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tent in the darkness of the night, than God's works reveal his being and power. They testify of him. His power has left its footprint impressed upon them all.
Now, whose footprint is that on the ground there before the tomb of Lazarus ? Was it God or man that passed that way, leaving strange evidence of his presence in an empty grave? There, the revolution of time has brought round again the days of Eden ; for, unless it be easier to give life to the dust of the grave than to the dust of the ground, the spectators of that stupendous miracle, who stand transfixed with astonishment, gazing on the dead alive, have seen the arm of God made bare ; and, from the very lips that cried, Lazarus, come forth, have they heard the voice which said of old, Let us make man in our image. Nay, a day of older date than Eden's has returned. To make something out of nothing is a work more visibly stamped with divinity than to make one thing out of another-a living man out of lifeless dust; and ere our Lord left the world, he was to leave behind him, in an act, not of forming but of creating power, the most visible footprint and impress of the great Creator. The scene of it may be less picturesque, less striking to common eyes, than when Jesus rose in the boat to rebuke the storm ; than when leaving Galilee's shore to cross the lake, the waters sustained him, and he walked like a shadowy spirit, upon the hearing billows; than when he stayed a funeral procession at the gate of Nain, and, going up to the bier, laid his hand on the corpse of the widow's son, and, changing death to life, left him folding her in his fond embraces ; yet our Lord never appeared niore the express image of his Father, than on yonder green grassy mountain
side. The calmness of all the scene, the meanness of the company, if you will have it so, the poverty of the fare, amid these accessories, that are but dull foils to the sparkling gem, Jesus stands forth in the glory of a Creator. At his will, the bread multiplies ; it grows in the hands of disciples ; five thousand men are filled to repletion with what had not otherwise satisfied five; and, thing unheard of before, the fragments of narrow circumstances and a scanty table far exceeded the original provision. The materials of the feast filled one basket, but the fragments fill twelve. Who does not see the day of creation restored in that banquet? In the author of this, the greatest of all his miracles, who does not see “ the express image” of him who made things that are out of things that were not, said of matter's first-born and purest element, Let there be light: and there was light?
2. In Christ we see the image of a holy God. Many years ago a horrible crime was committed in a neighboring country. It was determined that the guilty man, whoever he might be, so soon as he was discovered and convicted, should die. He had filed; but the eye of justice tracked him to his hiding-place. Dragged from it, he is arraigned at the bar ; and fancy, if you can, the feelings of his judge, when, in the pale, trembling, miserable, guilty wretch, he recognized his own son—his only son! What an agonizing struggle now began in that father's bosom! He is torn between the conflicting claims of nature and duty. The public indignation against the criminal is lost in pity for the father, as he sits there transfixed with horror, overwhelmed with grief, while his child, with clasped hands and eyes that swim in tears, implores a father's pity. Duty bears nature down. He pronounces sentence of death ; but in passing it on his son, he passes it on himself. Nature would have her own. He rises ; he leaves the bench; he hastens home; he lies down on his bed ; nor ever rising from it, dies of a broken heart.
God cannot die; yet, when, rather than his holy law should be broken with impunity, he gave up his love to bleed, his beloved son to die, a substitute for us, oh, how did the blood which dyed that cross dye his law in colors of the brightest holiness! What sermon like that on the text, “ It is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God.” Nor, as in that dying Saviour hung high under a frowning heaven, as beneath that bloody tree, where Mary receives into her arms the dead body of her son, and weeping women in bitter anguish kiss his wounded feet, is there in hell or heaven a scene so impressively, awfully illustrative of the angel's anthem, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.
3. In Christ we see the image of a God willing and and able to save.
Let me 'take an illustration of this from an act of salvation which he performed under circumstances of the greatest difficulty and disadvantage. The scene is laid at the cross. Jesus is dying ; agonising pains, the shouts of the pitiless multitude, their insulting mockery, and the deep darkness of the hour, combine to disturb his mind. If he can save then and there, save when his hand is nailed to the tree, what may he not do, now that he is exalted to the right hand of God, with all power given him in earth and heaven? I would awaken hope in the bosom of despair, I would like to cheer God's people, and I would try to encourage the greatest sinners to turn with faith to this refuge of the lost; let us therefore draw near, and see how his divine ability to save, streaming like a sunbeam through a riven cloud, revealed him, even when hanging on the cross, as the adorable image of an invisible God. And may the Holy Spirit bless the sight to you!
It is easy to save one who has fallen into the flood some distance above the cataract, where the river, not yet hurrying to the fall, flows placidly on its way. But further down the difficulty becomes great, every foot further down the greater; for the current moves with faster speed and growing force, till at length it shoots forward with arrowy flight, and, reaching the brink, leaps headlong into a boiling gulf. Now, away among the mountains, I know such a place, where once three shepherds, brothers, were to leap, as they had often done, from rock to rock, across the narrow chasm through which the swollen waters rushed onward to their fall. Bold mountaineers, and looking with careless eye on a sight whicli had turned others dizzy, one bounded over like a red deer; another followed but, alas, his foot slipping on the smoothly treacherous ledge, he staggered, reeled, and falling back, rolled over with a sullen plunge into the jaws of the abyss. Quick as lightning, his brother sprang forward-down to a point where the waters issue into a more open space, just above the crag over which they throw themselves into the black, rock-girdled, boiling cavern. There, standing on the verge of death, he eyes the body coming ; he bends—his arm is out—thank God, he has him in his powerful grasp. Bravely, brotherly
done! Alas! it is done in vain. The third brother, sad spectator of the scene, saw him swept from his slippery footing : and, in their death not divided, as of old they had lain in their childhood, locked in each other's arms they went over, horribly whelmed in the depths of the swirling pool. Not so perished our elder Brother, and the thief he stretched out his hand to sare. He plucked him from the brink of hell ; he saved him on the dizzy edge of the dreadful pit. Poor wretch, ah! he hangs above the gulf; he is half over ; just then he turns a dying eye on a dying Saviour, and utters but one cry for help. The arm of mercy seizes him, he is saved ; now heaven holds him crowned in glory! What a revelation of Jesus as the express image of him who has power to save at the very uttermost! What an encouragement to you, though the chief of sinners, to cast yourselves at Jesus' feet! Do it. Do it now. May heaven help you to do it now! Another moment, and you may be beyond the reach of mercy. Another moment may be a whole eternity too late.