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slavery, and to be celebrated in after ages as the wisest of legislators, and the mildest of men. less babe humanity hath often looked with strong in terest, and blessed the compassion which, in spite of tyrannical jealousy, and national prejudice, cherish. ed him in her bosom. But the angel of the Lord has called you to contemplate a scene more interesting, and a babe more worthy of your attention, for he is the destined Saviour of the world. Pharaoh's daughter gave the Jewish child a name from what she had done for him. She called him Moses, because she had drawn him out of the water ; but the name of this habe is Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins, This is a name dear to every heart, and celebrated in every song of the redeemed.
You have come to the manger to see the infant Saviour, and you are ready to envy the superior privilege of the shepherds; but though sense and faith were united in their exercise, your situation hath higher advantages than theirs. They saw the work of salvation in its commemcement, but you have heard the triumphant shout, “ It is finished.” They saw the bright and morning star rising, but you behold around you the brightness of meridian day. The darkness of heathenism is scattered, and the light of truth and grace is spreading over the moral world. They saw the branch springing from the root of Jesse feeble and tender ; but you behold it a vast tree, whose expanded branches afford the most refreshing shadow, and the most delicious fruit. They heard the first notes of the joyful sound; but to you it has come with all the words of eternal life, and you have received it. Let your hearts rejoice in the Saviour thus announced, and thus before you, and hear with pious raptures how he addresses you, “ I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour, Fear not, I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by my name, and thou art mine.” - Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation."
After the Service.
“ Now we believe not because of thy saying, for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is ine deed the Christ, the Saviour of the world; and to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty both now and for ever.” Sweet to the Saviour is this language when it is dictated by faith and love. The language which you can employ about the Saviour is very different from that which angels must adopt. They say
" To you is born a Saviour ;" but you can say “ The Saviour is born to us." They proclaim the blessings of redemption, but you share them.
Bem hold God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid, for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song, and he also is become my salvation." Had I their harps, Jesus would still be the theme of my praise; did I possess their powers, they should all be occupied in the service of so good a master; and was their wisdom mine, it would still be my determination to know nothing save Jesus Christ and him crucified.
Imitate angels in their benevolence, generosity, and holy zeal. Malice, envy, and activity in wickedness, are the characters of devils; but good angels rejoice when the Saviour is honoured, and when man is happy. Never look with an evil eye at the prosperity of another, but rejoice with them that do rejoice, and feel happy in carrying to them any pleasing intelligence.
You may be sometimes called to go with sorrowful tidings to others, and in discharging the trying offiee with prudence and sympathy, endeavour to mingle with them the consoling messages of the gospel. The incidents of the day, and the trifling talk of levity and folly will be as unsuitable to them as songs to a heavy heart, but the word of salvation in its grace and power, will be as cold waters to a thirsty soul. Let these good tidings be your own comfort in every time of need. Amidst the terrors of guilt think of the Almighty Saviour. In the midst of affliction repair to him as the hope of Israel and the Saviour in the time of trouble. In your anxieties about the eternal welfare of your friends, remember the common salvation, and the extent and riches of Christ's power and grace. In the ruin of your earthly comforts look up to him in whom is all your felicity, and when death comes, let your lips close with the Saviour's praise, and the last throb of your heart rise with the joy of his salvation.
Let the moral virtues be valued and practised by you as they ought. A holy life is with him the most valued homage. Honour his religion and cause by the purity of your manners, the meekness of your spirits, the stedfastness of your faith, and the usefulness of your lives. The everlasting kingdom of your Lord and Saviour is before you, and this is the way by which you shall enter into it abundantly. In that kingdom salvation shall be your crown, and the great God your Saviour shall be your glory. Now is your salvation nearer than when you first believed. Advance in your journey to it with a more lively hope than ever; and may grace
from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.
be with you
John X. 10.
“ I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."
WHAT an interesting view of the object of our Lord's coming is this !
It was not the end of his coming to inflict on us the punishment which we deserved, and to consign us to the horrors of the second death. Though this had been its object, none could have aca cused him of injustice, and none could have, repelled his hand. But he came to procure for us spiritual and eternal life by the death of the cross, to raise us from a state of condemnation to peace with God, and not only to remove the pollution of our souls, and the mia series of our hearts, but to adorn them with the graces of his image, and to fill them with the joys of his Spie rit. It is a most striking phrase which is here ema ployed to represent the excellence of his salvation, and it points out for your present meditation the privileges of redemption, as far surpassing all that man possessed before the fall.
The righteousness which the saints possess far transcends that of Adam in innocence, which was only the righteousness of a creature, which could not of itself merit the blessedness of heaven, and which was liable to change. But the righteousness of Christ is divine ; it, entitles to glory, and it is everlasting. Our first pa,
rents in innocence were excelled by angels in the brightness of their powers, the fervour of their affections, and the sublimity of their worship; yet so conscious are they of their inferiority to the “ Lord our Righteousness” that in his presence they cover their faces with their wings, and celebrate the worth of the Lamb that was slain, while not a harp is silent throughout all their orders, and not a thought questions his unrivalled glory.
The covenant made with you is far more excellent than the one made with Adam. The covenant of works was made immediately with Adam, but the covenant of grace was made with Christ as the head and mediator of his people. The promises of the covenant of works were conditional, but those of the covenant of grace are free. In the covenant of works, the divine pity and compassion could not be exhibited, but the covenant of grace displays the tender mercies of our God. The covenant of works contained no security for the continuance of Adam in innocence, and it held out neither comfort nor hope to the guilty; but the coa venant of grace is a refuge for the miserable, and in the use of the appointed means of watchfulness and prayer, it provides for the perseverance in holiness of all who are brought within its bond. God will not abandon them, and he will not suffer them to turn away from him. In this covenant Jehovah glories as displaying his wisdom and his love ; it is the study and delight of good men while they live, and they have spent their last breath in expressing the confidence and the hope which it had inspired. How delightful have been the views which good men have had of it at the communion table, while they beheld it ratified in the blood of the cross, and it is my earnest wish that you may now be influenced to say of it, “ It is all my sal