Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

I should think, that the times of the gentiles in this sense may confidently be expected: for “the

scripture cannot be broken. Whether this conversion of the nations to the worship of the God of Israel shall be by their being proselyted to Judaism, as the Jews sometimes appear to admit, or by their conversion to Christianity, may with many persons be a matter of doubt : but the predictions are undeniable: and the times when these shall be fulfilled are “ the times of “ the gentiles; and not the times when the gentiles, at large, shall be destroyed, or crushed, which is no where foretold by the prophets. On the contrary, after several predictions of dreadful judgments on this or the other nation, it is added, “ Yet will I bring again the captivity of Moab “in the latter days.” The same is said of Ammon and of Elam. The times are coming, not when Judah shall rule with an iron rod over all nations, but when all nations shall be gathered to Judah's SHILOH; receive from Judah “ the oracles of God;" worship, and serve, and bless themselves, in the God of Israel ; and honour and love Israel as the chief nation on earth, and the source of blessings to all other nations. And surely it might be thought that this would be more gratifying even to Jews, than their present expectations of lordly dominion : and certainly it will be so, when the Lord shall “ circumcise their heart to “ love him with all their heart.” Then prëeminence in love, and gratitude, and honour, from

Jer. xlviii. 47. xlix. 6.39.

all the happy partakers of their own Messiah's reign, will be far more delightful to them than any worldly superiority.

P. 27. 1. 8. “ This declaration,' &c. The apostle, in the passage here in part quoted, is most undeniably speaking of the eternal judgment of individuals, whether Jews or gentiles. The Jew, “ who is contentious, and does not obey the truth, “but obeys unrighteousness,” will have the first and largest portion of tribulation and anguish;" but the believing and obedient Jews, the first and largest portion of glory and honour,“ in the day “ when God shall judge the secrets of men by « Jesus Christ.” This is the apostle's express meaning ; and the passage has nothing to do, in the least, with the state of Jews and gentiles, as to this present world. The degree, whether of anguish cr of glory, and not the priority in time, is intended; for both will be eternal.

P. 27. 1. 20. “You see,' &c. The texts referred to below, may shew how Jesus and his apostles understood his predictions on this subject.2

P: 28. 1. 2. Not one of the gentiles' &c. It is an attempt requiring no ordinary measure of heroism. for a man to undertake to prove, from the New Testament that none but Jews would be the servants of God! The ancient Jews had no

1

Rom. ii. 4-16. * Matt. xxi. 33-46. xxiii. 34–39. xxiv. 15–22. Luke xix. 41–44. xx. 15—-18. xxi. 20—24. Acts iii. 22, 23. iv. 10-12. 25-28. vii. 37–53. xii. 40, 41. xxviii. 23-28. Rom. ix, 1-3. 24-33: 1 Thes, ii, 13-16. Jam. v. 1-6.

idea of an attempt of this kind. It is far from certain that the Jewish converts are exclusively intended by the hundred and forty-four thousand, who were sealed as the servants of God, “out of “ all the tribes of the children of Israel ;” it being improbable, in the highest degree, that there should be exactly the same number out of each tribe. The innumerable multitude “ of all nations, “and kindreds, and people, and tongues," who are afterwards mentioned, are not said to have been sealed, and so Mr. C. excludes them from the title, “the servants of God."--It is, however, said in the subsequent verses,“ these are they, which “ came out of great tribulation, and have washed “ their robes, and made them white in the blood “ of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the “ throne of God, and serve him day and night in “ his temple : and he that sitteth on the throne “shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no

more, neither thirst any more, neither shall the “sun light on them, nor any heat. For the " Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall “ feed them, and shall lead them unto living foun“ tains of waters : and God shall wipe away all “ tears from their eyes.” 2 If we, poor sinners of the gentiles, may attain such felicity as this, we shall need no other honour.

Much of what follows is assertion : part we assent to, and part we dissent from. But the great point in controversy, respecting Jesus, (Whether he be the predicted Messiah, or whether some other is to be expected,) is not conRev. xxii. 2-A.

2 Rev. vii. 9-17. Is. xxv. 6–8.

cerned in the interpretation, well or ill-grounded, of the texts adduced; and therefore I shall not further notice them.

P. 28. 1. 18. “Now when,' &c. The prophecy of Zechariah, here in part quoted, has been shewn, by the author of these remarks, to have had a partial, yet illustrious, fulfilment in the days of the apostles, and in the succeeding ages: but, that it will have a still more enlarged and glorious accomplishment, when God shall restore Israel, and make the Israelites his willing instruments in converting the gentile world. An extract from the sermon referred to may here be properly introduced.-- The conquerors and destroyers of 'the Jews have become the worshippers of the 'God of the Jews. Jehovah has superseded ' Jupiter, and all the other pagan deities, through

the vast dominions of the Greeks and Romans; 'not to dwell on the utter extinction of the ancient 'idolatry of Chaldea, Persia, and Egypt. The ‘Lord has “ famished all the gods of the earth ; ' and men worship him, every one from his place, ' even all the isles of the heathen." 2 The God of 'the Jews, long unknown, except to that obscure ' and oppressed people, is now the professed object

of worship, throughout the mightiest and most distinguished nations on earth. This is a fact that cannot be denied or doubted. But in what way and by what means was it effected? ' by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith ' the Lord of hosts.' “Ten men shall take hold,

66 Not

Sermon preached before the London Society, entitled, “The Jews a blessing to the nations. See vol. vi. p. 87. of this edition.

* Zeph. ii. 11.

[ocr errors]

6

[ocr errors]

6

out of all the languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him who is a Jew, saying, We will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.” Compulsion was not one of the means employed : the conduct of the persons here stated was the effect of conviction.“The Redeemer was a Jew; all his apostles were

Jews, all the seventy disciples, and all the first 'evangelists, or missionaries to the gentiles; yea, and all the first converts to Christianity, who, dispersed into various parts of the world, carried among the gentiles the word of salvation, were * Jews !-At the lowest computation, each Jew, 'converted to Christianity, won over ten idolaters 'to “ lay hold on his skirt, and to say, We will go with you; for we have heard that God is with you.

P. 28. 1. 23. "Where is the boasting,' &c. I believe no real Christian boasts or glories over the Jews: by the gospel, “ boasting is excluded;" compassion and good-will, yea, a kind of respect and gratitude to the Jews, as a nation, must spring from genuine Christianity: nor is the sentiment, of glorying over the Jews, common even among nominal Christians.

P. 28. 1. 25. ^ By the witness,' &c.-L. 32. * Here he appointed,' &c. The question of the apostles to our Lord, which was grounded on some degree of misapprehension, involved three inquiries, 1. “ When shall these things be?” 2. “ What shall be the sign of thy coming ? 3. “And of the end of the world?” And his reply, without noticing their misapprehension, gave, distinct answers to each. The words, “ This

« VorigeDoorgaan »