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the Lord, David being their prince, in their own land for ever. Upon these points chapters xxxviii. and xxxix. also be consulted. These passages show, in a way not to be disputed, that the epoch at which Israel should become "Ammi" (that is to say should no longer be "Lo Ammi," for "Lo" is but a negation) were not to be realized until the last days, when Christ will be their king; that this was to have its accomplishment by that grace which will write the law in their hearts, when God gives them a new heart according to the new covenant, and all Israel will be there. Judah and the ten tribes will form but one nation, which will never be divided nor driven from the land, over which Christ will reign for ever. And all this is said on the occasion of the captivity of Babylon, in which God rejected Judah as he had rejected Israel; as also that the promise of the return from the captivity which would cause" Ammi" to be named upon Israel should be when all these things therein recited should be accomplished; so that the period during which "Lo Ammi" is the name of Israel was to last from the captivity of Babylon until the return of the Lord.
Lastly, to remove all possibility of question, I add, that the judgment of" Lo Ammi" was not executed before the captivity of Judah, for in the second chapter of Jeremiah, God still calls them His people; and to show that this was not because the term "Lo Ammi" could not apply but to Israel, I quote the fourth verse "Hear ye the word of the Lord, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel." On the other hand, the new Testament shows us, that then also all Israel was thought of, and that God considered it as not his people, making an allusion to Hosea. We have seen the Lord showing that the kingdom of God, under which the people would be the people of God, could not come but by the fulfilment of the promises of the new covenant. And the Apostle Paul says (Acts xxvi.) "Unto which [promise] our twelve tribes instantly serving God day and night;" so also James, "To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad."
We have already seen that (Rom. xi.) St. Paul only distinguishes between the Election and Israel; the latter, in the last days, when a Deliverer should come out of
Zion. And the distinction was so lost at that time, that (in Acts xxvi.) the expression of the twelve tribes is a neuter in the singular (To Swdeкapuλov). So, in citing (το δωδεκάφυλον). the passage which speaks of "Lo Ammi," Paul applies it to the state of the Jews, before being called by the revelation of Jesus as Saviour without distinguishing "Lo Ruhamah" and "Lo Ammi." Peter is still more positive in his manner of expressing himself, and tells us in just so many words, that the term "Lo Ammi" applies to the state of the people before the Revelation of Christ, while those who received him quitted that position. I say people," for it is without controversy that the expression strangers scattered abroad” (παρεπιδημοις διασπορᾶς) belongs to Israel, while at the same time it restricts itself to such among them as believed. So that we have a direct revelation that the state of the people, after Babylon, was the state of "Lo Ammi" (see 1 Peter ii. 10).
I believed it might be useful to present this point clearly for brethren who are interested in it. It treats not of the question of the Church, save so far as all truths are linked together; but it treats of an epoch, singularly important, as to the government of God, because God ceased to dwell upon the throne of the earth between the Cherubim, and entrusted sovereign power to a chief raised up among the Gentiles—a state of things which is to continue under one form or other until the judgment of the world.
"BEHOLD, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: but this shall be covenant that I will make with the house of Israel: After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more."-Jeremiah xxxi. 31-34.
