Page images
PDF
EPUB

show that the way to the holiest of all was then made clear, and the shadows of the morning, viz. the types and ceremonies of the Mosaical dispensation, terminated in the great antitype Jesus Christ, the Sun of righteousness; who, to the unspeakable joy of his people, but terror of his enemies, quickly arose from death, behind which cloud his humanity had set, for a very short time, ushering in the broad day of the everlasting gospel, to shine with additional splendour through all eternity. It is true, as he was God, his glory was the same from everlasting, and could admit of no increase---but as he was man, it certainly did : “ being found in fashion as a man, he humbled “ himself, and became obedient unto death,

even the death of the cross; wherefore God

also hath highly exalted him, and given “ him a name, which is above every name, " that at the name of Jesus, every knee

should bow, of things in heaven, and things “ in earth, and things under the earth: And " that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God “ the Father.”. Phil. ü. 8, 9, 10, 11.

66

Since, now, “ life and immortality are” clearly“ brought to light through, the

gospel,” 2 Tim. i. 10; “ and through the “ tender mercy of our God the Day-spring “ from on high hath visited us,” Luke i. 78, even us, in this island of the sea, where our fathers “ who sat in darkness saw great light;

and to them who sat in the region and " shadow of death light is sprung up,” Matt. iv. 16. even him (who is the Sun of righteousness, with healing in his wings, Mal. iv. 2.) through whose blessed rays they saw their benighted situation, and were enabled to come out of the dark howling wilderness of sin, from the snares of Pagan and Romish superstition, and made to walk in the way everlasting, Psalm cxxxix. 24.; and since to us, their children, the light of the glorious gospel still shineth in our land, how ought we to rejoice in God our Saviour, who “ hath “ broken down the middle wall of partition,” Eph. ii. 14. and, as well as the Jews, hath visited the Gentiles with salvation,

For my part, I desire to sing with the sweet Psalmist of Israel, that's the lines are fallen

[ocr errors]

unto me in pleasant places,” Psalm xiv. 6. May I walk in the light of his countenance, Psalm lxxxix. 15. while here, and at length enter into that “ city, which hath founda“ tions, whose builder and maker is God,” Heb. xi. 10. where there is “no need of the

sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it; for “ the glory of God” doth“ lighten it, and

the Lamb is the light thereof, and the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it,” Rev. xxi. 23, 24.

He, whose star conducted the wise men of the east to the humble place of his birth, Matt. ii. 2, 9, 10, still “ holdeth the seven

stars in his right hand,” Rev. ii. 1. ministers of the everlasting gospel, to direct those who are made wise to salvation, 2 Tim. iii. 15, not only in the east, but in north, south, east, and west, to that city of habitation, Psalm cvii. 3. 7. his kingdom of glory.

May I follow their light, in so far as they are enlightened by the glorious Sun of righteousness, until at length I enjoy his beams in that land of bliss, where - the inhabitant shall not say, I am ss

sick, and the people that dwell therein

shall be forgiven their iniquity,” Isa. xxxiii. 24, and reap that endless harvest of light and gladness, which is sown for the righteous and the upright in heart, Psalm xcvii. 11. in the spring-time of grace, in the field of the everlasting gospel, by the good Husbandman,

the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort.” 2 Cor. i. 3.

Some of the inclosures into which it is divided, where this good seed is sown, are, the field of meditation and contemplation, the valley of prayer and praise, the green pastures of the Scriptures, and the mount of the preached gospel, with its verdant summit the Sacraments. In these delightful inclosures

may I still delight to walk, that I may see the seed springing up with pleasure in the blade, and taste of the full corn in the ear; that, in the valley of death, I may begin

that harvest which, after I have passed the Jordan of dissolution, I shall reap and feast on fully in the heavenly Canaan.

to reap

But this I cannot do, unless He “ who commanded the light to shine out of dark

“ness, shine in my heart, to give the

light of the knowledge of the glory of God “in the face of Jesus Christ,” 2 Cor. iv. 6. for, through the fall of man, gross darkness hath overspread the whole soul, so that “the

natural man receiveth not the things of the

Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto “him; neither can he know them, because

they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Cor. ii. 14. And indeed it is impossible that he can, so

as his mind is in this state, discern the beauty of spiritual objects; any more than a man, during the darkness of the night, can discover the beauties of creation ; till God, of his infinite mercy, vouchsafe to illuminate his mind by his Holy Spirit. It is then alone that he can discover the vileness of his own heart, the deformity of sin, and the beauty of holiness.

long

But though light doth make manifest the deformities and beauties of objects in the natural world; yet without the rays

and salutary beams of the sun, nothing is cherished or brought forward to perfection.

« PreviousContinue »