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by Dr. John Thomas
Israel unable to redeem themselves; and the nations equally powerless to their own regeneration -- The reconstruction of the social fabric the work of Omnipotence by the hand of the Lord Jesus at his approaching manifestation -- He will re-establish the kingdom and throne of David -- The priesthood of Shiloh -- The Ezekiel temple to be built by Christ -- Of the Name of Jesus -- Of repentance, remission of sins, and eternal life -- Death-bed and gaol repentance.
By this time, I presume, the reader well understands what the Lord has promised, or covenanted, to do.
Let him, then, in view of these "exceeding great and precious promises," take a mental survey of Canaan, of Israel, and of the nations -- of Canaan in its desolation, of Israel in their dispersion, and of the nations in the abyss of mortal ignorance, and of dark and cruel superstitions; and prostrate under the iron heel of blood-stained and murderous tyrannies.
This is truly a bottomless abyss from which neither Israel nor the Gentiles are able to extricate themselves.
The Strength of Israel has hid His face from them; they are therefore powerless among the nations, and can neither "restore all things," nor return to their country.
As for the pagan, Papal, Protestant, and Mohammedan peoples, their case is equally desperate with that of the Jews.
They groan under the armed oppressor; they sigh after "liberty, fraternity, and equality"; they long for the regeneration of society; but instead of looking to heaven for deliverance, they curse God and despise His laws; and grasping the sword, undertake the amelioration of society by deeds of blood!
Mankind have not yet learned that the world's redemption from all its evils is from God; nor are they aware, such is the impenetrability of human ignorance, that they have neither virtue, knowledge, power, nor wisdom, enough to deliver themselves from their miseries, and to reconstitute society to the promotion of their own happiness, and to the glory and honour of the Most High.
There is no man, nor any combination of men, under the heavens, that is competent to the work of social regeneration.
If individuals be unable to regenerate themselves, which is unquestionable, no association of persons, however multitudinous, can renew the world, and make it what it ought to be.
That it needs regeneration is self-evident to all the "sons of light"; and that it cannot of itself compass that necessity is equally apparent to all, save those who are of the night.
What, then, is the hope of the believer in the world's extremity?
Let the "testimony of God" be our oracle; and let Him reveal to us the help He has provided, the deliverance in reserve.
In the testimony a voice is heard addressing the nations in these words, saying, "Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from afar: the Lord hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name.
He hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft: and said unto me, Thou art my servant, o Israel, in whom I will be glorified".
Need the reader be told who this great and mighty one is?
Whose name was mentioned by the Lord before his birth?
Hear the scriptures -- "And Gabriel said to Mary, Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus (Heb.
Jehoshua, or Jehovah-tzidkenu, the Lord our righteousness), for he shall save his people from their sins.