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the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the
These words are quoted on missionary platforms, as if they meant the conversion of the Gentiles. Very often the Jews get most unfair treatment on Gentile platforms. We take all that is good from every prophecy, and say, “This is ours;" and all the calamity we hand over to the Jew, and we say, “ That is yours.” We eat the sweet kernel; we throw to the miserable Jew the shells and husks. But if you read Isaiah, not after the headings given by our translators, you will see that its most brilliant predictions relate primarily to the Jews, though our glory is always associated with their restoration and approaching grandeur. So again in Isaiah lx. -“Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the Lord thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee. And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls:”—what walls ? the walls of Jerusalem — "and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favour have I had mercy on thee. Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought.” We may expect that the nations of the earth will begin, on the eve of that movement among the Jews, to discuss in their cabinets the restoration of the Jews. There are books recently written, which urge on the nations to help them to their own land. The Jews in London are collecting money in order to purchase Palestine at this moment: the Jews in America have collected enormous sums to build the temple again in Jerusalem. All these things are signs of the times, and indications of the approaching change.
When the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled, this restoration takes place. What are those times ? As soon as the last believer has been gathered from the mass of the nations of the earth, and added to the company of the church of the redeemed, the times of the Gentiles will be fulfilled. As soon as the Gospel has been preached, not to convert all nations, but as a witness to all nations, and the inbabitants around the Pole have been brought within its sound, then the time of the end is at hand. As soon as Mahometanism expires, the Crescent wanes, and the mosque of the Moslem resounds with the praises of the God of Abraham, the times of the Gentiles will have come to a close. As soon as the great Antichrist shall be overthrown, and Babylon shall sink like a millstone in the mighty deep, the times of the Gentiles will be fulfilled. And then the dry bones on a thousand hills — the bones of scattered Israel — shall be clothed with flesh, and become an army of living men. “If,” says the Apostle in his Epistle to the Romans, “the fall of the Jews be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles, how much more their fulness !” When the Gentile nations shall see a whole people begin their march from the east and from the west, in more majestic exodus than that of their forefathers from Egypt to Palestine, then will come to pass what the apostle predicts — that the Gentiles, seeing the stupendous spectacle, startled by its splendour and magnificence, will recognise the truth they have repudiated, and nations be born in a day. “And,” says the Apostle, “we would not have you ignorant, brethren, that blindness in part has happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved. As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes; but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes." When restored to their land, Zachariah tells us in his 12th chapter, “they shall look upon Him whom they have pierced”- Christ manifested to them “and they shall mourn.” The prophecy of Zachariah implies that they shall be in their own land when they shall thus repent. “The land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart, the family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart”-implying that they are settled in cities and sections of their own Palestine, enjoying political power and government in the midst of it; and that then and there Christ shall be revealed to them — the Gospel accepted by them- and where once they shouted, “Crucify him !" they shall shout “Hosanna !” till the echoes of their songs reverberate from west to east, and from earth to heaven, and the whole earth shall be filled with the glory of the God of Israel.
The Jew is now a reluctant witness to the truth of the New Testament. Their long resistance of its claims is one of its credentials. But one day, probably very soon, they will appear its glad advocates. The only thing wanting to complete the Jew's testimony to the inspiration of evangelists and apostles is his conversion. When that earnestly prayed-for era comes, the grandest sign of the times will startle the world, as of the striking of one of the great epochal hours of time.
NOAH, HIS AGE AND OURS.
WE enter here on one of the great parallelisms of time. The coincidences we discover between the age of Noah and the nineteenth century are significant signs. They are proofs of the earth's old age, and yet foretokens of its predicted youth. Our Lord says, “ As it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man, They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.” Luke xvii. 26–29.
History, whether sacred or profane, seems always to repeat itself. One great era in the world appears, when narrowly examined, to be simply the reflection of another; and a deed done in the day that now is, to be the echo of a deed done hundreds or thousands of years ago. Time seems to move in circles, history constantly to repeat itself, and so far to illustrate the maxim of the wise man, “There is nothing new under the sun.” When we examine