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condition to consider, and doubt I never shall: my infirmities do so multiply and increase with my age, that my comfort is, that my life cannot last long. But while Tam on this side the grave, I shall always remain,
· E. Duresne." The learned Mr. Holloway of Middleton-Stoney, held a long correspondence with Bishop Chandler on the subject of the primævity and pre-eminence of the Hebrew language, of which after his Lordship's death, he gave but a partial account in his elaborate treatise on that subject. This induced the no less learned Dr. Thomas Sharp, Archdeacon of Northumberland, who had been chaplain to the Bishop, to give the correspondence in its genuine forin to the publick in his “ Discourses touching the Antiquity of the Hebrew tongue and character. 8vo. 1755," the perusal of wbich will afford considerable pleasure to the lovers of sacred philology. ..
THOUGHTS ON THE NATIVITY, Written on Christmas Eve, by the late Bishop HORN E.. 1. THIS is the night which gives a lustre to the days
of the year; for it brought salvation to the inhabitants of the world: a night, in which it was said, there is a mar child born, who shall be caught up to God aud his throne, there to prepare mansions for all those that love his name, and rejoice at his birth. .
2. The days were now accomplished, when there should come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch should grow out of his roots, when a virgin, of the house and lineage of David, should bear a sun. The holy Jesus, great and urgent as the necessity was of his coming into the world, staid the time which himself in the course of nature had appointed, before he brake forth as a strong man to run his race; in like mạnner as, Rotwithstanding the fainine there was of the word, he afterwards waited until he had attained to the age of thirty, before he entered upon his ministry: to teach the proud and forward spirits of men not to run before they are called, nor to think of promoting the cause of God,
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by the breach of his commandments and ordinances; since the Son of God himself, thought the glory of his father, and the salvation of the world, were best consulted and promoted, by a strict and unlimited obedience to them.
3. He chose to make his first appearance at Bethlehem, a town, which, but for the greatness derived to it from his being born there, was the least among the thousands of Judah. How different this spirit from that of many, who, professing themselves to be his disciples, disdain the privacy of a country village, nor can rest until they are known and talked of in the great cities of the world! Learn thou, O my soul, froni this circumstance, the blessings of an humble obscurity, more especially in the first part of life, when thy principles are unsettled, thy graces are tender, and thy resolutions feeble; and desire not thou to be known, when thy Saviour chose to be hidden. Lord, let thy birth at Bethlehem, mortify in me, every wish of ambition and ostentation, I most humbly beseech thee!
4. He was born upon a journey, and at an inn. How beautifully and forcibly doth this circumstance intimate to us the same great truth concerning the Redeemer, which is thus expressed in the thirty-ninth Psalm : I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were! and as he was, só are we in this world. Let not then the salutary remembrance of our pilgrimage be out of our minds. Let us not forget that we are travellers, at present, like our father Abraham of old, only passing through the land, which we are afterwards to inherit new in the kingdom of God. As strangers and pilgrims, let us abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the Soul in that capacity, and impede her progress to the heavenly Canaan: and let us weap ourselves from all foolish fond. ness for thivgs, places, and persons in this world. For thus saith the holy Jesus, to every believing soul: Hearken, o daughter, and consider, incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father's house; so shall the king have pleasure in thy beauty, for he is thy LORD God, and worship thou him. Here thou hast no abiding city : the Church itself is but an Inn, constructed for the reception and entertainment of poor pilgrims, on their way to the Jerusalem above. Here the soul is strengthened and refreshed, but here she is not to stay : What Christ once said to his disciples, he says to thein still, and they
ought continually to say to each other, Arise, let us go hence!
· 5. The Son of God was laid in a manger, because there was no room for him in the inn. Many treatises have been written upon the virtue of humility. But one would think that he, who had ever been at Bethlehem, and there beheld this sight, might spare himself the trouble of reading them ; since, if he returns humble, they will be needless; if he does not, they will never make him so. The pride that can, unappalled, view Jesus in the manger, may, without breach of charity, be deemed incura. ble. This night was the hand of Jehovah upon every high thing to bring it low. How is all the glory of the world blotted out at one stroke! ye pomps and vanities, farewell! henceforth I will no more complain of bad accommodations upon the road of life. If there was no room for the Lord of glory in the world, shall I wonder that there is none for me? Shall sinful dust and ashes complain, when he did not? Must I squander my money upon extravagant furniture, when he lodged in a stable ? Cannot I rest but upon down, when he made his uneasy bed in a manger ? Surely, riches and honours cannot be the things which the world takes them to be, when the world's Creator thought them worthy of nothing but his contempt. If there is no room for me in the inn, I will remember there was none for my Redeemer. I will go meekly and patiently to the stable, and there I shall be sure to find Jesus.
