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ftantly and universally, to the faith of the Meffiah, whom their fathers crucified.
The circumstances respecting the manner of their conversion, represented here together in one view, are narrated separately in other pas'sages. That the Spirit of God is the agent in operating their conversion, appears from the testimony of Isaiah, who intimates, that they Thall continue in a state of dispersiori, exiled from their own land, until the Spirit is bestowed for their conversion. “ The palaces shall be for. “ saken; the multitude of the city shall be « left; the forts and towers shall be for dens “ for ever, a joy of wild asses, a pasture of s flocks; uutil the Spirit be poured upon us
from on high, and the wilderness be å fruitcc ful field, and the fruitful field be counted for 66 a foreit;" Ifa. xxxii. 14, 15. Yet more ex pressly, “ Fear not, O Jacob my servant ; and “ thou Jeshurun, whom I have chosen. For “ I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, “ and floods upon the dry ground; I will pour “ my Spirit upon thy feed, and my blessing up“ on thine offspring ; and they shall spring up .* as among the grass, as willows by the water“ courses ;” Ifa. xliv. 2, 3, 4. But above all, the prophet Joel represents their conversion by the influences of the Spirit, in the most explicit terms : “And it shall come to pass afterwards,
“ that I will pour forth my Spirit upon all flesh; o and your sons and your daughters shall proSphecy, your old men shall dream dreams, your “ young men shall see visions : and also upon “ the servants and upon the handmaids in those " days, will I pour out my Spirit ;” Joel ii. 28, 29. That these words refer to the future conversion of the Jews, is evident from the connection. In the preceding context, we have such an account of their happiness as can only apply to the Millennium, ver. 21.-27. and the following chapter (as we have seen, p. 264.) applies to their conversion and restoration. Nor can it be any objection that the Apostle Peter apples the passage to the effusion of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost, because some prophe. cies have a double meaning: This is one of these ; the effusion of the Spirit on the apostles was an earnest of the more plentiful effufion of the fame Spirit on the whole congregation of Ifrael, in their conversion. That the word of God is the inftrument in the hand of the Spirit for operating their conversion, appears from Isaiah : “For as the rain cometh down, and the “ snow, from heaven, and returneth not thither, “but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring “ forth and bud, that it may give seed to the “ sower, and bread to the eater; so fhall my “ word be that goeth forth out of my mouth:
" it shall not return unto me void; but it shall « accomplish that which I please, and it hall “ profper in the thing whereto I sent it;" Ifa. lv. 10, 1r. These expressions refer to the converfion of the Jews, as we learn from their connection, particularly the deliverance immediately following this effectual operation of God's word. “ For ye shall go out with joy, and be " led forth with peace : the mountains and the « hills shall break forth before you into linging, 66 and all the trees of the field shall clap their 66 hands;" Ifa. Iv. "12. The same truth is im. plied in that address of the Redeemer to the Jewish nation : “ As for me, this is my cove. a nant with them, saith the Lord ; My Spirit “ that is upon thee, and my words which I have “ put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy « mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy feed, nor as out of the mouth of thy feeds feed, saith the « Lord, from henceforth and for ever;" Ifa. lix. 21. The preceding verse represents the future conversion of the Jewih nation, according to the interpretation of the apostle, Rom. xi. 26. In this therefore there is a promise, that the fame word and Spirit which converted them, should continue to dire&t their posterity through: out all generations ; confequently it is by the word, as an instrument in the hand of the Spirit, that they are converted, which is confirmed by
the testimony of the apostle: “But even unto this “ day, when Mofes is read, the vail is upon their “heart. Nevertheless, when it shall turn to the “Lord, the vail shall be taken away;" 2 Cor. iii. 15, 16. It is highly probable, that the operation of the word and Spirit shall be accompanied by an outward vision, to effect their conversion, in a manner so powerful, sudden, and universal, as it is represented. The learned Mede suggests this opinion, by way of conjecture', and founds it on St. Paul's conversion, particularly his own declaration concerning it, i Tim. i. 16.“ How, 66 beit, for this cause I obtained mercy, that in
me first Jesus Christ might fhew forth all long" suffering, for a pattern to them which should
hereafter believe on him to life everlasting;”. on which Mede observes, “I pray consider fe. " riously that pattern of St. Paul's conversion, « so differing from all other men's that ever “ were, and how fitly his condition before it re. os sembles that of the Jews, in their bitter ob« ftinacy against Christ and Christians. Why did " Christ vouchsafe so strange a call to that man “'above other men! Was it not a pledge or “ pattern of something that would be vouch“ fafed his nation. I know not whether St. Paul's “ meaning, but I am sure his words may be
· “ applied
(1) See Mede's Works, Book IV.Ep. 14. Idem Ep. 17. Book V, chap. 2.
« applied to what I mean !.” Another ground of this opinion adduced by him, is Zech. xii. 10. “ They shall look upon me whom they have “. pierced ;” together with Matth. xxiii. 39. « Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall o say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name « of the Lord.”-" They will never believe that “ Christ reigns at the right hand of God, un. 6 til they see him. It must be an invincible eviç dence which must convert them, after so « many hundred years settled obstinacy?.”.
The conjecture of Mede appears to me highly probable, from certain expressions of the prophets, respecting the conversion of the Jew. ish nation. Thus, Isaiah says, “ They shall see * eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again « Zion ;” Ifa. lii. 8. The return here promised
is, (1) Book IV. Ep. 14.
(2) Ibid. Mede builds further on the actual conversion of a great number of Jews in Arabia Felix, in the sixth century, by a vision; Book IV. Ep. 17. But as the fiory is not well authenticated, I omit it. In the farne place, he refutes objections that were made to this, opinion by Dr. Twifle ; as, first,“ That the conversion is wrought “ by taking away the vail from their hearts;" 2 Cor. iii. 16. The answer is, " That the one is the internal cause, " the other the external cause; and their joint operation " is perfectly consistent, as in the conversion of St Paul.” Another objection was offered : “ How such a vision should