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Rev. Louis Herschell, our heart was greatly stirred, and through the night watches and during the homeward journey we considering the case so earnestly put before us. If these things be true, say we-if the great cities of Eastern Europe positively teem with Jews, and not one missionary is found therein ; if neither our sister society nor ourselves can overtake the work, nor grapple with the foe, nor hearken to the call to go forth to the help of the Lord in these and other places ; if no further openings can be made, either in England or abroad, because of lack of funds ;-surely, surely, something ought to be done. If the Christian people in that same little town had been fully awake 'to their responsibility and to their privilege, hundreds more would have been present, instead of the comparatively small number before referred to, and untold results might have followed, to the glory of God and for the good of Israel.

Something, then, must be done, some advance must be made, and the New Year is our time to begin. Oh! that our voice might reach and awaken all our subscribers, and that they might be induced at once to make a fresh start by doubling their subscriptions. Were this simple alternative adopted, for the glory of God and in simple living faith, the working of the Society would be forthwith doubled too. The Committee would plant new stations, open fresh doors, callin assistance from other quarters, and could, amongst other efforts, circulate the New Testament of God's grace far and wide. We pray our readers to muse on this. It is no mere declamation ; our words are words of truth and soberness. God works by means, and His Word is the mighty instrument in His hand, and that Word is committed to us.

We commend, to this end, the perusal and re-perusal of our Secretary's valuable papers, which are appearing monthly in the Herald, and remind our friends that these statements are from an eye-witness, and a man of God and of truth. We entreat them to ponder his assertions, and to help in increasing the income of our Society, that we may deal with the evil; and the Committee, on their side, will spare neither labour nor solicitude' in administering that which may be thus committed to their charge.

Above all, let us unitedly pray for both blessing and guidance, that Abraham's God may be glorified in the conversion of Abraham's seed to the faith of Jesus Christ. These are

our New Year's wishes and greetings, and we hope and confidently expect a willing response, for “the Lord loveth a cheerful giver," and He is able to make all grace abound towards you.

We are sorry that a most interesting paper for the Young reached

us too late for insertion in this number. The whole of the contents were very early in type, owing to Christmas. Those New Year's lessons shall come before our readers next month.

We return grateful thanks for correspondence, articles, and books for review. We ask for communications in

prose

and verse, addressed to the Editor of the Jewish Herald, 38, Bloomsbury Square, London, W.C.

Palestina : the Land of the Jew.

CHAPTER XXVI. TADMOR's present condition discovers to us what must have been the large extent of the city in her prosperous days. The ruins extend for several miles around, and present traces of wealth and power, of beauty and of fitness, wherever we turn. It was, in Solomon's time and afterwards, not merely a station for water and rest for the Caravans of merchants ever coming and going, but it was an immense Store City, strong, spacious, and well guarded. There were, also, Arsenals and Barracks in its midst, and the well disciplined soldiers there ruled the wild country around, and kept in order the terrible Ishmaelites, so as to secure the travellers' safety. Here lived numberless factors, who received and warehoused the rich and rare products of Eastern lands, and sold them to advantage for the Western markets. Probably in the days of Israel's greatest and mightiest king, the larger part of this trade was kept in his own hands, and of course added amazingly to his wealth; for his agents could buy on low terms and would sell at their own price. That this was the history of this once lovely and opulent place is clear from 1 Kings ix. 18.

The extensive ruins we have indicated do not, however, generally belong to Solomon's time. The forests of marble columns, built in long and stately avenues, forming imposing sights and cool walks ; the porticoes, lofty and grand, giving entrance to temples and public edifices; the domes which apparently surmounted halls and basilicas ; the triumphant arches, constructed, as the custom was, in honour of the returning conqueror, laden with spoil and followed by a train of sorrowing captives ; the pagan altars and carved sepulchres ; the capitals, mouldings, and fragments of sculpture scattered for miles on every hand in wildest confusion, mark many races and chronicle revolving ages. They are our only means of tracing the successive occupants of Palmyra or Tadmor in the Desert. After Solomon's time history loses sight of the city for about a thousand years, during which period it must have occupied the important position and fulfilled the functions we have indicated. It then reappears as an exceedingly fair and flourishing place, rich and grand, ruled over by Zenobia, an able and ambitious woman, who styled herself Empress of the East, and who afterwards revolted against Rome, and thought she could hold her own and garrison her desert city against the legions who had conquered the then known world. It was an evil day for herself when she measured her puny strength against the invincible might of Rome. The eagle banners were borne against her by the Emperor Aurelian in person.

