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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.”
WAS A BORROWED GRAVE.
III. THE 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. 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 residence 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. Το 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 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 away the body of Jesus. But the rock was im. penetrable. The blasting of the rock would have taken & long time and called the guards and others to the spot. Be. side, the loose earth, might have been a post-adamite formation. It might have been deposited in a valley by the deluge, or some other food, 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
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. after,” “ 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
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
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,
... 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.
6 Ye shall see ....
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
« Christ Jesus came into
IS A WONDERFUL HISTORICAL FACT.