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Saviour, in the parable of the husbandman and vineyard, after they had put to death the master's son, he adds, "What shall therefore the lord of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the husbandmen, and give the vineyard to others." And upon his drawing near to the city of "Jerusalem, he wept over it, saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace; but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.” This was also foretold by Moses, in all the terrible circumstances: "The Lord shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand; a nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor show favour to the young: and he shall eat the fruit of thy cattle, and the fruit of thy land, until thou be destroyed: which also shall not leave thee either corn, wine, or oil, or the increase of thy kine, or flocks of thy sheep, until he have destroyed thee. And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land; and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, throughout all thy land, which the Lord thy God hath given thee. And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters, which the Lord
thy God hath given thee, in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee," Deut. xxviii. Such was the threatening, and the event was correspondent in all the degrees of misery. Which, as it demonstrates the truth of the prophecy, so it may instruct us how fearful a thing it is to fall into the hands of the living God.
3. The converting of the Gentile world to the saving knowledge of God, by the Messiah, was foretold in the Scriptures. The beams of this glorious truth were gradually dispensed to the Israelites, as their weak understandings could sustain it. When the covenant was made with Abraham, God declared, in express terms, "In thy seed shall all the nations of the world be blessed." That seed was the Messiah, not the people of the Jews descending from Abraham; for they were so far from a universal blessing to the world, that, on the contrary, they vainly presumed that God, for their sakes, despised the rest of mankind. And, indeed, before the coming of Christ, they were an enclosed garden, the peculiar people of God; and without the compass of Judea, sin reigned absolutely and universally. Now, that promise clearly signifies, that the favour and blessing of God that he conferred upon Abraham, in making known to him his will, and promising to be his God, and of his posterity, should one day be extended to all nations, by calling them to his knowledge and service. To this agrees the prophecy of Jacob: "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor the lawgiver from between his feet, till Shiloh come, and to him shall the gathering of the people be," Gen. xlix. 10. that is, the Gentiles shall be
converted from their idols to the true God, by the Messiah, whom the Jews acknowledge to be signified by that title. And Moses introduces God as complaining of the idolatry and ingratitude of the Jews, and declaring, "They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; and I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation," Deut. xxxii. 21. The external covenant between God and his people is represented by the union of marriage, to signify the duty they owe to God, the highest honour, the most ardent affections, and the benefits they receive from him. Therefore, when the Jews gave divine adoration, the highest respects of religion, to idols, they provoked God to jealousy; and he threatens he would break his alliance with them, and give his heart and love to those which were not a people; and by the law of counter-passion, they should be provoked to jealousy. It is very visible these expressions signify the calling of the Gentiles. And David, by the same inspiration, in many Psalms, celebrates the kingdom of the Messiah. In Psalm xxii. he is introduced, speaking, "My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation-all the ends of the world shall remember, and turn unto the Lord-all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee." And in the lxvii. Psalm, "God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause
his face to shine upon us. That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations. Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee." The prophet Isaiah,
in his revelations, clearly speaks of the great design of God to bring the Gentiles to his service. Thus, in the second chapter, it is prophesied: "And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it: and many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
And among all the rest, none is more clear and express than what is recorded in Isa. xlix. There first the Messiah is represented as declaring his commission from God to go to the people of Israel: "The Lord hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name, and he said unto me, Thou art my servant in whom I will be glorified." And afterwards complains of the obstinacy of the ungrateful synagogue:
Then I said, I have laboured in vain, I have spent. my strength for nought, and in vain; yet surely my judgment is with the Lord, and my work with my God." And immediately after it is added, " And saith the Lord that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the Lord, and my God shall be my strength. And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant, to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel; I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that
thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth." This oracle is precise and full; for it speaks of the nations, in opposition to the tribes of Israel, and directly foretells that the Jews would neglect the instructions of the Messiah, and that, upon their infidelity, God would, by the Messiah, give saving knowledge to all nations. And in the same sense he speaks in the liv. chapter: "Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the Lord." Who is the desolate and barren, but the Gentiles without God in the world, whilst the Jews were honoured and blessed in the mystical marriage with him? And who are the children of the forsaken, that should be far more numerous than those of the married, but the believers of the Christian church, in opposition to the Jewish church? And the other succeeding prophets concur in this prediction. Malachi, the last, speaks of it in such express terms, as are capable to convince any that does not wilfully renounce the use of his eyes and understanding. After God is introduced rejecting the Jews and their temple service: "I have no pleasure in you, saith the Lord of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hands." He adds, to signify the calling of a new church, for "from the rising of the sun, even unto the going down of the same, my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the Lord of hosts." Thus