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will then the spiried ;
So th and North ; we are stretching out the right hand of fel. low hip over continents over oceans to give the salutation of brotherly-love to all who love our Lord Jesus and to invite men of all colours and of all languages to cast in their lot a.. mong us, and to take shelter with us under the shadow of this "great rock in a weary land,” to repose with us amidst “ the trees of lite," whosė“. leaves are for the healing of the na. tions."
But is not'" our fellowship with the Father, and with his Şon Jesus Chrift?” Is it not then, with them who are drinking new wine in our Father's kingdom; with the spirits of just men made perfect'; with those whom on earth we loved ; with those who have often eaten and drank with us at this table, and with whom we hope to eat and to drink at the table that is aut bove, fitting down with them, and " with Abraham, and Isaac, : and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven?” Delightful reflection! The employments of earth and heaven are the fame; the ani. mating principle, the spirit of. love is the same; the funject of their praise and the source of their joy are the same. . “ Unto Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the Prince of the kings of the earth : Unto
him that loved us, and washed us from our fins in his own · blood, and hath made us kings and priests unio God and his
Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. :
. The lolemnity concludes with an intimation of Christ's fear cond appearance. “ As often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till, he come.” Why trouble ye the woman ?” said Christ to the indignant disciples, who grudged the waste of the ointment which she poured on his teet," for she hath wrought a good work upon me ; for in that the hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for any burial." Her pious act embalmed the body for the grave : Ours contemplates Jesus, and the resurrection'; ours tooks for. ward to the day when " the Soi of man shall come in the clouds of heaven with power and greai' glory" “ Yet a" little while
d. He that shall come will come, and will not tairy." " He any which testifierh thele things faith, surely I come, quickly. Aa. men. Even so, come Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord le fus Christ be with you all. Amen."
And the third day there was a marriage in Cana' of Galilee s and the mother of Jesus was there. And both Jesus was cali led, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they want. . éd wine, the mother of Jesus faith unto him, they have no wine. Jelus faith unto her, woman, what have I to do with thee Mine hour is not yet come. His mother faith unto the fervants, whatsoever he faith into you, do it. And there were set there fix waterpots of Alone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins a piece. Jesus faith unto them, fill the water-pots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he faith unto them, draw out now, and bear unto the Governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was, (but the servants which drew the water knew) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, and faith unto him, every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine ; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse : but thou hast kept the good wine un. til now. This beginning of miracles aïd Jejus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples bem lieved on him.
! JT requires no common degree of wisdom to make the trans
Iition from various situations, one to ano:her, with dignity and propriety. The gravity and seriousness of deportment that suits the temple do not suddenly melt away into the fac miliarity and ease of private life. Men are called to act vari. ous parts, but often lack the skill to discriminate between character and character. At other times the scene changes too japidly, and the habit of the public personage is scarcely laid aside, when the spirit of it is likewife shifted, and the man disa covers that he is merely an actor. Difference of behaviour may undoubtedly be aflumed with change of place and of company, without incurring the imputation of hypocrisy but there is a radical character which the honeft man never
cannotuife of moure house of the rejoice, without spirit and
jays aside, whatever be the season, whatever the situation. He cannot indeed be gay and serious at the same moment : but in the houle of mourning he may be fad without sinking into de. pression, and in the house of feasting he may be cheerful with. out rising into levity. He can “rejoice with them that re. joice, and weep with them that weep," without losing the firmness of his mind, or betraying inconsistency of spirit and temper. In truth, if you would be uleful to men, you must accommodate yourself, where the rights of conscience do not interfere, to their circumstances, and to the laws of decency and prudence. . But where, alas ! shall we find the man who is continually on his guard, who in every situation possesses his foul, and governs his spirit, and keeps the door of his lips ? In vain we look for such a one among men of like paflions with ourselves. But it is not for want of a perfeet pattern, in the person of him who in all places, at all seasons, and in every filuation approved himselt the Son of God and the friend of men. Let this mind be in you which also was in Christ Jesus. He hath left us an example that we should follow his steps. Blessed Lord, we will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.
