Obrazy na stronie

that we may

Satan has usurped the throne, and has alien- of their conversion, when the corruptions of ated the minds of men from their rightful nature can no longer hold out against the Sovereign. They are enemies to Jesus on prevailing influences of grace; when the account of their wicked works. “The heathen heart, will, and affections turn from the world rage against him, and the people imagine a to God, and they make, as the first disciples vain thing; the kings of the earth stand up,

nd up, did, a free and voluntary offer of themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against and all they have, to their Redeemer.” This Jehovah and against his Christ, saying, Let is that which is spoken of by our Church in us break their bands asunder.” But in spite her 10th Article: “ The grace of God by of all this universal and furious combination, Christ preventing us,

have a good the kingdom of the Lord Jesus is set up; in will;" and, again, in her 17th Article, “ They the midst of all his enemies HE RULES. He are called by his Spirit working in due seacontrols all their measures, so as to ad- son; they through grace obey the calling." vance his own purposes (for Jesus holds How consolatory and encouraging to the mithe sceptre of providence also, as well as nisters of Jesus is this doctrine ! With what that of grace); and he gradually gathers confidence they can go forth, with the Bible in one, and another, and another, out of the in their hands, and the Gospel on their lips, rebel armies, and makes them his subjects, knowing that it is the rod of the Redeemer's his soldiers, and his children ; and so his strength; and knowing also, that he has a kingdom goes on silently increasing, and no- people in the midst of Satan's slaves and thing can hinder it. In the Acts of the rebels, who, by the preaching of that word, Apostles, we see how all the fury of perse- are to be called, and converted, and made cutors raged in vain; and the same is the his willing subjects! Thus it was with Paul history of all succeeding ages ;-Satan and at Corinth. The Lord stood by him, and his legions making war with the Lamb; so said to him, “ Be not afraid, but speak, and that if the work were of men, it must long hold not thy peace; for I have much people ago have come to nought. But it is of God, in this city." and therefore cannot be overthrown; and in The verse goes on to describe this conthe very heart of Satan's kingdom is the do- verted people as arrayed " in the beauties of minion of Jesus established, even his domi- holiness," and as more numerous than the nion of grace; while, as before said, his dew-drops of the morning, glittering in the dominion of providence extends over all, and rays of the rising sun. “ From the womb controls all. “ The wrath of man shall of the morning (or, as the margin reads, praise thee, and the remainder of wrath shalt more than the womb of the morning) thou thou restrain." Look at the state of things hast the dew of thy youth.” Yes; small as among ourselves at this very time. See how the flock of Jesus appears, in comparison firmly and fiercely banded are all the powers with the multitudes of the ungodly, it is more of earth and hell against the cause and au- numerous than we think : and in the last thority of Jesus ; so that, in the great coun- great day, when all the chosen race shall cil of this nominally Christian nation, every meet around the throne, they shall be seen attempt at getting any law passed for the a great multitude, which no man can suppression of vice or promotion of godli-number;" and “then shall the righteous ness, meets with the bitterest opposition, and shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of the most complete failure : and our streets their Father.” overflow with wickedness, as our population Thus far the kingly office of Jesus has increases. But still, blessed be God! we see been considered in connexion with his proJESUS RULING in the midst even of rebellious phetical office. In the next verse and apostate Britain. His Gospel is set up called to contemplate him as among us, and daily are souls plucked as

HI. KING AND PRIEST. ~ The Lord hath brands out of the burning, and the little sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest flock of Jesus continues; and, as it is writ- for ever after the order of Melchizedek." ten, “ He must increase. Of the increase of Here the people of Jesus are directed to his government there shall be no end." look to him as the ground of their hope.

