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man after that durst ask him any questions.”
Their discomfiture may serve to confirm our faith, and their disappointment may
be a means of strengthening our hope. For, although professing ourselves to be Christians, and calling ourselves, as we do, followers of Jesus Christ, we thereby declare our belief in him, and express our hopes of being saved through him, yet surrounded as we are by sceptics, and exposed to the sneers and scoffs of the infidel, every thing which can add strength to our faith, and even give us but a collateral proof of the divine wisdom of our blessed Lord, is well worth our attention. And to this, that part of his conduct which we have now considered, may contribute. We have seen him surrounded by enemies, extricating himself without violence, by the mere readiness of his answers, and the presence of his mind, from the snares which were laid to entrap him. And as, by the very confession of his foes themselves, he was, as far as human means
went, entirely uneducated, it is but a reasonable conclusion, at which at least all believers will readily arrive, that the wisdom which he possessed was wisdom from above, sent down by God on his beloved Son, in whom he was well pleased.
And for ourselves, inasmuch as we have obtained from him the promise of the gift of his Holy Spirit, who will come and abide with us, if we will but prepare ourselves to receive him, we shall do well to endeavour to acquire, by the aid of this holy guest, in imitation of our blessed Saviour, at a distance though it be, the same readiness of answer to all questions which are put to us on the ground of our faith. St. Peter admonishes his disciples “to be ready to give an answer to all who ask them of the reason of the hope that is in them ?;" and it is not unreasonable that such a qualification should be required of all those who wait for salvation through the blessing of a Redeemer.
And how shall we be able thus to
11 Pet. iii. 15.
qualify ourselves, except by studying the holy Scriptures ? To them must we turn for wisdom and knowledge ; they will be our guide and our comfort; they will supply us with consolation in all difficulty, and with an answer in all doubt. Finally, through them shall we be able to triumph over all our spiritual adversaries, for they are, indeed, truly called “ the sword of the Spirit, the word of God !.”
And while we peruse them, let us heartily thank God for having given them to us, as well as for all his other blessings, and endeavour all we can to shew ourselves worthy of his favours, by using them in obedience to him, and in subservience to his commands ; so may we, by his grace,
be enabled to do our duty here, and finally be admitted to eternal happiness hereafter, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
THE PROPHECIES OF OUR BLESSED SAVIOUR.
St. MARK xiv. 61, 62.
Again the High Priest asked him, and said unto him,
Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? And Jesus said, I am : and ye shall see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
In this explicit manner did our blessed Lord declare who he was, and prophesy to his enemies the certainty of his second coming. He had, indeed, frequently, when referring, in the presence of his disciples, to his expected departure, in no obscure terms asserted, that although he was about to go away, yet that he would come again. If he wished to comfort them under their approaching separation, this was his address; “I go away, and come again to you!.” If he spoke of the destruction of Jerusalem, these were his words, “ then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven, and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with power and great glory?.” Or if he spoke of the final judgment of the world, and the equal distribution of rewards and punishments to the inhabitants of it, still his own coming is connected with it; “ the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live 3 :" “ the hour is coming in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice and shall come forth, they that have done good unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil to the resurrection of damnation.”