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sabbath. In the mean time, let us improve the subject, by endeavouring to acquire scriptural views of the character and offices of our Lord. Let us avoid the extremes which now unhappily divide the christian world. While some would exalt the Redeemer to a perfect equality with the Father, while the very expression, Son, implies derivation; others, feeling repugnance at such a doctrine, think they can never remove far enough from it, till they have plunged into the opposite extreme, and lower our Saviour into a mere prophet, a superior teacher, an exalted human character.
May we study closely the Sacred Scriptures, and aim to correct our views from that divine source! Let us not listen to those who would undervalue them by doubting the inspiration of the Apostles; for we shall then be thrown upon a sea of scepticism; but, feeling assured that they declare the counsel of God, let us give earnest heed to their instructions, persuaded that they contain "the power of God unto salvation, to every one that believeth." Let us study the New Testament, especially with a view to impress our hearts and minds. with a deep sense of our obligations to our great Lord and Master! May we feel that gratitude in the contemplation of his sufferings, and that love and attachment to his
cause, which shall enable us steadily to maintain our profession, unshaken by the cavils of scepticism, uninjured by the more open attacks of infidelity!
Gracious God! Do thou rectify our views! Impress our minds with admiration, and our hearts with love! Teach us to reverence thy Son! Grant us faith to acknowledge, and a heart and life to honour him! Amen.
OUR SAVIO U R.
They will reverence my son. MARK Xii. 6.
Ir is a remarkable fact, and well deserves admiration, that those discourses of our Saviour, which were spoken at the moment, suggested by the passing scene, and illustrative of the common occurrences of life, are in general the most striking, containing the most forcible instructions, the most convincing arguments, and the most impressive and affecting truths.
Having endeavoured the last sabbath, in discoursing upon this truly interesting parable, and applying it to our Saviour, to show the grounds on which he is entitled to our reverence, I now proceed to the second branch of discourse; namely, to point out, how we may show this reverence.
I would first inquire into the meaning of the expression itself. In inquiring into the precise meaning of any term, it is proper to examine its comparative or relative value. Most of those I am addressing, are acquainted with the principles of a barometer and thermometer; the one to ascertain the weight, the other the warmth of the air. Each has a central point, from which it rises or descends. Let us suppose a moral barometer, and I think indifference may fairly be considered as the middle point. If we descend in the scale, below indifference, we shall find dislike; below that, disgust; below that, hatred; and last of all, malignity.Go back to indifference, and from thence ascend; and we shall find, first, content; above that, complacency; higher than that, esteem; higher still, delight; and here we must stop, if the object we are contemplating be an equal or an inferior; but if a superior, we then ascend another step, and the highest
point is reverence, which forms the top-stone, and completes the building.
That the Son of God is entitled to this highest gradation in the scale of moral excellence, has, I trust, been clearly proved; but how can we manifest our regard, how can we show the reverence we feel?
We are ready to say, Had we lived at the time of his abode upon earth, had we witnessed his miracles, and listened to his discourses, how should we have reverenced him! How gladly should we have administered to his necessities, and how patiently should we have endured labour and fatigue in our attendance upon him!
We might have done so, but we might have acted as the generality acted in our Saviour's days. Let us not, however, suppose that our Lord received no reverence while upon earth; those persons manifested reverence, who came to him with suppliant intercessions for the exertion of his miraculous powers. The poor Syro-Phoenician woman reverenced him when she uttered that pathetic expostulation; Truth, Lord, yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their master's table;" and he was reverenced when he entered into Jerusalem, amidst the acclamation of them that filled the trees, and spread their garments in the path-way.