In the next verse we have a further descrip- For it is what he has done, and what he is tion of the progress of his cause, and of the still doing, for them as their Pricst, that must power that promotes it-" Thy people shall ever be most important to them, as long as be willing in the day of thy power:" on which they are in their present imperfect and polwords we will quote the masterly exposition luted state. Hence it is that “ God, willing of pious Bishop Horne. “The people of more abundantly to shew” unto his conChrist are those given him by his Father, and vinced and peniter: people “ the immutagathered to him by the preachers of his bility of his counsel" concerning their salword. The day of his power is the season vation, “ confirmed it by an oath : that we


we are

might have a strong consolation, who have full assurance of faith : let us come boldly Aed for refuge to lay hold upon the hope unto the throne of grace, that we may obset before us; which hope we have as an tain mercy, and find grace to help in time of anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, need.” On that throne of grace does Jesus and which entereth into that within the vail: now sit, waiting to hear and answer prayer. whither the forerunner is for us entered, even But from that throne of grace Jesus, the Jesus, made an High Priest for ever, after compassionate Saviour, is soon about to arise. the order of Melchizedek(Heb. vi. 17-20). The day of grace is soon about to expire; The meaning of this title is well known to and “the day of his wrath” is soon about every one who knows any thing of the Bible to follow: and it is to this that the next and the Gospel. Melchizedek is mentioned two verses of the Psalm refer,---- to Jesus as in Scripture as the only individual that ever III. KING AND JUDGE. “ The Lord at united in his person the two offices of priest thy right hand,” that is, Jesus, who sitteth at and king; and thus he was the appointed thy right hand, O Father, “ shall strike type of the Lord Jesus Christ, as the apostle through kings in the day of his wrath. He shews at large in his epistle to the Hebrews: shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the and the prophet Zechariah also (vi. 3) says places with the dead bodies : he shall wound concerning Jesus, “ He shall sit and rule ihe heads over many countries.” This is upon his throne, and shall be a Priest upon the second coming of the Lord Jesus, when his throne."

he shall appear in his glory, for the deThe two main parts of the priestly office liverance of his people, the destruction of are sacrifice and intercession. And, oh, how his enemies, and the open and final estaunspeakable the comfort of those who are blishment of his glorious and eternal kingdom. enabled to look to Jesus as their High-Priest ! This is that which is spoken of in Psalm ii. : Mark the value of his sacrifice: it was “ Thou shalt rule them with a rod of iron; nothing less than the sacrifice of himself

- thou shalt dash them in pieces as a potter's the sacrifice of his body and soul-a sacrifice vessel.” This is that which Nebuchadnezzar without blemish and without spot- a sacrifice saw in emblematic vision : a stone from the of infinite value, on account of the union of mountain smiting the image of the monarchies the human nature with the divine. And hence of the earth, and dashing them all to pieces St. Paul says (Heb. x. 12-14),

6. This man,"

(Dan. ii. 31-45). This is that which the even the God-man Christ Jesus, “ after he beloved apostle also saw, as recorded Rev. had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat xix. 11-16: “ And I saw heaven opened, down on the right hand of God; from hence- and behold a white horse ; and he that sat forth expecting till his enemies be made his upon him was called Faithful and True, and footstool. For by one offering he hath per- in righteousness he doth judge and make fected for ever them that are sanctified.”

His eyes were as a flame of fire, and And it is in virtue of that all-sufficient sacri- on his head were many crowns; and he had fice that the invitation is sent :

Come now,

a name written, that no man knew, but he and let us reason together, saith the Lord: himself. And he was clothed with a vesture though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be dipped in blood : and his name is called The white as snow; though they be red as crim- Word of God. And the armies which were son, they shall be as wool” (Is. i. 18). in heaven followed him upon white horses,

Truly we have a prevailing Intercessor. clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And If any man sin, we have an Advocate with out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that the Father,”- one who, as a Son, has power with it he should smite the nations : and he with the Father,- one who, by his righteous

shall rule them with a rod of iron : and he ness and sacrifice, has made full satisfaction treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and for those in whose behalf he pleads, “having wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on obtained eternal redemption for us," his vesture and on his thigh a name written, who pleads as a King with a King. 'Our cause King of Kings, AND LORD Or Lords.” O, my can never, never fail ; For Jesus pleads, and brethren, may we all be stirred up to seek must prevail.' “ He is able to save them to the Lord Jesus now, before the day of his the uttermost who come unto God by him; great wrath be come! How happy those who seeing he ever liveth to make intercession have fled for refuge to his sheltering arms ! for them. And not only so, but we have in How happy those who have bowed to the rod him one who is “ bone of our bone, and flesh of his power, and so escaped the sword of his of our flesh ;" one who is “ touched with the vengeance! How happy those who, instead feeling of our infirmities ;" and " in that he of shrieking in wild despair “ to the rocks himself hath suffered, being tempted, he is and the mountains to fall on them, and hide able to succour them that are tempted." them from the face of Him that sitteth upon Wherefore it follows, " Let us draw near in the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb,"



