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exhaust for the moment; it is God's great means of enlarging and strengthening souls. Throw your hearts open to His discipline, and if you suffer "glory in it.” Learn to count them happy which endure.” For the fruit of endurance is power to fulfil your ministry to the world. It may be that these words may reach the hands of some who are moaning over the feebleness of their efforts and the slightness of their
There are few earnest and faithful teachers who have not again and again to utter this plaint, “Who hath believed our report, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed ?” Perhaps you are pleading importunately with God that He would give you more zeal, more power with souls, more fruits. Are you ready for His answer? You are praying for enlargement of power and success. What if the first step to that be enlargement of soul? What if His answer be the enlarging you ? You know the answer of Christ to the mother of Zebedee's children. (Matt. xx, 20—28.) I say, what if God's answer to your prayer be the enlarging you ? What if He leads you through deeper waters, till you cry, “Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts, and all thy waves and billows are gone over me”? What if He strains every fibre and nerve with pain ? and then, when He has taught you to know Him more richly in adversities, sends you back to work with a depth, a force, a sympathy, have never known before—are you ready? Can you
take with you
into those floods and fires an unwavering assurance that if you suffer with Christ you shall reign with Him, that if you die with Him
you shall live; and that “ he who goeth forth weeping, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him," if not here, in eternity?
AIDS TO THE DEVELOPMENT
REV. J. BALDWIN BROWN, B.A.
COME THOU WITH US, AND WE WILL DO
“ Come thou with us, and we will do thee good.”
NUMB, X, 29. I BELIEVE that this expresses the essential spirit of the Jewish dispensation. It is the essential spirit of all God's dispensations. His chief word to man, every when and every where, is “ Come.”
“ Ye will not come unto me that ye may have life" is God's last sorrowful complaint over that Jewish people, and over every finally impenitent and outcast soul. But who can read the Bible honestly and not feel that every page is charged with invitation? The words of its last chapter, the words which sum up the whole tenor of the book with emphatic yet tender and pathetic appeal, “ And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely,” (Revelations xxii, 17),--these words express that yearning desire and love of God, which gives its broad character to the whole Bible, from the first chapter of Genesis to the last words of the Apocalypse, and bear their witness to every heart, not closed already against conviction, that the God of the Bible, as He testifies of Himself, is LOVE. It was not until all the resources of moral attraction and constraint had been exbausted, that the Saviour wept over doomed Jerusalem, and poured forth that most pathetic of all lamentations, “ Oh that thou hadst known, at least in this thy day, the things that make for thy peace,
but now they are hid from thine eyes.” “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not ! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” (Matt. xxii, 37–39.)
I have said that I believe that this passage expresses the essential spirit of Judaism. This may seem a strange notion to those who have been in the habit of regarding the Jewish dispensation as a dispensation of special and precious privileges, in whose blessings the Gentile nations were not permitted to share. I believe that the history of the Jewish dispensation is often regarded as a strong ground of attack by the opposers of revealed truth; and as many, not among the working classes only, are misled by it, it is worth our while to examine the point calmly, and judge for ourselves what the objection is worth.
There are those in the Church who believe that God's express aim in Judaism was to keep the Jewish people as separate from the world as possible; to keep them, like Noah, in an ark, while He plagued and punished the world at His will. But I maintain, on the contrary, that Judaism was always genial and benignant to the stranger who would adopt its belief and accept its blessings. From the evil which was in the world God was minded to keep the Jewish people free at any cost. From idolatry and its attendant pollutions He sought to deliver them, inasmuch as idolatry in the long run inevitably leads to national decline and death. To the stranger, the foreign person or nation, who would dishonour its beliefs and trample on its blessings, Judaism was stern as Fate and pitiless as Death. The nations which had filled
the measure of their iniquity, whose only influence must be corrupting, were ruthlessly exterminated. A terrible lesson taught the Jews the price of pagan sensuality and crime. There is an era in which much blood is shed in the history of the education of every people, and on a great scale in the history of the education of the world. Not that God wills it, but that man will have it. Passion breaks loose, sensuality riots at will, and it is mostly only by the spectacle of the woe and ruin it works, that it is taught how mad it is, and is disposed to submit itself to the restraining hand of God. So there was no weak pity for nations which had become so corrupt as to become inevitably corruptive, just as there is no weak pity in society for abandoned criminals now. How utterly, hopelessly, awfully profligate the Canaanitish nations were, is narrated in the 18th Chapter of the Book of Leviticus : the last verses must be quoted, as in this lies the justification of the awful doom of which the Jews were the executioners. · Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things : for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you : and the land is defiled : therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants. Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shalt not commit any of these abominations ; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you : (for all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled ;) that the land spue not you out also, when ye defile it,
as it spued out the nations that were before you. For whosoever shall commit any of these abominations, even the souls that commit them shall be cut off from among their people. Therefore shall ye keep miné ordinance, that ye commit not any one of these abominable customs, which were committed before you, and that ye defile not yourselves therein: I am the Lord your God.” (Leviticus xviii, 24-30.) I say, the Jews were simply God's executioners here, and the same doom, they are plainly warned, awaited them if they suffered themselves to be tempted into the same sins. The nations of whose pollutions the very
land was weary, were swept off as the stubble before the flame. But this was the accident and not the essential character of the dispensation. The law here in England is merciful, though it has often to deal out terrible judgment on flagrant sins. And I am persuaded that the more carefully the spirit of the dispensation is studied, the more plainly will it appear that it is expressed in our text. From Moses to Zechariah, it is a cry to the nations, not to rot in their own corruption, COME WITH US AND WE WILL DO YOU GOOD.” How benignantly in the closing verses of the 8th Chapter of the Book of Joshua, the
strangers which were conversant among them" are included in the benediction. How earnestly Daniel and his coadjutors sought to diffuse the blessings of Judaism among the nations which had enslaved them, and to make the Oriental despots sharers of the knowledge of the living God, which by revelation they had gained. How emphatically the Prophets take up and echo the invitation with growing clearness and earnestness through the
until it breaks out into full utterance in the great Successor of Moses, the great Fulfiller of the Law, the Son of David, the King in Zion," And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto mo." Judaism in all ages was a witness for God to the nations, and a means of drawing all that would be drawn unto Himself.