Swift conquest followed, and the poor queen, who had dreamed in the pride of her heart of overcoming those mighty warriors, was taken captive, made to follow her proud conqueror on foot, wearing chains of gold, through the Capital City, whilst far away, among her own waving palm trees and cool wells, and among her royal palaces, ruthless hands were destroying unchecked, and were levelling to the ground its noble buildings.

From that time to the present there has been no revival for Palmyra ; all has been utter ruin, desolation, and despair. No one ever knew of the existence of such a stately evidence of other days until, in 1691, some English merchants lighted upon the city, and on their return filled Europe with glowing accounts of its former glory and of its vast remains. Many have seen it since then, and sundry adventures with the Arabs, fierce and untamable at this day as they were of yore, have been encountered there. One of the latest of the travellers who have written respecting it, the Rev. Mr. Porter, whilst gazing for the first time on it, and saying, in rapture, “And this is Tadmor," was surrounded by the wild horsemen, and in an instant made prisoner.

He

says: “We were led across the plain for two miles, and then met the whole of our captors on the march. It was a strangely interesting sight. Far as the eye could reach the plain was covered with countless flocks of sheep, droves of camels, horsemen, and dromedaries laden with tents, furniture, and utensils. At first our prospects in the desert prison were gloomy enough a large ransom was demanded-uncomfortable threats were thrown out; but gradually things brightened, and the next day we were escorted to Tadmor by our captors." And he adds, “Such a sight surely no mortal eye ever saw elsewhere.

'Temples, palaces—& wondrous dream
That passes not away-for many a league

Illumines yet the desert.' All, too, was desolate-utterly desolate: like bleached bones on a long neglected battle-field, these wondrous ruins lie lonely and forsaken.”

This, then, is the City of Palms, and we claim it as part and portion of Immanuel's Land. We believe it will arise from the dust of ages, and will be rebuilt in far more glorious beauty by those who are sole heirs to the fair inheritance. We believe, as we have said, this wild, inhospitable desert will then“ blossom as the rose,” and that an obedient, happy, and prosperous people will pass to and fro, owning willing and loving allegiance to the Restorer, the Prince who will sit on David's throne as the rightful Sovereign. This will be the Messiah, long promised and now come to reign, “even Jesus, who delivered us from the wrath to come,” and who, exalted thus, will have a wider dominion, and a fairer possession, and a more enduring inheritance than had Israel's wise and all-powerful Solomon in his day, for “His kingdom shall be everlasting, and His power infinite." M. E. N,

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“To the Jew First." First in order, not in pre-eminence. There is no difference between the Jew and the Gentile in matters concerning individual salvation.

The Israelitish nation is God's firstborn among the family of nations. “Thus saith the Lord, Israel is my son, my firstborn” (Exodus iv. 22). A position so distinguished implies privileges and responsibilities. The privilege of the firstborn among the Israelites was to possess a double portion of his father's inheritance (Deuteronomy xxi. 17). This birthright was Esau's, but was sold to Jacob. It was also Reuben's, as the firstborn of Jacob's first wife. In consequence of Reuben's impure conduct, the birthright was transferred to Joseph, as the firstborn of the second wife. “For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him came the Chief Ruler (or Prince), but the birthright was Joseph's” (1 Chronicles v. 2). Joseph got his double portion of the land of Canaan by his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, being adopted as sons by Jacob, and taking their places as heads of tribes. This firstborn of nations is set apart, consecrated in all time to God. The firstborn of the individual families of this elect nation are also consecrated to God. Sanctify unto Me all the firstborn

among the children of Israel,......... it is mine” (Exodus xiii. 2). “ All the firstborn are mine;

I hallowed unto Me all the firstborn in Israel, .... mine shall they be” (Numbers iii. 13).