shall be able to say in that day, “ Lo, this We exclude, of course, all idea of meris is our God; we have waited for him, and he torious sufferings — all idea of purchasing will save us : this is the Lord; we have heaven by any sacrifices ; but let us rememwaited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in ber“ whose we are, and whom we serve," if his salvation” (Is. xxv. 9).

we are Christians indeed,-a Master who was In the last verse of the Psalm, those well content to sacrifice every thing for us, sufferings are spoken of, through which the to give himself for us : let us only consider blessed Jesus had to pass, in his way to his sufferings, and the blessings thence flowglory: “He shall drink of the brook in ing to our souls; and then surely we shall be the way: therefore shall he lift up the ashamed of complaining, and ashamed of head.” In that valley of humiliation where keeping back any thing from him. There into the Saviour was well pleased to de- is a horrible monster and demon, called SELF, scend for us, lay the brook of affliction, whom we are all of us too prone to love, and the bitter waters of Marah ; and there was worship, and sacrifice to; and it is long no way of attaining to the end and object of before he is so thoroughly crippled and his undertaking, or to the glory that should beaten as to give up the contest with Jesus. follow, but by drinking of that brook. This Hence our own profit, honour, ease, and was that “ cup” which was set before him in gratification, too often are permitted to stand the garden of Gethsemane, and concerning between our souls and Christ. We desire a which he thrice supplicated the Father, "with share in the honours and happiness of his strong crying and tears," that it might pass people both here and hereafter ; but in order from him, saying, “ Father, if it be possible,

Father, if it be possible, to that, we are perhaps called on to "drink of let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not the brook in the way:" and then is seen wheas I will, but as thou wilt." And oh, who ther we are in earnest, sincere and hearty in can conceive the bitterness of that cup? It his cause; then is seen whether we are indeed was the cup of God's indignation against sin, the disciples of Jesus, whether we are willing filled with the wine of wrath-a cup of trem- to be conformed to Christ in suffering, as well bling, whose deadly taste convulsed the soul as in glory. Happy those, who, like the of Jesus with agony, and forced a sweat of great apostle, “ count all things but loss if blood from every pore of his sacred body. they may but win Christ and be found in But “ he was heard in that he feared ;" he him;" happy, even if, like Paul, they have was enabled to drink it, even to the dregs. been called to “suffer the loss of all things"And then behold the blessed consequences for no one is ever a loser in reality who that followed-Jesus was enabled to exclaim loses any thing or every thing for Jesus' sake: with his dying breath, “ It is finished !" — but immense is the loss of those niggard Redemption is finished ! “He humbled him- souls who cut, and carve, and contrive, to self and became obedient unto death, even withhold from Jesus and to consult self. Oh, the death of the cross. Wherefore God also how much comfort, how much honour, how hath highly exalted him."

much happiness do they fall short of! Well And now, since it is written (2 Tim. ii. 12), may Jesus say, “ he that findeth his life shall “If we suffer with Jesus, we shall also reign lose it;" that is, he that gains any worldly adwith him; but if we deny him, he will also deny vantage by a compromise of his allegiance us,"—it will be no inappropriate conclusion to Christ, is sure not to enjoy it: there is a and application of the matter, to consider thorn in the nest—there is shame and remorse that which is here said of the sufferings of -- there is an accusing conscience, and a Jesus, and the glory that should follow, as frowning Lord, and a painful doubt whether the grand principle and condition of his king: he has any “part or lot in the matter," and dom; as that which must be fulfilled in all " a certain fearful looking-for of judgment." those who are Christ's disciples. No way | Oh, then, my friends, count the cost, and to the kingdom, but by drinking of the brook scruple not to decide for Jesus against all in the way; no cross, no crown. There were the world. Halt not between two opinions. some of his disciples ambitious of high ho- “ If thy right hand offend thee, cut it off: if nours in his kingdom, -" to sit on his right thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out.” Count hand and on his left;" but all the honour not even thy life dear unto thyself in comthat he promised them was a share in his parison with Jesus. Venture all for Christ, sufferings : and he said, " If any man will and you will be an immense gainer both come after me, let him deny himself, and here and hereafter. Bow down cheerfully take up his cross, and follow me. Whoso- to “ drink of the brook in the way,” and ever doth not take up his cross and follow soon will Jesus lift up your head, here in me, cannot be my disciple. He that findeth peace and joy, hereafter in glory. For he his life shall lose it, and he that loseth his life hath said, “ There is no man that hath left for my sake shall find it."

