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it received erewhile, 6hall be restored by it, instinct with the vigour, and fresh with the beauties, of immortal youth,—when the "body of vileness" shall lie transfigured like the Saviour's "body of glory,"—when "what was sown in corruption shall be raised in incorruption, what was sown in dishonour shall be raised in glory, what was sown in weakness shall be raised in power; and so shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory."
Tbe disciples, confused and blunted as their perceptions were with fear and dislike to the journey into Judea, mistook, as we are next informed, the import of the figurative, but at the same time, one fchould have imagined, very intelligible expression, by which the Saviour announced to them the death of Lazarus. Their misapprehension was probably assisted by the recollection of what he had declared, only two days before, concerning the disease under which their common friend at Bethany was labouring: "This sickness is not unto death." Apparently excluded by this declaration of him, not one of whose words, they knew, would ever fall to the ground, from interpreting the sleep of which he now spake of that funereal sleep whose couch is the lonely sepulchre, they imagined that he spake, not of his death, but of that natural repose whose dews, descending on the sufferer's eyelids, are so often the most precious cordial of sickness, the best anodyne of pain, the blessed harbingers of returning health. "Dear balm of sleep," exclaims an ancient poet, "Dear balm of sleep, erpeller of disease, How sweet thou visitest these longing eyes I"
Therefore said the disciples, "Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well." "Then," it is added, "Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead; and I aim glad," he continues, "that I was not there." Had he been present, the compassionate Saviour felt, that he must have done violence to the i instincts of his human heart—a heart so finely strung to all human sympathies that are innocent and pure,—and must have appeared to all around in a character the most unlike his own,
dead to the genial glow of friendship, and to
the holy touch of pity, had he resisted the entreaties of the beloved sisters, enforced with all the eloquence of their impassioned words, and with the deeper eloquence of their imploring tears, that he should exert his miraculous power to save their common Lazarus—his friend, their brother—from the untimely fate which seemed ready to involve him. From the words of Jesus, partially heard and partially understood, a conclusion inconsistent with tbe love with which he had hitherto appeared :o re^tLfd the inmates of the home of Bethany, seemed to follow, at least, as directly as the feeling o which remaining unbelief sometimes gives birth, n the Christian's heart,—the feeling that he has >een harshly dealt with by the Lord of providence, ollows, in any case whatever, from the aspect and pparent meaning of God's doings, so imperfectly sen and so imperfectly comprehended as they are, y mortal minds, in the present overclouded scene.
But you know, my brethren, you who are previously acquainted with the following history, how totally unwarranted any such conclusion, in regard to Jesus and the fnmi'ly of Bethany, would have been. At this point, therefore, let us take home to our hearts the lesson which is suggested so often in the course of this memorable narrative, that the Christian is always bound to believe, and has the most ample reason for believing, that, in the appointments and administration of the all-ruling Providence towards them, his Saviour's meaning is always kind, however harsh, to mortal ear, may be the sound of his decrees, however frowning, to mortal eye, may be the aspect of his dealings.
Christ's feelings on this occasion,—feelings of joy that he had not interposed his delivering power, on behalf of the afflicted family, whom he loved so dearly, and who loved him so dearly in return, are explained by what he adds respecting the reasons of that joy. It sprang, you may be sure, from no delight in human suffering or sorrow, from no ignorance of the condition, no indifference to the feelings of his friends. God forbid! but from his ruling and absorbing wish to promote the glory of his Father, and tbe true, the spiritual advantage of his people. "I am glad," says he, "for your sakes, that I was not there, that ye may believe,"—that ye may receive increase and confirmation to your faith,—that I may have the opportunity of giving you a demonstration of my authority and Messiahship, so splendid, as shall dispel from your minds the last lingering shade of doubt which may, at any time, obscure the clearness of your conviction that I am He. The explanation which our Saviour thus gives of what was mysterious in his thoughts, and feelings, and conduct towards Lazarus, may be applied, in ft form only a little more general, to whatever may seem trying and difficult in his procedure, now that, as the Sovereign of pro\ idence, he is ordering all things pertaining to every individual, and every household, "according to the counsel of his own will." He does nothing without a reason,—nothing without a good reason, a reason that implies the advancement of his people's real welfare, calculated on the consideration of their whole existence, as well as of the glory of his own and of his Father's name. His choice, however, always proceeds, and so should our judgments and estimates of his procedure, upon the principle that moral, reckoned in the denomination of physical, good is infinitely valuable; that to purchase the least imaginable degree of spiritual profit, at the expense of the greatest conceivable amount of temporal suffering, were t6 secure an invaluable gain. Take this principle along with you, and then be sure that, even amidst the severest sorrows, and sacrifices, and toils, and bereavements of his people, Jesus, while his bosom warms to them, at the moment, with deepest and tenderest sympathy, yet sees reason to be glad; perceives a gain about to arise, more than sufficient to counterbalance atl the loss at present incurred; accounts it more profitable for them, and for the Church at large, that they should Buffer, than that they should triumph. More especially is this declared in holy writ to be true concerning the death of genuine believers. It was the case with respect to the death of Lazarus. It is the case with respect to the death of those, the final causes of whose departure are hidden in the bosom of Omniscience; for "precious,"—that is, not permitted to take place at random, never appointed nor allowed without a just consideration, a consideration of no ordinary value,—" precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints."
