Romans 11:11


The Jew is the greatest modern miracle. He is an absolutely unique figure in the history of the world. In every nation you find him, an exile and a fugitive, a stranger and a foreigner. Whence came he? how came he hither? He claims our respect, our attention, our pity, our Christian sympathy. These verses are a strong enforcement of the lessons of Israel's history and a stirring appeal on Israel's behalf.

I. THEIR PAST HISTORY.

1. They were the chosen people of God. This is an absolutely unique distinction so far as races of men are concerned. All who are believers on the Lord Jesus Christ, of whatever nation they may be, are in that sense the chosen people of God. But no single nation can ever claim to be the chosen people of God, except the Jews.

2. They were chosen to be a blessing to the world. The promise to Abraham was, "In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." Wherever they went they carried with them the knowledge of the one true God; they have been a testimony to the nations of God's faithfulness and justice; and at the same time they executed God's judgments upon the nations for the preserving and purifying of the world. The Jews have been the historians of the world. A Jewish hand wrote the history of the creation. Jewish hands wrote the history of Israel's connection with Egypt and Assyria and other great nations, which modern discoveries of ancient monuments and relics are confirming more strongly every day. When the Greek historian Herodotus, who has been called "the father of history," was only beginning to write, Nehemiah, the last of the Old Testament historians, was already beginning to write. The Jews have been the teachers of the world. Unto them were committed the oracles of God. They prepared the way, too, for the coming of the Saviour.

3. Even in their humiliation and dispersion they have brought blessing to the world. "The fall of them" has been "the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles" (ver. 12). "Through their fall salvation has came "to the Gentiles" (ver. 11). "God hath not cast away his people whom he foreknew. He is still the God of Israel. The Jews may be despised, they may be hated by men, they may be neglected even by Christians who owe so much to them; but they are still the chosen people of God, bringing blessings even in their fall to those that despise them.

II. THEIR FUTURE PROSPECTS.

1. There is hope for Israel in the promises of God. As surely as God predicted the dispersion of the Jews, and that came to pass, so surely has he predicted a restoration of the Jews, and this also will come to pass. Many eminent Christians believe that there will be a literal restoration of the Jews to Palestine. It is remarkable that the late Mr. Lawrence Oliphant, in his book 'The Land of Gilead,' advocates, not for Christian reasons at all, but as a mercantile man, the colonization of Palestine by Jews, on the ground that they are the natural cultivators of the land, and that the country has never prospered except under Jewish proprietorship. But we are more specially concerned with the promises of their spiritual restoration. The Old Testament prophecies are full of these. "But Zion said, The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me" (Isaiah 49:14-16). Again, we are told that it is but for a moment that God's face is hidden from his people; and that in Israel's restoration "all flesh shall know that I the Lord am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob" (Isaiah 49:26). And here in the New Testament, even after Israel's rejection of the Messiah, St. Paul emphatically reasserts the certainty of Israel's restoration. Though they, the natural branches, were broken off for a time, "God is able to graft them in again" (ver. 23). "Blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in" (ver. 25). But when that time comes "all Israel shall be saved" (ver. 26). God will yet be as the dew unto Israel.

2. In the present position of the Jews there are many things that point to a bright future for God's ancient people. Though scattered among the nations, they still preserve their identity and individuality. They have not been absorbed or assimilated by the larger and stronger races among whom they are placed. This in itself would seem to point to a great future in store for them. Not only so, but it points to a great blessing in store for the nations by means of them. "If the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?" (ver. 15). When M'Cheyne returned from Palestine, he preached a sermon from the words, "To the Jew first," advocating Christian missions to the Jews on the ground that judgment will begin with the Jews, on the ground of God's special love for the Jews, on the ground of peculiar access to the Jews, and on the ground that the Jews, if converted, will give life to the whole world. This last is a point which deserves more attention than it receives. From their peculiar position, scattered throughout the nations, and being of an industrious and commercial disposition, the Jews are specially fitted to do missionary work. Reach the Jews as a people, bring them under the influence of the gospel, and through them you reach the whole world. Many writers who have given careful attention to this subject are of opinion that the success of missions to the heathen will be comparatively small until the Holy Spirit will enable the Jews to acknowledge Jesus as their Messiah, until he employs them as his instrument in the proclamation of the gospel among the nations. The Prophet Zechariah seems to favour that view when he says, "In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you" (Zechariah 8:23).

