« PoprzedniaDalej »
to her boy, and although he was not to prove the promised “ seed of the woman,” yet when she discovered her error,
the Man Jehovah was not taken away from her; it was only changing the supposed object of present possession into the object of hope and expectation for the future. She would now know from her own experience, what it is to have attained the promised goal. Oh! had she not been happy in her child! With what heavenly rapture had she cradled the boy in her arms, and pressed him to her bosom; her conscience for the moment becoming pure and light as that of the infant on her lap! The consciousness of sin ceased to weigh down her soul, for her heart rejoiced in the realization of God's unutterable mercy. She felt that, justified and righteous, she could now rest on the bosom of her God; that she had a possession which amply repaid her for the loss of Paradise ; and that she had been transported into a new and more beautiful Eden. Yet she has no reason to regret those sweet thoughts and experiences, though her imagination clothed them far too soon with reality. The Divine promise sounds now more beautiful than ever in her delighted ears ; for higher than formerly she knows how to prize that immeasurable grace which in deed and in truth had promised to send the object of our hope-God become man. Free from all grovelling earthly thoughts as heretofore, her hopes and desires are still directed towards her little treasure, which now seems a type of the heavenly one ; and more ardently than ever she calls out from the bottom of her soul, “O thou that comest down from heaven, descend speedily!"
If we regard the spiritual life of Eve, we see that in faith and love she moved out of Advent into the sweet light of Christmas ; and that out of Christmas she retraced her steps into Advent again, although into a far more blessed one than the first. If God but once mani, fest himself unto us if he enable us in our hearts to feel and know him as he is, “ the man Jehovah,”then the joyful and the true Advent begins. Formerly we stood trembling and afflicted, we sought help and found none.
We looked behind us-alas! there lay paradise, now for ever closed, the inexorable cherub guarding its gates. We examined our own bosoms— woe unto us! sin, and the curse of God, were raging there, and we found nothing but weakness and frailty. We looked upon the mountains—dark clouds enveloped their summits, amidst which awful thunders were rolling; and we could only cry out, “O God, thine eye seeth us, therefore we die.” We beheld all around arrayed against us-nothing could be seen but the sword of the cherub-nothing but wrath and destruction. We directed our gaze towards the distancethere, shadowy forms were threatening us-death, judgment, and the fiery terrors of hell. Whatever refuge we sought, we only found despair. Lo ! who is it comes to meet us, surrounded as we are by the terrors of night? Who is it that accosts us with the salutation of love? Who is it that calls to us, “ Be consoled, for I come !" It is the good Shepherd, the Prince of Peace, the Ruler of the storm ; and our hour of salvation has arrived. No sooner does the sinner's Friend enlighten our poor hearts with his glances of
love—no sooner does he permit us to rest on his bosom -than our whole existence is changed; our dwellingplace is no longer here below; we cannot endure to remain at a distance from him ; our hearts seem attracted by a heavenly magnet, for they burn to escape, and to rush, though it may be over rocks and mountains, towards him. The springs of our life flow to him as surely as the rivers to the sea ; and our souls, which since his eye has enlightened ours have lain in silent adoration, now begin to cry out, “ Come, Lord Jesus! O that we were with thee!"
This Advent is certainly followed by the jubilee of Christmas. What will it be, my brethren, when we hear this jubilee sounding in our ears—when we behold him face to face--when we sink down at his feet, touch him with our hands !—and then our souls, in an ecstasy of delight, shout, no more to be silenced, "I have—I have the man Jehovah !" This day shall certainly come. Until then let us sing "Hosanna! Come, Lord Jesus !” Amen.
ver's s of
Exodus XXXIII. 12–18.
And Moses said unto the Lord, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring
up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight. Now therefore,
pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight; and consider that this nation thy people. And He said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence. For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? Is it not in that thou goest with us ? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth. And the Lord said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken ; for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name. And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.
If we wish to discover the most glorious moments in the life of the great leader of the people of Israel, where, think ye, ought we to seek them? Many would reply, that the brightest period of his history, is where the Angel of the Covenant appeared to him in the burning bush, and called him forth to become the deliverer of his people; or perhaps, where he performed miracle after miracle with his wonderful.rod in the
of Pharaoh. Others may select that passage in Exodus where the children of Israel passed through the sea on dry ground, the waters being gathered up like a wall on the right hand and on the left; or the destruction of the Amalekites by the efficacy of Moses' arms of prayer. And truly, in each of those scenes his life shines with transcendent splendour ; still we doubt much if Moses would have selected any of those moments as the most glorious he had ever experienced. Where then did he enjoy the Tabor hours of his existence? Is it difficult to answer the question? Under the thunder-clouds of the mountain, when it burned with fire. On Sinai and Horeb, when on one side appeared all the terrors of God, Moses stood at the highest point of his glory; for nefer had the heaven of the new testament been so clearly manifested before him, as here in the awful presence of the Lord; never had the day of the Son of man appeared to his eyes in such clear brightness, and never had he so joyfully realized the words of Eve, “I have the man Jehovah,” as in that place, which was at the same time the scene of his bitterest sufferings, and where, overpowered by a terror such as he had never before felt, he broke forth into the cry, “I exceedingly fear and quake!"
The contemplations of to-day are intended to show us how beautifully, notwithstanding the fiery terrors of the mountain, the sunny splendour of Zion and of the gospel illumined his heart. Let us now therefore direct our attention to the state of Moses' mind—to his prayer—to its gracious acceptance with God-and to the effect of this upon the heart of the petitioner.
I. Moses had left the summit of Mount Sinai, when our history commences; but it does not find him in a