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converted world is a dream and nothing more. But the eye of faith even now can see the victory; the hand of faith can crown the King; the ear of faith can antedate the resurrection song, and catch the roll of the hallelujahs of a redeemed creation. The work is God's, not ours. Jericho, unshaken by the blast of the rams' horns, fell in a moment when God gave the word ; the world's sin, unreached by our supremest efforts, will be dissipated like the clouds of the morning, when Jehovah arises. The walls, black with the sins of the centuries, shall totter and fall, the triumph song of heaven shall ring, the thunders of heaven and the anthems of earth shall unite in eternal acclaim, while
“O'er our ransomed nature,
The Lamb for sinners slain,
In bliss returns to reign.” “Nevertheless, when the Son of Man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth ?"
II. But let us dig a little deeper in the dust of fallen Jericho. “By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days." Not as the immediate result of the Divine decree, but as the consequence of Israel's performance of a prescribed duty. Such is the law of Jehovah; a law wise and beneficent in all its operations. Man must be a co-worker with God. Faith must not degenerate into fatalism. God blesses us by giving us hands to grasp the blessing ourselves. He links promise with precept. “I have given thee Jericho," is the promise ; but it is immediately added, “ Ye shall compass the city.” Although the work is to be manifestly the work of Jehovah, so that Israel may never claim the glory of its performance ; yet the divine rule must be followed, and if Israel do no more, at least they must compass the city. Not until this is done, not until the human agency has been fully employed, will the might of Jehovah hurl down the walls.
Exactly so with the greater work and the more glorious promise to which we have referred. The great Jericho of human sin and wrong will fall at last by an interposition of Divine power, the manifestation of the Divine Son; but not until we have fully “compassed about” its dark and hideous walls. Here too, as in the days of old, God's children have their work to do. Our brother Stephen Doolittle, who sounds such lofty notes upon the Divine decrees, who has fathomed the eternal mysteries, and peered with searching gaze into the everlasting counsels, assures us the work is God's, and therefore we have nothing to do with it. The fall of Jericho was the work of God, most striking and manifest; yet Israel must compass the city. The redemption of the world, the glory of the latter days, wbich Jehovah will assuredly bring to pass, is likewise associated with and conditioned upon the accomplishment of the work He has given us to do. “ The Gospel must first be published among all nations,” is the solemn prediction of Him whose soul longeth for “the joy set before Him." From the throne of His Father's glory He bends a wistful look on earth and sees its gradual fulfilment. The intensest interest of the Christian, most full of burning zeal for God and man, is but the faintest shadow of the interest of the Master in the same work; for every victory won, every effort made, every onward movement of the great church militant, every blast of overy feeblest priest of
God, is thus hastening the glory of the kingdom. The whole host of Israel compassed Jericho; every woman and overy child had a part in the appointed work; every voice joined in the grand final shout; and every effort of every Christian is equally a portion of the eternal plan. Not a word, not a prayer, not a thought, not a sigh is heaved in vain.
We have often looked with admiration upon the mighty, impetuous waterfall, and have noted how surely, though so slowly, the water is cutting through the huge mass of rock over which it rolls ; in that great work
; which God hath given the stream to do, bestowing ages upon it for the purpose, every drop of water through all the days and months and years and centuries has had its appointed place, and contributed its tiny quota to the mighty whole. And so is it with God's work for the world. Not in the way we so often vainly dream, but in His way, Christ's Church is through all the ages making ready for His kingdom. We are compassing Jericho; and by and by, our part being done, God shall hurl it down. Not a life is lived, not a prayer is breathed, not an effort made in vain. Every smallest deed, every feeblest word, has its place in the Divine plan ; preparing the glad day when earth and heaven shall hail one King, and crown Him Lord of all.
The prediction we have quoted receives a yet deeper illumination as we compare the portion recorded by Matthew (chap. xxiv. 14), “ This Gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness anto all nations; and then shall the end come.” We whom the Lord has given to see the fuller light from which so many of our brethren hide themselves, have our work to do also. No man having the light must bury it under any bushel; but let it shine. Light receivers must be light givers. Not only the gospel, in the narrower sense oftea attached to the word, but the gospel of the kingdom must be proclaimed. To the down-trodden nations groaning under the yoke of systems of wrong, mis-called governments, must we proclaim the coming of the King whose name is Righteousness, the music of whose voice shall bid the oppressed go free; while
“ Beautiful as songs of the immortals,
The holy melodies of love arise." The groanings of creation are re-echoed by suffering humanity; the world, weary of its strife, sighs for its Deliverer, be it ours to proclaim His coming. We too must compass Jericho; and the trumpet blast we sound must be the trump of jubilee, “the gospel of the Kingdom."
