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with the Lord." It is only when we are really labouring, and positively spending our strength, that we may take comfort from knowing that our work is with our God. It is only as our God is our strength, that we can become glorious in his eyes.
V. The Messiah was predicted as a wellqualified teacher. "The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary” (Isa. l. 4). "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek .... to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all that mourn" (Isa. Ixi. 1, 2). Viewing these prophecies con jointly, we see that, through the gift "without measure" of the Holy Spirit, the man Christ Jesus received "the tongue of the learned." And "never was there a tongue like Christ's-so learned, so eloquent, and so skilled. 'Never man spake like this man.' Greece and Rome, in their
'High and palmy state,'
never exhibited such philosophy as he taught, such erudition as he displayed, or such eloquence as he breathed. Had he so chosen it, he could have placed himself at the head of a school of his own; and with a beck might have allured to his feet all the poets and philosophers of his day, proud to own him as their Master. But no: the wisdom and the eloquence of this world possessed no charm for him. He drew the learning, and the melting power with which he spoke, from a higher, even a heavenly source. His was divine philosophy: his was the eloquence of God. The Lord Jehovah hath given me the tongue of the eloquent.' And to whom did he consecrate this learning, this wisdom, and this eloquence? To the very objects whom the proud philosophers and the doctors of his day despised and neglected -even the weary. What a field was here for the exercise of his skill and for the play of his benevolence! How fully would he demonstrate that he truly possessed 'the tongue of the learned'! If to interest the feelings of the exhausted, if to enchain the attention of the weary, if to concentrate upon one subject the powers of a mind jaded and burdened, if to awaken music from a heart whose chords were broken and unstrung, mark the loftiest reach of eloquence, then his was eloquence unsurpassed; for all this he did. The beings whom he sought out, and drew around him, were the burdened, the bowed, the disconsolate, the poor, the friendless, the helpless, the ignorant, the weary. He loved to lavish upon such the fulness of his benevolent heart, and to exert upon such the skill of his wonder-working power. Earth's weary sons repaired to his outstretched arms for shelter; and the world's ignorant and despised ones clustered round his feet to be taught and blessed". And what word was it that he spoke to the weary? What message was it wherewith he comforted the mourner? It was the proclamation he made of "the acceptable year of the Lord"; the jubilee-time of gospel-blessing, whereby an enslaved world was offered the liberty of the children of God. The proclamation was as seasonable as it was suitable. When men were
* Winslow's "Glimpses of Truth."
enquiring what they must believe, Christ came and proclaimed himself the Truth. When men were asking, What must we do to be saved? Christ came and announced himself as the Way of salvation. When men were dead in trespasses and sins, and hastening onward to the second death, Christ came, and declared himself to be the Life. Such a proclamation can never be unseasonable in this world of ours. Hence the admonition, "Preach the word: be instant in season and out of season"-out of season not in reality, but in appearance. Even as it would never be really unseasonable to rush into a house on fire and awaken the sleeping inmates, even so the truths that make for man's highest welfare are not in themselves at any time unsuitable, though they may be so deemed by such as have not learned to know their momentousness. In the prediction before us, however, reference is made not only to a word that is in season, but that seems in season, that is felt to be in season. Such a word "how good is it!" and, when spoken by him whose word is with power, how effectual to console the anguished heart, and refresh the heavy-laden spirit! Are there no weary ones, no mourning ones, around us also? Let us see to it that we never omit speaking the word in season. Let us be careful to let slip no favourable opportunity for proclaiming the freeness and fulness of the gospel. Let us not be chargeable with the guilt of withholding comfort which it is in the power of our lips to impart, and thus by our silence helping forward the affliction of such as are mourners in Zion. Let us watch for the breaking up of the fallow ground, for the softering of the heart, for the melting of the spirit, for the stirrings of the awakened conscience, for the cravings of unsatisfied desire; and let us drop in a timely word of Christian truth. Let us not be disheartened if we have not the tongue of the learned; but, remembering whose gift it is, let us ask for an "unction from the Holy One." Thus shall we speak with heart-eloquence concerning him in whom we have found rest for our own souls.
