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“W. W. D.”—We are sorry that your friend is so uncomfortable. From the symptoms it is clear that his disease is sectarian irritation. This acts injuriously on the heart, and affects the sight. But we will gladly prescribe for him without fee: Two or three drops of charity in half á tumbler of the milk of human kindness, twice a day, for a week, will cure him.
“ 8. H.”—That Mr. Joseph Cook is an able speaker, and a clever man as a critical lecturer, is not to be questioned. But we could not accept him as a safe theological teacher. His doctrine of eternal evil is monstrous ! If the passage on wbich he relies taught this, it would contradict the rest of the Bible ; but Rev. xxii. 11 is followed by “ Behold, I come quickly," which is the joyous note of confirmation and permanency to all moral good, and the herald blast of destruction to all moral evil. Men who seek popularity will go on the old lines of natural immortality, and its logical sequel of a fearful eternity for the lost; but men who dig for truth as for priceless treasure will go on the older lines of Divine Revelation. They will stand where prophets and apostles stood. They will sacrifice pagan tradition without mercy, and be quite contented without popularity. “H, B." - Thank
for £1 towards the cost of printing the “RAINBOW Tracts.” There are now seven of them, covering several of the points on which we are Jabouring to effect a theological reformation. They are being freely circulated, and are drawing the attention of many to the truth. Of course we are much out of pocket for printing them, but the precious seed will by-and-bye produce a barvest better than gold. Let us have faith and patience !
“J. P."-Of course Edinburgh bas many superior boarding schools, but for young ladies whose parents wish them to be taught immortality only in Christ, we recommend the establishment of Miss Leishman, 3, Queen's Crescent, Newington, Edinburgh. We believe this lady is an accomplished and successful teacher, and as she has bravely suffered for the truth she deserves the practical sympathy of its friends. No doubt she will readily send a prospectus to any applicant, and we hope she may have several, for it is all important to preserve the rising geno. ration from the delusions which we are labouring to scatter before the light of heaven-delusions which made the youth of many of us miserable.
“A. M."—We are tired of this endless complaint about the working classes not attending your churches and chapels. It is your own fault! Cease to teach them lies in the name of the Lord, and they will come. Try them with God's glad tidings instead of man's horrors, and your complaints will cease. Continue your irrational and unscriptural declarations about everlasting torment in fire, and they will hate you, and deny the being of the Holy One in whose name you utter the atrocious falsehood! Is it strange ? It would be strange if it were otherwise !
1 Magazine of Christian Literature, with Special Reference to the
Rebealed Future of the Church and the World.
THE KING REJECTED. "A reproach of men, and despised of the people.”—Psa. xxii. 6. He is despised and rejected of men.”—Isa. liii. 3. “ Thus saith the Lord to Him whom man despiseth, whom the nation abhorreth.”—Isa. xlix. 7.
“He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.”—John i. 11.
“When the husbandmen saw the Son, they said among themselves, This is the Heir; come, let us kill Him, and let us seize on His inheritance, And they caught Him, and cast Him out of the vineyard, and slew Him.” - Matt. xxi. 38, 39. THESE Scriptures tell their own story, and a remarkable one it
is. History contains instances of the murder of the heir, and of the temporary success of the usurper, but nothing in the remotest degree comparable to this. Whether you consider the religious privileges of the people who were guilty of this deed, or the character and claims of the man they slew, you are overwhelmed with wonder and astonishment.
Above all the other nations of the world were the Jewish people privileged. They had light from heaven, whilst the Gentiles groped in the darkness of idolatry. Divinely inspired prophets taught them. A Divine polity ruled them. A divinely instituted religion was theirs.
And they had a marvellous history. Again and again had stupendous miracles attested that God fought for them. The splendid empire of Egypt was laid in ruins to pave the way for the exodus of their enslaved progenitors. The foundling of the Nile was closeted with God upon the fire-wreathed mountain, to qualify him for his extraordinary task. The Red Sea opened its waters to give them egress from the land of bondage ; a miraculous pillar in mid-heaven, cloud by day, fire by night, was their guide through the pathless desert; and the Jordan divided to give them ingress to the land of promise. “And the Lord,” says Joshua,“ gave unto Israel all the land which He sware to give unto their fathers : and they possessed it, and dwelt therein. And the Lord gave them
rest round about, according to all that He sware unto their fathers; and there stood not a man of all their enemies before them; the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand. There failed not ought of any good thing which the Lord had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass ” (Josh. xxi. 43-45).
Subsequently they were guilty of repeated rebellions against God, and were subjected to those chastisements which proved that He had not forsaken them, but still treated them as His children. He sent them a succession of famous judges to deliver them out of the hands of their oppressors ; but though “He will ever be mindful of His covenant (Psa. cxi. 5), they were not mindful of His wonders that He did among them” (Neh. ix. 17); but in an hour of astonishing folly they wished to conform to the nations, by having a king over them. The conduct of the worthless sons of the illustrious Samuel, who was now an old man, was the alleged reason of this desire to put an end to the theocracy. When the elders of Israel came to Samuel at Ramah with this petition for a king, after the manner of the Gentiles, the aged saint was exceedingly grieved, and he did what we all should do-he prayed unto the Lord. "And the Lord ”—who knows all hearts and all motives—"said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee : for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them" (1 Sam. viii. 7). Samuel obeyed his Divine Master, and under protest, according to instructions, did what the infatuated“ voice of the people ” demanded. The result was a remarkable foreshadowing-an impressive rehearsal-of what took place eleven centuries afterwards. Saul, the shadow of the coming Antichrist, was preferred to Israel's blessed Lord, as Cæsar, the ruler of the nations over which Antichrist will shortly exercise fearful authority, was chosen in preference to Jesus, the divinely-appointed King of the Jews. Seized, apparently, with a sudden fit of loyalty, the most turbulent and ungovernable people on the face of the earth undertake to remind Pilate of his duty to the Emperor : “If thou let this man go, thou art not Cæsar's friend : whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Cæsar.” The Roman governor of Judea, surprised, or rather probably amused, at this sudden outburst of loyalty, said, “Shall I crucify your King ?” Instantly the chief priests reply, in words of awful significance, “ We have no king but Cæsar" (John xix. 12-15).
