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the thing prefigured in Joseph's dream, depended on the same moral conduct. Jotham's parable and prophecy, (Judges ix. 15,420.)was accomplished by the wicked conduct of Abimelech, and the men of Shechem. The prophecies against the house of Eli, (1 Sam. chap. ii. and iii.) were accomplished by the wickedness of Doeg the Edomite, in accusing the priests ; and the great impiety, and extreme cruelty of Saul in destroying the priests at Nob. (1 Sam. xxii.) Nathan's prophecy against David, (2 Sam. xii. 11, 12.) was fulfilled by the horrible wickedness of Absalom, in rebelling against his father, seeking his life, and lying with his concubines in the sight of the sun. The prophecy against Solomon, (1 Kings xi. 11,-13.) was fulfilled by Jeroboam's rebellion and usurpation, which are spoken of as his wickedness, (2 Chron. xiii. 5, 6. compare ver. 18.) The prophecy against Jeroboam's family, (1 Kings xiv.) was fulfilled by the conspiracy, treason, and cruel murders of Baasha, (2 Kings xv. 27, &c.) The predictions of the prophet Jehu against the house of Baasha, (1 Kings xvi. at the beginning,) were fulfilled by the treason and parricide of Zimri, (1 Kings xvi. 9,-13, 20.)
3. How often has God foretold the future moral conduct of nations and people, of numbers, bodies, and successions of men : with God's judicial proceedings, and many other events consequent and dependent on their virtues and vices; which could not be foreknown, if the Volitions of men, wherein they acted as moral Agents, had not been foreseen ? The future cruelty of the Egyptians in oppressing Israel, and God's judging and punishing them for it, was foretold long before it came to pass, (Gen. xv. 13, 14.) The continuance of the iniquity of the Amorites, and the increase of it until it should be full, and they ripe for destruction, was foretold above four hundred years before, (Gen. xv. 16. Acts vii. 6, 7.) The prophecies of the destruction of Jerusalem, and the land of Judah, were absolute; (2 Kings, xx. 17-19. chap. xxii. 15, to the end.) It was foretold in Hezekiah's time, and was abun. dantly insisted on in the book of the prophet Isaiah, who wrote nothing after Hezekiah's days. It was foretold in Josiah's time, in the beginning of a great reformation, (2 Kings xxii.) And it is manifest by innumerable things in the predictions of the prophets, relating to this event, its time, its circumstances, its continuance and end ; the return from the captivity, the
; restoration of the temple, city and land, &c. I say, these shew plainly, that the prophecies of this great event were absolute. And yet this event was connected with, and dependent on two things in men's moral conduct : first, the injurious rapine and violence of the king of Babylon and his people, as the efficient cause ; which God often speaks of as what he highly resented, and would severely punish ; and secondly, the final obstinancy of the Jews. That great event is often spoken of as suspended on this, (Jer. iv. 1. and v. 1. vii. 1.--7. xi. 1,6, xvii. 24, to the end. xxv. 1.--7. xxvi. 1,-8, 13. and xxxviii. 17, 18.) Therefore this destruction and captivity could not be foreknown, unless such a moral conduct of the Chaldeans and Jews had been foreknown. And then it was foretold, th t the people should be finally obstinate, to the utter desolation of the city and land. (Isai. vi. 9, -11. Jer. i. 18, 19. vii. 27,429. Ezek. ii. 7. and xxiv. 13, 14.)
The final obstinacy of those Jews who were left in the land of Israel, in their idolatry and rejection of the true God, was foretold by him, and the prediction confirmed with an oath, (Jer. xliv. 26, 27.) And God tells the people, (Isai. xlviii. 3. 4,-8.) that he had predicted those things which should be consequent on their treachery and obstinacy, because he knew they would be obstinate ; and that he had declared these things beforehand, for their conviction of his being the only true God, foc.
The destruction of Babylon, with many of the circumstances of it, was foretold, as the judgment of God for the exceeding pride and haughtiness of the heads of that monarchy, Nebuchadnezzar and his successors, and their wickedly destroying other nations, and particularly for their exalting themselves against the true God and his people, before any of these monarchs had a being ; (Isa. chap. xiii. xiv. xlvii : compare Habbak. ii. 5, to the end, and Jer. chap. I. and li.) That Babylon's destruction was to be “
a recompence, according to the works of their own hands," appears by Jer. xxv. 14.— The immorality of which the people of Babylon, and particularly her princes and great men, were guilty, that very night that the city was destroyed, their revelling and drunkenness at Belshazzar's idolatrous feast, was foretold, (Jer. li. 39, 57.)