III. PRACTICAL LESSONS ENFORCED BY THIS SUBJECT.

1. The necessity of personal faith. While we consider God's dealings with Israel for their unbelief and disobedience, let us consider our own relationship to God. "Be not highminded, but fear: for if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee" (vers. 20, 21). Christian profession and Christian privileges will not save us, unless we have a personal and living union with Jesus Christ the Saviour.

2. The duty of sympathetic efforts on behalf of Israel. "For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy (vers. 30, 31). God will fulfil his promises of the conversion of Israel just as he fulfils all his promises - by the use of means; by the missionary efforts of the Christian Church. - C.H.I.







I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall?
I. HOW OCCASIONED.

1. They stumbled at Christ.

2. Were rejected because of their unbelief.

II. HOW OVERRULED.

1. For the benefit of the Gentiles.

2. Indirectly for their own.

III. HOW FINALLY COMPENSATED.

1. By their fulness.

2. By enlarged blessing upon the world.

(J. Lyth, D.D.)

is —

I. TEMPORARY (vers. 11-16).

1. It was overruled for the benefit of the world, because in consequence of their unbelief the preachers of the gospel turned to the Gentiles (Acts 13:16).

2. Their fulness —

(1)Must be the occasion of still greater blessing (vers. 12-15).

(2)Must be the reflex effect of the success of the gospel among the Gentiles (vers. 13, 14).

(3)Is guaranteed by the firstfruits (vers. 15, 16).

II. ADMONITORY.

1. We should not despise but pity them (vers. 17, 18).

2. Their fall —

(1)Is a warning to us (vers. 19-21).

(2)Should excite admiration of the goodness and severity of God (ver. 22).

(3)Should awaken hope and efforts for their recovery.

(J. Lyth, D.D)

Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world
Learn —

I. GOD MAKES ALL MUTATIONS OF STATES TO SERVE TO THE GOOD OF THE ELECT. If the Jews stand it is good; so is it if they fall, and shall be in their rising again. The prosperity of Egypt shall serve the good of Abraham; the destruction of Egypt the good of his children. "All His ways are good to such as keep His testimonies."

II. THE CONVERSION OF THE JEWS SHALL BE THE RICHES OF THE WORLD. The more receive of the treasures of God's grace the greater is every one's part. So is it not in the treasure of princes. If the king bestow a thousand pounds upon one man it is a great gift; if upon two it is the less to each by half; if upon a thousand it is but a small matter to every one. But in God's treasures multitudes of partakers diminish not but increase another's part. The more drink of the waters of life the more floweth the fountain, the more the merrier. Where two or three are gathered together, there is Christ, but where more, there He is the more graciously. The prayer of one availeth much, how much more the prayers of many righteous? Force united is the stronger. Many streams make a great river, many drops a great flood, many sparks a great flame. How might we prevail with God if our whole people would join with one mind and affection in the service of God!

III. THE GOSPEL, FAITH, REPENTANCE, etc., ARE TRUE RICHES. Gold, silver, etc., but shadows to these; therefore the man that had his barns full and his conscience empty, not being rich in God, is called fool. Hast thou silver and gold? But if thou hast not a good conscience, the poorest man that feareth God will not change states with thee.

IV. THE CONVERSION OF THE JEWS SHALL BE OUR RICHES. It should make us think long for their calling. Gain is pleasing to hear of, but more to have it. Knowledge shall then increase upon us as the waters that cover the sea; the light of the moon shall be as the sun, and the light of the sun sevenfold. Zeal and all good graces shall increase. A great light is now risen, but a greater shall arise. Let us pray and long for the revealing of such riches, and in the meantime mourn for the hardness of the Jews, and cry unto God, "Visit Thy ancient people with Thy salvation."

V. THE CASTING OFF OF THE JEWS WAS OUR CALLING; BUT THE CALLING OF THE JEWS SHALL NOT BE OUR CASTING OFF, but our greater enriching in grace, and that two ways:

1. In regard of the company of believers when the thousands of Israel shall come in, which shall doubtless cause many Gentiles which now lie in ignorance, error, and doubt receive the gospel and join with them. The world shall then be a golden world, rich in golden men, saith .

