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The Gate to the Harvest-field.

The Gate to the Harvest-field.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY MARVIN R. VINCENT, D.D.,


PSALM CXXVI.

(i) When Jehovah brought back the returned of Zion,
We were like unto them that dream.

(2) Then was our mouth filled with laughter.
And our tongue with songs of joy.

(3) Then said they among the nations,

" Jehovah hath done great things for them."
BY MARVIN R. VINCENT, D.D.,


PSALM CXXVI.

(i) When Jehovah brought back the returned of Zion,
We were like unto them that dream.

(2) Then was our mouth filled with laughter.
And our tongue with songs of joy.

(3) Then said they among the nations,

" Jehovah hath done great things for them."

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jul 14, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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THE GATE TO THE HARVEST-FIELD. BY MARVI R. VICET, D.D., PSALM CXXVI. (i) When Jehovah brought back the returned of Zion, We were like unto them that dream. (2) Then was our mouth filled with laughter. And our tongue with songs of joy. (3) Then said they among the nations, " Jehovah hath done great things for them." (4) (Yea) Jehovah hath done great things for us ; (Therefore) were we glad. (5) Bring back, O Jehovah, our captives, As the streams in the South. (6) They that sow in tears Shall reap with songs of joy. (7) He may go weeping as he goeth, Bearing (his) store of seed ; (8) He shall come, he shall come with songs of joy, Bearing his sheaves. XVII. THE GATE TO THE HARVEST-FIELD. There were three things which greatly astonished the Jewish exiles on their return from Babylon. The first was
 
the capture of the city by the Medes and Persians. The popular feeling of amazement is reflected in the vision of Isaiah portrayed in the twenty-first chapter of his proph- ecy. From his watch-tower he beholds the vast city of Babylon by night, its lights gleaming, and the sound of mad revelry rising from its palaces. Then succeed the ap- parition of armed forms stealing through the streets, fol- lowed by the cry, "Babylon is fallen, and all the graven images of her gods He hath broken under the ground.*' Those who intelligently read this prophecy will see with what wonder the captives of Judah saw the great empire of the East give way before the comparatively unknown tribes of Persia. The second source of wonder was the escape of the re- turning exiles from the perils of the journey. This Psalm, let it be remembered, belongs to the time after the first band had returned from Babylon under the command of Zerubbabel. The journey from Babylon to Jerusalem was one which the best equipped host might not accomplish without some danger. " The prospect of crossing that vast desert which intervened between Chaldaea and Pal- 284 Gates into the Psalm Country. estine, was one which filled the minds of the exiles with all manner of terrors. It seemed like a second wandering in the desert of Sinai. It was a journey of nearly four months at the slow rate at which such caravans then trav- elled. Unlike the wilderness of Sinai, it was diversified by no towertng mountains, no delicious palm groves, no gushing springs. A hard gravel plain from the moment they left the banks of the Euphrates till they reached the northern extremity of Syria, with no solace except the oc- casional wells and walled stations ; or, if their passage was in the spring, the natural herbage and flowers which clothed the arid soil. Ferocious herds of Bedouin robbers then as now swept the whole tract."*
 
But again, in the vision of- Isaiah, we see revealed the wonder of God*s love and power in safely carrying His ran- somed ones through this dangerous journey. ay, more : the exiled band is not to return in straggling meanness as a troop of broken-spirited slaves. Their homeward march is to be rather that of a royal procession. They are the people of the King of kings. A voice as of a herald goes before them, ** Prepare ye the way of the Lord." Their way is His way : ** Make straight the paths in the desert, gather the stones out of the way.'* o fear of thirst, or of hunger, or of dropping down by the way through weariness. **He shall feed His flock like a shepherd. He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom. He will open rivers in high places and fountains in the midst of the valleys. He will make the wilderness a pool of water and the dry lands springs of water." o fear of * Stanley, Jewish Church. VoL iii. The Gate to the Harvest-Field, 285 the smiting sun in the shadeless gravel plain. He will "plant in the wilderness the cedar," He will "set in the desert the fir tree and the pine and the box tree together." o fear of the swoop of the fierce desert tribes. " The Lord God will come with a strong hand." The people is as grass that withereth before the breath of the Lord.* The third thing which amazed these exiles was, that they should have been permitted to return at all. How could they dream that Cyrus, the Persian, would acknowledge the God of their fathers ? Yea, that he should be called by Jehovah himself, His " shepherd," ' His " anointed ser- vant," His '* right hand," * and that his heart should turn with pity and favor towards those thousands of captive

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