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A SERMON BY THE LATE SEPTIMUS SEARS. Moreover concerning a stranger, that is not of Thy people Israel, but cometh out of a far country for Thy name's sake (for they shall hear of Thy great name, and of Thy strong hand, and of Thy stretched out arm); when he shall come and pray toward this house : hear Thou in heaven Thy dwelling place, and do according to all that the stranger calleth to Thee for."-1 KINGS viii, 41–43. THESE words form a part of Solomon's prayer at the dedication of the temple, which he built according to God's promise to David, and by divine direction. Solomon was a lively type of the Lord Jesus. His very name is blessedly applicable to Christ -the word “Solomon " signifying peaceable, perfect, or who recompenses. And truly Jesus is peaceable ; His errand to earth was an errand of“ peace” (Luke ii. 14). He is emphatically called “our peace (Eph. ii. 14). T'he covenant of which He is the Surety is designated a “covenant of peace” (Isa. liv. 10); the legacy He has bequeathed to His people is a legacy of “peace” (John

What a mercy for those who can truly say of Him, He is our peace”! All of us who have a hope of peace with God ground our hope upon something. Rotten in itself

, and perilous to the soul, is every other ground of peace but Jesus.

Jesus is indeed perfect. As a Person in the ever-adorable Trinity, He is perfection itself. As Man He is perfect; nothing of human perfection was absent from this “fairer than the children of men ” (Psalm xliv. 2); and nothing of human defection (to use an obsolete word) was ever, or can ever be, present in this "holy, harmless, and undefiled One” (Heb. vii. 26). As God-Man, or God and Man in one glorious Christ, He is perfect. "He is the Rock ; His work is perfect" (Deut. xxxii. 4). Oh, how perfectly fitted for His work! Was obedience, human obedience, called for? The obeying Man could give it. Was human suffering demanded? The bleeding Man could endure it. Was infinite worth and almighty power required ? God in human flesh had it. How perfectly fitted was this glorious Christ to pay, in human flesh, an infinite debt, to satisfy infinite justice, and exemplify and open a free and righteous channel for the outgushings of infinite mercy! And how perfectly suited is this glorious Christ to heal the gaping wounds, cleanse away the guilty stains, clothe the naked soul, and fill the empty heart of a poor sensibly-lost and No. 54, NEW SERIRS, JUNE, 1883.

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ruined sinner! Truly Jesus, the great Solomon, is the “perfection of beauty”; and, in His Person, work, names, offices, and fulness, He is indeed to every sensible sinner suited, “ let his wants be what they may."

Christ mystical, or Jesus, the Head, in union with all His members, is for ever perfect. “Clear as the sun, fair as the moon, and terrible as an army with banners” (Sol.'s Song vi. 10). Jesus, the antitypical Solomon, is truly one that "recompenses." He made, by His obedience and suffering, recompense or reconciliation for the sins of His chosen people ; He restored that which He took not away (Dan. ix. 24; Psa. lx. 1); and the Holy Spirit brings all the elect to be so sensible of the breadth of the holy law, and their own exceeding vileness, that they can hold up nothing else before the throne of God's holiness, and at the bar of equity, but Jesus for a recompense. And truly, when the soul has faith to lay hold of, and shelter in, this blessed Solomon as his own, it is a sweet recompense for all the painful stripping and humbling work that he has been led through. Oh, then he admires the wisdom displayed in all the Lord's dealings with him, and is thankful that ever he should have been wounded by conviction, to be cured by such a balm as Jesus' blood; stripped of his filthy rags, to make room for such a glorious dress as Jesus' righteousness; and brought off from every other foundation, and driven from every other shelter, that he might realize the blessedness of being built upon this precious foundation, and find in this great Rock, this sweet HidingPlace, a refuge from the wind and a covert from the tempest (Isa. xxxii

. 2). And will He not be, in the kingdom of eternal glory, an endless recompense for all the toils of the desert ? One wave of the tide of immortal bliss, flowing from His right hand, will for ever efface the deepest print that tribulation has made upon our hearts while in the desert, as the rising tide obliterates every foot-mark from the sandy beach which it covers. Oh, when He comes, “He will come with a recompense;" and "

we shall be satisfied when we awake with His likeness” (Isaiah xxxv. 4; Psalm xvii. 15).

We might, now we are upon Solomon's name, as applicable to Christ, add His name, Jedadiah," beloved," or Lemuel, “ God with them," each sweetly applicable to "Immanuel, God with us,” the Beloved of the Father, the beloved Object the Holy Ghost reveals, the Beloved of the heart of saved sinners, and the beloved theme of the heavenly songsters; but this we will forbear enlarging upon, and draw nearer to the text.

Solomon was a lively type of Christ in building a temple for Israel and Israel's God to commune in, and to be the object upon which God's eye should rest and Israel's eye be directed to. And the Greater than Solomon, by His incarnation, and by His resurrection, has reared a place of meeting for poor sinners and the Majesty of heaven, * and it is upon this glorious temple that God's "eye” and God's “heart are perpetually, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year(2 Chron. vii. ; Deut. xi. 12). And it is to this blessed point that the seeking soul is bidden to look : "Look unto Me, and be ye saved ” (Isa. xliv. 27). And the saint is exhorted to keep this temple in view : "Let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus” (Heb. xii. 2).

And not only did the building of the temple, and the temple itself, with all its ornaments, utensils, and ordinances, preach Jesus, but Solomon's prayer at the dedication of the temple sets forth the intercession of Jesus, who once, as our great High Priest, made atonement by sacrifice at the altar of burnt offering, and now makes intercession at the altar of incense. And, while Solomon's prayer was on earth, and for an earthly people, and chiefly for earthly blessing, Jesus' prayer is in heaven, and for a heavenly people, and for heavenly blessing—that is, for a people whose names are written in heaven, whose religion comes down from heaven, and whose “ inheritance is reserved in heaven,” and consists of "heavenly things." We may add, as Solomon's intercession exhibits the intercession of Jesus, so the people interested in it set forth the people interested in the prayer of Jesus before the throne.