We have attended the great Teacher sent from God to the synagogue at Nazareth, and have heard him iulfilling the dutie's of that gracious office by reading and opening up the Scriptures, and thus producing one species of evidence to the truth of his divine miffion, the accomplifhment of ancient, wellknown and acknowledged prophecies concerning himself, his perfon, his confecration to the great work which he should come to execute, and the wonderful success with which it Thould be crowned. We have seen him with complacency Teceiving his disciples on their return from a progress of preach. ing and healing, and of cafting out devils ; and rejoicing in fpirit, as he contemplated the sudden and utter destruction of Satan's kingdom, and, on its ruins, the universal and everlast. ing establishment of his own. We are now to behold him ex. hibiting a different kind of evidence, but calculaied to produce the same effect; that is, a full conviction that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, and the Saviour of the world, namely, the difplay of miraculous powers, to support the truth of the doctrines which he taught. This “Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews,” felt and admitted. “ Rabbi,” says he, we know that shou art a teacher come from God': for no man can do these miracles that thoú doeft, excepi God be with him.” As on the two great commandments, love to God and love to man, ** hang all the law and the prophets," so on these two unmoveable pillars rest the whole fabric of Christianity. The fulfil!! ing of prediction, is a demonstration of the foreknowledge of Deity, “ declaring the end from the beginning, and from an. cient times the things that are not yet done, saying, my coun. fel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure :" and of his truth and faithfulness in bringing it to pass, to an iota, to a tittle; and the working of miracles evinces the presence and concurience of almighty power, which is able to support and to suspend, to control and alter the laws of nature, by a word, by an “I: will." If the spirit and native tendency of the gospel be taken into the account, we shall find it to posless every character at: Divinity that the heart of man could defire, or reason demand, or imaginasion figure.
The period, and the place, and the occasion of Christ's fir public miracle are all specified. It was the third day after the noted conversation that passed between Christ -and Nathanael, which is recorded in the conclusion of the preceding chapter. There Jesus gave proof not merely offuperior lagacity, but of a knowledge that discerns the thoughts and intents of the heart. Nathanael, with all his guileless integrity, laboured under the common prejudice of the day, and had the vulgar prove erb in his mouth, “ Çan there any good thing come out of Nazareth ?" He soon received conviction that there could, and that too the beft of all things; for while he was yet (peaking to Philip, Christ himself drew nigh to meet them, and intantly, in the hearing of Nathanael, pronounced a character of him which the searcher of hearts only could have unfolded : ". Behold, an Ifraelite indeed, in whom is no guile.” Nathan. acl, justly conscious of inward rectitude, finds himself at once reproved and detected. His sarcasm respecting Nazareth not retorted, but disarmed by receiving in return the honourable appellation of “ an Israelite indeed," was a keen reproof to an ingenuous mind, and to find himself minutely known to a stranger, must have inspired high respect for that stranger, not unmixed with awe. With astonishment he exclaims, " Whence knoweít thou me ?” The answer completely displays the character of the Nazarene : “ Before that Philip called thee, when thou-wast under the fig-tree, I saw thee." Here is an eye which at once penetrates into the heart, and marks minute, external contingent circumstances, even to the species of plant under the shadow of which Nathanael, at a certain moment, happened to repose. The “ Ifraelite indeed" now resigns his - prejudices and dismisses his doubts ; wonder changes into venezetion, " Nathanael answered, and faith unto him, Rabbi; thou
i art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel :” and thus another respectable disciple is added to the School of Christ.
Let not this be considered as foreign to the subject of the present Lecture. Nathanael was, of courle, one of the invited guests to celebrate the marriage at Cana of Galilee. He was there, within three days, to behold another species of demonItration of his Master's divinity, that he might bear wiiness to it. And it was fit that a man so candid and upright should be furnished with every kind of evidence, which could remove prejudice or subdue infidelity. He is not indeed hereafter mentioned in the gospel history, but it seems highly probable that a person of his description, was specially called to take an active part in propagating the truth as it is in Jesus. Some commentators have supposed him to be the same with Barthol. omew, one of the Twelve.
The place, where the miracle exhibited the glory of the Re. deemer, was “ Cana of Galilee,” perhaps to diftinguish it from another city of tha: name in Celolyria, mentioned by Jofophus in his Jewilh Antiquities. It was situated in that part of the Holy Land, which in the partition under Joshua, fell by lot to the tribe of Asher; and flood on a river of the same name, which flowed through part of the inheritance of the tribe of Ephraim, into the Great Sea. It was hitherto a mere name, or a speck which might casually catch the eye as it wandered over the map of Palestine; but Cana now acquired a celebrity which makes her to rank with the proudest of capitals, from an event which will transmit her name to the latelt poleriiy.
The occasion was a narriage solemnity. "It is an institution of Heaven, nearly as old as the creation : it was first celebrated in Paradise : God himself formed the union, presided over and witnessed the contract, and pronounced the nuptial benediction. This stamps a purity, a dignity, a permanency on the ordinance, which man is bound bighly to respect. The great Interpreter and Restorer of the Law, accordingly, puts honour upon the institution by his presence and countenance, and by contributing to the comfort of the assembly .convened on this happy occasion, by the charms of his conversation, and by a feasonable supply of one ingredient in a fealt: and he afterwards vindicated the primitive fanétity of marriage from the irregularity and impurity which the hardness of the human heart had constrained even a Moses to permit, at least to connive at. “Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning, made them male and female ; and said, for this cause hall a man leave father and nicther, and shall cleave to his wife; and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more