house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or


mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my appears to have chosen them as making the strongest sake and the Gospel's, but he shall receive contrast between what, in the public estimation, were an hundredfold now in this time, and in the the extremes of excellence and villany. According world to come eternal life :” and “ To him to Josephus, the sect of the Pharisees was the most that overcometh will I grant to sit with me

powerful among the Jews; and from what has been in my throne, even as I also overcame, and

said of the rahdars, it may perhaps be explained why am set down with my Father in his throne.”

the Pharisee, in praying to God, should make “extor. tioners" and " the unjust" almost synonymous terms

with publicans; because we have seen, that from the BIBLICAL ILLUSTRATIONS.

peculiar office of the rahdar he is almost an extortioner No. II.---Publicans, or Tar-Gatherers.*

by profession. At Baj-gah, in the way to Persepolis, is a station of rahdars, or toll-gatherers, appointed to levy a toll upon

LITURGICAL HINTS.-No. XXIV. kafileks, or caravans of merchants; and who, in general,

“ Understandest thou what thou readest !" --Acts, vili. 30. exercise their office with so much brutality and extor

SUNDAY AFTER ASCENSION-DAY. tion, as to be execrated by all travellers. The police of the highways is confided to them; and whenever

The Collect is one of that class which were taken any goods are stolen, they are mcant to be the instru

from ancient models, but considerably altered and imments of restitution, but, when they are put to the test,

proved by our reformers, and the reviewers of the are found to be inefficient: none but a man in power can

Liturgy. The following is the Latin form in which it

stood originally: in this form it had been of old the hope to recover what he has once lost. They afford but collect for Ascension-day; on which day the venerable little protection to the road, their stations being placed Bede repeated it as he was dying. The variation was at too wide intervals to be able to communicate quickly; who hast ascended this day, a triumpher, above all

made in 1549. “O King of glory, Lord of virtues, but they generally are perfectly acquainted with the

heavens ; leave us not bereaved, but send the promise state of the country, and are probably leagued with the

of the Father upon us, the Spirit of truth."

“We are thieves themselves, and can thus, if they choose, dis- supposed, as disciples of Christ, to be now in the cover their haunts. Their insolence to travellers is anxious interval of time between the departure of our unparalleled ; and no man has ever gone through the

divine Master and the coming of the Holy Ghost, his

Our minds are therefore under the influcountry, either alone or with a caravan, who has not

ence of contending feelings of gratitude for past, and vented his indignation upon this vile police.

expectation of future, good-of praise for mercies reThe collections of the toll are farmed, consequently ceived, and of prayer for a renewal of them. Praise extortion ensues; and as most of the rahdars receive bursts from our lips to God, the King of glory,' at no other cmolument than what they can cxact over

whose command the gates did lift up their heads, and and above the prescribed dues from the traveller,

ye were lift up, ye everlasting doors,' that Jesus their insolence is accounted for; and a cause sufficiently Father's kingdom in heaven.

Christ might, with great triumph, be exalted unto his

But lo, o God! thy powerful is given for their insolence on the one hand, servants are left desolate! He, whom thou hast andthe detestation in which they are held on the other. exalted, was our Master, our Friend, our Guide, our Baj-gah means “ the place of tribute:” it may also

Comforter. We pray thee, leave us not thus comfortbe rendered, the receipt of custom ; and perhaps it was

less. Rather shew forth thy exceeding power and

glory in sending to us thine Holy Ghost to comfort from a place like this that our Saviour called Matthew

us; Him, whom our glorified Master did promise us. to hiin ; because Matthew appears, from the 3d verse So shall thy glory be perfected; so shall it shine with of the 10th chapter, to have been a publican; and pub- undiminished splendour. Let not the heathen say, licans, who, in the 11th verse of the 9th chapter, are

Where is now their God? We are thine ; thou never classed with sinners, appear to have been held in the

bearest rule over them; they were not called by thy name.'

