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must be more especially attended to. And we can only now see lect a very few of the many prophecies strongly descriptive of these events. Were we not sure that the predictions were delivered long ago, and that we now behold them daily accomplishing before our eyes, we should be tempted to suppose them a history of things past, rather than of things to come.
That the land of Judea, is a waste barren, and desolate country at the present time, is testified to us by all historians and travellers ; it is such a notorious fact, that none pretend to deny it, though it was once a land flowing with milk and honey. Let us hear what Moses and the prophets say on this head. Moses declares, *** Your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste.'' Isaiah says, † “ Your country is desolate, your cities are burnt
with fire ; your land strangers devour it in your presence, and as it is desalate as overthrown by strangers." Jeremiah also predicted the same event. 1" They have trodden my portion under “ foot, they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness; " they have made it desolate, and being desolate it mourneth unto
Now has not this been the unhappy state of the land of Judea, for a multitude of ages? And is not this its melancholy condition at this very day? And what could indite the history of these things so many centuries before they happened, but the spirit of God?
Observe likewise the prophecies concerning the banishment of the Jews, from their own land, and their dispersion over the face of the whole earth. $“ Ye shall be plucked from off the land, “ whither thou goest to possess it. ll And thou shalt be removed "into all the kingdoms of the earth. The Lord shall scatter thee " among all people, from one end of the earth even unto the other." What people have ever been scattered like the Jews ? Where is the kingdon or nation in Europe, Asia, Africa or America, in
* Levit. xxvi. 23• Is. i. 7, 8. 1 Jer. xii. 10, 11. Deut. xxxviii. 63. 10. 25. .61.
which there are not many of this dispersed and forlorn people? Are they not exterminated from their own country, spread over the face of the earth, and intermixed with all nations? And yet they remain to the present time, a distinct people, clearly known to all, and clearly distinguished from all. This was foretold by Moses. *" Yet for all thats when they be in the land of their " enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, ś to destroy them utterly." Thus speaks Jeremiah, f“ I will « make a full end of ail the nations whether I have driven thee, " but I will not make a full end of thee.” Thus the Jews are erected as a monument in the midst of all nations, of all tribes and languages, of the truth of divine revelation. Was the pillar in the wilderness, which shed light through all the Israelitish encampment by night, so that they stood in no need of candle or lamp in their tents, and covered the whole host with a shady cloud by day, so as to screen them from the scorching beams of the sun in that parched desart and sultry clime? Was this a standing miracle to the Israelites, of the presence of Almighty God with them, and is not the exact fulfillment of prophecy with regard to the Jews equally before all nations, a standing miracle of the power of God in favor of the scripture as being of divine irspiration? Why should I mention, that it was predicted, " They “ should become an astonishment, a proverb, and a by-word “ among all nations. That their plagues should be wonderful “ and of long continuance," all which, and a thousand other prophecies respecting this nation, have been accomplished and are now accomplishing in the view of the whole world. Was there ever any thing besides like this under the sun ? What evidence of revelation can the unbeliever wish, if this does not demonstrate that the scriptures are given by the inspiration of God ?
This subject would now admit of a very large and useful im. provement, but I must close with one counsel only.
Seeing the truth of the Scriptures can be established as it wette by occular demonstration, how should all be induced to search them, for our life is in them, even the life of our immortal souls? How should we give the most earrest heed unto them, as a light shining in a dark place ? How should we be all attention to them, lest at any time we should let them slip? Remember if we believe not Moses and the prophets, neither should we believe, if one came to us from the dead. O, for God's sake, for the sake of our never dying souls, let us believe with all our hearts. Let us fervently pray, saying, “ Lord we believe, help thou our unbe clief.” If the word spoken “ by Angels was stedfast, and every trangression received a just recompence of reward, how shall
if we neglect so great salvation ; which at the first “ began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us “ by them that heard them; God also bearing them witness by
signs and wonders, divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy “ Ghost."* Let us without wavering, stedfastly and perseveringly believe that all Scripture is given by inspiration of God.
< we escape
* Heb. ii, 1, 2, 3. 4.
THE DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY ESTABLISHED.
1. JOHN v. 7.
For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, tha
Son, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one. HAVING produced a few arguments for the proof of the die vinity of the holy scriptures, I proceed now to consider and establish one of the most solemn and fundamental doctrines revealed therein, to wit, the mysterious and important doctrine of the Trinity, or that there are three persons in the Godhead. A belief of this branch of divine revelation is, doubtiess, of high moment in the christian religion. It is hard to conceive how any person can be a real christian, who denies this doctrine, because it seems to lie at the foundation of the scheme of redemption, and the salvation of sinners. It is here plainly and strongly asserted in this text. I shall not waste your time, by leading your atten.. tion to a learned discussion of the genuineness of this passage, which would very little promote your edification or comfort. Although it has been omitted in some ancient copies of the Greek testament, and found in others of equal antiquity and authority, yet it would be very uncharitable to attribute this to the wickedness of transcribers either in the omission or interpolation. 1: could serve no useful purpose in one case or the other. This text, with great certainty, could be made appear to be genuine from the context, from the nature of the Apostle's discourse, from the propriety of its introduction in this place, from what precedes it, and what follows after it. The very dust of gold is precious, therefore, we ought not easily to surrender one passage of saered writ. It is but one among a multitude of authorities, to confirm our faith in the doctrine of the holy Trinity. If this text were expunged from our bibles, it could be of no service to the cause of our adversaries, for we have a variety of other texts as full and explicit in support of the doctrine of three persons in one divine essence or Godhead as this.
The apostle John is here evidently establishing the faith of christians in this great truth, that Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified without the gates of Jerusalem, is the son of God, the promised Mesiah, the only Saviour of the world. This faitli, as it is essential to the being, comfort and salvation of the chrisțian, it is of the utmost consequence, that it be evinced by the anost ample testimony. For this purpose, he produces six witnesses, each of whose testimony is infallible, and cannot be dea nied, nor evaded. Three of these witnesses are in heaven, and three upon earth. The former three are said to be one, and the latter three are said to agree in one. Waving the apostle's design and mode of argumentation, we shall endeavour to attend to the text in a disconnected and independent view, as it represents to us the doctrine of the ever glorious Trinity. We have here a Trinity plainly and fully declared, mention being explicit ly made of three, and an express distinction of names ascribed to them. “ There are three that bear record in heaven, the Fa. « ther, the word and the Holy Ghost.” The matter of the testimony of these wonderful persons is, that Jesus is the Son of God and the Saviour of sinners, as has been already observed. By the words in heaven, no doubt is meant the grandeur and exalted truth of their testimony, as well as the dignified place from whence it proceeds. The sacred Three bear witness in a majestic, glorious and celestial manner, the habitation of whose transcend. ent excellency is in heaven, fron whence this extraordinary evidence comes. The first is God the Father, who testified in favor