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we shall say, "Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, and He will teach us of His ways; and we will walk in His paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem."
BY THE REV. C. M. BIRRELL, OF LIVERPOOL.
THE ANNUAL MEETING
WILL BE HELD IN
ON FRIDAY EVENING, APRIL 27TH.
THE CHAIR WILL BE TAKEN BY SIR J. D. PAUL, BART., AT 6 o'CLOCK.
The Jews Converted, a Blessing to the World.
ANOTHER Consideration which benevolence presents to your mind is, that the conversion of the Jews will have the happiest effects on the salvation of the heathen nations. The Jewish people have been raised up to hold a distinguished rank in the history of man, and in promoting his most important interests. What blessings the prophets of God, and the apostles of Jesus Christ, and the first preachers of the Gospel were, need not be said. The world never saw such men; the human race never could boast of such benefactors, nor do the annals of nations contain names to be once mentioned with theirs in promoting the highest happiness of mankind. Since the Romans destroyed both their temple and their nation, the Jews have been a burden to the earth. They have done no good. Their former generous and benevolent character has been lost, but when they shall be converted, they will resume their ancient dignified spirit, and become again a blessing to mankind. The Gentile Christian Church will by their means be comforted, revived, and animated to glorify God, and promote the cause of Christ, while the Mohamedan and pagan nations will feel the happy effects of their active zeal, and by their labours be brought, in vast multitudes, to the knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus. The language of prophetic Scriptures concerning them, fully confirms this assertion,Rom. xi., 12-13: "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? For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, (I magnify mine office). If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them. For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be but life from the dead?" The prophet
Zechariah illustrates this prediction, chap. viii., 23: "Thus saith the Lord of Hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you." Not to multiply quotations, may we not plainly, from these two, conclude that as the Jews who were converted by our Lord's ministry, and commissioned by Him to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles, were the grand instruments in planting the Christian Church in the world, and of founding the kingdom of the Redeemer among the nations, so in the latter days, the Jews, when converted by Gentile believers, will be active, zealous, and successful preachers of the Gospel, and in a very eminent degree contribute their aid in bringing all the Mohamedan and pagan nations into subjection to Christ. Every friend of Missions, then, must be deeply convinced, that in seeking the calling of the Jews we are promoting the conversion of the heathen, and are enlisting fellow-labourers to assist us in the work. Their dispersion in almost every country, and their knowledge of almost every language, give them peculiar advantages for Missionary exertions, and, I doubt not, is designed by Providence for that end. Nothing is wanting but their conversion, of which prophesy has assured us. Let every heart, then, be united to bring to pass that great and blessed change.
Notice of Publications.
Voices of Many Waters; or, Travels in the Lands of the Tiber, the Jordan, and the Nile with Notices of Asia Minor, Constantinople, Athens, &c. &c. By Rev. T. W. AVELING. Pp. 508. London: Snow. THIS book arose out of a painful necessity. A long and severe illness, to a great extent incapacitating the author from public duties, rendered it imperative for him to seek an entire change of scene and occupation, by a sojourn on the shores of the Mediterranean. The book describes what the estimable author saw, felt, and enjoyed; and after deeply pondering its contents, we have risen from the perusal with strong and vivid impressions of that compensating principle so often verified in the arrangement of Heaven, by which some of the most painful events in personal, domestic, or public life, are rendered subservient to highly important and permanently enduring advantages. The whole Christian community may obtain correct and striking ideas of scenes which our esteemed traveller describes and thus his affliction will work out a rich profit to others. The hotel, the boat, the tent, the hut, and the palace,-all offered him opportunities for observation and reflection: "while the Holy Land especially presented much to a biblical student from which he could not fail to derive invaluable instruction." This reminds us of the desire, many years ago expressed, by one of the most learned, impassioned, and powerful biblical students and evangelical preachers of the day: "Would," said he to a friend, "I had the means: I would start for Rome-Egypt-Palestineand Constantinople; and after drinking the waters of Jordan, or perhaps bathing in them, return with invigorated powers of mind and body. What
fresh materials should I not collect for a more vigorous devotion to my great work of preaching the Gospel! Oh!" continued he, "what a new soul it would create in a man!" On a soulless man, all these inspiring scenes would be lost: but in one possessed of even the ordinary amount of intelligence and devotion, they could not fail to kindle up strong and hallowed impressions. How much more so in one who, to earnest piety, has joined the most vivid imaginative powers, placed under control by sound sense and accurate perception. The reader will not therefore find in this book, what is often to be found in many other books of travels, even over these lands,-dull descriptions, wire-drawn delineations, and unimpressive disquisitions. All is life; life every where; life in every thing: and, what is more, life of the highest order. Even some of the passing incidents, which might be, and in some instances have been, eked out into mere useless recitals, are here described, not only with graphic effect, but made to tell an interesting lesson of their own.