III. How full of instruction is our subject when we consider the nature of the means Israel is bidden to employ. A giant fortress is to be captured ; God hath promised it ; Israel must work for it; but how ? March round it with ram's horns; this and no more. So God teaches the truth our dull hearts are slow to understand, that means are means, and nothing more ; the blessing is still of His bestowal. Such is the truth ever manifest in history. When Egypt is to be saved from impending famine, the instrument is not the might of its king, not the sagacity of its statesmen, but a poor Hebrew captive forgotten in one of its dungeons. When Midian is to be overthrown, Gideon's army must be reduced to a band, and three hundred men deliver Israel. Goliath safely defied the huge form of Saul, and all the mighty men quailed
before him: but the stone of a shepherd lad slew him. When the armies of France had been scattered; when her king was a fugitive, and her generals helpless ; her cities stormed and taken; a humble village maid achieved the deliverance of her country. When the crimes of the Papacy became too great for the endurance of Europe, the blows which shook her foundations and rent her dominion in twain were struck by a humble monk of Wittenburg. Slavery was destroyed and the American Union preserved, by the sagacity and determination of an unknown patriot of Illinois, whom “accident ” had elevated to the Presidential chair. Nay, we need no further example than that of Christianity itself. In the guise of a carpenter the Deliverer of mankind appeared, and with twelve fishermen of Galilee, God shook the world. So “hath God chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise ; and the weak things of the world to confound the mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are ; that no flesh should glory in His presence.' Jericho is captured by the blast of rams' horns.
We need the lesson to-day. The world is to be conquered, not because of our proclamation of the gospel, though after it. Confounding sequence with consequence, we dream vain dreams of human regeneration; build mighty castles of imagination, on which stands a missionary subduing the whole earth; fill our platform speeches with eloquent apostrophes to the impossible; and endeavour to satisfy the longings of our hearts by hopes vain as the empty wind, the futility of which every hour is demonstrating.
We picture Jericho blown down by the blast of rams' horns; the world regenerated by Christian preaching. The theory so often urged and implied in our present teaching, that goodness and right and truth will gradually leaven mankind as a whole, is a theory utterly destitute of any shadow of support in the Scriptures; more, it is in direct antagonism to its teachings. “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations,” pot for their conversion, " and then shall the end come.” The stone which shivers the huge bloodstained fabric of earthly power in Nebuchadnezzar's image, the kingdom which the God of heaven shall set up, is cut out " without hands." When the king in the second psalm is predictively described as asking for the heathen and the uttermost parts of the earth, it is as seated “upon the holy hill of Zion,” and the subjugation to be effected is described thus: “Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.” The heathen shall cast their idols to the moles and to the bats " when He cometh to shake terribly the earth.” Not by our preaching, but after our preaching, by the advent of the Son, will God save the world ; even as "the walls of Jericho fell down, after it was compassed about seven days.”
IV. Yet one thing demands consideration; the delay in the fulfilment of the promise. Ere yet a single deed was done or a single horn blown, God said to Joshua, “I have given thee Jericho ; ” but the walls fell not. Israel compassed it about, but they remained unshakon. Again they did their work, and yet again; and no result followed. A fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh time, and seven times the seventh day, Israel compassed
Jericho; to indicate that their part was performed perfectly; and then at the shout of the multitude, the promise was fulfilled, and Jericho fell. During that prolonged march how loud would be the scoff and taunt and jest from the besieged city as to this novel way of conducting a siege. Inquiries would be made as to the peculiar school in which Joshua had learnt the art of war ; suggestions hazarded that the priests should blow a little harder on their terrible weapons, and march a little faster lest the siege be unduly prolonged. As the seventh day dawns, and the multiplied marchings commence,
the merriment waxes greater. “ Must be very fond of exercise, especially on the Sabbath day;* pray may we anticipate the pleasure of this spectacle for another week. The siege would appear to be making somewhat slow progress ; not a single tower is overturned, not a wall——” Hark! what is that crash which shakes the earth! Every tower is overturned ; every wall laid low; in a single moment the Almighty finger has written Ichabod upon its glory; and
“ The might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword,
Hath melted like snow at the glance of the Lord.” Even so with this greater Jericho of human sin. Eighteen centuries ago the cry reverberated along the banks of Jordan, “ The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Delayed by the Jewish rejection of the Messiah, still the voice of hope and mercy proclaimed the nearness of its advent. “ The time is at hand; “the Judge standeth at the door ;' quickly," are the inspired voices ; yet the centuries rolled on, the dawning light faded again into twilight, and then flickered in midnight darkness; and the feeblo weary church, harassed and persecuted by all the powers of evil, lost the brightness of its hopes, and ceased to expect the Deliverer. “ Where is the promise of His coming ?” is the taunt ever addressed to those who presume to believe in the promised Advent. To the worldling our siege of Jericho is a mockery and a delusion. But even while we wait and watch and hope, the King is making ready ; the roll of His chariot wheels is borne to our ears; angel harps are tuning to higher songs than heaven ever heard before; the very earth reflects the promise of His glory, and its groanings soften into spring-time songs as the fulness of time draws near; the shadows disappear; the morning dawns; glad glorious resurrection morning, when the world, smiling in beauty, and robed in heavenly life, shall see and crown its King.
