« EdellinenJatka »
The Conversion of the Jews gives joy to the Church
of Christ, but stirs up the Papal Power to colect Forces against them.
Let us now leave the Jews training under the eye of God in the wilderness, and take a view of the effect which their conversion has on the rest of the world.
An event fo remarkable and important shall be speedily conveyed on the wings of fame, through the world, and persons shall be various. ly affected, according to their attachment to the religion of Jesus Christ. On the contrary, the true church in every corner of the world, Thall receive in the tidings, that message, “A voice came out of “ the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his “ servants, and ye that fear him, both small and “ great;" Rev. xix. 5. And their hearts, tuned in unison with their voices, shall answer the message, by singing the hymn of praire, which is thus defcribed : 6 And I heard as it were the voice of “ a great multitude, and as the voice of many “ waters, and as the voice of mighty thunder<ings, saying, Alleluia ; for the Lord God
© omnipotent « omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and re. "joice, and give honour to him: for the mar" riage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath 6 made herself ready. And to her was granted so that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean " and white: for the fine linen is the righteous“ ness of saints;" Rev. xix. 6.-8.
This event shall likewise prove the occasion of enlargement to the church, by spreading the gospel with additional success among the nations still adhering to a false religion. In the prophe. cy of Isaiah, we have several animated addresses to false gods, and their worshippers, founded upon the conversion of the Jewish nation, repre. senting, no doubt, the arguments that shall be successfully used by the preachers of these times, for spreading the gospel. Thus: “ Pros“ duce your cause, faith the Lord; bring forth s your strong reasons, faith the King of Jacob. " Let them bring them forth, and shew us what « shall happen : let them shew the former 6 things what they be, that we may consider 66 them, and know the latter end of them; or 6 declare us things for to come. Shew the " things that are to come hereafter, that we $ may know that ye are gods;" Isa. xli. 21, 22, 23. As if he had said, “ Produce, O idols, the $reasons on which ye build your claim to di$ vinity, Prove your claim in the manner “ I have now done, by the completion of pro“ phecy. Shew that ye have uttered prophecies « which have been already accomplished, or shall “ hereafter be accomplished; or utter prophe. “ cies now, with assurance of their completion: “ that we may know your claim to be just.”
To the same purpose, Isa. xliii. having briefly mentioned the converfion of the Jews, ver. 8. he adds, “ Let all the nations be gathered to“gether, and let the people be affembled: who “ among them can declare this, and shew us “ former things! let them bring forth their “ witnesses, that they may be justified : or let 6. them hear, and say, It is truth. Ye are my
witnesses faith the Lord, and my servant “ whom I have chosen ; that ye may know and « believe me, and understand that I am he: “ before me there was no god formed, neither “ shall there be after me. I, even I am the “ Lord, and besides me there is no Saviour ;” Ifa. xliii. 9, 10, 11.
So Isa. xliv. The conversion of the Jews is represented from the beginning to ver. 6.; then follows an address to the Jews : “ Thus faith the “ Lord the King of Israel, and his Redeemer “ the Lord of hofts; I am the first, and I am " the last; and besides me there is no god. 66 And who is like me that he should call forth “ this event, and make it known before hand, « and dispose it for me, from the time that I ss appointed the people of the destined age. “ 'The things that are now coming and are to " come hereafter, let them declare unto us. " Fear ye not, neither be ye afraid: have I not “ declared it unto you from the first ? ye have “ foreshewn it, and ye are my witnesses. Is « there a God besides me? Yea, there is no sure 6 protector. I know not any* ;" ver. 8. After which there is an address to idolaters, containing the most acute and forcible arguments against image-worship which are to be found in the whole fcriprure.
But while the church rejoices, and the gospel spreads, the same tidings fill the blafphemous king and his adherents, with a horrible confternation and dread, represented in the sixth vial, Rev. xvi. 12.–16. The reasons of that consternation, we may easily conceive from the circumstances already detailed. He was Jealous of the Jews, that they would lay claim to the land of his poffefsion, and therefore endeavour. ed to exterminate them by a virulent persecu. tion. He now finds that the effect of the perfecu. tion has been to collect thein together, so that
they (1) I have followed Lowth's translation, as it renders the sense of the passage more clear.
(2) See likewise chap. xlv, 20.-25. to the close, chap. xlvi. 5.-ll, 12.
they form a great army; that they are preserved in the wilderness; where he expected they would have perished by famine, (though I presume he will not allow their preservation to be the consequence of a Divine interposition); that they are infected with the Protestant heresy, as he will term it, so fatal to his empire in Europe. He must consider these concurring circumstances, as menacing the existence of his government and religion. He therefore dispatches his emiffaries to every prince and potentate on earth, from whom lie can expect any support, in order to make their united and last effort in a religi. ous war. "I saw three unclean spirits like “ frogs, come out of the mouth of the dragon, " and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of “ the mouth of the false prophet. For they are " the spirits of devils, working miracles, which “ go forth unto the kings of the earth, and of “ the wliole world, to gather them to the battle " of that great day of God Almighty;"Rev.xvi. 13, 14. Here is a triumvirate, united to resist the converted Jews. The dragon, Satan in his proper colours. The beast, the head of spiritual Babylon, now resident in Judea. The false prophet, the Popish clergy'. As the dragon
(1) So exacliy do the prophecies agree, that we find the same triumvirate mentioned, by Ifaiah chap. xxvii. 1.