Obrazy na stronie

the most distant lines may meet and clasp in the same every where to be seen in the streets, that the plague centre.

in this and other eastern cities is communicated. We This great diversity of the gifts of the Spirit may but saw nothing which could announce it as the

spent some time in making the circuit of Jerusalem, read a lecture of humility to some, and of content

dwelling of a people: not one sign of riches, or even ment to others. God, indeed, in this great scheme of of life and motion. The exterior aspect had deceived the creation has drawn some capital letters, set forth us, as it had often done before in other cities of Syria some masterpieces, and furnished them with higher and Greece. The most miserable hamlet of the Alps abilities than ordinary, and given them gifts, as it were,

or the Pyrenees, the most neglected alleys of such of with both hands: but for all that, none can brag of a

our faubourgs as are given up to the lowest class of

the labouring population, exhibit more cleanliness, monopoly of them—none has so absolutely engrossed luxury, and even elegance, than the desolate streets them all, as to be that of which we may say, There of this queen of cities. we see what and how much God can do. No, God I passed the evening in making a tour of the slopes has wrote upon no created being the utmost extent of stretching south of Jerusalem, between the tomb of

David and the Valley of Jehoshaphat, the only side of his power, but only the free issues and products of his

the city presenting the smallest appearance of vegepleasure ; and as this may give some check to the

tation. The aspect of the valley corresponds with presumption of the most raised understandings, so it the destination which Christian opinion has assigned should prevent the despondency of the meanest ; for to it. It resembles one vast sepulchre, though still the apostle makes this very use of it (in the 21st and

too narrow for the tide of death which accumulates 22d verses of the 12th chapter of his first Epistle to

there. Overlooked on all sides by funereal monu

ments; enclosed at the southern extremity by the the Corinthians), where he would not have even the rock of Silhoa, that is excavated with sepulchral lowest and poorest member of the Church to be de

caves, like a hive of death ; possessing here and there, jected upon the consideration of what it wants, but as tumular landmarks, the tomb of Jehoshaphat and rather to be comforted in the sense of wliat it has. that of Absalom, hewn like pyramids in the solid Let not the foot trample upon itself, because it does

rocks, and shaded on one side by the dark hills of not rule the body, but consider that it has the honour crumbling ramparts of the Temple. Such a place is

the Mount of Offences, and on the other by the to support it—nay, the greatest abilities are sometimes naturally impregnated with holy horror, early destined beholden to the very mcanest; for mutual wants and to become the Gemonia of a great city, and to present mutual perfections together are the very bond and itself to the imagination of the prophets as the scene cement of society. The ten talents went into heaven

of death, resurrection, and judgment. . . . The valley as easily as the five; and God in his wisdom has put

is nothing more than a natural trench hollowed be

tween two mounds; on one of which stands Jerua peculiar usefulness even into the smallest members salem, while the other is crowned by the Mount of of the body, answerable to some need or defect in the Olives. The ramparts of Jerusalem, rolling in to greatest, thereby to level them to a mutual compli- ruins, would nearly suffice to fill it. Not a pass is to ance and benefaction.

be found leading into it. Cedron, which springs from the ground a few paces above the valley, is nothing

more than a brook formed by the accumulation of JERUSALEM.

waters from the winter-rains, descending from the

olive-plantations below the tombs of the kings; it is [Continued from No. XLVII.)

crossed by a bridge of a few paces in length, facing VENTURING at length to enter the city, we found

one of the gates of Jerusalem, and stands in the ourselves in a broad way composed of little miser

middle of the valley, which at that point does not able houses, and of some uncultivated gardens, whose

exceed the breadth of the stream. The river itself, walls of enclosure had fallen to decay. We fol- almost destitute of water, may be better described as lowed for a moment the broadest road of this cross- a dry bed of white pebbles, forming the bottom of the way, which led us to one or two little streets, suf- ravine. The valley of Jehoshaphat, in short, exactly ficiently dark, close, and dirty. We saw nothing

resembles the entrenchments of some large fortified moving in these streets, except funeral companies, city, into which the overflowings of the sewers dispassing with hurried steps; but who drew up under charge their filth; or where some of the poorer inthe walls on our approach, at the command and under

habitants of the suburbs dispute with the ramparts a the raised staff of the governor's janissaries. Here corner of land for cultivating a few vegetables; or and there some venders of bread and of fruits sat,

where loose goats and asses browse, upon the steep covered with rags, on the thresholds of little stalls,

banks, the spare herbage stained with mud and dust. with their baskets upon their knees, and crying their