6. Our Lord, at his nativity, was wrapped in swaddling clothes. Despise not infants, for Jesus was one. Contemplate, with the virgin Mother, this wonderful child, set for the fall and rising again, of many in Israel: for the fall of those, who are offended at his humiliation ; for the exaltation of those who can thus accost him, even in - his swaddling clothes: We praise thee, O God, we acknowledge thee to be the LORD. Think how “ those holy feet, now tender, and unable to support his sacred body, shall bear him over Judea, with a great zeal for the gaining souls to the belief and obedience of his holy laws : those are the feet which shall walk upon seas and hills of water, as upon firm pavement; at which the lepers and de. ceased persons shall recover health ; which Mary Magdalen shall wash with tears, and wipe with her hair, and anoint with costly ointment, as expressions of love and adoration, and there find absolution and remedy for her
sins; sins; which, finally, shall be rent by the nails of the cross, and afterwards ascend above the heavens, when the earth shall become the footstool of the great King. May the same mercies be accomplished in us, which were wrought at the feet of our Lord and Master, where let us place ourselves as his disciples, vowing all obedience to his holy laws. In the same manner, consider those hands, which were so often lifted up to God in prayer, whose touch was miraculous and medicinal, cleansing lepers, restoring perished limbs, opening blind eyes, raising dead persons to life; those hands, which fed many thousands, by two miracles multiplying bread, which purged the temple from prophaneness, which in a sacramental manner bare his own body, and gave it to be the food and refreshment of elect souls; which afterwards were rent upon the cross, till the wounds became glorious instruments of everlasting benediction. And let these considerations inçite us to hold up holy hands in prayer, and to beg those blessed effects and spiritual cures upon our souls, which his precious hands did operate upon the bodies of men. We may also behold his holy breast, and reflect, that there lay that sacred heart, like the Dove within the ark, speaking peace to us, being the seat of love and sorrow, the fountain of both the sacraments, running out in the two holy streams of blood and water, when the rock was smitten, when his blessed side was pierced. There, with St. John, let us lay our head, and place our heart, and thence draw a treasure of holy wisdom, and beavenly affections, that we may rest in him only, and upon him lay our burden, filling every corner of our hearts with thoughts of the inost amiable and beloved Jesus." : 7. The glad tidings of Christ's birth, were first brought by an Angel. Tremble, O man, whosoever thou art, who hast the unspeakable honour to be appointed a messenger of this joyful news; for thou hast undertaken an Angel's task, encompassed with the infirmities of chumanity; perhaps incumbered with the concerns of the world, and polluted with the desires of the flesh. Fall lowly down before the holy babe, and intreat him to bestow on, thee a portion of his pure and heavenly spirit, that thou mayest be fitly prepared to preach the angelic sermon to all the world : Behold, I bring you glad tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people; for unto you is born this day, in the city of David, à Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. A sermon this, well worthy the tongue of an Angel, and which ought for ever to employ ihe thoughts and voices of the children of men. For never, since the day in which Adam left the gates of much-loved Eden, was there so gladsome a sound heard upon the earth. Heaven itself gives man joy of the birth of a Saviour, a Saviour of all men, whether Jews or Gentiles, from sin and sorrow, and the wrath to come: one anointed to instruct, redeem, and govern his people; one, who was JEHOVAH, infinite in mercy, wisdom, and power. How beautiful upon the mountains, are the feet of them who publish this salvation !
8. These tidings came to shepherds. Poverty of spirit, contempt of the world, and simplicity of heart, are the qualifications which dispose for the reception of CHRIST, and draw down divine visitations. The new's came not to the great, the rich, or the voluptuous. And why? The great would never stoop to him, who came in obscurity and humility; the rich would despise him who 'came in poverty and nakedness; the voluptuous could have no taste for him who lodged in a stable, and lay in a manger. Such propriety is there in that renunciation of the world and the flesh, made by every person, when taking on himself the Christian profession.
9. The shepherds were keeping watch over their flocks by night. Happy the man, whom his Lord, when he cometh, shall find so doing, employed in a conscientious discharge of the duties of his calling, how mean soever it may be, if it is but an honest one. No man, so engaged, is to be despised by the disciples of Christ, who appointed man to labour, and is pleased thus to reward the labours of the diligent, with a manifestation of his glory. Besides, we are to consider, that,“ Christ being the great Shepherd, hath made his ministers overseers of their flocks, distinguished by the particular folds, and conveys the mysteriousness of his kingdom, first to the pastors, and by their ministry, to the flocks. But although all of them be admitted to the miuistry, yet those only to the interior recesses, and nearer intimations of Jesus, who are watchful over their flocks, assiduous in their las bours, paiňful in their sufferings, present in the dangers of the sheep, ready to interpose their persons, and sacrifice their lives. These are shepherds, who first converse with Angels, and shall finally enter into the presence of the LORD." Arise then, O my soul, and prevent the