2. In respect of the graces which shall then in more abundance be rained down on the Church. There shall be more good, and they shall be also more good.

(Elnathan Parr, B.D.)

Inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office
I. PAUL'S OFFICE. The apostle of the Gentiles. Specially —

1. Commissioned.

2. Qualified.

3. Successful.

II. HOW HE MAGNIFIED IT.

1. Not by boasting of it, but faithfully fulfilling it.

2. Not by confining himself to the Gentiles, but seeking the benefit of all.

3. Not by glorying in the fall of Israel, but anticipating the blessings associated with their recovery.

(J. Lyth, D.D.)

In the Church —

I. EVERY MAN HAS HIS OWN OFFICE.

1. Higher or lower.

2. Assigned by the Great Head.

3. For which he is specially qualified.

4. Therefore responsible.

II. SHOULD MAGNIFY IT.

1. Not by glorying in it, but by rightly appreciating it.

2. Not by assumption, but fidelity.

3. Not by despising others, but encouraging them.

(J. Lyth, D.D.)

To be prepared for this office we must —

1. Seek to possess ourselves with the most just and influential apprehensions of its nature and high designs.

2. Cherish a devout persuasion of its efficacy.

3. Endeavour to imbibe and visibly to cultivate the spirit appropriate to its discharge.

4. Give to its fulfilment the unreserved and constant dedication of our highest powers. This must appear under the form of

(1)Preparation.

(2)Public labour.

(3)Private assiduity.

5. Continue in the course thus described —

(1)With perseverance and watchfulness unto the end.

(2)With a meek endurance of every trial and privation to which it may expose us.

(3)With cheerful making of every sacrifice necessary to its fulfilment.

6. Cultivate habitual and solemn anticipations of its issues.

(R. M'All, D.D.)

The word "magnify," employed to express the qualities of an object or pursuit, conveys the idea of something highly esteemed, honourable, glorious. And this is the estimate which Paul put on the office he sustained as a minister of Jesus Christ. The dignity of the Christian ministry may be seen by contemplating —

I. THE AUTHORITY BY WHICH IT ACTS. That the Christian ministry has had its origin in an appointment directly from Heaven, it were folly for any to question who bow to the teachings of revelation. This claim has been asserted from the beginning, and in not a single instance has it ever been modified or relinquished. I say not that the ministry of the New Testament is in all respects identical with that of the Old. There is now no official earthly priesthood, for the one great Sacrifice has been offered "once for all." And yet I do say that, as a Divinely appointed agency to meet the spiritual wants of the world, the ministry is not peculiar to the Christian dispensation. The ministry, and, in its most important attributes, the Christian ministry too, has existed under every revelation of the gospel as the medium of spiritual intercourse between Heaven and earth. Change of names, or of forms, or of outward service, does nothing to disturb what is strictly essential to the great ministerial function, nor to mar the integrity of that gracious system in which it has ever held an indispensable place.

II. THE OBJECTS IT CONTEMPLATES. In all the departments of man's social condition we discover ample proofs of the salutary influence which the ministry is fitted to exert. The influence of the pulpit upon the intellectual condition of man is a subject worthy the profoundest thought of all who are lovers of their kind. There is no agency under heaven that can bear with so much power upon the convictions and motives of humanity as the ministry of the gospel. Compared with the attainments of the human mind under the influence of Christianity, all its achievements amid the most favourable auspices of paganism are light and trivial. It was reserved for teachers mightier than those of the Academy or the Lyceum to proclaim to the world those great principles upon which its elevation, purity, and glory are made to rest. In like manner must it be said that the ministry of the gospel constitutes a most essential element in the progress of civilisation. The science of government, the theory of civil and religious liberty, are properly understood and appreciated only where the pulpit is true to its glorious mission. But to the ministry of the gospel appertains still higher honour. The gospel has to do pre-eminently with man's spiritual nature, and has a direct bearing upon interests that affect his eternal destiny. The ministry goes forth on its benevolent mission. It preaches the gospel — the gospel as a source of light, making known a new element in the character of God — an element of mercy. It preaches the gospel as a source of power, by which the bondage of depravity is broken, the prey is taken from the mighty, and the captive is made free. It preaches the gospel as a source of consolation, by which the spirit is cheered amid all the trials of life, till Death itself falls a conquered monster at his feet, and he is away to the bosom of his Father and his God. And I ask, must not the instrumentality that stands connected with such glorious results as these be of all others the most dignified and important?

