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been, the favoured instruments of doing what the apostle to the Gentiles laboured and prayed for, that is, of saving some.
Thus, as during the times of the Jews, "all were not Israel who were of Israel:" the whole nation being called, but only a remnant really chosen and saved; so now, during the times of the Gentiles, all are not Christian who are of Christendom: all are called, but only a few are chosen and saved. The way of life is narrow for the present; but we are waiting for the glorious appearing of the great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ, who will bruise the serpent's head, restore the Jews, and cause the whole Gentile world to flow together to the glory of the Lord, as manifested in the nation of Israel. This harmonizes the scrig4?ures, and - provides for the rich abounding mercy 'of Jehovah to the world, in due time; without attempting to mar the symmetry of the gospel, or to stretch this dispensation beyond its revealed measure. God concluded the Jews in unbelief saving a remnant. He will conclude Christendom in unbelief saving a remnant. And when he hath concluded all in unbelief, and secured to himself for ever the acknowledgment of every creature, that salvation is of grace, then he will have mercy upon all!" O! the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God, how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out."—Rom. xi. passim.
These then, we conceive, are the designs of the present dispensation—1. To take a people out of the Gentiles. 2. To provoke the Jews to jealousy —so making way for the restoration and conversion of the Jewish nation, and the salvation of the whole heathen world.
II. With respect to the termination of the times of the Gentiles, it may be considered either as to its nature, or as to its date.
1. The nature of it will be to all Christendom, what every day of it is to some individuals in Christendom; that is, a separation, everlasting salvation to some, the damnation of hell to others. Of this most important and alarming statement we have, what appears to me, direct and satisfactory proof in the ancient prophecies, in the parables of our Lord, and in the apostolical epistles.
In the ancient prophecies.—The chief enemies of the Jewish nation, during the times of the Jews, were Edom and Babylon. Edom, who shook off the yoke of Jacob according to the prophecy of Isaac: and Babylon, who held Judah in a seventy years' captivity. It is the general opinion of the Christian church, that the Jewish nation was at least in one point of view, a type of the true spiritual church of Christ; whence the application so constantly made of the Old Testament promises, to what is called the spiritual Israel of God. Upon the same principle, we maintain, that the enemies of the Jewish nation were types of the enemies of the church of Christ, and make a similar application of the Old Testament denunciations of wrath against what we call the spiritual or mystical Babylon, or Edom, or Moab. The circumstances of the times in which the prophets lived, supplied a language, in the use of which, as applicable to those times and circumstances, the Holy Ghost overruled the mouths of the prophets to speak of greater things than those. Thus, in the opening of the sixty-third chapter of Isaiah, the language is swelled far beyond the description of any literal victory which the Jews ever gained, under any of their leaders, over Edom or Babylon.
"Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this, that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? —I, that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat ?— I have trodden the winepress alone, and of the people there was none with me: for, I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury, and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment; for the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come." This passage is usually applied to our Lord Jesus Christ, at his first coming to make an atonement for sin; but will the language bear such an application? At that time, our Lord shed his own blood only. Here he is described as stained with the blood of his enemies. At that time, he manifested his loving kindness and tender mercy towards his enemies, making intercession for them even in the agonies of death. Here he is described as treading them down in his anger, and trampling them in his fury. At that time, peace, and love, and free forgiveness, were in his heart towards the vilest of sinners, evidenced in his reception of the expiring thief. Here he is described as having the day of vengeance in his heart. When, therefore, it is maintained that for their blood we should read his blood; that for anger and fury, we should read loving-kindness and tender mercy; and that for vengeance, we should read free forgiveness, and undeserved love—then, it may also be maintained, that the passage before us applies to the first coming of our Lord in his humiliation unto death. But, until these errata, in the language of Isaiah, shall be pointed out on sufficient authority to alter the text, we must espouse the contrary opinion, and maintain, that the passage before us applies to a very different coming of our Lord, at a period predicted by himself, when he shall say concerning those enemies of his, who would not have him to reign over them, "bring them forth, and slay them before me!" (Lukexix. 15—27-)
Thus also, in Jeremiah 1. and li. throughout, the great idolatrous apostacy of the times of the Gentiles, is denounced by the same name of Babylon, and with the same details of vengeance which are afterwards reiterated by the apostle John, long after the literal Babylon had ceased to exist. Compare Rev. xviii. with Jer. 1. and li. On this theme of dreadful judgments to be inflicted upon the enemies of God, at the close of this dispensation, when the Jewish nation shall be restored, and the saints gloriously saved, the prophets are peculiarly full and explicit. Nothing, indeed, can be more clear, than that the times of the Gentiles will end in a great separation. We have further proof—
In the parables of our Lord.-—In the parable of the Tares and the Wheat, which is written and expounded in Matt. xiii. Jesus describes the mixture of the children of the kingdom, and the children of the wicked one, as continuing all along till the harvest; which harvest is expounded to mean the end, not of the material world Tov Koapov, but of this dispensation or age, Tov aiwvoc Tovtov, and then the separation—the tares bound in bundles to be burned, and the wheat gathered into the barn.
In like manner, in the parable of the net that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind; which, when it was full, they drew to the shore, and sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away: so shall it be at the end of the world, (here again the expression is aiwvoe, the age, or dispensation,) the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, and