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fed Word. Sure it would be much better, and more honourable, to be like the noble Bereans, to search the Scriptures, whether these things be so or no. If God doth nothing in vain, then it is not in vain that all these Testimonies concerning the Latter Day Glory, and Christ's Kingdom, are left upon record •, which the Word of God is so full for Proof, both in the Old and New Testament. .
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Chap. IX. &
The Children of Israel are to continue for many Days or Years, without a 4'king, Prince, or Sacrifice.
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. The First Part os this Prophecy hath had its Fulfilment, flt theset many Hundreds of 1 ears past. 2." Afterwards (which refpeSs the Time of their •Conversion) pall they return, and jeek the Lord their God, and Christ iheirY.mii.
TTOSEA iii. 4, 5. For the Children of Israel £~l fall abide many Days without a King, and without a Prince, and without a Sacrifice, and without an Image, and without an Eph:d, and without Teraj him. Afterwards /hall the Children of Israel re unt, and seek the Lord their God and David their King; and stall fear the Lord and hisGoodness in the Latter j^rj .-.
The first thing I shall take notice of, in these Words, is to enquire who we are to understand by the Chi'dr en of Israel? It is certain this cannot be understood of the Gentiles -, tho' it is said, If we le Chris's, we are Abraham's Seed, and Heirs according to the Promise; for so every Believer is under a Spiritual Consideration;, but not properly the Children of Israel: Therefore the Jews must be meant, who are call'd Israel, and sometimes (as here) the Children of Israel; they being the natural Posterity of Jacob, who was so call'd, from the Time of bis prevailing with the Angel for theBlesfng, Gen. xxxii. 24.
Secondly, How wonderfully doth the Spirit of God appear, in the accomplishment of the First Part of this Prophecy! And that is, the Jews being for many Days without a King, without a Prince, without a Sacrifice, Sec. this Prediction being-foretold, some Hundreds of Years before it began to be fulsilled, Hofea living in the Days of Uzziah, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, Kings of Judah: Yet the Prophet could not have spoke more distinctly of these' . things, than if lie had lived in our Time, wherein we fee them exactly fulfilled. How many Days aud Hundreds of Tears have the Israelites been without a King, Prince, or Sacrifice? Were not the Hearts of the Jews harden'd, and their Eyes blinded, one would think they could not but must fee that the Scripture hath had its Fulfilment upon them: Becausethe Scept er was not to depart from Judah, nor' theLawgiver from between hhFeet, until Shiloh come: And unto him stall the Gathering of the People be. Can any thing bespoken of with greater Clearness than this is, concerning Christ? As many of the
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ancient Rabbies themselves have expounded the
'Word Shilob to be undei stood of .the Mej/iah •, that
th Scepter, or Kingly power, should not depart from
Julah, in whose Loins it was to run until Christ
came. Well! But now we fee that theS.epter hath
departed, and the Lawgiver from between his Feet,
ever since our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ
his Time; they themselves being ¥ itvess: For they
have had none since then, of their own, to give
Laws to them, nor to exercise Kingly Authority
among them •, neither te offer Sacrifices, fince the
Destruction of Jerusalem, and the Burning of their
Temple: So that we may evidently fee what was
here prophetically spoken of, concerning the Jews,
is fulfilled upon them unto this Day. But,
Thirdly, Afterwards the Children of Israel stall % return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their King. By their Return doubtless is meant their Converiion, in owning the Lord Jesus Christ to be the true MeJJiab, the Son of God, the Saviour of theWorld. 2%Their Return hath a respect to their being gathered out of all Countries w ere they have been scattered, and again placed in their own Land, Itch, x 9. idly, Their seeking of the Lord their God, and David their King, does shew their earnest Desire to know God and Jesus Christ, whom He hath sent. a,ly, To know and own no other God, but what they can know, see, and enj y, in the Person of the Mediator. ^Zv, To own the Lord Jesvs Christ to be the Typical David, the true Root and Off-Jprhg of David. 6ly To own him for their only Lord and King, who will then deliver them oat of the Hands of all their Enemies,, and re-establish them atrain in the Land ot Promise •. who will give them