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hin, find the strengthening band of an angel necessary? We must not then be surprized that a follower of Jesus faints by the way; especially it, in addition to all this, he should be des prived of that spiritual provision which God has graciously appointed for the support of his people. Is not the gospel a feast of fat things ? - is it not bread of life? Are not the ordinances of God's house green pastures ? At this feast many saints have been regaled; of this bread many have eaten, and been satisfied; in these pastures many of the little flock of Jesus have been refreshed. But sickness may confine a man to his bed-chamber, - persecution may drive hiin (though not from a covenant-God) from the place where his honour dwelleth;' if so, although he may afterwards have reason to say, “ It is good for me that I have been afflicted,” yet his soul will then be cast down within him, and he will go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy. Yes; he will be weary and faint, but even at this period his language will be “ “Hope in God, for I shall yet praise him.” We enquire then,
How it is that, amidst all this weariness, the spiritual man still pursues? Shall I say, “ He does so, in virtue of the abso Jute promises of God? Yes. Gideon and his 300 men had never put to fight and vanquished the vast army of Midian, had not God previously said to him, “Go in this thy might, and thon shalt save Israel.” A believer pursues his eternal prize in virtue of these precious promises, which say, “ He will give grace and glory: :- my sheep hear my voice, and they shall never perish : -- he who hath begun a good work in you. will carry it on:
the Lord knoweth them that are his." These truths are an inexhaustible fountain of refreshment, from which the soul is greatly invigorated. Moreover, God declared not only that Gideon should overcome, but also that he hiinself would be with him, in order to strengthen him. Is it not true, that a Christian pursues in the exercise of that strength which Jesus Christ, his living head, daily communicates unto him? Christ overcame the world, sin, and Hell #vd he, by virtue of his union with bim, must overcome likewise, We are ready to wonder at hearing a good man say, “I can do all things;" but our wonder ceases, when he adus, “ Through Christ, who strengtheneth me.” We look up, and ask our brethren in bliss, “Whence their victory came?"
• They, with united breath, Ascribe their conquest to the Lamb;
Then triumph to his death!" Besides, a good man, under all his disquietude, keeps in view the promised reward. As the valiant soldiers of the famous Carthaginian General, when passing over the disunat Alps, were animated in the prospect of the fertile plains of Italy, and the repose they expected to enjoy there,-so he who is engaged in thc heavenly warfare is animaled in view of :12:2
recompence of reward. He contrasts the rest which remains for the people of God with the troubles of the way: be opposes the mansion in his Father's house to the tottering tabernacle in which he now dwells : he considers, that shortly his present sorrow will be exchanged for joy; his present mourning for triumph; his present obscurity for glory, honour, and immortality : and this animates his soul, and enables him, tho' faint, still 10 press forward toward the inark. Thus, in every age of the church, have all the ransomed of the Lord been invigorated in their return to Zion.
o ye believers in Jesus! recollect, always recollect, that it is through much tribulation you must enter into the kingdom ! Wait upon the Lord, that your spiritual strength inay be daily renewed; and often realize that period when your sun shall no more go down, nor your moon withdraw itself: when the Lord shall be your everlasting light, and the days of your mourning shall be ended !
W. H. Harwich.
THE PIERCED SAVIOUR.
And again another Scripture saith, “ They shall look on him
whom they pierced.” – John xix, 37. Various are the objects contemplated by the philosopher. He observes the distinguishing marks which discriminate one from another. If I ask him,“ How he knows? or, Why he affirms that this being, this creature, belongs to such a class, such a tribe, such a species." — he replies, “That he is assured of it, from certain marks which, altogether, meet in no other tribe or class.' And he cannot give me a better or more convincing answer :- I am satisfied.
The great Messiah, who should restore men to God, and save his people from their sins, was promised from the earliest ages; but the year, the month, the day, were not specified, Ilow shall I know this Messiah? By certain marks, which, altogether, only meet in him.
