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SERMON obligatory to any other people--from express

declarations of the prophets themselves; who call the dispensation of the Messiah, a new Covenant, a covenant written in the heart, in opposition to the law of circumcisioni; who say, that the Lord will create new heavens and a new earth, that is, in the prophetic language, will institute a new dispensation of religion, different from that, which he had given to the Jews, and subversive of it k; who, lastly, speak of this dispensation, as of one, that should be established under a new name, and should be embraced by the Gentiles, as such, that is, by men, converted immediately. to this new religion from their state of Gentilism, without passing through the strait gate of the Jewish Lawl..

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Hi Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah, not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers — but this shall be my covenant that I will make with the house of Israel, after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my Law in their" inward parts, and write it in their hearts, &c. Jer. xxxi. 31–33. See also Jer. iii. 16.

k For behold, I create new hearens and a new earth:; and the former shall not be remembered nor come into mind, Is. Ixv. 17.

1 The Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all Kings, thy glory: And thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name. Is. lxii. 2.

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Judge, then, whether the prophets did not SERMON mean more than a proselytism to their own religion, when they predicted, and in such terms, the future conversion of the Gentiles; and whether such ideas, as these, could ever have entered into the hearts of Jews, if something, besides and above the natural suggestion of their own minds, had not inspired their prophecies.

Add to all this, if you please, that Jesus was himself a Jew, and (to regard him as a man only) in the lowest class of the Jews, that is, of the most confined and bigoted education ; and yet was not restrained by his prejudices from giving that sublime command to his followers - GO AND TEACH ALL NATIONS.

But enough on the doctrine itself, and on the character of its teachers. It remains only

3. To add one word, on the manner, in which this prophecy, concerning the conversion of the Gentile world, appears to have been completed

There are especially two prophecies on this subject, which merit our attentive consideration. One of them asserts, that the conver

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SERMON sion of the Gentile world shall take its rise

from small and very unpromising beginnings,
and yet shall prevail speedily and to a vast
extent; the OTHER, that it shall prevail by pa-
cific means only, without the intervention of
force or violence whatsoever. :13

1. The FORMER of these prophecies is exe
pressed thus -- A little one shall become a
thousand, and a small one a strong nation": 1
the Lord will hasten it in his time. In
allusion to this prophecy, concerning the rise
and progress of Christianity, is that parable of
our Lord applied to the kingdom of heaven
the kingdom of heaven, says he, is like to a
grain of mustard-seed, which a man took and
sowed in his field: which indeed is the least of
all seeds, but when it is grown, it is the
greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree:
so that the birds of the air come and lodge in
the branches thereofn. And, with regard to
the celerity with which this tree should grow
up, we have a prophecy from Christ himself,
and that wonderfully fulfilled--that his Gospel
should be preached to all the world for a testi-
mony to all nations, before the destruction of

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Jerusalem, or within forty years from the date SERMON of the prophecy.

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Now, consider the state of the Gospel, at our Lord's ascension. It was left in the hands of a few, mean, unlearned, dispirited persons : without any countenance from authority; and with every difficulty, every terror, opposed to them, and placed distinctly within their view. Matth. xxiv. 9. Yet these men were commissioned to spread this Gospel through the world, and had an express promise, that they should succeed in their attempt. Against all appearance, the success followed. In less than half a century, the sound of the Gospel went out into all lands; and, within three centuries from the death of Christ, Christianity ascended the imperial throne; and had the utmost parts

; of the earth for its possession.

To encrease the wonder, this amazing revolution was brought about, by pacific methods sonty, as was, likewise, foretold

2. In the LATTER of the two prophecies, toz which I before alluded. -

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Jesus himself quotes this prophecy from Isaiah in the following words Behold, my


Sermon servant, whom I have chosen, my beloved, in

whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment, i. e. declare a new Law, to the Gentiles. He shall not strive, nor cry, neither shall

any man hear his voice in the streets; a bruised reed shall he not break, and smoaking flar shall he not quench, i. e. (as all interpreters explain these proverbial expressions) he shall not employ the least degree of force or violence in the propagation of this law," till he - send forth judgment unto victory, till it finally prevail against all opposition ; And in his name shall the Gentiles trust. Matth. xii. 18-21.

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Let any man read the history of Christianity, from its first publication in Judæa, to the conversion of Constantine, and then see whether this prophecy hath not been exactly and illustriously completed. The followers of Jesus were numerous enough, long before the empire became Christian, to have attempted the way of force, had it been permitted to them and the insults, the oppressions, the persecutions, which they suffered from their Pagan

o Si enim et hostes exertos, non tantùm vindices occultos, agere vellemus, deesset nobis vis numerorum et copia

Tertull. Apologet. C. 37.


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