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between Israel and the other nations, so far as regards that portion of mankind who are partakers of flesh and blood during the millennium; but none whatsoever, excepting as to the degree, in those who are the children of the resurrection. Whatsoever Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are substantially to be made partakers of, the same will all that have walked in faith be made joint heirs of, whether Jew or Gentile. The Rev. A. McCaul, has endeavoured to shew, and with some success, in his “New Testament Evidence," before alluded to, that the term Israel is always to be limited to the literal Israel, where its meaning can be ascertained by the context; and he therefore contends that the only questionable place (viz. Gal. vi. 16, where “the Israel of God” is mentioned) ought, by the rules of sound criticism, to be interpreted after the same analogy, and not of what is called the spiritual Israel. But it does appear to me that the question is, in this case, whether the national distinction of Jew and Gentile is recognised in the New Testament; for this cannot reasonably be disputed; but whether the promises of the glory made to Abraham are exclusively to belong to those who are nationally descendants of Abraham, or whether all believers will not be partakers with them.
Now this does not depend upon the word Israel, but upon very explicit statements in favour of the Gentiles. They are declared to be made partakers “with them of the rool and fatness of the olive tree.” Romans xi. 17. Nothing can be more plain than what St. Paul advances in Romans and Galatians. He declares in Romans iv. that the promise to Abraham that he should be heir of the world, was not to either him or his seed through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith; and that it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed: not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us ALL;" (verses 13--16;) and thus he is the father, not of the circumcision only, but of those also “who walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being uncircumcised.” Verse 12. In chapter ix. he distinctly declares, that they are not all children which are by the flesh descended from Abraham; “but the children of the promise are couNTED FOR THE SEED.” Verse 7. So in Galatians he declares—“Know ye therefore, that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. iii. 7. “Ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus,” &c. "there is neither Jew nor Greek, bond nor free, male nor female; for ye are ALL ONE in Christ Jesus; and if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed and HEIRS according to the promise.
Verses 26-29. Again, he states in Ephesians, "that it is now revealed, that the Gentiles should be FELLOW HEIRS, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel. Ephesians iii. 5, 6. So in Ephesians ii. he declares, that the Gentiles, though formerly aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise,” are now "NO LONGER strangers and foreigners, but FELLOW CITIZENS with the saints, and of the household of God."
It is endeavoured to evade the force of these texts by asserting, that they refer only to the promises of salvation in the general, and of the heavenly glory. But this is asserted without the slightest testimony of scripture on which to build it; and those who should sit down to attempt to discriminate between the promises of scripture which belong to the risen Gentile, and those which belong to the risen Jew, and to bring proof of such distinction, would indeed find themselves involved in an inextricable labyrinth. The Gentiles will beyond question be made partakers of all those promises which the apostle to the Gentiles holds out to them; and also of those contained in the epistles of Christ to the seven Gentile churches of the Apocalypse; and these are the same as those which relate to the Jew. Thus many who were not then apparently children of the kingdom, were to come (our Lord declared) from the east and the west, and the north and the south, and sit down with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of God.*
Moreover it is important also to observe, in regard to those who in the millennium shall be partakers of the resurrection, that to whatever vicissitudes men in the flesh may, during that period or after it, be subject, they cannot affect those who shall rise from the dead, or who being alive, shall have their vile body changed at the appearing of Christ. These cannot be hurt of the second death; (Rev. ii. 11.) on them it hath no power; (Rev. xx. 6.) “They, which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage: neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels, and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.” Luke xx. 35, 36.
Surely these promises are worth defending: the hope of them will make many an affliction appear light, and animate us amid surrounding judgments and distress of nations with perplexity to endure to the end.
The reader will find this subject more fully treated, as also the First Resurrection, and the condition of the saints therein, in "Abdiel's Essays," before referred to.
ON DANIEL AND THE APOCALYPSE.
In passing to the consideration of The ANTICHRIST, a subject which already has been slightly touched upon or alluded to at pages 49, 51, and 69 of this volume,- we have to quit in a great measure the paths of clear and explicit prophecy, and enter into the obscurer regions of symbol and enigma.
