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precede the introduction of millennial blessedness.*
The proof of this has been anticipated; for, if Jerusalem be trodden down till the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled, those times must be fulfilled when Jerusalem is lifted up; and if, as we have seen in the parable of the tares and the wheat, a continued mixture of good and bad growing together be a characteristic of this dispensation; then this dispensation cannot include a period when all will be good; and, consequently, it must end before the millennium begins. This supplies the true answer to those who allege, that the descriptions of separation given above at the coming of the Son of Man, apply to a period subsequent to the millennium, when a great falling off will have taken place :f for, however the question may be determined, concerning the condition and character of the nations of the earth during the millennium, it is clear, that our Lord's description of the state of the field until the harvest, and the description which the prophets have given of the prevalent, if not absolutely universal right
* See Mr. Faber's Sermon before the Jews' Society, in 1822, where this subject is ably discussed.
| In a volume of Sermons by the late Mr. Milner, published for the benefit of the Church Missionary Society, this view of the subject is advanced, but without any attempt at argumentative support. (Pages 268—272.) *
eousness of the*millennial nations, cannot, without violence, be applied to the same period.*
* Matt. xiii. 24—30; 36—43. Let both grow together Until the harvest. The harvest is the end of this dispensation, when the Son of Man will return with the holy angels, who are the reapers. Let both tares and wheat Grow ToGether, is characteristic of the whole period of the Lord's absence. Now, I ask, is this phrase, let both grow together', equally characteristic of the millennium, and of this dispensation? If it be answered, yes; I cannot for a moment dispute that such a millennium will precede the coming of <the Lord: we have it already. The millennium predicted by the Holy Ghost, is not however, so motley a concern as this would make it. Its characteristics are, the people shall be All righteous—they shall all know the Lord, from the least of them unto the greatest of them. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain. The earth shall be covered with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. From the rising of the sun, even unto the going down of the same, my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in Every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a Pure offering; for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the Lord of hosts. These, and similar predictions, manifestly describe a state of things contrasted • with the present. That state is the millennium. The tares must be removed previous and preparatory to the millennium. The season of the removal of the tares is the harvest. The harvest is the period of the Lord's coming with the holy angels. Consequently, the Lord's coming must be previous and preparatory to the millennium.
It may be here remarked, how every sectarian effort to get what is called a pure church, is a petty attempt to antedate the millennium by the removal of the tares. In all such attempts, the wheat also is removed, or tares are mistaken for wheat, or both, and the scheme proves abortive. A visible church and open communion, correspond with our
I forbear from any detailed application of the subject at present; simply observing, that if this view of the dispensation be indeed scriptural— and if, instead of being in the dawn of widespreading improvement, making progress towTards the meridian of millennial righteousness, Christendom be really on the eve of a tremendous overthrow—then nothing can be more obvious than the connexion between this view of the subject, and the watchfulness of the church of Christ; what he said to his immediate disciples, he says to us all, Watch!
Lord's—let both grow together until the harvest. Then, indeed, the "ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor' sinners in the congregation of the righteous."
Lev. xxvi. 40—42. "If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me. And that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies: if, then, their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity, then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac; and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember, and I will remember the land.
We have now considered the separation and the depression of the Jewish people. Their separation from the commencement of their history, including, first, the whole twelve tribes: then the kingdom of Judah as distinguished from the outcasts of Israel: and (subsequent to the time of Messiah) the same kingdom of Judah considered nationally, as distinguished from the remnant of individuals converted in each succeeding age to the faith of Christ—their depression, during the times of the Gentiles, called by our Lord, in Matthew xxiv. 29, the "tribulation of those days," or as it is expressed in the parallel passage in Luke xxi. 66 Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled."
We have further considered what we are to understand by this expression, the times of the Gentiles: and advanced some arguments in proof of the opinion, that the dispensation under which we now live will end in like manner as the times of the antediluvian dispensation, and the times of the Jewish dispensation ended; beingdesigned for the separation of an elect church from amongst the nations, which church will be completed at the return of Christ, its head, previousto the introduction of that glorious purpose of universal mercy which Jehovah has revealed towards our fallen world.
We thus advanced in our subject to the conclusion of this present dispensation; and then, and there, we found the Christian churches apostate, and ruined; a remnant only being saved: then and there also, we found the Jews a separate people. We now repeat our question, What is then to be done with the Jews? Has God revealed his further intentions concerning them; and if so, what are those intentions?
This leads us into the region of simple, unassisted prophecy. As long as we had history and observation for our companions, we had an occa