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nity to preach it a second time in the presence of many of his most intelligent and cultivated brethren.

Various circumstances which have occurred since, but which it is not necessary to make public, determine him upon sending these few pages to the press in a separate form, without however relinquishing his intention of printing them in the connexion in which they were originally composed.

He is aware, that to the student of prophecy, there is nothing in this pamphlet but what is perfectly elementary; but he is of opinion, that an elementary treatise on this subject is still a desideratum to the church

THE

TIMES OF THE GENTILES,

&c. &c.

It is written, that "there is a time for every purpose under heaven," Eccles. iii. 1-8. And as in the affairs of men here enumerated, so also in the great purpose of God, there is a time for the accomplishment of each part. In each of these times, the Lord gives out, or dispenses a portion of his eternal design. Hence a dispensation of religion may be thus defined. A revelation of some part or parts of the divine will to his creatures, accompanied by the performance of some corresponding part or parts of the Divine plan.

It will not be denied, that from the beginning, or ever the mountains were brought

forth, Jehovah had a plan in view, concerning this world: not its commencement merely, but its continuance also, and its termination; according as it is written, "Known unto God are all his works from the foundation of the world." A part of this plan was, that at some particular period, known only unto himself and kept in his own power, all the families of the earth should be blessed with the true and saving knowledge of God-the great enemy of God and man being bruised under the seed of the woman. This we know, by referring to the promises made to Adam and Abraham, as recorded in the book of Genesis. Our attention is then directed to the manner in which it has pleased God to proceed towards the accomplishment of this his gracious purpose.

He did not make Eve the mother of the promised seed of the woman, and so destroy the serpent at once, and make a short work upon the earth.-No! the promise was given; but the performance of the thing promised, was delayed. Meanwhile, however, some few of the families of the earth were blessed they believed the promise; through faith they became interested in the benefit of its yet future accomplishment, and being influenced by the blessing "they walked with God:" but the

bulk of the inhabitants of the earth, were still under the curse, led captives by the devil at his will, and working uncleanness with greediness. This state of things continued a considerable time, till the iniquity of man abounding in the earth, so moved Almighty God to anger, that he destroyed the guilty race, saving only the small family of his servant Noah. At that time, the promise to Adam, instead of being fulfilled, or in apparently progressive fulfilment, seemed to be forgotten: nay more, it seemed to be contradicted. But God's ways are not as our ways; neither is God's mode of proceeding to be judged of by what seems suitable to us.

Again, when God called Abraham, and told him, that in his seed all the families of the earth should be blessed, he did not make Sarah the mother of the promised seed. Here, as before, the promise was given-but the performance delayed. In the meantime, God separated to himself a people-a peculiar nation-and gave them in types and prophecies more and more clear instruction respecting the execution of his plan. Some believed; through faith, they became interested in the benefit of the yet future accomplishment of the promise; and influenced by the same faith, they too "walked with God:"

but the bulk of even that favoured nation, and all the rest of mankind, were still under the curse. This state of things continued a considerable time, till the abounding iniquity of that nation so moved Almighty God to anger, that he cut them off from all their privileges; destroyed their temple and city; and dispersed them in disgrace and degradation, among the heathen. At that time the promise to Abraham, instead of being fulfilled, or even in apparently progressive fulfilment, seemed to be forgotten; for the families of the earth, instead of being blessed, were still under the wrath and curse of God. But God's ways are not as our ways.

The promised seed was now indeed come: but so unlike what had been expected---so unlike the powerful One, who could bruise the serpent's head, and bless all the families upon the earth, that few, very few, recognized him as the seed: few, therefore, derived any benefit from his coming; the nation rejected him; and thus the accomplishment of the promise made to Abraham was partly brought to pass, and partly delayed. The seed was come: the families of the earth were not blessed in him.

Then it was, that in the wisdom of God,

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