And here I would once more request the reader to bear in mind, that the whole of prophecy may be resolved into two principal portions, viz.—that which sets forth things which shall be hereafter in such literal terms or ordinary and familiar tropes, that we can be at no loss to discover the plain meaning, by attending only to the general analogy of Scripture; and that which sets forth future events in acknowledged figures, symbols, allegories, types, and other adumbrations. The former I would call demonstrable prophecy; not because the latter is incapable of demonstration, but because the means or principles of demonstration lie, in the former instance, more obviously before us, and are, as it were, naked and open to the eyes of every believer; whereas the latter are of a more involved and intricate character, and their meaning and application is in many instances only to be determined by a careful and laborious investigation and comparison of the various books of Scripture; such as Daniel seems to have prosecuted when he tells us, “that he understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, &c.” ix. 2. And as the latter class of prophecies are avowedly in some instances sealed or shut up, so as that they should not be understood by the church until the period when they should be needed, (Dan. xii. 4, 9;) and as in every instance they are couched in such terms as to shroud their general purport or particular application from all who are not aided by divine wisdom; (Dan. xii. 10,) it follows that, in the one case, they could not be understood, even by the church, until the time appointed of the Father; and that in the other case there must always remain a degree of obscurity about the matter, even after the fulfilment. This requires the interpreter to advance his exposition with a comparative degree of diffidence; and it must, in numerous instances, from the different measure of talent, of learning, of industry and of prejudice also, in really good men, give scope for a measure of discrepancy also in their several interpretations. # And this appears to be among the means, whereby, in the providence of God, this department of prophecy is more especially hidden from the ungodly and worldly, who are too incurious and careless humbly to examine for themselves, and who take occasion from the mistakes or differences of Christians to discard the whole, either with profane derision, or with equally profane contempt.
I consider, therefore, that what I have advanced in the former chapters of this volume is susceptible of that demonstration which enables me to offer it with a full persuasion and confidence, that it is in the main correct; saving those passages or topics regarding which I have apprised the reader, as I have proceeded, that I speak of them with hesitation. But for the reasons just assigned,--and from the further circumstance, that my own mind is not convinced in regard to any interpretation as yet offered of the whole apocalypse (however I may concur in certain parts and particulars) – I approach this part of the subject with much greater diffidence.
It might be concluded by some, and indeed is concluded, that as there is so much difference of opinion among the best expositors in regard to the truths contained in this portion of prophecy, that the better way would be to leave it alone altogether, and wait until it please God to cast more light upon it. This, however, is a conclusion which cannot be too strongly deprecated. Letting the subject alone is what, in the great majority of instances, has occasioned that lamentable ignorance in regard to prophecy, which has been one great source of the numerous unsound and superficial and merely imitative expositions that have at different times made their appearance in the world. Many of these publications would never have been endured, nor ever indeed have been written, had the Christian church been sufficiently acquainted with the subject to have detected the grossest errors; but the fact is, that the majority of Christians in the present day are not even acquainted with the text of the Apocalypse, nor with the relative position of the subjects contained therein; but when their regular reading of the scriptures leads them to that book, they turn back and begin again. And this is the more remarkable, considering that the Lord, as if foreseeing the contempt with which this portion of his revelation would be treated by carnal men, has in a very especial manner commended both this and the prophecies of Daniel to our attention. Thus (apparently referring to Dan. viii. 13, ix. 27, xi. 31, and xii. 11,) he says,
* The reader is requested to refer again to what has been said on this head at page 113, and particularly to the extract from Bishop Sherlock, at page 117.
“Whoso readeth, let him understand;” (Matt. xxiv. 15;) and he commences the Apocalypse with the promise of a special blessing "to him that readeth and them that hear, and that keep the words of that prophecy," as has been in a former place observed. Page 14.
But, besides this, to leave alone these portions of divine revelation, would be to abandon all idea of successful inquiry into that important topic comprehended in prophecy-Anti
For, as before remarked, the light which we possess concerning it is chiefly derived from hence. I have not, indeed, any intention of entering into a regular exposition of these books; for neither would the space which this volume affords be sufficient, nor am I prepared by the needful previous light or conviction for the undertaking; but it will be very desirable to set before the reader some information respecting certain topics contained in them; and on some particular points, I may likewise take the opportunity of stating what appears to me to amount to a demonstration; and in others, what commends itself as wearing the appearance of a high probability. It will be useful, however, in the first instance, to make a few particular observations on the books themselves.
1. The authenticity, and, by consequence, the inspiration of the book of Daniel, was questioned by Porphyry, an enemy to the Christian faith, in the third century, on the ground that a portion of the prophecies contained therein was so exact a description of the actions of Antiochus Epiphanes, (whom we shall have to notice again presently,) that the writer must have lived subsequent to the event. The Jews, likewise, have endeavoured to disparage the book of Daniel, from the circumstance of their finding themselves so pressed by Christians with certain portions of it, when they would deny that Messiah has already appeared, or that he was to be cut off. They do not, however, question the authenticity of the book; they only, in some instances, remove it from its proper and ancient situation among the prophets, and assign it a place among that class of the sacred writings, which they call Hagiographa. These circumstances, however, unsupported as the objections in both instances are by any shadow of proof, are in themselves corroborative of the inspiration of Daniel, when once the authenticity of the book is established; in regard to which it is only needful to advance one single and very notorious fact:-viz. that the book of Daniel was translated into Greek, and
preserved by the Egyptians in what is called the Septuagint version, long before the time of Antiochus--a fact which the Jews do not venture to deny.