« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
the nations of the earth be blessed.” (Gen. xxii. 18.) Jacob when dying prophesied concerning Him, as the heavenly “ Shiloh,"_“Unto him shall the gathering of the people be.” (Gen. xlix. 10.) “All the ends of the world,” as predicted by David, “shall remember and turn unto the LORD; and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.” (Psalm xxi. 27.) “Yea, all kings shall fall down before him; all nations shall serve him.” (Psalm lxxi. 11.) Isaiah by the prophetic Spirit declared of Him—“The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people ; to it shall the Gentiles seek; and his rest shall be glorious.” (Chap xi. 9, 10.) “Behold my servant shall deal prudently, He shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high. So shall he sprinkle many nations. He shall see of the travail of his soul and shall be satisfied : by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities." (Chap. lii. 13, 15; liïi. 11.) “ And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.” (Chap. Ix. 3.) Jesus himself declared -"And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” (John xi. 32.) “ And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, all power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye, therefore, and disciple all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things, whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am
with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matt. xxviii. 18—20.) John, the last of the prophets of God, gave his inspired testimony, saying, “I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.” (Rev. xiv. 6.)
These glorious predictions have already been in a great measure fulfilled. For every one knows that the religion founded by Jesus Christ, inculcating piety, love, and purity, releasing mankind from every burdensome rite, and abolishing idolatry and slavery, arose in Judea, when all nations of the earth were involved in superstition, sunk deep in corruption, mostly worshipping idols, and when Britain in a state of barbarism was regarded as “ divided from the whole world,” far more distant from Jerusalem than from Rome, yet the transforming influence of the gospel has reached even to us—converting millions of the Gentiles of our isle ; and it has extended its sanctifying blessing, not only to the islanders of the north and west, but to those even of the Southern Ocean, abolishing their cruel rites, with their horrid idolatry, and elevating its intelligent converts to the dignity and moral loveliness of the regenerated children of God.
Millions have, from age to age, been converted to the faith of Christ, “ brought out of darkness," in Pagan degradation, “into his marvellous light,” illustrating “in all holy conversation and godliness," as “the living epistles of Christ,” the reality of their conversion of heart and life, to the honour of God our Saviour. All who profess the name of Christ may not indeed be altogether Christians—“the form of godliness without its power,” is far too manifest with many—but the most severe judgment will be constrained to acknowledge that there are multitudes of the true disciples of Christ in many parts of Europe, especially in Great Britain and in the United States of America; and their zealous efforts in the Bible and Missionary causewhich God has signally honoured in the translation of the Scriptures, to the conversion of thousands to the faith of Christ-clearly indicate the certain, perfect fulfilment of all the predictions respecting the recovery of all nations from error and sin, to holiness and the service of God our Saviour.
THE BIBLE NECESSARY FOR THE CONVERSION OF
THE JEWS TO CHRIST. Jewish infidelity and the oppressed condition of that people, scattered through all nations, are truly remarkable : but these thing were foretold by the prophets of God. Sovereign mercy, however, has decreed their restoration, in their conversion to Jesus, as their expected Messiah. And with their recovery, the conversion of “the fulness of the Gentiles.” The predictions of these things encouraged the friends of the Bible Society.
“For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without 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.” (Hos. iii. 4, 5.) “Thus saith the Lord God, behold, I will take the children of Israel . . . so shall they be my people, and I will be their God. And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd : and they shall also walk in my judgments and observe my statutes, and do them; and my servant David shall be their prince for ever. My tabernacle also shall be with them; yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” (Ezek. xxxvii. 21, 24, 27.) “Blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved ; as it is written, there shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: for this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.” (Rom. xi. 25, 27.)
“God hath not cast away his people, which he foreknew" (verse 2), is the declaration of Christ's apostle to the Gentiles; and through eighteen hundred years, since their crucifixion of Jesus, they have continued “a peculiar people.” Scattered as they still are, through all civilized nations, they form a large community, about five or six millions of souls, “witnesses for the unity of God,” as remarked by Mr. Addison, “and for the truth of Christianity." They are still waiting and praying, according to their mistaken notions, for the promised Messiah ; and there appears to exist among them a disposition to examine the claims of the gospel of Christ.
Education and a spirit of free inquiry are pursued by many of the Jews in Europe, especially in Prussia, where they have an “ Academy of Sciences," in Berlin. Christians also, instead of regarding them with hatred, and as meriting execration, have begun, particularly in Britain, to commiserate their low condition, and to seek their spiritual welfare. A Society, having this benevolent object in view, was established in England, in 1808, formed by different denominations of Protestants. They have published for their use a translation of the New Testament in Hebrew: they have sent forth many missionaries to preach the Gospel to the Israelites, some of whom are converted Jews; and many have embraced the faith of Jesus. Other societies in England and Scotland have entered into this wide field of labour, liberally aided by the Bible Society; and success has attended their missions ; thus affording the prospect of the persecuted nation being restored to the Church of God, many of them probably to inherit portions in the land of Canaan, and even in Jerusalem. To that sacred land many of the Jews have, in late years, been emigrating, in illustration of the Divine faithfulness and of the truth of the Scriptures; while the converts worship the God of Abraham, through “ David their Prince,” our blessed Saviour Jesus Christ.
THE BIBLE NECESSARY TO THE REIGN OF MESSIAH.
Christ's kingdom upon earth, consisting of his government in the hearts of men, securing to them