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hope once more shone upon your soul. Jesus, too, sought sympathy, &c.
The actions and the words of Jesus, on this occasion, show that :
II. LIKE US, HE
TO HIS GRIEF,
6. He took with him only three of them says the Evangelist, “ He began to be sorrowful and very heavy." He was sad when He spoke to Judas and foretold His own death, in the upper room ; but so great was the change that now took place in His manner and appearance, that the historian thought fit to use the word “He began”;-natoas if all His other sorrows, however great, were not worthy of the name compared with this. The same word is used by Peter, who was an eye-witness to the scene, in Mark xiv. 33. The sudden change in the conduct of the Saviour made such a deep impression on the minds of the three disciples present, that they often talked about it afterwards, and made it known to the other disciples, and to Matthew among the rest, and Matthew, in recording the fact, makes use of the
word—“He began"-which Peter used afterwards, though he deviated from him in some measure in the other part of the narrative.
When all the disciples were present, Jesus concealed the deep feelings of His heart, and tried to cheer them ; but when surrounded by only three, He began to give expression to His grief. The heart
feel in the crowd and find neither ease nor comfort. But in the crowd we seldom give utterance to our emotions. There is a sacredness about the deepest feelings of the soul that we expose them not to vulgar gaze.
In solitude, or surrounded by a loving friend or two, we give expression to our sorrow, and solitude often brings relief.
The actions and the words of Jesus, on this occasion, show that:
FRIENDS TO KEEP AWAKE.
III. LIKE US, IN TROUBLE AND DARKNESS,
HE WISHED HIS
“Watch with me” or “ keep awake.” --γρηγορείτε. . But why keep awake? Have you never been laid upon the bed of affliction ? the pain was so great that you could not sleep, the taper burned dimly, and the hours slowly rolled away. No one, but God, could help you; yet you did not like the thought of being alone, without any earthly friend. Have you not seen a time when the presence of a dog, or even an insect, was esteemed a blessing? There must be evidence of life-your friend must keep awake to give you comfort by his presence.
Call this weakfolly, or what you please. It is human. Was not this the reason why Jesus was so anxious that the three disciples should keep awake?
The actions and the words of Jesus, on this occasion, show
IV. LIKE US, HE DREADED CALUMNY MORE THAN DEATH. “Let this cup pass by,” &c. What was that cup? It was not death, for He came into the world to die, “ The just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God.” From death He never shrank. It was the form of death He dreaded. To die upon the cross was to die as a criminal, and to be regarded as a criminal by the spectators and the world. Nothing is so hard for an honest man to bear as to be branded as a thief; for a philanthropist, as to be hung as a murderer, or for one who loves the truth as to be burnt as a heretic. Compared with this to die upon the battle-field, or beneath the cruel stroke of an assassin were nothing. Yet to even this, Jesus was resigned—“ Thy will be done.” This was courage superhuman, and worthy of Himself. This proved that while He was human, He was yet Divine-one with man and one with God—the Father of all being, and yet Our BROTHER,~the farthest from us yet the nearest to us.
Evan LEWIS, B.A., F.R.G.S., F.E.S., &c. SUBJECT :--The Erection of Churches. *
“And they builded, and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel."-Ezra vi, 14.
Analysis of Homily the Four Hundred and Sebenty-third.
NEVER, in any period of the world's history, were men so active in building what they, at any rate, profess to be temples for God, as at the present; and there is no book that throws more light upon the obligation of this work, the difficulties that attend it, and the spirit that should ever inspire it, than that of Ezra. (Read the book, and collect the salient lessons.) Our remarks at present shall be of a general and practical character.
FELT CONNEXION WITH THE
I. IN BUILDING A CHRISTIAN TEMPLE WE EXPRESS
All the buildings of this stupendous London may be regarded as the expression of some sentiment, instinct, or wish of human nature. Markets, Senate houses, Theatres, Hotels, have all risen as the effects, embodiments, and realizations, of some principle in our common nature. But these are all for our material wants and interests—they have an exclusive relation to us as tenants of the earth, Temples spring from other feelings, and are designed to meet other aspirations, and promote other interests. In building a house for God, we declare that we have other relations than those that connect us with this material system, other wants than those of the body, other interests than the secular and the physical. We thus attest our connexion with the spiritual universe, our relation to eternity, our moral obligation to the Infinite, our desire of communion with the Eternal Father of Spirits. The cry of our nature here is not, “ What shall we eat, or what shall we drink, and wherewithal shall we be clothed ?”
* The substance of this Homily was delivered at the laying of the foundation stone of a new place of worship at Notting Hill, London.
but “Oh, that we knew where we might find him!” “Show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.” “Bow thine heavens, and come down.”
“One thing have I desired of the Lord, and that will I seek after.” We show by this act that we have religious natures; natures made to search after, to love, and to serve, the one true and living God.
II. IN BUILDING A CHRISTIAN TEMPLE, WE EXPRESS THE IDEA THAT WE REQUIRE SPECIAL MANIFESTATIONS OF GOD. In the magnificent temple of nature, the brightness of His glory shines through all, and the music of His voice is heard through all ;—“Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge.” God is portrayed in every object, and proclaimed in every sound. But we feel that some other manifestation is required. In nature we can only see Him as the Almighty Creator and Absolute Sovereign ; we want Him to appear in another relationship, one more suited to our fallen condition; we want Him to appear to us a redeeming God—one mighty to save; we want Him to appear to us as he did to Moses—“ The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth; keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.” Had we not sinned, we should need no such manifestations of God as we seek in the erection of temples. The temple of nature would suffice. There is no temple in heaven; God is seen in all, loved in all, worshipped in all.
III. IN BUILDING A CHRISTIAN TEMPLE WE FAITH IN THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST. We attest our faith in it:--First: As a revelation from God, intended and adapted to meet the condition of sinners. We declare that the saying is worthy of all acceptation," that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” We declare that “the gospel is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth." We attest our faith in it :—Secondly: As necessary to all men, through all times. We feel that whilst coming generations may not require our systems of philosophy, our ecclesiastical polities, our schemes of government, our codes of law, they will require the gospel ;—and hence we rear a temple for its proclamation.
IV. IN BUILDING A CARISTIAN TEMPLE WE EXPRESS OUR
We are not building merely for ourselves, but for others; not even for our contemporaries, but for posterity. Unborn generations will probably worship on this site. A more philanthropic act than this we could not perform. Some eighteen centuries ago there lived in the neighbourhood of Capernaum a certain influential Roman officer, who had a servant, to whom he was greatly attached, in dying circumstances. Having heard of the wonderful cures effected by Jesus of Nazareth, who had now entered the district, the master despatched certain elders of the Jews to Him, in order to entreat Him on behalf of his afflicted servant. The argument which these men employed with the Son of God, was the fact that he loved the Jewish nation, and proved his love towards it by "building a synagogue.” The fact that Jesus did not dispute this argument, but, on the contrary, acceded to the request, and commended the faith of the centurion, authorizes the inference that public places for religious instruction and devotion are national blessings.
We are far enough from saying that all places of worship bearing the Christian name are national blessings. The miserable perversions of scripture statement, the revolting dogmas, the absurd ceremonies, and the narrow and sectarian spirit, that mark the history of some of those so-called temples, render them anything but national blessings. But a Christian temple true to its mission is the greatest blessing to society. There the most soul-elevating ideas are proclaimed. And what so mighty as ideas ? To use the language which we have elsewhere employed, we say,—That of all the forces to which men are subject, none are so important as ideas. Impressions move the senses, ideas the soul. As thinking men we can never over