View such a spot, with sepulchral stones appertaining goods as in the markets of our great cities; and, oc- to every earthly form of worship,--and you will have casionally, a veiled female would appear at the

before your eyes the valley of judgment, wooden-grated windows of the house; or a child open

Not far from the cave of Gethsemane there is a the low and gloomy door, to purchase the family pro

little spot of carth, still shaded by seven olive-trees, visions for the day. Besides these parties, we met

which popular tradition designates as the same trees only a few equestrian Bedouins: not bearing the

under which Jesus lay down and wept. These olivenoble and chivalrous air of the scheiks of Syria and

trees really bear on their trunks and enormous roots Lebanon, but with ferocious countenances, the eye

the date of the eighteen hundred years which have of the vulture, and the dress of a bandit. They were

passed since that memorable night. Their trunks mounted on Arabian mares, whose feet continually

are immense; and are formed, like those of all other sank into the holes with which the roads of the city

very old olive-trees, of a great number of stems, that abound. These streets are obstructed with rubbish, seem bound together and incorporated under the accumulated filth, and particularly heaps of woollen

same bark: thus forming an assemblage of united rags, of a blue dye, wheeling before the wind like pillars. Their branches are almost withered, but tallen leaves ; a contact we could by no means avoid.

they still bear some olives. It is from these stuff and woollen rags, which are

The general aspect of the environs of Jerusalem

may be painted in a few words: mountains without • From De Lamartine's Pilgrimage to the Holy Land. shade, valleys without water, earth without verdure,


rocks without terror or grandeur; some blocks of | pendently of their connexion by marriage. She was grey stone piercing the friable and cracked earth ;

(as Abraham would himself plead in his excuse) the from time to time, an olive-tree; a gazelle or a jackal creeping occasionally between the broken pieces of

daughter, or, as it probably means, the granddaughter rock; some plants of the vine making their way

of his father Terah ; and thus, according to the customs along the grey or reddish ashes of the soil; and, now

of the time and country in which they lived, and the and then, a bouquet of pale olive-shrubs, throwing a forms of expression in use, she might have been little spot of shadow on the steep side of a hill. On called his sister ; just as Lot is sometimes called Abrathe horizon, a mastic or a black carob tree, relieving ham's brother, though in fact his nephewmhis brother's itself sorrowfully and singly against the blue of the

But when Abraham said of Sarah, "she is my sky. The grey walls and towers of the fortifications of the city appear from a distance on the brow of

sister,” he was not merely speaking according to a Sion. Such is the earth : the sky, pure, deep, un- usual mode of expression ; his intention was to despotted, where never floats the smallest cloud, nor is ceive, to conceal the fact that Sarah was his wife. The tinged with the purple of morning or of evening. On

consequence was, that Abimelech, the king of Gerar,“ in the Arabian side, an enormous gulf descends between the dark mountains, and conducts the eye even to the

the integrity of his heart,” not in the least intending dazzling waves of the Dead Sea, and to the violet

to do what was wrong, sent and took Sarah, and would coloured horizon of the ridges of the hill of Moab.

have married her, had not God interfered to rescue Not a breath of wind murmurs amongst the battle- her. Abimelech was informed by God, in a dream, of ments, or through the dry leaves of the olive-trees;

the true state of the case ; and calling for Abraham, not a bird sings; no cricket chirps in the furrow without herbage: a complete eternal silence reigns

reproached him for the deceit which he had pracin the town, on the highways, in the country.

tised, and by which he had endangered the happiness and even the life itself of Abimelech, his family, and

his people. "What,” he said, “hast thou done unto THOUGHTS ON HISTORICAL PASSAGES OF us, and wherein have I offended thee, that thou hast THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENT. brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? Thou No. 1.- Abraham at Gerar.

hast done deeds unto me that ought not to be done." BY THE Rev. John MENZIES, B.D.

