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11.) as having been already fulfilled by the manifestation of Christ, who abrogated the old covenant with Israel, which was confined to FEW, and made a new covenant with the world, which was extended to ALL.
It is believed, however, that the predictions above recited will receive a more particular accomplishment hereafter, and that the glory even of the primitive Church shall be far surpassed. But it does not appear, that the conversion of men at any future period will be UNIVERSAL . It is evident, indeed, from the sure word of prophecy, that there will be a long time of general holiness and peace, which will succeed to the present reign of vice and misery, probably a thousand
years,” during which, righteousness will be as common as wickedness is now; and further, that this period is at hand, even at the door.* But I see no ground for believing that such righteousness will be universal, or that this life will ever be other than a state of probation and trial to qualify for “meetness “ for the heavenly kingdom.” Our Saviour sets forth, in different places, the character of his
# See Scott's Bible, Rev. xx. 4.
Church, to the end of time, and that character is always the same. The Gospel he compares to "seed sown by the sower, some on good and "some on bad ground.” Those who hear this Gospel he compares to men building on the rock, or on the sand; travelling in the broad, or in the narrow way; and to wheat and tares growing in the same field. " The field is the world,” saith our Lord; “ the good seed are the children of the kingdom : the tares are the “ children of the wicked one : the enemy that r sowed them is the devil : the harvest is the « end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.” Matth. xiii. 39. This we believe to be a picture of the visible Church to the end of time.
In regard to the progress, conflict, and final extent of the Gospel, our Saviour notices all these circumstances generally in his last discourse to his disciples. In the twenty-fourth chapter of St. Matthew, he gives an epitome of his more detailed prophecy in the Book of Revelation. He foretels that there shall be “ wars “ and rumours of wars, persecutions, famines,
pestilences, earthquakes, false prophets, and apostasies :" and then he adds, “ And this Gos
pel of the kingdom shall be preached in all
" the world for a WITNESS unto all nations : " and then shall the end come.”
To suppose that there will be a period when the Church on earth shall be no longer militant, is to suppose that a time will come when the Christian may die without being able to say, “ I have fought a good fight;" when there will be little inward corruption, and little outward opposition; little vestige of the old Adam, in the new race, and little use for the old Bible, in the new state of things. Let us interpret Scripture soberly. When the Milennium arrives, knowledge and holiness will be general; but not universal. Perfection is to be attained, not in this world, but in heaven.
On the Author's return to England, he found that a Society had been instituted for the Conversion of the Jews; and he was not a little surprised to hear that some Christians had opposed its institution. He was less surprised at this, however, when he he was informed that objections had been brought against the Society for the circulation of the BIBLE.
It is possible to urge political arguments against Christianity
itself. Such a spirit as this does not seem entitled to much courtesy ; for it springs directly from this assumption, That the Bible is not from God, or, That there is something greater than
The grand object, which now engages the attention of the Jewish Institution is a Translation of the New Testament into the Hebrew Language. To assist them in this important work, a copy of the Manuscript found in Malabar, now commonly called the Travancore Testament, has been presented to them.* The volume has been fairly described by Mr. Yeates, of Cambridge, in the square Hebrew character, and forms three volumes, quarto. The question now under consideration by the Society is, whether it shall be received as the basis for the general translation. The first sheet of the intended version has already been printed off, for the purpose of being submitted as a specimen to the best Hebrew scholars in the kingdom, both Jews and Christians; in order that it may go forth in as perfect a form as may be. So that it is possible, that before the end of the present year, the Four Gospels will be published,
* See p. 207.
and copies sent to the Jews in the East, as the FIRST-FRUITS of the Jewish Institution. It is very remarkable, that this should be the very year which was calculated long ago, by a learned man, as that in which “ the times of happiness “ to Israel ” should begin. In the year 1677, Mr. Samuel Lee, a scholar of enlarged views, who had studied the prophetical writings with great attention, published a small volume, enti
“Israel Redux, or The Restauration of " Israel.” He calculates the event from the prophecies of Daniel and of St. John, and commences the great period of 1260 years, not from A. D. 608, which we think correct, but from A. D. 476, which brings it to 1736. He then adds, “ After the great conflicts with the Papal powers " in the West, will begin the stirs and commo« tions about the Jews and Israel in the East. “ If then to 1736 we add 30 more, they reach " to 1766 ; but the times of perplexity are de“ termined (by Daniel) to last 45 years longer. “ If then we conjoin those 45 years more to
1766, it produces one thousand eight hundred " and ELEVEN, for those times of happiness to 66 Israel."*
* See “ Israel Redus," page 122, printed in Cornhill, London, 1677.