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among other nations (5). Its principal object was, to promote the welfare of the whole human family (6), and to pave the way (7) for the doctrines of Christianity, which were intended indiscriminately for all nations (8).
1. See $ 19. III. 3. Reuss' Opusc. fasc. II. p. 115 &c; and Zacharias' Biblische Theologie, $213. Pt. IV. p. 5 &c.
II. Superstition and irreligion would, even among the descendants of Abraham, soon have suppressed the knowledge of God and his promises, or at least prevented their dissemination. For they only, too often manifested their inclination to an imitation of the Heathen. But God, who wished his revelations to be preserved for the benefit of posterity, prevented this, by giving them the Mosaic.law, a peculiar government, which prevented their amalgamation with other nations. 1
III. On the subject of the knowledge possessed by the Israelites before the time of Christ, see the work on the Object of the death of Christ, and the Commentary on Hebrews. In the former passage, it is shown how the attentive and virtuous Jew could be instructed, by the laws concerning sacrifices, which referred only to his restoration to temporal advantages among his nation, to seek refuge in the undeserved mercy of God, in order to obtain peace of conscience in reference to his future destiny, or to excite in him the expectation of another, better, and more efficacious scheme of mercy in the invisible world.
IV. Ephes. 2: 14, " Jesus took away the law, which was a wall of partition between the Jews and Gentiles,” ueootoryov. Col. 2: 14.
1 On the Object &c. p. 470. 2 p. 446, 498, 684. 3 Comm, on Heb. 10: 7, note a, p. 207.
V. See the works cited in Ill. 1. Occasionally, some of the adjoining nations, also, were instructed by teachers sent specially to them, e. g. the inhabitants of Nineveh, by the prophet Jonah, Matth. 12: 41, compare Zacharias sup. cit. p. 30,
VI. Gen. 12: 3, and 22: 18, through you—through your descendants-all the nations of the earth shall be blessed. See Hess, on the kingdom of God, sect. 21 ; On the people of Israel viewed in connexion with the human family; Connexion between the preparatory and the main institutions of God, Pt. II. p. 5.
VII. The Mosaic religion was preparatory to the Christian.-Gal. 3: 19-24, ο νομος παιδαγωγος ημων γεγονεν εις Xolotov the law was our pedagogue to lead us to Christ. 4:1-3. The written mosaic law of God, placed the depravity of man in a clearer light, by expressly declaring the wickedness of immoral actions, and by preparing the Jews for a more grateful reception of the gracious dispensation of Christ, inasmuch as they saw that the laws of Moses could not urge them to the fulfilment of their duties. 1 VIII.
The christian religion was intended for all nations.—Matth. 28: 19, go ye, therefore, make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. 24: 14, this Gospel of the kingdom, shall be preached in the whole world. Luke 24: 47, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name, among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. John 10: 16, and other sheep I have which are not of this fold : them also I must bring—and there shall be one fold and one shepherd. Acts 17: 30, God now commandeth all men every where, to re
1 See the work on the Object of the death of Christ, p. 466 ; Comm. on Heb. 10: 7. Note &.
pent. 1 Tim. 2: 4, who (God) will have all men to come to a knowledge of the truth. Rom. 1: 5, from whom we have received grace and the apostleship for the dissemination of the faith
among all nations for his name see v. 14. 10: 18, their sound (of those preaching the glad tidings of peace) went through all the earth. v. 15. 9: 24. Eph. 1: 9—13, juev to us, Jews, vuiv to you, Gentiles. 2: 3, he hath purposed—to gather together into one all things in Christ. 3: 6—9, that all might see. 5
Col. 1: 5, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the Gospel, which is come unto you as it is in all the world. 1:23, the Gospel, which has been preached to the whole creation under heaven. v. 28, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. Mark 16: 15, go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.
Salvation may for Christ's sake, be extended to those also who
are not acquainted with Revelation.
The reasons why, before the time of Christ (1), as well as since his resurrection, so many nations were not favoured with that revelation (2) which was given to the Jews and
also to other nations after the ascension of the Redeemer, are as little known to us, as the reasons of many other things (3) which are under the guidance of divine Providence (Rom. 11: 33) (4). But this we know, that only from him shall much be required, to whom much has been entrusted (5); and that to entertain a different opinion concerning the dealings of God, would be irreverent (6). Hence we know that those who have enjoyed but few means and helps
(7) to piety and virtue, though they will not, if disobedient, escape punishment (8) shall be “beaten with fewer stripes” (9) than those who had been favoured with more and better means of grace and incitements to piety, and who yet neglected them; and on the contrary, that those who have been faithful in little, will hereafter partake (10) of the greater blessings purchased for them also by the Saviour, in a degree commensurate with the qualifications which they have here attained (11).
their own way.
1. Deut. 4: 7, where is there a great people, to whom the Lord gives such revelations of himself as to the people of Israel? Ps. 147: 20, thus has he done to no other people the other nations know not his laws. Acts 14:16, in times past he suffered all the heathen to go
II. Nature of the Gospel call. Those who have not become acquainted with the revelation, are not among the wintou or called. For those who are “called,” are those who, through the instrumentality of some means of instruction appointed by God, are invited to salvation, and to a course of thinking and acting worthy of such a calling. 2 Thess. 2: 13, God hath, from the beginning chosen you to salvation—whereunto he called
you by his own Gospel. i Thess. 2: 12, God who called you to glory in Christ Jesus. 1 Pet. 5: 10. 1 Tim. 6:12, called to eternal life. Phil. 3: 14, I press toward the mark for the prize whereunto God from on high has called me in Christ Jesus. Eph. 4: 4, ye are called in one hope of your calling. Eph. 4: 1. 1 Thess. 2: 12, that you would walk worthy of God, who called you unto his kingdom and glory. Luke 5: 32, I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Nor does the reality of the call, depend upon the fact whether they accept or reject it. For many are denominated "the called, xex.nuevou
(Luke 14: 16, 24, 18—20. Matth. 22: 3,8), who rejected the call : and in other passages (1 Cor. 1: 24. comp. v. 23), this appellation is given to those who accept the doctrines of Christianity, in contradistinction from unbelieving Jews and Pagans. Some of the called embraced the doctrines of christianity with sincerity, and applied them to the advancement of the salvation of their souls, thus becoming genuine members of the people of God, of that people who love their God, and may receive eternal salvation from him. Rom. 8:28, 30, whom he called—he glorified. 1 Pet. 2: 9, Eivos dytov, daOS ELS TEQLTOINσιν-του καλεσαντος υμας the holy nation, the people of his (God's) property (owned by God), that ye should show forth the praises of him who called you. comp. Rom. 11: 29. Is. 48: 12, where xinois is applied to the reception of the Israelites as the people of God. And some of the “ called," on the other hand, merely give the christian doctrines an external reception, and are outwardly attached to the true people of God; for we are expressly told, that many are called, but that few only are chosen.2
III. God makes men to differ in many things. But the difference among men is not confined to the circumstance, that some are called in the sense defined in the preceding Illustration, and others not. There is a diversity in many other external circumstances, circumstances which exert an important influence on the improvement of the human mind. Their talents are different, their education is different, the society to which they have access is different, and different also are the peculiar providential circumstances which occur in their lives.
1 Rom. 9: 23, 24, 2 Tim. 1: 9. 1 Cor. 1: 7-9,
2 Matth. 22: 14. comp. v. 11. One of the guests had no marriage garment. See Zacharias' Biblical Theolog. $218. Eckermann Theol. Contrib. Vol. 1, p. 60, where he proves that being called" did not embrace the idea of certain ultimate attainment of salvation.