In looking through this prayer, how much one is reminded of the prayer of Jesus, in the seventeenth of John, which is left us as a pattern of His intercession in heaven! Solomon prays for Israel brought out of Egypt, and brought into the land of promise; and Jesus prays also for believers gathered out of the Egypt of this world, and brought into the Canaan of Gospel rest : “I have manifested Thy name unto the men which Thou gavest Me : I pray for them” (John xvii. 6, 9). But Solomon does not forget to pray for the poor "stranger to the covenants of promise," and “aliens from the commonwealth of Israel” (Eph. ii. 19), who, hearing of Israel's God and Israel's blessing, should be brought to say to Israel, as Ruth, the Moabitess, “Thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.” So Jesus does not forget those who spiritually shall “ take hold, out of the languages of the nations, of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you” (Zech. ix. 23). “ Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word” (John xvii. 20).

Now, the words of our text are a prayer of Solomon for the strangers—those who were not of the Lord's people Israel-and, in my

*“Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. But He spake of the templo of His body” (John ii. 19, 21).

mind, they set forth the intercession of Jesus for those spiritual strangers who, though objects of the Father's love, and the purchase of immanuel's blood, are still “afar off," and in the “far country" of nature's darkness and death. Such are, in the Lord's time, quickened to feel their position, and brought to come out of this “far country” for the Lord's new covenant “name's sake," having "heard of His great name, and of His strong hand, and of His stretched out arm," and to come and pray toward Jesus, the House of the Lord. For the typical strangers Solomon prayed in the temple, and for the anti-typical strangers Jesus intercedes in heaven : “Hear Thou in heaven Thy dwelling-place, and do according to all that the stranger calleth to Thee for.”

Now, regarding this text as setting forth the ever-availing intercession of Jesus, and the character here described as setting forth one interested in the intercession of Jesus, I will try and expound it by

1. Taking notice of the character prayed for—" a stranger, which is not of Thy people Israel.”

II. Taking notice of the important things said of this strangerthat he “cometh out of a far country for the Lord's name's sake,” &c.

III. Enquiring what are the things that the stranger " calleth to the Lord for ; " and,

IV. Observing the success attending his request, or the blessings which are sure to be given him, in answer to the Saviour's prayer, “Hear Thou in heaven Thy dwelling-place, and do according to all that the stranger calleth to Thee for."

I. The character prayed for is a stranger. When man was created he was no stranger to God. No sinful distance, no guilty shyness, had then intervened betwixt him and his Maker; no cloud of darkness then overshadowed the human understanding; man was then no stranger to his Creator. But, alas ! sin has enstranged him from God, and now in his natural state he is a total stranger to the true character of his Maker—a stranger to the real misery of his condition—a stranger to himself as he is—a stranger to real peace and happiness--in a word, he is a total stranger to everything that is worth the intimacy of an immortal soul, though he may have much acquaintance, yet blind to their deformity, with those things that are in truth, the best of them, vain and fading, and the worst of them worse than madness, poison, and death. " 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). But many among the human family who are still thus strangers, and not manifestly of the Lord's people Israel. have an interest in the prayer of Jesus before the throne; and, when the Lord's time has



come to make manifest the individual stranger for whom Jesus is spreading out His interceding hands before the Father, he is Quickened to feel, and enlightened to see, his alienation and strangership. And truly it is a solemn sight for a sinner to see that, up to the present moment, however wise he may have been concerning evil, he is a stranger to all that is good-a stranger to true peace, and to a right foundation for eternity—and it is a painful thing for a soul' to feel, who knows that he is fast hastening into an eternal world, that, although God has a

“ people Israel,” who will be saved and happy through eternity, he knows nothing of being put among those children; and, dying without what he feels destitute of, this is stamped upon his conscience, “Not of Thy people Israel.” We will now proceed to take notice

II. Of the important things said of the stranger prayed for. We must remember that Solomon did not pray for every Gentile stranger, but only for such as the text describes; nor is it for every stranger that Jesus intercedes, but only for such who bear those marks which this text puts upon the individual prayed for.

1. The stranger in the text is said to “hear of God's great name.” A sinner must not only be convinced of his distance from God, and of his awful state, to drive him to seek mercy, but he needs to hear of something in the name of God that appears amiable and attractive to draw him to seek mercy. woman with the issue of blood is an illustration of my meaning. She had been diseased for many years. This drove her to seek a cure from many quarters, but all were vain. All proved in her case “ physicians of no value ;” but “when she heard of Jesus," she had

” faith given her to believe that, if she could but come in contact with Him, all would be well. One touch of Him she believed would be healing. This was a strong attracting cord upon her heart, and drew her to press, notwithstanding all her weakness, through the crowd that surrounded Jesus, and kept her from resting until she obtained the healing touch (Mark v. 25—34). So the stranger whom God makes no longer a stranger to guilt, but sensible of his entire strangership to pardon, is prone to “spend money for that which is not bread, and labour for that which satisfieth not" (Isa. lv. 2). But the Lord has His eye upon him, and, by whatever means He pleases, gives him to “ hear of His great name,” His new covenant name in Jesus. “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, and forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin” (Exod. xxxiv. 6, 7). Hearing this, and being no longer a stranger to the utter inefficacy of all other means for his soul's cure, he is glad to hear that there is “balm in Gilead,"

The poor

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