Abraham, the servant of the most high God — he who

should have glorified God by letting his light shine Fellow of C.C. Coll. Oxford, and Curate of Farnham, Surrey.

before men--stood convicted before a king and all his In the chapter which narrates the conduct of Abra- people, of whom we know not that they were even the ham at Gerar, we have a very remarkable, and, if worshippers of the true God. Abimelech at once rerightly viewed, a very instructive portion of the his- stored Sarah unto Abraham, and, in the kindest mantory of the patriarch. It is one of those passages ner, even loaded him with presents, and gave him leave which shew the faithfulness of God's word, and give to dwell where he pleased in the land; and Abraham, good proof that those holy men, by whom the Scrip-desirous (as well he might be) to make what reparatures were penned, “ spake as they were moved by tion he could for the injury which he had done, bethe Holy Ghost,” emphatically styled “ The Spirit of sought the Lord that the affliction with which the Truth.” In the Bible the whole truth is told ; and house of Abimelech had been visited might be reherein the histories it records differ so widely from moved. the narratives of profane historians. In the latter we 1. The lesson, then, which this history seems espehave either exaggerated or partial statements. The cially calculated to teach is, the weakness and sinfulexcellencies and virtues of good men are for the most ness of even the best of men.

Abraham was prepart alone dwelt on, their faults and failings are lightly eminently a servant of God: he was “the father of passed over. In the former a different course is pur- the faithful;" and was even called “the friend of God.” sued; no false colouring is given, no highly wrought He was one who especially honoured God in his day statements, which would lead us to think of men more and generation ; whose history it is impossible to read highly than we ought to think. Their faults, indeed, without the highest admiration; and yet what a poor, are often spoken of at greater length than their vir- weak, sinful creature was he! In the instance under tues, that we may see what they really were, and, while consideration he is found acting in a way of which we strive on the one hand to walk according to their even many worldly men would be utterly ashamed : steps, so far as they walked in the fear of God, we and there are some circumstances connected with his may on the other hand be warned by their failings, sin on this occasion which make it more especially “lest we also fall, after the same example of unbelief.” remarkable. It was a premeditated sin, not one into This is strikingly illustrated in the chapter under con- which he had been suddenly and unexpectedly ensideration, by referring to which it will be found, that snared. IIad his life been actually threatened, and in in the course of those wanderings to which, in the the moment of danger he had endeavoured to secure providence of God, he was called, Abraham had occa- himself by this want of candour, we should have less sion to sojourn in Gerar, a city of the Philistines, wondered at his conduct; but before he was in danger where he feared that mischief would befal him on ac- he deliberately decided upon this sinful course. count of the beauty of Sarah his wife. “He thought | Again ; he had on a former occasion been guilty of within himself, Surely the fear of God is not in this the same sin, and had then not only experienced its place, and they will slay me for my wife's sake:” and folly, but been convicted and openly reproved for it. therefore he said of Sarah, "she is my sister,” and Soon after he had come into the land of Canaan, he Sarah, she also herself said of Abraham," he is my was driven thence by famine into Egypt; and there brother.” Now in one sense this was true, for there also, fearful for his life, he had attempted to pass was a relationship between Abraham and Sarah inde- Sarah for his sister. (Gen. xii.) But what especially


makes the sin of Abraham remarkable is, that the to be careful in the judgments which we form of others; principle from which it sprang was the very last which for it shews that we may very often form very erroneit might have been expected would have been found at ous opinions concerning them, and thereby do them work in him. The grace which shone most brightly in great injury, by adopting towards them an unwarranthis character was faith; and he had already given the able line of conduct. This was the mistake into which most astonishing proofs of a simple dependence on the Abraham fell: on journeying to Gerar, he conceived love, the power, and the promises of God. God had that he was about to enter a place deep sunk in called him to come out from his own land and kindred, iniquity; and he may have had some reason for so to go into a far-distant land, which he had promised to thinking ; but he had no proof that it was so: and when give him; and the patriarch, believing the promise, | Abimelech indignantly asked him what "sawest thox and depending on the protecting care of God, had at that thou hast done this thing ?” he had no other once obeyed. “By faith Abraham, when he was grounds to adduce than mere surmise: “I thought, called to go into a place which he should after receive surely the fear of God is not in this place.I thought for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not There was in Abimelech a high-minded uprightknowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in ness and integrity of conduct, which in this instance the land of promise, as in a strange country; for he was not to be found in Abraham. Had this circumlooked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder stance alone been recorded, and we had been asked to and maker is God.” Again; God had promised that decide from it whether Abraham or Abimelech were Sarah his wife should bear a son, when, in the course the servant of God, we must probably have decided in of nature, there could have been no expectation of favour of Abimelech, and said, surely " the fear of God such an event; and while Sarah laughed within herself was in him, and not in Abraham.” The fact is, that at the very thought, as if it were impossible and absurd, good existed where Abraham least expected it. Abraham had laughed with joy; so surely did he de- Another instance of the same kind is recorded in pend on the promise, that from the very moment when Scripture, where Elijah, dismayed at the wickedness the word was spoken, he rejoiced in it as if already around him, was ready to imagine that there was not accomplished |--" Against hope he believed in hope, one godly man left in Israel, and, in utter despair, that he might be the father of many nations; and cried, " I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life being not weak in faith, he considered not his own to take it away.” But what said God to him? “I body now dead, when he was about a hundred years have reserved to myself seven thousand men that have old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb. He not bowed the knee to Baal.” Elijah knew not of staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; one, and uncharitably declared there was not one ; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being but good existed where the prophet least expected it. fully persuaded that what he had promised he was able God had “his hidden ones,” even in the midst of the also to perform."

