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souls seem to arise from amidst the tumult of life ; and waking or sleeping, we cease not to stretch out our hands towards our Saviour. Oh! how impatient does this little word “Come!" sound, and how perseveringly do we utter it! We weary not, and nothing can terrify us, or make us silent: boldly it penetrates the clouds, and stops not until it has attained its object. When this word "Come !" is repeated again and again in our hearts, it is as the voice of a new life ; and where the
is heard, “Come, Lord Jesus !" then indeed the day is far spent; already it is evening; and soon may. we expect the morning when the sun
VIII. The Stranger now accedes to the request of the two friends. He will then remain. “O Cleopas !" cries Nathanael, this is indeed most glorious! What an evening we shall spend !" But Cleopas is already away; he has run on before, to announce the arrival of a guest in his cottage, and to prepare for him a friendly reception. The Guest follows with Nathanael, and is welcomed with the most heartfelt joy at the door of their hunible dwelling.
It is the hour of the evening meal; a simple repast is served, and the Guest is invited to partake. They go to table, and the Stranger takes upon himself the duties of the master of the house. "Formerly," think the disciples, "our beloved Master did the same;" and sorrowful reminiscences pass through their souls. Their Guest now rises from his seat, and they along with him. How often did their Lord stand thus in the midst of them! He raises up his eyes to heaven in
the attitude of prayer. Thus Jesus was accustomed to look to his Father! The Guest begins to pray. “My God! what voice is this ?" He breaks the bread : the disciples gaze at one another in astonishment. “Cleopas, where are we?”—He reaches it to them. Wherefore now do ye not take it ? Cleopas ! Nathanael ! are ye both in a dream ? Ye seem not to know whether ye are awake or asleep. Who is it that is standing before you? Who is the man that is now offering
Look at his countenance ;-is what ye see real, or is it a deception ? " Ah! it is indeed his face !-these are his eyes l_Look, Cleopas, look ! see how clear and distinct it is becoming !-his heavenly features !—and the wounds on his hands !he smiles to us!-O heaven !-It is indeed He !-It is our Lord, risen from the dead ?" Now, indeed, those happy ones at length see clearly ;—there he stands, beautiful, in his Easter glory, in the full splendour of his triumph,—of his new and immortal life! Trembling and pale, from mingled emotions of astonishment and joy, the disciples stand for some moments fixed and immovable; gazing upon him as though they would impress his image in their souls for ever. Then their knees begin to shake, and they prostrate themselves in the dust, to worship the all-glorious One, and cover his feet with their kisses and their tears of joy; when suddenly, like the lightning which darts from the clouds and as quickly disappears, the beloved form vanishes from their eyes : but the heaven of peace and happi. ness which he disclosed to them still remains behind in their hearts, and the Easter sun has risen upon
them in all its splendour.
My brethren, scenes similar to those which took place in Emmaus happen daily in Zion ; for the joy of Easter did not terminate along with the forty days. Oh! what delight we experienced when Jesus suddenly unveiled all the sympathy and love of his compassionate heart to our weeping eyes! What happiness in those evening hours, while we believed him afar off, when suddenly we heard the salutation of peace issuing from his beloved lips, when he comforted our timid souls, and when we distinctly heard him say, “ Fear not, I have redeemed thee, and called thee by thy name, for thou art mine!” When God enabled us to behold our justification in his perfect sacrifice of himself, to reckon ourselves among those blessed ones who are born again into everlasting life, to rest upon the bosom of Jesus, and to cry with the Psalmist, “ My soul shall be joyful in the Lord : it shall rejoice in his salvation !" then was there a repetition of the scene at Emmaus; and that heaven which disclosed itself to the two disciples was manifested also to us. to this goal that the words, “ Come, Lord Jesus !” led us; and who is there that does not wish to hear this “ Come !" sounding in his heart ?
IX. The two disciples are transported with wonder and joy ; sobbing they fling themselves into each other's arms, and can scarcely find speech, so great is their emotion. “O Cleopas !” cries the one, could have thought it! Happy, happy are we that we have seen him again! But how did we not sooner
recognise him ! Is it not wonderful that the burning of our hearts within us did not betray him, while he talked with us by the way, and expounded to us the Scriptures ?" No, ye pilgrims, it was not wonderful : men are always more sharp-sighted and more acute, on looking back to what is past, than when it has been happening. The words, " Surely the Lord is in this place, and I knew it not !" have been repeated a thousand times in the lives of Christians, when they first beheld the light of eternity streaming across their appointed path, and dissipating its gloom.
We can easily perceive why our risen Lord so quickly withdrew himself from the eyes of his happy disciples. They were not henceforward to live in the enjoyment of his human presence; on the contrary, they were to exist in those blissful conceptions which his speech and conversation had caused to enter their hearts. They now knew all that they possessed in their blessed Master, since his resurrection from the dead.
It was not vague anticipations and indistinct emotions which his re-appearance excited within them;" on the contrary, it was bright and glorious ideas raising them up to heaven. They had lost a beloved Friend and Master, to find him again as a pledge and representative with the Father. It was a Prophet mighty in word and deed whom they had laid in the grave, to be restored to them on Easter day as a great Head, with whom we, the members, are joined together in one perfect body. In Him they beheld themselves raised from the dead, justified and glorified ; and a nearer intercourse with him in his early human form
might have prevented them viewing him in this spiritual light, and weakened their consciousness of the mysterious union between him and themselves. Had he remained with them, they might have retraced their steps from the glorious point of gospel illumination which they had now attained, to the lower one of knowing him only after the flesh; and in the excess of their joy at beholding him near once more, they might have forgotten that mystical connexion between them, the contemplation of which formed their happiness and peace. Their Lord had only appeared to them in order to convince them of the reality of his resurrection; henceforward they must live in Christ as their Representative and their Head, and not view him as such with their bodily eyes, but with the eyes
of the Spirit, and by means of faith.
The happy disciples meanwhile have left us ; borne on the wings of joy, they rush along their mountain path, until they reach their brethren at Jerusalem, to astonish them with their glorious intelligence. Happy, happy pilgrims! well may they be termed blessed! But whosoever envies their joy, let him remember that their history is not an isolated and extraordinary occurrence; on the contrary, it is but a picture of what happens in the lives of many Christians. The Man who accosted the wanderers, and joined them on the way, is no other than he who gave us the assurance, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world !" Although Emmaus may have disappeared from the earth, yet :housands of similar places have been made by the pords of Jesus, " Behold, I stand