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victories, rises the unutterable mystery of the sympathy and partnership in temptation of the Incarnate Son, to tell us that the highest success here was not the thing which man was made for, but goodness, and truth, and love. Amid the hopeless wrecks of human history, the fatal disasters of individual lives, there is planted the Cross of Redemption and Recovery, where our shame and our hope are joined, where the Crucified stretches forth his arms to embrace and console the tempted and the defeated, in this mortal struggle for life or death.
You are weak, you are blind, you know not where you are and where you are going; you feel within you the treacheries of sin, you know how your will has betrayed you, how your motives have deceived you. Yes, but around you, and within you, has come from on high to make His abode with spirits on their trial, the Holy Comforter of Pentecost, the Strengthener, the Enlightener. He knows what you are, He interprets your real self, He responds to what is in your heart, He makes intercession for you with groans that cannot be uttered, He helps your infirmities. Commit yourself and your trial in honesty of heart to Him, that Holy Spirit of Truth, who whispers in your soul and conscience; and of one thing you may be sure; that from falsehood and insincerity of choice, from unavowed motives and disguised self-seeking, He will protect you. And that is what we have to fear. When our trial is
over, and has to be
judged, it is not our mistakes, our misunderstandings, our mismanaged attempts and ill-guided efforts, which will weigh so heavily against us-it is the treasons of our will, our palterings with sin, our disloyalty to conscience, to the voice and call of the Spirit. God, who knows that it is necessary for us to be tried, God, who knows all our weakness, and also how we may be strong, has not been backward in showing how He is in earnest. We adjure Him by the most tremendous recollections of what has actually happened, in heaven and on this earth, for our deliverance :"By the mystery of Thy Holy Incarnation, by Thy Baptism, Fasting, and Temptation, by Thine Agony and Bloody Sweat, by Thy Cross and Passion, by Thy Precious Death and Burial; by Thy Glorious Resurrection and Ascension, by the Coming of the Holy Ghost; Good Lord, deliver us."-May our seriousness in thinking of what we have to do, and what we are preparing for, answer His, in His intent to help and save us ;-in appointing for us a destiny of perfection, beyond the possibility of human thought: "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne."
THE SENSE OF BEAUTY A WITNESS TO
"Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself.”—PHILIPPIANS iii. 21.
THE Passion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ necessarily made changes, deep and enduring, in human life. Nature went on as before. The stars rose and set, and the days lengthened and shortened through years that seemed the same. Seedtime and harvest, and heat and cold, and summer and winter" did not cease. And men were born, and lived their days, and died. But underneath this outward likeness to the past, all was new for the future. From that Easter morning the breath of the new creation passed over the earth, that seemed the same. From that Easter morning, life and death, and hopes and fears, and righteousness and sin, and good and evil, and our deepest thoughts about God and man were not could never be again-what they had seemed before.
I will only for a few minutes this morning pursue the special thought suggested by the text. There
one great change is spoken of; a change in that which we now see and know so familiarly; a change complete and overpowering in the vision it opens; a change which connects us all with the morning of the Resurrection; a change so great that it could not be, or be thought of, except by the putting forth of that power which can even subject all things to itself, and which nothing can resist, not even death, not even nature. "Who shall change,-shall transfigure, our vile body, the body of our humiliation,
that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious Body "-the Body, in which He is in the glory of the eternal world.
The likeness, the conformity, to Him who rose from the dead, to be the "Second Adam," the new pattern and standard of human nature, is far above all others, a moral and spiritual one. It would be worthless to look forward to being like Jesus Christ in anything that He is now, if we were not to be like Him in His holiness. But besides the great moral and spiritual change, the moral and spiritual cleansing and elevating of our nature, a change-we can only express it now-as of external and of visible form, is also spoken of. "It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: it is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory:" says St. Paul of the resurrection of the body; "it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: it is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body." "As we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the
heavenly." "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God." "We shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality." These vast, and to us inconceivable changes refer, beyond moral change, to changes in what we can only think of as conditions of our existence. What these conditions shall be is beyond our knowledge, and impenetrable to our thought. But in Scripture we are shown as in a glass, darkly, shadows, images, likenesses, analogies, passing but vivid and piercing gleams of light, which represent to us imperfectly that awful and wondrous future. And what is shown is often summed up in the word "glory." They are but shadows, and we are told that we have not faculties for more; but they, and the word which sums them up, must appeal to, and must answer to, something in us. What is it? Is it not, so far as we can understand anything of the subject, our sense, in the largest sense of the term, of what is beautiful? Is it not our love and admiration of what is beautiful, in all its manifold and varied forms, is it not this that points forward in us to the glory which shall follow? Is it not part of the promise and hope of the resurrection that this mysterious longing of our nature shall be at length justified and fulfilled, that the perfection which we miss here, but of which we seem to catch momentary and doubtful but transporting glimpses, shall there be, as everything there is, pure, completed, enduring?
I. We are so blinded by custom and commonplace,