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We fear that there may be inaccuracies and perhaps omissions in the above list, as we have not been able in every case to decide on whether sums remitted were for the General Account or the Special Fund.
We hope that our poorer friends, who have so generously contributed to a cause they devoutly love, will forgive us that in some cases we have given their kind and hearty offerings collectively and not separately.
"Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit."-Is. xxvii. 6.
OH! Christians, why look with an eye of despair
As though ye believed that a curse for all time
Oh! list to the strains of the prophets of old;
THE Friends of the Society at Norwich kindly purpose opening a Bazaar in aid of the Society. Any articles sent to this Office will be thankfully forwarded to the Ladies' Committee."
The MONTHLY MEETING of Jewish and Gentile Christians, for Prayer and Scriptural Conference, will be held at the Office, No. 1, Crescent Place, New Bridge Street, Blackfriars, on WEDNESDAY EVENING, Oct. 17th, at Seven o'Clock.-The Meeting is open to all Friends of Israel.
London Published by JOHN SNOW, 35, Paternoster Row.
Printed by Charles Frederick Adams, of 23, Middle Street, Cloth Fair, City, and William Gee, of 48, Seward Street, St. Luke, at their Printing Office, 23, Middle Street, Cloth Fair, City,
RECORD OF CHRISTIAN EFFORT FOR THE SPIRITUAL GOOD OF GOD'S ANCIENT PEOPLE.
PUBLISH YE, PRAISE YE, AND SAY, O LORD, SAVE THY PEOPLE, THE REMNANT
PUBLISHED UNDER THE SUPERINTENDENCE OF THE BRITISH SOCIETY FOR THE PROPAGATION OF THE GOSPEL AMONG THE JEWS.
The Interest of the World in the dealings of God with the
A DISCOURSE, DELIVERED IN SOUTHGATE ROAD CHAPEL, SEPT. 23, ON OCCASION OF THE BAPTISM OF J. KOPPEL.
BY THE REV. J. SPONG, MINISTER OF THE CHAPEL.
"Through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness ?"-Romans xi. 11,12. How fraught with inscrutable wisdom are all the dispensations of God! As high as the heavens are above the earth, so are His ways above ours, and His thoughts above our thoughts." We cannot see the end of
any of His proceedings. Who could ever have conceived the kind designs of God in permitting Joseph to be sold into Egypt? yet, by means of this He intended to preserve from famine the whole Egyptian nation, and especially the very persons who sold him thither.
No less extraordinary are Jehovah's dealings with the Jews. They are led captive of all nations; dark and dreary have been their circumstances, for many ages dispersed over all countries, and yet alone, scarcely reckoned among the nations-suffering for the good of all the people among whom they dwell-and even suffering for their own ultimate advantage also. So, at least, the Apostle asserts in this passage, where their fall is said to be the riches of the Gentiles; as their recovery also will be, in a far more signal and glorious manner.
The world at large has had-it still has-and in future will have, a great interest in God's dealings with the Jews.
May I invite you to consider,
I. The interest which the world has had in their dispersion.
This fearful judgment of more than eighteen hundred years' continuance
VOL. X.-NEW SERIES.
was the consequence of their own sins. Their having been unceasingly, through that long period, the sport and prey of every spoiler, is to be attributed solely to their own crimes. The reason for their being like a withered and sapless vine, spread for so many centuries over the trelliswork of the nations, is amply sufficient to justify all the dealings of God's providence towards them. They rejected and crucified the Only-begotten of the Father. In their scattered and degraded condition, they have become to the world the living witnesses of two solemn and momentous truths: they witness to the divinity of that Gospel which they themselves have rejected and despised, and they supply an unanswerable proof of the righteousness of that moral administration by which Jehovah directs unceasingly the affairs of this world.
Besides, the very fall of the Jews has led to the salvation of the Gentiles: their rejection of the Gospel was in many ways overruled for the more favourable reception of it by other nations. By their rejection of Christ, it became clear that there was no confederacy among the Jews to deceive the Gentiles-that the apostles, who brought the news of salvation to them at the peril of their lives, were men of strict integrity-that the Scriptures, which the Jews so unwittingly fulfilled, must be true, and the conduct of the Jews in relation to the Gospel did actually produce this effect. Their violent persecution of Christians drove them in vast numbers from Jerusalem, scattered them throughout Judea and Samaria; and the people so scattered, went everywhere preaching the Word; so that, instead of suppressing the Gospel, as they sought to do, the Jews were instrumental in sending forth thousands, all at once, to proclaim it. When Paul and Barnabas preached the Gospel to the Jews at Antioch, through their rejecting it, they turned to the Gentiles; and the consequence of this was, that multitudes embraced the glad message of life and peace.
The fall of the Jews, as spoken of by the apostle, must refer not only to their rejection of Christ, and their persecution of His disciples, but to the breaking up of their establishment as a nation-the destruction of their city and temple-the cessation of their divinely appointed ceremonial, and their subsequent dispersion. All this is included in the idea of their fall; and all this materially contributed to the success of the Gospel among the Gentiles. It broke down the barrier which had so long subsisted between them. The destruction of their temple and its worship taught them, and all others, that the worship of God was not to be confined to a single place. All this materially assisted in giving to apostles and other Christians the right view, and the true design, of the Mosaic economy. If the temple had remained-if the nation had continued-it would have been long before Christians had been effectually detached from those rites which properly belonged to Judaism; as it was, some of the most agitating questions in the early Church had respect to these; and had the temple stood, the contests might have been much longer and more difficult.
