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النشر الإلكتروني

CHARGE I.

ON THE EXCELLENCE OF THE PRIESTHOOD.

JBehold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel.

CHARGE I.

ON THE EXCELLENCE OF THE PRIESTHOOD

JBehold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel.

HOW could the just and devout Simeon, it may be enquired, unite so melancholy a prophecy With the grand and interesting solemnities which were fulfilling in the Temple? The only-begotten of the Father makes his first appearance; takes possession of his new priesthood; exercises its first public duties, in offering himself to his Father; substitutes, for the blood of bulls and of goats, his own body as a sacrifice; and among circumstances so conducive to the present welfare, and eternal happiness of men, the good old Simeon, addressing himself to the mother of Jesus, proclaims, that this New Priest, who is "the light of the Gentiles, and the glory of Israelj" is, notwithstanding, ordained to be both " the fall and the rising again of many in Israel ;"—that is, the salvation of some, and the condemnation of others.

Our blessed Lord, taking public possession of his ministry in the Temple, seems the representative of every Minister of the- Gospel, when, he first appears in the House of God, duly ordained to discharge the sacred offices of Religion. And to him may be addressed these awful words— "Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising -" again of many in Israel ;"—thou art ordained to the service of God, to become the instrument of life or of death to many: and it is literally true of every one of us, that we shall either build up or destroy; that we shall become a saviour of life or of death among Christians.

With what sentiments, then, do we contemplate that holy calling in which we have engaged? Some take it upon them with the expectation of being advanced and exalted; accustomed, by do- • mestic and familiar conversation, to view the awful obligations of the ministry through the flattering medium of wealth and dignity. Like the profane Heliodorus, they enter into the temple only, because they expect to find vast treasures, which were originally designed, not to encourage the insolence of- pride, and the splendor of distinction, but to protect the widow, and support the orphan.

Others, influenced by the suggestion of a calm and easy temper, repose themselves in the Lord's vineyard, merely to shun the troubles, and escape the embarrassments, of business, as in a safe and tranquil port, where they promise themselves an exemption from corroding cares, and security from vexatious engagements.

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