To be concluded in our next.
THE BURIAL OF THE DEAD, As Conducted In Some Parts Of Scotland. By The Rev. William Malcolm, Minister ofLeochel- Cushnie. In nothing is the characteristic thoughtlessness of men more strikingly marvellous than in the indifference with which they view the ravages of death around them, and the ease with which they put away from them the impressive admonitions which these give them of their latter end. It were difficult, one would think, to banish from the mind for a moment, the certainty of death, and the consequences that must follow. It might be supposed, that merely to hear of death; to be informed by report, that there was within our world such a power at work as death,—that during the revolution of past ages, a few of our race had fallen beneath his hand, and that it was not improbable but that in the course of future ages, say, ere a thousand years had passed away, the same fell destroyer would aim at us his unerring shaft; it might be supposed that merely to hear of this by the hearing of the ear were information of such startling interest as to make the most inconsiderate serious, and the bare probability of death one day overtaking us, would haunt our steps by day and our pillow by night. And yet the very reverse of this is the truth. We not only hear of death: our eyes, it may be said, see him. We behold him making havoc on every side of us, slaying from day to day, his thousands and his tens of thousands; sparing neither rank, nor age, nor sex; entering into every house and haling men, and women, and children into his dark abode. And we know that there is no discharge in that war, that we too must needs die; that our birth is nothing but our death begun; that when a few years arc come we shall go the way whence we shall not return, nay, that " in a moment, in the twinkling of an
eye," our breath may depart and our thoughts and purposes perish. With the certain knowledge of all this no serious impression is made upon our minds. We continue as exclusively devoted as ever to the pleasures and pursuits of this passing scene.
We hear of the illness of a neighbour or acquaintance. Day after day we are told that he is sinking rapidly,— that his strength is failing,—that bis countenance is changing,—that he is even becoming indifferent to that World which he once loved so well. At last the accounts reach us that he is no more. We visit his dwelling—we see him laid out in his grave clothes; we mark the melancholy change which death has produced j the arm lately so vigorous is now powerless and unstrung; the eye lately so bright with vivacity and health, is now closed; and on the cheek where the smile of joy was wont to play, now sit the clayey hue and the cold damp of death. We attend his funeral; we hear the lamentation and weeping of his disconsolate relatives; we assist in carrying his remains to the churchyard; we see the skulls of former generations scattered about the grave's mouth; we hear the mould
falling ominously on his coffin lid; wo help to pis it on and to press it down upon his breast, as if determmtd to shut Him out for ever from all connection with ike living world. And what are our feelings, and what*. our conduct all the while? Are our thoughts with tit dead? Are we resolving to profit by this fresh lesson of our mortality? Are wc speaking one to another of our latter end? Are we forming, in our minds, plans of preparation for our own departure? Are our souls rising on the wings of devotion, and clinging closer and closer to Him who has conquered death, and destroyed the grave? O, no 1 Our hearts are still untouched. As if we bore a charm against a similar fate; as if we had "made a covenant with death, and with the grave were at agreement," we care for none of these things. Our affections are still set on earthly things, totally forgetful that a few feet of earth will, erelong, be all list we can call our own. Instead of the still and solemn silence which so well become the chamber of death, "foolish talking and jestings, which are not convenient," art TMt unusual there. There all the idle gossip, and alhbe injurious scandal of the day, are too often retailed Anil, strange as it may seem, it is no uncommon thing to hear men, dying men, making their bargains, buying and selling, over the bier and around the grave ol a lellowcreature. It has been thought that Abraham uttered an hyperbole when he said to the rich man, that if n» "believed not Moses and the prophets, neither would they be persuaded though one rose from the dead." But the little or no impression which death's daily vats among us produce, shows that he spoke only the worts of truth and soberness.
