Page images
[ocr errors]

added no more.” I shall have other opportunities of explaining this to you more fully. At present, having adverted to these simple points, the object, the nature, the manner, and the time of worship, and your duty to your neighbour, I will just add, that when I see you next, perhaps I shall ask you to repeat to me the explanation of this law as given in our catechism, for I have often thought that nothing can be more beautiful and comprehensive than the answers which it gives to these two questions, “What is thy duty towards God?" What is thy duty towards thy neighbour ?”

I shall ask you to repeat that, and I pray God that the principles contained in these answers may be, dear children, the principles of your hearts in time, and the principles of all our hearts ; and then we shall be found meet, and through the merits of our Saviour, accepted into that world, in which we shall dwell for ever, and in which there will never be anything contrary to love.

After the Report had been read, the Meeting was addressed by the Right Rev. the Lord Bishop of Oxford; the Right Hon. Lord Glenelg ; J. P. Plumptre, Esq., M.P. ; the Hon. William Cowper, M.P, ; Rev. Edward Bickersteth ; John Labouchere, Esq. ; Rev. Thomas Nolan ; Rev. A. Dallas ; Rev. W. Fremantle; Rev. Edward Tottenham ; Rev. T. S. Grimshawe; Dr. Marsh; and Sir R. H. Inglis, M.P.

We can only give a few extracts from some of the excellent speeches which were delivered.

The Bishop of OxFORD said, in moving the first resolution : Of all the work committed by God to the Christian Church, there is no one part of the work as to which the duty is clearer, or the

blessing richer, than any exertions in the strength of God for the ancient Hebrew people. Everything, as it seems to me, which makes it our duty as Christians, to make known to all people the name of Christ, applies with a double application to this especial people. We have learned the lesson that God hath made all the nations of the earth to be of one blood; we have learned, not in name, but in some measure, thank God, in truth, that there is a holy brotherhood between all men, restored to us by the man Christ Jesus; and that, therefore, wherever our brethren are ignorant of his name, their very ignorance is a charge of duty upon us, according to our measure, to make that name known. But if that applies to all men, surely it applies especially to the Hebrew people. Their brotherhood with us is of a very peculiar kind. Their having been the people of God from the time of the first election of Abraham—their having been the line through which the oracles of God and his inspiration have been from generation to generation handed down to man—their having amongst themselves the fixed forms of all devotional expression to which the heart of every Christian man, just in proportion as it is thoroughly imbued with the Holy Spirit, naturally betakes itself as the best and most chosen mode of expressing its own desires—all of these bind us to this ancient people of God by a special tie of brotherhood. Every one of us, standing over the open grave to which we have been committing the bodies of those dear to us, who has felt that the words of the Psalm which we then recite in our Liturgy, have been the very words above all others in which we desire to

the heart's submission to God, must feel



that he has a duty to that ancient people. Every one who has wept in secret, and smitten upon his breast in the consciousness of transgression, must feel that the brethren of that Royal Psalmist, from whose broken heart the Spirit of Jehovah drew forth the fifty-first Psalm, is ours in an especial brotherhood-ours in the brotherhood of repentance, in the unity of a wounded spirit; and so the tie of brotherhood, which reaches wherever the race of redeemed man is, is the straightest and strictest with regard to the children of Abraham. And then, my Lord, I say that if for these reasons the duty of Christian exertion on behalf of this people is so plain, I think the blessing waiting on such exertions is no less plain ; and that for many reasons. If I have made it clear that it is a duty, the blessing follows, because the blessing is the correlative of the duty ; because if God makes it an especial duty to care for the Jews, God will especially bless us if we do care for the Jews. If it is our duty to labour to make them Christians, we cannot do so without an especial blessing descending upon us; and so, therefore, is this blessing the correlative of duty. And there is a blessing flowing from this fact, that these men are beloved still for the fathers' sake. If there is anything plainly written in the dealings of God with the Jews, in the Old Testament, it is this ; that even when he suffered them to be punished by the nations around them, for their manifold sins, yet still while being punished, the wrath of God burnt against those people who were punishing them, not to do God's work, but to please their own evil hearts and gratify their own ambitious desires ; under that punishment they were still beloved, and a blessing waited on those who

And so

blessed them, and a curse lay in store for those who cursed them. What was the old captivity but a prophesying and fore-shadowing of their present state ; and what was God's dealing with them but an instruction to us on the principles on which he will deal with us now; and what can be more plain than this, that though they be visited by the direst wrath of God, yet the nation which looks on them with a kindly eye, which seeks to do them good for Christ's sake, shall be a richer sharer than others in the mercies and loving-kindness of their God and ours. when I heard in the Report to-day mention of the steamer landing the Bishop of Jerusalem at Jaffa, on the way to his See, I could not help feeling that here is one part of the cause, which in the wonderful providence of God may be bringing blessings down on England's strength in England's navy—that just before the feast of the nativity, two days before that day on which He came who was the desire of all nations, the ships of Tarshish were thus manifesting their love towards the Hebrew people, by carrying across those seas, and setting there on his seat of doctrine and of power, the new representative of that people in that branch of the Redeemed Church. Then, my Lord, if there be these reasons why we may expect a special blessing on the work, there is one which, while I touch on it lightly and reverently—(God forbid we should touch it irreverently)—I cannot leave out in making this enumeration. I mean this, that if anything be plain in the pages of unfulfilled prophecy, it is that the great blessing for the earth, for the church, for the renewed world, is to come by the returning flood of God's


mercy, to his ancient people. I say we must speak reverently of these mighty mysteries, and yet not unfaithfully either; and I think that he would think and speak unfaithfully, who would refuse to believe thus much, however he may leave the detail to be developed by the opening providence of Godthat he would read the present to little effect, and let the intimations of the future fall upon a lifeless heart, who did not see plainly that in that standing miracle of miracles, in that enduring marvel of marvels, the present state of the Jewish people, there was an evident intimation from God that they were reserved against His time for the doing of the mightiest of works. Remember, for an instant, how mighty that marvel is--that they should have gone on for 1800 years, as they have

- a people without a heada nation with national life, strong and enduring amongst them, as it endures hardly amongst other people, and yet with no external accident of national life to keep that life surviving-a people without a home-a people without a language-a people who mix with every portion of the inhabited earth, as far as we know, and mingle with none—a stream which flows on in the midst of every other stream, ever uncommingling with it, ever surrounded by itm a people encompassed, and not incorporated -a nation scattered, and not annihilated—divided and yet united-held together by the marvellous holding together of the unseen providence of God, that when the days of time are full, and that day for which we long and wait, and pray


weep, has at last broken upon this weary world, they shall bear the standard of Jehovah, and as a united people, looking unto Him, shall become the most

« PreviousContinue »