“ Apother Scripture saith," -- Apostolic men had a high regard for the Scriptures. They were not like modern infidels, full of unbelief, full of prejudice, full of eninity! No; they were men of piety, men of a sound understanding : -- they could appreciate the worth of the Bible; they were convinced of Scripture authority; they were acquainted with the interesta ing contents of the Bible; they were taught by the same Spirit as taught Moses and the prophets; they could apply the types and develope their hidden mysteries, full of grace and full of glory; they read the Holy Scripture under the conduct of an infallible guide ; they never erred in their application of it. Uninspired men, however pious, have not precisely the same advantages; and must not be relied on with the same implicit confidence.
The words of the text are a quotation from the prophet Zechariah, chap. xii, and thus quoted by the evangelist, determine absolutely to whom the prophetical text ultimately relates, and in whom it hath been positively fulfilled, viz. Jesus Christ; and, taken in connection with the words as they stand in the prophecy, three oljects of consideration will be presented to view : - 1. Jesus Christ was pierced, and his pain. ful sufferings should nerer be forgotten; - 2. An enlightened inind maintains a constant regard to Jesus Cirrist, and to him as crucified; -- 3. A penitent sinner, when contemplating a bleeding Saviour, is, at times, constrained to mourn.
1. Jesus Christ was pierced, and his painful sufferings should never be forgotten. They made an impression on the lumina. ries above, and on the rocks below! Though sustained near 2000 years ago, they are fresh in every believer's memory; Returning sacranients, which contain the pledges of his dying lore, serve to keep up a lively recollection of the same. In that ordinance, his body broken and his blood shed, are represented in a manner calculated to impress the mind, and affect the heart. “Him'whom they pierced,” seeins to be written on the fore-front of the ordinance. They pierced every power of his soul; and made it “excecding sorrowful, even uinto death.” Their ingratitude and cruel enmity penetrated his heart. They pierced his reputation, and laboured to ruin a character which was without a flaw, — They pierced his back by cruel lashes, afier it had borne the burden' and heat of the day,
They made deep their furrows;” their bitter ermity added fury to their strokes ! - They pierced luis beari; that dear majestic head, which no crown on earth was sufficient to adorn ! that very head was wreathed about with lacerating iborne! What violent throbs, what excruciating pain, must be occasioned by the poii ts of those thoros! And, as if he thought the points did not go deep enough, one inhuman wretch struck him on the head! From the gushing wounds behold the flow of redeeming love; and let tears of grateful joy and mingled sorrow gusi, in quick succession, from every eye! - They pierced his hands; those very hands which had Lealed many an afflicted object! - those hands which had sup: plied the wants of many in distress! Thro' the center of those hands were the nails driven, which fastened him to the cross! The sensations which he must feel, at every stroke of the in. strun.ent which drove in the nails, are far beyond what we can conceive. All this he bore for sin and sinners!. They pierced his feet; those blessed feet which had travelled many a weary step to do them good! The construction of the feet is very curious and complicate: there are bones, sinews, ligaments, tendons, veins, and arteries; through all these the
cruel nails must make their way to reach the wood, -the cross to which they were affixed ! 'What writhing pains must instantly ascend froin the feet to the head, and increase at every blow! Is all this of no account to you, O sipner? Will you crucify the Saviour afresh by your negligence, your ingratiLude, and your felly ? - They pierced his side, as though they thought they never could wound hiin sufficiently. If ever the malice of men seemed at all to rage, and to rage without a cause, it certainly was in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ Was ever afiliction so complicate? Was ever sorrow like unto his sorrow?
2. An enlightened understanding maintains a constant regard to Jesus Christ, and to him as crucified. “ They shall look on hin," and be lost in wonder, love, and praise ! Ligilt sbining from the Lord Jesus, that blessed Sun of Righteousness, is sure to attract the mind to bim! The various and ineffable glories which meet in Christ, when once discovered, are sure to engage and confine the attention to him.