Finally, "let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus"; "so walk even walked." "Run with patience the race set before you, looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of your faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God; for consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds." Thus, having sought to stir up your pure minds, by way of remembrance," I breathe for you a farewell wish, saying to each of my readers, "Peace be to thee, and peace be to thine house, and peace be to all that thou hast."
THE RESTORATION OF THE JEWS*.
AND now what can be the design with reference to such a people, before whom the world itself stands confounded, and compared with whom the oldest empires are but as novelties?
Their present scattered condition demonstrates the justice of God upon them, in answer to the horrid imprecation uttered by their ancestors more than 1800 years ago, "His blood be upon us, and upon our children?
Their selection from the rest of the world, and their mysterious preservation within it, reveal the sovereignty and set forth the omnipotence of him before whom all nations are as nothing and vanity. | Their predicted future restoration, and consequent conversion to Christ, will show the mercy and long-suffering of God, and his ultimate design of making the Jewish nation the great missionary station of the world.
That they will be restored to the long-lost favour of God is a fact that is declared by a thousand promises, and confirmed by the prophetic and historic records of scripture. Prophecies of their restoration, and of the fulness of the Gentiles, are generally united, and are expressed with equal clearness and force. Thus the great evangelical prophet, while looking through the vista of coming centuries, describes their final gathering to the sceptre of our God: "And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign to the people: to it shall the Gentiles seek; and his rest shall be glorious. And it shall come to pass, in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off. Ephraim shall not envy Judah; and Judah sball not vex Ephraim."
For the accomplishment of this blessedness upon his ancient people, God will take the vail from their heart; and then they shall return unto him. He will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications; and they shall look upon him whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him as one that is in bitterness for his first-born." This spirit of contrition shall be succeeded by feelings of holy confidence and joy. "And in that day thou shalt say, O Jehovah, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortest me. Behold, God is my sal• From A Voice from many Lands; or, Missionary Enterprize;" by the rev. H. Bunn, curate of Calne, Wiltshire. Bath: Binns and Goodwin. There is a compendious account, in this volume, of the fields open to missionary exertion, with many sensible and earnest exhortations to professing Christians to employ themselves vigorously in promoting such a work. We cannot exactly agree with everything the author asserts; but we may conscientiously say that it is written in a truly Christian spirit, and that we rise from the perusal impressed with real respect for the writer.--ED.
vation I will trust, and not be afraid; for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song: he also is become my salvation."
The exertions now making for the conversion of this extraordinary people are not wholly without effect. Since the establishment of a Christian bishop at Jerusalem, a new excitement has been given to the work of restoring the Jew to the long-forfeited immunities and privileges of the divine covenant. Though the progress of conviction is slow, and the number of conversions comparatively few, yet all the communications received from Jewish missionaries are peculiarly encouraging; showing that many Jews have been already converted to Christ, while some are actually engaged as missionaries to their own countrymen. A distinct society is also in operation, for the laudable purpose of bringing these descendants of the patriarchs to a knowledge of the truth. The New Testament is circulating amongst them in a Hebrew translation; and a spirit of more free and liberal inquiry is becoming diffused. These are hopeful indications, encouraging omens, and mark the dawn of that happy era, when "there shall come forth a Deliverer out of Zion, and turn away ungodliness from Jacob;" when their present hatred and contempt for Messiah shall be changed into admiration and love, and their blasphemies into expressions of confidence and praise. "And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God: we have waited for him; and he will save us. This is Jehovah: we have waited for him we will be glad, and rejoice in his salvation."
At present their state is desperate, but not hopeless; for the time will come when these outcasts of Zion shall swell the lofty chorus of the Lamb, and become the most successful advocates of his cause. As to their judicial rejection, there is no scripture to warrant such a belief; but many to show that hope and mercy still attend their footsteps. In the very place where their excision from church privileges is declared, the apostle asks, "Hath God cast away his people? God forbid; for I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? How he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. Even so then, at this present time, also, there is a remnant according to the election of grace." Again he observes, that
blindness, in part, is happened unto Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek; for the same Lord is rich unto all that call upon him."
