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When the Saviour ascended on high, he commanded his apostles to go and preach the gospel to all nations, that is, virtually to tender the rebellious a free pardon, and to invite them to return to their allegiance to the Supreme Ruler. The miraculous gifts conferred on them qualified them for the execution of their commission; for these gifts not only enabled them to proclaim the tidings of reconciliation to heathen tribes and nations, but served farther to attest the divine authority of their message, and to recommend it to the consideration and belief of those to whom it was proclaimed. The other influences of the Spirit, accompanying the word, were still more effective: for they aroused the stupid and the ignorant as well as the learned and refined, dispelled their prejudices, opened their understandings, and prevailed on them to admit the truth into their hearts, and to submit their stubborn wills to its humbling proposals and its holy requirements. "The enemies of the king were thus made to fall down before him," and to surrender themselves " a willing people in the day of his power;" and many a soul, in which the throne of the prince of darkness had been previously established, was transformed into a temple of the Spirit of God.

In various regions of the earth, which were once studded with the tokens of a horrid idolatry, may now be seen the symbols of the presence and knowledge of the true God. Edifices are erected, in which his praise is celebrated, his word proclaimed, and his ordinances are administered; and many of the inhabitants give evidence, by the sobriety, and righteousness, and godliness of their conduct, that the Spirit of Christ dwells in them as a source of truth, and purity, and joy.

There are still, it must be admitted, many regions in the world where its Maker is neither known nor

acknowledged; but it is not less certain that every country in earth shall yet become holy ground, hallowed by the knowledge, the worship, and the service, of the one living and true God. "For from the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same, my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the Lord of hosts."

In conclusion, my friends, let me ask you whether you have dedicated your hearts as temples to God? In the proper sense of the expression, God cannot be said to dwell among men merely because they have a speculative knowledge of him, and join with others in yielding him an outward reverence. Unless "Jesus Christ dwell in your hearts by faith," it is a matter of very inferior importance whether you present your prayers and your prostrations to a lifeless idol or to the living God. I ask you, then, Have you submitted sincerely to Jesus Christ, as a Saviour to deliver, and as a Prince to rule you? Have you chosen God for the portion of your souls? Does the current of your thoughts and emotions flow towards him as your supreme good? Could you say, in truth, "Whom have I in heaven but thee, and there is none on earth that I desire besides thee?" If you can, but only if you can, give a favourable answer to these questions, you are warranted to conclude that God dwells in you; that he is your God, and that you are his people. If this be the case, but only if this be the case, we invite you to his altar, that you may there renew your vows of submission, affiance, and obedience.




HEBREWS Vii. 25.-He ever liveth to make intercession for them.

IF, my friends, we had been in circumstances of imminent jeopardy; if we had been in danger of perishing by fire or flood; or if we had fallen into the hands of robbers, who, after taking our money, were about to take our life, and if some passing stranger, whose appearance betokened his superior rank, had generously interposed for our rescue; if he had saved our life at the hazard of his own, having been wounded in our defence; and if, after laying us under such obligations, he had hastily withdrawn,—would not we feel an intense desire to learn something more of his character and history? How anxious would we be to ascertain who and what he was, whence he had come, and whither he had gone, and whether he still regarded us with interest! How thankful would we be to those who should inform us of these particulars, who should show us how we might testify our gratitude to our generous benefactor!

The interposition of the Son of God for the salvation of our fallen and perishing species, though not perfectly parallel to the case supposed, resembles it in various important features. We were exposed to calamities inconceivably more dreadful than the loss of any temporal advantages, or of natural life; and, so far from having any claim on his kindness, we deserved his vengeance;

for we had taken up the position not only of strangers and aliens, but of enemies and rebels to him. In these circumstances, he graciously interposed on our behalf; and to effect our deliverance, he descended into our world and gave his life a ransom for ours, submitting not only to poverty, and reproach, and sorrow, but to the accursed and excruciating death of the cross. He thus displayed a kindness, transcending immeasurably any kindness that one human being can evince for another; and having "finished the work given him to do” on earth, he left the earth and returned to the Father.

Now, though the information furnished us respecting the Son of God refers chiefly to his merciful interference for our salvation, it cannot be alleged that we are left in utter ignorance of his personal character and of his history, prior and subsequent to his appearance on earth. But the information afforded on these latter topics is comparatively limited,-suited to our limited faculties, and restricted to our present exigencies; it is adapted to insure our edification and our comfort, not to gratify our curiosity. We know that "he was in the beginning, that he was with God, that he was God; that all things were made by him, that without him was not any thing made that was made." When, however, we recollect that his nature and his excellencies are infinite and incomprehensible; that the range of his government and his operations reach back through an incalculable series of ages, and forward to eternity: that it extends to every part of a universe, amid the immensity of which the earth dwindles into an atom, we feel that it is but a small portion of his character and works that is revealed to us; that what can be known of him, is little in comparison of what is unknown and unknowable. His visit, therefore, to our world, and his wondrous interposition in favour of our

guilty race, may not unaptly be compared to the conduct of the stranger who, at the risk of his own life, stops in his way to snatch us from the peril which would soon have overwhelmed us, and who then disappears.

And whither has withdrawn this divine and unrivalled benefactor, who descended from heaven and died. as our substitute? Where does he now reside? what are the employments in which he is occupied? and what are the sentiments with which he regards us? A late Socinian writer has the impious hardihood to assert, that "the scriptures have, left us totally in the dark with regard to the present condition, employments, and attributes of Christ." Blessed be God, we are not left in this perplexing and distressing ignorance. If the present employments of the Saviour had been utterly unconnected with our welfare, he was too honest, and his love for us too great, not "to have told us." We know, however, that "he has gone into heaven;" that our interests still lie near his heart; that "he appears in the presence of God for us," and "ever lives to make intercession" as our High Priest and Mediator. It must be acknowledged, at the same time, that, as compared with the information afforded respecting his conduct while on earth, the intimations of scripture respecting his present state and employments are few and obscure. But, considering the nature of the subject, the paucity of these intimations augments their value; and the circumstance that they are somewhat "hard to be understood," entitles them to our more careful study.

Among these intimations the text holds a conspicuous place; and, after the remarks already made, I need scarcely add, that the subject to which it directs our attention, namely, the intercession of Christ, is one neither unimportant nor inappropriate.

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