The return of the Jews from the Babylonish captivity is often very particularly foretold, with many circumstances, and the promises of it are very peremptory : (Jer. xxxi. 35,-40. and xxxii, 6,--15, 41,-14. and xxxiii. 24,--26.) And the very time of their return was prefixed ; (Jer. xxv. 11, 12. and xxix. 10, 11, 2 Chron. xxxvi. 21. Ezek. iv. 6. and Dan. ix. 2.) And yet the prophecies represent their return as consequent on their repentance. And their repentance itself is very expressly and particularly foretold, (Jer. xxix. 1:9, 13, 14. xxxi. 8, 9, 18,-31. xxxiii. 8. 1. 4, 5. Ezek. vi. 8, 9, 10. vii. 16. xiv. 22, 23. and xx. 43, 44.)
It was foretold under the Old Testament, that the Messiah should suffer greatly through the malice and cruelty of men ; as is largely and fully set forth, Psal. xxii. applied to Christ in the New Testament, (Matt. xxvii. 35, 43. Luke xxiii. 34. John xix. 24. Heb. ji. 12.) And likewise in Psal. lxix. which, it is also evident by the New Testament, is spoken of Christ; (John xv. 25. vii. 5, fc. and ii. 17. Rom. xv. 3. Matt. xxvii. 34, 48. Mark xv. 23. John xix. 29.). The same thing is also foretold, Isai. liii. and 1. 6. and Mic. v. 1. This cruelty of men was their sin, and what they acted as moral Agents. It was foretold, that there should be an union of Heathen and Jewish rulers against Christ, (Psal. ii. 1, 2. compared with Acts iv. 25,-28.) It was foretold, that the Jews should generally reject and despise the Messiah, Isai. xlix. 5, 6, 7. and liii. 1,-3. Psal. xxii
. 6, 7. and lxix. 4, 8, 19, 20.) And it was foretold, that the body of that nation should be rejected in the Messiah's days, from being God's people, for their obstinacy in sin ; (Isai. xlix. 4,-7. and viji. 14, 15, 16. compared with Bleum. x. Jand Isai. Ixv. at the beginning, compared with asisicom. x. 21.) It was foretold, that Christ should be rejeris vted by chief priests and rulers among the Jews (Psalm cxv. 22. compared with Matt. xxi. 42. Acts iv. 11. 1 Pet. ii. 4, 7.)
Christ himself foretold his being delivered into the hands of the elders, chief priests and scribes, and his being cruelly treated by them, and condemned to death ; and that He by them should be delivered to the Gentiles : and that He should be mocked and scourged, and crucified, (Matt. xvi. 21. and xx, 17.-19. Luke ix. 22. John viii. 28.) and that the people should be concerned in and consenting to his death, (Luke xx. 13,18.) especially the inhabitants of Jerusalem ; (Luke xii. 33— 35.) He foretold, that the disciples should all be offended because of Him, that night in which he was betrayed, and should forsake him ; (Matt. xxvi. 31. John xvi. 32.) He foretold that He should be rejected of that generation, even the body of the people, and that they should continue obstinate to their ruin; (Matt. xii. 45. xxi. 33,-42. and xxii, 1,-7. Luke süi. 16, 21, 24. xvii. 25. xix. 14, 27, 41,444, xx. 13,-18, and xxiii. 34,-39.)
