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ment of a separate prophecy. Although to this I cannot quite agree, yet his views are in the main so correspondent with mine, that I shall take the liberty of making an extract.

“ ' For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits, that blindness in part has happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.' The mystery was this : the partial blindness or hardness (for the Apostle does not admit that it is universal) was only to last till the fulness of the Gentiles was come in, and so' (or, and then') 'all Israel shall be saved.' By the word 'fulness' is intended, I conceive, that remnant which was then begun to be gathered by the preaching of the Gospel. They were a body of the people taken to fill up, as it were, the gap or fissure made in Israel, by the cutting off of so many of the natural branches: when the number decreed shall be completed, then will the end come to the present dispensation of Christ's kingdom, which will be succeeded by a more extensive dispensation, to commence with the restoration of the Jews.Fry on Romans,

It appears to me that the former part of Isai. lix. marks the state of the world previous to Messiah's second advent; accounting, first, for his not coming immediately. It is not slackness on his part, but their sins, that hinder his coming (ver. 1, 2). But when things should arrive at such a state as verse 15 describes, that “ he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey," or is accounted mad, then he comes clothed with vengeance (ver. 17), " to repay fury to his adversaries.” " When the enemy shall come in like a flood, then the Spirit of Jehovah shall lift



The feature of the covenant is, that neither they, nor their seed, nor their seed's seed, shall lose the influences of the Spirit for ever. Then it goes on, “ Arise, shine, for thy light is come.” Here is the Jewish people, “ fạir as the moon," called to “ arise and shine, because her light is come, and the glory of the Lord (the Sun of Righteousness) has arisen upon

&c. The Prophet continues, by contrasting her glory with the gross darkness of the people.” This, compared with Rom. xi., must I think imply the people to whom are committed the oracles of God; the advantage the Jews had, but lost, and which the Gentiles now have; whom the Apostle warns not to be high-minded, but fear, lest a similar fate should befal them. However, the Prophet continues enlarging on the glory of Zion. Ver. 7: “I will glorify the house of my glory." Also ver. 9. Also ver. 13 : “ I will make the place of my feet glorious.". Ver. 14: “ They shall call thee The city of the Lord, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.” Ver. 15: “ I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations.” Ver. 19 : “ The Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.” Ver. 20 : “ The days of thy mourning shall be ended.” We may

infer from Heb. viii. 13, that there are but two covenants. “In that he saith a new, he hath made the first old : now that which decayeth and waxeth old, is ready to vanish away.'

1. If there were to be a third covenant, the new covenant would decay and wax old.

2. But the new covenant is everlasting; therefore it never decayeth or waxeth old, or is ready to vanish away.

Therefore there cannot be a third covenant.

But as some may say, there are more covenants than the two, I will point out the similarity in the condition, extent, and duration of this covenant here spoken of, with the new covenant prophesied of by Jeremiah, and quoted in the Hebrews.

1. In condition. Rom. xi. 27 : “ This is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away

their sins.” Heb. viii. 12: “ I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and iniquities I will remember no more.

2. In extent.
Isai. lx. 21: “The people also shall be all righteous."

Jer. xxxi. 34: “ They shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, saith the Lord.”

3. In duration:
Isai. Ix. 21 : “ They shall inherit the land for ever.”

Jer. xxxi. 35-40 : 'The city “shall not be plucked up nor thrown down FOR EVER.

Let us now consider what we have arrived at.

There is yet to be a new covenant made with both Israel and Judah;

Perfect in its conditions,
Eternal in its duration,
Universal in its acceptation.

The state in which the world will be at the time, “ gross darkness."

The manner of delivery, “The Redeemer cometh to Zion.”

Lastly, we see the conversion of the Gentiles is not prior, but subsequent to this period : “ The Gentiles shall come to thy light.” (Isai. lx. 3.)

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I will, lastly, make a few observations on the sign of circumcision. The national sign appears to be the Sabbath, looking to the Millennium ; at which period, and not till then, shall people, nationally and universally, know the Lord. But the Abrahamic individual sign of possessing the land, was circumcision ; suspended during the present dispensation, to be revived

in the future covenant: not outwardly, in the sign ; but inwardly and spiritually, in the flesh. If we consider Acts xv., we must bear in mind, that the whole of the argument was, whether the Gentiles were to be circumcised or not. For this cause the Apostles assembled, and to this their decision relates. Therefore, a correct interpretation of the passage must point out how the arguments bear


their sentence. Peter declares, that God had given the inward and spiritual grace, without the outward and visible sign: to which James (ver.14) agrees; pointing out that there is a dispensation, during which time the name of God is to be preserved among the elect of the Gentiles. Which he enforces by alluding to Amos ix, 11, 12: for he does not bring it forward as a literal quotation ; but by it shewing that a time was foretold when the tabernacle of David would be thrown down ; that it would be after this Gentile dispensation of the election of grace that the Lord would return and build again the tabernacle of David; and it would be after the rebuilding, that all the Gentiles should come in, and the residue of Edom, &c. So that his sentence was, that during this dispensation the Gentiles were not to be troubled with that sign or seal; but leaving us to draw this inference, that in the future dispensation circumcision would be restored.

I will first examine how Amos bears upon this. I will then see whether other Scriptures have the same truth. And, lastly, I will consider how the arguments of James bear upon circumcision.