III. THE MEANS WHICH IT EMPLOYS. Though several agencies might be mentioned having a concurrent influence in accomplishing the objects of the ministry, yet there is one that holds such a preeminence above all others, that we shall confine our attention to it alone: it is truth — "the truth as it is in Jesus." How comprehensive and profound, how noble and soul-stirring the themes there presented for investigation!

IV. THE AIDS THAT ARE PLEDGED TO IT. Among these we specially note the Spirit and Providence of God. Is there anything the mind can contemplate more truly sublime and beautiful than this alliance of the weakness of humanity with the strength of Divinity? thus constituting the ministry associate labourers with the eternal God in the regeneration of the world! But the Providence of God is also pledged to aid in the same great enterprise. Christ, the Author of the gospel and the Founder of the ministry, is "Head over all things to the Church." Not only by Him were all things created, but by Him also are they sustained and controlled and made subservient to the accomplishment of His purposes of grace.

(D. Kennedy, D.D.)

To one who regretted to Dr. Johnson that he had not been a clergyman because the life of a clergyman was an easy and comfortable one, the Doctor replied, "The life of a conscientious clergyman is not easy. I have always considered a clergyman as the father of a larger family than he is able to maintain. No, sir, I do not envy a clergyman's life as an easy life, nor do I envy the clergyman who makes it an easy life."

If by
My text calls us to consider —

I. THE HEART OF MAN IN A STATE OF INDIFFERENCE TOWARDS THE UNSPEAKABLE GIFT OF GOD.

1. The Jew was satisfied with that which ought not to have satisfied him, and he was indifferent towards that for which he should have craved. He had sacrifices, and should have been watching for the Lamb of God. He had a schoolmaster whose mission it was to lead him to Christ, but he was satisfied with the pedagogue. Toward certain national blessings he was anything but indifferent, but for the incomparable blessings of the kingdom he had no heart.

2. All this is not so much Jewish as human. The emulation of our first mother was, by the primitive temptation, misdirected. Abel was provoked to emulation by the promise of redemption, but Cain was excited to anger, and Adam's immediate posterity soon became dead in trespasses and sins. Noah was moved with fear, but the world was immovable. Abraham was inspired to become a wanderer, but his near relatives sought a continuing city. Israel was stirred up by Moses to leave Egypt, but soon they preferred to return. From the time of the dedication of the temple the nation began to decline, and then (Isaiah 1:8; Hosea 7:8; Hosea 8:9) no promise or prophecy provoked them to emulation.

3. In the fulness of time the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which is lost. But His generation was crooked and perverse toward Him; "His own" slew Him, and His disciples were slow of heart toward Him. An inferior being would not have been slain. Christ was too good for the people. Their emulation was too low to reach such an object. At and after the day of Pentecost, many Jews were provoked to emulation, but this emulation passed away.

4. No sooner had the light of the world begun to shine than a cry arose for the twilight of Judaism and for the night of Paganism. Men asked and received, they sought and found. And the history of the Church is very much the sad story of the substitution of error for truth. The Reformation provoked to emulation, and subsequently Wesley and Whitfield; but now as heretofore we seem to hear a cry, "Not this man, but Barabbas." "Not Christ, but Antichrist." We might speak of millions outside Christendom whose emulation carries them no higher than a senseless idol. We might speak of Christendom content with the human where nothing should satisfy but the Divine.

5. But let us look at "our own flesh." Multitudes in our England live but to gratify the lowest appetites; their emulation does not raise them to the level of the beasts that perish. Many, free from animal lusts, live for light pleasure and for small enjoyments. A large majority live to earn and to eat the bread that perisheth. Some live to climb to dizzy heights in the social scale. Now that which is good among these varied objects is far below the highest good. There is a spirit in man to satisfy as well as a body. There is Godlike blessedness within reach as well as temporary pleasure, bread that endureth unto everlasting life, honour that cometh from God, but toward these things the multitude in this nation have no emulation.