For thy name and honour's sake, guard the same odium as are the rahdars of Persia.

Church, which thou hast chosen; and, in the exercise It also explains why Matthew, who was seated at the

of thine infinite majesty and unwearied love, defend receipt of custom, is afterwards called a publican ; and and comfort us. Let not our hearts be troubled. Let shews that in the choice of his disciples our Saviour us take heed that our confessions of penitence be systematically chose them not only from among the

sincere; our supplications for pardon heartfelt; our poorest and humblest class of men, but also from those

prayers for grace earnest; our desires spiritual; and our petitions for blessings submissive.

Then we may who, from their particular situation in life, were hated trust that our gracious Redeemer will so successfully by all ranks. Matthew, as a toll-gatherer, must, like intercede, that the Father will hear and answer our the rahdars, have been a man known to all ranks of supplications and prayers; that he will not leave us people, and detested on account of this profession.

comfortless; that he will send his Holy Ghost to comWhen he was seen having power against unclean spirits,

fort us here amid all our sorrows, whether spiritual or

temporal ; and that hereafter he will cxalt us unto the power to heal all manner of sickness and disease,

same place whither our Saviour Christ is gone before." and following one like our Saviour, his life, when com- Some old ritualists tell us, that the week commencing pared with what he formerly was, must have been a this day has been called in the Church Expectation constant miracle.

week; “ for now the apostles were earnestly expecting The parable of the Pharisee and the publican, of the

the fulfilment of our Lord's promise: “ If I go away, xviiith of Luke, 10th to 13th verse, will be more

I will send the Comforter to you.'”+

The EPISTLE (1 Pet. iv. 7-12) exhorts to earnest clearly understood by what has been above mentioned.

prayer for the Comforter promised in the Gospel. It Our Saviour, in bringing these two characters together, also exhorts us all to make such an use of those gifts



• From Morier's Second Journcy.

• James on the Collects.

+ Bp. Sparrow; Wheatley,

which the Holy Spirit shall bestow upon us, as becomes Christ has forewarned them of their trials; and they good stewards of the manifold grace of God. There may derive assurance, that his promise will stand are several important duties to which we are exhorted equally sure for their final deliverance and triumph. in this epistle; they consist of sobriety, prayer, charity, hospitality, and the best improvement of our talents, which the apostle presses upon Christians from the

MEDITATION FOR THE COMMUNION ON consideration of the time they have lost in their sins,

ASCENSION DAY.* and the approaching end of all things.

“ As the end of all things is at hand; as all our “I SEE, O merciful Jesus, that thou art content for worldly pursuits, possessions, distinctions, and enjoy- our sakes to stay here upon earth, when heaven longs ments; all our temporal trials, sorrows, and conflicts ;

for thy return. Thou last these forty days denied our season of probation and preparation, and our term of usefulness, will speedily be over; so it behoves us

thyself the full fruition of thy glories, to dispel the to be ó sober, and to watch unto prayer.' The more

sorrow, and to confirm the faith of thy disciples; and ungodly men hate and revile believers, the greater yet at last their tears and embraces shew how loath care should they use to have fervent love among them- they are to part with thee. But, behold, the day of selves; that, by mutual candour, long-suffering, and thy triumph is come, and the holy myriads are sent forgiveness, the multitude of offences may be covered,

to wait upon thee. The heavenly singers that go and so nothing may interrupt their peace and harmony. This blessed grace of love dethrones our na

before, cry, Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even tural selfishness; and in connexion with faith in God's lift them up, ye everlasting doors, that the King of promises, it will induce us to use hospitality one to Glory may come in.' The angels who come out to another without grudging;' and to consider every gift, meet thee, answer, in ecstacies of amazement, 'Who possession, or situation, as a talent committed to our

