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fruits of good living, to the honour and praise of His
O, my soul! when thou hearest or readest the narration of the Redeeming Grace of God; when the words of inspiration are received by thee, what effect does it produce ? Is it a silly transient wonder, like that of the unreasoning multitude ? or else is the amazing love of Jesus the subject of thy deepest meditation, thy prayer, and thy praise?
Rejoice, the Lord is King ;
Your God and King adore;
And triumph evermore :
Jesus Messiah reigns,
The God of truth and love;
He took his seat above:
O God, who by the leading of a star didst manifest Thy only. begotten Son to the Gentiles ; Mercifully grant, that we, which know Thee now by faith, may after this life have the fruition of Thy glorious Godhead; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
“ Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.”—EPHES. iii. 8.
SINISTERS of the Gospel ! you have declared
to you what your office is, “to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ.” It becomes you, then, to estimate the dignity of your office, as preachers of Christ, and the grace of God, who has established you in it. It was the distinction of St. Paul to exhibit the signs of an apostle-to suspend the laws of nature, performing “wonders and mighty deeds :" yet he nowhere expresses himself with so much complacence upon any of these attainments as upon the privileges annexed to his office, which he here defines, namely, “to preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.” Such is your office—such is the ministerial work. Judging from the language of our text, it would seem to be a special mark of the Divine favour—a peculiar instance of the bounty of God. This gift of grace has been imparted to you. In equipping the drama of the present generation, Providence has assigned you a part. And, by parity of reasoning from our text, the more extensive the sphere of duty, the greater the privilege—the wider the field of labour, the higher the distinction. See then that you walk not unworthy of Him who hath called you
to this grace.
“ When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judæa in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jeru. salem,” 8.-MATT. ii. 1.
HOW edifying to find great wisdom under Divine
direction. And that is the true wisdom which follows truth as its guiding star, whether it lead to a
throne or to a manger.
Again, while false wisdom dogmatizes before it condescends to examine, true wisdom will pronounce no judgment until after anxious investigation, the conclusion appears. The wise men recognize no house to be the right one until they behold the star to stand still in the heaven above them. The torrent of Gentile prejudices did not disqualify in their eyes the pretensions of a poor and lowly shed—the lodging of a Jew. This was true faith : for the touchstone of faith is the conquest of prejudice--the absolute resignation of the soul to
Let the plain statements of Scripture be sufficient to establish a doctrine or precept in our eyes, however irreconcilable with our feelings or our convenience the one or the other may be. The star of truth shines plain in the sacred pages. It requires only the wisdom of the wise to pervert it, or the obstinacy of fools to shut their eyes against it. O my God, give me the true wisdom which cometh from Thee, and Thy fear, which is the beginning of wisdom ; that so Thy word may not return unto Thee void, nor that, like the unlearned and unstable, I may wrest it to my own destruction! May mine be the simple childlike understanding which will not graft my word upon Thy word; but as a newborn babe receive the sincere milk of Thy word, that I may grow thereby, and be able to “minister grace" to myself and others.
Sons of men, behold from far !
Nations all, remote and near,
There behold the day-spring rise