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eye might often be directed to the strength and the glory of her venerable outworks. But let it not be disguised. The surrender of the understanding to the external argument is one thing ; the rational principle of Christianity is another. And, therefore, there must be something more than the bare evidence of Christianity, to work the faith which is unto salvation. Many are the accomplished philosophers who have rejected this evidence, and to them it will stand in place of the miracle of tongues to the unbelievers of old. It will be a sign to justify their condemnation.
But many also have admitted the evidence, and still the opinion has been as unfruitful of all that is religious, as the conclusion they have come to on any literary question. And, men of genius and accomplishment as they are, they must, to obtain the faith of the gospel, just put themselves on a level with the most untaught of our peasantry. They must submit to be tutored by the same evidence at last. They must labour after the same manifestation of the truth unto their consciences. They must open their Bibles, and give earnest heed unto the word of this prophecy. To the spirit of earnestness they must add the spirit of prayer. They must knock for light at the door which they cannot open, till the day dawns and the day-star arise in their hearts—and then will they find, that, by a way hidden from the wise and the prudent, but revealed unto babes, the word of prophecy may become more sure than any miracle can make it -more sure, than if a voice of attestation were to sound forth upon them from the canopy of heaven -and greatly more sure than by all that traditionary evidence, which links the present with the past, the period in which we now live with that wondrous period, when such a voice was heard by human ears on the mount of transfiguration.
It is true that the word of the testimony is often perused in vain—that in the reading of the Scriptures, the veil which is upon the heart of the natural man often remains untaken away—and that, after all that is done with him, he persists in blind and wilful obstinacy, and will neither see the doctrine of the Bible, nor the reflection of that doctrine
his own character. To work this effect, the word must be accompanied by the demonstration of the Spirit, and who shall limit his operations ? When we think of the influences of Him who is promised in answer to prayer, and when we farther think of the extent of warrant that we have for prayer, even that we should ask for all such things as are agreeable to the will of God, who willeth all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth, and who is ever ready to put a blessing on His own word; then, to the diligentreading of the word, let him add the humble, earnest, and sincere prayer, that “God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, may shine into his heart, to give him the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, as it is revealed in the face of Jesus Christ."
THE LIVING TEMPLE;
A GOOD MAN THE TEMPLE OF GOD.
BY THE REV. JOHN HOWE, A.M.
It is well remarked by the excellent John Howe, in the following Treatise, that the “Living Temple,” or, as it is frequently styled in the New Testament the “Kingdom of Heaven," which God is setting up in the world, “is not established by might or by power, but by the Spirit of the Lord; who—as the structure is spiritual, and to be situated and raised up in the mind or spirit of man -works, in order to it, in a way suitable thereto; that is, very much by soft and gentle insinuations, to which are subservient the self-recommending amiableness and comely aspect of religion, the discernible gracefulness and uniform course of such in whom it bears rule, and is a settled, living law. It is a structure to which there is a concurrence of truth and holiness; the former letting in a vital, directive, formative light—the latter, a heavenly, calm, and god-like frame of spirit.” To the same import is the declaration of our Saviour, when, in answer to the Pharisees, who demanded of Him
when the kingdom of God should come, replied, “ The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: neither shall they say, Lo, here! or, lo, there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” We are thus given to understand, that the kingdom which God is establishing in the world, does not consist in external forms and observancesthat it is not of a temporal, but of a spiritual character—and that, unlike the establishment of earthly kingdoms, it cometh with none of those visible accompaniments which meet the eye of public observation.
The establishment of a new kingdom in the world carries much in it to strike the
eye observer. There is a deal of visible movement accompanying the progress of such an event-the march of armies, and the bustle of conspiracies, and the exclamations of victories, and the triumph of processions, and the splendour of coronations. All these doings are performed upon a conspicuous theatre; and there is not an individual in the country, who, if not an actor, may not be at least an observer on the elevated stage of great and public revolutions. He can point his finger, and say, Lo, here ! or, lo, there! to the symptoms of political change which are around him; and the clamorous discontent of one province, and the warlike turbulence of another, and the loud expressions of public sentiment at home, and the report of preparation abroad—all force themselves upon the notice of spectators; so that when a new kingdom is set up in the world, that kingdom cometh with observation.
The answer of our Saviour to the question of the Pharisees, may be looked upon as designed to correct their misconceptions respecting the nature of the kingdom which he was to establish. There is no doubt that they all looked for a deliverance from the yoke of Roman authority—that, in their eyes, the Captain of their Salvation was to be the leader of a mighty host, who, fighting under the special protection of God, would scatter dismay and overthrow among the oppressors of their country—that the din of war, and the pride of conquest, and the glories of a widely extended dominion, and all the visible parade of a supreme and triumphant monarchy, were to shed a lustre over their beloved land. And it must have been a sore mortification to them all, when they saw the pretensions of the Messiah associated with the poverty, and the meekness, and the humble, unambitious, and spiritual character of Jesus of Nazareth. We cannot justify the tone of His persecutors; but we must perceive, at the same time, the historical consistency of all their malice, and bitterness, and irritated pride, with the splendour of those expectations on which they had been feasting for years, and which gave a secret elevation to their souls under the endurance of their country's bondage, and their country's wrongs. It marks—and it marks most strikingly-how the thoughts of God are not as the thoughts of man; that the actual fulfilment of those prophecies which related to the history of Judea, turned out so differently from the anticipations of the men who lived in it; and that Jerusalem, which, in point of expectation, was to sit as mistress over