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THE MINISTRY OF OUR LORD AND HIS APOSTLES.
the power of warring with each other, or of letting Judah feel their power. To no people does this series of songs so apply as to the nations of Europe. Yes, although Israel seemed to be cut off from hearing the word of God, the word, after all, hath lighted upon Israel. And Israel, even Ephraim, shall know the truth of the word which hath been spoken respecting him.
Its being prophesied that the word would light upon Israel, or Ephraim, and that they would know that word, is most consistent with God's purpose respecting Israel, as having been designed to become the administrators of that word to the nations. We may, therefore, not expect to find them out of the course of that word; but, as it were, in the highway thereof. Let us, then, see if we can discover this, the highway of the word of God,—the great outgoing of light to the world. If we glance at Mimpriss's map, displaying the course of our Saviour's ministry, as
described in the Gospels, (a map abundantly useful in other respects, and not originally designed to illustrate this particular subject,) we shall see, at once, that these journeys all went out northward. Although the greater part of the tribeship of Judah lay south of Jerusalem, we do not find one journey of his, in that direction, recorded, after the flight into Egypt, in his infancy. It is northward, through Samaria, that we trace the course of his journeys; and it is round about the coasts of the most northern part of the land, Galilee, that he went preaching the glad tidings of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and disease among the people. And it was when in his farthest journey in that direction, on the coasts of Syro-phenicia, that he pronounced the important words, "I am not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." His mission was, comparatively, not to other people, as it was to the lost house of Israel :--After the sheep, who had wandered into the north country, were, ever and again,
drawn the feet of their good Shepherd, who came to seek and to save that which was lost. His mission to the nations, promised to come of Israel in the north country, was more fully carried out by his Apostles. Look at the great extent of Africa to the south, and of Asia to the east, where anciently existed mighty empires; and where such myriads of human beings have been produced: and then look north-west, at this comparatively small quarter of the globe, Europe:—and look now at Mimpriss's most valuable map, describing the journeys of the Apostles, as recorded in the Acts, and see, again, how they all go out towards our own part of the world. Journeys may, doubtless, have been made to other parts of the world, where scattered portions of Israel were; but the inspired record leaves, as it were the world behind, and closes in our attention towards this part of the globe, in which the word of God was, ultimately, so to take root, and spread abroad, to every land; and this as having reached the nations that we suppose to have come of Jacob. Every successive journey was, as it were, a farther development of the gospel north-westward. It was to Samaria,—to Damascus,—to Antioch, to the cities of Asia Minor: and in this course the Apostle was divinely inspired to proceed still farther; being constrained, as well as invited, to pass over into Europe; and then through the cities of Greece: and, in short, from Jerusalem, round about, unto Illyricum, was it that he could say, "I have fully
preached the gospel of Christ." The providence of God led him farther still in the same direction, to Rome itself. But even this was not to end his journeys hitherward; his purpose being to proceed as far west as Spain. Some have hazarded the conjecture that he even preached the gospel in Britain; but the Divine Record does not carry us, at this time, so far. It may, perhaps, be said that Paul was influenced to proceed in this course, because here,
THE WHOLE NEW TESTAMENT POINTS NORTH-WESTWARD. [LEC. VI.
in the west, was the capital of the empire, into connection with which the Jews had then come. But this is not correct; for, independent of the supernatural influence in the case, which is plainly avowed, we find, (Rom. xv. 24,) that when Paul expressed his purpose in the matter, it was not so much to make Rome the special object of his journey, as the much farther point, Spain; and he intended calling at Rome, as being on his way to the more western country, anciently called Tarshish. Paul, and his fellow disciples, who ministered the word of God that was to light upon Israel, we thus find, all followed out the course indicated by the great Shepherd of the sheep;—and that, (being uniformly north-westward,) directs our attention to our own part of the world, as being that in which the lost sheep of Israel may be found.
Thus far the spoken word : and now, as to the written word. It might be expected that although no apostolic journeys are recorded as being made to the other more extensive and more populous portions of the globe, that, at least, some of the epistles would be sent into those quarters: but no. If we look to Paul's Epistles, we find them all sent out in the same course as were his journeys; all to places lying between us and the land of Israel. All point to this part of the world, in which the grand doctrine of free and full justification through the blood of Jesus by faith,—where the great doctrine advocated by this apostle, has been so clearly brought out, and proclaimed to the world. The Epistle of James is expressly sent to Israel; “ To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad." This hath missed its direction, if it hath not come to the places where the twelve tribes are to be found,—if Israel be not among the people on whom hath lighted this word of God. It does not address a people who have not heard the word of God; but a people making a great profession of faith,—but more strong in doctrine than in practice ; and re
quiring to he aroused out of antinomian sluggishness, into a more full and consistent practice of Christian
and especially into the brighter exhibition of that spirit of love which becomes the Gospel. It recognizes a state of society very like our own ; more like, than may be found in any other part of the world. The Epistles of Peter, which are sent to the same royal priesthood—to the holy people now scattered abroad, expressly points northward:— being addressed, “ To the strangers scattered throughout Pon tus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,"—all places in our direction from the land of Israel. The Epistles of John and of Jude, although no names are given, are equally applicable as to their contents. It is here that these, with all other parts of Scripture, have been read, translated, and spread abroad. It is true, we as yet know but little of the Bible ; but, more than any other people, we have made it our own, and the things which it saith, it saith to them that are under its hearing, whether with regard to the law or the Gospel.
