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of most human productions, as a treasury of Divine truth; and the heaven-breathing Rutherford of the seventeenth century-were all wont to bend the knee, and pour forth the heart in prayer for the Jew. In one of his quaint but inimitable letters to a friend, the last mentioned writer says, “I have been this time by-past thinking much of the incoming of the kirk of the Jews. Pray for them. When they were in their Lord's house, at their father's elbow, they were longing for the incoming of their little sister, the kirk of the gentiles. They said to their Lord, “We have a little sister, and she hath no breasts; what shall we do for our sister in the day when she shall be spoken for?'* Let us give them a meeting. What shall we do for our elder sister the Jews ? Lord Jesus, give them breasts. That were a glad day to see us and them both sit down at one table, and Christ at the head of the table. Then would our Lord come shortly, with his fair guard, to hold his great court.”
The God of Rutherford, and Love, and Boston, and Paul, and of all who now rejoice with them in Abraham's bosom, is beseeching his people on earth to pray for ancient Israel, “ Ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence; and give him no rest, till he establish and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth;" and his entreaty is accompanied with a promise, “ Behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people, and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.”
* Song viii. 8. · [The author this lecture appears to attach too much importance to the conjecture of Mrs. Simon, which in fact was first broached by Adair, in his "Star in the West,” that the Indians of the American continent are the descendants of the lost ten tribes of Israel. The points of coincidence stated to exist are by no means well authenti. cated facts.
We find in a late English paper, the following announcement:
“The Jews.— The Rev. Mr. Samuel, of Bombay, states he has discovered, and for several months lived among, the remnant of the ten tribes of Israel, located on the south-west shores of the Caspian Sea, and surrounded by a circle of mountains. He reports them to be living in the exercise of their religious customs, in a primitive man. ner, distinct from the customs of modern Judaism."]-Am. Ed.
THE CHARACTER OF GOD AND THE DOCTRINES OF THE GOSPEL
ILLUSTRATED IN THE HISTORY OF THE JEWS.
BY THE REV. JAMES HENDERSON, D. D.,
MINISTER OF ST. ENOCH'S PARISH, GLASGOW.
“So didst thou lead thy people, to make thy self a glorious name."
ISAIAH lxiii. 14.
The history of the Jewish people—the way by which Jehovah their God hath led them from their beginning hitherto-is, as you have seen, peculiar and extraordinary throughout, exhibiting a series of prodigies, which have no parallel in the visible history of any or of all the nations of men on the face of the whole earth. In “so leading his people,” it was his design to make himself a “GLORIOUS NAME.” To this end, indeed, every work of God contributes. Every creature of his power, every occurrence in his providence bears some trace of his Divine handiwork, and reflects some beam more or less bright from his Divine excellencies. But in leading his people by a way so peculiar and distinguishing, he would advance this end in a measure equally peculiar and surpassing-laying out upon them so largely of his fulness, and unfolding in his dealings with them so fully the perfections of his nature, that whether as contrasted with all that are called gods, or compared with other and previous discoveries of his own character, he might show forth, in concentrated and harmonious manifestation, the glories of his name.
This design doth God now pursue, as in Christ Jesus, the God and Father of a spiritual people. All
the work of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, on their behalf-from their election in the past eternity to the adoption of children, to their final enjoyment in the coming eternity of their inheritance in the heavens, contemplates as its grand ultimate object, the glory of God's name. He hath purposed in himself,” says an apostle, “ that in the dispensation of the fulness of times, he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth, even in him; in whom we also have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his will, that we should be to the praise of his glory.”* And again, another apostle thus addresses those believers in Christ, who by faith had entered into the place and privileges of God's ancient people: “ Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people, that ye may show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.”+
This view of God's great end in leading his people, sheds important light upon his character. It has, indeed, been much misunderstood. Infidelity has raised her proud cavils, and poured forth her impious derision, as if God were dishonoured by it. Sometimes it is alleged to impeach his self-sufficiency, as if it made his perfection or blessedness in some way dependent upon his creatures. Sometimes it is assailed as disparaging to his moral perfection, and his heavenly majesty, imputing to him a motive of action, which is regarded as mean and degrading even in man; and yet, again, it has been viewed as disparaging to the benignity of God, and his love to his creatures, which some would fain persuade themselves is of higher consideration with him than the honour of his name.
But one and all of these proceed on misconception of what is meant by that end which God pursues. It is constantly affirmed in the Seriptures,
* Ephes. i. 10–12.
+ 1 Peter ii. 9.
that God is the I AM, the self-existent, and all-sufficient Jehovah, in whom dwells infinite, absolute, unchangeable perfection, incapable alike of increase or diminution. Nor is it in any way, inconsistent with this, that God has formed his people for his praise. It is, observe, the glory of his name, not of his nature, which he has in view. In other words, he does not create for himself a glory—he would but express and display the glory of his essential and eternal excellencies—and, instead of being at all dependent on the creatures to whom he communicates of his fulness, the dependence is all on their side; and it is his glory that they receive all from him, and ascribe all to him.
Equally groundless is the charge which in this view of God's design, some blasphemers have dared to impute to him as “greedy of praise." There is a wide and well-known distinction between the desire of vain glory, and a just valuation for a good name. The one is a mean and debasing passion, which no man would be thought to indulge. The other a noble and dutiful sentiment, which no man would be thought to have thrown away; and which, indeed, no man does lose who is not already lost to virtue. Now it is the latter principle which God has regard to in making a people for his name. This end, in this light, bespeaks his supreme valuation of his own perfections, and involves the pledge, that in his ways to his people, he should so fully and richly unfold these perfections, as to enthrone him in the hearts of an intelligent, and rejoicing, and adoring Universe.
Nor is it with any truth affirmed, that on this scheme, all scope is excluded for the exercise of disinterested goodness. Confessedly the welfare of his creatures, even of his own people, is in this view inferior and subordinate. But to have made their welfare his supreme end, had been to prefer the drop in the bucket, or the small dust in the balance (for all creation, with all its interests, is comparatively nothing more) to the infinite God, who is all in all." Yet, we may not infer that, because not of supreme concern, the welfare of creation has no place in the
Divine regard. On the contrary, we are assured, that while, as regards himself, his design in leading his people was to make his name glorious—as regards his people, his design was to bless them with all blessings, spiritual and heavenly. Indeed, the good of his people is intimately combined with the manifestation of his glory. Their perfection and blessedness are strictly proportioned to the degree in which they have received from his fulness, and are enabled to. render to him in return the glory due unto his
It is now evident, we trust, that the design here ascribed to God in leading his people, leaves in all their honour, his disinterested love, his moral majesty, his divine sufficiency and independence; while, as acting for himself, it exhibits his glory as the Great Supreme—the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, by whom are all things as their author, and for whom are all things as their end.
Let us now inquire how the way by which God has led his people, in the various events and periods of their history, has served to make him a glorious name. In undertaking this high and difficult task, I desire to enter upon it with the prayers of Moses, and of David, “ Lord! I beseech thee, show me thy glory;" Lord! “Open thou my lips, and my mouth shall show forth thy praise !"
It is not at all necessary for our object to enter on any abstract dissertations respecting the mode of the Divine existence, or the nature of the Divine attributes; nor even to collect many texts from the Jewish Scriptures, descriptive of his various attributes, either assumed by himself, or ascribed to him by his people. Men of every name and creed have now come, as with one consent, to ascribe to God the same perfections; and though, with unequal conceptions of their nature, and yet more unequal and discordant sense and feeling in regard to their exercise and manifestations, all concur to own and acknowledge him, in the language of our confession, “ The one living and true God, infinite in being and perfection; a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions;