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eye like that which the worshipping Israelites | carefully observed, and gratefully remembered. contemplated in the wilderness of Sinai, and which He is a child born unto us,' that is, for our caused even Moses to exclaim, 'I do exceedingly benefit. He was given to us that he might be fear and quake,' but a glory equally real, and given for us a sacrifice to God of sweet smelling incomparably more effulgent; the concentrated savour. The gift was perfectly free, and is inglory of all the divine perfections, not dimly sha-estimably precious. God had no greater or dowed forth, but clearly and intelligibly mani- better gift to bestow. And he gave it not befested. Let us behold his glory by making it the cause he might not honourably have withheld it, object of our devout contemplation, the theme of but because sinners could not be saved without our study, and our song of praise; and behold-it. Truly in this was manifested the love of ing, as in a glass, the glory of the Lord,' 'let us seek to be changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.'


God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him;' and 'herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.'

The humiliating circumstances of the Saviour's birth must not be overlooked. These were all expressive of extreme indigence and lowliest abasement. His mother was the wife of an

Unto us a child is born, and his name shall be obscure and humble carpenter. His first dwellcalled, The mighty God,' Isa. ix. 6.

'Or whom speaketh the prophet this?' There is only one Being in the universe to whom this language can with any appearance of truth or consistency be applied. It is he who was in the form of God, and thought it no robbery to be equal with God, but who took upon him the form of a servant, and was found in fashion as a man;' who is at once the Creator and a creature, the everlasting Father and an infant of days; who combines in one mysterious person supreme dignity with the deepest abasement, the majesty of heaven with the meanness of earth, the peculiar attributes of Deity with the common properties of humanity.

The Old Testament saints were enabled to view the birth of Christ as an event already past. Regarding it in the light of inspiration Isaiah foresaw its certain approach, and could anticipate the angel's message to the shepherds of Bethlehem: Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.' Jesus is said to be the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world; with equal propriety he may be pronounced the child born from the foundation of the world. Jewish patriarchs and prophets realized the fact of the Saviour's birth, not only as an object of hope, but a source of joy and thanksgiving. What was to them an article of faith, is with us a matter of history. We do not anticipate a future, but commemorate a past event, when we say, 'Unto us a child is born.'

ing was a stable, and a manger his bed. Even ordinary comforts and accommodations were denied him. But in the birth of Christ the lowliness of assumed humanity was connected with intimations of essential divinity. A voice from heaven declared him to be the Son of the Highest. An angel from before the throne descended to announce the event of his birth, and a host of angels joyfully hailed the announcement with a song of celestial melody, proclaiming 'glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth, goodwill to men.' The inhabitants of Bethlehem regarded him not, but eastern sages, travelling from a distant land, and guided by a supernatural star, hastened to do him homage.

To the eye of sense, indeed, the birth of Christ presented a scene of abject poverty and wretchedness. The child lay in all the helplessness of infancy, needing support, and imploring sympathy. But to the view of an enlightened faith the stable of Bethlehem exhibited a spectacle of sublime and surpassing interest. In any circumstances the birth of a child is an event of incalculable importance. It is the production of an immortal spirit, destined to spend an eternity, either in the light of God's countenance, or in the misery of outer darkness, where the worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. Who can tell to what extent he may become the instrument of good or of evil! Of unspeakably greater importance is the birth of a prince, the heir of a throne, the guide and the guardian of a nation's destinies! But how momentous beyond all comparison, and above all comprehension, must be the birth of Him who is the Prince of The gracious design of Christ's birth should be all the kings of the earth, and of whom it was

predicted, and his name shall be called, The | Shield, he will give grace and glory, and will mighty God.' withhold no good thing from them.

This name has been given to him, not by the wisdom of fallible man, but by the word of the true God; not in obscure and doubtful terms, but in language plain and unequivocal; not in a few, but in many instances. As his name is, so is his character. He proved himself to be the mighty God by the words of truth which he uttered, and the wonders of power which he performed. At his bidding the waves ceased their raging, and devils abandoned their victims. His word gave health to the sick, hearing to the deaf, eyes to the blind, speech to the dumb, feet to the lame, and life to the dead. A virtue

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And again, when he bringeth in the first-begot

ten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him,' Heb. i. 6. THE scriptures afford little information with re

went out from him which produced immediate cures upon all to whom it extended, how distant soever in place, or hopeless in condition. His omnipotence reached to the souls of men as well as their bodies, and discovered itself in tranquil-gard to the angels of God. Yet some interesting lizing the troubled mind, in healing the wounded spirit, in converting the heart of stone into flesh, and the principle of enmity into a spirit of love.