Of the various causes which have helped to frtcretst this evil, the manner of conducting funerals, at least ra various parts of the country, is one oftbeniost powerful. A very strong, though, in the way in which it operates, i very mistaken desire, has long existed among the people of Scotland, to lay their dead, as they call it, defalk in the ground. With this view they deem it neceson, in many parts, to keep open table, at which there a • constant round of eating and drinking, night and day, while the corpse is in the house. No sooner has the spirit gone to its last account, than a messenger is dispatched to purchase the requisite provisions: and, alcaj with the winding-sheet for the dead, there is laid in « ample supply of provisions for the entertainment of tTM living. So that this mistaken plan of laying the dead decently in the ground, often involves the suroron m expenses which lie heavy on them for years.
The first abuse which ensues is at the late wakes,« watching the dead—a custom which, in the places referred to, universally prevails. After night-fall, crowns assemble from the neighbourhood. This, we adm". u generally done from the kindliest motives, and jtt» would be exceedingly difficult to assign any proper reason for it. It can do no good to the dead, and it o** puts the living to great inconvenience. At these*!* ings, portions of the Scriptures are often read; but* there is no person of authority present, it not in** quently happens that they are converted into seen** most unseemly merriment. If the custr.m of sitrirajwl the corpse cannot yet be laid aside, surely two j*** individuals might be sufficient for the purpose, w!
On the day of the funeral, the people, hstit?** asked to convene generally at nine o'clock in the aw* ing, begin to assemble about noon; and from that awa till four, and sometimes five o'clock in the afters"* the drinking of punch, and the smoking of toh carried on with hardly any interruption. The" are soon manifest. When you enter the place < ing, a very becoming stillness prevails. But, a: I toxicating draught circulates, the noise grain creases. The politics of the day, and the p" . grain and black cattle, begin to be discussed. 8*^" are struck, and improvements planned; and &*9P joke, and the loud laugh, but too plainly proclaim, that, even in the presence-chamber of death, men have forgotten that they too must die. And this is putting our dead decently in the yroundt
But it is well if there is nothing even worse than this. For, besides the painful and disgusting sight of rational creatures reeling to and fro, holding by the spoke or the coffin, or perhaps rolling among our feet as we move onward to the house appointed for all living, it sometimes happens that, under the maddening influence of ardent spirits, disputes arise, old quarrels are revived, fierce words are exchanged, blows are given, and blood is shed at the very grave's edge I And this is putting our dead decently in the yroundl
Far be it from us to include all in such a serious charge. There are always some who keep themselves unspotted from such unseemly practices, and, in the midst of temptation, are sober and temperate in all things. There are some, indeed, who stay away till the very moment of lifting, that they may witness as Utile as possible of such painful exhibitions.
