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aware how much he contradicts himself, when, in another note on this same prediction of St. Paul, he very justly remarks, that, when the restoration and conversion of the Jews “ shall be accomplished, it will be so unparalleled, as necessarily to excite a general attention, and to fix upon men's minds such an almost irresistible demonstration both of the Old and New Testament revelation, as will probably captivate the minds of many thousands of deists in countries professedly Christian : nor will this only captivate their understanding, but will have the greatest tendency to awaken a sense of true religion in their hearts : and this will be a means of propagating the Gospel with an amazing velocity in Pagan and Mohammedan countries.” How can all this be the consequence of the restoration of Israel, if the general conversion of the Gentiles (supposing such to be the import of St. Paul's expression the coming in of the fulness of the Gentiles) take place before Israel is restored ? Mr. Mede is liable to the very same charge of self-contradiction *, and, what is yet more, of absolute inconsistency. For, while in one part of his works he explains the phrase to mean the conversion of the Gentiles, he elsewhere supposes it to be parallel to that of our Lord the fulfilling of the times of the Gentiles, which he rightly conceives to denote the end of the last great monarchy at the termination of the three times and a halft. Bp. Newton is guilty of much, the same inconsistency. He teaches us, that the
Gentiles) take pery same charelute inconsis
* Compare his works, p. 197, 891, 892.
t“Because the Jews are not yet called, it followeth that the fulness of the Gentiles is yet to come: and what then should this fulness be, but the fulness of the Gospel's extent over all the nations of the world 2...
« Some think, that St. Paul in this place hath reference unto that speech of Christ (Luke xxi. 24.), where he foretells, that the Fews should fall by the edge of the sword, and te led captive into all nations, and Ferusalem should be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles should be fulfilled or accomplished. But it seems to me, that the fulness of the Gentiles and the fulfilling or accomplishment of their times should not be the same, howsoever they may be coincident." Mede's Works, Disc. XXXVI. p. 197.
Here Mr. Mede denies the parallelism of the two phrases.
“ The Jews shall be carried away captive over all nations, and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled: that is, until the monarchies of the Gentiles should be finished. For these times of the Gentiles are that last period of the fourth kingdom prophesied of; a time, times, and half a time ; at the end whereof the angel swears unto Daniel (Chap. xii. 7.), that God should accomplish to scatter the power of the holy people. This is that fulness of the Gentiles, which being come, St. Paul tells us, the
fling of the times of the Gentiles means the expiration of the times of the four great kingdoms of the Gentiles when the last of them shall be overthrown, and that the coming in of the fulness of the Gentiles signifies their general cortversion; and yet he represents, like myself, the two phrases as being parallel to each other *.
The common application of St. Paul's expression to the conversion of the Gentiles, seems principally to have arisen from the word Escenon, shall come in ; as if it related to the Gentiles coming into the Church.' But it by no means necessarily bears any such sense. It may with equal propriety be translated shall take place or shall happen t. In this case therefore the whole phrase would be, Until the fulness (namely of the times) of the Gentiles shall take place or arrive. Damparce is the parallel substantive to the verb used by our Lord in St. Luke I. Accordingly, it is elsewhere employed by the inspired writers to denote fulness of time ||.
| PROPHECY XLIV.
The visible manifestation of Christ to confound Antichrist.
Rev. i. 7. Behold he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him: and they which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
Deliverer shall come out of Zion, and all Israel shall be saved. Rom. xi. 26.5
Here, if I mistake not, he asserts their parallelism.
** The times of the Gentiles will be fulfilled, when the times of the four great kingdoms of the Gentiles according to Daniel's prophecies shall be expired, and the fifth kingdom or the kingdom of Christ shall be set up in their place..--Jerusalem, as it hath hitherto remained, so probably will remain, in subjection to the Gentiles, until these times of the Gentiles be fulfilled ; or, as St. Paul expresseth it, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in, and so all Israel shall be saved, and become again the people of God. The fulness of the Yews will come in, as well as the fulness of the Gentiles.” Dissert. xx. at the end. † As in Luke ix. 46.
| Luke xxi. 24. See Ephes. i. 10. Gal. iy. 4.
These words contain an evident allusion to a prophecy of Zechariah relative to the restoration and conversion of the Jews *. Like that prediction, they certainly give us reason to believe, that there will be a visible manifestation of the Lord, at the period when Antichrist is overthown, and the Jews are resettled in their own land. This awful manifestation St. John afterwards describes at large t. Here he briefly tells us, that all the kindreds of the earth, meaning I suppose the great confederacy of the Latin earth or Roman empire, shall wail because of the Mes. siah ; that every eye shall see him; and that they also which pierced him, the lately unbelieving but now penitent Jews, shall look upon him. Amen. Even so come, Lord Jesus I!
CONCLUSION. Such are the various prophecies which treat of the restoration of Israel and the overthrow of Antichrist, and such are the conclusions which I have thought myself warranted in deducing from them. It is obvious, that in expounding Scripture we must not make some parts of it contradict others. This is the principle, on which I have proceeded in the present work; and it is the only principle by which a consistent interpretation can be produced. Some prophecies teach us, that the children of Israel will be restored in a converted state; others, that they will be restored in an unconverted state: some, that they will be restored contemporaneously with the last expedition of Antichrist; others, that they will be restored after his overthrow and in consequence of the tidings of it which will be carried among all nations by such as escape from that great catastrophe: some, that they will be restored by the instrumentality of a maritime nation of faithful worshippers; others, that they will be restored by the instrumentality of a tyrannical power which offi. ciously intermeddles in the concerns of its weaker neigh* Zechar. xii. 10.
| Rev. xiv. 17...20. xix. 11---21. * Rev. xxii. 20.
remor pages. Chi ha
bours, and of which Ashur or Babylon was a type in short, some, that they will be restored in a time of unex. ampled trouble, and that they will suffer very severely as their forefathers did during their exodus from Egypt; others, that they will be restored in much joy and tranquillity, and will be brought back with great honour by the nations among which they are dispersed. These different matters appear at first sight contradictory: and yet, since they are all foretold by the same spirit of God, they all rest upon the same divine authority. We must therefore believe that they will all come to pass. Hence a commentator cannot be uselessly employed, who endeavours to remove their apparent contradictoriness, and to exhibit them as perfectly harmonizing with each other.
If we adopt the scheme, which I have attempted to establish in the preceding pages, this contradictoriness undoubtedly will be removed; and, whether I be right in every particular or not, it will at least have been shewn, that each prediction is capable of receiving its full accomplishment without jarring with other seemingly opposite predictions. Thus, in interpreting these various prophecies, there is no inconsistency in supposing, that Judah will be restored contemporaneously with the Antichristian expedition, and that Joseph and his brethren of the ten tribes will be restored subsequently to it; that Judah will be restored partly in a converted and partly in an unconverted state, partly by some great maritime power and partly by Antichrist; that, being thus restored in the midst of wars and tumults, he will suffer very severely; and that the ten tribes, being restored after the downfal of Antichrist and consequently after the ceasing of those wars and tumults, will return in peace and tranquillity to the land of their fathers. I presume not indeed to say, that my interpretation must in all points be necessarily the true one, for positive knowledge can only spring out of the event: but this I certainly will say, that the different prophecies themselves are in no wise inconsistent, because even before their accomplishment they are capable of being reduced to perfect harmony.
The subject is a very awful one, particularly in times like the present, when the judgments of God are so mani.
with rapidser to their base, gunding ruins. Wreserved, a
festly abroad in the earth. My wish has been to turu the attention of all, both Christians and Jews, to those predictions which I have collected together, and upon which I have commented: for all are most deeply concerned in their accomplishment. I may add, that we of this great protestant maritime nation are peculiarly interested; for it certainly is not impossible, that we may be the messenger-people described by Isaiah as destined to take a very conspicuous part in the conversion and resto. ration of Judah. Hitherto we have been preserved, a column in the midst of surrounding ruins. While mighty empires totter to their base, and while Antichrist advances with rapid strides to his predicted sovereignty over the enslaved kings of the Roman earth; we, through the blessing of divine Providence, have attained to a pitch of naval preeminence unknown and unexampled in former ages. Such being our present circumstances, it is no less our interest as politicians, than our duty as Christians, to endeavour, each according to our opportunity and measure, to promote the conversion of the house of Judah. Whatever may be our success, and whether we be the predicted messenger-people or not, of this at least we may assure ourselves, that no labour of love, undertaken for the sake of extending Christ's spiritual kingdom, will be unrequited by our divine master. Should this work be made instrumental through the blessing of God in opening the eyes of a single individual of the lost sheep of the house of Israel, the author will not have laboured in vain.
I cannot conclude with greater propriety than in the words of Bp. Newton.
“ The Jews were once the peculiar people of God: and as St. Paul saith, Hath God cast away his people ? God forbid. We see, that after so many ages they are still preserved by a miracle of Providence a distinct people : and why is such a continual miracle exerted, but for the greater illustration of the divine truth, and the better accomplishment of the divine promises, as well those which are yet to be, as those which are already, fulfilled ? We see that the great empires, which in their turns subdued and oppressed the people of God, are all come to ruin; because, though they executed the purposes of