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V.“BELIEVED ON IN THE WORLD.” This isthestanding miracle of Christianity. Not the belief in Christ as an historical personage,—for that is irresistible; but the acceptance of Him as a personal Saviour. When we consider all which the religion of the Lord Jesus requires—the renunciation of sins so dear to us, the abnegation of self, the observance of a spiritual law, to the obedience of which every thought must be brought, resignation to calamity with cheerful acquiescence, and the endurance of suffering the most exquisite in preference to apostacy-we may well exclaim, " Who then can be saved”? Yet men are saved. The weak become strong, the timid, bold; the polluted are purified, the debased, ennobled, while the miserable rejoice with “joy unspeakable and full of glory.” Believed on in the world.” Not seen, not heard, not handled. Apprehended as a reality ; felt as a formative force ; recognised as a living presence; received into the heart “the hope of glory.” And all this in such a world as ours! In the midst of sufferings that wring the heart ; temptations that shake the soul ; where sight is at perpetual war with faith ; passion with reason, sin with conscience; satan with God. Yet here-in pining want, it may be ; on beds of anguish, it may be ; bereft of all that carnal men delight in, trust in, hope for, and live for ; there are believing, trustful, reconciled spirits, who find in Christ a well-spring of joy, an unshaken peace, a “hope that reaps not shame.” The love of the wonderful need not lead us to explore far off climes, or pore over legends of by-gone ages; the mystery of mysteries is at our doors. It is the faith which says, “I know that my Redeemer liveth.”

VI. “RECEIVED UP INTO GLORY.” This is the great consummation ; when Messiah “shall see of the travail of his soul and be satisfied.” This is “the joy which was set before him," and in view of which He “endured the cross, despising the shame.” A climax of mystery far beyond our ken: yet we may observe—(1) That it includes some sort of material glory. Our Lord has ascended to the right hand of Power in His glorified humanity; and humanity essentially includes the material. It is well to abstract, as much as possible, all terrestrial images from our idea of Heaven; especially to guard against the vulgar error of assuming the hieroglyphics of apocalyptic vision as descriptive ( kuriological) instead of emblematic. Yet none who have seen a summer sun-rise, or a winter star-light, can doubt that matter may become the vehicle of a glory not unbefitting the shrine of Deity. We believe that

“The sapphire throne, the living blaze,

Where angels tremble as they gaze," is something more than a thought ;—that it is an object cognizable to the exalted faculties of the beings who surround it. (2) In our Lord's exaltation there is resumption, as well as assumption. As man He entered heaven for the first time, but as God He returned to “where he was before.” “O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” Here is the resumption of that uncreated glory, which during His humiliation had been laid aside. (3) Yet there is now a moral glory additional to that of Primal Godhead. On his head were many crowns." There is the glory of the sufferer, who had endured and was “made perfect;" the glory of the Anointed, who had “finished the work given him to do;" the glory of the Victor, who had fought with evil and had vanquished it,"leading captivity captive;" the glory of the Redeemer, who had avenged the wrong of His kindred, and secured for ever their rights; and the glory of the Benefactor, who had sought, and found, and saved, a ruined race, whose everlasting felicity should be the celebration of His praise, and the fruition of His love. (4) Thus this glory is reflex. “ There was a rainbow round about the throne.” The Divine perfections are reflected back from countless myriads of renewed and glorified natures—"his name is in their foreheads." The Eternal Beam is reflected from thousand thousand mirrors. The Eternal Unity has multiplied

itself into an infinite diversity. The heavenly Bridegroom has received His mystic Bride, but who may describe " the marriage supper of the Lamb”? “Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness.”

E. J. J.

SUBJECT :—The Moral Significance of the Three Crosses.

“And there were also two other, malefactors, led with him to be put to death. And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation ? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in Paradise.”—Luke xxiii. 32, 33; and 39–43.

Analysis of Homily the Four Hundred and fourteenth.

