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yet, also, it no doubt, in spirit, refers to the gospel ministry, which, from the Apostles' times to the present, has been the means of abundant blessing to nations far and wide.

Having thus briefly looked at this passage in Ezekiel, we will turn now to the 13th of Matthew. The subject is there quite of a different character, although the illustration is drawn from the same source. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into

sea, and gathered of every kind: which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just; and shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” (Matt. xiii. 47–50.)

We watched the fishermen some evenings since. It was with great quietness they encircled their prey; and when all things were ready, they began silently to draw in their nets; at last the fish felt some strange movement in the waters, and the dread reality burst upon them: but it was too late to escape—they were all dragged to the land. And so this scripture tells us it will be at the end, --multitudes will go on sporting in the stream of life—at last the time of casting the net will come, and then the dread reality will also burst on them. The net will encircle all; not one will escape.*

The parables generally convey some one great truth,-in this one, the certainty of all appearing before God seems to be pointed out.

The allusions to this part of creation are not very frequent in the scriptures; but when introduced, it is with great force. There are five incidents, or facts, which are of great interest:-1st. It was a GREAT Fish that the Lord had prepared to swallow up Jonah, which thus became, for three days and three nights, the prophet's miraculous resting place; affording thereby that most wonderful illustration of our blessed Lord's lying three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. (Jonah i. 17; Matt. xii. 40.) 2nd. It was a fish that was caught by Peter, that supplied the Lord with the exact sum of the tribute-money, for himself and his servant. (Matt. xvii. 27.) 3rd. It was fish and bread that he provided for his disciples at the sea of Galilee. (John xxi. 9.) 4th. It was five barley loaves and two fishes that he multiplied into a repast sufficient for the five thousand; and there was left of the fragments, twelve baskets full. (Matt. xiv. 15— 21.) 5th. It was of the broiled fish and honeycomb that the Lord ate after his resurrection. (Luke xxiv. 42, 43.)

The passage which I have selected from Deuteronomy xxxii. 11, as the motto of this letter, is replete with beauty. The eagle is, as it were, the king of birds, and manifests great tenderness and solicitude for its young. When the time of their flight has arrived, the parent bird stirs up her nest, and flutters over them; and the eaglets, encouraged by her call, leave their eyrie, or nest, and essay to fly; she watches, with intense fondness, their every movement; and if they

for a moment falter, darts beneath them, and spreading her broad expansive wings, bears them on high, free from every danger. “I have borne thee, saith the Lord, as on eagles' wings,” (Exodus xix. 4;) for thus the Lord, the King of his people, led Israel, and kept them all the wilderness through. And so in like manner he sustains his people now; for whatever happened to Israel then was for our example upon whom the ends of the world are come. (1 Cor. x. 11.)

There is also a peculiarly beautiful passage in Isaiah, where the eagle's flight is used in the way of illustration, to show the blessedness of waiting upon God.—“ Hast thou not known ? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall : but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isa. xl. 28--31.)

Here the contrast is evidently drawn between human and Divine strength-Saul's armour and David's sling. (1 Sam. xvii. 38–40.) Have you, my dear children, ever watched, when at Lugnaquilla, the eagle in its flight? have you seen it soar on high, gazing as it were on the sun ? This is the figure of the child of the Lord that

WAITS ON HIM-he shall soar on high, with a hope full of immortality

- he shall run in the Divine life, and not be weary; and walk amid the trials of the wilderness, and not faint.

There is also another most striking use of this bird as a similitude in the 17th of Luke, 20–37. The Lord had been conversing with his disciples, relative to “the days of the Son of man;" and when he had reached that part, “ then shall two be in the field, one shall be taken and the other left," --unable any longer to restrain their anxious desires, they burst forth with the cry, “ WHERE, LORD ?” and he replied, “Wheresoever the body is, there will the eagles be gathered together.” This answer was evidently a direct appeal to their consciences. See* that you are ready to meet the Lord; so that when he appears, you may mount up as on eagles' wings, to his presence.

There is a passage, my dear children, in Isaiah xxxi. 5, that has often struck me with great force.—“As birds flying, so will the Lord of hosts defend Jerusalem ; defending, also he will deliver it; and passing over, he will preserve it." This must allude to the exceeding rapidity of the flight of birds. And thus the Lord will hasten for his people's deliverance ; Sennacherib, with his forces, may cover the valleys, and come up like the Lion from the swelling of Jordan; and Rabshakeh, his general, may insult the Lord's children on the very

This figure seems evidently to denote the concentrating, or gathering together at a given point. An Eastern traveller, Dr. Clarke, says, that the eagle and vulture will scent or see a carcase in the wilderness at an incredible distance, and hasten their flight to it.

walls of Zion; but the Lord will dart down as the lightning for their deliverance; he will come riding on the wings of the cherub; yea, he will fly on the wings of the wind (Ps. xviii. 10); passing over, he will protect them, not a spear shall fall on his Israel, nor an arrow light on his favoured Jerusalem. (Isaiah xxxvii. 21, 37.)

But, my beloved children, if the eagle sets forth the watchful care of the Lord over his people, and the swiftness of his mercy to help ; other emblems bring out other parts of his gracious character. The lamentation of our blessed Lord over Jerusalem can never be forgotten,“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the Prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings; and ye would not,” (Matt. xxiii. 37.) Perhaps amid the rural scenes of life, nothing is more full of interest than the mother bird gathering her brood beneath the covert of her wings whilst the hawk is hovering nigh. Safety and warmth are combined in that protection; and when the enemy is gone, the little family again sally forth; but safety is in keeping close to those wings that alone can shelter. The emblem needs no application. The Lord is all this, and infinitely more to his people. It was a beautiful saying of the old Jews, when a Gentile was converted, and brought to eat of the Paschal Lamb, “ This Gentile is now come to dwell beneath the wings of the shadow of the Majesty of God.” The allusion was in all probability to the wings of the cherubim, in the Most Holy

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