My view of Amos ix. is this. Ver. 8: “ I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob, saith the Lord. For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel amongst all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve; yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.” It will be observed, connecting the 9th verse with the latter clause of verse 8, that I make the figure one of mercy to the Jews. Sifting, is the separating of the precious from the vile, the wheat from the chaff: therefore this is the causing to move from the dispersion, and not the dispersion itself. Ver. 10 marks the destruction of many of the Jews at that period; as is mentioned also in other Scriptures (see Zech, xiv. 1-4). Then comes, “ In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David.” The expression is altered by the inspired Apostle to “after this.” The reason appears evident: Amos looked over this dispensation to the future, and called it “ that day." Describing its features, James, who speaks during this dispensation, says, " after this;" namely, in the dispensation immediately succeeding. This view makes the sense of both the Prophet and Apostle to agree; which is necessary to a true interpretation.

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I will now mention one or two Scriptures, which confirm this interpretation ; namely, that there will be a dispensation where circumcision will exist. Ezek. xliv. 9: “ Thus saith the Lord God, No stranger uncircumcised in heart or uncircumcised in flesh shall enter into my sanctuary, of any stranger that is among the children of Israel." This passage we find, in Witsius, book iv. chap. viii. 27, 28, has been considered as indicative of the revival of the rite, and which he there combats.

Isai. xxv. 7, appears to me to contain the same truth : “ Jehovah-Sabaoth will destroy the covering of the face (or facecovering) cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations."

The allusion is to the covering cast over people, when under condemnation, as we see illustrated in Esther vii. 8,9; or when dead, asJohn xi.44: and the allusion is to deathshaving passed upon all men by original sin. The verses immediately preceding the prophecy of the new covenant, Jer. xxxi. 29, 30, I suppose to contain the same truth : “ In those days they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children's teeth are set on edge ; but every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall

This shews how I suppose circumcision will be established-namely, not in the letter, but in the spirit; not in the type, but in the antitype, by the abolition of birth or (original sin). Now, though types may not be fundative of a doctrine, yet may they be illustrative and confirmative; and as such I cannot forbear mentioning one extraordinary type with respect to circumcision. It was in force when coming up out of Egypt; ceased while in the wilderness, which is answerable to the present period (1 Cor. x., Heb. iii. 7—iv. 11); but was revived upon entering the land (Josh. v. 3—9). The meaning of the type confirms what I mentioned before, that circumcision pointed to possessing the land. And, indeed, this appears involved in the Lord's declaration upon establishing this “ token of the covenant,” Gen. xvii. 7–11: “And I will establish

my covenant between me and be a God unto thee....and I will give unto thee the land....of Canaan .... thou shalt keep my convenant therefore....this is my covenant....every man-child shall be circumcised.” The same truth is enforced by Stephen, Acts vii. 8: “And he gave hini the covenant of circumcision; and thus (rather than “so") `Abraham begat Isaac, and Isaac begat Jacob,” &c. “And thus,” that is, in this covenant; referring back to ver. 5, “ He gave him none inheritance in the land; yet he promised that he would give it him for a possession, and to his seed after him”--the seed begotten in the covenant, the seed of promise.

• To Abraham were the promises made” (he saith not of one, the promise ;' but in the plural, the promises”) ver. 15. In Isaac Abraham received the promise (Heb. vi. 15); but, though he had received the promise, he did not receive the promises (Heb. xi. 8—10, 13-15), they including the land and the heavenly Jerusalem. “Now to the Jews pertain the promises and the covenants” (Rom. ix. 4). And circumcision is the typical sign of the new covenant. It therefore ceases during the election out of the Gentiles ; to be fulfilled in the spirit with the Jews in the first place, under the new covenant. And had circumcision been the sign of the old covenant, there had been no need to call a council to decide whether the sign were to continue, if they now were under a new covenant, as most say ; but it was indeed a matter of grave deliberation, whether, under the new dispensation of the same covenant, the sign were to be suspended or not. But, having changed from a typical dispensation to the true testament, circumcision would not be to the Gentiles a sign of typical purity in the flesh; but, as Paul declares to the Galatians, v. 3,

Every man that is circumcised is a debtor to do the whole law.” That, however, is not attainable during the present dispensation : “But we, through the Spirit, wait for the hope of righteousness by faith” (ver. 5). This, again, accounts for that, to me, otherwise unaccountable speech of James to Paul, Acts xxi. 21:“And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses ; saying, that they ought not to circumcise their children,” &c. And why not? What! most deceitfully allow them to become debtors to the whole law, to remain under the curse! Impossible ! But to the Jews it was the sign of possessing the land.

There are some collateral observations I make to those who have faith in these matters. I feel not so confident, and therefore only throw them out for consideration. Those who attain to the resurrection (as I suppose all who are gathered during the suffering dispensation will) are to be kings and priests, with none inheritance in the land : Ezek. xliv. 28, &c.; the Lord is their portion, heirs of God, &c. “Nor will they marry,” Matt. xxii. 30. But the Jews are to have seed, and seed's seed ; and the blessing to them is, that not only they, but their children, are in the covenant, as completely as all mankind were in Adam. So all these shall know the Lord, and in that sense be Christ's seed, born in the covenant, pure and indefectable : also signified by this sign, as before hinted on Acts vii. according to the annexed table.

It appears to me, in few words, that there are two, and but two, covenants.

In the old covenant there are seven dispensations-six of promise ; the seventh, the consummation of the ages, or the dispensation of the last days. The old covenant embraces only the redemption of spirit connected with matter, but in no way

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