particulars have been recorded. We read of 'the
angels which kept not their first estate, but left
their own habitation,' and are reserved in ever-
lasting chains under darkness unto the judgment
of the great day. Hence we learn that there are
fallen angels as well as men.
But their apostacy
was not universal. Those that maintained their
allegiance are called 'holy angels.' With respect
to their residence we are told that they dwell in
the more immediate presence of God, before
whom they offer up the homage of their united
and unceasing devotion. We read of 'an innumer-

The believing followers of Christ have learned to call him by the name of the mighty God.' They have seen its inscription written by the finger of God, and shining forth as with the light of a sunbeam on the page of inspiration. To the evidence of scripture has been added the testimony of experience. By revealing his Son in them, God has effectually convinced them of his deity, and constrained them with Thomas to ex-able company of angels,' all of whom are animated claim, My Lord and my God.' They have the with one spirit of reverence, humility, zeal, and witness in themselves, and from what they have gratitude. They 'excel in strength,' and they felt of his gracious power they know and acknow- exert their strength in fulfilling the pleasure of ledge him to be indeed 'the mighty God.' This their Creator, and in promoting the ends of his conviction is at once strong and unanimous. On government both in providence and grace. Anmany other points they differ in opinion, but gels are God's messengers to declare his will, and with respect to the deity of Christ they are all his ministers to execute it either for mercy or of one mind. They all repose in him an un-judgment. God's church and people derive imlimited confidence, and render to him, supreme portant benefits from their instrumentality; for honour.

What may they not expect from him who is the mighty God! All things are his in nature, providence, and grace. But all that he is and has is theirs, for he is not ashamed to be called their God.' Therefore all things are theirs, whether the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come. His infinite resources are pledged to supply them with all necessary good, as well as to support and deliver them from all existing evil. He hath provided for them a city. And he is preparing them for it, and will put them in personal and everlasting possession of it. He is their Sun, and their

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are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister to them which are the heirs of salvation. The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.' But it is their highest privilege to serve him of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named; And when he bringeth in the first-begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.'

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It is to the period of our Lord's incarnation that this emphatic injunction obviously refers. In his pre-existent state he had been the object of worship to angels who saw his glory, and acknowledged his divinity by presenting to him in common

had been the scene of his triumph, they attended him to supply his wants, and congratulate him on his victory. They stood by him in the garden to strengthen him under the weight of his mysterious agony. They uncovered his sepulchre to open the way for his resurrection; and they were present at his ascension to comfort his disciples, and announce to the church the event of his second coming. On these and other occasions, during the days of his flesh, the angels of God discovered their zeal for his glory, and declared their readiness to do him homage.

with the Father and the Holy Spirit the expres- | God in the highest.' In the wilderness, which sions of the most profound adoration and fervent praise. His mediatorial abasement in taking our nature upon him, did not lessen his claim to these angelic ascriptions, but on the contrary invested him with a new and most peculiar title to them. Accordingly, he had no sooner made his appearance upon earth, in the form of a servant,' and in fashion as a man,' than a voice, proceeding from the eternal throne, asserted his supreme dignity in the command: And let all the angels of God worship him.' By this order the babe lying in the stable at Bethlehem, in circumstances of apparent meanness and destitution, exposed to the contempt of a world which he had made, was notwithstanding declared to be the Lord of angels, and not only worthy of the respect which was due to their superior, but entitled to the worship which belonged to their Creator.

For it does not admit of a doubt that the worship required from the angels by this command is strictly and properly of a religious nature. As the reward of the Saviour's humiliation we are informed that God hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth. And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.' He claims from angels the worship of adoration, which is expressive of reverence, humility, confidence, and gratitude in the highest possible degree. But they are commanded to give him also the worship of their submission and service; for it is not the homage of the lips merely that is required or will be accepted, either from angels or men, but that of the heart and life. We read that 'angels, authorities, and powers were subject to him;' and he not only rules over them as subjects, but makes use of them as instruments to fulfil his purposes, and promote the interests of his kingdom. The command is most just and reasonable that all the angels of God should worship him. Their worship is due to the perfections of his Godhead; it is no less due to the honour of his mediatorship. By the angels themselves the command is understood in its most comprehensive import; they cordially approve of it, and yield to it a cheerful and perfect obedience.

