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High Priest, He is still a Prophet teach- , race ; in His unwearied patience under ing men, and, by His Spirit, knocking at every refusal ; in the expostulations, the door of their hearts, and entreating arguments, and appeals which, through an entrance. How solemn, and, at the His various ministries, He addresses to same time, how comforting is this con- the sinner, that he may be induced to sideration! For what important pur- open his soul and let Him in. poses did not the resurrection of Christ. III. But, in the third place, consider take place? We say it was a testimony the communion which the text represents to the truth of what His whole life as subsisting between Christ and His had proclaimed, -We say it was a proof people. “If any man hear my voice, and that He had overthrown the principalities open the door, I will come in to him, and and powers of darkness,--we say it was will sup with him, and he with me.".. an earnest of the resurrection of all His The voice has been heard, the door has true people ; but, oh! let us not forget to been opened, -the heavenly visitant has puinber this amongst its objects, that He entered; and now we behold the most rose to carry forward the offices of His intimate, the most friendly, and the most Mediatorsbip- to give effect through cheerful fellowship. these offices to His own sacrifice-to bear Now, what is the first thing which the benefits of His redemption to the strikes us in this imagery? Is it not the door of men's souls in all generations, intimate footing on which Christ and His and to ask an entrance.
people are? There is no reserve in Him; It is desirable, however, that we should and His entire cordiality gives no reasonhave some more distinct idea of that able allowance for fear in them. Another office of mercy, performed by Christ for thing which strikes us under this imthe souls of men, which is here repre- agery is the comfort of the religious sented under the image of one standing state. Both from the imagery here emat a door, and knocking for admission. ployed, and from other passages of And, in order to this, let me commend Scripture where the Gospel dispensation to your serious reflection these three is likened to a feast, it is plainly the methods in which He fulfils this work. design of the text to impress upon us In the first place, He does this by His the comfortable provision which God has Spirit, through His Word. In the second made for His people; and it may be that place, He does this by His Spirit, through by Christ's supping with His people is the ordinances of His Church. And, in intended that satisfaction which He has the third place, He does this by His in the converted heart, wherein “He Spirit, through His providence. In all sees of the travail of his soul, and is these several ways He is continually satisfied." carrying forward the offices of His Medi- Another thing which strikes us under atorship-seeking and obtaining for His this imagery is the complete harmony Gospel an entrance into the souls of men. subsisting between Christ and His peoHow tender is the Saviour's love! You ple. And it is of great practical importbehold it in the cross whereon, a peace ance that we do observe this. In order to ful Lamb, He dies a sacrifice for sins. anything like satisfactory and profitable You see it in the tears He sheds at the fellowship between two persons there grave of Lazarus. You hear it in His must be a general similarity in their lamentations over Jerusalem ;- in His views and tastes. Above all is this saying, “I am the Good Shepherd; the necessary with regard to moral things; Good Shepherd giveth His life for the for while a true friendship may exist besheep;"--and in His prayer, “Father, tween two persons, between whom there I will that they also whom thou hast is a considerable disparity in the way of given me be with me where I am ; that intellectual acquisition, this is quite inthey may behold my glory." But no conceivable where the heart of the one less do you behold it in all the offices is resolutely set upon evil, while that of He is still performing for the human the other is just as resolutely set upon
good. Great learning can play only an , better proof, proof more strong, or more occasional part in the intercourse of life; lovely in its portraiture, can we have but our moral views and feelings can that Christianity is inseparably bound never, even for a little, be held in abey- up in Christ, and that to be Christ's ance without a special effort for the pur- man is the fulfilling of the religion of the pose. And so it is as true to common New Testament? sense as it is to Scripture, that wherever Let us wisely yield, then, to the gracithere is fellowship with Christ there must ous lessons of this text, which are plainly be sympathy with Him in all that en- these : that none can be a Christian ungages His moral affections; not neces- less he believe in and love the Lord sarily with the might and the kuowledge Jesus Christ ; that we must look to of His mind,-for that plays no part in our Him if we would be saved, since out of intercourse with Him,-but with all that Him there is no salvation ; that we must goodness and truth which He so dearly cultivate His fellowship by every availloves. We cannot, indeed, equal Him in able means, since apart from Him there the love of what is good, and even our is no growth in grace; and that what conduct will be very imperfect ; but we should cheer us most amid all the dismust never love what He hates, never advantages of our earthly situation,-the be averse to what He desires, or delight loss of fortune, the death of friends, and in doing that to which He is opposed the anxieties which every day brings
Such, then, is this fellowship in its with it,-is, that our release from this more important features,—fellowship
world shall only be the signal for the which may be enjoyed in this world, but establishment of our fellowship with which can be fully realized only in that Christ upon an eternal footing inconwhich is to come ;-for it is there, and ceivably intimate and tender. there alone, that, without interruption, and with entire affinity in all things, Christ will sup with His people, and they "I will run the way of thy commandwith Him.
