« НазадПродовжити »
barren hills, and pathless, burning gone ! “Poor Fiji,” the by-woril of the nations, sands."
is become more Christian than the land that
sent her Christ. Look at India, Contact The promise includes-1. Abundant
with Western civilisation, education, and misprovisions. 2. Careful protection. 3. Bionary enterprise, like the secret waters of Unerring guidance (see p. 336).
three mighty subterranean tides, have sapped III. THE EXULTANT PRAISE WHICH
the ancient temple of Indian superstition ; it
trembles to its fall, and all kingdoms are SUCH GLORIOUS PROSPECTS SHOULD
shaken that that which cannot be shaken may AWAKEN (ver. 3). It is common with remain. The Spirit broods over the profonnd our prophet thus to interject a song depths of the heart of India, and the light is of praise on the announcement of any
breaking. India is in search of a religion,
and not long since a leading Hindu gentleman great and glorious event, and to call
said to a famous Indian missionary that, on the heavens and the earth to rejoice far as he could see, the future sovereign of together (ch. xii., xlii. 10, 11, xliv. India would be Jesus Christ of Nazareth.” It 23).
is thus the Gospel is rapidly and extensively We should raise this
spreading.–W. J. Dawson. song
(B) India, with her 240,000,000, and China 1. Because of the glory which the ful. (“Sinin,” most commentators are agreed that filment of this promise will bring to the this refers to China) with her 400,000,000 Triune Jehovah. Here we have a test inbabitants, shall gather round the central
point of bliss—the largest kingdom of the to apply to ourselves.
world shall be converted (ver. 12). child of God spontaneously rejoices in Many thousands have looked upon The this expectation, just as every true Dream of Pilate's Wife,' that great picture of patriot rejoices in any certainty of the that great commentator in colour, Gustave future glory of his country.
Doré, and have marked as its most wonderful
conception the distant Calvary with its empty 2. Because of the blessings the Gospel
cross bathed in mysterious light, and the in. will bring to humanity. The universal numerable throngs that toil upward to it with prevalence of righteousness - peace their shining faces, and the deep night-sky that — benevolence-social elevation and
seems to over-brim with angels. So the cross
will shine at last above the dark continent secular prosperity. Wherever Chris
where Moffat lived, and Livingstone died praytianity is received, it effects great ing; over India where Carey planted his for. changes in the moral and social con- lorn hope, and grand old Samuel Wesley would dition of the people. What has it
have gladly laid his dust; and the shining
hosts shall be the souls of all the saved, and done in our own and other lands?
the wondrous light the morning of the new Christ will rectify all wrongs, and heaven filling the new earth ; for Christ will when God is glorified man shall be have drawn all men unto Himself.”—W. J. honoured. “ Truth shall spring out
Dawson. of the earth," &c. Animating, delight religion with which our world is filled, there
(7) H. E. I. 1152.-In all the forms of false ful, glorious prospect! When will it is something which renders them unfit or im. be realised ? Not informed. All cal. practicable for universal adoption. Some are culations respecting it vain.
adapted to particular climates only ; others to CONCLUSION.—Has this Gospel come
particular states of society; a third class to
particular orders of men; so that, in their to you, not in word only, but in power, very nature, they cannot be universal. But and in the Holy Ghost, and in much when we examine the religion of Jesus Christ, assurance? It has come in word, but
in its New Testament form, we find it divested unless it comes in saving power also, it
of every feature and circumstance adapted to
confine it to any particular territory or people. has not accomplished its design, &c. Its doctrines, its worship, and its system of (Ps. ii. 10–12).- Alfred Tucker.
moral duty, are all equally adapted to uviver. sality.... "Christ gives to the soul of heathen
dom that which it wants, and that which none (a) Look at America, with its 25,000 minis- other can give. (1.) A Deity in which all hearts tars and millions of Church members. Look can unite in supreme love. (2.) A creed in at the Fijian Islands. Half a century ago the which all intellects can repose with unwavering blackest spot upon the map of the world, but confidence. (3.) A law which all consciences if you ask the watchman, " what of the night"
can approve without suspicion. (4.) An en. that brooded on these islands, he answers from terprise in which all rouis can work without the watch-towers Omniscience that it is hesitancy or lack of interest."