In his face they shall contemplate the lineaments of the Deity. Oinniscience beaming in his eye: he searcheth the beart, and he trieth the reins of the children of men. All the treasures of Wisdom and Knowledge lodged in his understanding, who is the" wisdom and power of God." They shall see infinite authority and command in the majesty or his countenance;-all the fulness of the Godhead dweit in him bodily: he was with God, and he was God, “ God over alı, blessed for evermore."
On his heart they shall read the characters of love, love exceeding a possibility of description. A compassion which felt for men in their low estate; - a love which led to exertion for their sescue and deliverance, a love all divine. In its length, reaching forward to the immense ages of eternity :“I have loved thee with an everlasting love." in its breadth, extending to the ends of the earth; and pouring out blessings upon both Jew and Gentile. In its depih, descending to live verge of the bottomless pit; and thence plucking various brands from the burning! And in its height, exalting sinners, renewed, justified, and sanctified to the throne of God, and the regions of everlasting blessedness.
In his hands they shall behold and contemplate all tlie blessings of salvation. Effectual calling by the world of truth, regeneration, by the spirit of all grace, – justification from all sin and guilt,
-- sanctification in its beginning, progress and perfection, — support in every trial, - perseverance unto the end, acceptance in the general judyinent, - and final glorification. These, with all the blessings which they include, may be contemplated in the hands of that Prince of Peace, that Lord of Glory, who was "wounded for our transgressions, and by whose stripes we are healed."
In his person and work they shall contemplate, with adınira: tion and joy, the sum total of their felicity. Whatever is ne. cessary to render them holy and happy; whatever is necessary to render them faithful, and to keep them so; whatever is ne. cessary to shield and protect them, — all, all is found in Jesus Christ. “ Thine eyes shall see the King in his beauty, and the land which is afar off.” “ There the glorious Lord, the Lord of Glory, shall be unto us a place of broad rivers," where felicity shall ever flow and overflow! Jesus Christ is the spring of ineffable joy. The light of his countenance is Heaven unvailed! A man hath not stepped on the threshold of religion whose eye is not turned towards the Lord Jesus. “ This," said the Faiher of Mercies, “ this is iny beloved Son; hear ye hiin.” Bend your whole attention to his instructions: his words are music; they fall melodious on the ear. “Never man spake like this inan!" “ Grace is poured into thy lips
, O King of saints !” “ How dear are thy counsels unto ine, o God!" All our springs are in him, the God of our salvation, the Mediator of the new covenant, the Spirit of all truth! Whole centuries ago, the sun supplied 10,000 streams of light; and it shines with equal brightness now. Jesus Christ is the Sun of Righteousness.
Connecting the words quoted by the Evangelist, with the remainder of the prophetical expression, we have another oba servation afforded
viz. $. A penitent sinner, when contemplating a bleeding Saviour, is constrained to mourn. • They shall look on me whom they have pierced, and mourn." The words in the original text appear to refer to Jehovah, as the next preceding antecedent; and being applied by the evangelist' to Jesus Christ, are an argument in favour of his true divinity; Jehovah in the text of the Old Testament, and Jesus in the New, being one and the same. They shall look, - and mourn." They who conteinplate the Saviour Jesus Christ, mourn on varioud
“ By ons
They mourn for the ruin occasioned by the fall. man Sin entered into the world; and Death by Sin.” The covenant was broken, the anger of God incurred, the order of the creation deranged, a thousand springs of misery opened, Satan triumphing in his success, the glory of the creation reduced to ruins !
They mourn for sins committed against an holy God. Sin is uniformly the source of sorrow. Those who are insensible to the evil of sin, may well remain unacquainted with sorrow ok that account; but the man who looks to a bleeding Saviour, and contemplates the cause of all his sufferings, will drop the penitential tear, and say, “ Oh, Lord, I have sinned, and done foolishly, - cast me not away from thy presence; my iniquity, for it is great!" Divines have usually distin: