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“ and also my covenant with Abraham will I re« member, and I will remember the land.” · P. 24. 1. 25. How came the prophet to take
notice of Edom?' Answer: The Edomites hated Israel, and exulted over the desolations of Jerusalem and the miseries of the Jews, with mingled cruelty and scorn. 2 It was, therefore, natural for Jeremiah, when mourning over these desolations and miseries, to think of the Edomites : and it pleased God to employ him to foretel, that judgment from the wrath of God would ere long overtake these insulting foes, and that the Jews would soon return from captivity, and be reinstated in prosperity. Edom is indeed sometimes used as a general name for the enemies of God's people: but, whether it be in this place or not, it is certain that not one word occurs in it concerning the Messiah, or the time of his coming. It is also obvious to remark, that if Edom be the general name of the enemies of the people of God, of whatever nation; Israel also is the general name of God's people, though of other nations. Mr. C., I suppose, considers Edom as the proper title of the Roman empire, in every form. If I misunderstand him, he must set me right. But, however this may be, or whether his reasoning concerning Israel remaining a prisoner, so long 'as Edom is master, be logical and well-grounded or not; it is manifest that a portion of scripture, in which the Messiah is not hinted at, can prove nothing either way concerning the time of his
1 Lev. xxvi. 40–42.
"Ps. cxxxvii. 7. Jer. xlix. 7–22. Ezek. xxv. 8–14. XXXV. Anos i. 11, 12. Obad. 1--16.
coming; except to those who have unscripturally associated the ideas of his coming with the re
storation of Israel :' and, as fact proves that Israel is not restored, no further proof can be requisite to such persons : but an honest man,' (p. 25. 1. 22.) having well considered this argument, may think with me, that it has no relation at all to the present subject.
P. 25. 1. 32. 'Five hundred years before Christ.' The Lamentations were written after the destruction of the first temple; the second was not destroyed till above seventy years after the birth of Jesus: yet Mr. C. in other places, computes that no more than 490 years occurred between the one and the other! (P. 88.)
P. 25. 1. 34. ! He could do no good to Israel.' Jesus did good to many ten thousands of Jews, personally and by his apostles : but what physician can do good to an obstinate patient, who not only rejects his advice and his medicines, but also-fit pugil, et medicum urget ?—becomes a boxer, and fights his physician ?
P. 26. 1. 12. ' Proof from the gospel,' &c. This is a vain attempt to make the gospel destructive of itself. It would be indeed most wonderful, if Jesus, who before Caiaphas and Pontius Pilate avowed himself the Messiah, and who was crucified for that avowal, should be found just before to testify that he was not the Messiah! (1. 26.) But this is not the only instance in which our Lord is introduced as renouncing the claims which he was crucified for advancing. Mr. C. has it fully settled in his own mind, that the coming of the Messiah and the restoration of Israel must
occur at the same time: and thus he is every where led to assume, as self-evident, the very point which he ought to prove.
Our Lord's claim to be a Prophet will come under consideration in another place. At present the expression, “ until the times of the gentiles be “ fulfilled,” may require a brief consideration.
WHAT WE ARE TO UNDERSTAND BY “ THE
TIMES OF THE GENTILES.”
Considerable weight is laid on these words ; and Mr. C. takes for granted that they mean, until the measure of the iniquities of the gentiles
shall be full :' (1. 30—34.) but they appear to me to admit of a very different interpretation.--'Axpo πληρωθώσι καιροί εθνών ; « Until the times of the “ nations shall be accomplished," or,“ shall have been fulfilled.” No'expression, at all resembling this, occurs in the Old Testament; or even in the New, except that of the apostle in the Epistle to the Romans:1 Axes ở và RAqua Tuly Z3vuay An; “ Until the time when the fulness of the nations « shall come in.” When the times shall arrive for the fulness of the gentiles to be brought into the church, “ the blindness,” which “ in part has “happened to Israel,” shall be removed, “ and so “all Israel shall be saved.” 2 This, or somewhat to this effect, is the evident meaning of the apostle: and from his argument it may be concluded, at least' with great probability, that, according to his views, the conversion and resto
ration of Israel will occur nearly at the time, when in the purpose of God,“ the fulness of the “nations” shall become the subjects of Jesus Christ: and that the conversion of Israel, occurring at this crisis, shall introduce that grand display of the power, and truth, and mercy of God: and be “ as life from the dead” to the nations of the world, and be one grand means of accomplishing it. Certainly the apostle meant the conversion of the nations ? and there can be little doubt that the words of our Lord had reference to the same. Till that period shall arrive, “ Jerusalem shall ” continue “ trodden under foot of the gentiles.”
I do not deny that the restoration of Israel will be preceded, and attended, by most tremendous judgments on many nations. In this the prophecies both of the Old and New Testament agree.
The restoration of Israel ’ will, no doubt, be one grand part of the Messiah's triumph over the beast, the false prophet, and the old serpent.2 Besides antichristian opponents, the Mohammedans and idolaters, in Canaan and in the east, will no doubt vehemently oppose the reinstatement of Israel in the promised land ; as the Canaanites did in the days of Joshua, and with the same event. But these dreadful scenes will be of no very long duration, and will introduce the “ times of the gentiles;” or the conversion of all nations to Christianity. Among the converts to our holy religion, Israel will assuredly have a peculiar prëeminence, as the nation through which God has blessed all other nations : not, as they vainly
"Ez. xxxviii. xxxix. 1-16. Joel iii. ? Rev. xix. 11--21.
dream, by ruling over them with haughty dominion ; which they will cease to desire, when they fully experience the loving spirit of Christianity : but by the willing honour, and grateful deference, rendered them by their fellow Christians: Then they will understand and enter into the apostle's meaning ; “ There is neither Jew « nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there “ is neither male nor female ; for ye are all one in “ Christ Jesus.” 1
"“ The times of the gentiles” seem to signify the times, during which the gentiles are per‘mitted to keep possession of Jerusalem; namely, 'till the Jews be converted unto Christ :- then 'their times will be fulfilled ; probably the Jews will be restored to their own land, and vengeance will be executed on those who oppose their return. For these events seem to be predicted, 'introductory to the calling of the nations into
the church. Or, the times appointed for the * calling of the gentiles, or all nations, into the 'church, may be meant. When this draweth • nigh, the Jews will recover their holy city,'?
Nothing can be more clear than that such a time is foretold throughout the Old Testament. I shall not, in this place, anticipate a question which will soon come under our consideration : but let the reader carefully consider the texts referred to below ;3 and he must be convinced,
Gal. iii. 26-29. ? Scott's Bible, on Luke xxi. 20—24.
Gen. xii. 3. xxii. 18. Ps. xxii, 27. lxxii. 17. Is.ü. 14. xix. 24, 25. Ix. Jer. xvi. 19. Mic. iv. 1-4. Mal. i. 11.