, clearing away the rubbish* which their national prejudices have added to the great stumbling block, which God by his almighty Providence has already begun to “take up;" having sent on THE BREAKER before them, to do the previous work.t
The objections of the jews against christianity have been very ably hacked
and shovelled out of the way, by the strong arm of Leslie, (in his Short method with the Jews,) in so clean and complete a manner, that there seems nothing of that kind left for any scavenger after him to do. What I have here attempted, is of a different nazure, and may not be without its use when God
? Isai, lai, 10.
* Isai, lvii. 14; Micah ii. 19,
shall have opened their eyes, and unstopped their ears;" and till then nothing can avail. A candid representation of their rejection, and the cause of it, and its consequences in the miseries they have endured from that time ; and, lastly, their happy recovery and union with the church of Christ, and the glory that is to follow, all clearly represented by their own prophets long before christianity appeared, may one day have the desired effect, sooner than the most powerful attack of their
of argument, from a professed adversary. Moses and the prophets are witnesses against them, whose testimony is unimpeachable; and though their faithful and strong representations of these things have been read by the jews for upwards of 1800 years without being understood, a time will come when they will see them in the same light as here represented.
errors, in the
I have endeavoured to shew the jews to themselves, as peculiar objects of the divine regard and Providence, and to the faithful believers in Jesus, as worthy of their respect and affection, from their being witnesses together with them, of the truth and unity of God, and fellow-sufferers with them under the same tyranny of the beast.