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THE INHERITANCE OF THE WICKED.
"And thou shalt take thine inheritance in thyself in the sight of the heathen, and thou shalt know that I am the LORD." EZEK. xxii. 16.
My text in its primary signification, refers to the nation of blinded, rejected Judah; and exhibits in the expressive parabola of the prophet, the condition of a portion of the Jews as a distinct people, scattered among the heathen, the Gentiles, or the nations, throughout the habitable world-it is also, applicable to, and significant of, the peculiar condition of other men who continually rebel against God; tread his laws under their feet; and reject the Gospel of His Son. Paul, as I have several times shewn (in the preceding Sermons,) in his Epistle to the Romans, (chap. ii,) affirms of the great principle by which "God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ,' during the continuance of the Mediatorial reign of the Lord Jesus Christ, as King in Zion. And in Sermon XII, I have shewn, that it is in, and not out of the body, the earthly tabernacle, that men receive a just reward for the deeds done IN BODY. And the testimony is emphatic"He that soweth to his flesh, shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit, shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." (Gal. vi. 8.) This testimony is introduced by the very striking caution-"Be not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." The testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Judge, is equally explicit, and pregnant with meaning, of those that sow to the Spirit, and reap life everlasting," that they shall "NEVER [not] DIE, eis ton aiona."
There is no truth more palpable, than the fact predicted by the prophet, as the consequence of the Jews' rebellion against JEHOVAH, and rejection of His doctrine and commandments. They have, for about 1800 years past, since the destruction of their city, temple and priesthood, and during their dispersion among all the nations, taken their
inheritance, a metonymy for prima facia evidence of the truth of all the predictions of all God's holy prophets of their dispersion, etc., in themselves, in the sight of the heathen, or Gentiles, where their dispersion has located them. The countenance of a Jew, is evidence of the truth of the prophet's prediction; as well as the collateral and corroborating circumstances of their condition, which were specially, and minutely designated in the wonderful phraseology of God's prophets! The Jews have that indescribable distinction of caste, in their physiognomy, which marks them a distinct people. Three thousand years ago it was predicted, that, if the Jews would not hearken unto the voice of the LORD, to do his commandments, the curses enumerated should come upon them; of which were their dispersion, etc.; also, a trembling heart, a failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind; and that they should be left few in number.* (See Deut. xxviii.) What a remarkable accomplishment, to the very letter of the prophecy! Of the twelve tribes, ten have become extinct; and the two tribes that dwelt in Judea, and constituted the kingdom of Judah, viz: Judah and Benjamin, whose capital city was Jerusalem, with the tribe of Levi for their priesthood, and who crucified the Messiah of God, perished in the siege and conflagration of their city and temple, to the number of Eleven hundred thousand, including all the Levitical priesthood; and the survivers of that awful catastrophe among the two tribes, live, in their descendants, to the present day, as witnesses, dispersed among the Gentiles, of the truth of the predictions of the prophets. They have reaped what they have sown. Their condition for centuries, has been astounding evidence, that "God is not mocked." Their inheritance has been the inheritance of the wicked; and they have carried it about with them, in their persons, wherever their lot has been cast, in all their wanderings among the nations.
There is one fact of a singular notoriety, connected with the history of the Jews; particularly of the Jews of our Saviour's day, who lived during the generation that preceded the destruction of Jerusalem, as well as those
* The prophet Moses wrote the five books, inclusive of the book called Deuteronomy, 1452 years before the commencement of the Christian era; consequently the predictions therein contained of the judgment of God, that respected the future condition of his chosen people Israel, etc., were promulgated, and made a matter of record! nearly three thousand three hundred years ago; and 1500 years before their predicted dispersion!!!
that were actually living when that catastrophe happened. In a peculiar and qualified sense, the last two generations that preceded that terrible calamity, may be classed as one and the same, in a sense of their being affected by that unprecedented judgment. For the parents may well be regarded as deeply interested in the fate of their immediate descendants.
I allude particularly to the moral condition of the Jews at that time. Certain commentators have attempted to influence their readers to believe, that the Jews of that age were not judicially blinded. The late Dr. Adam Clarke, went so far in opposition to the Jews' judicial blindness, etc., and Christ's affirmations, as well as the prophets, of that fact, as to teach, that Christ gave a parabolic form to the truths he taught, for the purpose of making his teaching plain to the Jews, that they should, or might believe, etc. That is, to this amount. And he had the impiety, yea, the bold, infidel-like impudence! to say of God, that "If he had designed that they should continue in darkness, he [God] might have saved his time and labour, and not spoken at all, which would as effectually have answered the same purpose, viz: that of leaving them in destructive ignorance."
I request the honest, sincere inquirer for truth, to read Isa. vi. 8-12; Mark iv. 10-12; Matt. xiii. 10—15; xv. 1-9; John xii. 37-40; Matt. xxiii. 27-39. I will ask, and would like an answer- -Would the Lord Jesus Christ have made the prediction contained in the last named sage, if Dr. Clarke's vile hypothesis be true? Also, Paul declares, (Rom, xi. 32,) of blinded Israel, "God hath conCLUDED them all in unbelief," etc. Could God conclude blind Israel in unbelief, without any design, in relation to the blindness, or unbelief of non-elect Israel?* It strikes
I ask the reader's candid, and serious attention to the following-The original Greek term, rendered concluded, in Rom. xi. 32, is ovvékλeloɛ, (SUnekleise,) and signifies as follows, “Evvékλecoɛ, 1. a. ind. act. of σvykdeiw, to shut up together, which see. Συγκλείω, f είσω, p. συγκέκλεικα, to shut up, enclose, throw into prison." Vide Pick. Grk. and Eng. Lexicon.