CHRIST IN THE COVENANT. xlix. 8. I will give Thee for a covenant of the people. We all believe that our Saviour confers, and all the love he bestows; has very much to do with the cove- but his person is the object of her nant of eternal salvation. We have affections. So with the believer; he been accustomed to regard Him as blesses Christ for all He does and all the Mediator of the covenant, as the He is. surety of the covenant, and as the But oh! it is Christ that is everyscope or substance of the covenant thing. He does not care so much (see pp. 113–115). But now I shall about His offices as he does about the dwell on Christ, not as the Mediator, Man Christ. nor as the surety, nor as the scope II. THE PURPOSE FOR WHICH IT of the covenant, but as one great WAS CONVEYED TO US. and glorious article of the covenant 1. Christ is in the covenant in which God has given to His chil. order to comfort every coming dren.
sinner. “Oh,” says the sinner who I. EXAMINE THIS PROPERTY.
is coming to God, “I cannot lay Here is a great possession. Jesus hold on such a great covenant as Christ by covenant is the property that, I cannot believe that heaven is of every believer. By this we must provided for me,” &c.
Here comes understand Jesus Christ in many in the thought that Christ is in the different senses.
covenant. Sinner, canst thou lay hold 1. He is ours, in all His attributes. on Christ? Canst thou say, He has a double set of attributes,
“ Nothing in my hand I bring, seeing that there are two natures
Simply to Thy cross I cling ?” joined in glorious union in one person. He has the attributes of Well, if thou hast got that, it was very God, and He has the attributes
put in on purpose for thee to hold of perfect man; and whatever these fast by. God's covenant mercies all may be, they are each one of them go together, and if thou hast laid the perpetual property of every be
hold on Christ, thou hast gained lieving child of God.
every blessing in the covenant. That 2. He is ours, in all His offices
reason why Christ was put prophet, priest, king, &c. How varied there. is the value to us of this property ! 2. Christ is put also to confirm
3. Christ is the believer's in every the doubting saint. Sometimes he one of His works. Whether they be cannot read his interest in the coveworks of suffering or of duty, they nant. So he lays hold of Christ, and are the property of the believer. were it not for that even the believer
4. His fulness is ours (Col. ii. 9; dare not come at all. John i. 16).
3. It was
necessary that Christ 5. The very life of Christ is the should be in the covenant, because property of the believer. “Because there are many things there which I live, ye shall live also.”
would be nought without Him. Our dead; and your life”- where is it? great redemption is in the covenant, It is “hid with Christ in God."
but we have no redemption except 6. And best of all, the person of "through His blood." Jesus Christ is the property of the 4. Christ is in the covenant to be Christian. The wife loveth her hus- used. Believer, use Him. Thou dost band ; she loveth his house and his not use thy Christ as thou oughtest property; she loveth him for all that to do. Why, man, when thou art in he giveth her, for all the bounty he trouble, &c., why dost thou not go
" Ye are
and tell Him? Has He not a sym- such thing in heaven as uncovenanted pathising heart, and can He not mercy; there is no such thing becomfort and relieve thee? There is neath God's sky or above it, as unnothing Christ dislikes more than for covenanted grace towards men. All His people to make a show-thing of ye can receive, and all you ever Him and not to use Him.
ought to hope for, must be through III. A PRECEPT ; and what shall the covenant of free grace, and that the precept be? Christ is ours; then alone. Mayhap, poor
convinced be ye Christ's. Ye are Christ's, ye sinner, thou darest not take hold of know right well. Ye are His, by the covenant to-day. Canst thou not your Father's donation, when He trust to Christ? gave you to the Son, &c. Show the
" Are not His mercies rich and free? world that you are His in practice.
Then say, poor soul, why not for thee ?” Stand fast in the evil day, remembering that you are one of Christ's.
“I dare not come;
I CONCLUSION.—Some of you have worthy," you say.
Hear, then, my never laid hold of the covenant. I Master bids you come, and will you sometimes hear it whispered, and fear after that? “Come unto Me, all sometimes read it, that there are ye that labour and are heaven laden, men who trust to the uncovenanted and I will give you rest.”—C. H. mercies of God. Let me solemnly Spurgeon: Metropolitan Tabernacle Pub assure you that there is now pit, vol. ii. pp. 393–400.