most abandoned people: and thus it often is even In both these instances, and many others which The fear of God is at work in many a heart might be mentioned, Abraham had fully acknowledged where we might have been little inclined to look for that nothing was too hard for the Lord; and we might it; and God is honoured in many a house where the have been ready to conclude, surely the faith of this world knows not of it. Let no man, therefore, judge man will never fail : yet in the present instance we harshly of others, but rather be hopeful concerning behold the faithful patriarch utterly faithless. He denied them. "Judge nothing before the time, until the his wife, because he feared his own life would be in Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden danger from an ungodly people about him --in other things of darkness, and will make manifest the counwords, because he could no longer depend upon the sels of the hearts." We must not indeed break down power and protection of God. May we not, then, truly the distinctions between right and wrong, or, when we say, “ Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his see any one living in sin, speak “smooth things;" but nostrils; for wherein is he to be accounted of?Even we must be on our guard against a harsh and uncha. the believer has no strength of his own, no power to ritable spirit. glorify God, save only as he receives it from the grace 3. Another point to be illustrated by the history of God working within him. No resolutions, however before us is, that when good men commit sin, they strong, can of themselves keep him from falling; no not only injure themselves, but they do injury to all past experience of the evil of sin, however painful, will around them. In the case before us, the sin of Abraalone make him turn from sin for the time to come. ham was the cause of sickness and well nigh death So long as he continues in this world he must be ap- itself to Abimelech and all his house. As Abimelech held by the almighty power of the grace of God, or in says, Abraham's deceit brought on him, and on his the time of temptation he will fall. In his daily walk, kingdom, “ a great sin ;” and the judgment of a as well as in his first conversion to God, the strength righteous God was ready to fall upon him. But this by which alone he can resist and overcome evil is, was not all. We know not concerning Abimelech " Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith (who was a Philistine), whether he were a worshipper the Lord of Hosts.” He needs the grace of God to of the true God or not; but there is enough to make keep him, not merely in some greater temptations us esteem him very highly. We cannot mark his abwhen the enemy seems to come in “like a food,” but in horrence of sin, his eagerness to restore Sarah to her all the smaller temptations which every hour will bring, husband, and the subsequent kindness which he shewed in some form or other; for if left to himself he will to Abraham, notwithstanding the injury which had assuredly fall.

been done to him, without allowing that he was 2. Another lesson which this history teaches us is, / sincerely desirous to be led in the right way; and if


[ocr errors]

