Page images
PDF
EPUB

last few years, it has been proved, both in the animal and vegetable kingdoms, that light can exist independent of the sun;* but even if we did not know how it was, yet God's word simply tells us, that it was so, and to the mind that bows to God's word, this is enough. GOD SAYS IT, and what I cannot now comprehend, I shall here or hereafter, and this to me is sufficient. Light did exist the first day, and illumined the waste of waters, and, on the fourth day, the Lord gathered it into its bright and glorious tabernacle, and the sun and light became inseparable.

Had we not certain facts to ascertain the amazing velocity with which light travels, we should think it past belief. Sound comes to us quickly, but sound creeps when compared with the darting rapidity of light. You remember the other day when we saw a ship at sea fire a gun, it was some moments after we saw the flash that we heard the sound; to the man who fired it, the light and the sound set off on their journey the same moment; but the rapidity of light left sound as a wearied traveller in his course.

But I will illustrate this by an example more familiar to you :-standing a few days since on the North Malvern Hills, we saw a man in the valley at his work, but his mattock was partly in the air again before the sound telling us that it had struck the earth came to our ears. Watching the eclipses of the satellites of Jupiter from the earth, in the nearest and most remote part of her orbit (which will come under our observation when con

• See Appendix.

the table says,

templating the starry heavens, on the fourth day), we get a demonstration of the rapidity with which light travels: it moves at the rate of 190,000 miles in a second, while sound comes on at the slow and tardy rate of only 13 miles a minute. The difference between the velocity of sound and light is also witnessed in a thunder-storm: if an interval elapses between the lightning and the thunder-clap, every one at

Now the storm is at some distance," but if the flash be instantly followed by that fearful and terrible peal, then paleness steals on the countenance, and the next shock is waited for in awful expectancy. Happy, my beloved children, is it to be at peace with God, and then, though it were the fire going before Him, and the whole atmosphere very tempestuous round about Him, yet should the word be full of consolation from the lips of a Father :-“Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the Lord cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.” (Isa. xxvi. 20, 21.) But though the Lord shall indeed come forth in indignation, and be revealed in fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and obey not the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ;—yet not so to his people; no, in them, even his saints, as the next verse is, “ He shall come to be glorified, and admired in all them that believe.” How beautiful is the word of that hymn you so well remember,—(2 Thess. i. 7—10,)

92

“ Jesus, thy blood and righteousness,

My beauty are,—my glorious dress;
Midst flaming worlds, in these arrayed,
With joy shall I lift up my

head." But as the fourth day's creation will afford us a more ample field for the contemplation of light, I will now close this long letter; and in my next, ere I leave this subject, I hope to bring before you some of those beautiful passages from the Scriptures where the Spirit of God sets forth divine truth by the gracious emblem of light.

Ever believe me,
My beloved Children,

Your affectionate Father.

LETTER II.

I AM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD.--John vü. 12.

MY DEAR CHILDREN, I have sometimes imagined the dismay and terror that would strike all things living, if, suddenly, at noon-day, a total darkness were to cover the whole carth; or if, instead of the sun rising, a darkness deeper than that of night were to spread over all things. Such, doubtless, was that of Egypt (Exod. x. 21), which lasted three days -a darkness that might be felt; and such also the awful darkness that was over the whole land (Matt. xxvii. 45) when our blessed Lord, bearing our sins in his own body on the tree, died the Just for the unjust, under the curse of God. But the darkness of Egypt, in God's mercy, had an end; for He is long-suffering: and the darkness of Calvary had an end; because the sufferer paid to the full the amazing debt of death, and satisfied divine justice. (Gal. iii. 13.) But there is a darkness hastening on; and oh! the terrors of that darkness that shall be eternal! It is called emphatically “the outer darkness, "

Let us go

and who may abide it? But we will turn from this contemplation to one as much filled with joy, as this is with sorrow.

and meditate on His Love, who, when He beheld the world buried in darkness, and judgment before it, stood forth at the call of the Father, and came a Light into the world. Yes, He was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world (John i. 9); for if He had not taken on Him the seed of Abraham, and stood on this earth God manifest in the flesh, death must have reigned, and darkness would have been over the earth for ever, even for ever and ever. But Jesus came the Light of the world; and whosoever followeth Him shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. (John viii. 12.)

In the morning of the old creation, we heard the song of the angels rejoicing over the work of God: now, in the new creation, when God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, shines in the hearts of his children, and gives them the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Cor. iv. 6), there are songs in heaven also; even joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth. (Luke xv. 10.)

What an amazing scene is presented to us in this most blessed verse of Scripture! That tongue that was once dried up like a potsherd, now leads the chorus of the skies (Psalm xxii. 15, 25, 27); and those bright spirits who never fell join in the hymn of salvation, the great theme of which is, the turning of the sinner from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God. Yes, even the

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »