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SERMON VI.

St. Luke xxiv. 30, 31.

AND IT CAME TO PASS, AS HE SAT AT MEAT WITH THEM, HE TOOK BREAD AND BLESSED IT, AND BRAKE, AND GAVE IT TO THEM. AND THEIR EYES WERE OPENED, AND THEY KNEW HIM; AND HE VANISHED OUT OF THEIR SIGHT.”

The journey of the two disciples to Emmaus, has ever been considered one of the most pleasing and interesting incidents in the Gospel History. The simple beauty of the narrative, the feelings and discourses of the disciples, the manner in which our Lord joined them on the way, guided their conversation, and finally revealed himself to them, with the wonderful effect produced on their hearts by his language, all contribute to place

his singular occurrence in a distinguished rank, among the facts which St. Luke alone has recorded for our edification, and for which every sincere and pious Christian must feel

such cordial gratitude to this inspired Evangelist.

Let not this precious portion of the Sacred History be lost on us, my brethren, but let us implore the Divine Spirit to bring it home to our affections, that our hearts may also burn within us when we hear (or read) the gospel of our Saviour, and join in his holy ordi

nances.

We learn that, on the day in which our blessed Lord rose from the dead, two of his disciples were travelling to Emmaus, a village a few miles distant from Jerusalem; “and they talked together of all these things which had happened.” One of the disciples was named Cleopas, and the early tradition of the Church maintains, that the other was no less than the Evangelist himself; an idea which derives no small support from the many minute and exquisite touches in the description, which seem to indicate that the historian was himself an eye witness of what he relates, But what was the subject of their conversation? The most important that had ever yet engaged the thoughts or reflections of mankind! The cruel sufferings and death of him whose heavenly life and doctrine, and gracious miracles, had raised their hopes so high, only, as it appeared, to plunge them into deeper despondency at his sad and unexpected end. They had been expressing, most probably their mutual surprise, that hè, who could open the eyes of the blind, and bring the dead to life, could not enlighten the minds of his judges, or soften the hearts of his persecutors ; that he who could calm the raging sea, and expel devils out of the bodies of their unhappy victims, could not tame the ferocity of the infatuated populace, who cried “crucify him, crucify him;"—that he who could have summoned legions of angels to defend him, should have permitted a few persons with sticks and staves to lead him away captive, and deliver him into the hands of his enemies. To form any adequate idea of the state of mind in which the two disciples found themselves on this memorable journey, we must conceive ourselves in their situation, and we shall then, and then only, rightly understand it. They had numberless proofs of Christ's extraordinary power over the order and course of nature-they had heard him speak, as never man spake before, with a simple force and majesty of language, wholly unknown to the scribes and usual teachers of the law they had often witnessed the meekness and tenderness of his manner toward his disciples, and at the same time exulted, perhaps, in that singular assertion of his real dignity, which struck such awe into the buyers and sellers in the temple, and made them fly before him. With such strong impressions on their minds, they trusted, that it was he who should redeem Israel. They doubted not that he was the promised Messiah; they had, therefore, a firm faith in him—why then were they desponding? Because that faith, however strong, was partial. It embraced but part of the Redeemer's character. It admitted his miraculous powers,

and supernatural wisdom and knowledge, but overlooked his mysterious priesthood, his grand mediatorial office, as the Saviour of sinners. It was here their faith was deficient. They gladly received Christ as the great and powerful Prophet, who was to restore his people to freedom, and the Divine favour; but they neither recollected the spiritual nature of that freedom, nor examined the conditions of that mercy which was now revealed to mankind. Viewing the character of their Lord and Master in this partial light, it is no wonder that they were surprised and dismayed, when they beheld him a captive, dragged before a Heathen tribunal, insulted and reviled, accused of treason and impiety, and yet dumb before his accusers, regardless of self-vindication, and then con

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