6. And among those who profess to have accepted the highest good we often observe a low emulation. One has the form of godliness without the power. Another has a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. Others limit their religion to orthodox opinions, or sensations, or correct conduct. The godly emulation of the people is low.

II. BEHOLD ONE WHO HAS HIMSELF RECEIVED THE UNSPEAKABLE GIFT, STRIVING TO REMOVE INDIFFERENCE FROM OTHERS.

1. There was much in Christ calculated to arouse. He baptized with fire. He brought not peace only, but a sword. The spirit of His ministry was the spirit of expostulation with those who were satisfied with evil called good, or with a lower kind of good than He offered. He spake as the old prophet (Isaiah 55:2; cf. John 4:13, 14; John 6:27).

2. John Baptist preached in harmony with this spirit of Christ Jesus. The axe is to be laid to the root of the tree; chaff is to be burned with unquenchable fire. And when men were inclined to rest in him, he cried, "He that cometh after me is mightier than I."

3. The manifest tendency of the teaching of Jesus to provoke to emulation led in part to His crucifixion. It was this which imprisoned Peter, and stoned Stephen, and beheaded James, and scourged Paul and Silas.

4. The life and example of Paul wrought upon indifference. He provoked the indolent by his activity, the bigot by his charity, the careless by his consistency, the changeable by his belief, the half-hearted by his zeal, and the cold-hearted by the heat of his enthusiasm and love. Unbelievers and false brethren were not at ease in his presence. He stirred men also by direct endeavours for their salvation. "If by any means I may save some." "Any means" — by preaching and teaching, entreaty, persuasion; wise as a serpent, harmless as a dove, all things to all men to save some.

5. Oh! for Paul-like men to provoke to emulation them which are our flesh! According to our power and opportunity let us try and do it. Our fellow-citizens are near us. We must travel sixteen thousand miles to stir the Japanese and Chinese. Our own flesh are always with us. They see our conduct, and understand our language. To foreigners we may be unable, individually, to set a good example; we cannot address them, but we have opportunity to provoke to emulation our own people. Suffer the example of Paul to provoke you to this good work. But I have something better to present than the example of Paul, even that of Christ. Is this pattern too perfect? Then for the present follow Paul, and let him be your pedagogue unto Christ.

(S. Martin.)

I. OUR KINDRED HAVE SPECIAL CLAIMS UPON OUR CONSIDERATION.

II. NO MEANS SHOULD BE SPARED TO AWAKEN THEIR RELIGIOUS FEELING.

III. NOTHING SHORT OF THEIR SALVATION SHOULD SATISFY US.

IV. IF WE CANNOT SAVE ALL, AT LEAST LET US SAVE SOME.

(J. Lyth, D.D.)

For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead
The rejection of the Jews deeply affected the apostle. But there were three things which afforded him some consolation in the view of it. They were not all cast away; their rejection was the occasion of spreading the gospel among the Gentiles; they should yet be called in, and made instrumental of enlarging the Church of Christ. I shall show —

I. THAT THE JEWS WILL BE CALLED IN. God has dispersed them, and therefore His calling them in must imply not only the taking away of the veil from their hearts, but also His restoring them to their own land. These two things cannot be separated any more than cause and effect.

1. This event is repeatedly foretold (Isaiah 27:12, 13; Ezekiel 11:16-20; Hosea 1:10, 11; Amos 9:14, 15; Zechariah 14:21).

2. The preservation of the Jews confirms these predictions. They have been scattered among all nations for two thousand years, and yet remain distinct, while all other conquered nations have become blended with their conquerors. What other reason can be assigned for this but the Divine purpose of restoring them to their native land? In this view they have been, ever since their dispersion, a standing monument of the truth of God in His predictions, and of the faithfulness of God in His promise to Abraham.

3. This is further confirmed by their peculiar circumstances. They never have been permitted to own any particular country, or to establish any particular government. And though they have generally enjoyed temporal prosperity, yet their wealth has always consisted in personal and not in landed property. So that they have no attachment to any particular place or government, but constantly stand ready to march whenever the promised Messiah shall lead them in triumph to their native land.

