Page images
PDF
EPUB
[merged small][ocr errors]

243

The Wisdom of Providence manifested

in the Revolutions of Government.

А

SERMON

Preach'd before the Honourable

House of Commons,

AT

St. Margaret's Westminster,
May the 29th, 1701.

BEING
The Anniversary for the Restoration of

King CHARLES the Second.

EZEK. Xxxvij. 3.
And be said unto me, Son of Man, can

these Bones live ? And I answerd,
O Lord God, thou knoweft.
HESE words are part of that Vi-SER M.

sion of the Valley of Bones, wherein the Prophet Ezekiel doth, in a very R2

lofty

THE

VII.

VII.

SERM. lofty and lively manner, set out the Lost

and Hopeless state of Israel, then under Captivity ; and their future Recovery out of it, by the immediate Interposition of a Divine Power, contrary to all Human Probability and Appearance.

The hand of the Lord was upon me,(fays he, at the Entrance of this Chapter) and carried me out in the Spirit of the Lord,and Set me down in the midst of a Valley which was full of Bones, i.e. the Spirit of God reprefented to my Imagination such a sight: And (as he goes on) caused me to pass by them round about ; and, bebold, there were Many in the open Valley, and, lo! they were very Dry : i. e. they were as Numerous as the Dispers’d of Israel in the Plains of Mesopotamia, and as destitute of lively Juice and Moisture, as that Exild People were of all hopes of Returning. And be said unto me, Son of Man, can tbefe Bones live ? And I answered, O Lord God, thou knowesi : i.e. Thou, that art the Author and Bestower of Life, canst doubtless restore it also, if thou willst, and when thou willst ; but whether thou will'st pleafe

to

to restore it, or not, That Thou alone S ERM.

VII. knowest. After which, the Spirit commands him to Prophesy upon those Bones, and to say, Oye Dry Bones, bear the Word of the Lord, together with what follows, in the two next Verses. And as I prophesied (continued he) there was a noise, and bebold a soaking ; and the bones came together, bone to bis bone : And --- lo! ibe finews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them above : And, at last, the breath also came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great Army. Where we have, in the Prophetick way, an Assurance given to the Jews, that, though their Polity was now dissolv'd, and their Tribes dispers’d, yet the time was coming, when the Providence of God would, in a wonderful manner, work out their Deliverance and Return ; re-unite the several parts of their shatter'd Frame, and make that People live together once again under their own Laws, and in their own Country. 'Tis true, this Vision hath, by some of the Ancients, been understood of the General Refurre&tion ; and by others,

VII.

SER M. of the General Restoration of the Jews, be

fore the Second Coming of Christ ; and
perhaps Both these Great Transactions
might be glanc'd at in it, and remotely
intended by it : For the Predictions of
Scripture are generally so contriv'd, as to
extend to more than One Event ; so, as
to be fulfilld at several Times, by several
Steps and Degrees of Accomplishment.
However, That, which the Prophet had
chiefly and most nearly in his View, was,
the Recovery of the Jewish State from
the Captivity which it then groan'd un-
der ; and to That therefore the Vision is,
at the close of it, expresly applied : Son
of man, these Bones are the whole house
of Israel : bebold, they say, our bones are
dried, and our hope is loft ; we are cut off
for our parts : therefore, Prophesy and Say
unto them, Thus faith the Lord God; Be-
bold, O my people, I will open your graves,
and cause you to come up out of your graves,
and bring you into the land of Israel, and
ye ball know that I am the Lord.

The words of the Text, therefore, when taken together with the other parts of 4

the

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »