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the Jews."* This could not be accomplished in any sense at all answering the magnitude of the expressions, or harmonizing with the drift of the Apostle's reasoning, if the Jews were in the meantime to be mixed among the Gentiles, divested of their national peculiarities, and gradually, or even miraculously, converted to the Christian faith, in common with, or subsequent to, the Gentile world. We maintain, therefore, the uninterrupted application of the language of Balaam, “Lo! the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations."
Seeing, therefore, upon the whole, that we have such proof, direct and indirect, of our general position ; and such satisfactory answers to the objections urged against it, we settle into the persuasion which has been so eloquently and justly expressed, that as the Jews have been, so till the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled, they shall be, "like those monntain streams, which are said to pass through lakes of another kind of water, and keep a native quality, to repel commixture; holding communication without union, and traced as rivers without banks, in the midst of the alien element which surrounds them?”
Luke xxi. 24. “ Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the
Gentiles; until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled."
HITHERTO our subject has been the separation of the Jewish people from all the nations upon earth.
1. The whole twelve tribes during the early periods of their history:
2. The kingdom of Judah subsequent to the casting out of the ten tribes: and
3. The people of Judah, considered nationally, and as distinguished from the election, which has in each succeeding age formed a part of the Christian church. And I hope it is not too much to say, that we have proved the separation hitherto of Judah as a nation, to be not by accident, nor,by policy; nor, in any sense, by the will of man; but by the power, and according to the revealed purpose of Almighty God. And also, that such separation shall continue till the end of the times of the Gentiles. The next question is, What then is to be done with the Jewish nation ? Has God revealed his further intentions concerning them ? And if so, what are those intentions ?
Now, as the further and more glorious predictions concerning the Jews, stand closely connected with the conclusion of the times of the Gentiles, or this our existing dispensation; it seems necessary, in order to avoid ambiguity of expression, and the misunderstanding inevitably consequent thereupon, to consider, in passing, what we mean by this present dispensation, and what our views are respecting its design, and the nature and period of its close.
This, therefore, is our present subject; and though it may perhaps appear, at first sight, to be a digression from the topic more immediately before us, it will be found in the sequel, to be too intimately blended with the Jewish question, to be omitted in any thing like an orderly inquiry into the prophecies relative to the Jewish nation.
It is written, that “ To every purpose there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up,” &c. Eccles. iii. 1-8. And, as in the affairs of men here enumerated, so also in the great purpose of
God there is a time for the accomplishment of each part. In each of these times, the Lord gives out, or dispenses a portion of his eternal design. Hence a dispensation of religion may be thus defined :-A revelation of some part or parts of the Divine will, accompanied by the performance of some corresponding part or parts of the Divine plan.
It will not be denied, that from the beginning, or ever the mountains were brought forth, Jehovah had a plan in view concerning this world : not its commencement merely, but its continuance also, and its termination ; according as it is written, Known unto God are all his works from the foundation of the world.” A part of this plan was, that at some particular period, known only unto himself, and kept in his own power, all the families of the earth should be blessed with the true and saving knowledge of God--the great enemy of God and man being bruised under the seed of the woman. This we know, by referring to the promises made to Adam and Abraham, as recorded in the book of Genesis. Our attention is then directed to the manner in which it has pleased God to proceed, towards the accomplishment of this, his gracious purpose.
He did not make Eve the mother of the promised seed of the woman, and so destroy the serpent