WILLIAM W. SKEMP.
6. I como
NOTES AND QUERIES ANENT "ISRAEL IN BRITAIN.”
flaws” in the Berwick Lecture of January, I solicit a little space in your next for the purpose of pointing out others of an equally grave nature, and which really tend to fix on Mr. Muir the charge of “dovetailing with preconceptions imported into the Book," what nobody whose mind was not possessed by “such preconceptions, would ever find
* It was believed by the Jews that Jericho fell on the Sabbath.”
in it." "Collation with other corresponding Scriptures " is a just mode of procedure in scarch of Truth ; but the mechanical method of attempting to “ dovetail" Scriptures that have no correspondence one with the other, is mischievous and misleading. That " Israel is Britain ” according to Mr. Hine, or that “Israel " is " in Britain according to Mr. Muir, is an assumption to which I strenuously demur, because the irrelevant Scripture references of the Berwick Lecture give it no countenance whatever.
2. If God be pleased to spare me, and give me grace and strength, I purpose to submit to Rainbow readers an unvarnished tale concerning the Ten Tribes of Israel from authentic sources; but, as this task requires much time in collating, and as I deem that an immediate responsibility is laid on me to make good my charge against the Berwick Lectures, I submit these notes and queries at once.
3. By what authority does Mr. M., on page 25 of the January number state, that “it is to be specially noted that many of the most important cases of imperfect or inaccurate rendering in the Authorized Version,' relate precisely to this matter of the Identification of the Lost Israel ?” This is scarcely candid ; but if true, what a naughty conspiracy there must have been among the translators ! But the references given by no means countenance the assertion, for, taken with their context, they allude to other events and peoples as well as Israel. Neither is the inference correct, that “ Lost Israel is to be recovered from Islands of the NorthWest, for if Mr. M. had inquired of Isaiah, chap. xliii. 5, 6, or Ps. cvii. 3, he would have discovered that they will come from East, West, North, and South; a promise corroborated by the words of the Lord Jesus in Matt. xxiv. 31. I would here add that the Prophet Jeremiah, xxxi. 7-9, gives a lamentable picture of the return of Israel from their hiding places, at utter variance with the extravagant vision of Mr. Muir.
4. Whence is the authority for saying that “: Israel is the centre of the Catholic church ?" or where in Scripture is such a phrase found ? The writer of the Lectures indulges too freely in such unwarrantable expressions, forgetting his assumption of “humility and submission," for he reiterates this on p. 69 in language that the Epistle to the Ephesians scatters contemptuously to the winds.
5. Mr. M. says, p. 21, that“ the Book is the canon of interpretation," yet in his statements he oft ignores it. He oracularly proclaims that the period of “ a time, times, and a half” of Daniel, vii. 25, " is 1260 years ;" but a glance at chap. iv. 23, would have told him that, if such were the case, then Nebuchadnezzar would be eating grass “ with the beast of the field" at this hour ! Moreover, when we read in “ the Canon " that the reign of the Apocalyptic Beast is to be “forty and two months," it is plain to every thoughtful man that the periods of the events, that occur during that reign, Rev. xi. 3, and xii. 14, are thus explained in a way not to be mistaken; for, if there be not—as there is not-warrant for the year-day theory,* much less is there for the fallacy that the period of forty-two months" is another variant form of expressing the same great prophetic period of 1260 years !"
6. By what system of interpretation the “woman clothed with the sun” is made to designate “ Israel the divorced woman,” your readers
Tregelles on Daniel, p. 119, &c.