ye walk

not a servant of God, he was at least “not far from 5. Lastly, the example of Abraham shews into what the kingdom of God.” Now, consider the stumbling- peril a man will bring himself when, ceasing to trust block which must have been cast in his way by Abra- simply in the care and protection of God, he would ham's conduct, when he so indignantly cried, Thou take the ordering of his affairs into his own hands, hast done deeds unto me which ought not to be done." and by some indirect and sinful means would try to Thou, who professest thyself a servant of God,-might protect himself. Abraham thought, no doubt, that he we not imagine him ready to ask,-is this the fruit acted very wisely; but what a foolish, short-sighted of thy religion? Dost thou, who professest a purer plan, it really proved ! he escaped one peril, but he and holier creed, commit sin from which even an only involved himself in a greater. Consider the idolater would shrink? Dost thou, who shouldst peril in which he placed his own happiness, and that lead me in the right way, become my tempter and of his wife; and what a wretched time it must have guide into sin ? We know not if Abimelech thus been to him when Abimelech “sent and took Sarah." argued; but we do know that our own conduct will It was not a sorrow which came to him in the provibe thus regarded by the world around us. Un- dence of God, but brought on by his own folly. But godly and careless men are very quick-sighted to see for his sin he would never have known the sorrow in the inconsistencies and faults of the professed disciples which he was plunged. What a bitter reflection was of Jesus Christ; and where they see the Christian this! And we may be assured, that the path of mere acting in an unworthy manner --where they see him, worldly policy, as it is called, is still the path of perfor instance, eager to make, what is called, a good plexity, and bitterness, and sorrow. God's word debargain, ready to secure to himself any worldly ad- clares concerning those "who have made them crooked vantage, giving way to any irritability of temper, in paths, whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace" short, falling into sin of any kind, they will cry, " There, (Is. lix. 8). Whereas he who can simply trust in there, so would we have it," and will find an excuse God, and, depending upon God's protection, will go for their own worldliness and sin. I say, then, to straight forward in the path of duty-shall meet, it may those who read these lines, you who are called Chris- be, with difficulties and troubles, but, casting all his tians, who profess yourselves members of Christ's care upon his God and his Saviour, shall be safe from Church, should be very careful that “

even the shadow of evil; for the promise is, “ Thou worthy of that high and holy vocation wherewith shalt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed ye are called.” As ye have received Christ Jesus on thee, because he trusteth in thee." 6. Thus saith the Lord, so walk ye in him"-"adorning the doc- the Lord, Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and trine of God your Saviour in all things.” Let it maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from be seen that ye are not of the world, not merely the Lord; for he shall be like the heath in the desert, by giving up some amusements, for which you, per- and shall not see when good cometh, but shall inhabit haps, have no taste; but let it be seen that ye are the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land, not of the world by acting on different principles, and not inhabited." Let the contrast be marked: and being influenced by higher motives, than mere “ Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and worldly men. Remember that ye are as a city set whose hope the Lord is ; for he shall be as a tree on an hill, which cannot be hid.” The eyes of others planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her are upon you ; and while your example may be of the roots by the river, and shall not see when heat greatest benefit to others, if it lead them in the way of cometh ; but her leaf shall be green, and shall not be righteousness; every sin, every failing, every incon- careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from sistency, which is seen in you, and which would not, yielding fruit” (Jer. xvii. 5-8). perhaps, be noticed in others, is sure to injure, not He shall not see when heat cometh ; .... he shall not be yourselves only, but it will do harm to all to whom careful in the year of drought. These outward trials your influence can in any way extend.

may come upon him, but they shall not overwhelm 4. A proof is also here given, that in the sight of him with anxiety; they shall not do him hurt: even God sin depends not merely on the outward act, but in the midst of them he shall be at peace : just as on the motives from which the act proceeds. This Daniel was safe in the lions' den, and the three Hehistory shews that a lie does not always consist in the brew youths walked unhurt in the midst of the fiery words actually spoken, but in the intention to deceive. furnace. It is the Christian's privilege “ to be careful In the words which Abraham spoke concerning Sarah, for nothing ;" but to commit himself, and all that con“she is my sister,” there was nothing positively un- cerns him, into the keeping of his God and Saviour. true ; but it was an equivocation, in which it is often Let no man, therefore, attempt to order matters for thought there is no great harm. But in the sight of himself; but simply endeavour to follow the leadings God it was a positive sin. Abraham intended to deceive, of the providence of God, and then go on his way and this made him as guilty as if the words used had with confidence, and fear neither temporal evil nor been utterly false. Another instance of the same spiritual foes. The Saviour's gracious word is, “ Fear kind is found in the story of Ananias and Sapphira, thou not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I ' where Ananias brought part of the price which he had am thy God. I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help received for his possession, and laid it at the apostles' thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my feet; he said not a word. He merely laid the money righteousness” (Is. xli. 10). “When thou passest down, irttending that the part should be considered as through the waters I will be with thee, and through the whole; but Peter said unto him, “ Ananias, why the rivers they shall not overflow thee. When thou hath Satan filled thine heart to lie unto the Holy Ghost? walkest through the fire thou shalt not be burned, thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God."

neither shall the flame kindle upon thee" (Is. xliii. 2).