Such passages invite the Christian church to more vigorous and general exertion for the salvation of the Jews, and hold forth a promise that we shall not labour in vain, nor spend our strength not be far distant when "all Israel shall be saved." for nought. For what we know, the period may Believers, let your attention be more fully directed to the important object set before you. Let God's
ancient people, through whom all the privileges | Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be you enjoy have been transmitted, share more saved." Would you accelerate the arrival of that deeply in your sympathies; and, when you bow blessed day? Then "pray for the peace of Jebefore the altar of devotion in your closet, your rusalem." Resolve, "For Zion's sake will I not family, and the assembly of the church, like holy hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will Daniel plead with God for their salvation. not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth." You could not employ means more appropriate to the divine greatness than to cry daily, "O that the salvation of God were come out of Zion!" The churches of Christ generally could not unite for a more worthy object, than to send up the earnest invocation, "O arm of the Lord, awake, awake!" for thine ancient people. The prayer would be music in the ear of God, and would bring a blessing on those who offered it.
That the Jews will be restored to their own land is a fact upon which scripture is most explicit: that they are to be the future witnesses of Christianity, by whom the world is to be converted to Christ, is another fact upon which most good men are agreed, because, as they believe, that the Gentiles will never be fully brought in, until the day when it shall be said, " Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people," &c. The attempt to give a purely spiritual interpretation to a prediction bearing upon the truth of the future restoration of the Jew is opposed to the usual mode of interpreting scripture. Whenever the prophets speak of the dispersion, they always speak of their restoration; and assuredly, as they have been scattered, so surely will they be restored to their ancient land. If the Jews had been only figuratively scattered, then they might have been figuratively restored. But, when we know that they have been literally scattered, and know that the scattering and gathering are often announced in one and the same prophecy, why should we for a moment doubt their restoration to their lost nationality and laws? If they are not to be reinstated in Judea as in the days of old, how can we interpret such a passage as the following: "They shall be gathered from among the nations whither they have gone, and brought again to their own land." And again: "If their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they accept of the punishment of their iniquity, then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham; and I will remember the land."
Yes, Judea shall be again inhabited by its longlost inhabitants, her ancient valleys shall once more swarm with the descendants of the patriarchs; and Jerusalem shall again resound to the voice of holy melody and joy. No longer shall the Jew weep "at the foot of the stranger," or wander as an expatriated exile over the mountains, and through the plains and regions of distant nations. No longer shall he commingle with the multitude of aliens, or be any longer the by-word and reproach of those who feel no sympathy for his state, and who pity not his degradation. No! "They shall come;" and the city of David shall again acknowledge her sons, and rejoice at their
As this is a subject of scripture, we know that it shall be fulfilled; for he, who hath said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away; but my word shall not pass away," hath also said, "I will pour upon the house of David and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem the spirit of grace and of supplications; and they shall look upon me, whom they have pierced."
And would you, my dear reader, promote the glory of God in the recovery and restoration of the Jew? Seek the conversion of all around you. Aim at the recovery of the world. For know that the progress of the missionary cause hastens the time of Israel's conversion; for "blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the
Finally, would you sympathize with and appreciate the glory which shall redound to God from Israel's conversion? Cultivate the humble and adoring spirit of the apostle in relation to it. Your own history exhibits an epitome of the divine conduct towards Israel. The history of the Jews is but an epitome of the divine conduct towards the human race-conduct which is destined to fill the universe with his praise. For what is the nature of that glory which is to accrue to God from their conversion? Is it not the glory of a power which has carried them successfully for ages through every annihilating progress that could assail them? the glory of a wisdom which saw the end from the beginning, arranging and foretelling the entire plan? of a benevolence which resisted every kind of provocation to destroy them, pressed into its service every adverse influence, and illustrated every great principle of moral government, in a manner directly tending to their highest welfare? of a mercy which, after following them nearly through all time and through all lands, takes them with all their accumulated guilt and depravity, and erects them into a monument of his saving grace? and the glory of making this dispensation the occasion of further joy to the church, and of greatest good to the world? In a word, it will be the glory of divine all-sufficiency receiving from them at length the homage of creature dependence. And so deep will be their conviction of that dependence, and so vast the views of that all-sufficiency which their history shall afford, that language will fail to describe or record them. And what a subject for contemplation to the minds of the blessed! Once, saith the apostle John, on the opening of the seventh seal, "there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour;" that was a pause of breathless suspense prior to a tremendous discharge of wrath. But, when, by this splendid display of mercy, the principalities and powers in heavenly places shall behold the manifold wisdom of God, surely the silence of wonder will again ensue; a silence during which every face will be veiled, every worshipper prostrate, every heart filled with mental adoration; a silence from which they shall recover only to utter the language of awful delight, "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom aud knowledge of God!"