But again, the fall of the Jews is ultimately designed for the good of the Jews themselves. The Jews were once the people of God, but never in such a sense as to preclude their ceasing to be exclusively so; or of others, even the Gentiles, becoming so too. The Jews had long claimed the sole privilege of being the people of God, to the exclusion of all the nations; but in the time of Moses, God warned them on this very point: He tells the Jews of that day, that as they had moved Him to jealousy by their idolatry, by that which was not God, so He would provoke them to jealousy
by those who were not a people, and whom they were accustomed to regard as a foolish people (Deut. xxxii. 21). That is, as they forsook Him, and made choice of another God, so He would reject them, and make choice of another people. The subsequent kindness of Jehovah to the Jews was seen in the express command given by His Son, that the Gospel should be first preached to them; and when, by their rejection of it, the Gentiles were invited, God still designed and hoped to provoke them to jealousy, so that, seeing the gifts of miracles and prophecy transferred to the Gentiles, and how happy they had become in the favour of God through Christ, the Jews might be led to inquire more candidly into the truth of the Gospel, and be induced to seek and possess themselves of those blessings which Christ so freely gave to the Gentiles, and thus be provoked to share them too. Let us now proceed to notice,
II. The richer benefits which will flow to the world from their restoration (verse 12).
That the Jews will in due time be converted to Christianity is a thing believed by every Christian. The Old and New Testaments supply indubitable proof. I have no time to illustrate this now; I presume you all believe it-many of you pray for it; and did we but realise in our minds the happy consequences of their conversion to the wide world, we should pray more fervently, and labour more diligently, to hasten their return to the fold of Christ, that there may be one fold and one shepherd.
The effects of their conversion upon the nations of the earth will be blessed in the extreme. The apostle asks in the text, "If the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?" If their temporal rejection and dispersion have already been the occasion of so much benefit to the Gentiles, of how much greater benefit to the world will be their complete restoration to Divine favour, and their recovery from unbelief and apostacy!
If the past and present condition of the Jews supplies one of the most cogent arguments in support of Christianity-if their present withdrawment from all active influence in spreading the knowledge of the God of Abraham, as revealed by the Messiah, has been the occasion of so many blessings to mankind; how much more may be expected, when the energy and zeal of more than eight millions of Jews shall unite with the efforts of others in spreading the knowledge of Christ, their only true Messiah!
We pretend not to say when this blessed day will come, or how it will be brought about, but it is not difficult to see that if the people of the Jews were converted to the Christian faith, they would have facilities for spreading the Gospel which the Church of Christ has never had without them. They are scattered among all nations-they have access to all people. "Their conversion after so long a period of unbelief would have," it has been said, "all the power and influence of a miracle performed in the face of all nations"-it would be seen why they had been so remarkably preserved, and their conversion would be a most striking accomplishment of ancient prophecy. They are familiar with the languages of the world, and their conversion would at once establish many Christian missionaries in the very heart of all kingdoms. In short, it would be kindling at once ten thousand lights in all the dark places of the earth.
Still further, let it be noticed that the Jews have shown that they are eminently fitted to spread the Gospel of the blessed God; for shall we forget that it was by Jews converted to Christianity that it was first proclaimed? Each of the apostles was a Jew; and as a nation, they have
lost none of the ardour, enterprise, and zeal which always characterised their nation. Their conversion, therefore, would give to the Christian Church a host of missionaries prepared for their work, familiar with all customs, languages, and climes-missionaries who are already in the heart of all kingdoms, possessing in advance those facilities for the great work of a world's evangelisation, which others must gain only by the slow toil of many years. May we not for these reasons, and for many others, remind Christians of their obligation to labour and pray for the conversion of the Jews?
Did they not form the first Christian Church? Has there ever been poured out upon the Gentile world such an effusion of the Holy Spirit, as was poured out at Jerusalem upon the seed of Abraham? And if the apostles, on opening their commission, aimed at their recovery, ought not we in these latter days? Should not the benefits we have received from their ancestors become a motive to seek their salvation? Was it not the Divine promise, that in Abraham all nations were to be blessed? The patriarchs (in a spiritual sense) are now become the ancestors of all true Christians: " for if we be Christ's, then are we Abraham's seed."
And think how much we owe them in the records of the Bible. Their great leader from Egyptian bondage-their sweet Psalmist-their illustrious prophets-the evangelists and apostles,-yea, the Messiah himself; they were all Jews. Our entire Scriptures they wrote as moved by the Holy Ghost; under the self-same Spirit we owe to their nation the diffusion and establishment of Christianity. And what have been the returns made to them? Instead of being grateful for the benefits received, they have been oppressed and persecuted, robbed and harassed by every possible form of exaction and barbarity that civil and ecclesiastical power could devise. In most countries where they are scattered, they have seen Christianity only as it is set forth by the Papal and Greek Churches, which have been little else than a burlesque upon this divine religion. Millions of Jews are armed against Christianity, because they judge it to be what these apostate and anti-christian Churches represent it, at whose hands they have met with treatment the most cruel.
It becomes, therefore, all evangelical Christians to remedy by every means these disastrous wrongs; and by their love and labour, to compensate the Jews, alike for the benefits we have received from them, and the injuries they have sustained from others. Let us remember that it is the design of God to bring the Jews (as a people) into the Church of Christ through the agency of Gentile Christians; so that by neglecting to assist in doing so, we are verily guilty concerning our brother-that brother for whom Christ died-that brother from whom, under God, we have received greater benefits than from all the world beside. If one of their prophets could say, in the sorrow of his heart, while reflecting upon the wretched state of his own nation, "Oh, that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!" let us, my Christian friends, take up and adopt the language of another of their prophets, and say, "For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth."
[At the close of this discourse baptism was administered to J. Koppel. The particulars of this interesting and solemn service will be found at pages 167-171.]