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The Home-coming of the Wandering Jew

The Home-coming of the Wandering Jew

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Published by glennpease

" To the uttermost." — i THESS. ii. 16.
" To the uttermost." — HEB. vii. 25.

" To the uttermost." — i THESS. ii. 16.
" To the uttermost." — HEB. vii. 25.

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Published by: glennpease on Jul 23, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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BY ROBERT SCOTT" To the uttermost." — i THESS. ii. 16." To the uttermost." — HEB. vii. 25.THE phrases, in the Greek, are similar ; in theEnglish, identical : but what a world of contrast there is between their respective contexts ! The one, practically a sentence of nationaldeath, the other a promise of individual life.either let us forget that both the " Uttermost "of wrath, and the " Uttermost " of salvationbelong to the Jews. We are often content toremember that it is they to whom St. Paul referswhen he says that " wrath is come upon them tothe uttermost " : but how few of us habituallyrealize that in the words, " He is able to save themto the uttermost," the primary thought is of theJew also ? We do not forget that the dregs of the cup of bitterness have been drunk by God's1 Preached in St. Margaret's, Westminster, as theannual sermon of the London Jews' Society.THE HOME-COMIG OF THE JEW 33ancient folk, but do we always recollect that thebrimming chalice of life held by the Saviour'shands is meant also for that same people ? Andthe purpose of all missions to the Jews is, in brief,this — to alleviate the bitterness of the one cup,by holding forth the sweetness and love of theother, that where sin overflows grace may much
more overflow, and judgment may be followedby mercy. So our twin texts guide our thoughtsinto these two directions : The Fall of Israel ;its Causes, and its Consequences. The Recoveryof Israel ; God's Offer, and Man's Obligation.IThe Causes of Israel's Fall. — What was it thatfinally filled the cup of Jewish misdoing to thebrim ? ot only, I venture to think, the re jection of our Lord as the Messiah, deep as theguilt of so great a sin must have been. But St.Paul appears quite clearly here to indicate that itwas something further ; it was their anti-missionary spirit which finally filled that cup to overflowing. They had themselves refused to enternationally into the door of God's blessing, butwhen they stood across that door and would fainhave barred the way to all the heathen world whomGod was ushering into their place, then theverdict of their doom went forth in words almostP34 THE SUSHIE OF THE GOOD EWSidentical with those which had accompanied thefirst gift of the land of Israel. " The iniquityof the Amorite is not yet full," said the Lord toAbraham, and when that cup of misdoing wasfilled the conveyance was made. And nowanother cup of iniquity is brimming, " to fillup their sins always " — and the land of blessing passes away from the ancient people of God.And yet to us who look backward now itseems as though it might have been so easilyavoided by the people. Their Old Testament
prophets had spoken to them, again and again, inthe plainest terms of the world- wide evangelizationwhich it was to be their privilege as a nation tofulfil. Their land stands at the junction of thethree great continents of past history, and thehighway of the nations passed, so to speak,in front of their very door. Again and againthe world-powers had been brought face to facewith the faith which Israel professed. Each of the four nations of Daniel's vision came in turninto contact with the people of the livingGod. ebuchadnezzar saw the faith lived outin the life of Daniel. Cyrus met it in Zerubbabeland, if the old tale be true, in the writings of Isaiah that were read to him. Alexander cameface to face with Jaddua the Jewish high priest.Pilate had Christ Himself at his bar, and ero sawTHE HOME-COMIG OF THE JEW 35Paul the great Apostle of the Gentiles, and judged him. One would have deemed that thegreat plan of God might well have been graspedby the nation that met with opportunities suchas these. But the heart of the people neverwarmed to the ideal ; they never nerved themselves to all that it might mean. God's purposewas centrifugal ; Hebrew predilections werecentripetal. The Jew hated the outsider andthe outsider felt it. Tacitus speaks of the" sullen and inveterate hatred " of the Jew to hisfellow men. Diodorus in stronger terms says," the Jew, of all nations in the world, is impossibleas a friend." And yet scarcely less strong are thewords of Paul, the Hebrew of the Hebrews,when he says, that, " they please not God, andare contrary to all men." As Professor GeorgeAdam Smith has so finely said in his first volume

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