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and when he has found them, where to feed them : Nay, on the stormiest side of the hill must his station often be, there to keep his flock from falling down to the hollows, and being drifted over with snow, and so perishing.
So Christ, the great shepherd of his sheep, did not only lead and feed his flock, in that joyful season, when he rode in triumph into Jerusalem, while many spread their garments in the way, and others cut down branches from the trees, and strewed them in the way, and hosannas in the highest were sung, Mark xi. 8, 9. but also in that awful winter, when the malice of men and devils was let loose against him, and like a furious storm, raged full in his face. A storm yet still more dreadful and tremendous than this he bare for his flock, even the infinite wrath of Almighty God, which would have swept them all down to hell, and there overwhelmed them through all eternity, if he had not borne it for them : But this he did; and the tempest was so infinitely fierce, that it laid him flat on the ground, filled his soul with agony, and made him to sweat, as it were, great drops of blood, falling down to the ground, Luke xxii. 44. Nay, so terrible was the blast, that on the cross it made him to cry out, “ My God! “ my God! why hast thou forsaken me?" Matt. xxvii. 46. but at length he cried out, “ It is finished !” (the horrible tempest which his flock otherwise should have borne was all spent upon him) he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost! John xix. 30.
“ Bless the Lord, then, O my soul, and “ forget not all his benefits.” Psal. ciii. 2. Let all his flock on earth join with those in heaven, saying, “ Unto him that loved us, “and washed us from our sins in his own “ blood, and hath made us kings and priests “ unto God and his Father; to him be glory, " and dominion for ever and ever. Amen." Rev. i. 5, 6.
ON THE SUN.
YONDER comes the glorious king of day, in stately steps of majesty, from his chambers in the east, like a bridegroom, as the Psalmist beautifully describes him, or “as a strong “man rejoicing to run his race," Psal. xix. 5. Dame Nature, glad at his approach, welcomes his return with a cheerful countenance, and spreads wide her blooming arms to receive his salutary embraces, and dries up the dewy tears from her lovely cheek, which she had shed in his absence during the night, and now smiles pleasantly around. From the time he returns to her with his lengthened day at the vernal equinox, his fructifying beams make her prolific, till he again in
autumn retires beyond the line, to perform his winter's journeys: then she becomes barren, unless through her laxedness a few untimely births appear in our fields and gardens : I except the snow-drop and crocus, these stated harbingers of spring.
And is all creation, both animate and inanimate, glad at the rising of the Sun? What infinitely more reason hath the new creation, even all true believers, to rejoice, when to them the Sun of righteousness ariseth with healing under his wings?
· When that sun arose, I beheld the mists of the morning dispelled from the hills, and all the sky become clear. In like manner, when the Sun of righteousness sheddeth forth his benign beams in the heart of sinners, the mists which Satan raised there quickly evanish, and all the soul becometh clear and serene. The joy which the believer experienceth in such a season, who hath been long under the hidings of God's countenance, is only known to himself, and cannot fully be described.
. When the sun arises, the royal Psalmist tells us, “ The beasts of prey gather them“ selves together, and lay them down in their “ dens; and man goeth forth unto his work " and to his labour until the evening.” Psal. civ. 22, 23. So when the Sun of righteousness shineth into the heart of a sinner, Satan, who is compared to a roaring lion, that goeth about continually, seeking whom he may devour, 1 Pet. v. 8. (and greatly doeth so in the sad night of desertion) is compelled, by his cheering beams, to withdraw from the poor 'soul, with unbelief, hard thoughts of God, and despair, which are incomparably more cruel than beasts of prey : and the man goeth to work the works of God, even to “ believe in Christ Jesus whom he hath “ sent,” John vi. 28, 29. " whom to know “ is life eternal,” John xvii. 3.
When the sun arises, men see clearly around them, and every object appears in its native dye. In like manner, when the Sun of righteousness ariseth on the soul of a sinner, the eyes of the understanding are enlightened to behold sin in its proper co