Our readers, however, will be more likely to be gratified by an extract relating to the wondrous city of God :—
FIRST VIEW OF JERUSALEM." There were now two paths, and I hardly knew which to take; so, as there was no one within sight whom I could ask, I passed on, by what appeared the most beaten track, lying between huge fragments of rock. The road itself was composed of porphyry, and gradually wound round the head of the valley I have referred to. was the road that led to Emmaus, in which the disciples were joined by Jesus, after the resurrection. A little beyond was a Santon, or tomb of some Moslem saint; and a short distance further, on emerging from a depression in the road-Was it a dream? a sunny vision of cloud land? Was it a vivid remembrance of some gorgeous pictures I had once seen of the celestial city, beheld by the shepherds from the delectable mountains, which flashed just then across my excited brain,-or was it a reality? was it JERUSALEM that lay before me? the city so beautiful for situation,' and once the joy of the whole earth? Were the white walls, that gleamed like alabaster in the afternoon sun, those for whose possession Moslem and Crusader had, age after age, striven in deadly conflict? Were those the mountains that engirded her as of old, and of which her royal bard had sung, as illustrative of the defence that God was to His people? Was that hill beyond, with its cluster of white buildings, the mount from which the Saviour had ascended, and at whose foot lay Gethsemane, that sacred spot, with its wondrous and solemn history? Were those the mountains of Moab, glowing with purple hues, apparently but three or four miles from the city? and that knoll at my feet just without the walls, was that Calvary, where the Saviour had died?-A rush of feeling, such as I had not known for many years, passed over me; and the pent-up tide of emotions swept across my soul with a torrent's force. That city-that oliveclothed Mount-the garden at its foot-the midnight hour-the unutterable agony; this knoll, outside the walls, where the cross was reared, and the awful scene of the death of the Son of God was beheld-all were there. Trembling with intense and overwhelming excitement, I sat down upon a fragment of rock by the wayside, and looked long and earnestly at the objects before me. My feelings had been wrought to the highest pitch, and, as my head dropped heavily, I burst into tears-I had no power to restrain myself-but wept long and passionately, as if my heart would break.
"The intense and yearning desire of years was accomplished. I had seen JERUSALEM. The remembrance of her past history, with all its thrilling incidents,-from David's days to those of David's greater Son; and from the time when her children had invoked the curse of God upon her, to the present hour, mingled with more personal reflection I thought of home, and those who made it home to me; of beloved friends, to whom my soul was knit by holiest ties, and over whose eternal welfare I had been called to watch; of brethren in the work of God, with whom I had for years been permitted, in harmony and happiness, to labour; and for all,-for myself, my flock, my family, and my fellow-servants in the Master's vineyard,my heart sobbed out an earnest and, I hope, accepted prayer, on that low hill side, within sight of Jerusalem. There are moments in one's existence into which the feelings of years is crowded,—and these were such moments passing over me now-the memory of which burns itself into the soul in ineradicable characters. I wished to be alone, and I was; and yet I would have given all I possessed, for loved ones to have been sharers with me in the emotions of that hour.
"As I walked slowly on towards the Jaffa Gate, my companions overtook me. We were all reserved and silent, because no words could have expressed what we all felt; and when we were met by the dragoman, who had come out of the city to escort us to our lodgings, we followed him mechanically along the half-deserted streets. As we passed under the archway, and trod the broken pavement of the street, almost unconsciously our lips exclaimed, 'Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem !' Just as we entered, the Armenian patriarch rode in, attended by his servants; and while he passed to the right, to his splendid palace on Mount Zion, we followed our conductor through narrow and dirty streets, and along a part of the Via Dolorosa, until we found ourselves located in the house of a converted Jew, in the Bezetha quarter, close to the Damascus gate. Dr. Macgowan, the excellent physician to the Mission, happened to be visiting a patient in this very house at the time of our arrival, to whom our letters of introduction were delivered.
