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an Hypothefis, or defend fome favourite Opinion, when no folid Reafon calls for fuch a proceeding.
Befides, thofe Oracles of the ancient Prophets, given to the Jews, concerning their Restauration, we have feveral in the New Teftament that are fo far from contradicting them, that they entirely agree and chime in with them. Chrift is promised the Throne of David, according to the Declaration of the Angel; (Luke i. 32.) and the fame was faid before by Ifaiah. (c. ix. 7. See 1 Kings viii. 25, 2 Chron. vi. 16. Pf. cxxxii. 11, 12.) Now the Reftauration of the Jews is joined to the Kingdom of David, that is the Meffiah, by other Prophets; we have before taken notice of thofe Places. (Jer. XXX. 9. and xxxiii. 15, 16. Ezek xxxiv. 22, 24, 25, c. Hofea iii. 5.) Befides thefe, let us particularly attend to the Words of Gabriel in his Addrefs to the Virgin Mary, being then about to conceive. And the Lord God fhall give unto him (i. e. Chrift) the Throne of his Father David. And be fhall reign over the House of Jacob for ever. These Phrafes, of the Throne of David, and Reign over the Houfe of Jacob, plainly point out the Children of Ifrael, and denote an external Kingdom. But however you understand it, whether in a temporal or fpiritual manner, Chrift has not as yet either way reigned over the Jews; they are at prefent, and have been for a long time, without King or Prince, as Hofea foretold. (c. iii. 4.) And as to a fpiritual Kingdom, they yet continue rebellious, and far the greater Part of them are Enemies to Chrift's Regal Office, and Aliens from the Chriftian Faith; fo that take which Interpretation you will, the Event does not yet agree with the Meffage of the Angel.
We may add here the Song of Simeon, when he embraced the infant Saviour in his Arms he cried
out, Thou haft prepared a Light for the Gentiles, and the Glory of thy People Ifrael. (Luke ii. 32.) When Chrift is faid to be born for the Glory of Ifrael,. it would be hard and perverse to say, that he was born for the perpetual Ruin of Ifrael. I fay perpetual if there be no future time wherein he is to come, and reign to the Glory of Ifrael. Call to mind if you please how many and great things have been. faid by the Prophets, concerning the future Glory of Ifrael in the Days of the Meffiah. And fince we have fomewhere mentioned David, we will look into fome of his Pfalms; we there meet with fome things fpoken typically concerning David, which are ultimately fulfilled in the Meffiah; and where the Meffiah is treated of, and his Days celebrated, wrath is denounced against the Heathens, but Health and Triumph (P. cx. 13.) promifed to Ifrael. Thefe joyful times have not as yet happened to the Jews: But what hinders but that they may yet come? According to the Promises of God, the Prophets, and the holy Angel.
In the third Place it is objected, or anfwered to our Propofition, that thefe Promifes given to the Jews were Conditional, and when the Condition is not fulfilled,. the Promife does not oblige the Sponfor. But, I fay, if he alfo promifes that he will freely remit thefe Conditions, or cause them to be performed, either way the Promife must take Effect. The Conditions requifite, are Repentance and Converfion to God: Now God has promised that he will give this Grace; and the People will be willing, and ready in the Day of the Divine Power. Alfo when the Prophets foretel the Restauration of the Jews, they alfo declare that their Sins will be forgiven. (Jer. xxxi. 34. xxxiii. 7, 8. Mic. vii. 18, 19, 20. Hof. xiv. 4. Thus God of his mere Grace and good Pleafure fhews favour to
those who are altogether undeferving; to the Jews first, and then to the Gentiles. And taking the Jews into the Number of his Children, he pardons their Sins out of a paternal Affection, and Remembrance of his Covenant; as the Prophets often teftify. St. Paul who was a Partaker of this Grace, while he was yet very troublesome to the Chriftians, and a vehement Perfecutor of them, foretels the future Recovery of the Jews, being mindful of the Covenant which God made with their Fathers, (Rom. xi. 26.-29.) and of which he would not repent. Laftly, Chrift when dying interceded for the Jews, and poured out Prayers to his Father for the Remiffion of their Sins; Prayers that I fuppofe were in no wife unprofitable or unavailing.