II. SOME OF THE HAPPY EFFECTS WHICH WILL FLOW FROM THIS EVENT.

1. It will greatly confirm the truth of Divine revelation. There are more particular and express predictions concerning the restoration of the Jews than concerning any other event. And whenever it shall take place it will be more easy to discern the agreement between the predictions and their accomplishment than it has been in any other case whatever.

2. According to the text the restoration of the Jews shall have a greater tendency to convert mankind than their dispersion had. Their dispersion broke down the middle wall of partition, and opened the way for spreading the gospel among the nations. The same effect in a greater degree shall be produced by their restoration. And this may be greatly owing to the methods God may employ to bring it about. It is supposed by many that He will convert them in the places where they are dispersed before He conducts them to Jerusalem. And should this be the case it will have a powerful tendency to awaken the attention of all nations to the gospel (Zechariah 8:20).

3. It will have a direct and happy tendency to bring on the latter, day glory. It is easy to see how it will in many ways facilitate the universal spread of the gospel. And there is no doubt they will be as much engaged to spread the gospel as they ever had been to oppose it. Their return, therefore, the apostle represents as the fulness of the Gentiles who will then be united with them, and so all Israel shall be saved; that is, the whole number of God's elect who are His spiritual Israel.

III. IMPROVEMENT.

1. It appears from what has been said that there is a growing evidence in favour of the Divine inspiration of the Scriptures by the fulfilling of prophecies. The evidence of miracles has ceased; but the evidence of prophecy has been continued and increased from the day that God foretold that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head.

2. The sovereignty of God appears plainly from His conduct towards His peculiar people. He claims a right to give temporal favours to one and not to another, and to give spiritual blessings to one and not to another. He promised to give to Abraham and to his seed such temporal and spiritual blessings as He denied to mankind in general. And though for a long time past He has scattered them through the world, yet He has exercised a particular providence over them by which they are preparing to stand again as His peculiar people at the head of the religious world.

3. If the restoration of the Jews shall produce such effects as have been mentioned, then we may safely conclude that God is as really promoting the prosperity of the Church in general at one time as at another. He was as really fulfilling His promise to Abraham while his seed were four hundred years in bondage as while He was pouring down His blessings upon them in the land of promise. God is never slack, as men count slackness, in carrying into effect the great purposes of His grace. God promotes the fruitfulness of the earth by cold as well as by heat, by darkness as well as by light; just so He promotes the prosperity of the Church by all the opposition made to its growth and enlargement. The friends of Christ have no just ground to despond at the apparently slow movements of the wheels of providence, nor His enemies to hope and triumph. In due time the Jews will be restored and converted, and the gospel will spread and prevail.

4. If the Jews shall be called in, then we cannot expect any long settled peace among the nations till that event shall take place. It cannot be brought about without disturbing the harmony of all nations where they reside, and through whom they must make their way to Judaea, which is in the possession of the Mohammedans. It is not to be supposed that the Mohammedans can be conquered without spreading war among the whole Eastern world. And should a general war break out there, it would directly or indirectly affect all Europe, if not America.

5. It appears from what has been said that we have as much reason to believe the Jews will be eventually restored to their native country as they had to believe the coming of Christ. There was a multitude of plain predictions in the Old Testament concerning Christ, which the Jews ought to have believed, but there are as many both in the Old and New Testament concerning the restoration of the Jews. And there are no more apparent difficulties in the way of their returning to their native land than there were in the way of Christ's coming into the world. But Christians have been very unbelieving in respect to their return, and this has led Christian nations to despise and abuse that ancient people.

6. Since God has plainly told us that He intends to deliver them we ought to desire and do all we can to bring about that great and happy event. We have received unspeakable benefits from their being for a while cast away, and are promised still greater benefits from their predicted restoration. There is no ground to expect the restoration of the Jews without the aid of the Christian world. It is time, therefore, for Christians to be alive to the great work they have to do.

7. This subject teaches us the indispensable obligation we are under to believe, and love, and obey the sacred oracles which the Jews so long preserved, and at length conveyed to us Gentiles.

