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sons of Zebedee, in their indignation at the ill-treat-
say not this to justify, or in the slightest degree to palliate, unchristian tempers. God forbid! But I observe it in devout meditation upon the hand that rules the storm; and I write it to allay, in some measure (if the Lord will), the petty clamours which are raised against those men of God, who in all sincerity, though encompassed with our common infirmity, are doing the work of our heavenly Father.
With respect to the spirit in which the present volume is written, I have only to say, that my design has been to avoid any approach to either of two
extremes. On the one side, I detest that whining affectation of tenderness, which libels while it imitates the chastened manly sympathy of true Christian feeling. And on the other side, I equally abhor levity, or sarcasm, or jesting; such modes of speech being delicately, yet powerfully, stigmatized by an apostle, as not convenient—ovк ávñкovтα. (Eph. v. 4; compare Rom. i. 28.) It has been my anxious desire and prayer to exemplify the scriptural characteristics inculcated upon Titus, uucorruptness, gravity, sincerity. How far I have succeeded, it is not for myself to judge. If I have failed, my infirmity, and not my will, consented.
The argument urged in the Introduction is familiar to every student of the evidences of Christianity; yet I deem it far from unseasonable to give a brief, popular statement of it, with a somewhat varied form of illustration.
"THERE are three aspects in which every thing on this earth may be regarded. First, the way in which it strikes the senses, i. e. its outward form; second, the way in which it strikes the intellect, i. e. its place in that system of things which our reason apprehends. These are the two aspects under which we all naturally regard the objects and events about us: for we have two orders of faculties just suited to these two aspects.
"But there is a third element in every thing, which is neither discernible to our senses, nor to our intellect—and that is GOD: his power in making and sustaining the thing, and his purpose in placing it, and keeping it where it is. This is the kingdom or reign of God in the affairs of this world: and as this reign is the acting of the Spirit of God, it cannot be seen or comprehended by any one who has not the Spirit of God in him, who is not "born of the Spirit." The Spirit of God in a man, therefore, is that which
corresponds to the kingdom of God in the universe, the third and chief element in every thing.
"The time is approaching, when that kingdom will be made most palpable and visible, even to the outward senses and intellect. It is at present working under ground (so to speak), but is soon to explode; and then, all the kingdoms of the earth will become, before it, like chaff on the summer threshing-floor.* Now it cometh not with observation; then it will come even as the lightning, which makes itself awfully visible over the whole earth.”†
Of this universally pervading, but hitherto invisible kingdom of God, an outward and visible index has been given to the world in the history of the Jewish nation. From the page of that history, as from a bright reflector, we learn the great principles of God's management in the affairs of this world; and are supplied with a miniature specimen of what his universal kingdom will be, when He shall arise to execute judgment and justice in the earth.
No-where, except in HIM who is the brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image of his person; no-where, except in Jesus Christ himself, is the character of God so clearly exhibited to the contemplation of men, as in the history of the Jewish nation. It is true, therefore, with a fulness of meaning seldom considered, that salvation is of the Jews; because salvation in man is conformity to the character of God; * Daniel ii. 34, 35, 44. + St. Luke xvii. 20-24.
and such conformity is produced by beholding, as in a glass, the glory of the Lord's revealed character, and being changed into the same image from glory to glory as by the Spirit of the Lord; and the characteristic glass held up before us, unto the accomplishment of this transforming process in us, is-first, the person, character, and ministry of Jesus Christ, "the faithful witness," who was himself a Jew; and secondly, the history of the Jewish nation, to whom Jehovah says, "Ye are my witnesses:"
In turning our attention to the Jews, then, we are not merely gratifying an historical, prophetical, or intellectual curiosity; but, if we look aright, we are putting into operation upon our souls, God's own manifested witness for Himself, unto our knowledge of Him, which is life eternal. It is, therefore, with unfeigned thankfulness to God, that the Writer of the following Lectures recognizes in the church an increased and increasing attention to this subject.
The history of the Jews has been properly divided into two periods: the former reaching from Abraham to Christ; the latter including all the time which has passed since. And the Jews, living in these two periods, have been distinguished respectively as ancient and modern Jews.
The religion of the Jews, as a nation, requires a similar distinction. Ancient Judaism may be defined, as the system of doctrines and precepts which were taught in the ceremonial institutions of the Old