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continent of light, or what not; we know that it is a region boundless in dimensions and unrivalled in attractive beauties. “What is your idea of heaven,” said Wilberforce to Hall ?“ My best conception of heaven is, that it is rest.” “And mine,” said Wilberforce," that it is love." In the achievements of the Redeemer, heaven was won as a great prize for man. (2) He reveals this world to man in connexion with angelic agency. “ Ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God;" &c. He commands cherubic armies and marshals them into action to trample down all obstacles in the way of believers, who are on the way to Zion. The Church of God is compassed about, and headed in her brilliant career, by the angelic universe. The Great Champion of our race, Christ, gives His angels charge over her. (3) This angelic agency is rendered through mediation. “Ye shall see .... the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.” We look upon the expression—“the Son of man,” as singularly emphatic. To take the broadest view of it, it comprehends His great work as Mediator. He is man's great surety and hope. His sacrifice is the ladder upon the stairs of which the mighty cherubim and seraphim descend from heaven to earth. The sacrifice of Calvary is the bridge that reaches from earth to heaven, and over it millions of seraphic spirits travel to our world.
III. THE PROGRESSIVENESS OF HIS CAUSE. “Hereafter," said Christ to Nathanael, “ye shall see greater things than these.” (1) Because time develops prophetic truth concerning Him. As time rolls on prophetic declarations are confirmed, and the evidences of Christ's Messiahship become more luminous and weighty. Let the prophets of our day teach His greatness instead of writing productions about it, and they will better fulfil their mission. Time will show the majesty of His kingdom, and cover with an unearthly splendor the great victories of His truth. (2) Because time affords opportunity to execute His mighty plan on which every victory is sketched. The same plan the ancient worthies worked at as that which the Church
of God is executing now. Through the telescope of prophecy they beheld chivalrous scenes, but we see what kings and prophets desired to behold, but who died without the sight. As we occasionally strike a conquering blow in the great cause of Emmanuel, its future glory is beheld towering above all earthly splendor; for the "secret of the Lord is with them that fear him.” We can see the Alps and Andes from every part of the vast continent, because of their altitudes; so also do we descry the peaks of Zion's glory from the great fields of the Redeemer's conquests, towering in sublimity above all. (3) Because it is future time that must and will unfold the results of His great undertaking. Hereafter," the greatness of His character will be seen in a ransomed universe. We now behold the Church most imperfect in point of numbers and moral glory. But the great plan which is being worked out spans all time and enters eternity, and the future of our race is to develop the majesty of that plan. Who can predict it? Who would think a simple acorn would produce a majestic oak? The Church is now small—but her ultimate dimensions and majesty will be the fullest exhibition of Almighty benevolence and power. Like a great globe of fire she will throw her splendors upon the very throne of the universe.
J. H. HILL.
SUBJECT:-The Faithful and Acceptable Saying. “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief."-1 Tim. i. 15.
Analysis of Homily the Four Hundred and Fifty-second. This is what would be called a hackneyed text; hundreds of sermons have been delivered on it, and yet it has an unexhausted meaning. Like the sun, though it has enlightened and cheered millions that are gone, it is fresh to us, and is as capable of blessing us as it was of blessing them.-I. HERE IS A WONDERFUL HISTORICAL FACT.
