Look on Zion, the city of our solemnities: your eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down…
To our Zion, to the Church of Christ, are promised explicitly such gifts as those of the text — unity, truth, success. Of which of them, it may be asked, can we make our boast?
I. THE UNITY OF THE CHURCH WAS TO BE ONE CHIEF NOTE OF ITS DIVINE ORIGIN. What is our state? Visible unity seems to be no more a mark of the Church of Christ. Of those whose faces are all turned one way, to the place where Jesus the crucified sits on the right hand of God, the east and west have been rent asunder, so that none can re-knit the torn garment of the Lord. And west and east are again divided, each within itself; and we, that are but a section of the Western Church, are torn and torn again. God's promise cannot have been in vain. Man must have hindered it; God hath not forgotten it.
II. But if unity has been lost, TRUTH HAS BEEN PRESERVED TO US. And this is our consolation. If the Church be not the great ocean — vast, bright, fresh, a counterpart of the blue heaven above it — still she is like the hundred lakes that nestle among the sheltering hills; they know not each other, but every one of them reflects, and truly, the firmament above. So far as salvation by Christ is brought home to men by the teaching of the churches, so long there is an underlying bond of agreement which outward misunderstanding cannot cancel.
III. Humiliating to us are those PROMISES OF GREAT SUCCESS which are a part of our charter. The power of the truth we teach, the presence of the Holy Ghost, to turn the outward word into an inward life, seem to assure us of great success in gathering in souls to Christ. There is much love amongst us, even with our strife; there is a warm and growing zeal in works of good. Without the presence of the Spirit these things could not be.
Parallel VersesKJV: Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities: thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down; not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken.
WEB: Look at Zion, the city of our appointed festivals. Your eyes will see Jerusalem, a quiet habitation, a tent that won't be removed. Its stakes will never be plucked up, nor will any of its cords be broken.