What a scene is this ! Did the sun ever look down on such an astounding tragedy of crime before ? Here are three individuals, side by side, transfixed to a cross, and dying as condemned criminals the most inglorious and excruciating death, the most malignant spirits could devise. Their whole weight is suspended by rugged iron driven through the most exquisitely tender nerves of the system ; there, above the heads of a fiendly maddened crowd, they hang in agony to die.

We shall now proceed to notice some of the great truths which come boldly and impressively out in connexion with these three crosses.

I. THAT THERE IS A WIDE SCOPE OF FREE ACTION ALLOWED TO WICKED MEN IN THIS WORLD. The men of Judea were allowed from age to age to advance in depravity and crime,

until now you see them advanced to a point of enormity, beyond which it was impossible for them to advance farther. “By wicked hands" they crucified the Son of God himself. Many prophets and righteous men they had persecuted and martyred before ; but now, they laid violent hands

upon

the “Only begotten Son of God.” It does at first seem wonderful, that the Great God of holiness should allow sin to reach such an appalling height. We might have supposed, that the hand stretched forth to wound the Anointed, would have been paralyzed in the effort. But not so. These sinners were allowed to fill up the measure of their iniquity. This wonderful scope for free action, which Heaven allows a sinner here, serves two important purposes.

First : To show the enormity of the depravity which Christ has come to remove; and, Secondly: To show the high probability of a day of retribution.

Another truth which we discover in connexion with these three crosses is :

II. THAT THE GREATEST CRIMES ARE OFTEN PERPETRATED IN THE NAME OF RELIGION AND LAW. The men who crucified Christ pretended to be influenced by piety towards God and loyalty towards Cæsar. This crime received the sanction of the law and of religion. Never let us suppose that, because a thing is done legally, it is morally right. All the blood of the holy Martyrs was shed by the authority of law, and in the holy name of religion. God's nature is the foundation of right; God's will is the standard of right; God's Word and Works are the revelations of that will, and every man's moral reason is the interpreter. What is human law but the organized opinion of the community? And what is that community but the assemblage of corrupt individuals ? Let us not conclude that we are right because we are loyal to our Sovereign and obedient to the laws of our country. Heaven's commandment is exceedingly broad-- it goes beyond all.

Another truth which we discover in connexion with these three crosses is :

Vol. IX.

M

III. THAT HOWEVER ENORMOUS MAY BE THE CONDUCT OF MEN, IT IS OVERRULED FOR THE WORKING OUT OF THE DIVINE PLAN. These wicked men were now carrying out the plan of God in two respects. (1) In putting Christ to death. It was the divine plan that Christ should die by the hand of violence ;-it was ordained that “he should be taken from prison and from judgment,” and that he should be bruised and smitten. (2) It was also ordained that He should die in company with the transgressors. “He was to be numbered with the transgressors.” In this position we now find Him. It might have seemed to these wicked men an accident that, He should have to die, just at the time, and in the place, when two other malefactors were to be executed; but nevertheless, it was the fulfilment of the Divine plan. What is accident on earth is law in heaven. Thus God makes the wrath of man to praise Him. It is not a question with man as to whether he shall serve God or not-every man must serve Him; the question is, Shall he serve Him against his will, which is rebellion and Hell, or with his will, which is holiness and Heaven?

Another truth which we discover in connexion with these three crosses is :

IV. THAT GREAT DIVERSITY OF INNER CHARACTER, OFTEN EXISTS AMONGST MEN, WHERE THERE IS A WONDERFUL CORRESPONDENCE OF EXTERNAL CIRCUMSTANCES. Here are three men condemned as criminals by their country-side by side ; each nailed to the cross, and enduring, apparently, the same kind of physical torture. There is a great outward similarity ; they all appear to be dying the same kind of death. But how different are they in their souls! Each mind has a world of its own. He, who is in the midst, in being and character, stands at an infinite distance from the other two. He is the God-Man. Invisible worlds pause and wonder at His sufferings, the material universe vibrates with His groans. One of those on His side, is a stricken penitent, struggling his way up to a virtuous and a happy life in the future, and will soon be in the Paradise of the blest; the other, is a hardened

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