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of their image worship is superstitious and blamable, not from its offering a visible object to our devotions, but an object altogether false and unlawful. Destroy every image of the virgin and the saints, and the feelings entertained towards them are no less blamable: it is the notion formed of them in the mind which is injurious; and it makes no sort of difference whether this notion be embodied in a visible shape or no. And, again, all the superstition connected with the wood of the true cross, or with the sacredness of any particular image of our Lord, is perfectly distinct from the Christian use of the crucifix, and has arisen merely from a general ignorance of the Gospel. If our Lord himself were to return to earth, no Christian, I suppose, would refuse to worship him; yet it would be a gross superstition to believe that his actual presence would of itself save us, or that to touch his garments would at once secure us from the judgment of God. Now what it were superstition to believe of himself, it is of course superstition to believe of his image; but if his living presence impressed his words more deeply on our hearts, would it be superstition then to seek his company? and if his image, though in a less degree, produce the same effect, if it keep him in our remembrance, and recall our wandering thoughts to him, is it superstition to use such an aid?

3. The world is ever present to us while Christ is absent. We need therefore all possible means to remind us of him whom visible things so tempt us to forget. Every one has felt the effect of a church in the most crowded parts of a large city; there, much more than in a peaceful country landscape, we feel thankful for the sight of the spire or tower "whose silent finger points to heaven." But when the church is out of sight, what is there either in town or country to remind us of our heavenly calling? Is this consistent with Christian wisdom, knowing how prompt our senses are to lead us to evil, to be so careless in making them minister to good? The Bible Society, and other

societies of the same kind, can have circulated the Scriptures to little purpose, if the sight of the cross and the crucifix would indeed minister to superstition rather than to godliness. But I believe that it would be far otherwise; and that it is one great benefit arising from the efforts of those societies, if we would but use it, that what is in itself a great help to holiness, would no longer, as in the days of the Reformation, be made an occasion of evil, because the true nature of the Gospel was not generally known.

It will appear, from what has been said, that pictures or statues of our Lord are less required in a church than in any other place; and for this evident reason, that by the very act of going to church, and by our employment while there, we are reminded of Christ without any external aid. It is in our own houses, and in public places, not in themselves devoted to a religious purpose, that such Christian memorials are most needed; and though many would pass by them unmoved, yet there would be also many whom they would touch in some softer moment, and whose better thoughts and resolutions they would powerfully strengthen. Nor would it be a light matter that a mark of our Christian profession would thus be set visibly upon the whole land. Christianity should be mixed up with every part of our daily life; but it has been the practice of Protestantism to banish all outward signs of it from every place but a church and although the signs may exist without the reality, yet it is not easy for the reality to exist amongst a people generally, without being accompanied also by the outward sign.




All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.

BEFORE I proceed to say any thing of this verse, I will read the two verses that come just before it. "At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight." It seems to me, that taking these verses together with what follows in the text, the case now is very much the same as it was when our Lord spoke these words; it is still in a particular manner to those here called

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babes," that is, to persons of simple minds,

not having much knowledge, but ready to be taught, that it is revealed in its full extent how all things are delivered to Christ by his Father. To judge by their language on any serious occasion, whether of trouble or of joy, I should imagine that good Christians, amongst the poorer classes, looked up perhaps more directly to Christ as having all power both in heaven and in earth, than is the case with those who may be called "the wise and prudent." With these last, the term "Providence" is more in use: they speak and seem to think of God, rather in a general way, as the Maker of all things, than as he is revealed in the Gospel-in the person of Jesus Christ, as our Saviour as well as our Maker. And the difference is not altogether trifling for, when we speak of Providence, we may, and often do, get our notions about it from other places than from the Scriptures, because it is a word which others, as well as Christians, have used; but when we speak of Christ, we think of God only as he has himself been pleased to reveal himself; for of Christ we know nothing whatever, but through the teaching of the Spirit of God.

Christ, then, says of himself, that all things are delivered to him of his Father; or, as it is

in another place, that all power is given unto him in heaven and in earth; or, as he says again in St. John's Gospel (chap. xvi. 15), “All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that the Spirit shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you." And there are a great many passages more to the same effect. All these things were meant to teach us that Christ was not like one of the prophets merely; who, having served God in their own generation, and done good to men, fell asleep, and were gathered to their fathers like other men, and are only known to after times by the works which they may have done; they themselves are no longer present, but past. And in this manner Christ's Sermon on the Mount, and his various parables and discourses, might still be living amongst us, though Christ himself were dead. But this is not so with him,-not his works only, but he himself also is alive for evermore; his Father worketh hitherto, and he worketh in like manner. He is ascended up. far above all heavens, that he may fill all things with his power; and, till he comes again, his people were meant to look to him as their Lord; to come to him in all their distresses, whether of mind, body, or estate; to trust in him with

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