But to fet this Matter in a clear Light; we may confider that whatever Wickedness the Jews have committed against Jefus of Nazareth, they fhall review it with Anguish of Mind, when they fee the Son of Man coming in the Clouds of Heaven. (Dan. vii. 13. and from him the Author of 2 Macab. ii. 7, 8.)
Then fhall they mourn for him, call him bleffed and acknowledge him to be the Messiah. (Matt. xxiii. 39, and xxiv. 30. John xix 37. Rev. i. 7.) To that End God will pour out a Spirit of Grace and Supplication on the House of David, together with other Gifts of his holy Spirit. (Ifa. xxxii. 15, and xliv. 3. liv. 13. Joel ii. 28.) He will also give them a new and circumcifed Heart, and put a new Spirit within them. (Jer. xxxii. 40. Ezek. xi. 19, 20.) Can any thing farther be defired? Is there any room left here for Evafions? God will take Care that the Means and Conditions be performed as well as the End accomplished.
We may farther obferve, that it is not proper for Chriftians to infift too much on this Anfwer
about the conditional Nature of the Promises; left they give a Handle to the Jews to retort this Argument upon them, when they are difputing about the time of the Meffiah's coming. For they fay, that indeed the Meffiah would have appeared fooner, unless their Sins had prevented his coming. But the Promise (fay they) was conditional; and fince their Part has not been as yet fulfilled, therefore neither has God performed his Part. Farther they fay, that if God can (without any injury to his Truth) leave his Promifes to the Jews unaccomplifhed, why may he not alfo do so as to thofe Promifes which he has made to the Chriftians? And thus they may elude their Hopes and Expectations, either as to the fecond coming of the Meffiah, or the Prefervation of his new Church and Inftitution; fince the Chriftians have no lefs abused their Religion than the Jews formerly did theirs.
Thus we have endeavoured to remove thofe Anfwers or Obstacles, by which fome endeavour to enervate the Force of those Prophecies which respect the happy Condition of Ifrael. Among which Number those called Allegorifts are the chief: I mean they who turn thofe Prophecies, which according to the literal and plain Signification of the Words terminate on the Ifraelites, into Allegories. We have before granted, and must still confess that the Prophetic Stile is in many Places allegorical, and in others, diverfified with Hyperboles, Metaphors and Parables. But we must take care that the Prophecies may not entirely vanish in Allegories, by too great a Freedom (or Licentioufnefs rather) of Interpretation. Since we find in Ifaiah, and other Prophets a famous Defcription of the future times of the Meffiah, if in this Account we fometimes meet with figurative Expreffions, we ought not upon that Account to reject the Matter itself, or Sub
Substance of the Declaration. These prophetic. Sayings at least denote fome future happy times, and a bleffed Life in general; fuch as implies abundance of all good things, the most confirmed Health, ferene Air, and fecure and quiet Station.
Unless you grant this, and own that the Words of the Prophets carry this general Sense along with them, the Prophecy must pass but for a Golden Fable.
But perhaps you will fay that indeed the Kingdom of the Meffiah, according to the Prophets, is to be Pacific, and the Lives of his Subjects fercne, joyful, and undisturbed. But that we do not at prefent enjoy thofe good things because of our own Faults, in that we do not follow his Precepts, nor walk according to the Doctrine of the Gospel. It is indeed rightly obferved, that we do not fufficiently comply with the evangelical Precepts, but you add Conditions to thofe Prophecies, which are declared plainly and absolutely: And we have already fhewn how incongruous it is for any Man out of his own Fancy to impofe tacit Conditions on the Prophecies. God's Power and Goodness are fufficient for the Performance of thofe Promises which he has given, and all those things which are neceffary for their Accomplishment. However, let things be as they will on our Part, as alas they are indeed very culpable! yet the State of Nature at prefent (which is wholly in the Power of God) the Inclemency of the Air, the Infelicity of the Soil, and the Infirmity of our Bodies, will not permit us to enjoy the promised Plenty of all good things, or that State of Tranquillity, accompanied with long Life, which we find foretold by the Prophets: So that you fee the Promises are not yet fulfilled on a double Account, But to proceed.