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Befides, Chrift himself fays, Elias truly fall firft come (denoting future time) and restore all things, (Matt. xvii. II.) which feems to refer to his fe cond coming; fince John the Baptift was dead when our Saviour uttered thefe Words; and that Reftitution of all things will not commence till the fecond coming of Christ. (Acts iii. 21.)
Laftly, to conclude this Subject, we have many of the Fathers of the Chriftian Church concurring with us in our Opinion about the coming of Elias. It would not be worth while to produce them all but we shall fet down the Words of Juftin Martyr *.
Muft we not understand that the Word of "God has foretold us that Elias is to be the Har"binger of that great and terrible Day, that is the "fecond coming of the Meffiah? Trypho readily "confents to this. And, I fay, our Lord in his "Sermons delivered the fame Doctrine, when he "affirmed that Elias was to come. And we know "that this will be when our Lord Jefus Chrift "fhall appear in celeftial Glory. Before whofe "former Manifeftation there went a Herald, St.
John the Baptift, a Prophet of your kind; who "was endued with the fame Spirit of God that had " been in Elias."
Thus you fee how Juftin Martyr understood the Words of Chrift and Malachi. To him we may add St. Auguftint, who fays that this Opinion was common in the Hearts and Mouths of the Faithful.
"It is (fays he) a very common and celebrated "Notion, in the Hearts and Mouths of the Faith
* Dial. cum Tryphone. Οὐχὶ τῆς φοβεράς μεγάλης έμση
+ De Civit Dei Lib. XX. c. 29.
«ful, that by this Elias we are to understand some "great and wonderful Prophet, who in the laft "Days, before the Judgment, fhall perfuade the "Jews to believe in the true Chrift; having ex"plained the Law to them. See Tertullian*, Chryfoftom, Theodoret and others.
For these and fuch like Reasons, they who grant that Elias is yet to come before the dreadful Day of the Lord, will, I fuppofe, hardly deny that he will appear to convert and restore the Jews (to whom the Prophet fays he is to be fent.) For this Converfion and Reftauration, than which there cannot be any greater or more illuftrious, if it does not principally concern them, that is the Tribes of Jacob, as the Son of Syrach expreffes it; (Ecclef.xlviii. 10.) yet at least they will be partakers of the general Salvation. Then at laft will the Fathers and Sons confent, and the Patriarchs and their Defcendants, confefs that Jefus of Nazareth is the only Saviour, the alone Meffiah, and common Lord of Jews and Gentiles.
And then shall the Chriftians and Jews be reconciled. The latter being the natural Children of Abraham, and the former his Seed by Faith, as St. Paul fpeaks in his Epiftles to the Romans and Ga- latians. (Gal. iii. 7.) And to ftrengthen and confirm their Minds in this double Union and Converfion, there will, I fuppofe, be occafion for the Prefence of Elias, or fome fuch Prophet, to bring about this glorious Revolution.
Thus we have collected many Teftimonies of the Prophets, concerning the Reftauration of the Jews, especially the more exprefs ones, and explained them to the utmoft of our Ability. But we leave the Knots to be unfolded by the fame Elias. Now
De Anim. XXXV, & de Refurrect. Carn. c. XXII.
I think there are other Places befides, which bear witness to the fame Truth in a fecondary manner, as Types, Preludes, &c. For I verily believe that in the prophetic Style we often meet with a double meaning, which we may call direct and reflex. Now we have already confidered the Force of the primary Significations of the Prophecies; leaving the others to be weighed by every Reader, according to his own Judgment. For we defire not to have the Minds of any prejudiced as to either by the Opinions or Arguments of others. What you would not have done to your felf, never do to another. This is the Golden Rule, which we Chriftians are upon every Occafion obliged to follow.