Also, vide Prof. Rob. Grk. and Eng. Lex. (strong orthodox,) says of sunekleise, etc., "to shut up together, to enclose together." And admits, that in Sep. Vers. (the version or translation of the Old Testament into Greek,) Exod. xiv. 3, this term occurs, viz: "For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, They are entangled in the land, the wilderness hath shut them in." And it did shut them in for forty years. Again-Luke v. 6, the same term--" And when they had this done, they enclosed a great multitude of fishes." Again-Gal. iii. 22, 23, “But the Scripture hath concluded them all under sin. But before faith came, we were kept
me, that the infidel Paine, never denied the scriptures more positively, than Dr. A. Clarke has the positive, and reiterated testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ, the prophet Isaiah, and the apostle Paul. Also, that Voltaire never spoke of the Supreme God, in terms of greater levity, and impiety, than Dr. A. Clarke has done, in the passage above quoted.
But I have one more question, for those who are one with Dr. C. in opinion-How happens it, if your hypothesis of the teachable disposition of the Jews be true, that the Jews have actually accomplished and made certain, by their conduct, by their unbelief, and by their fate, all the prophecies relative to them, also as far as possible, Christ's prediction, (Matt. xxiii. 27-39,) respecting them; and verified the literal application by Christ, of Isaiah's prophecy, (chap. vi.) and Paul's positive declaration; Rom. xi. 32, and, at the same time, the Lord Jesus Christ, the prophet Isaiah, and Paul, be mistaken, and Dr. A. Clarke be right? when the event turned out precisely as Christ, the prophet Isaiah, and Paul affirmed, and not as Dr. C. has affirmed? But this is not all: The Jews have continued, without a moment's cessation, in all their generations, for 1800 years, to confirm, by their blindness and unbelief, the testimony of the prophet Isaiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the apostle Paul, and to contradict, point blank, the miserable hypothesis of Dr. A. Clarke, and his dupes and admirers!!!* Let him that under the law shut up unto the faith which should afterward be revealed." Also, vide Schrev. Grk. and Lat. Lex. "Evéλsioɛ, 3. sing. a. 1. ind. act. verbi ovykλeíw, concludo, q. v. to shut up or enclose; to lock up." etc.
I now ask, in the face of these authorities, orthodox and classical, whether the Jews were not judicially blinded, as set forth by God's prophets, by the Lord Jesus Christ, and by his apostle Paul? Or, are they, as witnesses, to be thrown overboard, by an impudently-impious remark, and a flat denial of Adam Clarke, the Arminian commentator; backed by his dupes and ignorant admirers !!!
*It is a most singular, as well as striking fact, that the eminent (deistical writer, the Infidel) Mr. HUME, in his celebrated Syllogism, intended to confute the accounts of miracles, particularly as recorded in the New Testament, has based his argument on the very ground, etc., that exists nowhere in the universe, (so far as man's knowledge extends,) in so tangible a shape, and of such universal notoriety, and unexceptionable character, and positive feature of unerrableness, as is discoverable in the relation that is so palpably notorious, between the fact of the predictions of the dispersion of the Jews, etc., and the cause of their dispersion, etc.
Wonderful to relate! Here, in the consequence of the argument of an avowed Infidel, is seen corroborating evidence of the truth of JEHovah, His Son, and His prophets; and in the bold, and impudent disclaimer, of a pretended Christian, an Infidel-attack on the Scriptures of Truth!!! (See KNICKERBOCKER, Vol. VII. p. 180.)
can, gird up his loins, and meet these testimonies, and these difficulties, and extricate Dr. A. Clarke's reputation as a Christian, and an able, and an honest commentator, from the mountain of merted obloquy that rests upon it.
The Arminian hypothesis is in an awful condition. They have taken their stand on the slippery declivity of Error, and "their feet shall slide in due time." They have, in their insanity, denied the foreknowledge of the SUPREME GOD. They have rejected the doctrine of predestination and decrees, as taught most fully in the Scriptures of truth, as part and parcel of the mystery of God's will, which is His good pleasure that He hath purposed in Himself. (See Psa. ii.; Rom. viii.; Ephes. i. ii. iii. Also, Vol. 1. Sermon VIII.) They have denounced Calvinism, because that hypothesis sanctioned the position respecting God's foreknowledge and decrees; not because the Calvinistic hypothesis contained an infamous, cruel, and heathen Hell! for they have that part of the matter in their own dogma. They reject the doctrine that God is the Saviour of all men; because there is no Pagan Hell in this glorious doctrine, and Gospel of God our Saviour. They cannot move an inch, unless they move into Calvinism or Hopkinsianism; (the same thing in amount,) or into, what is called, Universalism, viz; the Gospel of God our Saviour, unless they move into rank heathenism.
What! Cannot the Arminian join the Roman Catholic Church?
Yes. Pray, where is the difference, whether a man bows the knee to the Egyptian idol, or Bull Apis, or the thing called the Catholic host? The calf of Samaria, was no more a creature, than is a mass of flour and water. Neither is a stock or a stone, less a creature, than the Catholic host. And the poor Caffre, who bows to his monkey, carved from the sacred wood of the fetiche tree, worships a creature that he blesses, sanctifies, and deifies; and if as honest, for the soul of me, I cannot divine, why his blessing is not as good, and as efficacious, too, as the blessing and deification of a Catholic priest. Look at it: The poor black Caffre, blesses, etc., a piece of wood-the priest, a little cake, made of flour and water! And the Bull Apis, or a real living calf, is a far nobler creature than either the carved monkey of the Negro, or the cake of the priest!
Strange that it never occurred to the idolatrous Catholic, this noted god-maker, that, if, in reality, his petite cake,