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“ The casting away of them," is the same as * the fall of them.” They were cast away from the election, as natural branches, by the death of the Saviour. " What," then, “ shall the receiving of them be but [excepts life from the dead;" or a participation of the spirit of Christ, the seed of eternal life, and the principle by which they are to be raised from the dead? They can only be restored, as the Gentile is, by the new birth.
They must be like Christ-spiritual. He is the “first fruit,"_" the root,”and is spiritual not natural; —then “the lump—the branches ” —must be like him.
If God took some branches of the wild olive-tree, the Gentiles, and grafted them in among the branches which remained of the good olive-tree, and made them living, fruitful branches, he can and will take the natural branches, which were broken off by their unbelief, and if they continue not in unbelief, graft them in again, and make them flourishing branches. But their restoration is wholly conditional-“if they continue not in unbelief."
“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits : that blindness in part is happened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in."
"What is the fulness of the Gentiles?" Either the full number of Gentiles who will ever be saved, will be gathered in, and the door of mercy be closed to them ; or the times of the Gentiles, spoken of by the Saviour, Luke xxi. 25, will be accomplished, and the Church delivered from her bondage to the Gentiles. In either case it will not end until Christ comes. For as long as he sits on the mercy-seat and pleads for sinners, " there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek." But " whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” And when the dispensation of mercy closes, unless God raises up again the middle wall between the Jew and Greek, and has respect of persons, it will cease with the Jew as well as Greek.
It is not true that the Jews have not had an equal privilege with the Gentiles-for they have had the same chance. God never cast them away from that privilege. They had their privilege before Christ-they have had it equally with the Gentiles. Will they have another exclusive privilege after the Gentiles are shut out? It is objected, if blindness is happened to them, how have they had an equal chance with the Gentiles? I answer, it is only in part; and it is the same with the Gentiles. They do not all see. Or, if it means "the times of the Gentiles," then the Lord's determination is, “ to gather the nations, to assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them his indignation, even all his fierce anger.”
Isaiah has settled the question of the national conversion of the Jews,—vi. 8-13.
" Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I: send me. And he said, Go, and tell this people, hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes ; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and convert and be healed. Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate : and the Lord have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land. But yet in it shall be a tenth, and it shall return, and shall be eaten; as a teil-tree, and as an oak, whose substance is in them, when they cast their leaves : so the holy seed shall be the substance thereof."
From this quotation we learn, 1. That blindness and hardness is happened to the Jewish people, "lest they convert and be HEALED!” 2. That this blindness is to continue on the nation until the cities be WASTED WITHOUT INHABITANTS, the houses without man, and the land be UTTERLY DESOLATE, or as in the margin, “DESOLATE WITH DESOLATION." Will such a desolation ever occur until the scene described, Isa. 24th chapter, and 2nd Pet. 3d chapter ? Until then, the blindness is on them as a nation. Will it be said, that the “ land," "cities," "houses,” &c., are only the land of Palestine ; and was fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans? If so, then the blindness was then ended. But is it so? If not, it cannot be terminated until the end of the present state of things.
But there is to be a tithe who will return, after this desolation ends. That tithe is the “ HOLY SEED.”
“All Israel shall be saved." But “they are not all Israel," do not constitute “ALL ISRAEL, who are of Israel ; neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children : but in Isaac shall thy seed be called." The elect of Abraham's family, not all his descendants, are the Israel of God. “We, brethren," says Paul, “as Isaac was, are the children of promise." The salvation of Israel, here spoken of, is not the conversion of the Jews, but the gathering of the holy seed into the heavenly inheritance, by the resurrection of the just. ETERNAL SALVATION. " As it is written," in Isa. lix. 20:26 And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob." Let the reader keep in mind, that the elect seed of Abraham's family, according to the last election, is Christ and his CHILDREN. «Behold I, and the children which thou hast given me,” is his language. The Jew has now no more right to the promise, than Ishmael, after Isaac's birth ; or Esau, after Jacob was chosen of God. The subject of the latest election being come, it is in his family alone. Ishmael and Esau have the same right in him, as Isaac and Jacob, provided they come in at the door. “Henceforth," then, “know we no man after the flesh, yea, though-we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now (since his death) know wę him so no more." He was a Jew, but is not so now. He is henceforth the Son of God, because he lives by the quickening Spirit of God. He laid down his blood or life, an ETERNAL SACRIFICE, and is now a new creature. Therefore, if any man be in him, he is a new creature, a spiritual heir of Abraham.
