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through, go through the gates, prepare you the way of the people,” the Jews; "cast up, cast up the highway, gather out the stones, lift up a standard for the peoples ” (the word is in the plural number here; meaning the Gentiles); “ behold, the Lord hath proclaimed unto the end of the world,” (to the isles of the sea, here, to this region,) “ Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh.” Hear this call, and remember that God hath not cast away
his people;” and God hath been pleased to appoint, that we, to whom the knowledge of “the truth as it is in Jesus” has been brought through their fall, should, in the latter days, be especially employed as the means of bringing the “remnant according to the election of grace," to the knowledge of the same truth; and stirring up the hearts of the whole people to that solemn repentance, which shall prepare them for the day when (as is said in the eighteenth chapter of Isaiah) the Lord shall employ the “land shadowing with wings,” 6 that sendeth ambassadors by the sea, even in vessels of bulrushes upon the waters," to bring them as a present brought unto the Lord of Hosts, to the place of his name, the Mount Zion. We cannot, we dare not, look on and observe the movement that is at present going forward amongst them, and in their behalf, without saying,
What am I to do—how can I help this people? We are commanded to help them. We know that “ the Lord's arm is not shortened that it cannot save,” and that it has ever been an outstretched arm towards the Jews; and we are therefore waiting to see what he is about to do for them. But the time of our waiting for God to act is the only time during which we may be permitted to work on their behalf; and, praised be God, we are not to sit still and do nothing in this wonderful work. Who ever sat unmoved upon a hill that overlooked a battle-field? Who can look upon a struggle, such as that which is now going on between the Spirit of God and the powers of darkness—who can see God's scattered force of Israel gathering up into one rank, closing into one division, as they are now, without being deeply interested in the advance that they will make against the enemy? And the Lord has told us how we may help on the struggle. He has declared to us, “ Ye that are the Lord's remembrancers,” who know the Lord, who have been taught to know him in Christ Jesus, “keep not silence, and give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.” Be assured of this; the heart that has most of the mind of God imprinted upon it—that has most of the things of Christ revealed to it will be most ready to help on the
cause of the people “ beloved for the fathers' sakes.” That people whom he so loves, that when he appointed the Assyrian to be a sword in his hand to punish them, he was angry with him for helping forward their affliction, and showing them no mercy. (Zech. i. 15; Isaiah xlvii. 6.) Prayerprayer is the great, the wonderful weapon; "giving God no rest,” reminding him (for he allows us to use the phrase), calling on him with the loudness and energy of one who desires to awaken a sleeper, coming to him continually, as the widow came to the unjust judge, wearying him (as it were) with our cry, “Oh! make Jerusalem a praise in the earth!” Those who have this impulse in their hearts, will have Christ's Spirit in their hearts; and they will go on from grace to grace, and from strength to strength; for while they put God in remembrance of his promises to the Jews, they will find him abundantly manifesting the fulfilment of his promises to themselves in Jesus Christ our Lord.
THE LAST TRIBULATION OF THE JEWS, AS CONNECTED WITH THEIR REPENTANCE, AND PREPARATORY TO THE REVELATION
OF THE MESSIAH.
BY THE REV. HENRY GIRDLESTONE,
RECTOR OF LANDFORD, WILTS.
ZECHARIAH XII. 10.
“ And 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 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.”
An opinion has long since and widely prevailed, which was originally suggested by this prophecy, that the miraculous conversion of St. Paul was designed to be a type of the national conversion of
the Jews. St. Paul himself hath seemed to confirm this opinion, but he hath not gone so far: what he said, speaking of his own conversion, was this : that it was a proof, since he himself was an Israelite, that God had not cast off his people Israel; and, moreover, that it was a pledge of mercy, even to the chief of sinners : “ He obtained mercy for this cause, that in him first Jesus Christ might show forth all long-suffering, for a pattern to those that should hereafter believe on him to eternal life.” But we must distinguish between a pattern in general, and an exact pattern, or type. If the miraculous conversion of Saul of Tarsus was intended to be a type of the conversion of his nation, in that case would it not imply that his nation will become once more, not only zealots of the law, but also, like himself, persecutors of the Gospel ? This is, indeed, a possible event, but the apostle doth not warrant us to infer it. With this reserve, therefore, thus much is certain : first, that the whole nation will be converted, and next, that part of them, at least, will be converted after the pattern of the apostle; namely, by an extraordinary effusion of the Holy Spirit, and by a revelation of the Lord himself from heaven.
Some, indeed, have doubted whether even thus much can be proved by plain testimonies of Scripture; but I will show you that it is, in fact,