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and let me exhort you to cherish an ardent desire to see the face of God in the solemn service before you. The glory of God appears in the face of Jesus Christ. The combined holiness and love of God are illustriously manifested in the person and work of the Saviour; and if you obtain such views of it, these divine attributes so overawe the soul with solemn veneration, or melt it into penitence and gratitude, that you may truly be said to see the face of God. The request of Moses ought, therefore, to be that of every intending communicant, "I beseech thee, shew me thy glory." Let this be your earnest prayer, and you shall not be disappointed. You will be able to say with Jacob, "How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven." With the same patriarch on another occasion, not less memorable, you will have reason to say, "This place shall be called Peniel, for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved:"-with David, "A day in thy courts is better than a thousand:"-and with Peter, "It is good for us to be here."

5. The imperfections of the present state should quicken your desires after the heavenly state.

"Here all our gifts imperfect are,
But better days draw nigh;

When perfect light shall pour its rays,
And all those shadows fly.

Now dark and dim, as through a glass,
Are God and truth beheld;

Then we shall see him face to face,
And God shall be unvailed."

Is it not lamentable that professing christians should be so engrossed with the objects of the present world? Even the best may say, "Our souls cleave to the dust." Let us think more frequently and more fixedly on

heaven. Let us "set our affections on things above, and not on things on the earth:" let us "seek the things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God:" and "let your conversation be in heaven, whence ye look for the Saviour." Habitually cherish the hope of seeing him as he is; and, "having this hope in you, purify yourselves, even as he is pure.”



MATTHEW Xxvii. 45.-Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.

THOSE objects which address themselves to the mind by the medium of our bodily senses, affect us far more powerfully than those which address themselves directly to the mind itself. Hence, we may remark, the wisdom of the Almighty in adjusting material and sensible things, so as to render them subservient to the purposes of religious instruction. As the common Author of man and of the external creation, he has admirably accommodated the one to the other, causing it to furnish him with the means not only of animal subsistence, but of mental gratification and improvement. To the eye of intelligence every scene of nature reflects as a mirror the image of the Creator; to the ear of piety every object echoes the sound of his voice; and the whole universe may be regarded as a system of symbols, shadowing forth the attributes of his character, and the principles of his government. "All his works praise him." "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth his handy work. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge."

Of all the plans and dispensations of the Most High, there is none so momentous and wonderful in

itself, none so interesting to us, as the redemption of the world by the death of Christ. If the objects of the material universe, which furnish so many indications of the character and government of the Deity, present no emblems or memorials of the stupendous scheme of redemption; if that subordination of matter to mind,— of inanimate things to religious uses,-elsewhere so conspicuous, seems to fail here, it is chiefly for this reason, that while the universe was constructed in adaptation to the primary state of man, the scheme of redemption presupposes a melancholy derangement of that state. It presupposes man to be in a lapsed and apostate condition; and thus, from its very nature, it could be known to us only by an extraordinary revelation from heaven.

It is not, however, strictly true, that the external creation exhibits no memorial to remind us of the scheme of salvation. In the appearances of ruin and disorder which deform the fair face of nature; in the unpropitious seasons which occasionally blast the hopes of the husbandman, and destroy the food of man and beast; in the devastation of the hurricane and the earthquake, we see frequent indications, not, indeed, of the recovery, but of the apostacy of man, of the consequent displeasure of his Maker, and of his need of a Mediator and Saviour. On particular occasions, the objects of the material world have been compelled to give a testimony still more distinct and impressive to the plan of redeeming mercy. Preternatural changes in the constitution and properties of these objects, have been employed as one of the principal means of arresting attention and impressing conviction, when messengers have been commissioned to publish the divine will. Lakes and rivers have been turned into blood, the fountain and the flood have been divided asunder, and

mighty rivers have been dried up to the ground; the flinty rock has been made a water spring; the boisterous winds and the agitated waves have been instantaneously calmed, and man has walked on the surface of the sea as on solid ground.

Of all the eras in the history of redemption, that day on which the Redeemer died is the most interesting and important. It concentrates in itself the interest connected with all the promises and predictions previously delivered from the beginning of the world, and with all the divine purposes formed from the unbeginning ages of eternity; and it concentrates in itself, too, the interest connected with all the consequences, both blissful and awful, which are to follow from the Saviour's atonement, onward through all subsequent ages, not only to the end of the world, but to the remotest point of an interminable duration.

Death is an event most momentous and interesting, but it is an event of frequent occurrence, and consequently the impression which it produces is seldom either deep or extensive. The immediate relatives and the intimate acquaintances of the person who is removed from the land of the living, may feel the emotions and wear the garb of sorrow for a brief period; but the great body of his fellow creatures regard his removal with utter indifference, and pursue their employments and pleasures as before.

If the death of an individual seldom produces a visible change in the condition and conduct of the living and intelligent inhabitants of the world, still less does it affect the objects of inanimate nature. "One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh; but the earth abideth for ever." Ever since the introduction of sin, death has swayed his terrific sceptre over the human race; myriads and millions.



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