Obrazy na stronie

mediate of God in the wilderness, as a eye Christian national church, not only for their own advantage, but likewife as a model for the feveral Christian churches fpread over the earth during the Millennium. Perhaps such a model may be thought by fome unneceffary, in regard Christianity has been long established in the world, and fome excellent patterns of national churches are in exiftence. I anfwer to this, that the state of the Chriftian church in paft ages, and in the prefent, evidently proves the neceffity of a more perfect model of a national church than has hitherto appeared, as well for the benefit of individual churches, as for the union of the whole into one. For the first three hundred years, the Chriftian church was not acknowledged by the civil power, far less protect. ed by it; fuch a ftate, therefore ill agrees with the Millennial church, "when the kingdoms "of this world become the kingdoms of our "Lord and of his Chrift;" Rev. xi. 15. When

kings are the nurfing fathers, and queens the "nurfing mothers of the church;" Ifa. xlix. 23. Some time after the received the protection of the civil power, the ecclefiaftical fwallowed up the civil authority, and established the most defpotic tyranny. This furely can be no model for the Millennium. Since the Reformation, feveral national churches have been established S f



on a rational plan; but no plan has yet been discovered, fufficient to unite the feveral reformed churches. In order to this, feveral queftions remain to be determined, to which the researches of divines, and fagacity of politicians, have been hitherto unequal. Such as, what kind of churchgovernment is of divine authority? How far the civil and ecclefiaftical authority ought to be blended together, and how far they ought to be diftinct? What is the moft profitable manner of dispensing the ordinances of religion? How far ought difcipline to extend? Should it reach to the perfons and property of men, for fins hurtful to their eternal falvation though not fo immediately injurious to fociety? But all these questions shall be refolved, and made level to every capacity, in that plan of a national esta blishment, which God himself will form for the Jews in the wilderness. His authority likewise in forming it will induce other churches to adopt it as a pattern; whereas, though the fame plan did at prefent exist, no human reasoning would induce another church having a different plan, to quit their own and receive it. The proof of this fentiment, that the converted Jews fhall furnish the model of a national church, refts on the glorious description given us of the Jewish national establishment, and of the communion fubfifting

fubfifting betwixt them and the Gentile churches at the Millennium, which I fhall afterwards more particularly explain.

Perhaps too, as the Mofaic economy was first given in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, fo its spiritual meaning fhall be fully unfolded in the wilderness, when the Jews are converted. The general defign of it is already revealed, and forms an argument for the doctrine of the atonement, which the cavils of adverfaries can never overturn; because every illuftration of it, without a typical reference to the atonement, appears extremely futile and abfurd. However, the minutiae of that economy ftill remain involved in obfcurity, and perhaps will continue so until the Jews are converted, when the Spirit that dictated, fhall unfold its meaning fully, adding much to the knowledge of the church, without making any addition to the canon of scripture.



The Converfion of the Jews gives joy to the Church of Chrift, but firs up the Papal Power to collect 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 converfion has on the reft of the world.

An event fo remarkable and important shall be speedily conveyed on the wings of fame, through the world, and perfons shall be variouf ly affected, according to their attachment to the religion of Jefus Chrift. On the contrary, the true church in every corner of the world, fhall receive in the tidings, that meffage, "A voice came out of "the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his

fervants, and ye that fear him, both small and "great;" Rev. xix. 5. And their hearts, tuned in unifon with their voices, fhall anfwer the meffage, by finging the hymn of praise, which is thus defcribed:" 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, faying, Alleluia for the Lord God " omnipotent


[ocr errors]

omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the mar"riage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath "made herself ready. And to her was granted “that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean " and white: for the fine linen is the righteouf

nefs of faints;" Rev. xix. 6.-8.

This event shall likewife prove the occafion of enlargement to the church, by spreading the gospel with additional fuccess among the nations still adhering to a falfe religion. In the prophecy of Ifaiah, we have several animated addreffes to falfe gods, and their worshippers, founded upon the conversion of the Jewish nation, reprefenting, no doubt, the arguments that shall be fuccefsfully used by the preachers of these times, for spreading the gofpel. Thus: " Produce your cause, faith the Lord; bring forth “ your ftrong reasons, faith the King of Jacob. Let them bring them forth, and shew us what "shall happen: let them fhew the former

things what they be, that we may confider "them, and know the latter end of them; or “declare us things for to come. Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods;" Ifa. xli. 21, 22, 23. As if he had faid, " Produce, O idols, the reasons on which ye build your claim to divinity, Prove your claim in the manner

" I

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« PoprzedniaDalej »