THE habits of a vast number of Christians, and the moral atmosphere in which they are placed, have tended to produce the very vague notions they have as to worship. Having passed from formalism and superstitious views (which left the care of their religion to others) under the influence of the feeling of the need in which they stood of the truth, they have found in the recognition of the truth, in owning and hearing it-the sum total of their ordinary religious exercises. But, surely, heaven should have some place in our religion while here below. In heaven, doubtless, the truth will be known in all its perfectness; but truth formerly received into the heart will be actually realised there in the glory of God and of the Saviour, about whom this truth treats. There will be no longer any need to hear the truth, nor to recognise it, we shall live in it. The power of it in our hearts will be expressed in adoration. Such is the characteristic of heaven. But, surely, this should be realised, in some measure, while on earth, among those at least who have received the truth, and who, by it, have the knowledge of the God who has communicated it to us-of the Saviour who came to accomplish his work of love and of righteousness on our behalf;―among those who have received not only the truth, but even the very Spirit who gave to the truth its place in their hearts, and to them the desire of glorifying Him whom it has revealed to them. When the Holy Spirit communicates heavenly truth to the renewed heart, it always re-ascends in thanksgiving and praise. True worship is but the return to God which is made by the heart, when filled with the deep feeling of that which has been communicated from on high. The Holy Spirit, who makes the communication to us, causes the feelings
produced by the revelation of God-of His love in Jesus of His glory, and of all the blessings wherewith He loadeth us ("our cup runneth over") to re-ascend to God in adoration. And, surely, the heart which is penetrated with the grace of God will feel the need of returning back to Him the homage of its adoration and of its gratitude, for all the blessings which are so many proofs of the infinite and eternal love which God has had, and which He has had for us.
Let us, then, examine this subject according to the Scriptural ground which the Spirit has given us. What, then, is worship?
"It is the honor and adoration which are rendered to God by reason of that which He is, and of that which He is for those who render it."
It is the employment of heaven; blessed and precious privilege for us upon earth, if the enjoyment of it be vouchsafed to us. One might, indeed, add to this definition "rendered in common." So to speak would not contain the denial of the possibility of worship from an isolated individual. If Adam had continued innocent he would, doubtless, as an individual have adored God.
But it is not, therefore, the less true, that in point of fact, worship is a homage rendered in common; because, in fact, God has blessed many and many together; be it angels or men; and hence communion in adoration is of
a I doubt, however, whether, in point of fact, it is possible for an adequate worship to be rendered to God by any one alone. An innocent man might bless God for His goodness; but for such worship as should rise to the height of that which God is, to be rendered by a solitary being, would suppose a capacity to apprehend the motives of worship in God, such as would put him who rendered the worship almost upon a level with Him to whom he rendered it. God would not be in the place proper to him for worship-for who alone could glorify God suitably, if himself the sole object of His favour. Here the intervention of Christ is of great importance for the foundation of worship-because God is so glorified, as that worship can be rendered to Him and those who adore Him, do so by virtue of that which He is for them in this intervention of Christ; the worship is based upon the fact that God is fully glorified, and we adore Him in acknowledging Him as thus glorified. b Nevertheless, for man himself, God said, that it was not good that he should be alone.
the essence of the act, because the blessing is one in common, and the joy which I have in the blessing of others is part of my own individual blessing. Their blessing forms part of the grace to which my heart responds; and love (which is the source and spring of it all) is defective if I enjoy not their blessing. If I bless not God for it, I am myself incapable of worship; for to bless God supposes that I am sensible of His love, and that I love.
We may, then, say, since God was not pleased that we should be alone, but that our blessing should be in communion, that worship is the honour and adoration rendered to God in common, by virtue of that which He is, and which He is in behalf of those who render it.
But it is not to an abstract definition that I desire to confine myself; quite the contrary. But it is well to know what the subject is on which we speak.
No work of God towards man is worship. Nor is any testimony rendered as to Him and His grace worship. Preaching the gospel-testimony (of infinite value) to His grace has nought in common with worship. It may produce it, as being the means of communicating the knowledge of God in grace, which awakens the spirit of adoration in the heart; but no preaching (how blessed soever it may be) is worship rendered to God.
It is a testimony rendered on God's part to man. This does not derogate from the value of such preaching; without it no Christian worship could exist, for the gospel makes known the God who ought to be adored, and, acting by grace, leads the soul into the state in which it is able to render true homage to God, even that which is in spirit and in truth. But it is not, therefore, the less true that no sort of testimony addressed to man from God, is worship rendered to God by man. A sermon has nothing in common with worship. It may be the means of producing it. The ministry of the word is a distinctive characteristic of the Christian economy. The
The more one is in the spirit of worship, however, the better will one know how to render testimony-for it is clear that it is in intimacy of communion with God that one will know how to render testimony as to Him in love.