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the right hand signifies power or omnipotence ; so by Jesus sitting at God's right hand, is signified the most intimate and interior union, a union as to essence and life, between the humanity and divinity of the Lord after glorification.
It is worthy of remark, that Stephen, when he looked up into heaven, which was opened to him while the Jews were stoning him, saw Jesus standing on the right hand of the glory of God, an appearance undoubtedly accommodated to his state and circumstances.
The angels in the Lord's sepulchre being first described as standing, representatively describes the perception, in the understanding, of those things or principles which the angels signified ; and then being next spoken of sitting, describes the perception of them in the will; or to express it otherwise, while the angelic principles of the Word are in the understanding, they may be said to stand, but when they are in the will, they may be said to sit : the will is their resting place, the house in which they dwell ; yet they must be perceived in the understanding before they can dwell in the will.
But why were the angels seen by the female disciples only ? and the linen clothes by the male disciples only? and why were the angels, as described in the last gospel, seen by Mary Magdalene alone ?
These questions cannot be satisfactorily answered, without knowing the distinct signification of male and female, as they occur in the Word, and that of Mary Magdalene, as distinguished from the other female followers of the Lord.
By the constitution of their minds, men are more distinguished for depth of thought than tenderness of feeling-women more for tenderness of feeling than depth of thought ; in men, therefore, the understanding is more active than the will-in women, the will is more active than the understanding. As in Scripture, virtues, and the faculties recipient of them, are represented by those who are more distinguished for them ; so men have always reference to the understanding and its thoughts, and women to the will and its affections.
When this distinction is understood in respect to the male and female disciples of our Lord, we possess a key to the meaning of the questions under consideration, with many other particulars related of the disciples in this and other parts of the gospel history.
The angels and the linen clothes seen in the sepulchre, may be considered, in respect to each other, as principles proper to the will are to those proper to the understanding. The principles of the will, compared with those of the understanding, are as things living compared with things without life. Clothes, or garments, when mentioned in Scripture, invariably signify what is proper to the understanding ; for the affections of the will clothe themselves with the thoughts of the understanding, as a man clothes himself with a garment. Hence the Lord himself is so frequently described as to his garments, which denote the truths that proceed from him, specifically those of a kind respectively external, which serve to veil his glory, and to present it under an appearance suited to the minds of his creatures. Similar is the signification of the linen clothes which he left in the sepulchre.
The reason, then, why the angels were seen by the female disciples only, is, because the angels represented those heavenly principles of the Word, which address themselves immediately to the will and affections, and through them to the understanding, and the women represented those affections of the will. And the reason why, on the other hand, the linen clothes were seen by the male disciples only, is because the linen clothes represented the principal truths of the Word, which are proper to the understanding, to which the men corresponded.
The women who went to the sepulchre, represented the several affections of the regenerate mind by which man is led to seek and receive divine instruction, and to acquire newness of life; but of these the highest and purest is denoted by Mary Magdalene; she denotes the affection of pure love to the Lord himself. This is the reason why she alone saw the angels sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. The head and the feet signify the highest and lowest, or the inmost and outermost; and the Lord is the essential divine truththe resurrection and the life. To see the divine truth,-the resurrection and the life, both in relation to the Lord and to ourselves, from its highest to its lowest, or in a word, in its heights and depths, is the privilege of those only who have obtained that plenary purification, which is beautifully represented in the case of Mary, by the Lord having cast out of her seven devils. Holy and blessed is such a state; much is it to be desired ; and most worthy of being cultivated.
Similar to this is the reason why Peter and John only saw the linen clothes. Peter represented faith, and John, charity; and faith and charity together give the intellect a clear and distinct perception of divine truth. The napkin that had been about the Lord's head denotes the divine truth in highest or inmost principles; the other liven, that which is more external; and like the angels at the head and feet, they denote that which witnesseth of the Lord, as the First and the Last-the Beginning and the Ending; He who liveth and was dead, and is alive for evermore, who hath the keys of death and of hell; and who will give to every one that follows him in the regeneration, a crown of everlasting life.
