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Let us, then, note some precious things put forth by this glorious Sun of righteousness, and again we shall tind as in the natural so in the spiritual, the sun

1. Produces life.-Is it not written “ Christ in you the hope of glory;" grace begun, flows from the fulness of a precious Christ. When the poor woman touched His garment, she felt that virtue had come out of Him into her soul to such an extent, that she was healed of her disease. Life divine flows from the fulness of Christ through that hallowed channel of communication, the Holy Spirit, and thus Jesus, the Sun of righteousness, is the cause of the life of God in the soul. Again the sun

2. Sheds abroad light. When love is given, light divine follows. We begin to make fresh discoveries. First we see only men as trees walking, but gradually we learn more of self, more of the character and nature of sin, and see how matchless and great is the love and mercy and salvation of Jesus to save such rebels. And as time advances, light shines into the soul and shows us greater abominations on our part, and greater deliverances on the part of our God, and we are left humbled and crumbled, subdued and amazed at the wondrous grace of our precious Lord. And then the sun

3. Imparts warmth.Oh, how wretchedly cold and wintry the soul often gets! the world and its ways draw away from the things of God and freeze up the heart; but, when the rays of the Sun of righteousness dart through the thick gloom, oh, how cheered do we become! what a melting is felt within ! how the desires go out after Jesus! how the tongue is unloosened to tell of His love and of His mercy! what a joy springs up, and the

graces of the Holy Spirit are put into lively exercise. And then the sun

4. Causes fruitfulness.—Our fruitfulness, beloved, is in Jesus. “From me is thy fruit found” is His own language. Let us try to find fruit in ourselves, and it will be a failure ; as Jesus has been the cause of life divine, so fruitfulness must be the result of all He imparts, for from first to last all is dependent upon Him. And now we pass on to notice

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III. PRECIOUS THINGS PUT FORTH BY THE MOON.

It is very pleasing on a clear night to gaze upwards upon the myriads of stars, and mark in their midst the beautiful moon. We recollect in younger days, enraptured at the fair scene, exclaiming,

“Hail, gentle moon, sweet gatherer of light

From the all-glorious sun, and
Sweet disperser of the same in milder rays

O’er the wide canopy of heaven.” But here, again, we must look from the beauties of nature to the beauties of

grace; and see we not in this figure of the moon an apt emblem of the Church of Christ ? and that we are not fanciful in our tracings again would we draw attention to the Scriptures. Our blessed Lord, when speaking in the Canticles of the Church, says,

" Who is this that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon ?Look then, reader, at some of the precious things put forth by moon (the Church), and notice

First. The Church, gathering her light from the sun, puts forth

1. The word of God. “Holy men of old wrote as they were moved by the Holy Ghost;” and those sacred oracles of God, preserved from generation to generation by the over-sight of a covenant God, are handed down

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to us, translated into our own language. And oh, the preciousness of that word! what should we do without it, beloved ? It is a field in which is hidden invaluable treasure; it is the revealed will of our heavenly Father to His children ; it is a mine of wealth ; a living spring; our God's legacy to His Church. Blessed are they that read with understanding hearts the word of divine life. We would not stand in the shoes of that man who dares to deny the authenticity of any part of God's word for ten thousand worlds; for

“ Within this awful volume lies
The mystery of mysteries.
Happiest he of human race,
To whom his God hath given grace
To mark, to learn, to read, to pray,
To lift the latch and force the way;
But better had he ne'er been born,

Than live to doubt or read to scorn.”
Another precious thing put forth by the moon is

2. United prayerand the Church ; that is, the members of Christ's mystical body unitedly carrying out the command, “Ask, and it shall be given you,” is sure to bring down blessings from on high. Would that it was put forth with greater power and union, and real Christians could find it in their hearts to drop their minor differences, and besiege the throne of grace that God would still preserve to us our many privileges, and set up a standard against the enemy who seems to be coming in like a flood. We want more prayer and less picking holes in one another's coats; we want more union and less of making a brother an offender for a word. When Joseph had made himself known unto his brethren, and bid them return to fetch their aged father, he gave them this touching advice : “See that ye fall not out by the way." Would that such wholesome counsel were practised with brethren and sisters in Christ, who have one Lord, and are heirs together of the kingdom. Again, another precious thing put forth by the Church is

