CXLIX. The Jews.

ROM. xi. 15. “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?”

I. THESE words express the hope entertained by Paul of
the ultimate solution of what was in his eyes a strange
and mysterious puzzle—the refusal of the Jews to enter
the Church of Christ. While the Gospel was daily gaining
fresh successes among the Gentiles, the Jews remained out-
side. The solution come to by the apostle was, with the
rejection of the Jews a time was needed for the good of
the Church, for the progress of the Gospel, for the in-
terests of truth. Would it have been possible to give the
Church its catholic character if at the very beginning there
had been established at its centre a mass of believers in
the old traditions? Would it have been possible to bring
in the Gentiles at all? The rejection of the Jews was
necessary for our admission. But when the day of their
redemption is come and gone, that day shall be like life
from the dead. To have once more the deep joyousness,
the extraordinary sense of God’s nearness and power—
these special gifts of the old Hebrew race once more pre-
vailing in the Church of Christ; what would it be but life
from the dead?
II. We have before us the wonderful fact that our Lord
died for all mankind, and that His Gospel is still unknown
to the great majority of the human race. Whenever we
are disposed to be daunted by watching the slow progress
of the Gospel, the answer is that such delays are to be
looked on simply as parts of the process of God. That
there is a purpose in delays and obstacles is one half of
the principle that Paul asserts, and the other half is the
gain that accompanies every success; and as the one is
a consolation when we are discouraged, so is the other a
perpetual encouragement when we are labouring.
Frederick Temple D.D.

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