It is pleasing, however, to think, that inveterate and extensively prevalent as these abuses are, they are not incurable. A wish is very generally felt by the people to have them corrected. Let a trial be made, and it will be found that any well-advised measure for their removal will be readily gone into. The writer of this article will be permitted to state, for the benefit of ethers, bis own experience in the matter. Irregular attendance at funerals, with all its accompanying evils, existed in his parish to a great extent. But he observed that his people, such is the power of custom, practised » system, which yet they strongly condemned, and wished very much to have reformed. Aware of the difficulty of exploding an old established usage, he set himself anxiously and prayerfully to make the attempt. Resolutions were drawn out, the substance of which was, that henceforth an hour should be fixed by those chiefly concerned, for the people to convene; with the understanding, that exactly an hour after, or as near to it as possible, the corpse would be removed. These resolutions, the beads of families readily signed, binding themselves most solemnly to do all in their power to carry them into effect. It might have been supposed, that the reformation desired was now accomphshed; but it was not. Highly as the people approved of the new system, yet whenever it fell to their Jot to put it in practice, there was found an apprehension lingering about them lest, by curtailing the time, and consequently the entertainment, tney might be thought to do the thing meanly, and be justly accused of not putting their dead decently in the yround. To obviate this, he resolved, if possible, to attend every funeral within his parish, and by openly insisting on the regulations being observed, to take upon himself the whole odium which might, for a time, attach to a change of system. He let it be known, that though asked he would not attend if the regulations were not to be followed; and that if, when he did attend, he observed a determination to infringe them, be at least would keep them, by leaving the house at the hour appointed. This, however, he has never been obliged to do: for though, on some occasions, there seemed a little reluctance to remove till the usual entertainment was given, his reminding them of their solemn engagement had always the desired effort. And now the reformation is so far established, that when the clergyman is unable to attend, it requires only a hint from the elder of the quarter, or any respect. able person present, to put the whole company in motion. What he has stated of his own part in bringing about this change, is, he is conscious, with no view to claim any merit to himself,—for he is well aware that hatl it not been put into the hearts of his good people to go along with him, he must have failed at once,— but for the purpose of showing that it will be vain to
frame regulations unless the clergyman, or some one having equal authority, attend for a long time, it may be for years, and see them enforced; and that the authority of the clergyman, in such cases, will always be readily acknowledged, and cheerfully submitted to.
In towns, where the distance is small, and the time regulated by public clocks, he is aware that only a quarter of an hour is allowed for the people to convene; but in the country, watches and distances are so different, that he felt from the first, and experience has confirmed the opinion, that an hour would be required for that purpose, and more than this, he is equally convinced, is unnecessary.
Great care ought to be taken in fixing the hour, and in asking the people. The hours which are best kept, are eleven in the forenoon, and four in the afternoon.
Had he not been afraid of attempting too much at first, his desire was to carry the improvement still farther, and not only limit the time, but lay down some special and definite rule for the entertainment; such as offering no refreshment till the greater part of the people ore assembled, and then in very moderate quantites. He is not without hopes of yet seeing this improvement introduced. Were it done in one instance, the example, he is confident, would be speedily followed. And the man who does set the example, will be amply rewarded in the pleasing consciousness of having done much to promote that sobriety and seriousness which ought to mark the demeanour of all on such a solemn occasion.
WINTER, AN EMBLEM OF DEATH.
The seasons of the year have been aptly compared with the various stages in the life of man. Spring, when Nature bursts into new life, and with such grace unfolds its growing charms, amidst alternate smiles and tears, beautifully shadows forth the period of infancy and youth; summer, with its full-blown beauties, and its vigorous powers, represents the maturity of manhood; autumn, when the golden harvests are reaped, and the fields are stripped of their honours, and exhausted Nature begins to droop, is a striking figure of the finished labours, the grey hairs, and the advancing feebleness of old age; while winter, cold, desolate, and lifeless, indicates, with an accuracy not more remarkable then it is affecting, the rigid features and prostrate energies of the human frame in death.
This dismal month of December, which closes the year, seems peculiarly calculated to remind us of human decay. The vital powers which produced and sustained vegetation are withdrawn; the forests are leafless; hill and dale mourn their faded verdure ; a dismal gloom covers the face of the sky, and cheerless desolation reigns. Recollections of the past, and anticipations of the future, oppress the sensitive mind. Let us turn our thoughts, then, on the congenial subject of death: it is the common lot of every thing that lives. From the microscopic insect, to man—the lord of the earth— all must die. Each has its spring, its summer, and its autumn ;—each, also, has its winter. With some, life is literally but a single day—or less, a single hour, perhaps ;—others survive even the period of human existence; but the various stages of bfe belong to the ephemera, as well as to the elephant; and the former fulfils the end of its being, as well as the latter; while the minutes of the one are, perhaps, equally pregnant with incidents, as the days of the other.
