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III. TAE IMPORTANCE OF ATTENDING TO HEART CULTURE. It is of vital importance to have the heart made and kept right with God. How is this to be secured ?
First : It can be attained only through Christ. The heart will never be right with God till it is made so through the redemptive work of Christ. It is by the love of God seen in the gift of His Son ;-in His cross and passion, in His mediation and intercession, our hearts are reconciled to God. “In this was manifest the love of God," &c. 1 John iv. 9, 10. “We love him because he first loved us.” Right-heartedness is the product of divine love. We must seek it at the foot of the cross; it is there it has ever been found :-in vain it is sought for without faith in the Son of God.
Secondly : It requires the operation of the Holy Spirit. To obtain such views of “the truth as it is in Jesus," and such affinity for it, as shall issue in the rectification of the heart God-ward, there must be the co-operation of the Spirit. It is His beneficent work to show us the things of Christ, to shed abroad the love of Christ in our hearts, to “take the stony heart out of our flesh and give us a heart of flesh."
Without the interposition of the Spirit the intellect will remain dark, and the heart cold and dead.
Thirdly: It demands the most strenuous efforts. The most strenuous efforts, on the part of man, are required to become and continue right-hearted. This is not to be expected while there is neglect of the prescribed means. But it will be secured by their diligent and persevering use. As well expect health without attention to the physical laws—or its restoration when lost without a return to them as right-heartedness without heart culture. Work out your own salvation,” &c. “Keep thine heart with all diligence.”
Learn—(1) To value men as God values them. consider the question, Is thy heart right with God? (3) To give greater attention to the culture of the heart.
S. A. BROWNING.
SCBJECT :-The Grave of Jesus.
" And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.”—Matt. xxvii. 59, 60.
“ Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden ; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid.” -John xix. 41.
Analysis of Homily the Four Hundred and fiftieth.
The text teaches :
I. THAT JESUS WAS BURIED. When earthly conquerors die, their bodies lie in state, surrounded by all that made their life glorious. But there never was a conqueror like Jesus. None whose victories were so great, or trophies so numerous. His dead form as it lay in state, waiting the time of reanimation, might have been surrounded by sun, moon, and stars, with their teeming populations ; the dark cloud and the forked lightning might have been there ; angels from heaven and demons from hell might have been kneeling at his side ; and sin, decease, and death, chained down at his feet; for he was “ King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.” But it was not so. Jesus was buried ! Yet his burial was neither a part of the atonement, nor necessary to its completion. This was the result of his death, and not of his burial. But he was buried,-(1) To remove from the minds of his people all fear of the grave, and reconcile them to“ the house appointed for all living." (2) To show that the salvation he secured includes the resurrection of the body, as well as the immortal happiness of the soul.
II. THE GRAVE OF JESUS WAS IN A GARDEN. John mentions this as a fact worthy of special notice. Unless “ the garden" was suggestive of a train of thought in his pious mind, there was no need for mentioning it. The other evangelists had recorded the facts of the burial without mentioning this : but the “garden” had its lessons for John, and may it not have its lessons for us? John may have seen the garden on a summer day, when it was clothed in beauty and loaded with fragrance. Cold winter followed that summer day, and with its icy hand touched the flowers and their beauties vanished_like the shadow, when the sun is gone—and life was succeeded by desolation and death. Another change comes now, however, over the face of nature, and objects move to life again. The power which effects this change in the garden can effect one also in the grave. That heart, so still, may yet move. Those pale cheeks, may again be colored with the bloom of life. “The Holy One will not be suffered to see corruption.”
III. THE GRAVE OF JESUS WAS A BORROWED GRAVE. “ The world was his ;” and yet “ he had not where to lay his head ” while living, nor a resting place, he could call his own, when dead. This may have been intended to show:(1) That a man's body is of but little value compared with the soul; and (2) That true happiness depends not on our condition in life or the place of our burial. Our very name may be forgotten, and we may be buried in a pauper's grave. No tablet of marble or monument of bronze may be erected to perpetuate our memories, or mark the resting place of our mouldering dust,—we may not have even a grave to call our own; yet, combined with such secular poverty may be found the highest moral worth. Jesus, the greatest and the best of beings never owned an inch of land, or even a place of burial.
IV. THE GRAVE OF JESUS WAS A NEW GRAVE. Peculiar emphasis is laid on this by all the Evangelists. Matthew says, it was a new grave, and John adds that no man was ever laid in it. It had not been used as a temporary resi. dence for the dead. Such stress would not have been laid on this fact, unless the idea was of some importance. But, why a new grave? Jesus was “to lay down his life and to take it up again.” He said he had power to do it. This
he has now to prove.
He was not to be raised from the tomb, but to rise. His resurrection was to be his own act; and thus, he was expected to prove himself the conqueror and death the conquered. In 2 Kings xiii. 21, we read of a dead man being buried in an old grave, and as soon as the dead body touched the bones of the buried prophet, it was again restored to life. The dead was raised but not by its own act, but by contact with the buried servant of God. It was still the age of miracles. The Jews were accustomed to such supernatural displays of power. Had the body of Jesus been buried in an old grave, his resurrection might have been attributed by the Jews, not to his own power over life and death, but to the influence of a buried saint. To prove, therefore beyond the possibility of a doubt that he had power to lay down his life and take it up again," and that he was therefore “the Son of God,” as well as the Son of man,” it was necessary that the grave should be new.
V. THE GRAVE OF JESUS WAS IN
The earth, being soft, might have been easily penetrated, and the disciples, in the night, might have made a passage to the grave and taken way the body of Jesus. But the rock was im. penetrable. The blasting of the rock would have taken a long time and called the guards and others to the spot. Beside, the loose earth, might have been a post-adamite formation. It might have been deposited in a valley by the deluge, or some other flood, and afterwards elevated by internal forces. The loose earth might have contained the dust of Abel, Noah, Job, or some others as eminent as these, whose
names, and place of burial are not found in the records of history. Contact with the dust of sainted patriarchs, in this age of miracles, might have raised the dead, as well as the bones of the prophet. In this case, it would not have been certain, whether Jesus rose from among the dead or was raised by another's power.
But the rock was an old formation. As it was, in the time of the burial, it must have been thousands, if not millions of years before the creation
of man. The remains of none were found in the rock ; and Jesus rose, according to his word, because " he had the keys of death and of hell in his hands."
Evan LEWIS, B.A., F.R.G.S., F.E.S., &c.
SUBJECT :-The Glory of the Mediator.
“ Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou ? thou shalt see greater things than these. And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man." -John i. 50, 51.
Analysis of Homily the Four Hundred and Fifty-first. The object of this sketch, is just this—To indicate by the help of the text, the glory of Jesus Christ.
I. TAE OMNISCIENCE OF HIS INTELLECT. He was not present in body with Nathanael, and yet He saw him under the fig tree, and heard the conversation of Philip with this guileless Israelite. He read Nathanael's heart. He threw His flaming glance right into the hidden chambers of his soul, and accurately surveyed every part. It is the sublime prerogative of God alone to search the heart; for “he knoweth what is in man.”
II. THE WONDERFULNESS OF HIS DISCLOSURES. “Hereafter,” “thou shalt see greater things than these” ...... “ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.” The Son of God has opened the great world of God's glory to man. This victory over the spirits, treasures, and beauteous scenes, of the mighty shades, is the highest manifestation of His greatness. (1) He reveals the heavenly world to man. “Ye shall see heaven open," &c. Humanity has access to this mighty world of “congregated glories," by Jesus Christ. We care not whether heaven be a