Reading: “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.”—Psalm 137:5–6
Did ever the church of Christ lie in more desolate circumstances than now? Amidst a great profession of zeal for religion, how little possession of the divine life is to be met with among men! And who is there that seriously lays it to heart? For whom does a throne of grace witness, that they are holy mourners for Zion, and are earnestly wrestling, night and day, that the Lord would visit Zion, and make his glory to appear? Where is the minister of the Lord, that is weeping between the porch and the altar, and saying, “Spare thy people, O Lord! and give not thine heritage to reproach?” (Joel 2:17).
And where are the people that seriously lay it to heart? What do you say, Christian, of these things? Do you really love Jesus? Surely then, you cannot be indifferent to His interests? Is not Zion the purchase of his blood? Are not her walls, in all her ruined state, constantly before him? Yea, is not her name engraved on the palms of His hands? And shall her name be on Jesus’ hand, and no concern for Zion in thy heart? And is not his jealousy for his church the sole cause? And if the nations of the earth are under the frowns of God, can you rejoice in anything but the prosperity of the church?
Oh for a portion of that holy zeal with which the Lord inspired the prophet, when he cried out, “Oh! that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!” Oh, Lord! give my soul a more earnest concern for the prosperity of thy Zion! Oh for grace to enter, through the blood of Jesus, and to plead with him, as the patriarch did, with an importunity not to be resisted, that he would turn the captivity of his people.