[ocr errors]

was the person of whom Moses and the THE EXPEDIENCY OF CHRIST'S

prophets bore witness, who should sit for DEPARTURE:

ever on the throne of his father David, and a Sermon

distribute kingdoms to his faithful friends. For Whitsunday,

So endeared was his presence, therefore, to

them, and so high were their expectations of BY THE Rev. FRANCIS JOHN STAINFORTH, M.A.

his reward, that the blow, which was to deAssistant Minister of Camden Chapel, Camberwell.

prive them of him, seemed fatal to all their Jonin, xvi. 7-11.

hopes. They had trusted that he would “ Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient restore the kingdom to Israel; and they were

for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the by no means insensible to the consideration Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart

, of their own necessary aggrandisement when. I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteous

ever such an event should happen. Yet ness, and of judgment: of sin, because they believe now he spoke of being separated from them not on me; of righteousness, because I go to my under circumstances of ignominy and vioFather, and ye see me no more ; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.”

lence; and intimated that his death would

only be a signal for the world's utmost hosIf he who bestows a blessing may be sup- tility against them. It must have appeared posed to be the best judge of its value, we therefore almost a mockery of their grief, to may notice here the importance our blessed declare that their loss was not only inevitLord attaches to the gift of the Holy Spirit. able, but expedient. In vain might he appeal Well might sorrow fill the hearts of his dis- to their better feelings, by reminding them ciples when he revealed to them the painful that he, at least, would be an incalculable intelligence, that they would soon see his gainer by the change, and that they should face no more on earth, but be left alone to learn to sacrifice their own wishes to the contend with the bitter persecutions of which welfare of one they professed to love. he had constantly forewarned them. They should rejoice," said he, “because I go to my were indeed as sheep among wolves, and Father.” And thus we, brethren, should God was about to smite the good Shepherd, rejoice, and doubtless we do rejoice, for and scatter them abroad. Who would have those whom it has pleased God to take unto thought that this was a desirable event, and himself out of the miseries of this sinful life. one which was to be the harbinger of better We mourn not for their fate; for they have days ? “ Nevertheless," says he, “ I tell you only entered a little earlier into that rest to the truth.” He feels it necessary to intro- which our own hopes are tending. And we duce his doctrine with a solemn assertion of dare not-no, not even in the worst moments its reality.

" It is expedient for you that I of our selfishness—we dare not wish them go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter back again in this world of woe. To them will not come unto you; but if I depart, I to die is gain; and truly there is comfort in will send him unto you.” It was not suitable that thought, which sweetens the tears it canto the divine counsels that more than one not dry. But it is not the less a loss to us, Person of the Holy Trinity should make his who must toil on through this wilderness abode on earth at the same time. Indeed it alone. Yet it is expedient, perhaps, even for is a source of inexhaustible wonder to every ourselves, that they should go from us ; that thinking mind, that He, who dwells in the the Comforter may come unto us; that when high and holy place, should ever have con- every earthly delight is wrecked, and every descended to visit us at all. But the Holy human passion blighted, we may learn to Ghost was not yet given, because that Jesus find all our happiness in God. was not glorified. The one event, it seems, My dear brethren, how often, in the folly was a necessary precursor of the other. But of our hearts, we grudge the loss of some how precious was the coming of the Com- temporal blessing, because we do not see the forter, when the prospect of his advent made purpose for which it is withdrawn ! We do Christ's departure expedient for his fol- not know half the value of our trials : they lowers! What could they gain from any may be the very means by which God innew visitant which his presence had not tends to enrich our souls with larger experiabundantly supplied ? He had himself been

ence and more abounding consolation. Now, a Comforter to them from the very moment there is not one here present who has not that they had left all to follow him. He had some portion of these blessings to be grateful relieved their necessities ; he had borne with for. We have received great national mertheir perverseness; he had taught them both cies, equal laws, and fruitful seasons, and by his doctrine and example; he had given public means of instruction. And many of them power to heal diseases, and cast out us have domestic comforts round our hearth, unclean spirits; he had assured them that he of which none can estimate the worth till

« PoprzedniaDalej »