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The Establishment of Zlon

The Establishment of Zlon

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Published by glennpease


" And the Highest himself shall establish her." — PsALM, Ixxxvii. 4.


" And the Highest himself shall establish her." — PsALM, Ixxxvii. 4.

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Published by: glennpease on May 04, 2013
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THE ESTABLISHMET OF ZlOREV. J. BURET" And the Highest himself shall establish her." — PsALM, Ixxxvii. 4.Throughout the Book of Psalms, \re find Zion and its surrounding cir-cumstances, constantly introduced to our notice in the inspired prayers, theinspired praises, .ind the inspired meditations of the Psalmist. But perhapson no occasion is Zion more strikingly brought before us, than on the occasionreferred to in the passage whicli I have just read. It is exhibited as having itsfoundation among the holy mountains: it is held up as the subject of many acelebrated prophecy ; " glorious things" are said to bespoken concerning it:it is held up as " established,"' as in the expression before us, by God himself:and it is, finally, considered as the great end of every benefit, and of every blessing.ow, if we find Zion thus strongly introduced, we naturally ask upon Avhatgrounds Zion becomes a subject of such importance, and why it furnishes somany, and such striking illustrations? Zion was at first a fortress belonging tothe Jcbusites ; and after the settlement of the people of Israel in tlie land of Canaan, it still continued to be held by that division of the ancient nations.From the time of Joshua, to the reign of David, it still continued a strong holdof the enemy, on the confines of the territories of Benjamin and Judah. It wasbesieged by David, and after a strong resistance, was at last by stratagemcarried. Recommending itself to the adoption of the Psalmist, and approvedof God, as the spot which should henceforM'ard form the grand centre of hisworship, it became the place where David erected the tabernacle, that hadpreviously been fixed in Sliiloh, that had previously to that been moved fromplace to place, until this permanent residence was chosen. From that momentthe glory of God that shone about the cherubim, took up its residence in Zion :and hence the difl'erent allusions to that particular spot, in connexion Mith theillustrations afforded of the character of the Church of God ; and hence theappropriate, and by the Jews, Mell-understood epithet, so often applied to thatChurch under the term " Zion," by the Psalmist.It was looking at Zion in this view of its then circumstances, that inducedthe Psalmist to inscribe this descrijition of its beauty and excellence in thepassage before us; and it was in connexion m ith Zion's spiritual glorj', of which Zion of old was a type, that the Spirit of inspiration directed theinscription. Uniting, therefore, the view which struck the Psalmist himself"with the intention of the Spirit of God in directing his contemplations — thestability and glory of Zion — we have before us the meaning of the Psalmist's• For the London Jlissionary Society.
. . THE EST.VULISHMET OF ZIO. 265expression, " The Highest himself shall establish her." The Psalmist may besupposed to have taken a dis'ant view of the mountains of Zion, (for theywere a cluster of mountains:) he may be supposed to have considered thevalleys that surrounded them, and added to their strength: he may have felt hi'-heart burn within him, Mhen he reflected that on the top of that elevationdwelt the God of all the earth, the Protector of the people, the shield of theenergies of Isrjiel : he maybe considered as comparing this view of the childrenof Israel of old, in this, the spot where the God they worshipped visiblymanifested his presence, with the idolatrous nations around them : and then,though he might have mentioned, as he tell us, of the glory of Rahab, andTyre, and Philistia, and Babylon, among his acquaintance, and those heknew ; and although he might speak of the men born in tliem, as possessing acertain species of honour by their citizenship ; yet still he would regard Zionas rising in splendour, and in importance, and in purity, and in privilege, andstability, above them all, and thus would be led to pronounce concerning her,*' The Highest himself shall establish her."Taking this view, then, of the feelings of the Psalmist, when he recorded theexpression before us, we may apply them as they were obviously designed bythe Spirit of Truth to be applied, to the circumstances of the Church in thefuture ages of the world, and consider them in connexion with the object forwhich we have now come together; and regarding Zion as typical of theChurch of God, (and without these typical allusions, the passage before us is onlyan extravagant description,) we may inquire, first, what we are to under-stand BY that Church, avhich the Highest himself shall establish.A Church, like every other community, consists, in the first instance, of individuals stated to form a part of a general membership, of which it i.sfinally, in its perfectly organized condition, to consist. If we were to assembleall the grandeur and glory of the universe ; if we were to collect the courageof all the mighty of the earth ; if we were to accumulate the wealth of kingdomsand of commonwealths ; if we were to bring the intellectual and mental poweroi the philosophers of every name, of every school, and of every country ; if we were to unite with tliis mighty and imposing group every thing that wecould find connected with tlie progress of pure morality, so far as humanitycan purify morals ; if we could invest this imposing body with all the attributesof unity, of which they could possibly, in such a state, be made capable ; if we could rule them by the wisest species of lawswliich their combined wisdomcould invent; yet still there Mould be found a lack of tiiat community, of thatspirit that is absolutely essential to the constitution of a Church ; and we shouldconsider every effort on their part, at forming a special community, whollvvain. We should look at the light of the Word of Truth, as an attempt to
show how far all these elements, however excellent, considered apart, werecalculated to repel one another, and increase the general confusion. Theremust be a community of character, there must be a oneness of spirit, theremust be a community of view, of fellowship, and of feeling, before we can,under any circumstances, contemplate even the materials, out of which a Churchmust necessarily spring. We must, therefore, regard the elements out of whichthe Church is to be formed, that God is to establish, before we can vicAv theseelements in their combined operation, towards the final glory implied in Zion'sestablishment.266 THE ESTABLISHMET OP ZIOV.We may consider an individual, in the first instance, as a single stone, deadin trespasses and sins, but capable of a spiritual quickening by the great powerof God, before he can be added to that temple which God is to establish as hisown Zion on the holy mountains. We must regard his understanding asilluminated ; we must follow up that illumination in its power on his moralfaculties ; we must see it diffusing its light, and beginning to engender itsenergy ; and we must see that energy growing up by the power of constraininglove ; and we must find the man's attachments begin to quicken to the spiritualthings from which he was originally alienated ; and then we must find thesoul exhibiting the first symptoms of vitality before we can consider it ashaving so changed its nature, as to make it fitted to the spiritual edifice whichthe Highest himself is about to establish. To establish a temple of dead stones,unfitted for such a building — to establish a temple unfitted to sustain theworship and the adoration of the God who is intended to dwell in it, wouldbe to establish an empty form, an unmeaning show, and, in the end, wouldexhibit nothing of the " manifold wisdom of God," M'hich even the angelslearned by the Church.If, therefore, we regard the very first materials, out of which the Churchof God is to be formed, previously to its establishment as living stones,then no one is within the limits of this sacred territory upon which Zionis founded, and which forms a part of Zion's temple, unless he has beenmade the subject of this enlightening, this quickening, this new-creatingpower, of which we have been speaking. Each individual connected withthe temple of the living God, should himself be living ; each individual,forming a part of this great edifice, must sympathize in spirit and feelingwith the whole : and unless this vitality is found within, no fashioning with-out, no operation of man's hand, either upon the chief corner stone, orupon the foundation stones — no squaring of human systems, or fashioning of human schools — no diffusion of human knowledge, or imparting of humanenergy, can, in a single instance, much less in the many that must constitutethe spiritual members of the Redeemer's body, create one specimen of that life,and power, and godliness, in which Zion is to be built up, and by which the

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