Death is gloomy and revolting, if we look only at its externals. Who, that has seen a lifeless corpse, has been able to remain unmoved, by the affecting contrast to its former self which it exhibited? The closed and sunken eye, which erewhile beamed with intelligence, or sparkled with delight; the motionless lips, which
gave utterance to sentiments of wisdom and of piety or, perhaps, of reckless folly and unblushing falsehood! the heart which beat with feeling, and the head which meditated, planned, and formed conclusions—what are they now? A heap of lifeless clay—a mass of corruption—food for worms 1
But when we look deeper, and regard death with the eye of reason and religion, it assumes a very different aspect. The body is but the house of the soul. The feeble tenement has fallen into decay, and its living inmate has removed. It is but the covering in which the chrysalis was confined; the time of its change has arrived, and it has burst its shell, to expatiate in a new life j or rather it is the instrument with which an intelligent being performed its work ;—the task is finished—the instrument is worn out, and cast away the
artificer has gone to other labours.
Such is the conclusion of reason, and the analogy of Nature gives countenance to the view. Nothing is annihilated. Every thing, indeed—organized matter above all—grows old, corrupts, and decays; but it does not cease to exist, it only changes its form. The herbs the Howers, and the leufy pride of spring and summer,' wither, fall, and are mingled with their parent earth; but from their mouldering remains, elements are furnished which clothe a new year with vegetable life, as fresh, and abundant, and lovely as before. Nature is not dead, but sleepeth. The seeds, roots, and buds of the year that is past, are preserved through the rigours of winter with admirable nare.til! the voice of a new spring calls them once more into life, that the seasons may again run their course, and autumn may again spread her liberal feast. Neither does the soul perish. It has "shuffled off its mortal coil," but i» has not ceased to live. This is a conclusion at which we confidently arri ve.
What, then, has become of this ethereal spark? Reason cannot tell; but conjecture has been rife. Some have imagined that the disembodied spirit passes into other bodies, and runs a new course of birth, life, and death, in new forms—that all living things, from the lowest to the highest grade, are possessed of souls, winch either have animated, or may yet animate, human frames, and that a constant change from species to species, and from individual to individual, is taking place, regulated, in some mysterious way, by the law of retribution. This ingenious fancy, which has been called the doctrine of metempsychosis, or transmigration, has been widely disseminated through the extensive regions of the East, nnd has given a very peculiar mould to the practices, and even to the moral character of those who receive it! A prouder and more metaphysical philosophy, which prevails in the same quarter of the world, has offered another solution of the question. All life, it is said by the followers of this sect, is but an emanation from the great fountain of existence—a drop from the universal ocean of life. Death comes, and the emanation is absorbed—the drop returns to the ocean, and mingles, undistinguished, with its parent element.
Another doctrine, well known, because associated with all our classical recollections, is that of Greece and Rome; which assigns to souls a separate state of existence in the infernal regions, where rewards and punishments are awarded, according to the good or evil deeds of a present life. The puerile fables, false morality, and fanciful traditions, which are mingled with thij doctrine, tend to debase and render contemptible, what might otherwise be considered as the germ of a purer faith.
All that history records, or modem discoveries have ascertained, of the belief of mankind on this subject of vital importance, tends to show the impotence of human reason; and shuts us up to the revealed Word of God as the only source of light and of hope, as regards the tuture destiny of man. The soul survives the grave, but where does it go? What new forms of being
does it assume? What conflicts and what triuropht are reserved for it? These are questions which mi. osity, that powerful principle, unites with every tela and every ennobling feeling of the human heart ,, urge on the attention. And what is the answer »hid the divine oracles return? Man is a sinner, and " tbt wages of sin is death." Such is the appalling re*por« And what is death? Not the separation of the suid from the body merely, but the separation of both soul and body from God for ever. And there is no remedy. Not in the power of man, but in the grace and mercy of God. "God so loved the world, that lie sent his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him might not perish, but have everlasting lite." The incarnate Son of the Eternal God is our Saviour. Ht came to earth and assumed our form and nature, that He might take away sin by the sacrifice of Himself His own words are, "1 am the resurrection and the life. Whosoever believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever Uveth and believeth in me, shall never die."
