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grace of God to the Gentiles, is called, the mystery of God"the mystery," Eph. iii. 3; "the mystery of his will,” Eph. i. 9; the mystery of Christ, iii. 4;. and Romans xvi. 25, “ the revelation of the mystery.”
This dispensation of grace, as it took away the partition wall, and joined the Gentiles with the Jews in the same blessings, and made them “ fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ,” is called (Eph. iii. 9,) “ the fellowship of the mystery."
The free offer and tender of pardon, life and salvation to sinners in the gospel, and the gracious work of his free Spirit, is the mystery of God ; and his making known the gospel among the Gentiles was making “known the riches of the glory of this mystery.” Col. i. 27. Therefore the dispensation of the gospel among the Gentiles, is so much insisted on as the mystery of God.
And the astonishing work of infinite love, power, and grace, to be wrought for the Jews, after the fulness of the Gentiles be come in; which, in one day, shall remove blindness from Israel, and take away ungodliness from Jacob; and a nation shall be born at once; the stubborn, unbelieving Jews shall bow the knee to the sign of the Son of man--a last signal of the golden sceptre--and shall say, “ Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord : this also, because it is the same work of unsearchable mercy, and grace, is called mystery.* Rom. xi. 25.
The work of redemption is called the mystery
* See Appendix, No. II.
of God, not as a secret; but as a thing of the most wonderful nature,
But, when the seventh angel shall begin to sound, “ It is done"-the day of grace is closed. The times of the Gentiles being ended, their fulness, all their elect number, being gathered in, and all Israel saved, the offers and tenders of pardon and peace from God to sinners shall no more be heard—the mystery of God shall be finished.
O, solemn sound! amazing period ! Such a moment will come. God's Spirit will not always strive with men-the dispensation of the gospel and day of grace, will not last always—the door of mercy will be shut. The solemn, all-awaken. ing voice of the prophets proclaimed it; and the finishing of the mystery of God, at the sounding of the seventh trumpet, is a no less consummation; it is the very one which God“ hath declared to his servants the prophets.”
By the mystery of God, some also understand the mystery of his suffering his enemies to reign in the world, and his strange work of judgment, in the last plagues, which shall finally destroy them; in which it is said, “ is filled up the wrath of God.” And Doctor Goodwin would include also in the mystery of God,“the New Jerusalem, and kingdom of the saints, and the first resurrection.” (See his Expo. page 19 and 146.) And although the work of grace, by the word and spirit, and providence of God, be chiefly designed by the mystery of God, as, from comparing the Scriptures, to me is evident, yet these other things may be included; for the mystery of iniquity will be finished, the times of the world's monarchies—the times of the Gentiles-will be fulfilled, and all the vials of the wrath of God will be emptied upon the earth, when the last trumpet shall sound, and then also will be disclosed the mystery of the first resurrection, the kingdom of Christ, and the New Jerusalem,
Time, probation time, shall be no longer.
In the beginning of the sounding of the seventh trumpet, tiine closes ; by the oath of the angel, “in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound," is the moment of the consumination of time the moment that there should be time no longer. The sentence of our text, “ the mystery of God should be finished,” by its connection is made explanatory of the sentence in the preceding verse, “there should be time no longer."
A state of probation and trial ends, and a state of reward and punishment commences. When the seventh angel sounded, the four and twenty elders “ fell upon their faces and worshipped God, saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hath reigned. And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead that they should be judged, and that thou shouldst give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to thy saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great, and shouldst destroy them which destroy the earth.”
The trumpet of Jewish jubilee, as it closed all the circles of Jewish dispensations, and ended their longest and last division of time, was a bright, expressive type of this seventh-the last grand jubilant trumpet-as closing all probationary dispensations and times.
By the voice of the seventh trumpet the saints shall be gathered together unto Christ.
By the sound of the trumpet, the assemblies both of the princes and the great congregation of Israel were assembled unto Moses at the door of the tabernacle.
Respecting the trump of jubilee, we read, Isaiah xxvii. 13, “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the Lord in the holy mount at Jerusalem." Reading this, we cannot but recollect Matt. xxiv. 31 : « And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” And also 1 Thessalonians iv. 16, 17: “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we which are alive, and remain, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord."*
So likewise, in Daniel vii. 10, when the Lord comes. to take to himself the kingdom, as here at the sound of the seventh trumpet, he appears surrounded by the general assembly of
saints, and thousand thousands of angels.
* At the sound of the last trumpet the saints will be assembled in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and, with him, they will be safe from the conflagration of the world. The servants of God “shall be caught up to meet the Lord, and with him they shall be in safe. ty, while they shall see the earth flaming under them.". Mather.
And such an assembly is here most particularly named, as "the prophets,'
,” “the saints, and them that fear God, small and great."
This will be the day of the destruction of the ungodly; them which destroy the earth, will now be destroyed. Rev. xi. 18.
The blowing of trumpets in the seventh month was a memorial of the destruction of Pharaoh and the Egyptians, as well as of the salvation of Israel. Of the feast of trumpets on the first day of the seventh month we have this account, in Psalm lxxxi. 3-5: “Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day. For this was a statute for Israel, and a law of the God of Jacob. This he ordained in Joseph for a testimony, when he went out through the land of Egypt; where I heard a language that I understood not;" i. e. when he went through Egypt and slew the firstborn.
And the great feast of tabernacles, whilst it brought in remembrance the mercy, brought also in remembrance the judgment, showed in Egypt, and in the Red Sea.
And even the burnings of the day of expiation pointed out not only the day of Christ, but also the consuming wrath of God upon the wicked; therefore, the Lord said, “ If they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry ?” We read, in Ezekiel xxxix., of God's sacrifice, even a great sacrifice—the flesh of the mighty, and the blood of princes. And in Isaiah xxxiv., the day of the Lord's vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion, is pointed out, in the same manner, by the solemn