Page images

of her power and strength, and preferring herself above all other cities in the world; for she is represented as a queen, which boasts of her prosperity in these words :-“I sit a queen, and am no widow, and sorrow I shall not see.

"1 9th Mark.She must be famous for her cruelty in persecuting the true followers of Christ ; for she is represented as a woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of


[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

The everlasting Gospel of Christ is not like the Mosaic law, given by God only to one particular nation; it is a general law given to all mankind, and intended for all men, without exception of family or nation. “ There is no distinction,” says St. Paul, “ of Jew and Greek; for the same Lord of all is rich unto all that call


Him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”3

When our Saviour commissioned His Apostles to preach His holy Gospel, He made no exception of persons or places, but said to them, “ Go ye into the whole world, and preach the Gospel to every

creature.' Apoc. xviii. 7.

2 Ib. xvii. 6. 3 Rom. x. 12, 13.

4 Mark xvi. 15.


And such was His promise when on the point of ascending into heaven; He said to them, “ You shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem and in Judea, and in Samaria, and even to the uttermost parts of the earth.” 1

Now, since the Gospel of Christ is intended for the whole world, it is manifest, that before our Saviour comes, the Gospel must be preached to all nations. When the preachers of the Gospel shall have entirely fulfilled this gracious commission, then the Lord shall come. This He Himself expressly declares : “ The Gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then shall the consummation come.”2

“ Unto all nations the Gospel must first be preached." 3

It will be observed, that to fulfil this prediction it is not necessary that before the coming of Christ the Gospel be received by all nations, that all nations be converted to Christianity, and enter the Church; but it suffices that the Gospel be preached through the whole world, as a testimony to all nations; that it be proclaimed to all peoples, as a testimony for weal or woe, for justification or condemnation; it suffices that it may have been

; in their power to receive the happy tidings of salvation, and to submit to the yoke of Christ.

This sign of the preaching of the Gospel through the whole world, which must precede the second coming of Christ, has already been fulfilled in great part, and seems rapidly advancing towards completion. The numbers of faithful Christians


I Acts i. 8.

2 Matt. xxiv. 14. 3 Mark xiii. 10. 4. “The Gospel of the kingdom shall be preached amongst all nations for a witness. Now is not this a distinguishing sign of the age ? China, the impregnable fortress of inveterate super

who at this day, more than in any preceding century, are alive to this work, and banded together for the purpose of carrying the Gospel into heathen lands; the wonderful facility with which its heralds can now penetrate the most distant countries, and the ardent zeal with which these messengers of peace enter continually upon their apostolic career, leave no doubt that we are drawing near the time when the prophecy respecting the preaching of the Gospel of the kingdom to all nations shall be entirely fulfilled.



ONE of the most striking facts which we witness every day, is the preservation of the Jewish people in the midst of other nations, and scattered throughout the world. This preservation is really one of the most signal and illustrious acts of Divine Providence. Despised, harassed, and persecuted in every quarter of the globe, the scattered children of Israel mingle not with the families of the Genstition, has lifted up its everlasting gates, and ... the truths of the King of Glory have entered, and the glorious sound of the Gospel may be now heard reverberating in the streets of Pekin.

The Moslem, the Hindoo, and the Chinaman, are emerging into the everlasting light. In every tongue on earth the Gospel has its music and its glad echo. In every latitude and longitude the Cross is revealed ; obstructing walls are falling; and where Christianity may not be accepted as a remedy, it is everywhere he as a witness, and is therefore, according to the words of our Lord, a precursor to the end."-Signs of the Times, pp. 31, 32,

tiles, but remain in the midst of them, a perfectly distinct though broken nation. “No people," remarks Dr. Newton, “ have continued unmixed so long as they have done, not only of those who have sent forth colonies into foreign countries, but even of those who have abided in their own country. The northern nations have come in swarms into the more southern parts of Europe; but where are they now to be discerned and distinguished ? The Gauls went forth in great bodies to seek their fortune in foreign parts; but what traces or footsteps of them are now remaining anywhere? In France, who can separate the race of the Gauls from the various other people who from time to time have settled there? In Spain, who can distinguish exactly between the first possessors, the Spaniards, and the Goths and the Moors, who conquered and kept possession of the country for some ages ? In England, who can pretend to say with certainty which families are derived from the ancient Britons, and which from the Romans or Saxons, or Danes, or Normans? The most ancient and honourable pedigrees can be traced up only to a certain period; and beyond that there is nothing but conjecture and uncertainty, obscurity and ignorance. But the Jews can go up higher than any nation, they can even deduce their pedigree from the beginning of the world. They may not know from what particular tribe or family they are descended, but they know certainly that they all sprang from the stock of Abraham. And yet the contempt with which they have been treated, and the hardships which they have undergone in almost all countries, should, one would think, have made them desirous to forget or renounce their original; but they profess


it, they glory in it; and after so many wars, massacres, and persecutions, they still subsist, they still are very numerous.

And what but a supernatural power could have preserved them in such a manner as none other nation upon earth hath been preserved ?1

The chief object of Providence in preserving the Jewish people for so many centuries, unconfounded with the other nations amidst which they are scattered, seems to be twofold: - 1st. That they may bear a living and constant testimony to the truth of Christ's prediction, who foretold that the children of Israel “ should be led away captive into all nations, and Jerusalem should be trodden down by the Gentiles until the time of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”2 2nd. That they may at last be converted to Jesus, whom they have pierced. For God has appointed also for them a time of mercy, when the veil of infidelity, which now obstructs their sight, being removed, they will bewail their blindness, and humbly acknowledge and adore their Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, whom they have crucified,


God's special providence towards the Jewish people. We learn from Holy Scripture, that no sooner did Almighty God choose for Himself the peculiar nation of the Jews, than He became, as it were, its tutelary and domestic God, ruling and governing them with particular care. Abraham was adopted as the father of this chosen generation. God made a covenant with him, which He con

Dissertations on the Prophecies, pp. 92, 93. '? Luke xxi, 24.

« PreviousContinue »