3. The ordinances of God's house.—The ordinance of the Lord's Supper, in commemoration of the atoning sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ, should be fully valued by all true believers. Alas, alas, how shunned and slighted! We are persuaded that no Church is in a healthy state where the members treat this ordinance lightly. The Lord's own blessed words should overcome all scruples : “Do this in remembrance of me.” And only do it, and it is surprising the blessings that flow into the soul from its observance; communion, a full sense of pardon, a sweet and settled assurance, joy and peace in believing, and a foretaste of everlasting glory are realised on such occasions. And this reminds us of another precious thing put forth by the Church, viz. :

4. Communion with the saints.—Oh, how precious is this enjoyment, when it is realized with kindred spirits! Our dear Lord loved to wend His

way to Bethany, where three endeared ones lived, whom He loved, and who loved Him; for Jesus loved Martha and Mary and Lazarus. And so it is with His followers. They feel how profitable it is to hold communion with those who, like themselves, love Jesus, and to tell each other of His preciousness. And then the symbol of the moon reminds us that she

(1) Gives light in the night. - When we cannot get the stronger rays of the glorious sun, yet in our dark seasons the milder rays of precious

moon

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promises from God's word cheer us. And oh, how many are those dark and dreary seasons, beloved! And what should we be, did we not sometimes experience " light in the night,” and so get comfort? Again, the

(2) Influences the tides.—Oh, how often are things at a low ebb with us; but when the influences of the Spirit draw out, the tide flows—our cups are full. So that the Christian is a paradox-sometimes low, sometimes high, sometimes empty, sometimes full; but, blessed be God, never left. Again, the moon

(3) Has its eclipses.So the Church has hers. It seems to be passing through a partial eclipse now. There is a great deal of profession, but alas ! how little possession; how little manifestation of real personal vital godliness among the living members. Lord, revive Thy work in our souls, and quicken us to a lively comprehension of divine things. And now mark

IV. PRECIOUS THINGS OF THE LASTING HILLS. Or, as the word has it: “The chief things of the ancient mountains, and for the precious things of the lasting hills.” There are mountains and hills in different parts of the earth that are exceedingly ancient, but geologists are able, by an examination of their strata, to tell at what particular age in the world's history they were cast up by some convulsion of nature : but here we have a reference to ancient mountains that are everlasting. We will suggest the names of a few.

1. Those three ancient mountains, the Trinity.God the Father, God the Son, and the God the Holy Ghost, co-equal, co-eternal, immutable, and incomprehensible, three in one, all working in harmony, and each taking their par in the wonderful work of the salvation of every elect vessel of mercy. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, . who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” Here is the work of the Father. And the apostle goes on to speak of our dear Redeemer. “In whom we have redemption, through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace." Here is the work of the Second Person in the glorious Trinity; and he goes on to speak of the Spirit: “Having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure." Here is the work of the Spirit, all resulting in the salvation of God's elect, chosen by the Father, redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus, and sanctified by this Spirit of God. Nor must we be unmindful of those ancient mountains

2. The attributes of God. His immortality, omnipotency, omniscience, love, compassion, faithfulness, are so many “towers of strength" for the believer

, to rest upon.

A triune God, distinct in persons, yet

In essence one, incomprehensible.And then that lasting hill

3. The covenant of God.-By which we mean that grand stipulation between the Persons of the adorable Trinity, in which all that relates to the great work of redemption was planned and provided by infinite wisdom and sovereign love before the world was made. An ancient mountain that reared its head before Adam was placed by God in the garden of Eden. Oh, beloved, we love to go back to the very foundation of our religion, and see our security ! A minister of the Gospel told us the other day, that he was called to attend the death-bed of a dear saint

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of God. On drawing near to him, the dying one said, “Oh, my brother, I am feeding upon five words.' What are they?” inquired our friend. “They are,” said the happy servant of the Lord, " these : Impossible for God to lie.'Ah, beloved, this is resting sweetly upon the

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covenant ordered in all things, and sure.

We
may

well roll ourselves in a dying hour thus into the arms of a covenant God, for “ it is impossible for Him to lie."