ments when thou shalt enlarge my heart.'
Present this suit often ; it is in His power There are persons in the world who
to do it for thee. He can stretch and profess that they cannot see that Christ
expand thy straitened heart, can spread and Christianity are inseparable terms, and hoist the sails within thee, and then and who think they may be Christians carry thee on swiftly, filling them, not even although Jesus is kept in the back with the vain air of man's applause, ground of their thoughts and affections. which readily runs a soul upon rocks
and splits it, but with the sweet breathI need not say how contrary all this is
ings and soft gales of His own Spirit, to the genius of the New Testament. that carry it straight to the desired But behold how strongly the current of haven.”- Leighton. this text runs against such fatal heresy ! It says, that the soul, till Christ enters it, is like a desolate house, locked and
"Do not think the Judge condemns barred against all good, It says, that to
you when He chides you, nor think to
read thy own final sentence by the first hear the voice of Christ is the first symp- balf of Éis words: stand still, and see how tom of returning virtue, and that to open it will be in the whole event of things; the soul to Him is the first proof of a let God speak His mind out; for it may real earnestness after the beautiful, and be this sad beginning is but an art to the true, and the good. It says, that
bring in, or to make thee to esteem, and
entertain, and understand the blessing." the entering feet of Christ crossing the Miracles of the Divine Mercy, (Jeremy threshold of the soul is the beginning of Taylor.) vital Christianity in you; it says, that Christ's dwelling in you is the continu
“True goodness is like the glow-worm ance of spiritual life; and it says, that
in this, that it shines where no eyes, eternal fellowship with Christ shall be
1. be except those of Heaven, are upon it."the realization of heaven itself. What Guesses at Truth.
THE EARTHLY AND HEAVENLY PARENT.
“Our Father which art in heaven."
"The family” is God's own institution; , stance of religion--that we should be to and was the first-unless we except the Him as “sons and daughters," “ childSabbath-ordained by Him for the edu- ren of God," He thereby intends us to cation of the children of men. He learn something of the nature of the rebrought the woman unto the man, and lationship subsisting between himself and Adam said: “This is now bone of my His children, from wbat we know of the bone, and flesh of my flesh;"_"There- relationship subsisting between ourselves fore sball a man leave his father and his and our children. And so, upon the mother, and shall cleave unto his wife." other hand, He would have parents learn
Its importance to the well-being of the how they should educate their children haman race can hardly be exaggerated. for heaven, by knowing how He eduIt is the nursery of the state, of the cates themselves. Thus the true idea of Church, and of heaven,
home education is, to be in all things to So holy is the union of husband and | our children as like as possible to wbat wife, from which comes the relationship God is to us,-to be reflections of Him of parent and child, that it is likened to in the family,—to be living witnesses for the union which subsists between Jesus Him,--to be, in one word, godly or godlike the bridegroom, and His Church the parents. bride. No lower measure, no lower In some respects a parent cannot help kind of love, is set before the husband to being like God. He is so by nature; bis wife than the love of Christ to His for what is so vivid a picture of God, Church; while her love and reverence, the Creator, Preserver, Provider, Comin return, is compared to the love and forter of His family, than the earthly reverence which the Church owes her parent, to whom the child owes its Lord.
being ; who upholds and guides its tot, When Jesus was dying on the cross, tering steps in infancy; supplies its daily and thereby glorifying the government returning wants; dries its tears; and of God, He honoured in that bour the yearns over it with a love which the holy bonds of family wben He considered child cannot fathom, and, for a time, but His mother's sufferings and wants, and feebly comprebend, and very imperfectly said: “Son, behold thy mother! Woman, return. Yet this may be called involun. bebold thy Son!”
tary on the part of the parent, or, at The socialist who, with impious hand, least, instinctive, inasmuch as he does not would destroy this institute, displays in all this necessarily think of God at all, greater ignorance, and, if successful, or desire to please Him, or to be like would produce more disorder in God's Him; but reflects His image as uncon. universe, than if he attempted and suc- sciously as the beasts that perish, in their ceeded in putting his hand among the love for their young, reflect the glory of stars, and disturbing the power which Him who created them with instincts so kept them in that beautiful order which, tender and beautiful. But when a parent to the ear of the understanding, is the knows God,—when he is himself a true music of the spheres.
child, in whose heart the spirit of adopof all the names by which God has tion has kindled the holy flame of conrevealed himself, no one is so endearing fidence and love, by which he can look to 19, or more full of deep and ten- up, saying : “ Abba, Father !"_when he der meaning, than that of “our Father” is “acquainted” with the character of in heaven.
that God, and the way in which He is Now, when He calls himself a Father, educating himself for eternity ;-when he and desires—as the very sum and sub- has truly apprehended, in some measure,
the chief lessons which God imparts in and thought when they are, as it were, His school, by precept and promise, by out of your hands, and dismissed from warning and encouragement, by tender your school, more directly to learn from mercies and severe chastisements, by God himself, and to act solely on their long-suffering patience or sudden inflic- own personal responsibility, independent tions, and all to “train” himself up in of your authority and immediate control. the way he should go ;—then has he so Until this time comes, they will look to far discovered the true secret of the you, and hear you, and understand you, education which he should give his own as they can no one else; and you, the child. The nearer he approaches that earthly parent, must be to them, for model of heavenly perfection, tbe more many a day, almost in the place of God. perfect will his home education in the Ob! that they may be able, when they family become ; for the children will thus become acquainted with the great God naturally rise from knowing the earthly as their Father in heaven, to recognize in to knowing the heavenly Parent. The His infinite glory the light which they one will be a reflection of the other, saw truly reflected in that earthly form comparatively dim, no doubt, but still whom they first called by the same one of the truest on earth! The parent endearing name, and whom they first is a ladder, many a step of which will be honoured and obeyed with reverential broken, but still by it the child is enabled fear, believed and trusted with implicit to climb upwards. The parent is the confidence, and loved with heart, soul, earthly pole around which it twines its and strength! Thus would the school early affections, and fastens its weak ten- of home be the school for heaven! drils; and though it is perishing, and of Parents! do consider this earnesdy, itself unfit to be a permanent support, it and try and realize it. It is very true, may, nevertheless, lead the young plant that “the best men are but men at the towards heaven, and be its strength and best,” and will come far short of this stay until it finally reaches, and for ever model of perfection. But it is Jesus who clings to the “ Rock of Ages !"