is the King of Glory?" And all the chorus that follow Stewardship, according to the manifold grace of God, after, reply, “Even the Lord of Hosts, He is the King to be used for the benefit of the Church and the community. It will also dictate our words, whether in of Glory." And thus, with hymns and joyful acclapublic or private ; that they may be true, pure, kind, mations, is Jesus welcomed to his mediatorial throne. and instructive, ‘ according to the oracles of God;' and And now, O my soul, why standest thou gazing into it will dispose every one in his proper calling to mi

heaven? He is too high to be discerned, and too nister, or communicate to others, as of the ability which God giveth, that God in all things may be glori- bright to be seen with mortal eyes, since cherubiins fied through Jesus Christ."'*

are dazzled at his splendour. He is “ascended up The Gospel (John, xv. 26; and xvi. 1-4) is the into heaven to prepare a place for us ; that where he promise of the Comforter. It is here promised, first, is, thither we may also ascend, and reign with him in that the Spirit shall maintain the cause of Christ in glory.' He is gone to his proper place, and is as. the world, notwithstanding the opposition it should meet with. “ When the Comforter is come,” saith

cended thither, whither thy desires carry thee, and Jesus, " whom I will send unto you from the Father,

where ere long thou shalt see him face to face. Thou even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the standest, like Elisha, looking after him, and lamenting Father, he shall testify of me." The Holy Ghost is thy master's departure ; but he hath left his mantle here spoken of as a distinct Person; not a quality or behind him, even the mysteries of this holy sacraproperty, but a person under the peculiar name of a

ment, which to thy faith is the flesh which he was spirit, and the peculiar title of the Spirit of truth. Not only is he described as a Person, but as a divine

clothed withal, and is designed to convey a double Person, that “proceedeth from the Father," by out- portion of his Spirit unto thec. So that he hath left goings that were of old, from everlasting. The Spirit his love with us, when his person was taken from us. is also, by Christ's mission, the fruit of his intercession Away, then, with these sighs and tears, and lament no within the veil. It was by this Spirit's assistance that the apostles should be Christ's witnesses. The

longer the absence of thy Lord, for he is in this Holy Ghost tirst bore his own testimony by working

blessed feast. Ile is here in his comforts and graces, miracles, and inditing the Scriptures, which are Christ's

here in his merits and his love ; and his Spirit can standing testimony; and then he bore witness by the hereby minister the very benefits which his personal apostles, and still does, by their successors, to the end presence would have given thee. Go then, with all of time, by “manifestation of the truth to the con

diligence; taste of this heavenly provision ; and descience." Jesus dealt faithfully with his disciples; and there

light in it above all the sweetnesses in the world, before, having announced the Comforter, he tells them cause it contains such pledges and emblems of thy why it was he had been anxious to assure them of his Redeemer's love! When thou beholdest him that is coming; it was because “ trouble was hard at hand.” thy head, glorified with the glory which he had with He tells them of coming trials, that they might not be his Father before the world was,' make haste to unite offended, or made to stumble in their profession: they thyself nearer to him, by partaking of his body and should have to encounter men, who, seemingly conscientious, and thinking they did “God service," would

blood, that thou mayest finally reign with him. In exercise cruel hatred and persecution against his ser- the mean time, raise up thy thoughts above this lower vants by excommunicating them, and treating them world, and declare thy desire to be with Jesus. Send as heretics. Christ further gives the reason of the

thy heart before, and protest that if he had not left world's enmity, because they knew not God nor Christ.

thee some little tastes of his sweetness, in the repast They who are ignorant of the “ true God and Jesus Christ, whom he has sent," always think it an acceptable

of this holy table by the way, thou couldst not have service to persecute his truth and his servants. Christ endured to be absent from him so long. And yet, by told them of these trials, not to discourage them, or his Holy Spirit, the Comforter, lie is with all his faithadd to their sorrow, but to confirm their faith. And ful people alway, even unto the end of the world. they, who now patiently suffer for the truth's sake,

And though he dwelleth in the high and holy place, may derive strength from the remembrance, that

he dwelleth also in that humble and thankful heart, • Rev. T. Scott's Commentary.

• From Dean Comber.

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