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men do not possess the Scriptures, they cannot know God as He has there revealed Himself. Yet, of such, those who in sincerity worship a Divine Being, according to their religion, are capable of receiving the influence of His Spirit upon their hearts. We speak at present of those within the pale of the Christian Church. One great end to be answered by the institution of a Church is that the knowledge and worship of the true God may be preserved in the world. By this means a communion between God and man, and between heaven and earth, is maintained. This was the end of the Jewish Church. But the New Testament dispensation brought a fuller revelation, a clearer light into the world respecting God and the worship He requires. The Jews had been instructed that there was one God, the Creator of heaven and earth ; and they were commanded to worship Him alone, as the Being who would not give His glory to another, neither His praise to graven images. To give them a sensible idea of the God they were required to worship, Jehovah appeared and spoke to them at sundry times in the form of an angel, that is, of a man. But when the New Testament dispensation commenced, God appeared in the world personally in Humanity; and in that Humanity He is to be worshipped as the God and Saviour of men.
The Incarnation was therefore the full and perfect manifestation of that God, who had revealed Himself to the patriarchs and Jewish people. Jesus Christ is to Christians what Jehovah was to the Jews; He is their God, their Creator and Redeemer, the Object of their worship. God in Christ is the God of Christianity. Whatever is predicated of Jehovah under the Old Testament dispensation-whether it be infinity or eternity, creation or redemption--is predicated of Jesus in the New. As such He is also set before us as the Object of faith and of worship: “Ye believe in God, believe also in Me." Jesus Christ is the Object of our faith and of our worship, and true faith procures for us whatsoever we ask.
True faith is grounded in love or charity. It is charity that believeth all things and hopeth all things; and unless our faith has in it the warmth and tenderness of charity it is not the faith that is allprevalent in prayer. Although the Lord has promised to grant whatsoever we ask, on the simple condition that we believe, yet He has shown that this faith includes several conditions. When teaching His disciples to pray, the Lord instructed them to say, “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors ;” at the same time assuring them, that if they forgave not men their trespasses, neither would their heavenly
Father forgive them. Now forgiveness is one of the most necessary and constant mercies which we can ask in prayer, and one of the greatest which God can grant. Yet forgiveness is promised only on the condition of our extending forgiveness to those of our fellowcreatures who are indebted to us. Besides extending forgiveness to those who have injured him, the Christian worshipper is required to render satisfaction, or make restitution, to those whom he has injured. He must be reconciled to his brother before he can be reconciled to God: “If thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.” From these declarations of the Lord it appears that we must both give and seek forgiveness from men before we can receive forgiveness from God. However much we may pray for pardon from God, and reconciliation with Him, even though we believe that He will grant them, it is evident that we shall pray in vain unless we first forgive. The faith that receives an answer to prayer must therefore be the faith of a penitent heart and of an obedient life. A faith that is not founded on repentance and amendment is not a spiritual faith, it is full of impurities, and is the offspring of presumption or enthusiasm.
But the faith that secures whatsoever is asked in prayer is not only grounded in charity, but is formed by truth. It is an enlightened faith. It gives the Christian a perception of what he should ask of the Lord in prayer.
The "whatsoever” we ask in prayer is limited to whatsoever comes within the compass of a faith which the Divine wisdom itself has formed in the mind. The Apostle James tells the early Christians that “they receive not because they ask amiss.” The Apostle John states the limitation of true prayer : “ This is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask any thing according to His will, he heareth us.” No one has therefore any reasonable ground to hope that his prayers will be heard unless his desires and his petitions are limited to things that are consistent with the Divine will. It is no doubt the Lord's will that our desires and our prayers should be chiefly for spiritual and eternal things. We should pray for, as we should seek, “first the kingdom of God and His righteousness,” knowing that if we acquire these, all other things will be added unto
Our petitions are not necessarily limited to spiritual things. Natural things and natural order are the bases of spiritual things and of spiritual order; and it must be lawful to pray, as it is to desire,
that these may be given and preserved by the Lord, as the Giver and Preserver of all good. It may perhaps be regarded as a general rule, that whatever it is lawful to desire it is lawful to pray for; and, on the other hand, that whatever it is unlawful to pray for, it is unlawful to desire. This does not imply that every minute thing which may be an object of our wishes is also to be made a subject of our petitions. It only sanctions the reasonable and Scriptural principle, that as we are indebted to the Divine Providence for temporal as well as spiritual blessings, and for the least as well as the greatest of our mercies, our dependence on that Providence may lawfully be expressed in our prayers as well as in our thanksgivings. In confession, it is not necessary that every particular sin should be acknowledged, but it is necessary that particular sins should be known by previous self-examination. In like manner it is not requisite to enumerate every particular want in prayer, though it is essential to have a knowledge of our particular wants before we pray, and to include them in our general petitions; in order that, to us, the Lord may be all in all. Our
prayers should be addressed to the Lord in the spirit of entire dependence on His Providence for every good, temporal and eternal, and in the faith that He is able and willing to do more for us than we can either think or ask. If we thus pray we shall experience the truth of the Divine promise, that whatever we ask in prayer believing we shall certainly receive.
