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services. • Wherefore, he is able to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea, rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us." How eloquent are his wounds! How vocal is his sacrifice? “ Blood of sprinkling, which speaketh better things than that of Abel," speak not only to God, but to our souls; that hearing thy voice, we may enter into rest; and, though unworthy and imperfect in all our duties, may have boldness and access, with confidence, by the faith of thee.
He ascended as their head and representative. Two characters had ascended before, Enoch and Elijah. But they ascended as private individuals; and it did not follow, because they ascended, that others would ascend too: they were not so connected with others, as to move them by their influence, but he attracts, he draws millions. His glory is the pledge of our own. By virtue of an intimate and inseparable union, which no event can destroy, no distance can weaken; because he lives, we shall live also. He is the master, and we are the servants; he is the head, and we are the body. We are, therefore, said to be “raised up, and made to sit together with him in heavenly places.” The apostle, speaking of the Christians' hope, says,
“ Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the vail; whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made a high priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedec." You see, even heaven would be no refuge for us, if he were not there. When our hope penetrates heaven, there is nothing on which our hope can fix, but himself. But he has entered, and not for himself only, but for us; to procure a passage, to prepare a place for us, and to ensure our following after. When he entered his glory, he opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. And the gates he left open; saying, “More are coming, I am only the forerunner of a multitude which no man can number, out of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues. I saw them loosing from the world, and asking for a better country; some were coming from agreeable scenes, and many from great tribulation—they are now upon the road, at unequal distances; I have made provision for their guidance and safety, and here in due time will they all arrive."
He ascended as their protector, and governor. “He that descended, is the same also that ascended up, far above all heavens, that he might fill all things." His situation and capacity are sufficient to relieve all the wants, and accomplish all the hopes, of those that are under his care. He has universal sovereignty, and boundless resources; and he has all this for them. 6. He is head over all things unto his body, the church.” Their present and everlasting welfare is secured; since he has all creatures under his control, and can make all things work together
for their good! And now, what remains, but that we translate this article of our creed into our lives; express his government in our subjection; and, by being the most obedient of all servants, declare him to be the greatest of all masters.
And, first, follow him where he now is. "If ye, then, be risen with Christ, seek those things that are above, where Christ sitteth, at the right hand of God.” Is not he your portion, and your
treasure? Why, then, are you so attached to earth? “Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here; he is risen; he is ascended.” Far above this vain world is your Saviour, and your exceeding joy. How strange is it, that you do not more Jong to depart, to be with him! When a most beloved friend has removed from you, to a distant part of the kingdom, has it not weakened your attachment to your own situation, and made you think much of his? You have buried a relation: you have a child in heaven-and 0! how you folJow him thither, in your thoughts, and desires! You have something to render heaven more endearing, and attractive. And O! how much less has the world to charm, and to chain you! But the body is deposited in yonder grave-thither you go-feel an interest, and claim
a property in the dust-this was-it is mine. But nothing of the Saviour remains here: not even his dust; for he saw not corruption; his body forsook the tomb, and was received up into glory. Away, then, from earth, and follow after him to heaven.
Secondly. “Seeing that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession." Let not those who know where he is, be ashamed of their connexion with him, or dependence upon bimn. Boldly avow his truth, and openly employ yourselves in his service. If you disown him, you are far worse than Peter. Peter denied him; but he was then at Pilate's bar, and going to be crucified. But you deny him, now he is Lord of all, and coming to judge the world!
Thirdly. What encouragement can you want, to rejoice in him? You have a brother at court. He says
to you, as Elisha said to the Shunamite, “Wilt thou be spoken for to the king?" In every difficulty, you can go to him, and say, “Lord, I am oppressed, undertake for me.' His ear is open to your prayer; his eye views all your walking, through this great wilderness. His arms are anderneath you. He will make you more than conquerors over all your enemies. And by and by he will come again, and receive you to himself, that where he is, there ye may be also.”
But, “where will the ungodly and the singer appear?". O beware of opposing-beware of neglecting him! It is unreasonable, it is ruinous. He is now 66 exalted to be a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance unto Israel, and remigsion of sins.” If you seek him he will he found of you. But, if you make light of these things, how can you escape? Remember that he is ascended to be your judge. “Behold, he cometh with clouds and every eye shall see him. But who may abide the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appeareth? Prepare to meet thy God. Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near,"
THE PRAYER OF NEHEMIAH. O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer
of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king's cup-bearer. Nehem. i. 11.
This book partially records the history of the children of the captivity, after their return from
Babylon, in consequence of the decree and proclamation of Cyrus. The Persian Empire now flourished in all its grandeur; and Greece and Rome were rising to eminence in the world. But • The Lord's portion is his people, Jacob is the lot of his inheritance."
We find, therefore, the attention of scripture principally confined to the Jews; and the affairs of the surrounding nations, are not otherwise mentioned than as they have some connexion with the concerns of the Israel of God. And Nehemiah, in the view of the Supreme Being, was a far more illustrious character than Demosthenes the orator, Xenophon the commander, or Plato the philosopher, who lived about the same time.
The eye affecteth the heart, and so doth the ear.--Nehemiah was at too great a distance to see the ruinous condition of Jerusalem.-But he heard of it, and the effect it had upon his mind did him honour. “ And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace, that Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah: and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, who were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem; and they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the provinee are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire. And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven"
And thus he concludes his humiliation and devotion: “O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and