As it was foretold in both the Old Testament and the New that the Jews should reject the Messiah, so it was foretold that the Gentiles should receive Him, and so be admitted to the privileges of God's people ; in places too many to be now particularly mentioned. It was foretold in the Old Testament, that the Jews should envy the Gentiles on this account; (Deut. xxxii. 21. compared with Rom. x. 19.) Christ himself often foretold, that the Gentiles would embrace the true religion, and become his followers and people ; (Matt viii. 10, 11, 12, xxi. 41,-43. and xyii. 8,--10. Luke xvi. 8. xiv. 16,--94. and xx. 16. Johm x. 16.) He also foretold the Jews' envy of the Gentiles on this occasion; (Matt. xx. 12,--16. Luke xv. 26, to the end.) He foretold, that they should continue in this opposition and envy, and should manifest it in the cruel persecutions
of his followers, to their utter destruction ; (Matt. xxi. 33,- +2. xxii. 6. and xxiii. 34,-39. Luke xi. 49,-51.) The obstinacy of the Jews is also foretold, (Acts xxii. 18.) Christ often foretold the great persecutions his followers should meet with, both from Jews and Gentiles; (Matt. x. 16,-18, 21, 22, 34,-36. and xxiv. 9. Mark xiii. 9. Luke x. 3. xii, 11, 49,--53. and xxi. 12, 16, 17. John xv. 18,-21. and xvi. 1,-4. 20,--22, 3.) He foretold the martyrdom of particular persons ; (Matt. xx. 23. John xiii. 36. and xxi. 18, 19, 22.) He foretold the great success of the Gospel in the city of Samaria, as near approaching; which afterwards was fulfilled by the preaching of Philip, (John iv. 35,- 38.) He foretold the rising of many deceivers after his departure, (Matt. xxiv. 4, Fl. and the apostacy of many of his professed followers; att xxiv. J.O, 12.)
"new The persecutions, which the apostle Pwas, to the set with in the world, were foretold ; Acts ix. 16. xx. 23,'una xxi. 11.) The apostle says to the Christian Ephesians, Acts xx. 29, 30.)
" I know, that after my departure shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock; also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them." The apostle says, He knew this : but he did not know it, if God did not know the future actions of moral Agents.
4. Unless God foreknows the future acts of moral Agents, all the prophecies we have in Scripture concerning the great Antichristian apostacy; the rise, reign, wicked qualities, and deeds of the man of sin," and his instruments and adherents; the extent and long continuance of his dominion, his influence on the minds of princes and others, to corrupt them, and draw them away to idolatry, and other foul vices; his great and cruel persecutions; the behaviour of the saints under these great temptations, &c. &c.-I say, unless the Volitions of moral Agents are foreseen, all these prophecies are uttered without knowing the things foretold.
The predictions relating to this great apostacy are ll of a moral nature, relating to men's virtues and vices, and cheir exercises, fruits and consequences, and events depending on them, and are very particular; and most of them often repeated, with many precise characteristics, descriptions, and limitations of qualities, conduct, influence, effects, extent, duration, periods, circumstances, final issue, &c. which it would be tedious to mention particularly. And to suppose that all these are predicted by God, without any certain knowledge of the future moral behaviour of free Agents, would be to the utmost degree absurd.
5. Unless God foreknows the future acts of men's wills, and their behaviour as moral Agents, all those great things
which are foretold both in the Old Testament and the New, concerning the erection, establishment and universal extent of the Kingdom of the Messiah, were predicted and promised while God was in ignorance whether any of these things would come to pass or no, and did but guess at them. For that kingdom is not of this world, it does not consist in things external, but is within men, and consists in the dominion of virtue in their hearts, in righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost; and in these things made inanifest in practice, to the praise and glory of God. The Messiah came to save men from their sins, and deliver them from their spiritual enemies ; that they might serve him in righteousness and holiness before him: " he gave himself for us, that he might
“ redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." And therefore his success consists in gaining men's hearts to virtue, in their being made God's willing people in the day of his power. His conquest of his enemies consists in his victory over men's corruptions and vices. And such a victory, and such a dominion is of. ten expressly foretold: that his kingdom shall fill the earth ; that all people, nations and languages should serve and obey him ; and so that all nations should go up to the mountain of the House of the Lord, that he might teach them his ways, and that they might walk in his paths; and that all men should be drawn to Christ, and the earth be full of the knowledge of the Lord (true virtue and religion) as the waters cover the seas; that God's laws should be put into men's inward parts, and written in their hearts; and that God's people should be all righteous, &c. &c.
A very great part of the Old Testament prophecies is taken up in such predictions as these.—And here I would observe, that the prophecies of the universal prevalence of the kingdom of the Messiah, and true religion of Jesus Christ, are delivered in the most peremptory manner, and confirmed by the oath of God, Isai. xlv. 22, to the end, “ Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth ; for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by my Self, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that unto Me every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall swear. Surely, shall one say, in the Lord have I righteousness and strength : even to Him shall men come,” &c. But, here, this peremptory declaration and great oath of the Most High, are delivered with such mighty solemnity, respecting things which God did not know, if he did not certainly foresee the Volitions of moral Agents.
And all the predictions of Christ and his apostles, to the like purpose, must be without knowledge: as those of our Saviour comparing the kingdom of God to a grain of inustard-seed.