The firstborn among the families of Israel was God's own in the interest of the other members of the family; and the nation of Israel God's own in the interest of the rest of the world. The honour and privilege of this close relationship to God carry with them corresponding responsibility. If truly obedient to God, the firstborn in the family becomes an example of obedience, and an active instrument in promoting obedience among the younger members of the family; and so, also, the nation in its relation to the world. It is terrible, however, to contemplate even a temporary failure of Israel's destiny and mission as God's firstborn among the nations.

The most honoured becomes the most despised ; the most protected, the most persecuted ; the most favoured, the most chastised.

For she receives at the Lord's hand double for all her sins” (Isaiah xl. 2). “And first I will recompense their iniquity and their sin double(Jeremiah xvi. 18). Nevertheless, in the grand and glorious future Israel is guaranteed as God's firstborn, his double portion of blessing in the interest of the world. "Instead of your shame, there shall be double ; and instead of ignominy, they shall rejoice in their portion; for in their land they shall inherit the double, they shall have everlasting joy” (Isaiah lxi. 7, Henderson's translation).

The special responsibilities, then, of this elect nation, are measured by its special privileges, and its special chastisements correspond with its special advantages. “ Tribulation and anguish upon every soul of man that doeth evil, to the Jew first and also to the Gentile; but glory, honour, and peace to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first and also to the Gentile; for there is no respect of persons with God” (Romans ii. 9-11).

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We would here seriously ask our readers, and the Christian Church at large, Does not this passage teach the Church the order to be observed in the conduct of Christian missions ?Has this order ever been inverted or annulled? Apostolic precedent, as well as apostolic precept, favours this order. “Beginning at Jerusalem,” we dare not quote, as many good people do, as meaning the same as "first to the Jew.” 66

Beginning at Jerusalem means literally “ beginning at Jerusalem," to all Jerusalem Christians

but to London Christians “ beginning in London," i.e., begin where you are ; and show your fitness for the work of preaching the Gospel, and your estimate of the Gospel as meeting the need of sinners, by seeking the salvation of the souls perishing at your door. “Beginning at Jerusalem” is an appropriate subject for Home missionary guidance ; but the order “first to the Jew” might be observed with great advantage both to Home and Foreign missions.

It is a strikingly interesting and instructive fact, that the Apostle Paul, though pre-eminently the Apostle of the Gentiles, never entered town or city during the whole of his apostolic career but he sought out his brethren, and preached the Gospel “first to the Jew.” It is true that some have hastily thought that he did this only for a time, and that when some Jews

contradicted and blasphemed" at Antioch in Pisidia, the apostle then turned from the Jews to the Gentiles. He did indeed turn from those blasphemers to the Gentiles there and then assembled, and waiting for their offer of eternal life through Jesus, and on the same terms. But even to those blasphemers Paul said, “It was necessary the word of God should first have been spoken to you ; but seeing ye put it from you, and' judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.' Why was it necessary ? First, because it was God's order ; and, secondly, because of the difference in the religious education and training of Jew and Gentile. The same salvation, through the same Saviour, and on the same terms, would do for both Jew and Gentile, but the same sermon would not. To the Jew he showed from the Hebrew Scriptures that Jesus is Messiah, but the Gentile he urged to turn from dumb idols to serve the living God. The question arises, did Paul turn from all the Jews, and for ever, when some blasphemed at Antioch in Pisidia ? If he dd, of course he will labour in future only among the Gentiles. Let us follow him to his next place, and see what course he pursued. He went to Iconium-what to do there? “ And it came to pass in Iconium, that they (Paul and Barnabas) went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake that a great multitudo, both of the Jews and also of the Greeks, believed ” (Acts xiv. 1). And in the seventeenth chapter of the Acts, we find they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews; and Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three Sabbath-days-Saturdays-reasoned with them out of the Scriptures—the Old Testament manuscripts

and some of them believed” (Acts xvii. 14). To preach the Gospel “first to the Jew" was Paul's manner, or regular custom, and thus we have apostolic precedent, as well as Scripture precept, for observing the same order. The priority of the Jewish claim does not rest simply and solely on the ground of justice for first wrongs, nor on the ground of gratitude, simply on account

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