"Before sunset we took a stroll along the walls of the city, nearly to St. Stephen's Gate; and weary, more from excitement than physical fatigue, we retired to rest, on the eve of the Lord's-day, reflecting with much delight upon the fact, that the first sun which we should see rise in Jerusalem would be that of the Sabbath. As I undrew the curtains of my room, and looked out of my window, the moon was shining upon the houses on Mount Zion, and lighting up the cupola of the Mosque of Omar, and that of the Holy Sepulchre. It was a perfectly calm, clear night, and all in the city seemed to have retired to rest. There was a soft, gentle night wind sighing around my lattice; and as it came with its low whisperings to my ears, it appeared as if uttering a wail over the city, whose inhabitants were, for the most part, bound by a deeper spiritual slumber than that which had visited their prostrate forms; and to my excited imagination, it seemed as if passing spirits were lingering for a moment there, and breathing the words that, every day and every hour I spent in Jerusalem were ringing in my ears-the words with which Jesus wept over the devoted city.
"I laid down, but could not sleep; and again and again during the night did I seem to hear floating around me the sorrowful utterances of a Saviour's breaking heart, O Jerusalem, Jerusalem!"-(Pp. 327-330.)
Our principal object, in introducing the foregoing extract, is to present the reader with an idea of our author's descriptive powers, and of those hallowed feelings by which, as we read, he seems to awaken within us kindred emotions, and to place our spirits with his amidst the realities of a Saviour's incarnation and the mysteries of redeeming love. Nature, too, in all the beauties of an eastern clime, is described, in many instances, with matchless effect; so that one seems actually to gaze upon the enchanting scenery, or to feel the balmy air. Events of an historic character are succinctly and graphically narrated; works of art appear to stand before you; the eye seems to catch the hues thrown by the painter over a beautiful picture; and the whole soul becomes lighted up as we accompany this traveller in his singularly impressive delineations of the scenes in the Holy Land. To select pieces would be to injure the mass. whole is too beautiful-too impassioned-too instructive, to be broken up into parts. We do not know any one class of intelligent minds to whom these pages will not afford exquisite delight; while to the Christian student and the Christian Church they cannot fail to call forth some of the most hallowed associations of mental gratification. Most gladly would we transcribe other glowing descriptions given of the places mentioned in Scripture, visited by our author, but our space forbids. Our readers may, however, obtain an outline impression from a few lines of his recapitulation of some of those scenes through which he had passed.
"We have crossed the Mediterranean to the Egyptian shore, and have ascended the river, whose banks are adorned with temples and pyramids that are the wonder of the world. We have crossed the burning sands of the desert, and entered within the gates of Jerusalem; and, startled at the sound of our own footsteps, have stood, awed and silent, within the shadow of the olives of Gethsemane; and thrilled with emotion as our spirit's ear rose to the meek and sorrowful, yet uncomplaining tones of the Saviour's heart.
Leaving this city of our God, we have rested among the ruins of Jericho; have bent down, and drank of Jordan, and mused on the desolate shores of the Dead Sea. We have climbed the mountains of Israel; and in city, and town, and village-by mouldering stones and broken pillars, by lake and by sea, amid the snows of Lebanon and the groves of Damascus -have held communion with the illustrious dead of many generations. With longing and lingering looks, we have bidden farewell to the shores of Syria; have tracked the footsteps of the great Apostle of the Gentiles in Asia Minor; have flitted along the Egean, skirted the plains of Troy, and gazed at ancient Byzantium, enthroned, like her rival, on seven hills; and have looked sorrowfully at slumbering Athens, where the harp of the poet lies broken, and the school of the philosopher is a ruin, and the stone of the orator is vacant-'tis Greece, but living Greece no more.'"-p. 504.
This is, however, only one rich grape, plucked from the many luxuriant clusters. And having shown our readers "the fruit of the land," we are confident they will eagerly desire to taste and enjoy for themselves.
It may not be amiss to add, that the author of this volume is no longer officially connected with the "Herald;" his illness, and absence from England, having necessitated a change in the editorship.