FROM BEYROUT TO BETHLEHEM:
BEING REMINISCENCES OF A RECENT JOURNEY THROUGH THE HOLY LAND.
By C. COLLINGWOOD, M.A., etc.
HOWEVER much various authorities may differ as to the topographical relations of the ruins found in the sacred enclosure of the Haram, or as to the position of the ancient Temple, so utterly destroyed as to leave doubts as to its site, there can be no question that this area contains the ground most revered in Jerusalem from the earliest times with which we have any acquaintance. With regard to the rock of the Sakrah, its very existence in its rugged condition (although some chisel-marks have been detected upon it) shows that it has been long venerated ;
and those who chiefly maintain that it is really the threshing-floor of Ornan, suggest that the theory is strengthened rather than otherwise by the existence of caverns beneath it. Dean Stanley points out that
Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites” (Judges vi. 11). A cave also exists at the base of the Samaritan altar in Mount Gerizim, and in 1 Chron. xxi. 20, we read that Oman and his four sons hid themselves when they saw the angel. “Now Ornan was threshing wheat.” Such a cave may have been for concealing or storing the wheat; and such a cave certainly exists under the rock of the Sakrah, and is much venerated by the Mussulmans. They have a firmly believed legend, that when Mahomet ascended to heaven, he sprang from this rock, and that the rock attempted to follow him, but was arrested by an angel ; and they say it is now suspended between heaven and earth, and has no support beneath. They jealously, however, exclude any attempts to explore the place; but under the rock one may gaze upon the mouth of the black pit, which they say is the mouth of Gehenna. When, however, the valuable explorations and excavations of portions of the Holy City were made by Captain Warren, the “Noble Sanctuary” was expressly excepted from the firman which gave him authority to undertake them, and for the present many things must be left undecided in relation to this interesting spot.
Having well examined the ancient rock, and the beautiful mosque enclosing it, we descended to what may have been the foundations of the ancient Temple, which have been partially excavated, and extend away southwards as far as the Mosque El Aksa. Here we were shown some interesting points of topography arising out of the surveys and explorations of the “Palestine Exploration Fund;” and passing through subterranean galleries, we reached a vast arched hall, which bears the name of Solomon's Stables. Although we read in 2 Chron. ix. 25, that “Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen," it would be hard to say that this was the veritable chamber in which certain of them were bestowed; but if it were so, it would only enhance one's idea of the greatness and prosperity of this magnificent king, who “made silver in Jerusalem as stones, and cedar-trees made he as the sycomore-trees that are in the low plains in abundance.” Of the Jerusalem of his day we cannot form
any conception from the ruined and squalid tenth-rate town it has now become. Certain iron rings let into the columns of this great hall seemed to indicate its purpose, and encourage the idea alluded to above.
Underground Jerusalem is a study of itself, and it is of two categories—first, the vast subterranean caves and buildings, such as that I have just alluded to; and second, the buried remains of past ages, which have been partially brought to light by Captain Warren's shafts and excavations, and which may be read of in his "Recovery of Jerusalem” (1872), or "Our Work in Palestine,” issued by the Committee in 1873. We examined on another occasion some of the lower foundations of the Temple area, laid bare from without by Captain Warren's excavations, in which were visible very ancient substructures believed to be as old as the time of Solomon; the massive size of whose hewn stones, and their peculiar workmanship, were extremely characteristic and interesting. One of the most remarkable of these objects pointed out was the spring of a wide arch, known as Robinson's Arch, in the south-west corner of the area wall, which is all that remains of a noble viaduct which once joined the Temple with the towers of David, and formed a grand connection between Mount Moriah and Mount Zion across the Tryopcum valley, and often mentioned by Josephus. We also visited a great subterranean excavation, which extends far beneath the city, and is entered from outside the walls, bearing the name of the “Quarries of Solomon,” because it has been believed that from hence he derived the material which was used for the building of the Temple. For this purpose we were of course provided with candles, by the aid of which we could see evidences of the stone having been at some period artificially worked. These quarries extend for 200 yards in a south-easterly direction, and are 100 yards wide.
Before quitting, however, this brief allusion to the stones of Jerusalem, I must allude to that exposed portion of the Temple wall called the Jews' wailing-place. Here are seen five courses of well-preserved stones, having the characteristic marginal draft, or Jewish bevel. Here it is that, on Fridays, the Jews betake themselves to lament over the departed greatness of the desecrated Temple. Old and young, on arriving at this spot, kiss the walls, and opening their books, while they sway to and fro in their grief, with tears streaming from their eyes, they read aloud passages from the seventy-ninth Psalm : “O God, the heathen are come into Thine inheritance; Thy holy templo have they defiled; they have laid Jerusalem in heaps. . . . Their blood have they shed like water round about Jerusalem ; and there was none to bury them. ... How long, Lord ? wilt Thou be angry for ever ? shall Thy jealousy burn like fire ?" Or from the Lamentations of Jeremiah : “How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people ! how is she