Brethren, the tendency of all his dispensations, from first to last, is essentially the same; and never will they know a pause till this end be gained. Then man wili have found his proper
place, the only spot in the universe which becomes him-at the feet of God. Then God will have recovered his proper glory: every rival power will be cast out: the eyes of all will wait upon him he will be seen by the universe as the centre and stay of a dependent world. Then the design of the great constitution of mercy will be completed: the wise man shall no longer glory in his wisdom, nor the rich in his riches, nor the strong in his strength: the only glory left will be the high glory of dependence upon God: everything will be seen to have redounded to the glory of his grace alone. And, when all flesh shall thus be seen prostrate before God, what will it be but a prelude to the worship of heaven? what will remain but that the whole should be transferred to the employment of praise above? And, as the righteous at length shall go away into everlasting life-as the nations of them that are saved shall "pass through the gates into the city," what more appropriate inscription for the triumphal arch which shall receive them than this, "Of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to him be glory for ever. Amen"? Be this our sentiment in life, in death, and for ever.
"Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing."-REV. v. 12.
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who, of thy tender love towards mankind, hast sent thy Son Jesus Christ to take upon him our flesh, and to suffer death upon the cross, that all mankind should follow the example of his great humility, mercifully grant that we may both follow the example of his patience, and also be made partakers of his resurrection, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
"Saith St. John, As I looked further, I saw that in the midst of the seat (which is the universal congregation of God), and of the four beasts (which are the constant ministers of his word), and also in the midst of the ancient elders (which have been the sincere witnesses of his verity since the beginning), there stood a fair, meek, and most
Psalms: Morn., xxii., xl., liv.; Even., lxix., lxxxviii.
+ Collect for Easter Even.-Grant, O Lord, that, as we are baptized into the death of thy blessed Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ, so by continual mortifying our corrupt affections we may be buried with him, and that through the grave and gate of death we may pass to our joyful resurrection, for his merits who died, and was buried, and rose again for us, thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
innocent Lamb, as though he had been newly slain. I knew that Christ was this Lamb; for he was wounded for our offences, and took away the sins of the world. He was that meek Lamb prefigured in the law, whom the faithful fathers so earnestly desired. He was that gentle Lamb that was carried away to be slain, and that opened not his mouth before the shearer. This Lamb standeth up evermore for us, before God, as our only Mediator, Advocate, Peacemaker, Saviour, Helper, Counsellor, Defender, and Teacher" (Bp. Bale's Exposit. of the Book of Revelation). "O'the precious blood of Christ as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot!' precious in the sight of God for its infinite value; precious to the conscience of the convinced sinner, for its purifying virtue; precious to the heart of every believer, for the all-sufficient and everlasting blessings which are obtained by it; precious to all around the throne, who are there alone through its virtue, and because they have washed their robes in this blood of the Lamb; and to it the whole company of the redeemed shall ascribe the whole glory and praise throughout eternity" (Rev. W. Goode).
"Hast thou not bid us love thee, God and King? All, all thine own-soul, heart, and strength, and mind:
I see thy cross, there teach my heart to cling: O let me seek thee, and O let me find." (Croly.)
JESUS CHRIST PRECIOUS TO THE
(For Good Friday),
BY THE REV. ROBERT LLOYD JOYCE, B.A., Incumbent of Camerton, Cumberland.
1 PET. ii. 7.
"Unto you, therefore, which believe he is precious; but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner."
Ir is an awful event we this day celebratethe crucifixion, the painful, agonizing, lingering death of the incarnate God; that mys tery which angels desire to look into, which is a stone of stumbling and rock of offence to the carnal Jew and the philosophic Greek.
