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works of grace, it would seem to be most wise that they should remain scattered, as they are, that their light may everywhere shine, and their influence be everywhere felt.
It seems strange, if the Jews are to have the distinction in future for which some are contending, that our Saviour did not al. low it to them, and that the apostles did not confer it on them. The grand matter of controversy, between the Jews and Christ, and between the Jews and the apostles, was this very subject now before us. The Jews claimed preëminence and peculiar privilege above the Gentiles. They would have an earthly kingdom, and a glorious temple, and a mitred priesthood, and holocausts offered upon their altar, and be the head of the nations. Christ would not grant it to them. Their kingdom must cease. Their temple must be destroyed. Judaism must be laid in the dust. A spiritual religion only must prevail. And hence they crucified him. The apostles would not allow it to them. The middle wall of partition must be broken down. All must be one. And hence the oppositions and persecutions which they met with from city to city.
Now why did Christ and the apostles contest this point so with the Jews, if the Jews are yet to have the very thing contested granted them? Why, at least, did not the Saviour promise a restoration of their State at some future time? And the apostles a rebuilding of the wall at some future time? Under the former dispensation, when desolations were threatened, promises often followed. “Jerusalem shall be built again,” (Isa. 44: 28. Dan. 9: 25).
I will restore her judges as at the first,” (Isa. 1: 26). But here, no such thing. All is silent. Spiritual good is, indeed, promised in abundance. But in regard to this secular distinction, all is silent. Why not believe, then, that the secular external distinction has utterly ceased, and that now the spiritual goodrich and splendid beyond description, of which the former was a shadow-is the grand and only thing to which the promise of the covenant is now to be applied ?
The other view of the case is, we cannot resist the conviction, doing an injury to the Jew. It is fostering his pride. It is making him vain. It is promising him distinctions which the Saviour did not promise him, and which the apostles did not promise him, and thus turning his eye away from the simple and true glory of the gospel, and giving his heart a disrelish for its pure, spiritual, and humbling truth. It thus hinders his salvation, or tends to hinder it, if he is not a Christian ; and if he is a Christian, injures the humility and excellence of his character. 1847.]
A literal fulfilment injurious to the Jews.
Let him be taught, as the apostle teaches, that there is no difference; that all are one in Christ Jesus; and he will avoid these injuries, and these dangers, and fall into sentiments of a common brotherhood with the rest of the race.
Let it not be said, then, that we wrong the Jew, by the views here inculcated. Instead of this, it may be said, that this is the only view that does him justice. We direct his eye away from the world of shadows, in which his fathers lived, to the glorious substance, to which those shadows have given place. What is a king at Jerusalem, to a king on his throne of glory eternal in the heavens? And what is a religion, going forth from Jerusalem, with its temple, and altar, and Jewish rites, to a religion that comes down from the city of the great King, the celestial city, all light and glorious, making the whole world a temple, and the whole earth an altar, and every spiritual man an acceptable worshipper-a friend of God below, and an heir of bliss immortal ? Take Abraham himself. Place him in Palestine, according to some earthly interpretations of the promise, and surround him with all the splendors there that the most sanguine of this class of interpreters have imagined. What is that to the splendors that now surround this father of the faithful and friend of God, in the realms of glory immortal? O we do not wrong the Jew, when we point him away from the shadow to the glorious substance; when we endeavor to persuade him from Judaism, that he may become imbued with CARISTIANITY.
Were we to address the Jew, we would speak to him as our elder brother; and our address should be in the language of the prophet: “O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord,” (Isa. 2:5). Greatly honored in past ages, and still beloved for the fathers' sakes, we would say to him, Turn away your eye from the shadows and mists which prevented your fathers from seeing the Messiah's glory, and which have hitherto shut out from yourselves the visions of his face, and look upon the glorious and immortal substance to which those shadows pointed, and have now given place. Think less of the earthly, and more of the heavenly ; less of the external, and more of the spiritual. Think less of your temple, and your altar, and the rams of Nebaioth; and more of a world-wide worship, and the blood which Messiah has shed upon Calvary. If thou wilt change thine earthly residence, go where it liketh thee, Providence affording thee opportunity. If thou wilt go to Palestine, and dwell among its vine-clad hills, and olive yards, and sweet-scented valleys, and purling streams, and the way is open, go, and God's blessing go with thee; only do not make it heaven; do not com. mit the great error of thy fathers, in letting the Canaan below, blind thee to the Canaan above. If thou wilt dwell in any other country, dwell there, assured that he who has his sins forgiven, his nature cleansed, and his name inscribed in the Lamb's book of life, obtains all the substantial blessings of the Messiah's dispensation. Wherever thou art; whatever suns shine upon thee, whatever breezes fan thee, of whatever waters thou dost drink; remember, Heaven's last dispensation has come. The Messiah has been here. His glory is in the gospel. Behold it, do homage and live. "O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord !"