says: “Be perfect, as your Father in This is the high model, parents, which heaven is perfect.” Remember that I would set before you! To live before those who aim high, while they may not your children, to educate them, that you come up to the mark that is higher, yet may train them up, and gradually prepare come very much nearer it than those who them to know God from first knowing aim at the ground. you; and thus to understand God's ways to You know how very unlike the trainthemselves in after life from first learning is which those parents, who even ing your lessons in the home school. You profess godliness, give their children to may not be able to lead them far; but as that I have been speaking about; nay, far as you go, let it be in the right direc- how often is it quite of an opposite chartion. You may not be able to teach acter ? Let me ask you a few homely them many lessons; but such as tbey are questions on this point, to illustrate more let them be in barmony with, and a right fully and plainly what I have said. introduction to those deeper ones which Do you ever break your word to your God will afterwards impart. In what children ?-If so, is this being like God to you are and in what you do; in your them !-Does He ever fail to keep His truthfulness, rigbteousness, kindness, promises to you? firmness, forbearance, forgiveness, sym- Do you give way to angry, unreasonpathy, watchfulness, justice, love; in able passion with your children ?-If so, your rewards and punishments; in your is this God's method with you! education, in short, be to them, as far as Do you wish your children to be clever, possible, what God is to you, and will be wealthy, or prosperous, rather than to also to them.
be good, and do you train them up accord. All this assumes that the children have ingly ?-Is it for such ends God is first, got reached those years of understanding educating you !
Are you hard, unfeeling, unsympathiz-children could understand it, or return ing, unforgiving to your children ?-Is it; how inseparable it is from your God so to you!
hatred to their sins; and how it longs to Are you so indifferent as not to chastise impart to them every possible blessing ! your children when they require it? Is there no love in God to you like this, Will God thus deal with you!
| though infinitely deeper and more lastDo you chastise from hate, and not ing ? for good ?-Does He so deal with you! You know what you would do for your
I need not enlarge my catechism. You children's good; how much you would see, I hope, clearly, what is meant by sacrifice to make them happy; how their educating your children in the spirit with cry of distress would awaken your pity; which God, your own Father, educates and their prayers for help, though yourselves.
uttered with the imperfect lispings of a But, perhaps, you ask me, how this can babe, touch your heart, and make you be accomplished ? On this point I can- put forth all your strength to relieve not here enter at any length. One or them! Is there nothing in this which two hints, however, may help yourselves God, who made your heart so to feel, to obtain the truth more fully.
wishes to be a witness for himself ? Learn first to be good children to your " What man is there of you, whom if his own Father in heaven, and this will best son ask bread, will he give him a stone ? teach you how to be good parents to your Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a own children on earth.
serpent ?" Would any of you, parents, Would you, for instance, like your so treat a starving child ? No! “ If yo children to love you ? Love, then, your then, being evil, know how to give good own Father! Would you like your gifts unto your children, how much more children to obey you? Obey your own shall your Father which is in heaven give Father ! Would you like your children good things to them that ask Him?" He to open their hearts to you in sweet con- who so spoke knew God His Father, and fiding intercourse ; pouring out their revealed Him to us. sorrows; confessing their faults; telling “Can a woman forget her sucking you their wants; expressing to you child, that she should not have compastheir joys ; and revealing to you their sion on the son of her womb?” Mothers! love ? Do all this to your own Father! you have no doubt of such love to your
Follow out this train of thought for child; you only doubt of the reality of yourselves, and it will lead you to fur. the love of God your Father to one of ther light on your personal and parental His own children! But what says He? duties.
| “She way forget; yet will I not forget And if you wish to have your affec- thee!" tions, as children, kindled towards your “ They who love not, know not God; Heavenly Father, you may learn, even for God is love.” “ As a father pitieth from your feelings towards your own his children, so the Lord pitieth them children, much to help you. You know who fear Him." Lift up your hearts in the love which you bear them; how deep prayer, and say, " Our Father which art and real it is; how it began before your l in heaven !''
CHRISTIAN BAPTISM AND CHRISTIAN EDUCATION. "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you : and, la, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen."
I do not here attempt to give anything | merely as connected with Christian Edulike a full explanation of the sacrament cation. of baptism, but to potice it very briefly! Let me remind parents of some of