THE CHURCH SHEPHERDED BY CHRIST. (a)
xlix. 9, 10. They shall feed in the ways, &c. “The comparison of God's care to providing for them he frequently that of a shepherd was first used by underwent long and severe labour. Jacob (Gen. xlix. 24); then by Moses Jesus provides for all the wants of (Deut. xxxii. 6, 12). From these His people--temporal and spiritual. passages the prophets borrowed the He opens before them unexpected same figure (Isa. xl. 11; Ezek. xxxiv, sources of supply. 12, 13; Micah vii. 14). In the New The Divine life must be fed, nourTestament Christ is compared to ished, sustained. Our Good Shepa shepherd (John X. 11; i Pet. ii. herd's provisions are plentiful, adapted, 25, v. 4; Heb. xiii. 20). Travellers exhaustless-Himself, His Word, His in the East and others record the ordinances, &c. With Jehovah-Jesus peculiarly close and tender relation- for our shepherd, whose hand rests on ship of the Oriental shepherd to his all sources of supply, we can lack no flock.”
temporal or spiritual good. The Saviour is here represented II. The Divine Shepherd protects under the image of a shepherd, who His flock. “Neither shall the heat leads forth His flock in green pastures, nor sun smite them.” They shall be &c.
sheltered from suffering like that of I. The Divine Shepherd nourishes the intense heat of the burning sun His flock. They shall feed in the reflected from the sandy wastes. The ways," &c. A shepherd's express en
idea is, the Divine Shepherd will progagement to feed, tend, keep. When tect-shelter-His flock. This is the one pasture was bare he would lead doctrine of the Bible, of the Old Testathe sheep to another, and when the ment as well as the New.
“ Whatever herbage was deficient he would cut charge He gives His angels, He has down the tender shoots of trees for not thereby discharged Himself, so them to eat, and he would see that that whether every saint has an angel they had water to drink. In thus for his guardian or no, we are sure he has God Himself for his guardian, and xxiii. 3).
“The ways of the Lord what higher consolation can we desire?” are right, and the just shall walk in. Those are well protected who have the them." Lord for their protector. He has mani- IV. The Divine Shepherd refreshes fested Himself as the protector of His His flock. “Even by the springs of people in all ages. Did He not deliver water shall He guide them.” The the stripling David out of the paw of faithful shepherd leads his flock bethe lion and the bear? (1 Sam. xvii. side cooling streams. When panting 31-36; &c.) Our good Shepherd's pro- and breathless, he leals them to the tection is ever watchful, ever present, “ little green glen, with a quiet brookall-sufficient, never-failing (Ps. cxxi. let, and a moist lush herbage all along 3-8, &c.) Have not you experienced its course, while the "sunbeams, like this protection? What He has been, swords are piercing everything beand what He has done in the past, He yond that hidden covert.” So Jesus will be, and do in the future.
leads His flock beside many a cooling trust in the protection of our Divine spring. The spiritual lite is liable to Shepherd, and rejoice.
exhaustion. But our Divine Shepherd III. The Divine Shepherd leads His refreshes, vivifies, quickens the spirit flock. “He that hath mercy on them when wearied and exhausted and shall lead them.” With infallible troubled-worn down with toil, and knowledge and tender care, He goes conflict, and care. The blessings of before His people in all their journey. the gospel are often compared to ings. No longer by the mystic and water; they are the rivers of soulmajestic pillar of cloud by day and of life.” fire by night does He lead them, but CONCLUSION.
- 1. Is Jesus your by the indications of His providence, Shepherd ? Have you been convinced by His Word, and by His Spirit, &c. of your far and perilous wanderings? He shall lead them, not drive them. Have you heard and obeyed the Shep“ He”—what a leader! It is a long herd's voice? 2. If you acknowledge and perilous way, but He knows every Jesus as your Shepherd, then follow, step. Let us cheerfully follow His love, obey, and trust Him.-Alfred gracious guidance, and be assured Tucker. "He leadeth us in right paths” (Ps.