That when the kingdom is restored, it will not be restored to the Jews, is clear from Christ’s parable, Matt. xxi. 33–45; where, by the parable of the householder, he taught the Jews, that for their rejection and murder,
first of God's prophets, and then of his Son, the heir of the inheritance, that when he shall come, he will take THE KINGDOM OF GOD from them, and give it unto a “nation bringing forth the fruit thereof." That nation, Dan. vii. 18, 27, is " THE SAINTS OF THE MOST High.” The elect people, the heirs and subjects of the future “ kingdom of Israel," are “ the house of Jacob,” through Christ the saints of the Most High.
3. The royalty of the kingdom is in David's house, and the government of divine origin.
The heir of David's throne has already been shown to be Christ. Acts ii. 30, further illustrates the same point. “Being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath unto him, that of the fruit of his loins according to the flesh, HE WOULD RAISE UP CHRIST TO SIT ON HIS THRONE; he seeing this before, spake of the resurrection of Christ.” David well knew that a mortal man could not fill his throne forever; hence he predicted the resurrection of Christ from the dead, to endure forever.
Solomon, also, in his dedicatory prayer, understood Christ to be the promised heir of David's throne. Rehearsing the promise to his father David, that there should not fail him a man to sit on his throne, he prays that God might remember, and fulfil his promise. “ But,'' he exclaims, “ will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth?” Thus he evidently believed the kingdom of God and the kingdom of David or Israel to be one; and that Christ, the son of David, would reign personally on the earth. Christ, likewise, claims to have the key of the house of David, and to be able to shut, and no man open, and open, and no man shut. See Revelation iii. 7.
When God subverted the kingdom of Israel by Nebuchadnezzar, as shown under our second head, he declared, Ezekiel xxi. that “IT SHALL BE NO MORE UNTIL
HE COMES WHOSE RIGHT IT IS, AND I WILL GIVE IT HIM.” Christ has come once, but that he did not at that time restore the kingdom is clear from our text, which was uttered just as he was about to leave the world. “ Wilt thou at this time restore,” &c. “ It is not for you to know,” &c. Had the kingdom been then restored, it would have been perfectly easy to have corrected the impression of the disciples, that it had not been restored. Had he only told them, “My disciples, you are mistaken on this point, the kingdom is restored, only it is a spiritual kingdom; the reign of David's spiritual seed on David's spiritual throne;" it would have settled the question forever. But he could not have taken 'a course more directly calculated to establish them and the church, forever, in the opinion that the restoration is yet future, and will be at his second appearing. Indeed, all our opponents admit that the times referred to, are the times of Christ's second advent, by quoting this very text to prove that we can know nothing of that time. But when he comes again whose right it is, God will give the kingdom to him, and he will restore it to his people. " Come, ye blessed of my father," he will say, “and inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Matthew xxv. Its royalty will then be in David's house forever.
The Government will be of Divine origin. Thus, the prophet Isaiah-xxxiii. 22. “The Lord is our Lawgiver, the Lord is our Judge, the Lord is our King, and he will save us." Ezekiel xxxvi. 24–28, God has promised to put his Spirit in them, and cause them to walk in his statutes, &c.
Hebrews, 8th chapter, presents the fact that a new covenant will be given the church, differing from the old Mosaic covenant or law. That covenant will be in a state of perfection, where they will need no instruction ; but all will know God intuitively.
4. The capital of the kingdom is Jerusalem. The election of Jerusalem was made when David was chosen king. “I HAVE CHOSEN JERUSALEM, THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE THERE.” 2 Chron. vi. 6. 6 The Lord hath