Were we to address the Gentile, we would speak to him of his elder brother, and of his indebtedness to the Jew. We would remind him that the Jew preserved for him the Oracles of God, and the true religion, through long periods of darkness, danger, and corruption; that the glorious gospel which he now enjoys, is but Judaism, dropping its exuberance of dress and externals, and unfolding into its true and appropriate spirituality and greatness, in connection with the wonders of redeeming love in the Son of God. To the Gentile let it be still further said, “ Behold the love.” For thee also is this salvation. Thine is the privilege, equally with the Jew, to drink at this fountain ; to eat of this im. mortal fruit. Thine, wherever thou mayest dwell-around the polar circle, or under the burning equator; in the crowded city, or the solitary desert, or the island of the sea; wherever thou art -thine, too, is this wonderful favor. Here thy sins may be for. given; here thy nature cleansed; here thy name inscribed in the book of life, and thy soul be made to live eternally in glory!
The Gentile should be grateful to the Jew; should pray for the Jew; should labor especially for the spiritual good of the Jewlaboring wisely, that he may do him good, and not evil: teaching him, not to turn his face back“ to the weak and beggarly elements,” (Gal. 4: 9), of an exploded dispensation; not to seek to be “entangled again with the yoke of bondage,” (5: 1), “a yoke,” says an apostle, “which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear,” (Acts 15: 10); but to look for a glorious spiritual kingdom, which is not meat and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost,” (Rom. 14: 17).
And Jew and Gentile together should accept this great salvation. Behold, I create new heavens and a new earth,” says
German Literature in America.
God, (Isa. 65: 17). And the process of this new creation has commenced. Here has already been wrought deliverance for the captive sold under sin; deliverance for the blind, the naked, the poor. Here is already poured abroad provision for all spiritual maladies and wants. The provision is complete. The last dispensation is doing its work. The great ransom is urged upon all. Draw near ye ends of the earth, and all that dwell in its uttermost corners; Jews, Gentiles, Barbarians, Scythians, bond, free; all complexions, of all climes; all degrees of intellect; kings, peasants, philosophers; wherever humanity dwells, and sins and suffers; all, draw near; here is salvation for you: forgiveness, cleansing, peace, life eternal. This is the time. “The day of
. vengeance is in my heart,” says God; "and the year of my redeemed is come,” (Isa. 63: 4). Come, then, thou earth, and do homage at thy Redeemer's feet, and live!
GERMAN LITERATURE IN AMERICA.
Select Treatises of Martin Luther, in the original German, with
Philological Notes, and an Essay on German and English Etymology, by B. Sears. Andover : Allen, Morrill, & Wardwell. 1846.
By Professor Philip Schaf, D. P., Mercersburg, Pa.
THREE centuries ago the power of the German mind shook the church and the States of Christendom to their lowest foundation. The need of a reformation, which had long before been prepared in different ways, in the most profound and noble minds, awoke with concentrated force in the bosom of an humble and conscientious, yet gigantic monk of Wittenberg, and worked itself out to a clear conviction. He was chosen by Providence to be the oracle of the times, to be the leader of all who longed for deliverance from the fetters of the second Egyptian bondage. Just such a man was needed-one who did not lightly take upon himself the responsible work of reform; who was not filled with empty dreams of liberty; who, in destroying the superstition which had gathered around the faith, would not destroy the faith itself ; but who by painful experience was acquainted with the entire system, whose fetters he was destined to break; who, with all the energy of a faithful and obedient monk, had struggled to obtain salvation through the ordinances of mediaeval catholicism. He possessed therefore the indispensable requisites of a genuine reformer-an experimental knowledge of the church which was to be reformed, and a deep religious earnestness, which sought not distinction, but which labored only for the glory of God and the salvation of men. By obeying we learn how to rule; authority educates for freedom; the law is a schoolmaster unto Christ.
After this man had for years borne the burden of the ordinances of his mother-church, after he had sought in vain to work out the salvation of his soul by penance and mortification, and had only by this painful process of self-destruction come to a clearer consciousness of his sin and guilt, dawned at last his day of evangelical freedom. He had the courage to renounce all self-constituted righteousness, to cast away all the lumber of good works, so. called, all self-confidence, as offensive to God. He had the still greater courage, to cast himself with all his thoughts, feelings and will into the arms of the free and all-sufficient grace of God in Christ; and lo! in this unqualified faith in him he found at once, as an unmerited gift, all that he had before sought in his own way in vain, righteousness, repose for his troubled conscience, peace with God and with himself. Then it was that in the shameful sale of indulgences, by which the pardon of sins and peace with God were offered for a pitiful piece of money, he was brought into direct contact with that system which, in the most revolting inanner profanes things the most sacred. Then, forced by his conscience and his sense of duty as a teacher in the church, he raised his thunder-voice. His word wakened echoes in all parts of Germany, but opposition also in the dominant powers of the times; in the halls of the universities, on the throne of the em. peror, and in the episcopal chair of the head of Christendom. Enemy after enemy arose. The Wittenberg Augustinian had no money, no arms, in short, no outward power; but, what was more than all these, and which brought them all to shame, he had the power of faith and of the word. From the pulpit and the professorial chair he called attention to the pearl which he had found; by writings, which flew with the rapidity of lightning over all Europe, he announced to the world the central doctrine of his spiritual life, that of the justification of the sinner through the merits of Christ by faith alone, and the sweet fruit of this re