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unto Abraham, ** Also of the son of the bɔndwɔman will I make “ a nation ;” and the same thing is elsewhere repeated to Hager : 7" I will make him a great nation." Thus they quickly encreased and grew to a numerous people, so that in the time "Joseph was sold by his brethren, there were Ishmaelites, merchants, who traded into Egypt. They became a mighty nation, and overran a great part of the world ; and the Arabs, their descendants, are a very numerous, fierce, and warlike people, possessing an amazingly extensive territory, and holding a very large empire at this very day.

The most distingushing part of the prophetic description of this wonderful people and their progenitor, is, what the Angel of the Lord delivered to their mother Hagar. 1“ The angel of the " Lord said unto her, behold thou art with child, and shall bear à son,

and shall call his name Ishmael, because the Lord « hath heard thy affliction. And he will be a wild inan ; his « hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against « him; and he shall dwell in the presence of his brethren.” He will be a wild man: This is perfectly true of the Ishmaelites, throughout all their generations, and continues to be equally descriptive of them at the present time. What people on the eartla so wild, untaimed, fierce and uncivilized, as the roaming inhabitants of the Arabias? They dwell, in a great measure, in tenes, range from place to place, live by the bow and the chase, and by robbing and plundering their fellow men.-Their hand is against every man, and every man's hand is against them: They are, and always have been, enemies to all mankind, to whom they can have access, and all mankind are enemies to them. They live in a state of war with the world. And yet, notwithstanding this, they continue a great, powerful, and dreadful nation. They are the terror of all around them, and all who approach their country. And yet this barbarous people remain free, independent and unmixed with other nations ; which is a striking fulfillment of ano

* Gen, xxi. 13.-t Verse 18. Gen. xvi. 11, 12.

and wandering life, been always in enmity with the rest of mankind, and all around them have been enemies to them ; that great exertions have been inade by the most powerful nations of the earth to subdue and destroy them, but that they have never been vanquished to this day; and that they have now existed for near four thousand years the same people, while multitudes of great nations have been utterly lost, and sunk into oblivion, except what history has preserved concerning them; If, I say, these things can be clearly established, and that such a people were exactly and perfectly delineated by prophecy before they had an existtence, and before their great ancestor was born, surely this must afford a demonstrative evidence of divine revelation; nothing could foretel this but prescience itself; nothing could possibly inspire the persons who drew the picture, and delivered the prophecy, but that Almighty and Omnsicient Being, to whom all past and future are forever and unchangably present. The nation to which all this has a reference, is the descendants of Ishmael, the son of Abraham by Hager, the bond woman. And these predictions were pronounced partly by an angel, and partly by Abraham him. self, the father of the faithful, who had been favoured with various revelations from heaven, and partly by the eternal Jehovah, who beholds all things in one comprehensive view. God declared to Abraham how he would bless Ishmael. *« Behold I have bless“ ed him, and will make him fruitful, and will inultiply him ex“ceedingly ; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will inake him

a great nation."--Twelve princes shall he beget ; this was punctually accomplished, and we have the names of the twelve princes recorded. 7“ These are the sons of Ishmael, and these

are the names, by their towns, and by their castles, twelve " princes according to their nations.” Thus they were divided into twelve tribes in the manner of the Israelites in after times, and each tribe had a ruler or a prince over it. God likewise said

* Gen. xoit. 20.-- Gen. xxv. 16.

unto Abraham, *** Also of the son of the bondwɔman will I make “ a nation ;" and the same thing is elsewhere repeated to Hager : p" I will make him a great nation." Thus they quickly encreased and grew to a nuinerous people, so that in the time fosepiz was sold by his brethren, there were Ishmaelites, merchants, who traded into Egypt. They became a mighty nation, and overraa a great part of the world ; and the Arabs, their descendants, are a very numerous, fierce, and warlike people, possessing an amazingly extensive territory, and holding a very large empire at this

very day.

