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man: and is afterwards represented as coming in the clouds of heaven, not from heaven to earth, but from a distant place to heaven, or to the throne of the Ancient of Days; and when it is said, that they brought him near before him, it is a remarkable hint at his glorious attendance when he ascended.
In Pf. lxviii. which contains remarkable predictions of the enlightening of the Gentiles, he who is faid, v. 18. to ascend on high, is described by various distinguishing characters of the Meffiah. "Characters of divinity and of subordination are mixed together, when he is called the Lord, and at the fame time is represented as receiving gifts for men; as the Messiah's peculiar influence on the salvation and happiness of finners is implied in the expressions of " receiving gifts for men, even the rebellious, “ that God might dwell among them;" which proves, that it is Immanuel that is spoken of; and the characters of the prophetic style about the Melsiah, appear in the expressions concerning leading captivity captive.
Both the Meffiah's resurrection and ascension are supposed in the prophecies which speak of him aš at the right hand of God; whither it was proved already, that Pf. xvi. foretells he should go, after coming out of hades; and where Pf.cx. represents him as sitting till his enemies be made his footstool, and adıninistering as a priest for ever.
And as a chief thing included in fitting at God's right hand, is incomparable power and authority, this is afcribed to the Messiah in the above-cited predictions, that speak in the most magnificent manner of his kingly office, as particularly Dan. vii. 14. His glorious appearance on earth, at the end of the world, is foretold in wonderful expressions in the forecited 19th of Job; where Job speaks trium: phantly of the sight he should have, even with the bodily eye, of his God and Redeemer, Itanding on the earth in the latter day, as a most blessed and
glorious fight; the distant hope of which inspired him with transports of joy amidst the most overwhelming distresses, and supported him under the melancholy view of all that the worms should do to his body after death.
Sect. II. of the Meliah's Church.
To thew what abundant evidence arises from the predictions concerning the enlightening of the Gentiles, these predictions may be usefully divided into various classes, according to the various ways in which they are expressed; sometimes in promises directed to the Mefliah, tó Zion, or to the Gentiles; sometimes in threatenings against the unbelieving Jews, against the abettors of Heathen idolatry, or against the Heathen idols themselves. Thus it is promised to the Messiah, that whereas it would be a light thing only to restore the preserved of Israel, or of the Jews, among whom his labour would be spent, in a great measure, without fuccess, God would give him for a light to the Gentiles, and his falvation to the ends of the earth; that the nations of the Gentiles, and their kings, should hearken to him with reverence, If. xlix. should be called by him, and run to him, and be gathered to him at his call; that they should seek to him, and honour him ; that God would give him the Heathen for his inheritance, and the uttermofte ends of the earth for his poffeffion, Il. lv. lii. Pl. ii.; and that the efficacy of his mediatory offices was to extend to all nations, seeing they should all be enlightened, sprinkled, governed, and saved by him.
It is promised to Zion, If. ii. xlix. liv. Ix. that the mountain of the Lord's house should be established in the top of the mountains, and that all nations should flow into it; that the word or law of God that was to enlighten the nations, should S 2
go out of Zion; that after Zion had lost many of her former children, multitudes of new children Thould croud and throng into her, so that she behoved to enlarge the place of her tent, and stretch forth the curtains of her habitations; that she would even be astonished at the abundance of the Gentiles that should be converted to her; and that the house of God should be a house of prayer for all people.
It is promised to the Gentiles themselves, lf.xxv. Mal.i. that God would destroy the face of the covering, and the vail that was spread over all nations, and make a feast to them all in his holy mountain ; that from the rising of the fun to the going down of the same, God's name should be great among the Gentiles, &c.; that his name should be great to the ends of the earth; that all the ends of the earth Mould see the glory and the salvation of God, and return to him and worship him, Pf. xxii. lxxxvi. 9.; and that the knowledge of the Lord fhould fill the earth, as the waters cover the sea.
