Hearing the Church; the Times of the Gentiles; Manna; Regeneration and the New Birth

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I was very glad to hear you were better, for we were getting uneasy about you, though sure the Lord is right, and to have account of the beloved brethren and work in Canada, to whom I am greatly attached. God knows if I shall ever see them again.
As to your questions: as to the manna, the color is nothing; it was a yellowish white, which bdellium is said to be. It had an oily taste, but was sweetish.
Matt. 18:1616But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. (Matthew 18:16), &c., offers no difficulty at all. Call it assembly, which is what the word is, and all question disappears. The Roman Catholic does not hear the church; he is part of the church: all the faithful go to make up the church.
He hears the clergy, but they are not the church. As to the passage itself, nothing can be more simple; if I am wronged, I seek to make my brother feel it; if that fails, I take two or three more, so that it may not rest on my word merely. If that fail, I tell it to the whole assembly; if that be refused, I disown the offender. What has the clergy teaching a doctrine to do with my telling something to the assembly? They pick out three words from the passage garbled; and even so, it is not the church they hear.
"The times of the Gentiles" is the time during which, from the capture of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar till the beast is destroyed, Jerusalem, and the throne of God in it, has been set aside and the Gentiles have been in power. The "fullness of time" in Galatians is when the responsibility of man having been fully tried the due time has arrived for Christ to come and accomplish redemption. The "dispensation of the fullness of times," is when all ages having rolled round, and all being ready, all things in heaven and in earth are put under the authority of the second Man as Head.
"The kingdom of God" is general, and embraces all the rest. "The kingdom of heaven" is God's kingdom when the rule is in heaven—when the king is there. This results in a special division, the full heavenly part which is the kingdom of the Father, and the subject earthly part the kingdom of the Son of man.
There was no gift by the laying on of the hands of the presbytery, but by the laying on of Paul's; it was an apostolic prerogative. The Holy Ghost was given by the laying on of the apostles' hands; it is "with" as to the presbyters: they were associated, as approving witnesses of Timothy. Hence in modern imitations, or traditions, they are ordained by the bishop, but two or three presbyters join in laying on hands as a sanction, but cannot ordain. The presbytery were the company of elders who doubtless knew Timothy, and thus testified of it. (Compare Acts 16:22Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium. (Acts 16:2).) These are all your questions.
The Lord willing, we start for the West Indies November 17th. The desire to hear is very great here; constantly people cannot get in, and a majority of men, and I trust the brethren are getting on, as to numbers, rapidly. Scotland is greatly opened, and meetings formed, indeed in Ireland too. But all things are loosening up in every way, and there is a good deal of religious action, very independent, but godly souls getting dissatisfied with looseness. We have just closed our laborers' conference here, I hope with blessing. Peace be with you. My kindest love to the brethren both at Quebec and Montreal. The Lord graciously lead them on and bless them, and gather many into the paths of peace.
November 2nd, 1868.