Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

the sacred Scriptures, and who rests for his hope upon the covenant with Abraham-how can he sing the Lord's song in a strange land? Must not his heart beat high for his beloved land—the land of his forefathers—the land his by Divine covenant, gift, and conquest ? Surely, it were pandering to the low grovelling feelings of our nature, to suppose that toleration under a Gentile monarchy will compensate for the glories of restored Israel.

Then let us pray our brother home. He lies by the way side wounded, robbed, half dead; the priest and Levite pity not; but, oh! may our bowels of compassion be moved to pray for his recovery and restitution. A heavy debt of injustice stands against us; but, brethren, we stand as Englishmen in a blessed and threefold relation to Christ.

1. We have sworn, that the Lord shall be our God, and that by a solemn and national covenant.

2. We have sealed this testimony by the maintenance of a national standard of truth, and by an uncompromising opposition to Antichristian principles, so that our land has been made a field of blood for the cause of truth.

3. We are apparently marked by Divine Providence as the nation which is to be especially

honoured in spreading the Gospel throughout the world and of restoring Israel to their own land. And, oh, that we might act up to our high and unspeakable privileges. The Jews had the morning of the covenant, but they would not pay the rent of the vineyard to Christ. We have the evening of it, and what a mercy it is, that “ Our beloved feedeth amongst the lilies until the day break and the shadows flee away.” We shall shortly give in the account of our stewardship as a nation and as individuals.

LECTURE VIII.

THE RECOVERY OF JERUSALEM FROM ITS LONG
DESOLATION, AND THE RESTORATION OF
JUDAH AND ISRAEL TO THE LAND

OF CANAAN, IN CONNEXION
WITH THEIR CONVERSION.

BY THE REV. E. BICKERSTETH,

RECTOR OF WATTON, HERTS.

JEREMIAH XXXI. 6-9.

Behold, I will bring it health and cure, and I will

cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth. And I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them as at the first. And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me. And it shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and an honour before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that I do unto them, and

they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness, and for all the prosperity that I procure unto it.

The restoration and the future glory of Israel is the haven set before the Church in all the Old Testament prophecies, amidst the dark and stormy scenes of the last days. It is the citadel of its hope in the times of affliction. This subject occupies a very large proportion of the Word of God. The restoration of Israel is the fountainhead also of innumerable blessings to the whole world. Well, then, does it become the ministers of God's Word, prominently. and distinctly to direct the attention of men to it, and to open out its reality and its glories.

We find this great and important event, which is yet to come, presented to us in the most rich variety of forms, and with special beauty, in seasons of trial and danger. It is so in the glowing prophecy of our text. Jeremiah was shut up in the court of the prison; the houses of Jerusalem and the houses of the kings of Judah were thrown down by the mounts, and by the sword of the Chaldeans. When the Jews went forth to fight with them, it was but to fill the places with the dead bodies of men. Jerusalem was sentenced of God to fall. (Jer. xxxii. 28, 29.)

[ocr errors]

In this dark and gloomy season, the Lord gives one of the fullest and most glowing prophecies in the Old Testament. So it is ever. This is the way of our gracious God. To the upright there ariseth light in darkness. The hour of temptation to the world is the time of redemption to the Church.

The beloved brother, to whom the subject of my lecture this evening had originally been assigned, having preached two sermons upon it, full of important instruction, in the lectures recently delivered at Liverpool, requested me to take it, transferring the one on the unchangeableness of Israel's election to him. I trust that a gracious Providence has over-ruled every step in our present course of lectures, for the farther illustration of God's truth. To his name be glory. I cannot here, also, but, as an elder brother in the ministry, testify my joy that God has disposed so many of my brethren at Liverpool in the close of last year, and so many in this course of lectures in London, to unite thus in showing their common interest in the future welfare of Israel. Thanks be to our God who has put this into our hearts, and thus brought before the Church another token that the time to favour Zion is come.

Our whole subject is eminently one of faith, and not of mere argument. Its foundation is in the

« AnteriorContinuar »