In predictions which contain threatenings against the obstinate, unbelieving Jews, Deut. xxxii. 21. If. lxv. I. 2. it is foretold, that as they moved God to jealousy with that which is not God, fo he would move them to jealousy with those that were not a people; and that whereas God had spread out his hands all day to a rebellious people, he would be fought of them that asked not for him, and found of them that fought him not.
See also If. xliii. 21. it is threatened againit the obstinate abettors of He:then idolatry, that they should be put to confusion, Pf.xcvii
. 7 . ; and againít the Heathen idols themselves, that God would fainish all the gods of the earth; ani that men would worship him, every one from his place, even all the illes of the Heathen, Zeph. ii. 11.; and that God would cut off the names of the idols out of the land, that they might no more be remembered, Zech. xiii. 2. Whereas they who misinterpret the prophecies a
bout the enlightening of the Gentiles, pretend, that they are only meant of such conversions of particular profelytes as happened before the days of Christ, it is evident, from the passages now cited, and from many others, that however such particular conversions might be preparatory and subservient to that far more general, national, and extensive convera fion of the Gentiles, which was the effect of the gospel, it is only to that more general conversion that the predictions in view are truly applicable : for if some passages speak only in a more general way of the enlightening of the Gentiles, yet a great many predictions are so expressed, as plainly to foretell the conversion, not merely of particular profelytes, but of nations; yea of many nations, of the most barbarous nations, of nations most remote from Judea, and even several particular nations; and, among the rest, those who had formerly been the most inveterate enemies to the Jews, and to their religion, are expressly mentioned as embracing and submitting to it.
The conversion of nations, even of many nations, is plainly foretold, when it is said, that nations that know not the Messiah, should be called by him, and run unto him, If. lv.; that many nations should be sprinkled by him, If. lii. ; that many nations thould be joined to the Lord, and thould be his people, Zech. ii. 11; and that many peofile, or nations, Thould say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, &c. If. xi. 3.
The prophecies which speak of the conversion of all nations, and of the filling of all the ends of the earth, from the rising to the setting of the fun, with the knowledge of the Lord, may juitly be considered as complex predictions; a part of which is already fulfilled by the conversion of many nations : and the evidence arising from this, as was proved before, cannot be justly excepted against on account of wliat is yet unfulfilled; especially considering, that the prophets do not affirm, that all nations would be converted at once, but plainly shew the contrary.
That it is not merely the conversion of particular persons, but of nations, that is foretold, will be farther evident, to whoever duly considers the predictions contained in the above-mentioned threatenings; particularly the threatenings against the Heathen idolatry, plainly foretelling the total abolition of it in many nations; of which more fully afterwards,
II. As the conversion of nations the most remote from Judea, and of several of the most barbarous nations, is foretold in the predictions about God's enlightening the utterniot ends of the earth, and about his making the owls of the desert, and the dragons of the wilderness, to honour him, If. xliii. 20. xxxv.7.; so in various remarkable predictions, the conversion of some particular countries is foretold in such a manner, as implies, that the true religion would become the national religion of these countries, as particularly of Egypt, Assyria, and Ethiopia, If. xviii. 7. xix. from y 18. to the end; Pf. lxviii. 31.; besides various other countries, mentioned Il. lxvi. 19. under the ancient names of Tarshish, Pul and Lud, Tubal and Javan; for the explication of which names it is fufficient here to refer to commentators.
III. That the doctrine which was to enlighten the Gentile nations should proceed from Judea, while that nation subsisted, and should be first propagated by teachers of that nation, is evident from the prophecies formerly cited, relating to the time of the Messiah's coming, and the place of his birth and refidence; and is very particularly foretold in If. ii. 3. where it is said, that the law or word of the Lord by which the nations were to be enlightened, would go out of Zion and Jerusalem : and in Zech. viii. 23. it is said, that “ ten men shall take hold out