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the unsearchable riches of Christ should be preached to the Gentiles, Eph. iii. 8; how marvellous an accession is it to the greatness of this Divine “mystery of godliness! Of old, “in Judah was God known, his name was great in Israel. In Salem was his tabernacle, and his dwelling-place in Sion," Psa. lxxvi. 1, 2; but in the mean while, we miserable Gentiles sat in darkness, and in the shadow of death, without God in the world, exposed to the displeasure of Heaven, tyrannized over by the powers of hell, strangers from the covenants of promise, forlorn, without hope of mercy, Eph. ii. 12. That, therefore, O Saviour, thou vouchsafest in the tenderness of thine infinite compassion, to look down from heaven upon us—and at the last graciously to visit us, in the clear revelation of the saving truth of thy gospel—to break down the partition wall, whereby we were excluded from any participation with thee -to own us for thy people, and to admit us into the fellowship of thy saints-oh, the wonderful mystery of godliness, effectually manifested to us outcast Gentiles, to our conversion, to our eternal salvation! What a veil, O God, was spread over all nations ! Isa. xxv. 7; a dark veil of ignorance, of error, of impiety! How did our forefathers walk in their own ways, following the sinful lusts of their own hearts, worshipping dumb idols, sacrificing to all the host of heaven, offering not their substance only, but their sons and daughters, to devils! It was thine own infinite goodness that moved thee to pity our woeful and desperate condition; and to send thine eternal Son into the world, to be no less a light to lighten the Gentiles, than to be the glory of thy people Israel, Luke ii. 32.

How fully hast thou made good thy gracious promises, long since published by thy holy prophets: “ It shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues, and they shall come and see my glory,” Isa. lxvi. 18. And again, “ 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 to it; and many people shall go and say, Come ye, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, and he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths,” Isa. ii. 2, 3. And again,

Behold, thus saith the Lord, I will lift up my hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people, and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders,” Isa. xlix. 22. And again, “ Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee, because of the Lord thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel ; for he hath glorified thee,” Isa. Iv. 5. O blessed, then, ever blessed be thy name, O God, that thou wouldst vouchsafe to be made known among us Gentiles : “ Give unto the Lord, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength; give unto the Lord the glory due to his name," Psa. xcvi. 7. “ All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee, they shall sing unto thy name," Psa. lxvi. 4. “ All the ends of the world shall remember, and turn unto the Lord, and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee,” Psa. xxii. 27.

How did we, O Saviour, of old, lie under the

pity and contempt of those thy people, who challenged a peculiarity of thy favour. “We have a little sister,” (said thy Jewish spouse,)“ and she hath no breasts : what shall we do for our sister, when she shall be spoken for?” Cant. viii. 8. Take no thought for us, Othou once beloved synagogue of the Jews, thy little sister is not only spoken for, but contracted, but happily married, to her Lord and Saviour; having been betrothed to him for ever, “ in righteousness, and in judgment, and in loving-kindness, and in mercies,” Hos. ii. 19; so as we can now return our pity to thee, and say, We had an elder sister who had breasts, but her breasts are long since wrinkled and dried up; what shall we do for our sister in these days of her barrenness and just neglect ? We shall surely pray for our sister, that God would be pleased to return to her in his compassion of old, and restore her to the happy state of her former fruitfulness. We follow them with our prayers; they us, with malice and despite. With what envious eyes did they look upon those first heralds of the gospel, who carried the glad tidings of salvation to the despised Gentiles ! What cruel storms of persecution did they raise against those blessed' messengers, whose feet deserved to be beautiful! Wherein their obsti. nate unbelief turned to our advantage; for after they had made themselves unworthy of that gospel of peace, that blessing was instantly derived upon us Gentiles, and we happily changed conditions with them. The natural branches of the good olive tree being cut off, we, who were of the wild olive, contrary to nature, are grafted in, Rom. xi. 24. Oh the goodness and severity of God! on them which fell, severity; on us, which succeeded, goodness, Rom. xi. 22. They were once the children, and we the dogs under the table; the crumbs were our lot, the bread was theirs : now is the case, through their wilful incredulity, altered; they are the dogs, and we the children ; we sit at a full table, while their hunger is not satisfied with scraps. The casting away of them was the reconciling of the world; their fall, our exaltation, Rom. xi. 15. It is not for us to be high-minded, but to fear, Rom. xi. 20. The great sheet with four corners is let down from heaven, with all manner of four-footed beasts of the earth, and creeping things, and fowls of the air, Acts x. 11, 12; we may kill and eat, without any difference of clean or unclean, but even of clean meats we may surfeit. O Saviour, it is thy great mercy, that thou hast been thus long preached amongst us Gentiles, that we in the remote ends of the world have seen the salvation of our God; but if we shall abuse thy grace to wantonness, and walk unanswerably to this freedom of thy gospel, how both just and easy is it for thee to withdraw these blessings from us, and to return us to the woeful condition of our old forlornness! O let it not be enough that thou art preached amongst us Gentiles, but do thou work us to a holy obedience of thy blessed gospel; reclaim us from our abominable licentiousness of life, from our hellish heresies of opinion, and teach us to walk worthy of that great salvation which thou hast held forth unto

so shall it be our happiness that thou wert preached to us Gentiles. Otherwise our condemnation shall be so much the deeper, as our light



hath been more clear, and our

more powerful.

XII. So poor and despicable, O Saviour, wouldst thou have thy coming in the flesh, that it is no marvel if the vain world utterly disregarded thee. For what is the misjudging world led by, but by outward pomp and magnificence? Yea, thy very domestic followers, after so long acquaintance with thy person and doctrine, even when thou wert risen from the dead, could think of the royalty of a temporal kingdom to be restored to Israel. And still the perverse generations of Jewish infidels, after the conviction of so many hundred years, gape for an earthly monarchy of their expected Messiah : that, therefore, appearing to the world in such contemptible means, so born, so living, so dying, that thou shouldst be universally believed on in the world, is the just wonder of the mystery of godliness. It was the largeness of thy Divine bounty to allow the gospel to be preached to every creature; but, alas, it is sparingly received, though liberally preached : “Who hath believed our report, and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed ?" Isa. liii. 1. It was the complaint of thy chosen vessel, the doctor of the Gentiles, “ We preach Christ crucified; to the Jews a stumbling-block, to the Greeks foolishness,” 1 Cor. i. 23. What a power, therefore, is there in the mystery of godliness, that thou art not preached only, but believed on in the world !

Hadst thou exhibited thyself in the magnificence and majesty of the Son of God, attended either with the glorious angels of heaven, or the mighty monarchs of the earth, scattering honours and riches upon thy followers in abundance ;

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