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conversion of a child-the cry of some little Samuel, "Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth," (for, until this, Samuel knew not the Lord,) gives joy through the heavenly host, though their number be ten thousand times ten thousand and thousand of thousands. Oh! my dear children, may each of you be turned to the Lord as Samuel was; and so shall the song of Hannah be true of you,-" He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among the princes, and make them inherit the throne of glory." May you be adopted into God's heavenly family here, to await the inheritance of the saints in light hereafter-born again of the Holy Ghost— born again, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (1 Sam. ii. 8; iii. 7, 10. John i. 13.)
But I cannot leave this most instructive and beautiful figure of Light without calling to your remembrance the use our blessed Lord made of it in the Sermon on the Mount. (Matt. v. 14-16.) Addressing his disciples, gathered around him, He said, "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick ; and it giveth light to all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." It was a great thing for Christ to say of his disciples, "Ye are the light of the world;" for it was the very name he gave Himself: but it is even so; for his people are one with Him, they are partakers of the Divine nature-children of light
children of God;-and as it is said, that God dwells within them, and God is light, therefore light dwells within them: thus, wherever the true Christian is called to go, he is to shew forth the light of God— he is to reflect the image of God. You remember when Moses came down from the Mount of God, his face shone—was radiant with light: and so the Christian, that has communion with God in the Holy Mount, should have his face radiant with God's brightness upon it; and the world should be constrained to take knowledge of him that he has been with Jesus. (Exod. xxxiv. 29, 30. Acts iv. 13.)
We watched the day break the other morning. At first, it was faint, but then grew brighter; and so on, brighter and brighter to the perfect day. Now the Lord says, this is the pathway of the child of light, it shines brighter and brighter unto the perfect day. He may indeed have storms and tempests in his way; but light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Light is sown. I cannot conceive any figure more beautiful than this;-a harvest of light awaits the child of light; and the Scriptures are full and sublime in their description of that period, when it is emphatically said,— "There shall be no night there." The scene of the chapter (Isa. Ix.) is doubtless the conversion of Israel; but in a more enlarged sense, (as the reference to Rev. xxi. 23 proves,) it refers to the whole family of God, seated with Christ in the heavenly places,-“The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting
light, and thy God thy glory. Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified. A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I will hasten it in his time."
In passing on in the journey of life, my dear children, you will hear on the right hand and on the left many saying, "Who will shew us any good?" O think of the Psalmist's answer:-turning away from it all, (for unsatisfying is the highest delight of earth,) he says,—“ Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon me; and it shall put joy and gladness in my heart, more than when their corn and their wine increase." (Ps. iv. 6.)
But ere I conclude this letter, I must turn again to the Sermon on the Mount, where our Lord graciously instructed his disciples by a similitude, that we are every moment through the day realizing:"The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!" This illustration is not only very striking, but very searching. When we look at any object, far or near, the eye is the agent used: it is the light of the body; it is the wondrous telescope by which we look at all the scenes
around us. Now if our glass be rightly adjusted, and there be no film on the eye, and the whole body be in a healthy state, then will the landscape (be the view ever so extensive) fall on the retina, and the mind, acquainted thereby with the true distance, proportion, and colour of the objects, shall send down its wishes to the various members of the body, and so the whole body shall be full of light and intelligence; but if the eye be not single-be unhealthy-and the view be obstructed, then will the mind get an imperfect return made to it; and so no member will be in light, but the whole in darkness. This is the figure, and it is full of spiritual instruction. If the child of God is in health and vigour-no obstruction or film on his spiritual sight, -then shall he look out on the moral scene before him, and every thing shall come to him in its true proportions;—he will look at every thing with God's mind, for he is a partaker of his nature; and the glittering scene around him, the gaudy pageant, will appear in its true colours, his soul will be full of intelligence, he will see all out of Christ as hastening to destruction, he will not call light darkness, or darkness light, but going on steadily in his path, in the power of God's grace, and by the guidance of His Spirit, he will choose the good and reject the evil;-his whole body shall be full of light.
But, my dear children, I will now conclude this letter. I do not profess to write you a concordance on light or the other blessings of
* The best Greek writers use this word in the sense of health-clearness and freedom from obstruction.