Some few thousands of years since, the first Good Friday which this world saw was when God created man-" in the image of God created he him". The second Good Friday, whose solemn anniversary we now celebrate, was when the Son of God died, the just for the unjust, to restore, to newcreate man in that blessed image from which he had so lamentably fallen. As "the morn ing stars sang, and all the sons of God, the
innumerable hosts of angels, shouted for joy" at the first creation, when all was so much calculated to call forth their admiration, so on this second creation, this restoration of man to a state of favour with God, when we consider at what price it was effected, the awful circumstances which accompanied the event were but fitting and appropriate. Nature seemed to recoil when her own Creator, that Word which was made the instrument of her own existence, descended from his majesty, to suffer death upon the cross, in the form of the meanest of our race.
Yet so it was that, when man by transgression fell from that high estate in which he was first created, when he forfeited God's favour, and became an alien and an outcast from his presence, being transformed from a pure and heavenly image into the depraved similitude of him who caused his overthrow, the eternal Word, the second Person of the adorable Godhead, took upon him our fallen nature-free from sin, though subject to our infirmities-and, by the death of that body which he had assumed upon the accursed tree, brought us, who were till then afar off, nigh by the blood of his cross, and opened a way of reconcilement for our race with that heavenly Father, whom we had so grievously offended.
Brethren, to-day we, as it were, behold the Saviour hanging upon the cross: to-day brings Jesus most evidently set forth crucified before our eyes. O let us not be like the mocking Jews, who gave him gall and vinegar to drink; or like the careless Gentile, who pierced his blessed side with the cruel spear: let us not be like his own wavering disciples, standing afar off, beholding these things; but may ours be the constancy and attachment of that little band beneath the cross, who look up with streaming eyes and bleeding hearts: may ours be the heartfelt conviction of the centurion: "Truly this was the Son of God."
The recurrence of this affecting solemnity brings, as I remarked, Christ crucified most prominently before our minds: a day it is much to be remembered on every account. May the shadows of its evening not close around us, leaving us as when the morning found us; but, if enemies of that cross by reason of wicked works, may we be persuaded by his agony and bloody sweat, by his cross and passion, by the death and burial of him who suffered thereupon, to take up that symbol of our faith in its full spiritual significance, and tread the thorny path of life in the Redeemer's footsteps. And, if already his disciples, in the true and living sense of the words, may we be quickened by the same
consideration to shine more and more unto the perfect day, to show forth Christ crucified as well in the smallest as in the greatest actions of our lives.
The apostle St. Peter tells us that Jesus is precious unto them which believe-unto them who have not merely an historical faith in his sufferings, but whose belief is made evident to the world around them by the holiness of their lives. Does the worldling, the unbelieving soul ask why Christ is precious to the true believer? We could answer him in one simple word-salvation; a word which is the burden of that " new song," which the redeemed shall evermore sing in the kingdom of their Father. We will, however, consider this preciousness of Christ in some of its chief particulars; all of which indeed converge into that one centre, comprise that one exceeding blessing-salvation.
I. (1). Christ is precious to the true believer, because by the shedding of his blocd comes the remission of sins.
There was a time when no such blessing as this was known-the pardon of sins that are past. We were God's full property: he had an unlimited right over us: his we were, by creation and preservation. In exercise of this right he gave mankind, both Jew and Gentile, a law, which was holy, just, and good-to the Gentile the law of natural conscience, accusing or else excusing by inward testimony; to the Jew one of external ordinances, revealed through the ministry of angels. And such was his mercy towards the fallen creatures of his hand, that annexed to the strict undeviating observance of this law was the felt assurance of the divine approbation-the covenanted promise of temporal advantage, and the secret hope of future good. But, while the rewards of this law were held out to those only who should continue instant in every particular of its observance, to those who in the slightest instance should deviate from its solemn requirements a dread anathema was announced. For so did the Jewish law declare: "Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things written in the book of the law to do them." And such was the felt principle of the natural law: "Whosoever is guilty of one of the least of these commandments is guilty of the whole." The case, then, was this: whosoever lived blameless, up to every jot and tittle of the law, might be saved: whoso departed from the least of its requirements was lost. But who among mortal men was there that could have lived up to so rigid a standard of righteousness? who of the sons of Adam that, day by day, through good report and evil report, at