" Christ Jesus came into
should n pre-exist in this
the world,” &c. Two things are implied here. First : His pre-existence. He came : Whence ? Secondly: His choice. He came, He was not sent by force. These two circumstances mark off Christ's existence in this world from that of all mankind. We had no pre-existence; we had no choice as to whether we should be or not be, be here or elsewhere. -II. HERE IS A DIVINE MORAL PURPOSE. “To save sinners." Antecedently it might have been expected that any Divine message from Heaven would have been commissioned to destroy sinners. Sinners are lost. (1) Lost to true ideas of life-(2) Lost to right principles of action—(3) Lost to true sources of enjoyment. III. HERE IS AN EMPHATIC CARISTIAN TESTIMONY. Paul--and we may regard him here as the representative of all true Christians-declares this fact to be a “faithful one, and worthy of all acceptation.” First :
It is credible. An irresistible argument for its credibility may be based upon two things : (1) Upon its congruity with all inspired prophecy, human aspirations, and general history; and (2) Upon the restorative victories which in all subsequent ages it has incontrovertibly achieved. Secondly: It is acceptable. Worthy of an entire acceptation. , Why? (1) On account of its essential importance. There is no fact equal to it--all the physical, social, political, and moral facts in the history of this planet pale in the light of this. This fact exhibits most of the divine character, and renders the most service to the race. It is worthy therefore of all acceptance. IV. HERE IS A NOBLE SPECIMEN OF APOSTOLIC HUMILITY. “Of whom I am chief." Though in reality there might have been greater sinners than himself, yet he felt that he was the greatest. He tells us that he was a “blasphemer,” a “persecutor,” and “injurious.” Notwithstanding this he obtained mercy. Let none despair.
SUBJECT : Divine Revelation more Glorious in Christ than in
"But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away : How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious ? For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.” - 2 Cor. iii. 7-11.
Analysis of Homily the Four Hundred and fifty-third.
THERE are three facts which the contextstrikes on our attention.
First : The Infinite Father has made a special revelation of Himself to His human offspring. This is a fact answering to the a priori reasonings, and profound intuitions of humanity, attested by the internal characteristics of the document, the testimony of all history, and the wonderful influence which, through all ages, it has exerted upon the opinions and feeling, the doings and destiny of millions. Secondly: That this special revelation of Himself has mainly come through two great general sources : — Moses and Christ. We say mainly, not exclusively, for He made some small portions of His special revelation, prior to Moses, and subsequent to Christ. But these two geemed to be recognized as the two chief recipients, representatives and reflectors of this special revelation. Thirdly : That the special revelation of Himself, as it came through Christ, far transcends in glory the form it assumed as it came through Moses. The essence of the revelation is the same, but the forms differ, and the forms it assumes through Christ are the most “glorious."* This is the position which
* We very much question the propriety of representing the Old Testament as the law, and the New Testament as the gospel. The New is full of law, and the Old is full of gospel. The truth is, it is the one revelation in different stages of development.
the apostle maintains in the text, and which he evidently maintains, in order to indicate the superiority of the apostolic ministry to that of Moses and his followers.
Now we shall give our attention at present to the position itself, rather than to the particular purpose which the apostle maintains; and in dealing with this position there are two things to be observed :
1. THAT THIS SPECIAL
OF HIMSELF AS IT CAME THROUGH MOSES WAS GLORIOUS. This the apostle admits without a moment's question. “If the ministration of death engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses, for the glory of his countenance,” &c. There are at least four things which serve to impress us with “the glory" of divine revelation as it appears in connexion with Moses and his dispensation :-First: The wonderful display of divinity attending the expression of it on Mount Sinai. The apostle seems to have had an eye to this in his reference to the supernatural brightness that rested on “the face of Moses." Ex. xxxiv. 29–30. What wonderful things did Moses bear and see during the forty days he was up on that mountain, which burned with mysterious fires, echoed with unearthly thunders, and trembled at God's presence.
What overwhelming display of glory there must have been when the Lord came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them, when He shined forth from Mount Paran, and came with ten thousands of His saints, and when from His hand went a “fiery law.” Ex. xix. and xx. Heb. xii. 18-22. Another thing which serves to impress us with its glory is :Secondly: The magnificence of its religious scenes and celebrations. The Temple, how splendid in its architecture, materials, and furniture! The priesthood, how imposing in their costume and their services !—The psalmody, how sublime! &c. Glorious things are spoken of the city of the living God. Thirdly: The stupendous miracles that stand in connexion with it. The wilderness was the theatre of great wonders,