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fore the harvest. There was no more success before Christ came, than God saw needful to prepare the way for his coming. The proper time of the success or effect of Christ's redemption is after the purchase has been made, as the proper time for the world to enjoy the light of the sun is the day-time, after the sun is risen, though we may have some small matter of it reflected from the moon and planets before. And even the success of Christ's redemption while he himself was on earth, was very small in comparison of what it was afterwards.
But, Christ having finished that greatest and most difficult of all works, now is come the time for obtaining the end, the glorious effect of it. Having gone through the whole course of his sufferings and humiliation, he is to suffer no more.
But now is the time for him to obtain the joy that was set before him. Having made "his soul an offering for sin,” now is the time for him to “see his seed," to have “a portion with the great,” and to " divide the spoil with the strong."
One design of Christ in what he did in his humiliation, was to lay a foundation for the overthrow of Satan's kingdom; and now is come the time to effect it, as Christ, a little before his crucifixion, said, John, 12 : 31, “ Now is the judgment of this world now shall the prince of this world be cast out. Another design was to gather together in one all things in Christ. Now is come the time for this also. John, 12 : 32. And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me;" which is agreeable to Ja. cob's prophecy of Christ, that " when Shiloh should come, to him should the gathering of the people te." Gen. 49 : 10. Another design is the salvation
of his people. Now when his sufferings are finished, and his-humiliation perfected, the time is come for that also. Heb. 5:8,9. Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered : and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.” Another sign was, to accomplish by these things great glory to the persons of the Trinity. John, 17:1. · Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee." Another design was the glory of the saints. John 17: 2. “As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.” And all the dispensations of God's providence henceforward, even to the final consummation of all things, are to give Christ bis reward, and fulfill his end in what he did and suffered upon earth, and the joy that was set before him.
I. Scriptural Representations of this period.
Before I enter on the consideration of any particular things accomplished in this period, I would briefly observe how the times of this period are represented in Scripture.
1. The times of this period, for the most part, are in the Old Testament called the latter days. We often, in the prophets of the Old Testament, read of things that should come to pass in the latter days, and sometimes in the last days, evidently referring to gospel times. They are called the latter days, and the last days, because this is the last period of the series of God's providences on earth, the last period of the great work of redemption; which is, as
it were, the sum of God's works of providence; the last dispensation of the covenant of grace on earth.
II. The whole time of this period is sometimes in Scripture called the end of the world. I Cor. 10:11. “ Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” And the apostle, Heb. 9 : 26, in this expression the end of the world, means the whole of the gospel-day, from the birth of Christ to the day of judgment : “ But now once in the end of the world haih he appeared, to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” This space of time may well be called the end of the world ; for this whole time is taken up in bringing things to their great end and issue. Before, things were in a kind of preparatory state; but now they are in a finishing state. An end is now brought to the former carnal state of things, which by degrees vanishes, and a spiritual state begins to be established more and more. Particularly, an end is brought to the former state of the church, which may be called its worldly state, in which it was subject to carnal ordinances and the rudiments of the world. Then an end is brought to the Jewish common. wealth, in the destruction of their city and country. After that, an end is brought to the old H-athen empire in Constantine's time. The next step is the finishing of Satan's visible kingdom in the world, upon the fall of Antichrist, and the calling of the Jews. And last will come the destruction of the outward frame of the world itself, at the conclusion of the day of judgment. Heaven and earth began to shake, in order to a dissolution, according to tho prophecy of Haggai, before Christ came, that so only
" those things which cannot be shaken” may remain, Heb. 12 : 27; that is, that those things which are to come to an end may terminate, and that only those things may remain which are to remain eternally.
In the first place, the carnal ordinances of the Jewish worship came to an end, to make way for the establishment of that spiritual worship which is to endure to all eternity. John, 4: 21. “Jesus saith unto the woman, Believe me, the hour cometh, when shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.” Verse 23. “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him." This is one instance of the temporary world coming to an end, and the eternal world beginning. And then the outward temple and the city of Jerusalem came to an end, to give place to the setting up of the spiritual temple and city, which are to last for ever. Another instance of removing those things which are ready to vanish away, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain, is the bringing to an end the old Heathen empire, to make way for the empire of Christ, which shall last to all eternity. After that, upon the fall of Antichrist, an end will be put to Satan's visible kingdom on earth, to establish Christ's kingdom, which is an eternal kingdom. Dan. 7:27. “And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him;" which is another instance of the ending of Redemption.
the temporary world, and the beginning of the eternal one. And then, lastly, the very frame of this corruptible world shall come to an end, to make way
for the church to dwell in another dwelling place, which shall last to eternity.
Because the world is thus coming to an end by various steps and degrees, the apostle perhaps uses this expression, that not the end but the ends of the world are come on us; as though the world has several endings one after another. The gospel dispensation is a finishing state; it is all spent in finishing things which before had been preparing, or abolishing things which before had stood. It is all spent, as it were, in summing things up, and bringing them to their issues, and their proper fulfillment. Now all the old types are fulfilled, and the predictions of all the prophets from the beginning of the world shall be accomplished in this period.
III. That state of things which is attained in the events of this period is called a new heaven and a new earth. Isa. 65 : 17, 18. “For behold, I create new heavens, and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And chap. 66 : 22. “For as the new heavens and the new earth which I will make, shall remain before me; so shall your seed and your name remain." See also chap 51: 16. As the former state of things, or the old world, by one step after another, is through this period coming to an end; so the new state of things, or the new world, which is a spiritual world, is beginning and setting up. In consequence of each of these finishings of