But to return. Notwithstanding this sudden national revolution, which superseded theocracy by monarchy, and preferred an earthly tyrant to a Divine Ruler, the Lord continued His mercy to the descendants of Abraham, and sent them prophets, men of God, who “ spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” Great variety characterises the utterances of these teachers; but their chief theme is the coming and kingdom of the Messiah. Whenever they touch on this, their minds are rapt to a higher ecstasy, their visions are gilded with clearer light, and the splendour of their language sometimes becomes absolutely dazzling.
The result of this prophetic teaching was that the nation, amidst all its strange vicissitudes, fixed its eye on the promised Messiah, and He became the “Hope of Israel.” In Him they saw the Deliverer, Redeemer, Ruler, and glorious Prince who was to restore the captive, liberate the prisoner, destroy the oppressor, and raise the kingdom of Israel to a condition of prosperity and a height of glory of which its surpassing grandeur in the days of Solomon the Magnificent was but a faint type. The golden age of the promised Monarch, sung in strains of unrivalled splendour by their David and Isaiah, was ever before them, their hope in sorrow, their subject of prayer, their theme of praise.
And you wonder? Were they not justified in cherishing these lofty expectations ? Is there not an overwhelming abundance of evidence to prove that they had Divine warranty for these sublime anticipations ? They could not do otherwise with those wonderful documents in their hands. Of course we speak only of the devout, the religious, the believing among them. All the rest must be set aside in an investigation of this kind, just as we set aside the ungodly when the sacred truths of our Christian faith pass under review. Such persons are incompetent to bear testimony; and, therefore, what they did, or said, or thought, is wholly irrelevant to the inquiry. That the hope of Israel, then, was placed before them by the God of their fathers, is beyond dispute ; and I take this opportunity of protesting, so far as I am personally concerned, against the grievous injustice which is done to the seed of Abraham, when for the faith they cherished they are denounced as “carnal Jews." “ The carnal Jew" is a convenient phrase if you wish to get rid of a great question by a word ; but it is not applicable in this case, because it is not true. In expecting the Prince of Peace, and in looking for the first dominion and kingdom to come to the daughter of Jerusalem, the Jews had the very highest authority. In this matter, at least, they were not carnal. That inferior thoughts, erroneous notions, and unworthy motives associated themselves in multitudes of cases with this glorious hope of Israel is clear enough, from the simple consideration that human nature in the Jew is much the same as in the Gentile; but we Christians should not throw stones at the Jews until we wash our hands of the sin and scandal of making gain of godliness, and turning our holy religion into a commercial speculation.
Of course it is assumed that you have settled the whole question of the kingdom of God, and put both Jew and Millenarian beyond the range of argument, when you employ the elegant phrase "the carnal Jew.” To say the least, this is a great assumption without a particle of proof.
In looking on the landscape of prophecy, whose mountain tops were gilded with the light of the Sun of Righteousness, the heart of
the pious Jew swelled, and his hopes were strengthened to do life's work and bear life's burdens manfully. He was the better saint, citizen, patriot, husband, and father, for that look of believing anticipation. As he caught the reflection of the light he loved, his eye sparkled with fresh hope, and threw gentler beams on those around him. The coming of the Messiah, the Shiloh, the Heir of David, the Judge of Israel, the King! Why what theme like that for a joyous inspiration, a radiant hope, and a vigorous faith? It made the patriot brave in the day of his country's danger; and it thrilled the feeble with a flush of fresh life. The lame, and the blind, and the deaf earnestly hoped He would come; for their great prophet had said, that “ Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing” (Isa. xxxv. 5, 6). In the gates of Zion, and in the tabernacles of the righteous, this was the ever fruitful subject of remark; in the synagogue it was read, in the family circle it was gratefully pondered. The virgins of Israel sang about it, and wondered much who among them was to have the signal felicity of being the mother of the promised Emmanuel; and the precious sons of Zion, comparable to fine gold, and her Nazarites, purer than snow and whiter than milk, held hallowed discourse as they walked through the vineyards of Judea, respecting Him who was to come.
Yes, they were waiting for the King, they looked for redemption in Israel ; for God, who cannot lie, had repeatedly promised the great Deliverer, and with Him a great deliverance. And at last the long and weary centuries rolled away; heaven's chosen hour struck; “the fulness of the time” came-Christ was born. Four thousand years before God had said, “ The seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head.” The words had sent a thrill of joy through the drooping heart of the mother of mankind. Her soul grasped them with the eagerness of faith and hope, as she wept over and bitterly repented her folly and her sin; and as she gazed upon her firstborn in an agony of wondering love, she exclaimed, “I have gotten a man, the Lord.” Alas! poor Eve, no. That is not the Promised Seed, the Destroyer of the serpent that so foully cheated thee : thou wilt have to weep again, for that fair child, the first born of the human race, will shed the first human blood ; thy child will live to be a brother's murderer. Humanity must be rocked in tempest, and exposed to many a hurricane, and many a sea of human blood be shed before the voice of “the Man, the Lord,” shall be heard hushing the stormy waters of the Galilean lake into repose.
And now that He has come at last, what is His reception ? From all that we have hitherto seen, surely we are justified in anticipating for Him such a welcome as never was before accorded even to the greatest of woman-born. But why ask such questions