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and all the sins that they committed shall have been punished by the sword; and they shall be a restored nation prepared to meet a returned Saviour, and the word of the Lord shall go forth from Jerusalem, and the law of God from Mount Zion. The 26th chap. of the prophet Isaiah gives this view to us of the nation that is to bring forth the fruits thereof. In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah: we have a strong city, salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks. Open ye the gates that the righteous nation that keepeth the truth may enter in."
Here is the righteous nation that keepeth the truth, or (as the margin reads it) the truth, that is, the faithfulness. They shall enter into a rebuilt Jerusalem, a returned nation, and that a righteous nation: they shall enter in, and they shall be indeed a nation bringing forth the fruits of righteousness to the praise and glory of God. Of that nation we read in the 31st chap. of the prophecies of Jeremiah, in the 33rd and 34th verse, · But this shall be the 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."
Christ at the very moment that he was speaking words of judgment, was including in those words promises of mercy. While he
was telling these Christ-rejecting Scribes and Pharisees that the Kingdom of God should be taken from them, he was teaching those who were instructed in the divine word that there should be a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof, and that nation those very people whom he then addressed. They were to know the Lord from the least of them unto the greatest, and the very warning which he gives, taken out of the 118th Psalm includes the same thing: Did ye never read in the scriptures, the stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing and it is marvellous in our eyes.” Now as this scripture includes the builders' rejection of Christ, it also includes the Saviour's acceptance of the people. We read there in the 19th verse, Open to me the gates of righteousness : I will go into them and I will praise the Lord : this gate of the Lord into which the righteous shall enter. I will praise thee : for thou hast heard me, and art become my salvation. The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. This is the Lord's doing it is marvellous in our eyes. This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Save now, I beseech thee, O Lord : O Lord, I beseech thee, send now prosperity. Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord : we have blessed you out of the house of the Lord.” The cry is written there already, recorded by inspiration, for that people. The words are put into their lips, and Christ reminds them of those words, “ye shall not see me till ye shall say,
Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” The children had heard these words, Save now I beseech thee for the word Hosanna is the Syriac form of th Hebrew words, “save now I beseech thee” hosnia-na hosannah, was merely, now I beseech thee. The time had not come for Jerusalem to hear these child
ren's words, but they will do so, and the nation will say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. Of this people we find again in the 5th chap. of Micah, the blessed prediction, that they shall indeed bring forth the fruits of righteousness, “ And the remnant of Jacob shall be in in the midst of many people as a dew from the Lord, as the showers upon the grass, that tarrieth not for man, nor waiteth for the sons of men.
Such is the parable given to us by our blessed Saviour, telling us of future mercies, warning us of present responsibility, in which he says, “ whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken : but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.” So shall it be when the pleading Saviour shall become the awful judge, and those lips that now plead in mercy for us with the Father shall then say-Depart ye cursed into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.
Oh brethren! let it be indeed our Prayer that we may hear the word of God's prophet, the voice of God's word, that we may search and examine our hearts, putting away from us all sin, all unholiness, and take to ourselves the Saviour and his grace, the Saviour who is pleading for the supply of our need, the Saviour who is offered for the sanctification of our souls, the Saviour and his present all-conquering grace to enable us to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world, and looking for. ward to that blessed day, the second appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.
THE MYSTERIES OF THE KINGDOM,
THE WEDDING GARMENT.
St. MATTHEW, chap. xxii., 12th v.—“How comest thou in hither not having a wedding garment ?"
Our title to Heaven should never be confounded with our fitness for Heaven ; our title to Heaven is alone the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ, faith in his cross, or rather, faith in him that died on the cross is that which gives us our only title to Heaven, an inalienable title to all its blessedness, while the qualifying power of his spirit, making us meet for Heaven, is that which gives us fitness for the inheritance of the saints in light These two things are too often confounded; they can never be really, finally, separated, but they should be most clearly distinguished. Every one that seeth the Son and believeth on him hath everlasting life ; his title to Heaven is as secure as the cross of Christ was accept able to God the Father, and every one that seeth the Son and believeth on him, receives the qualifying power of that atoning spirit which makes him meet for all the blessedness that is treasured up for the redeemed in glory in our Lord Jesus Christ. Many passages of scripture are dealing exclusively