Itherto we have taken a View of the prophetic Writings, as they lie in order, and obferved thofe particular Promifes and Prophecies, which concern the future Reftauration of the Jews. And this has been the method of our firft Argu ment. But it will be proper to gather these difperfed Difcourfes together, and bind them as it were in Sheaves, or range them under their proper Heads or Claffes, putting thofe of a like Nature together; that fo thofe Places of the Prophets which are of the fame kind and Virtue being collected in one Place, may difplay their Strength to more Advan
Some Places of the Prophets (to begin here) speak of the future Reftauration of the Jews under Meffab the King. Others do not fo precifely exprefs
the Time, but. join it in the fame Difcourfe with the Prediction of the Meffiah; and laftly, other Places and Prophecies give us fuch famous Marks and Characteristics of that Reftauration, as cannot be adapted to any Reftauration that is yet paft; and therefore fince the Prophets neither could deceive, nor be deceived, they must be referred to fome future time.
Those Prophecies belong to the first Head which place this Reftauration under David the King. Such are the following ones in Jeremiah, (c. xxx. 9. and xxxiii. 15, 16. compared with c. xxiii. 5, 6.) Ezekiel, (c. xxxiv. 23, 24, 25, &c. and c. xxxvii. 24, 25, to the End) Hofea, (c. iii. 5.) and Pfalms (Pf. lxxx. 20, &c.)
As to the fecond Order, there are abundance of Paffages in the Prophets which jointly foretel the Peace and Reftauration of the Jews in the fame Difcourfe with those Oracles that declare the coming of the Meffiah. Thefe often meet together in Ifaiah, (Chapters ii. iv. xi. xxxii. xxxiv. xlix. Ix. and Ixiii.) and Jeremiah; (c. xxiii. 5, 6, &c.) as alfo in Hofea, (c. iii. 11.) Amos, (c. ix. 11.) Micha, (c. iv.) Zachariah. (c. ii. 10.) In a Word all thofe Scriptures which fall under the first Head prove fortiori, that the Reftauration of Ifrael and the times of the Meffiah are not to be disjoined.
It is evident that the Jews understood thefe Prophecies concerning their future Profperity, to refer to the Days of the Meffiah; and therefore they did not receive Jefus of Nazareth for the Meffiah, because he brought neither Peace nor Dominion to the Jews, nor other good things internal or external, which they expected at the coming of the Meffiah. Nor fhould I have blamed their Conduct in this, had they not confounded the first and fecond coming of the Meffiah. For Isaiah ftyles
the Meffiah, Prince of Peace (c. ix. 6, 7.) and his Kingdom is every where by the Prophets foretold to be pacific. But they too much neglected the Words of St. Peter, who promifed Times of Refreshment and Reftitution to the Jews and other pious Perfons, but not till Chrift fhould rerurn from Heaven, (Acts iii. 19, 20, 21.)
We proceed to the third Clafs, and thofe Prophecies which make the Restauration of Ifrael famous by fuch Characters as will agree with no other Times but thofe of the Meffiah. Now these Marks are of a threefold Order, Moral, Political, and Natural. Sometimes all these are joined in the fame Prophecy, and at other times are propofed feparately; I call thofe Moral or Divine, which relate to Juftice and Holinefs, Repentance and Converfion to God, and the Effufion of the Holy Ghost, and other fpiritual Gifts, about which you may confult the following Places in Ifaiah, (c. xxxii. 16, 17. lx. 17. xi. 10, 11.) Hofea, (c. ii 19.) Foel, (c. iii. 17.) Ezekiel, (c. xxxix. 29.) Zachariah, (c. xii. 10.)
I call thofe Political which have a regard to Peace and an established Condition; without the Noife or Tumults of War. Alfo fuch Bleffings as perfect Liberty without being fubject to any foreign Dominion, or fuffering Captivity, Exiles, or any other Yoke of the Heathen; and laftly, a perfect Security at home and abroad, their Swords being beaten into Plough-fheers, and their Spears into Pruning-hooks.
This is the most noted and common Character of the Reftauration which we meet with in Ifaiah. See alfo Ezekiel, (c. xxxiv. 25, 26, &c.) Hosea, (c. ii. 18.) Zachariah. (c. ix. 10.)
Laftly, among thofe Characters, which I call Natural, I reckon the new Heavens, and the new Earth.