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HOPE OF RESTORATION.

HOPE OF RESTORATION.

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Published by glennpease

St. John, xv. 1, 2.

"I am the Vine, My Father is the Husbandman.
Every branch in Me that beareth not fruit He taketh
away : and every branch that beareth fruit, He purgelh
it, that it may bring forth more fruit"

St. John, xv. 1, 2.

"I am the Vine, My Father is the Husbandman.
Every branch in Me that beareth not fruit He taketh
away : and every branch that beareth fruit, He purgelh
it, that it may bring forth more fruit"

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Published by: glennpease on Jan 19, 2013
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HOPE OF RESTORATION.EDITED BY THE REV. HENRY NEWLAND,St. John, xv. 1, 2."I am the Vine, My Father is the Husbandman.Every branch in Me that beareth not fruit He takethaway : and every branch that beareth fruit, He purgelhit, that it may bring forth more fruit"THIS text, applied as it generally is, to everyChristian individually, gives us the reasonwhy God s faithful servants meet, as we seethey do meet, with what the world calls misfortunes. These, our Lord would lead us tounderstand, are not always trials; they arevery often more like the severe pruning whichthe vine, beyond all plants that are knownand cultivated, is constantly requiring, in orderto bring it to perfection. Not only thosebranches which are hopelessly bad must beremoved, but those also in which the Husbandman sees some hopes of fruitfulness He mustpurge, that they may bear more fruit. Butthis, which is true of individuals, is no lesstrue of the Churches to which they belong ;indeed there are passages in Scripture which96374 HOPE OF RESTORATION.make it even more applicable to this case thanto the other. In all probability it was to theChurch that our Lord was alluding at the timewhen He spoke this parable, for He spoke itstanding under the sculptured foliage of thevine that decorated Solomon s porch. Nowthat decoration was placed there in illustrationof the 80th Psalm, which Psalm was written asa prophecy or history of the Church of Israel.But the Church of Israel itself, was only atype of the Church of Christ, and our Lorddraws the attention of His disciples to thisfact. " I am the true Vine," He says ; " I andMy Church are the true Antitypes, of whichthis vine which you see here is the type, andthe 80th Psalm the prophecy ; that which hasbeen shadowed in the type shall be confirmedin the Antitype. If, in the old times, the Husbandman cut off the ten branches that boreno fruit, and pruned and cleansed the othertwo, in which there still remained some promise, so it shall be now. He says, My Vine is
 
again brought forth out of that great type of the world, Egypt : " Out of Egypt have Icalled My Son;" it shall again have manybranches, it shall again take root and fill theland, the hills shall again be covered with theshadow of it ; it shall again stretch forth itsbranches unto the sea, and its boughs untothe river; the whole prophecy of the 80thHOPE OF RESTORATION. 375Psalm shall be fulfilled. But then comes inthe warning of the parable the principle of God s dispensation is not altered, He may notagain break down the hedge thereof, or sufferthe wild boar out of the forest to root it up," but every branch in Christ that beareth notfruit, every Church that will not fulfil itsmission, shall be removed; and not only that,but every branch that does bear fruit, everyChurch that does continue in the Apostlesdoctrine and fellowship, God will purge. Hewill afflict it, not in anger but in mercy, thatit may bring forth more fruit. We know thatChrist s Church will continue on earth till Hissecond coining, just as its type, the Churchof Israel, was to continue upon earth till theHis first coming. This the Lord has revealed ;but as for the separate branches of it, thenational Churches, we have no promise of continuance for them : the Vine may live, thoughits branches be cut away. Many of these havebeen removed already, and many that havenot been removed have been purged, and allshall be removed or purged according to theamount of their backslidings.To keep this continually before our eyesduring that part of the year in which our mission as Churchmen is set before us, is theobject of the Proper Lessons of the Seasons.We are quite at liberty to apply these lessons376 HOPE OF KESTOKATION.to ouVselves as individuals, inasmuch as theKingdom of Heaven is within us ; but \ve mustbear in mind that their primary application wasto a nation, a Church ; that we, as a nation anda Church, have the Lord s work to do; thatif we do it carelessly or imperfectly, Hepurgeth us; if we do it not, He cuts us off,and casts us from Him.
 
In the last division of our Proper Lessons,the specimen which was presented to us wasthat of a branch which, had been cut off.The gradual decay of the Ten Tribes hadbeen precisely like that which takes place in asevered branch. At first it seemed to possessvitality; at first it seemed that no injury hadtaken place, all looked fair and flourishing;there appeared, indeed, some farther evidencesof growth, just as we see the process of vegetation going on in a severed branch from thesap which it had received before the severing ;but already the drying up had commenced,the common life had been cut off, the schismwas irreparable, the result of it was merely aquestion of time, and when in the end Israelwas led into hopeless captivity, it was becausethe founder of its schism, Jeroboam the sonof Nebat, had made it to sin.And now the Proper Lessons take up thehistory of Judah, and show us in a type theprocess of purging a true but unfaithful Church.HOPE OF RESTORATION. 377Judah had offended even as Israel had of fended, but Judah was not as yet cut off, andthe principle of vitality was not as yet extinct.The Husbandman, by severe discipline, wasto bring it forth, and the prophecies of Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel, give us the detailsof the operation.The first two lessons of the series, those of the Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity, describeto us the state of wickedness into which Judahhad fallen after the dispersion of Israel astate, to all appearance, quite as hopeless asthat of Israel itself. " I said (unto Israel) aftershe had done these things, Return unto Me,and she returned not ; and her treacheroussister, Judah, saw it. And I saw, when forall the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and givenher a bill of divorce, yet her treacherous sister,Judah, feared not, but went and played theharlot also."Both chapters describe a state of moraldegradation, -the first in the nation at large,the second in their rulers. " Run ye toand fro in the streets -of Jerusalem, and seenow, and know and seek in the broad placesthereof, if ye can find a man, if there be any,that executeth judgment, that seeketh the

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