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runs the shadow. Thus if we would be happy, we must repeat in our own life the sacrifice of Christ; we must give up ourselves to the common cause of benevolence. Indeed, unless we thus sacrifice,—His sacrifice is worthless ; unless we give ourselves, His giving Himself is of no avail to us. He alone understands and appropriates the sacrifice of Christ who has thus sacrificed himself.
III. THAT THE VALUE OF
TO US, IS MEASURED BY THIS CHRIST-LIKE LOVE. “What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul ?” &c. There are three remarks suggested here :
First : The possession of the whole world would be useless without this. Avaricious men are constantly striving to gain as much of the world as possible ; but though a few sometimes gain much in comparison with what others have, the greatest possessor holds but a fraction of its vast treasures. But take the supposition ; invest a selfish man, or a man destitute of this Christ-like love with the whole world, is he happy? No, it has only increased his anxieties, augmented his responsibilities, pampered his appetites, carnalized his nature.
Secondly: Nothing in the universe would be of any real service without this. “What shall a man give in exchange for his soul ?”—His happiness? The whole universe of God is of no avail without it.
Thirdly: With it, you really gain the world, and secure the soul. With this love everything is valuable to man; and in a true and glorious sense, everything belongs to him. “The world is yours, all things are yours.”
IV. TAAT THE DAY OF JUDGMENT WILL MANIFEST THE IMPORTANCE OF POSSESSING THIS CHRIST-LIKE LOVE. the Son of Man shall come in his glory," &c. He will come in overwhelming glory, come to wind up the affairs of the globe, come to raise the dead, to judge the world, “ to render unto every man according to his works.” Now if you will refer to a representation of the Day of Judgment contained in the 25th chapter of Matthew, you will find that the everlasting destiny of all on that day will be determined by the possession or non-possession of this principle. “Inasmuch as ye did it to one of the least of these,” &c., or otherwise,
“No work shall find acceptance on that day,
When all disguises shall be swept away,
Mark then, brother, well the fact, that this Christ-like love is thy chief good. Without it, thou canst not “follow" Him one step, who is the only true guide of thy being ; without it, thy soul, thyself is lost,— lost to virtue, to usefulness, to true felicity and to God; without it, even the world itself, couldst thou possess it, would conduce nothing to thy real enjoyment; it would only be as music to the deaf, beauty to the blind, luxury and liberty to the paralytic; without it, the approaching day of judgment will be a terrible day for thee. Get then, into thy soul this principle; it is the life of Christ; it is the soul of goodness; it is the philosophy of the universe ; it is the inspiration of God. There abideth then these three :—the world, the soul, and Christ-like love ; but the greatest of these three is love. The world is nothing without the soul, and the soul is nothing without love. Fill thy soul with love, and thou wilt fill thy universe with all that is good and glorious.
“ The soul, whose sight all-quickening love renews,
Germs of Thought.
-Light arising in Darkness.
“When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me ; until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.”Psalm lxxiii. 16, 17.
Analysis of Homily the Four Hundred and Second.
ONE mystery of life is the prosperity of the wicked. Thoughtful individuals, in every age, have been greatly perplexed by it. Often has it led them to rash and wrong conclusions respecting the government of God. Asaph stumbled at this stumbling stone.
His “ feet were almost," &c. The character and circumstances of the men he beheld excited discontent in his heart, and nearly cast him down from his uprightness. They were proud.
« Pride compasseth them about as a chain.” It glittered upon them, and was seen in all their movements, like a golden chain on a magistrate, or a monarch. They were violent.
66 Violence covereth them as a garment.” It was manifest in their words, tempers, and actions, like a rustling robe on a person full of excitement. They were sensual. “ Their eyes stand out with fatness.” They indulged in gluttony and drunkenness, until their animalism was shown in excessive corpulence. They were depraved. “They are corrupt.” “The imaginations of their hearts were only evil, and that continually.” They were impious. “They speak wickedly concerning" &c. They spoke big swelling words of vanity; asserting their right to oppress the poor; and bold blasphemous words of infidelity ;-ascribing blindness to the All-seeing Eye. How strange that such individuals enjoyed prosperity! Yet so it
“Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the
world.” They were healthful. “Their strength is firm." Free from painful diseases, a rich glow was on their cheeks, and elastic energy was in their limbs. They were comfortable. “They are not in trouble as other men.” Exempt from disquietude and bereavement, they dwelt at ease, amidst earthly gratifications and blooming families. They were affluent. “They increase in riches.” Safe from pecuniary difficulties, they added house to house, field to field, and gold to gold. On seeing these things—observing how vice and wealth were linked together, Asaph spoke unadvisedly with his lips. “ Verily I have,” &c. Startled at charging God foolishly-at saying that God dealt unjustly with the righteous, and that godliness therefore was unprofitable, he paused to consider the logical consequence of the statement he had made. “If I say,” &c. By saying that the righteous serve God for nought, he would insult, and perhaps weaken, the faith of the sons of God in their Heavenly Father. Still, the fact that the wicked were prosperous was before his eyes; and when he endeavoured by patient study to ascertain the meaning of this mysterious arrangement, and its harmony with the perfections of God, he found the problem too difficult for him. “When I thought to know this," &c.
These words indicate :
I. THAT UNASSISTED HUMAN REASON CANNOT VINDICATE DIVINE PROVIDENCE. “When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me.”
First : Because we are prone to err. Our tendency to error is seen everywhere. It develops itself in the vain speculations of philosophy, the absurd dogmas of popery, the gross ideas of savagism, and the grotesque idols of the heathen. The light that is in us is often darkness ; and Oh, “ How great is that darkness." The reasons of this are obvious. (1) Our intellect is depraved. “Estranged from the womb," &c. (2) Our will is perverse. “God made man upright, but,” &c. (3) The devil deceives us. “Having the understanding darkened.” Through innate depravity and satanic influence we misunderstand the plainest truths of Christianity; no marvel, therefore, that we misinterpret the mysterious arrangements of Providence. Like wanderers in a fog, we follow meteoric lights, and go astray from the right path, instead of finding it. Bewildered by the deceitful thoughts of our own heart, and by the evil suggestions of Satan, we judge erroneously concerning the dealings of God with mankind, and feel utterly incompetent, without help from Heaven, to demonstrate the rectitude of divine sovereignty.
Secondly: Because we see only parts of the ways of God. Our sight is too dim and our life is too short to survey the entire scheme of Providence. We behold only a few of its wheels, and study their complex movements a very little while. In vain do we strain our mental sight, and employ our time in careful investigation; after all our efforts we perceive little, and we understand less, of the wondrous Plan that regulates human affairs. The causes of our imperfect knowledge are these. (1) The machinery is so vast. “ It is high as," &c. (2) The period of its revolution is so long. “One day is with the Lord as,” &c. “ The counsel of the Lord standeth for ever," &c. It is impossible, therefore, for us, untaught of the Lord, to comprehend His procedure towards individuals, families, and nations. What we witness is too fragmental and small to constitute a comprehensive whole, and enable us to form a correct judgment. If we saw only a little portion of a large machine we could not ascertain its wonderful operations. If we beheld only a few terrestrial objects, we could not know the state of our massive planet. If we looked at only a few brilliant stars, we could not understand the architecture of the marvellous heavens. These analogies illustrate our inability to justify the ways of God. Inasmuch as we observe only a limited number of events, we cannot judge aright respecting the multitude of events that show forth the glory of God, from the beginning to the end of the world.
Thirdly: Because Jehovah does not fully reveal himself. The condescension of God is very great. Jehovah condescends to