To sum up all, we have our attention turned in the same direction by the Apocalypse, that closes the volume of Inspiration. There we find the good Shepherd, by his voice from heaven, amply confirming the indications of his personal ministry when upon earth; and still expressing a peculiar interest in the north-west; in the north-west, in Asia, over against Greece, where the seven churches to which were first directed the seven epistles in the commencement of this wonderful book.—And, by the most esteemed commentators, the book is supposed to proceed more and more in the same direction, until it closes the detail of judgment in our own part of the world : when the grand mystery of God is disclosed ; and the great events of which all the prophets witness, speedily ensue. There is then the effect of every vision; and a rending of the veil which hath been spread over all people. The Book of Revelation fills up the gap of prophecy
ISRAEL TO BE FOUND IN THE NORTH-WEST.
between the times immediately succeeding the first coming of Christ, and preceding his second coming. Where it ends the line of judgment, there may Israel most certainly be found :—the second appearing of Christ being so intimately connected with the discovery of God's grand purposes with regard to Israel, whom he shall then have made ready to receive him, with songs of everlasting joy ;--as in Rev. xv. 2—4:
* And T saw as it were a sea of glass mingled
And over his mark,
Stand on the sea of glass
Having the harps of God.
The servant of God,
Lord God Almighty!
Thou King of Saints!
And glorify thy name?
And worship before thee;
—when the children of Israel, and the children of Judah, shall all be gathered. together, under one Head ; - when
great shall be the day of the seed of God," Hos. i. 10, 11). If so, then are we led to look for the lost house of Israel,—and especially, for Joseph's posterity -- here in the north-west : for the plain indications of Old Testament prophecy, and the whole course of its descriptions, all point north-westward ;—while the indications which New Testament history presents, of the personal ministry of Christ,—the “ Good Shepherd ” who came to seek and to save the lost sheep of the house of Israel ;" extended, as these indications are, to similar purport, by the full expression of apostolic solicitude, -of the "heart's desire" of those who carried out from Jerusalem the ministration of Christ's Gospel, as expressed, fervently, in the whole course of their recorded preaching, and in their epistolary communications, both of which were under the immediate direction of the Spirit of God: all these corroborate the inferences to be drawn from the language of the Older Record.
If, therefore, the Word of God, as contained in either the Old or the New Testament, be intended to throw light upon this interesting—this momentous subject, which, from its uniformity, we may justly infer it is designed to do,
-then are we of necessity led to look for the lost sheep of the house of Israel, in the north-west—in our own part of the world, whither the Word of God hath ever followed them, and where the whole course of his Providence testifies to this truth of the word of Prophecy.
He that scattered Israel, promised to gather them, and keep them as a shepherd doth his flock. And He hath indeed proved a shepherd to Israel ; He hath led Joseph like a flock. Upon Him may we now in truth call,
“ Turn us again, О God,
-Concisely to recapitulate:
If there be proportion between the seed of Abraham, and the other nations of the earth : as is specially avowed, with reference to Israel, (Deut. xxxii. 8)—then are we led to look for the lost children of Jacob, among Japhet's posterity, in the northern portion of our globe. Again : it is assumed that the Restoration of Israel shall be one of the grand consummations of prophecy-of those prophecies whose tenour has reference to a beneficial change of the very face of nature, and which affect universal mankind: the whole creation groaneth and travaileth together, until now," waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God,” (Rom. viii. 19, 22;) when, in the place where it was said unto them,
“ Ye are Lo-ammi (not my people -Gentiles,)”—it shall be said unto them,—“The sons of the living God!”
“ Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands,
THE PROGRESS OF ISRAEL WESTWARD.
In the utmost straits, Israel shall be preserved.
“ Burnt with hunger,
And with hitter destruction:
Were it not that I feared the wrath of the enemy,
---Lest they should say, Our hand—high,
Deut. xxxii. 24—27.
Reference to the Beni-Israel in the East-Their manner of Burial—Israelitish Tombs, northward of the Caucasian mountains.--Names of the Rivers between the Don and the Danube, indicative of Israel's sojourn there.--Mœsia.---The Getæ or Goths.---Attacked by Darius, Alexander, and the Romans.-Dacia.—The Goths precipitated upon the Romans by Attila and his Huns. They regain possession of Mœsia.--They war with the Romans. - The Storm passes over to Africa, and leaves the Gothic race in possession of Europe.Their important position.--Their Traditional Prophecies--as in "Voluspa,"--consistent with their Israelitish Descent; and supposed to be handed down from the days of Elijah, who had ministered the Word of God, chiefly, in this House of Israel.
I have seen several accounts from India, stating that there is a people there, seemingly about seven thousand in number, and scattered over the country, from the neighbourhood of Bombay, who are called Beni-Israel, and are supposed to be a remnant of the lost ten tribes. They are said to be the descendants of seven men, and seven women,—who, about sixteen hundred years ago, were saved from shipwreck, on the coast near Bombay. They profess to be of the tribe of Reuben, and, consistently with this, they call more of their children by that name than by any other. If
the facts be so with regard to the signal preservation of this portion of the tribe of Reuben, the prayer of Moses, for this tribe, seems to have been signally answered,
"Let Reuben live, and not die." At the same time, they seem to have fulfilled, in them, the words of Jacob, Gen. xlix. 4 : “ Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel." They seem to be generally rather respectable in the lower, or, perhaps, middle rank of society. When they enter the army, they are valued as musicians, and generally attain to the rank of native