(a) See pp. 24-29.
THE IMPERFCTION OF EARTHLY BLESSINGS.
xlix. 10. Neither shall the heat nor sun smite them, &c. One of the blessings promised to it in regard to food, sleep, work, reChrist's people in the latter days. The creation; in the household, in regard promise is fultilled now to those who to kindness and to severity, &c. depart hence believing in Him. This II. That all earthly blessings have promise reminds us
their drawbacks. The heats of sumI. That the best things when be- mer are great blessings ; without them stowed in excess become great evils. how poor would the harvest be in the What a glorious gift to man is the autumn ! Yet what a strain they often sun! How essential is its heat to on human strength! How fatal human life and happiness! Yet how they often are to human life! Noteoppressive are the heats of summer! worthy that it can be said as a promise, With what terrible blows the “Neither shall the heat nor the sun sometimes smites men !
smite them.” So with other things; member that the measure of a thing is “every rose has its thorn.” Wealth, as important as its kind.
6 Modera- its moral dangers (H. E. I. 4358–3364, tion in all things,” is the wise man's 4389-4399, and social inconveniences motto. How necessary to remember (H. E. I. 4381, 4387, +388). Learning;
how dearly it is often purchased (H. E. fort ourselves by the remembrance of the I. 3089). Domestic happiness ; what perfect life towards which we are hastenpossibilities of profound sorrow ing. The prisoner is sustained by the bound ир
with it. Every possession kuowledge that the hour of his liberarenders us capable of loss." Long
Long tion is drawing nigh; the mariner, by life; how much there is in con- the fact that every gale blows him nection with old age that is undesir- nearer to the “ desired haven." It is a able.
good thing to walk now by faith and III. That in heaven we shall have hope in that land where neither the all the blessings without any of the heat nor the sun shall smite us (H. E. I. drawbacks (H. E. I, 2721-27:27). 216-218, 2766-2770). Some practical lessons :
3. If the future life for God's people 1. Let us not grumble at the natural will be all perfection without abatement, and providential drawbacks of our earthly how little should they dread that event lot. Let us remember that, so to speak, which will introduce them to it! Are we they are the prices of the blessings, and prepared for that wonderful transition that if we are called to endure the which we call death? If so, why should drawbacks the blessings will not be we fear it? If we are not prepared for withhield. Many men grumble that it, how shall we excuse ourselves for they have to pay an income-tax, and the insane unpreparedness in which we forget to thank God that they have an are living! Prepare for it, and then income. If they had not that, the tax- all the great and precious promises gatherer would never knock at their concerning the future life will be prodoors. So with the drawbacks of other mises made to you, and that event of blessings. Murmuring is unwise and which the very name has been diswicked.
agreeable to you will be the beginning 2. When the conditions of our earthly of inconceivable joy (H. E. 1. 1623– life press on us most heavily, let us com- 1635; P. D. 667, 691, 745).
GATHERED FROM AFAR,
xlix. 12. Behold there shall come from far, &c. Whatever bearing this prophecy may The gospel is in the world. It have had upon the time of Isaiah, or exerts an immense influence over the the time immediately after him, it has best portions of the human race ; an important bearing on the time of whose excellence, indeed, is directly the Messiah and the course of His owing to its influence. What is its kingdom. The prophet sees multi- nature ? It is the manifestation of tudes coming into that kingdom from God's love to man. It is not a mere every quarter of the globe. Taking declaration of the Divine existence and his position in Palestine, he mentions character, nor a mere exposition of the north and west by name; the far human nature and its obligations. It country may be regarded as the south, is a revelation of the Divine character beginning with Egypt, and running in its relations to man. It unfolds down to Southern Africa; while the the way in which God deals with east runs through Persia and India to human sinfulness. Instead of sweepChina, which many expositors con- ing it away by sweeping man away, sider identical with Sinim.
He provides salvation from sin and The sentiment of the text is that its doom. That provision consists in the redeemed Church of Christ shall come the incarnation of the Son of God, from every part of the earth.
who has obeyed the law and endured I. This sentiment is in accordance its curse for man. The good news is with the genius of the gospel,
the proclamation of God's forgiving