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PROPHECIES CONCERNING FUTURE EVENTS TO BE CAUTIOUSLY TREATED OF-PROPHECIES WITH RESPECT TO THE JEWS -WITH RESPECT TO THE GENTILES WITH RESPECT TO THE MILLENNIUM -WITH RESPECT TO THE LOOSING OF SATAN-WITH RESPECT TO THE END OF THE WORLD. -CONCLUDING REFLECTIONS.
PROPHECIES CONCERNING FUTURE EVENTS TO BE
IN the preceding review of the counsel of redemption we have passed through all ages and generations down to the present period. The subject is now to be pursued into future time.
When we examine the predictions of the Scriptures relative to past events, we have in the accomplishment of God's word a clear view of the truth, and demonstrative evidence convincing to the understanding. The connexion of the antecedent prophecies with the subsequent facts enables us to form certain conclusions without the least difficulty or doubt. to the consideration of the
But when we come prophecies that are
yet to be fulfilled, we are to enter upon it with
extreme caution and diffidence; not distrusting the completion of the word of God as to the predicted facts; but guarding ourselves against indulging vain and presumptuous speculations not only with regard to those facts themselves, but also to the manner in which they are to be brought to pass.
Yet while we carefully abstain from assuming the character of prophets by rash ventures of private opinion; we are not to draw back from contemplating those Scriptures which assert that certain events will take place in the church and in the world, and which were written, not only to confirm us in the true faith and instruct us in righteousness; but also to give us joy and consolation in the prospects, partly obscure and partly clear, of what is to come. They who reflect upon the past, and view in accomplished prophecy the sure and connected operations of God, must feel a deep interest in considering the future, and in endeavouring to learn, as far as they are permitted, not his secret purposes, but the positive declarations of his word. While there is presumption in trying to lift up the veil, there is none in meditating upon the events which will, we are assured, be manifested when that veil shall be removed by the hand of time.
Observing, therefore, the utmost caution as
we go along, and treading with the most wary steps, as fearful of trespassing upon holy ground, we proceed to shew what events the Scriptures declare will be brought to pass hereafter; omitting the consideration of those around which there yet hangs so much obscurity, that it may be deemed prudent to forbear hazarding an opinion which, however true in the main, might deviate into some speculative interpretations, and confining the inquiry to such as are plainly and positively foretold, and accurately and minutely described by Scripture itself.
PROPHECIES WITH RESPECT TO THE JEWS.
With respect to the Jews the word of Scripture seems plain and explicit. It appears to us to teach that they will in the latter days of the world be restored to their native land and be converted to Christ. The following are some of the testimonies of the prophets on this point.
"It shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamoth, and from the isles of the sea; and he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts
of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth”*
-" and it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the Lord in the holy mount at Jerusalem."+ "Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land. And David my servant shall be king over them, and they all shall have one shepherd; they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes and do them."-" Moreover I will make a covenant
peace with them, it shall be an everlasting covenant."§-"The children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and with out an ephod, and without teraphim; afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God and David their king, and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days." || "And I will pour
* Isaiah, xi. 11, 12.
+ Ibid. xxvii. 13.
↑ Ezek. xxxvii, 21-24. § Ibid. xxxvii. 26. || Hos. iii. 4, 5.
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 first-born."*
Hence it seems to be plainly declared that the Jews would be gathered out of all countries, and be restored to the land of their fathersthat they would become a righteous people obeying the everlasting covenant under David their prince, that is, the Gospel of truth under Christ their king—that they would receive a plentiful effusion of the divine grace-that they would believe in him whom their fathers pierced-and that they would with deep humiliation lament over his griefs and sufferings, and implore forgiveness for their infidelity and sins.
When we consider how wonderfully the Jews have been preserved during the long period of their exile - how singularly, notwithstanding their dispersion among all nations, they have retained their character, their prejudices, and even their distinguishing features and how remarkably they are existing at the present day
* Zechariah, xii. 10.