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holy--to pass from the well-occupied pulpit to paradise--is it not stepping from the mountain-top, radiant already with the glory of God, into the Tishbite's chariot of fire? It is exchanging the throne of a petty province for that of an empire! It is graduating from a lower heaven to a higher! I have heard of men expiring in the pulpit, and I have desired such an end for my own. One moment to be standing so near to God, and the next to awake in his presence
one moment to be delivering his message to men, and the next to receive his welcome to my mansion-one moment to be pointing poor sinners to “ the Lamb for sinners slain," and the next to grasp Him as my own eternal portion-one moment to be talking of the goldand-crystal city, and the thunder-chant of its teeming minstrelsy, and the next to enter the gates and join in the song—0, crucified Master! this were too much for such a sinful worm to hope for, but that nothing is too great for Thy infinite love to grant !
Finally, my brethren, remember that in serving your own generation you serve also the generations to come. The seed sown in the present will bloom and bear fruit in the future, and propagate itself in successive harvests forever. Your influence will outlive you ; your work will remain when you are gone ; and the good you shall have done will flourish over your tombs. David “ served his own generation by the will of God," in the character of a poet, as well as of a prophet and a king; and this day a thousand temples are ringing with the voice of his psalmody, and millions of worshippers are melting to the strain of his penitence, and soaring on the wings of his piety; and through the coming centuries, the saints shall still make these sacred compositions their songs in the house of their pilgrimage ; and “ the harp the monarch minstrel swept" shall still soothe the troubled soul, and heal the broken heart, and breathe its angel melodies over the bed of death, and around the tomb of the departed; and “ the sacramental host of God's elect” shall march to its music in the last great battle for the faith ; and its living numbers shall modulate the movement of the resurrection anthem!
Like David may you labor! With David may you rest !
THE DIVINITY OF THE CHURCH.*
BY C. B. PARSONS, D. D.
“And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her; and the highest himself shall establish her.”—Psalms, lxxxvii, 5.
The great and distinguishing event in the history of time, is doubtless the founding among men of the Church of God; the setting up in the world, in accordance with the prediction of the prophet, the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. “ And in the days of these kings, shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all other kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.”+ To this kingdom, whose identity is to be recognised in the Church of Christ — to its assurances, its purposes and its powers--the world is largely indebted for every excellence of enjoyment, both of present possession and of future hope. Like the material sun in the heavens, which lends from itself the beams of light that we see reflected from every lower and lesser orb, while in kingly radiance it presides over the whole, the Church is the centre power of a sublime moral system whose divine illumination is ultimately to fill the whole earth : “ For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.")I From this centre, which shows us God, proceed forth all those rays of moral and intellectual brilliancy, as well as spiritual effect, that are reflected upon the glassy surface of the sea of time, and are gathered into the many circling eddies of earthly worth. All these are obedient unto their parent cause, in whose divinity is the sovereign rule. For as “the head of every man is Christ,
and the head of Christ is God,"|| this also is of Christ and from God “ for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” This great and meri
* A Sermon preached at the dedication of the First Methodist Episcopal Church South at Saint Louis, December 31, 1854. + Daniel ii, 41. Habakuk ii, 14. || 1 Cor. xi, 3.
Jobo iii, 16.