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The Lamb's Book of Life

The Lamb's Book of Life

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY REV. R. J. CAMPBELL, M.A,

" They which are written i7i the Lamb's book of life. ^^
—Rev. xxi. 27.
BY REV. R. J. CAMPBELL, M.A,

" They which are written i7i the Lamb's book of life. ^^
—Rev. xxi. 27.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Feb 08, 2014
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02/08/2014

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THE LAMB'S BOOK OF LIFE BY REV. R. J. CAMPBELL, M.A," They which are written i7i the Lamb's book of life. ^^  —Rev. xxi. 27. From our infancy we have all been accustomed to hear about the Lamb's Book of Life, but how many of us know where the idea came from, and exactly what it stands for? Is it not possible that some of us have an inadequate and even a per-verted notion as to the proper interpretation of the metaphor ? I feel that there is some danger of belittling a grand and inspiring subject by ignor-ing the original conditions out of w^hich it sprang. I am going to try this morning to show you as briefly as I can what those conditions were. Then let us see whether our use of this scriptural language is worthy of the theme. After that let us reapply its message to our own souls. Like many of the sweetest passages in the New Testament, the inspiration of this one is derived from the Old. References to the Book of Life are
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to be found in various parts of the Jewish scrip-tures, especially after the exile. Those who re-turned from the Babylonian captivity were enrolled by families in a great book kept for that purpose. The names in this roll were supposed to constitute 284 THE LAMB'S BOOK OF LIFE 285 the new Israel, the nation which was henceforth a reHgious community, a church and a kingdom in one. To this nation was committed the task of rebuilding the sacred city of Jerusalem, and re-instituting the ancient worship of God on Mount Zion. Babylon, with its heathenism and oppres-sion, had been left behind; the kingdom of liberty and holiness lay before. God had wrought a mighty deliverance for His people. In order to realise the  jubilation with which this event was hailed you must imagine yourself to be one of the long pro-cession of Jewish exiles making their way back
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across the Syrian desert to the little spot they called home. For many weary years they had been afflicted in the cruel city of the plains; they were now free to go back to the land of their fathers and their holy city, Jerusalem. " And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads : They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away." But, when they got home, these people were dis-gusted by the paganism and poor moral quality of their kinsmen whom they found already there. This was the reason why they were so particular about the book of names. They refused to wor-ship with or include in their fellowship those who had intermixed with foreign nations, and degraded the service of God by heathen rites. They there-fore became very strict about the qualifications for citizenship in the new Jerusalem which they had now to build. Only those whose names were on the roll as being qualified by character, training,
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