And it is from these ancient mountains and lasting hills that we gain communion ; and it is sweet to get above the grovelling cares of earth, and breathe the mountain air of freedom with Jesus. We get views from the lasting hills that we never can in the valley, and though the valleyground is certainly safe, because we cannot fall far, the ancient mountains are very precious to ascend, especially when the sky is so clear that faith views her distant home: and this reminds us that it is from these lasting hills we trace our citizenship. We have received our freedom of the New Jerusalem of the King of kings and Lord of lords. He carries the keys of the gates of the city upon

His shoulder ; He

opens

and no man shutteth ; He shutteth and no man opens; He has given for us a roll, on which is inscribed our freedom, elect, favoured, and honoured; and he who holds this token of citizenship is free to pass through the gates of the city. "They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God.”

It is worth while, then, beloved, getting up the ancient mountains where

“ We read our titles clear

To mansions in the skies.” And then we have

PRECIOUS THINGS FROM HEAVEN AND OF HEAVEN. For we mark a distinction here.

1. From heaven, the dew," the sweet, melting influence of Divine grace, felt in our nights of soul-darkness, and producing, imperceptibly to us, growth. The dew of precious promises, those pearly drops so refreshing to the soul, and the dew of the divine word of God as unfolded by the Spirit of God, which, falling upon the mown grass, refreshes and strengthens. And then there is

2. The deep that coucheth beneath.—His way is in the great waters. There are the deep things in providence, often hard, very hard, to understand, leaving the exercised ones to say, “Thou hast made me to drink of the wine of astonishment;" yet they are deep with purpose and design, and always tend to the good of God's elect. Then there are the deep things in grace, things connected with our spiritual welfare and advancement, all known unto God, though often difficult for us to understand, yet all tending to crucify self and the world, exalt a precious Christ, and moeten us for eternal glory; and there are the deeps that couch beneath in the way of perpetual supplies, which will rise, whatever be the opposition, and keep the soul alive unto God. All these depths come from the God of heaven. Then there are

V.

PRECIOUS THINGS OF HEAVEN.

The word tells us of "an incorruptible crown,” and every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things; that is to say, suffers no undue excess to hinder him in the struggle, but carefully perseveres till the end be accomplished. But, says the Apostle, “they do it," or

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" For

they take all this trouble, “to obtain a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible." Again, the word tells us of an “eternal inheritance." Jesus is the Mediator of the New Testament, that they who are called might receive the promise of "eternal inheritance." Again, the word

” tells us of “ entering into the joy of the Lord.“Well done, thou good and faithful servant, thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” The word tells us of fulness of joy.Thou wilt shew me the path of life; in Thy presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore." The word tells of " an eternal weight of glory. our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”. Yea, the word tells us of “reigning with Christ;" being glorified with Him; “shining as stars;" and receiving the prize of the high calling. So that we must leave off enumerating the anticipated “precious things of heaven" with the words of the apostle: "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him." We cannot fully comprehend these precious things in store for the Lord's people,

"Till earth is changed for heaven.” Beloved, there are depths in this subject that seem to us unfathomable. We must leave you to fill up our deficiency as far as you are led. We have tried to draw attention to some of the “precious things” that fall from the Headship of our spiritual Joseph, and can only lay down our pen, saying, with the Queen of Sheba, “The half was not told me.”

It will take our life-time to make fresh discoveries of the perfection of Jesus, and all eternity to display Him fully. Oh, what a mercy, that when our many efforts to set forth His beauty and fulness are over, then shall we see Him as He is, without a veil between. Till that happy time may we be kept near His side.

"Till we pass through yonder river;

When we reach the further shore,
There's an end of war for ever,

We shall see our foes no more.
All our conflicts then shall cease,

Followed by eternal peace.”
Reader, what say you to these “precious things?
Ilford.

G. C.

He that is in earnest about this question, “How shall I be saved ?” should not spend the time in reflecting on, and examination of himself, but, from discovered sin and misery, pass straightway over to the grace and mercy of Christ, without any intervening search of something in himself to warrant him to come.

If the Divine Master whom we serve should be pleased to unfit us for activity, it by no means follows that He unfits us for usefulness. There is a passive as well as an active usefulness. In the midst of the frailties and sufferings of prostrated age, or of premature disability, we may not only give scope to the exercise of Christian virtues, the graces of patience and submission, of tranquil cheerfulness, and confidence in God, but display before them that wait upon us the blessed influence of the Gospel

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