During his abode on earth Jesus had to bear the scorn and contempt of men, but he was honoured with the worship of angels. They expressed their joy at his birth in a song of pious exultation and thanksgiving, doing honour alike to the Son and the Father, by ascribing 'glory to

But their feelings of devotion are fully expressed in the services of the heavenly temple. There the glories of the Lamb fill every heart with love, and every mouth with praise. All the angels of God worship him, 'whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers.' They cover their faces with their wings in the contemplation of his greatness, and under the consciousness of their own insignificance. It is a willing, united, and harmonious service which they render to him. No constraint is employed, no reluctance felt, no hypocrisy assumed. Their worship has nothing in it of cold indifference or empty formality, but is full of ardour and energy, and at the same time pure, perfect and perpetual, offered without interruption, and to be continued without end.

From the command imposed upon the angels we learn both the Saviour's dignity and our duty. God is the only proper object of worship, and he will not give his glory to another. But when he brought in the first-begotten into the world, he said, let all the angels of God worship him.' If Christ is adored by all the hosts of heaven, surely he may be worshipped by the inhabitants of the earth. If he claims the homage of angels, much more is he entitled to the worship of men. The law given to them must be also the rule for us. Their practice should be our pattern. We have a law for ourselves, no less explicit in its terms, and if possible still more peremptory in its demand, for it is the declared will of God that 'all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father.'

To them that believe he is precious.' In their estimation he is infinitely worthy of the warmest love, and of the highest honour. They cannot, in their present state, equal the purity, the fervour, and elevation of angelic worship. But they are by grace enabled to offer a tribute of devotion no less acceptable to Christ than that of angels; the offering of a sincere, humble, contrite and devoted heart. And they have the

and even the soldiers who had been sent to apprehend him were constrained to acknowledge, 'Never man spake like this man.' He differed from all other teachers, and was superior to them all, both in the matter and the manner of his instructions. As he is the wisest and best of teachers, his followers should be the most humble and diligent of scholars, looking into the perfect law of liberty, and continuing therein, not being forgetful hearers, but doers of the word, that they may be blessed in their deed.

prospect of being made like unto the angels, with | know that thou art a Teacher sent from God, ̧ whom they shall unite as fellow worshippers in singing the song of the Lamb, serving him day and night in his temple, having washed their robes, and made them white in his blood. And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne, and the beasts, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.'"

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It was predicted that Christ should be not merely a prophet, but a prophet like unto Moses. Many prophets arose after Moses, but none of them could be pronounced like unto him. All that Moses was, and infinitely more, may be affirmed of Christ. Moses, however, did not claim equality with the Messiah, but only a resemblance to him; and the resemblance may easily be traced in a variety of important par


In Moses the office of prophet was combined with the character of redeemer; he rescued the people of Israel from the yoke of Egyptian oppression. Christ redeemed his people from the curse of the law, from the tyranny of satan, and the bondage of corruption. He delivered not their bodies only, but their souls, and accomplished for them not a temporal but an eternal redemption. Jesus was like Moses, both a lawgiver and a pro

MOSES was held in high estimation by the Jewish people. They gloried in being called his disciples. Yet they practically disregarded the testimony of Moses in rejecting Christ, who exposed their inconsistency, and said to them, If ye believed Moses, ye would believe me, for he wrote of me.' Like all the other scriptures, the writings of Moses testify of Christ; in particular, we know upon the authority of Stephen, an inspired interpreter, that he pointed to the Mes-phet. He put an end to the observances of the ceresiah in these emphatic words, The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him shall ye hearken.' This prediction describes the Saviour's character, and declares the sinner's duty.

A prophet is a person who foretells future events. The Jews themselves were on one occasion compelled to admit the prophetical character of Christ; for, in obvious allusion to this prediction of Moses, they said, 'Of a truth this is that prophet which should come into the world.' The spirit which had been poured out upon him above measure was the spirit of prophecy. Of the predictions which he uttered some were fulfilled before his ascension, others received their accomplishment soon afterwards. Of those which remain to be accomplished, it may be affirmed that 'heaven and earth shall pass away, but his word shall not pass away till all shall be fulfilled.'