Blessed assurance I But does it belong to all? Alas, no I It belongs only to believers. All else are excluded. What, then, is the portion of unbelievers? Ttareu only one answer,—" Spiritual death." Their inheritance is, the undying worm, and the unquenchable fire. 1 he offer of life has been freely made, and they W rejected it: It has been urged upon them by'every motive; it has been enforced by every sanction, anil yet they have rejected it. The means of grace, the warnings and lessons of Providence, in the varied occurrences of life, have all been employed in vain. Thet have chosen death, and have sealed their own doom.' But to you who close with the offered redemption it is not less secure, than it is glorious in the means employed, and unspeakably gracious in the blessings bestowed. By the vicarious sufferings of the Son of God, sin is punished, and the sinner absolved; eternal justitt is satisfied; and infinite holiness is reconciled. From horrors of impending destruction, the guilty desrendut of Adam is introduced to anticipations of everlistinj life;—the child of Satan has become an adopted rhild of God ;—the heir of hell, a joint heir with Christ of the blessedness of heaven.
What, then, is death? It is to the Christian but tie passing away of a feverish dream, and an awaking to the glorious realities of an endless and unclouded dav. This at least it is, as far as regards his soul. But hii body goes down to the grave, and for all that we Cm perceive is finally resolved into its native elements Yet it is not so. A germ remains. It is tike seed buried in winter by the sower, beneath the slugp^b soil, that it may undergo a mysterious change, and roe spin to life, in a new season, under a more propitiou sky. The spring of an eternal year will come. It will breathe on the dry bones, and they shall live. Tbe» shall the soul be reunited to its material frame, "sort a natural body, but raised a spiritual body ;" and this mysterious reunion, which seems essential to the perfect happiness of human beings, will consummate the appointed period, when death, the last enemy, shall !* "swallowed up in victory;" when time itself skill perish, along with the revolution of seasons; and vrfc" one vast, 'changeless incomprehensible eternity ih»B embrace all.*
The Church of Christ a Living Temple The wW«
multitude of true believers are represented as united together in one Church, and constituting one spiri'u*' temple, and this is none other than the Holv CatHcfe Church, the Church Universal, the one glorious teua*
which Christ ia rearing out of the ruins of a fallen world. Of this temple we remark, list, Christ is both the head and the corner-stone. He is the rock on which it rests, and he is also the head that presides over it; for as in one epistle it ia said that Jesus Christ himself is the chief corner-stone, so in another we read, (Heb. iii. 6,) that Christ is " as a Son Over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fas« the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end." His relation to this vast spiritual society is elsewhere represented under the idea of his being the head of that body of which all true believers are members. Nay, his own body was, as it were, a type or pattern of this spiritual temple; for as such he spake of it when he said, " Destroy this temple, and in three days I shall raise it up: he spake of the temple of his body,"—a temple which was prefigured by the temple of old, and in which " he dwelt as in a tabernacle," even ai the Shechinah, God manifest in the flesh, and which was, in its turn, the pattern or exemplar of that grand spiritual temple of which we now speak. 2rf, This temple is composed of lively lionet. Christ himself being the living or lifegiving stone, they are lively as having received spiritual life through him; and, in this respect, it differs from all visible Churches. These are composed partly of the living and partly of the dead. In every visible Church, there is a mixture of tares and wheat, of sheep and goats, of the clean and unclean, no human power being competent to make a complete separation betwixt the two, until Christ shall come as the Judge of the quick and the dead. But in the true invisible and spiritual Church, there are none but lively stones; not every communicant, not every elder, notevery minister of God's Word, belongs toit, but such of them onlyas have been bornagain, quickened unto spiritual life, and united to Christ by a true and living faith. But while it consists of these, and of these only, 3d, It is so comprehensive and catholic, in the right sense of that term, that it includes all such. Not one true believer ever existed in any age of the world, and not one is now to be found in any quarter of the globe, who has not a place in this vast temple. Jt comprehends all, to whatever visible Church they may belong, and by whatever denomination they may be called, who hold Christ as the head. And, amidst the divisions by which these Churches are no.v separated from one another, and the strife of contending parties, ob 1 it is elevating and cheering to think of that one harmonious and all-comprehending temple, in which every living stone on earth will be found to have a place; to reflect, that, whatever