How wide and important a field of contemplation does this divine subject open to our minds! It is one, besides, in which we are individually concerned. The Lord has indeed risen again upon a benighted world, and the morning of a bright and blessed day has dawned upon mankind; but few there are who seem disposed to turn towards the sun of righteousness, though he has appeared with “ healing in his wings.” But it is our privilege to have seen him in his rising; yet, unless he rise in our hearts and understandings, it will avail us nothing. And considering that the whole process of the Lord's glorification is the pattern of our regeneration ; thus, then, as the apostle says, we must suffer with him, die with him, be buried with him, rise with him, and walk with him in newness of life, before we can enter into his glory. Let us rise " while it is yet dark,” and bend the footsteps of our best affections to the Holy Sepulchre, that we may: hear the voice of heavenly truth and consolation proclaim, The Lord is risen as he said.
ADMONITION FOR THE YOUNG,
ON ENTERING ON A NEW YEAR.
(Preached, Jan. 7, 1838.)
BY THE REV. S. NOBLE.
Lamentations iii. 27. " It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth." Tae commencement of a new year is an occurrence, which, to every rightly constituted mind, cannot but give rise to serious and profitable contemplations. Such, indeed, ought to be the thoughts and contemplations of all on the occasion : since, whatever the state of any one may be, the reflection that a new year has only commenced, because the past year is ended and gone by for ever,that, wbatever our present time of life, it is certain that we are now a year nearer to the end of it,-is calculated, at such a season, powerfully to strike upon the mind, and to excite to the inquiry, as to what are our prospects of a happy new year, not merely in that year of three hundred and sixty-five natural days now commencing, but in that everlasting year, the year of eternity, the commencement of which is now one natural year the nearer with Ds all.
Solemn and obvious as this consideration is, the commencement of a new year in time, is, as by a natural instinct, universally regarded as a season of festivity. All rejoice on the commencement of a new year, as if all saw in it an addition to their happitess, or the surmounting of an obstacle between them and felicity. In early youth, this, doubtless, is perfectly natural. Though it is commonly assumed, by older moralists, as a certain truth, that the happiest period of human life is the age of childhood, yet children themselves, when old enough to think at all, are apt to be not much more satisfied with their condition than older persons. They look forward with earnest desire to the period when they shall be men and women, and exult in the expiration of every year that passes over their heads, because they are brought so far hearer to the object of their wishes. And they who have passed that period, may, and would, were they advancing in right order, that is, were they making the right use of time as it flies,-also rejoice every new year they enter on, delighted with the thought, that they are so much the nearer to the final state for which they are designed by creation. That, and far more than that, which the becoming a man is to the child, the becoming an angel ought to be to the man; and whoever is steadily pursuing a course of training for heaven, may well exult in the completion of every succeeding annual interval of time, because it has brought him, with certainty, so much the nearer to his desired haven. None, likewise, find adult age so happy, when it comes, as it appeared to them when at a distance. Many, indeed, then madly rush into the headlong pursuit of what is called pleasure ; but all, in the end, experience its emptiness ; and they who pursue it with the most unbounded eagerness, only reap a more bitter harvest of disappointment and misery. Depressing cares, agitating trials, heart-rending sorrows, are sure, more or less, to be the lot of all in their passage through life: well, then, may he who is truly on his pilgrimage through this troublous world to a world of solid peace and substantial enjoyment, exult in the arrival of every new year; as the weary traveller hails with joy every fresh mile-stone he passes on his way. The thought of both is, “ Another stage of the toilsome journey is got through : the wished-for place of rest is drawing nigh.' And to him who is looking to heaven as his place of rest, and has good ground for trusting that he is approaching it, the reflection is delightful indeed.
To those, then, who are advancing in a course of right order, and feel humbly conscious that they are fulfilling the design of their Creator in calling them into being, the arrival of every new year may well be an occasion of pleasure. And, in one point of view, it may be no less so to those who are not altogether confident that they are proceeding in the right course; and even to those who are fully conscious that they have wandered far out of the way. Reflection on the time that is past, when it has been time misspent, can never, indeed, be unattended with anguishing feelings : but where the heart has not become utterly hardened, and such feelings are experienced on reflecting on time misspent, there will also be a sense of joy and gratitude from the more pleasing reflec. tion, that time for repentance and amendment is still graciously afforded,—that we are spared to see another year,-that our day of probation is still mercifully prolonged; thus, that opportunity still is given us to listen effectually to the Divine Voice, which calls