The most distingushing part of the prophetic description of this wonderful people and their progenitor, is, what the Angel of the Lord delivered to their mother Hagar. “ The angel of the “ Lord said unto her, behold thou art with child, and shall bear la son, and shall call his name Ishmael, because the Lord « bath heard thy affliction. And he will be a wild inan ; his « hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against « him; and he shall dwell in the presence of his brethren." He will be a wild man: This is perfectly true of the Ishmaelites, throughout all their generations, and continues to be equally descriptive of them at the present time. What people on the earth so wild, untaimed, fierce and uncivilized, as the roaming inhabi. tants of the Arabias? They dwell, in a great measure, in tents; range from place to place, live by the bow and the chase, and by robbing and plundering their fellow men.-Their hand is against every man, and every man's hand is against them. They are, and always have been, enemies to all inankind, to whom they can have access, and all mankind are enemies to them. They live in a state of war with the world. And yet, notwithstanding this, they continue a great, powerful, and dreadful nation. They are the terror of all around them, and all who approach their country. And yet this barbarous people remain free, independent and unmixed with other nations; which is a striking fulfillment of ano

* Gen, xxi. 13.- Verse 18. Gen. xvi. 11, 12.

ther branch of this prophecy. They dwell in the presence of their brethren. Their cruelties and robberies have provoked many and mighty nations to attempt their extirpation from the face of the earth. Cyrus, that great conqueror of the East, who subdued all the great nation of Chaldea, reduced Babylon, that magnificent city, once the wonder of the world, and vanquished many other people, yet failed, was baffled and repulsed by these wild archers and savage tribes. Alexander the great, the famed conqueror of the world, whose wrath was wrought up to the utmost fury against: them, they mocked his menaces, despised his mighty armies, and he died under all the mortification of disappointment. Antigonus, his greatest successor, though different times he attempted their destruction, was confounded and unsuccessful. The Romans, who vanquished a great part of Europe, Asia and Africa, and res ceived the denomination of the conquerors of the world for many ages, sent against this people the greatest commanders, and most potent armies they ever had ; they sent against them Lucullus, Pompey, and others, each of whose names were as an host; they sent army

after army, and while the nations of Asia around them were reduced to a state of vassalage, this astonishing people maintained their liberty and independency, and enjoy their own country, rights and government, even to this day. What do these events, what does this prophecy teach us? They demonstrate to us the almighty power of God in their miraculous preservation, and that nothing could produce such predictions, but the foreknowledge of the Most High. These things prove to us, beyond all rational contradiction, that the holy scriptures are given by the inspiration of God.

I shall now direct your attention, to a

Third argument in favour of the divinity of the sacred oracles. We have seen a nation dwelling in the same country, inhabiting the same territory, and sustaining an uniformity of disposition, customs and manners, for a multitude of ages, and no people on earth ever continued thus so long, and all exactly corresponding to divine prophecy ; let us now look at another nations, of a very different character, placed in a different situation, subjected to different vicissitudes, which, instead of inhabiting one country, have been dispersed through all the countries of the world, and yet remain a distinct and remarkable people. If we can prove that there has been a great and powerful nation, and of long continuance, that they have been vanquished and carried captive into a foreign land ; that they have been restored to their country; that they have flourished again as a mighty kingdom ; that they have again been subdued, their land desolated, their cities and their capital destroyed; and that they are now scattered among all nations, and that they are in all their dispersions, distinct from all others, and that this has been their case for more than seventeen hundred years, and yet they are a people known unto all; and we find

prophecies particularly designating those events, and describing those people in their present state, in the view of the whole world, will not this afford an irresistable conviction of the truth of divine revelation. These predictions, and their perfect accomplishment we see in the most luminous manner, in the nation and now existing condition of the Jews. Was it not early foretold that they should be a great and Aourishing nation, and that they should inhabit the land of Canaan ? Did not they dwell in that country for a multitude of generations ? Were they not at last totally vanquished by the Assyrians and Chaldeans? Did not the former destroy and carry away ten tribes; and the latter, the other two into Babylon ? Was it not predicted that these last tribes should be held in their Babylonish captivity seventy years, and that at the end of this period, they should be restored to their own land, that they should rebuild their city Jerusalem, and their temple ? All which was punctually fulfilled. And did they not continue a great and respectable nation for many ages?

But the final overthrow of this unhappy people, the desolation of their country, their banishment from their own land, their dispersion among all nations, and their present existing state,

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