(N. Emmons, D.D.)

The calling of the Jews shall bring such an addition of happiness to the world that it shall have more life, spirit, vigour, put into it both in regard to Jews and Gentiles. The world is now like a man taken with the palsy on the one side, for though it live on the side of the Gentile, yet it is dead on the side of the Jew, and therefore in that regard their calling shall be as life from the dead. Also on the side of the Gentile, many that are now seduced by false teachers shall then embrace the gospel in truth. And partly because those that do believe shall so be confirmed and increased, that in comparison their former life shall not come into remembrance. They shall live more.

(Elnathan Parr, B.D.)

For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy
1. Concerning these firstfruits the law is set down (Leviticus 23), where the people may not put sickle into their corn till they have offered a sheaf to the Lord, and then it was lawful for them to reap it. Hence by allusion is our Saviour called the firstfruits of them that sleep, because our resurrection depends upon and is assured by His. Also when they had their corn in, and made ready of it for their use, they might not eat of it till they had offered two loaves to the Lord, and then was their whole lump made lawful for them to eat.

2. God commanded these ceremonies to teach the Jews that they received all blessings from the Lord. So that as princes when they bestow manors upon deserving servants make reservation of some fealty, service, rent, or such like, only to show that they hold of them. So God required this of the Jews.

3. The sanctification of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to be the people of God sanctifieth outwardly all their posterity. The Jews therefore are still a holy people, which appears by their evidence and their letters patents, the tenor of the first grant (Genesis 17:7; Acts 2:38, 39; Acts 3:25). And though some of them have forfeited their estate, yet some cannot forfeit the privilege granted to the whole nation. But —(1) The nation is before called rebellious: how then can it now be called holy? There is a double holiness.

(a)Of regeneration.

(b)Of the covenant; in regard of the first they are rebellious, in regard of the second they are holy.(2) We are by nature the children of wrath. How then can the Jews be holy by nature or birth? The former definition of holiness makes it plain. In regard of the first, children of wrath; in regard of the second, holy by nature. The first cannot be conveyed by parents to posterity: the second is, as, for example, a gentleman is chosen to some great office whereby he is a great lord; he begets a son, this son is a gentleman by birth, but not a lord, because the honour of his father was not invested in his blood, but a special grace conferred on his person.

I. THE CHILDREN OF CHRISTIANS ARE BORN CHRISTIANS AND HOLY, by virtue of the covenant having right to the initiating seal — baptism, which right, if they were not born Christians, they could not have. Before baptism our children are either heathen or Christians; but not heathens, for then they might not be baptized till they had made confession of Christ. Therefore they are born Christians. Baptism maketh not a Christian, but signifieth. As there are Jews by nature, so Christians. If any allege that we are not born but reborn Christians, the answer is we are not born regenerate Christians, but to be regenerate. We beget Christians, not believers.

II. THE CHILDREN OF CHRISTIANS DYING BEFORE BAPTISM DIE AS CHRISTIANS, therefore they have hope, and their parents may be comforted over them.

III. THOU SHALT NEVER HAVE COMFORT THAT THOU ART BORN A CHRISTIAN TILL THOU BELIEVEST AS A CHRISTIAN SHOULD DO. He that is freeborn and will use his freedom must observe some ceremony, and receive some instrument testifying the same; so though we be born of Christian parents we must believe and repent; the sin of the father prejudiceth not the believing, nor the righteousness of the father sayeth the unbelieving child. It is a credit to be born of religious parents if we be religious. If a man have a thousand pound land a year left him, and spend it all in riotous living, what credit is it for him to brag that his friends left him such an estate? nay, it is a shame to him. He is truly noble that is good, but a wicked and vicious man, though he came of a worthier father than Abraham, is to be accounted base. Walk in the steps of thy godly parents, and if they were not godly redeem the baseness of thy family by thy holiness and virtues.

IV. ART THOU BORN A CHRISTIAN? WHY THEN LIVEST THOU LIKE A HEATHEN? If thou art freeborn why becomest thou by thy wickedness the devil's slave? As thou bearest the name of Christ so live like Him.

(Elnathan Parr, B.D.)

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