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for He not only came into the world, but descended into dark Hades, and curiously wrought the ground of the Church's being and stability "in the lowest parts of the earth." He has also carried His work higher than the highest want of the highest creature.
There is no creature so low and base, that Christ cannot meet his state, and minister to him his humblest need: nor is there any creature so high, that Christ cannot minister to him far higher things, than have entered his heart to conceive.
SINCE Christ, Who descended lower than the earth, thence ascended far above all heavens: let us learn that the lower we carry our work and conquests, the higher we shall ascend in glory.
SIN originated with a prince of Light. The foundation of Hell and the beginning of all evil date from Heaven and the Presence of God. Hence the unknown power of evil, hence its consummate wisdom: hence too the awful doom, under which the original sinner has been laboring these long ages, and which, as we are told, is
even yet to become far heavier. The sin of Adam and of the human race is not original, but only an inoculation from original sin.
Man lost his innocence and his glory through Satan. But the devil did not obtain what he succeeded in taking from man. It remained in God's power and gift. and gift. God's decree was, that what man had lost through another, he should regain through Another.
WE must love God even more for what chastises us, than for what pleases us. For the good that pleases corrupt nature, feeds and strengthens the same; but the evil, that is displeasing to it, causes it to sigh its life away. And when our own spirit giveth up the ghost, God's Spirit taketh its place. Wherefore, our life is death, but our death, that is life.
SACRED GROUND; or,
SOMETHING SOWN THERE.
SOMETHING Sown, where? Every where. There is a sun hidden in the sun, there is a subtle, living ground hidden in the soil, there is a sea hidden in the sea, and an atmosphere in the atmosphere. Light is handed down to us from remote ages, not as light, but as a compact mineral, and is sold so much per ton. We have a sufficient reserve of gas-light in our coal-mines to light ten thousand Londons for ten thousand years to come. That is something. I did not say too much; there is something sown every where. Dull and stupid as matter is, there is something in it not wholly stupid. Rub your walking-stick smartly, with your hand, for five minutes. Why did you stop in one minute? Too hot,' you say. Even the dead stick then is not so dead, that it may not be awakened into flame. A rope passing over the bulwarks at a certain velocity sets the ship on fire. And these dark clouds, what can be duller than they? out of the dense vapour, I see nimble fire breaking.
Vapour then is a hiding place for something which is not vapour. The dew-drop again is condensed vapour; yet I can see a little sun therein. Is not nature a screen, wonderfully contrived, to defend us from her own excess of glory? She is a gorgeous cloud-building, reared on a sea of Light. The world is a vast field, with celestial fire every where hidden in it. Yea, God is in this place, and the gate of Heaven is every where. Heaven runs through the world, as an essence through a substance, as light through water, as the soul through the kingdom of the body. Whether we are in the house of God, or not, depends not so much upon where we are, as in what condition
II.-A lonely traveller, passing a night on the moor, finds the midnight air full of bright and busy creatures. Another, keeping his sheep far away from the abodes of men, sees more in a bush, than some see in sun, moon and stars put together. Another, finds the whirlwind to be a chariot, out of which God speaks to him. Another, discovers that in the very ass on which he is riding, there is a Presence that can reprove him. I do not know that any one has ever been burnt in water; but I know this, that there is fire enough
secreted in water to burn the world.
And what is
quite as strange, as the idea of burning any one in water, is the fact that three young men are known to have walked at ease in the midst of a raging fire, and found therein a cool atmosphere of defence. In that hour, they saw that every thing is what it is, not from itself, but from ONE Who giveth to all things their law. Therefore, as with one mouth, they called upon fire and heat, winds and storms, showers and dew, ice and cold, frost and snow, seas and rivers, lightnings and clouds, nights and days, summer and winter, to bless the Lord, and to exalt His Name for ever. And hearest thou not even now, the song of the Seraphim? "The whole earth is full of His Glory." His glory is something,-yea, something considerable, I imagine. Is it not more than all that we can see with our outer eyes? Perhaps in the end it will prove to be the only thing,—the only thing that hath essential being. I, for one, am of that belief. God affirms His own existence, and at the same time declares that He only has absolute existence. "I AM; and there is none else."
'Verily, Thou art a God that hidest Thyself." "Upon all the glory there is a covering."
"He holdeth back the face of His Throne, and spreadeth His cloud upon it."