« PreviousContinue »
“And though Jesus Christ did, both by doctrine, miracles, and holiness of life, seek to put a stop to their villanies, yet they shut their eyes, stopped their ears, and rested not till, as was hinted afore, they had driven him out of the world. Yea, that they might, if possible, have extinguished his name, and exploded his doctrine out of the world, they, against all argument, and in despite of Heaven, its mighty hand, and undeniable proof of his resurrection, did hire soldiers to invent a lie, saying.-his disciples stole him away from the grave; on purpose that men might not count him the Saviour of the world, nor trust in him for the remission of their sins.
“ • They were,' saith Paul, “contrary unto all men: for they did not only shut up the door of life against themselves, but forbade that it should be open to any else. Forbidding us,' saith he,
to preach to the Gentiles, that they might be saved, to fill
their sins alway.' * This is the city and these are the people : this is their character and these are their sins: nor can there be produced their parallel in all this world. Nay, what world, what people, what nation, for sin and transgression, could or can be compared to Jerusalem? especially if you join to the matter-offact the light they sinned against, and the patience which they abused. Infinite was the wickedness, which upon this account they committed... That these Jerusalem sinners were the biggest sinners that ever were in the world, I think none will deny, that believes that Christ was the best man that ever was in the world, and also was their Lord God. And that they were to have the first offer of grace, the text is as clear as the sun; for it saith, · BEGIN AT JERUSALEM. “Preach' saith he, 'repentance and remission of sins' to the Jerusalem sinners; to the Jerusalem sinners in the first place.
* Matt. xxiii. 25 ; xv. 7-9; Mark, vii. 6-8; Matt. iii. 7-9; John yiii. 33, 41; Matt. xxvii. 18; Mark. iii. 30; Matt. xxiii. 37; Luke xii. 33, 34; Matt. xxvii. 25; xx. 11-16; 1 Thess, ii. 14-16.
“ After this manner, therefore, the mind of Christ was set on the salvation of the biggest sinners, in his life-time. Join to this the clause, which he carefully put into the Apostle's commission to preach, when he departed hence to the Father, and then you shall see that his heart was vehemently set upon it; for these were part of his last words with them,-preach my Gospel to all nations, but see that you begin at Jerusalem.
“Nor did the Apostles overlook this clause when their Lord was gone into heaven: they went first to them of Jerusalem, and preached Christ's Gospel to them : they abode there, also, for a season and time, and preached it to nobody else, for they had regard to the commandment of their Lord.”
(To be continued.)
PRAY FOR THE JEWS. Many a time has the duty of praying for the Jews been urged upon our readers ; many a time by the voice of the minister of Christ; often, too, have they read the divine command—“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem,” yet, perhaps, few of them have ever earnestly cried, “ O Lord save thy people, the remnant of Israel.”
We are too apt to forget our responsibilities, as well as to neglect our privileges. If God gives a command, we ought seriously to attend to it, in order to obey it, and not to treat the words of the Most High as if they were of no importance. How can we hope to be heard for ourselves, if we pray not for others ? Why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things that I say?" The state of the Jews, as ignorant of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus, is indeed awful. Where, then, is our pity ; where our love, either to them or to the Lord Jesus, if we pray not for their conversion We earnestly recommend to our readers to follow the example of a little boy of whom we very recently heard. A Clergyman had been preaching in a village church in Yorkshire, in behalf of the Jews, and pressing upon his hearers the duty of special prayer in their behalf: he told them it was not enough that they should simply pray for all men ; these were a peculiar people, they stand forth, in the history of the world, from all other nations; they are presented to us as a special subject of our prayers, therefore they should pray for the Jews. Amongst his auditors there was one at least who heard not in vain. This was a child of the age of only six years. He was accustomed to pray aloud before he retired to rest, and his parents and friends saw that this duty was regularly performed. On the evening after the sermon, a friend at whose house the little boy was staying, was greatly surprised to hear him add this petition to his usual prayers :
“ O Lord, convert the Jews, and restore them again to their own land, for Jesus Christ's sake.”
When he arose from his knees, his friend asked him, why he had so prayed for the Jews. His
reply was “Because the clergyman told us we ought to do so, and I'll never forget them as long as I live."
Reader, go thou and do likewise !
ILLUSTRATION OF PSALM I. 3.
“He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season ; his leaf also shall not wither." The Rev. F. C. Ewald, in an account of his journey from Jaffa, the ancient Joppa, says
“For nearly two miles our way lay through pleasant gardens and orchards rich in various vegetables, and richer still in a variety of trees. The orange
and the lemon, the fig and the pomegranate, the almond and the palm-tree, are here at home; their blossoms and their fruit fill the air with fragrance, whilst the luxuriant and green foliage of their leaves refreshes the beholder's eye.
“ In each of these gardens there is a well, from which the ground is irrigated by rivulets, which are so ingeniously contrived, that a sufficient quantity of water flows around each tree and shrub to keep it in health and vigour.
“ There is no doubt the Psalmist alludes to such trees, when he says, Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water,' &c.
“ The words rivers of water’are, according to the original, divisions of water.
mode of irrigating is employed on the whole of the northern coast of Africa, and if a tree were deprived of the supply of water for any length of time, it would wither and decay.”
MOUNT MORIAH. “How is the gold become dim! How is the most fine gold changed!” The Christian and the descendant of Jacob must alike feel this as he walks the streets, or visits the once more sacred spots in Jerusalem. A degrading superstition, a sort of baptized heathenism, with its images, and pictures, and lies, misrepresents Christianity, and the true Christian and the Israelite must turn away from it as idolatry; or the mosques and minarets of the followers of the impostor Mahomet, fill their hearts with sorrow as they hear proclaimed from them at the hour of prayer,
“ Allah Ackbar la illa illah Allah Mahmood rasool Allah."
“ God is great, there is no ruler but God, and Mahomet is his prophet.”—There is no certainty as to the sites of many of the places mentioned in the Scriptures, which once existed in Jerusalem ; of others there can be no doubt. The mount on which the Temple stood, stand as of old; and we are certain that there Solomon prayed ; there the Mosaic rites were celebrated ; there many of the events recorded in the New Testament history occurred. But what is it present state, and how is it occupied ?
Mr. Ewald thus describes it :
“Mount Moriah, is 2,300 feet above the level of the Mediterranean. The Mosque of Omar, the Mosque of Aksa, a college of Dervishes, a cloister for pilgrims, various praying places, interspersed