« הקודםהמשך »
hands in the blood of Christ, and called down imprecations upon their devoted heads, that vengeance overtook them. The Gospel was first to be preached in Jerusalem-the glad tidings of salvation to be proclaimed to the murderers of the Saviour—the Gospel was to be sounded from Judea all over the world, before the end was!
It was not until the Jews had rejected the offered mercy, and “judged themselves unworthy of eternal life,” that the Apostles turned wholly to the Gentiles, and the flood-gates of Divine wrath were opened, that carried such death, carnage, and desolation in their train, as the world had never before witnessed. Then all the threatenings uttered by all their prophets, from Moses to Christ, were fulfilled in their perfection. The Jews since this time “ have been removed into all nations, for their hurt; a sword has been drawn after them; they have found no rest for the soles of their feet; they have not been able to stand before their enemies; there has been no might in their hands; their very avarice has proved their misery; they have been spoiled evermore; they have been oppressed and crushed alway; they have been mad for the sight of their eyes that they did see:” “they have been often left in hunger, and thirst, and nakedness, and in want of all things;--a trembling heart and sorrow of mind have been their portion ; they have often had none assurance of their life; their plagues have been wonderful, and great, and of long continuance; and they have been for a sign and for a wonder during many generations.” (Keith.) « Thus Israel's sons, by scorpion curses driven, Outcasts of earth, and reprobates of Heaven, Through the wide world in hopeless exile stray,
Remorse and shame sole comrades of their way." But though they were thus to “abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without a teraphim,” yet “afterwards," saith the prophet, "shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their King; and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days” (Hosea iii. 4, 5).
And in predicting their heavy judgments in this prophecy, God did not leave them without a gracious reservation ; for this overspreading of abomination was to make desolate—not for ever—but only UNTIL the consummation, and that determined shall be poured out upon the desolate.” The Saviour himself, in similar but fuller language, when pronouncing these judgments, expressed the same reservation: “UNTIL the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled” (Luke xxi. 24). And St. Paul says, that “blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in” (Rom. xi. 25). And
moreover, “if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles, how much more their fulness?”... “ And if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?” (Rom. xi. 12, 15).
From these, and other passages that will be afterwards quoted, it is evident that mercy is in reserve for the Jewish people; that their present condition is to have a termination; that they will ere long be gathered in on every side, and brought to their own land; and that this glorious era will be the introduction of a new dispensation to the world.
The general impression, both of the Jewish and Christian churches, is, that this important period is very near at hand.
As the consideration, however, of the chronology of unfulfilled prophecy will form a separate portion of this work, to which attention will be immediately directed, the fulfilled periods having now been all gone through, the light which it has pleased God to throw upon the time when it will take place will then be brought forward. Let, therefore, this predicted time but arrive-of which already portends of no equivocal significance, like the shooting forth of the fig-tree, begin to appear—let the “consummation” here spoken of but arrive, and an unprecedented scene of wonders will undoubtedly burst upon the world. Every scheme of human policy will be confounded in the immediate displays of Divine power; every apostate religion shall be overthrown; and the present state of things, maugre all opposition, shall be constrained to give way to the triumphant accomplishment of what God hath purposed.
I will only add, in conclusion, the fervent prayer, that the ever-blessed Spirit, who indited all the wonderful prophecies to be found in the Holy Scriptures, and thus opened to our eyes a vista into futurity only there to be found, may direct both the writer and reader to form correct conclusions in what yet lies before them. May He prepare our minds for His coming judgments; enable us to keep on our watch-tower, with our loins girt and our lamps burning; and when the awful blast is sounded, which shall reverberate through the length and breadth of the world “IT IS DONE,” may we be able to lift up our heads with joy, to meet our coming and adorable Lord and Saviour !