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he alone, in his days, was a worshiper of Jehovah, and cried, “I, even I only, am left!” The Lord replied to him, “I have reserved unto myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.” (1 Kings, xix. 10. 18.)
The fact is, in our days among Christians, as in ancient times among the Jews, men are too apt (like Elijah,) to judge “ according to appearances,” (John vii. 24,) and to consider those, and those only, to be the children of God, who make some noise about their religion, and in some way distinguish themselves by zeal for what they like in the service of their God; to all such, the words of the Lord Jesus may be a profitable warning, "many that are first, (in this world,) shall be last" (in the next!) Matt. xix. 30.
The great probability is, that the numbers, individually, of God's real and spiritual worshipers among the Gentile world, even during the existence of the Jewish nation, were far, very far, more numerous out of that nation, than in it: as now there are millions of God's dear children (heirs of eternal life,) who pass through this world unnoticed, unheard of, perhaps in misery and distress, “ of whom the world is not worthy,” (Heb. xi. 38,) who are not known as Christians! If it be asked, what advantage then hath the Jew? we may reply with the Apostle Paul, “much every way; chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.” (Rom. iii. 1, 2.)
Jews: a term synonymous with that of Israelites, and applied to the natural descendants of Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel. The Jews as a nation not believing in the Messiah when he appeared among them, was only the fulfilling of the prophecies delivered hundreds of years before the Christian era: (Isaiah liii.
Deut. xxviii. 28.) And when their conduct towards Him while among them, and their determined rejection of His mission, be compared with their conduct in a few days after his crucifixion, when thousands pricked to the heart," and confessed Him, whom they had only about six WEEKS BEFORE, “ with wicked hands crucified and slain," the power and finger of God must be manifest! What? what could have wrought such a miraculous change in the hard hearts of those malicious persecutors of Jesus of Nazareth, who one day were “crying out, crucify him, crucify him," and almost the next day, appealing to the despised Apostles of Him whom they had slain, “men and brethren what shall we do?" How can we prove our sorrow and our regret for such conduct? What, I repeat, but the power of God, accompanying the irresistible evidence that Jesus who was crucified, was raised from the dead, could have wrought conviction and repentance in these men's minds? This took place, be it observed, not in a country distant from the scene of action; but in Jerusalem itself, where He had been crucified! Not after the lapse of a hundred years; but within fifty days after the resurrection of the Lord! Not when most or all of those, who had been alive when Christ was crucified, were dead and gone; no, but when all were still alive! Those who nailed Him to the cross! Those who pierced his side! Those who witnessed the earthquake the preternatural darkness—the rent veil of the Temple, &c.—those who took him down from the cross-those who put him into the grave—those very Roman soldiers themselves who guarded the sepulchre-were then all alive-were there present-could have instantly rebutted the declaration of the Apostles " this Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses!" Why did they not? Was their enmity to the
cause of Christ diminished? Was the bold and insulting language of Peter and the other Apostles in calling them murderers, calculated to appease the wrath or malice of the Jewish Rulers? Quite the contrary-But the truth was irresistible. THREE THOUSAND Jews were that day converted: (Acts, ii. 22. 47.) In a few days afterwards, TWO THOUSAND more! (Acts, iv. 4.) Shortly afterwards (the same year) we read of “ multitudes both of men and women.” (Acts, v. 14.) Again in a few years after this, (Acts, xxi. 20,) it is written, “ how many thousands (in the original, myriads,) of the Jews there are which believe!” Now recollect that all this is recorded in the Acts of the Apostles, a book which the most learned Infidel and the most bitter enemy to Christianity of the present day, admits to be “genuine, and a faithful and fair account.” Lastly, it may with equal propriety be asked what produced the extraordinary change in the Apostles? When their Lord and Master was brought to trial, they proved themselves to be the greatest cowards: not one of them stood by him—no, not even to witness his trial; só much were they afraid of being even recognized as his disciples! But lo! In a few days afterwards, do we behold them with the boldness and courage of lions, standing forth in the presence of those very persons who had put their Master to death, and accusing them of having, "with wicked hands slain” the Lord of life and glory! (Acts, ii. 23.) Was it the ill treatment their master had received that gave them courage they could not have expected
Was His having been put to death-crucified—buried, &c.? Was it His dead body (had he not risen from the grave?) which was still in the grave, or in their possession? Enough to cool their courage if ever they had any! No, no!-All these circumstances would necessarily, so far from giving courage, actually take it away. What then converted these cowards into heroes? The undeniable, irresistible evidence to their senses, that He, who was dead, was then alive, and had ascended into Heaven in their presence, after having spent forty days with them. Acts, i. 2--11. See Gospel.
JOHN THE BAPTIST. The fore-runner of the Messiah, whose appearance was predicted by the prophet Isaiah (xl. 3,) 710 years, and by Malachi (iii. 1,) nearly 400 years, before Christ.
The existence, character, and peculiar death, of this servant of God as related by Matt. iii. 1. 12, and xiv. 1. 12, Mark, i. 8, vi. 16. 29, Luke i. 5. 80, John, iii. 22. 36, are fully and essentially corroborated by that faithful Jewish historian, in the following paragraph:
“Now some of the Jews thought that the destruction of Herod's army came from God, and that very justly, as a punishment of what he did against John, that was called the BAPTIST; for Herod slew him, who was a good man, and commanded the Jews to exercise virtue, both as to righteousness towards one another and piety towards God, and so to come to baptism. Herod, who feared lest the great influence John had over the people might put it into his power and inclination to raise a rebellion, (for they seemed to do any thing he should advise,) thought it best, by putting him to death, to prevent any mischief he might cause, and not bring himself into difficulties, by sparing a man who might make him repent of it, when it should be too late.
ACcordingly, he was sent a prisoner out of Herod's suspicious temper, to Macherun, the castle I before mentioned, and was there put to death. Now, the Jews had an
opinion that the destruction of this army, was sent as a punishment upon Herod, and a mark of God's displeasure against him.” Antiq. Jews, lib. xviii. chap. v.
JOHN THE BAPTIST. The message sent from John, by two of his disciples, to Christ, asking him, “Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another," (Matt. xi. 3.) is not at all astonishing, when we recollect the circumstances in which John then was, viz: in prison! (ver. 3.) Had John personally put such a question to Jesus, after having baptised him, seen the spirit of God descend on him, and heard a voice from Heaven saying, “this is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased,” had he personally, that is, with an opportunity of seeing Jesus at the time, asked such a question, it would truly be inexplicable; but upwards of a year had elapsed since Jesus had been baptised-John was, we know not how many months, in prison. He hears of a person working miracles, he sends (cautious, like all Jews, of imposition) to know who this was? Not, be it observed, was the person whom he had baptised, &c. che that should come?" No, no! But was this person who was said to be working miracles, the Christ, that is, the person whom he had baptised? This makes all the difference imaginable. The Lord's reply is remarkable ; he does not answer the question, but sends them back to tell John those things which their senses witnessed, viz: the blind receiving sight; the lame walking; the lepers being cleansed; the dead raised up; and the gospel preached to the poor, (vers. 4. 5;) leaving John to judge for himself whether he were indeed the “Sent of God.”
JONAH. See Whale. Day and Night.
JORDAN, a river of corisiderable note in Palestine.