be their minor differences, real Christians are united together by bonds which cannot be broken,—that they all rest on the same foundation,—that they are all animated by the same spirit,—and that, after all, they constitute but one temple, whose light is truth, whose cement is love, and whose one inscription is, "Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth, and good will to men." And as tbis temple is comprehensive in its compass, so is it venerable for its antiquity, and for the high and holy names that belong to it. Every saint from the beginning is there; it is "built on the foundation of apostles and prophets;" the patriarchal, the Jewish, and the Christian dispensations, have each furnished the lively stones of which it is composed; and it is now partly composed of saints yet militant on earth, and partly also of saints already made perfect in glory. And mark, 4th, " It still grows, it groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord." The temple is not complete, it is the work of centuries: one age after another has added its complement, and still it growt. Silently, indeed, so silently that the noise of the hammer is not heard amidst the bustle of the world : and slowly, so slowly that its progress to human eyes is almost imperceptible. But still it grows: every conversion adds a stone to it, and, in our own times, we see bere one and there another; a drunkard,
a Sabbath-breaker, a fornicator, reclaimed, renewed, and joined to the Church of the living God. It comet h not, indeed, "with observation;" the work is carried forward quietly, and to men it may seem often to stand still, but it groweth notwithstanding, and the erection of this spiritual building is the grandest work which is now in progress in the world. 5th, Its ultimate completion is certain, and its perpetuity too; no human power can arrest its progress, or overthrow its walls; visible Churches may fall into decay; persecution may scatter Christ's disciples, or their own divisions may leave their congregations a prey to their enemies: other Churches have fallen, and the Church of Scotland, if she too become corrupt, may share the same fate with those of Asia, whose memorial is perished from the earth; but this spiritual temple shall stand, unscathed by persecution, safe in the midst of danger, "burning but not consumed,"—for " Christ is the head, and Christ the corner-stone."—Hev. James Buchanan. [Sermon preached at the opening of Newhaven Chutch.]
Prayer.—In proportion as we grow in the knowledge of the Scriptures, we shall grow in meetness for tho duty of prayer; and by turning its promises into supplications, we shall employ the very way by which
God has taught us to make these promises our ow n.
Rev. James Martin. [Letters on Prayer.']
The Passion of Clirisl How can we reflect upon
this great event, without extreme displeasure against, and hearty detestation of, our sins? Those sins which indeed did bring such tortures and such disgraces upon our blessed Redeemer, Judas the wretch who betrayed him, the Jewish priests who did accuse and persecute him, the wicked rout which did abusively insult over him, those cruel hands that smote him, those pitiless hearts that scorned him, those poisonous tongues that mocked him and reviled him, all those who were the instruments and abettors of his affliction, how do we loathe and abhor them? How do we detest their names, and execrate their memories? But how much greater reason have we to abominate our sins, which were the true, the principal actors of all that woeful tragedy? "Me was delivered for our offences." They were indeed the traitors, which by the hands of Judas delivered him up. *' He that knew no sin, was made sin for us," that is, was accused, was condemned, was executed, as a sinner for us. It was therefore we, who by our bins did impeach him; the spiteful priests were but our advocates; we by them did adjudge and sentence him; Pilate was but drawn in against his will and conscience to be our spokesman in that behalf: we by them did inflict that horrid punishment on him; the Roman executioners were but our representatives therein. "He became a curse for us;" that is, all the mockery, derision, and contumely he endured, did proceed from us; the silly people were but proxies acting our parts. Our sins were they that cried out, "Crucify bim! Crucify him!" with clamours more loud and mure importunate than did all the Jewish rabble. It was they which, by the borrowed throats of that base people, did so outrageously persecute him. "He was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities." It was they which, by the hands of the fierce soldiers, and of the rude populace, as by senseless engines, did buffet and scourge him; they, by the nails and thorns, did pierce his flesh, and rend his sacred body. Upon them, therefore, it is most just and fit that we should turn our
hatred, that we should discharge our indignation
The Effects of putting on Christ —By putting on Christ you will put off the love of this world; you will live above the world while you live in it. If Christ be in the heart, the world will be in its proper place. If you are clothed with the sun, the moon (all sublunary things) will be under your feet.—Mason,