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parallel is seen in the prophecies of olden time, “ But now, thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and He that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not; for I have redeemed thee; thou art mine ; I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather them from the west"_" bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth.” In the same chapter, the Lord speaks of “making a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters, for His people, His chosen.” In another chapter, the Lord is represented as exclaiming in ecstasy of joy, “ Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as doves to their windows? Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring my sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the Name* of the Lord, and to the Holy One of Israel," &c. In that happy time, all the fragments of Judah and Israel, will be gathered up, and put in twelve baskets, or set in tribes, as of old. At present they are in the sight of God, as broken bread and dry bones of fish; but they shall not be lost. God, who created all things by Jesus Christ, will send Him again, as Peter declared, “ in the times of restitution,” “at the end of the times of the Gentiles ;" and He will come in the glory of His Father, and the holy angels, and He will gather together in one all things in Christ, which concern the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory.
Now, let any serious mind weigh this subject in the even balance of Holy Scripture, and examine
with scrupulous care, with prayerful attention, and pure love toward the Name of Jesus, the sayings of the prophets, from Moses to Malachi, the Gospels of Christ, the Epistles of His primitive ministers, and the Book of His Revelations: then, say, in the fear of God, “now we believe, not because of the saying of the woman, for we have heard Him ourselves.” By diligently searching into the mind of the Spirit that dictated the parables of Jesus Christ, we may be brought to understand the mysteries of the kingdom of Heaven, that the latter doth not consist in meat and drink, but righteousness and peace; yet is purely literal, because of the presence of His real body, which is glorified, and still remains flesh and bones, that never saw corruption. The words of St. Paul to the Corinthians, “ flesh and blood shall not inherit the kingdom of God," do not contradict the literality of His nation's glory; for Paul believed all the scriptures of the prophets, but he taught the doctrine of His Great Master, who preached the necessity of a spiritual birth and baptism into the kingdom of Heaven, and likewise the literal accomplishment of the words of the law, which was delivered by Moses, who received it from God. The spiritual work, and the literal or outward fulfilment of the law, are equally supported in the New Testament. The same voice proclaimed to Nicodemus the law of God, as a spiritual ordinance, that announced Jerusalem the city of the Great King, according to the testimony of prophets in olden time, and charged His disciples in the presence of a multitude of people, not to think His mission was designed to destroy their work of fore
telling events, or annul the literality of God's decrees in the law. On the contrary, Jesus said, “I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil; for, verily,* verily, I say unto you, till Heaven and earth pass, one jot, or one tittle, shall in no wise pass from the law till all be fulfilled—ALL BE FULFILLED.” Now, the law of commandments is spiritual, and extends its force to the keeping of the outward ordinances thereof, in the Spirit of holiness; and the law of decress which relate to outward things, is sealed by Divine oath, so that Christ must keep the law, then suffer for transgressors of the law; and afterward establish the law. What did Paul say of his Master? (See Romans, xv. 8.) “Now, I say, that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision” ”—“ A servant of the law.” In this capacity the Divine Saviour did certainly fulfil the law of circumcision; therefore, the apostle declares that, in His flesh, Jesus abolished the enmity of the law in commandments, as contained in ordinances; and was able to establish the law, by the Spirit, according to the original design of the law, which was to glorify God, and happify the race of man, who, in his fallen state, is incapable of keeping the law, as a statute of holiness; and of course unhappy, because he is at variance with the law, which is holy, just and good. And what object had Christ in view, when He took upon Himself the office of “minister of the circumcision ?” Paul declares that it was “ for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers. There is no
* A note of Affirmation, &c. the substance of an oath.
difficulty in understanding the apostle's assertion. The promises of God to the fathers, are distinctly named in His covenants with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, which were sealed by Divine Oath, as it is written, " which covenant He made with Abraham, and His oath unto Isaac; and confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law; and to Israel for an everlasting covenant,” even in Christ, which the law given four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, nor the Gospel set aside. Instead of this, the law confirmed it, by its typical import, and Christ has secured both law and covenants together, so that while the promise to Abraham is independent of the law, “the truth of God,” is a main concern of the promised Seed, which is Christ; and this He manifested by His holy life, and his ignominious death. He could appeal to Jews, that He obeyed God, and that He had wrought among them works that no other man ever did ; and enquired for which of them He was stoned. He could appeal to the Father, that He had glorified Him on the earth, and that (as a pattern of perfect holiness, active and passive,) He had finished the work God had given Him to do. He claimed, on this ground, that God should glorify His human nature, with the glory which He possessed with the Father, before ever the world was; and this prayer was answered in a certain degree, by His resurrection from the dead, and the ascension of His person to Heaven, has confirmed His person as 6s the tabernacle of God,” “ the body prepared," so that Peter boldly said to the multitude (on the memorable anniversary of the giving of the law, when the Holy
Ghost descended in the shape of cloven tongues as of fire,) “God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.” Peter, in another sermon, has announced the second mission of His Master, as an ordinance of God; and that this Great event takes place at the opening of “ the times of restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets, since the world began.” The work of restitution to God, evidently commences with the Law of ten commandments, that were written with the finger of God, upon tables of stone, and delivered to Moses upon the holy mount. This solemn concern implies another very obvious fact, which is, that the people to whom that Law was sent by God, in the hand of His servant, Moses, are to be congregated in the presence of the Prophet, foretold by the first presenter of the law to the children of Israel ; and this Prophet is the Messiah, even our Lord JESUS Christ, who is “ the Deliverer that shall come out of Zion," &c. This prophet must confirm the promises made to the fathers; and this “for the truth of God.” He, who once appeared to take away sin, by the sacrifice of Himself, was raised from the dead, and taken up into Heaven, that He might be manifested in His original character, “ the Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty," &c. Compare this with Acts 5th chapter, 1-10 and 31 verses, and you may understand the literal fulfilment as well as the spiritual accomplish