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of the past, and in the hopes of the future; with ready pliancy they accommodate themselves to every soil, every climate, every gradation of manners and civilization, every form of government; with inflexible pertinacity they practise their ancient usages,-circumcision, abstinence from unclean meats, eating no animal food which has not been killed by a Jew; rarely intermarry, except among each other; observe the fasts and festivals of their church; and assemble, wherever they are numerous enough, or dare to do so, in their synagogues, for public worship. Denizens every where, rarely citizens; even in the countries in which they have been the longest and most firmly established they appear to a certain degree strangers or sojourners; they dwell apart, though mingling with their neighbours in many of the affairs of life" (History of the Jews, vol. iii. p. 91).
Thus are the Jews kept, not only as witnesses against themselves, but as the Lord's witnesses in all quarters of the world, separate and distinct from all other people; and that, not only those of the posterity of Abraham who were dispersed after the siege and taking of Jerusalem by the Romans, but also the lost Ten Tribes, who were carried away by the kings of Assyria; for various communications have lately been made to the world, through Jews who have visited the Leipsic Fair, as well as by means of an Oriental
Geographical Society established at Calcutta, that a people exist in the interior of Asia, whose usages, physiognomy, and other characteristics, prove them to belong to the Hebrew nation. There can be no doubt but ulterior discoveries will, as the time draws nearer for their return to their own country, more decidedly bring them to light; and that, whenever that time arrives, the veil which has hid them from the observation of the world will be entirely removed.
It was at the early period of their history, when Moses, their great legislator, was raised up to utter the awful threatenings recorded in this prophecy against them, that it pleased God to accompany such denunciations with those promises of mercy which are found in the 44th and 45th verses of this chapter-viz. that when they should be in the land of their enemies He would not cast them away, but for their sakes would remember the covenant of their ancestors.” Succeeding prophets were raised up,
after the lapse of near a thousand years from the time of Moses, when these direful threatenings of overwhelming destruction were about to be carried into effect, and when Scripture history was to cease; and the writings of which prophets carry on the series of events that was to form the great outline of future history to the end of time. It is worthy of observation, with
respect to events anterior to this era, that where Scripture history ends, profane history begins. “There are many fabulous and uncertain accounts of things that happened before; but the beginning of the times of authentic profane history is judged to be but a little before Nebuchadnezzar's time, - about a hundred years before. The learned men among the Greeks and Romans used to call the ages before that, the fabulous age; but the times after that, they called the historic age: and from about that time to the coming of Christ we have undoubted accounts in profane history of the principal events; events that wonderfully agree with the many prophecies that we have in Scripture of those times” (President Edwards on Redemption). So that the writings of the Prophets may be considered, as they truly are, a continuation of Scripture or inspired history; the truth and accuracy of which are most fully confirmed, as far as those events have yet transpired, by the pages of both ancient and modern profane history.
One leading subject in this inspired history of future events, is the reiteration of gracious designs of God with regard to his ancient people of Israel: and assuredly, as their punishments and their unexampled sufferings, recorded in this history, have received a literal accomplish
ment, so also shall the promises of their restoration and future glories.
“ Yes, Salem, thou shalt rise—thy Father's aid Shall heal the wound His chastening hand hath made,
Shall judge the proud oppressors' ruthless sway, And burst their brazen bonds, and cast their cords away."
And why should it appear incredible that the great things which are written in this prophetic history respecting the Jews, shall be also literally fulfilled ? To give them possession of the land promised to their ancestors, Egypt, as we have already seen, was visited with the most tremendous judgments, and the nations of Canaan all but extirpated : and to give them a second time possession of but a small portion of that land, Babylon, the most splendid and magnificent empire that ever existed, was overthrown, never again to rise. The apathy and indifference shewn by the world, and by Christian nations in particular, to the HIGH DESTINIES which await the Jews, as clearly revealed in the immutable word of God, can only be accounted for by the prevailing infidelity of the age. This revelation is called “a sure word of prophecy, whereunto we do well to take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place” (2 Peter i. 19). And what other word or prophecy is there, that can shed its light
with unerring certainty into the womb of futurity? The word of God is not like the Sybilline archives of Rome-like the oracles of the Pagan world like the uncertain and ambiguous prognostications of astrologers and soothsayers : the prophecies FOUND HERE “came not by the will of man; but holy men spake as they were moved BY THE HOLY GHOST!”
We are accustomed to look upon the Jews as so powerless and contemptible a people, from whom nothing can possibly be apprehended, that we consider it impossible that they can have any influence in the great movement that has for the last forty years been going forward in Europe, and the effects of which still threaten to rock every kingdom to its very centre, and in consequence of which “men's hearts are failing them for fear, and for looking on those things which are coming on the earth.” Thus we judge from appearances ! and it is probable the cabinets of the “five great powers," as they are called, would smile with derision, were it for a moment suggested that their greatest danger, their complete overthrow, was connected with the affairs of this despised people. So did Pharaoh ; and so did Belshazzar; but in doing so they knew not that they FORGAT Him who hath declared that He is the “God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob; that “this is His name for EVER, and this is