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and fostered art. It diffused education and gave birth to poetry, eloquence, and true philosophy. It made Israel the envy of all other nations, and the exemplar of all true national glory and prosperity. So long as it existed in purity and power, and so far as its legitimate purpose and spirit were manifested, God's ancient church accomplished all these results. And it secured all these results by accomplishing what was its chief end, that is, the preservation and the promulgation of the gospel. Indeed the whole history of the Jewish people is an intended exemplification of God's will and man's duty; of God's mercy and man's misery; of the nature and design of the church and of the gospel entrusted to its instrumentality; of faith as the principle, and obedience as the life of missions; and of the inseparable connection between fidelity and success; between disobedience and calamity; between spirituality and power; between piety and prosperity; between zeal for God's glory and man's salvation, and the enjoyment of God's favour and blessing in this present life, and of glory, honour, and immortality, and proportionate recompense in the life everlasting.
In Israel stood God's ancient throne,
He loved that chosen race;
And heathens taste his grace.
CHRIST'S MEDIATORIAL WORK EXPRESSLY DESIGNED
FOR ACCOMPLISHING GOD'S DECREE.
The church then is God's will and decree, revealed and made the basis of our faith and obedience, that through his church might be made known to the heathen, and to the very uttermost parts of the earth, his manifold wisdom and grace in the gospel of his Son. This is God's own chosen way, and his only appointed way of saving souls; of preaching the gospel, and of reclaiming his enemies. This is the kingdom given to his Son, and founded on his mediation, incarnation, and sacrifice. It was in obedience to God's will and commandment Christ became the Saviour of the world, the propitiation for sin, the founder of his church, the King of Zion, the ruler and commander of his loyal subjects, the Captain of salvation, the conqueror of Satan, and the supreme judge and avenger of all finally impenitent enemies. This was that will of God which Christ tells us he came to do. This was God's commission which Christ came to execute. This was the will of God, to do which was Christ's meat and drink while carrying on and finishing " the work God gave him to do.” “This is the will which was supreme with Christ in the garden of Gethsemane, and nerved his soul for the horrors of the cross; the will for which he was born; that will of God for which he died; for which he rose again; for which he lives and reigns; for which he saves, sanctifies, and redeems sinners; for which he rules in the armies of heaven, and among the inhabitants of earth, making all things conspire to the furtherance of the gospel, and the fulfilment of his plans.”*
* The reader will, I hope, read and digest Dr. Thornwell's discourse, The Sacrifice of Christ the Type and Model for Missionary effort, from which I quote.
Christ came not to be the Messiah of the Jews, but the Saviour of the world—not to redeem, regenerate, and restore Israel, but to “draw ALL men unto him;" to gather unto him a glorious church, from among all people, and kindreds, and tribes, to receive in short the heathen for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth as his possession. In comparison with this glorious result God regards the establishment of the visible church, and of its various Christian institutions and advanced civilization, as but of small account. “It is a light thing," says God to Christ, “that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel; I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation to the ends of the earth. And in the last day the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills, and all nations shall flow into it. And he shall judge among the nations. And the Lord alone
shall be exalted in that day. And the idols he shall utterly abolish!"*
Christ only, of God's messengers to man,
Though loth to leave the fight
To Joshua's armed hand.
Gifts for the heavenly King;
Till the full work was done.
Begins the work, and thou
Thy lot shall be the tomb.
THE WILL OF GOD IS THE FOUNDATION OF OUR KNOW
LEDGE OF GOD, AND OF OUR OBEDIENCE TO HIM.
Such then is the will of God respecting the conversion of the world, so far as that
* See Butler's Summary of the Bible revelation in the Analogy. Part ii. Chapter 7th.