But he did also the work of a public instructor, which formed an essential part of the prophetical office. Nicodemus could say, 'We

monial law which Moses had instituted; but he confirmed the obligation of the moral law, to which he added some peculiar precepts of his own, and illustrated the whole in his perfect example, which possesses the force of a law. Moses acted the part of a guide to the Israelites in their way to the promised land; so Jesus, the Captain of salvation, was made perfect through sufferings, that he might bring many sons unto glory. His presence attends them like the fiery cloudy pillar, both by day and by night. He will guide them by his counsel, and receive them into his glory. Besides, Moses exercised the authority of a ruler, and Jesus has been anointed King on his holy hill of Zion, and shall reign till he shall have put all his enemies under his feet. On various occasions Moses acted the part of an intercessor, and either mitigated or averted threatening judgments. Jesus, too, made intercession for the transgressors by dying for them on earth; and he ever liveth to make intercession for them in heaven. In all these points of view Christ was raised up a prophet like unto Moses.

Yet in these, and in every other respect, he

was a prophet far superior to Moses. As a mercy or of judgment. 'Hearken diligently

prophet he infinitely surpasses Moses in the dignity of his person, in the extent of his power, in the excellencies of his character, in the value of his ministrations, in the permanency of his office, in the number and force of his claims. If therefore the people of Israel were required under the most awful penalties to obey the word of Moses, how much more is it incumbent on us to yield obedience to the voice of Christ? . Unto him shall ye hearken.' These words declare

The sinner's duty. It includes the exercise of considerate attention. This is the first step to conversion. A most important point has been gained when the mind of the sinner is awakened to serious concern about salvation, so as to make it the subject of earnest and prayerful inquiry. The gospel demands, and will bear the most minute and scrutinizing investigation. It speaks to the understanding and the judgment, as well as to the conscience and the heart, and says, 'Whoso hath ears to hear, let him hear.' It is the sinner's duty to hearken by

Believing the word of Christ; for this,' says he, 'is the work of God, that ye believe in him whom he hath sent.' And the faith which he requires is not a mere act of the understanding, but a principle of the heart, consisting in the exercise of a simple and affectionate confidence, working by love, and enforcing obedience. They that know his name put their trust in him, and whilst they believe all his doctrines to be true, they esteem his precepts concerning all things to be right. To hearken expresses

Submission to the authority of Christ: the submission of the will to the guidance of his word, of the heart to the influence of his love, and of the life to the demands of his law, and of the circumstances to the disposal of his providence. He demands an affectionate and unreserved submission; and he is entitled to it both as a testimony of respect to his authority, and an expression of gratitude for his redeeming grace. All who live by him, he disposes to live to him and for him. His love to them is evinced by their devotedness to him. They daily kneel at his footstool, and inquire, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?'

To us the word of his salvation has been sent. It is his voice that speaks to us in every part of it, and we are called on by every consideration of interest and duty to hearken to it with a teachable, obedient, and prayerful attention, whether it addresses us in the language of doctrine or precept, of promise or threatening, of

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unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto me; hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.'


Seeing that ye refuse not him that speaketh: for if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven,' Heb. xii. 25.

We have here an admonition, and an argument, both of which, by alarming our fears, combine to enforce a most important duty. But in order to understand the meaning of the admonition, and feel the force of the argument, it is necessary that we should be made acquainted with the character of the Speaker, and also with the subject of his address.

The character of the Speaker possesses the highest claim to our attention. He is invested with supreme authority over us, and has an unquestionable right to dictate to us in all matters both of faith and practice. It is his sovereign prerogative to deal with us, and with every thing that belongs to us, and every thing that concerns us, according to his sovereign pleasure. Besides he is a Being of perfect veracity. His word may be implicitly depended on, 'for he is not a man that he should lie.' When he speaks, it is with the voice of truth and wisdom. Nothing, therefore, which proceeds from him can be either erroneous and hurtful, or even trifling and unprofitable. For he unites infallible wisdom with infinite love. He has the best interests of those whom he speaks to deeply at heart. His design is to make them happy; and he points out a way that will ensure their happiness both in time and for eternity. And he can give full effect to every word he utters, by a power to which all things are possible. He speaks, and it is done; he commands, and it stands fast. In him all the promises of God are yea and amen; for he is both faithful and able to perform. But his holiness constitutes the chief glory of his character. In him is no sin. He cannot look upon sin. And there is no sin so heinous and so offensive in his sight as the sin of refusing him that speaketh from heaven; it is a sin which he has expressed his determination to punish with everlasting destruction, from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his

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