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which every one is conscious of existing, though no one is capable of explaining, should form other combinations, unite other natures, to declare his power and maniseft his glory ? Wherefore should“ it be thought a thing incredible,” that He who unites himself to every one of us, through the medium of teason and conscience, for carrying on the plan of nature, ihould have united humanity to himself in the person of the Redeemer, in a manner still more inconprehensible, for per.. decting the plan of redemption ? Shall I reject as untrue or ab. furd wbatever I do not clearly understand or am unable perfectly to explain ? The consciousness which I have of my own being must be renounced then among the first, and every thing within and around us muft be reduced to darkness, doubt and uncertaintý.

Blessed Jesus, we cannot declare thy generation, and would tot be wise above what is written, but we adore in flent won. . der, we rejoice that “ the Word was made flesh and dwelt a. mong us,” and that men" bebeld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." We re. joice that what we know not now we shall know hereafter. Suf. fice it now that “ we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of deaih crowned with glory and honour, that he by the grace of God should taste death foreve. rý man :” that" it became him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings." We can form no conception of a state pre-existent to this frame of na. ture, for imagination itself mul draw its ideas from reality; and to give scope to a faculty so fantaftical, in treating a subject of such high moment, were presumptuous and profane. Let us reply then to the prophet's challenge, witḥ the modesty and humilia ty becoming creatures so ignorant, so limited, and so imperfect. We presuine not to explore the records of eternity, to pry into the counsels of peace, to measure the infinite jehovah, his nature, his decrees, his operations, by the contracted line of our finite understanding ; but, taking Scripture for our in. structor and guide, we will with reverence and joy contemplate the manifeftation of the Son of God in the likeness of man, the mystery of the incarnation, his generation as ore of our brethren. In the next Lecture therefore, if God permit, we will endearour to lead your attention to some of the remarka. ble circumstances which immediately preceded the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and which give celebrity and notoriety to that illustrious event, and mark the interest

which eternal Providence took in it, and the importance thereby ftamped upon it to every serious and reflecting mind.

We conclude at present, with Yuggeiting, from what has been said, and from every view which is given us in Scripture of the person of the Saviour, that ihere is spread around it at once án effulgence that dazzles and repels, and a mildness and fimplicity which composes and aitracts. Is he ipoken of as a Man, we are sent to Bethlehem to behold a babe wrapped in {waddling clothes to Nazareth to converse with the carpenter's son, to Cana of Galilee to join with him in the innocent festivity of a marriage lolemnity, to Barhany to winess the endearments of private friendlhip, to Gethsemane to sympa. thize with the agonizing mourner, to Icenes such as daily occur in human life ; but we are never left long to consider a mere man in situations and employments like our own, a man of like passions with ourselves ; the glory of the Lord arises, the Son of God stands confessed, a generation not to be de. clared, a power that nothing can resist, at which devils treinBle, which winds and seas obey, to which death and the grave . are subservient. He speaks as never man spake, legions of angels are continually on the wing to minister unto himn.--Prophecy and history represent him in the felt same lights, in alternate humiliation and majesty, obscurity and splendour. What a contrast does the description of our prophet present? " For unto us a child is born, unto us a fon is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder ; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there fhuil be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with Justice, from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” The progress of his history, in every particular stage of it, will elucidate the fathe observation, and therefore it shall not now be farther prosecuted.

Again, this subject seems much calculated to correft the prejudices which prevail among men in the matter of pedigree There is in reality no such thing as mean and high birth : or if there be a distinction, 10 be born perfect in every limb and feature, with a sound and vigorous conititution, with a mind complete in all its faculties, this is to be nobly born ; as, on the contrary, to come into the world diseased and debilitated, with a constitution undermined and destroyed by the vice of parents, is to have the disadvantage of being meanly

i public chafand the narciah, and

34 born ; a distinzion which, if founded in realon, truth, and justice, leaves the great, in general, little to glory. in, and the poor liti le at which lo repine. Have we not all one father? What genealogy is pure from every stain of infirmity, fol. ly or vire ? Is it any diininution of our Saviour's digni. ty, ary impeachment of his perfećt purity, or any impuration on his great public character, that in the roll of his ancefiry after he flelh, we find the name of Rahab the harlot, and of her who had been the wite of Uriah, and that he was broughs up under the roof, perhaps to the occupation, of an obscure craftsman ?. Virtue and vice are personal not he. jeditary, and nothing but vice is a just ground ot shame. Shall I call myself a disciple of Jesus then, and think it a reproach to be called a carpenter's son, despised because I am a Galilean, lightly esteemed because my parents were poor and ig. noble, because a paltry monosyllable introduces not my name ? Real worth ennobles itself independent of the breach of Kings, it draws obscure progenitors into light, and leaves á fair and honorable inheritance to pofterity in a bright example, and a respectable name. «

Once more, whatever may be our pretensions, or our want of pretension as citizens of this world, we have all equal right and encouragement to aspire after the title and the spirit, and the privileges of the sons of God. He whose generation can. not be declared, is not ashamed to call the humbleft of you, brethren. The end of his coming into the world, of his humbJing himself to death, of lhedding his blood, was to make you “ kings and priests unto God and his father.” What he is by eternal generation, that he is making you by redemption, by the spirit of adoption, by the hope of Glory to be revealed. Support the honour of your heavenly Father's name, prove your relation, preferve unclouded your prospects. You are now in a state of depression, " in heaviness through manifold temptations," your title lies dormant, your poflession is at a diftance, but" your life is hid with Christ in God, and when he thall appear, you shall appear with him in glory. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but when He shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is." " Fear no!," then," little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." " Ye are a chosen generation; a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peruliar people ; that ye should fhew forth the praises of him who liath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.***

LECTURE

LECTURE III.

fainations shall come will then tend the earth, ansa

- HAGGAI, 11. 6-9. For thus faith the Lord of hoss. Yrit once, it is a little u hile,

and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and ihe sea, and the dry land; and I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come i And I will fill this house with giory, faith the Lord of hosts. The silver is mine, and the gold 25 mine, saith the Lord of hosts. The g'ory of this latter house. shall be greater than of the former, lauh the Lord of hosts :

And in this placı will I give peace, faith the Lord of kofls. THE great Lord of Nature demonstrates his existence and 1 divine perfection, in the original formation, and in the conftant preservasion of all things, “ He fpake and it was done, he commanded and it stood fait.” He upholdeth all “ by the word of his power.” The continual fupport of the uni. verfe has accordingly, with the utmost propriety, been repreresented as creation every instant repeated. In a system which is all lite and motion, power almighty, and attention unintermit., ting, moft ever be exerted to mais tain lite to carry on motion, to preserve harmony. Every being is subjected to the peculiar law of its own nature; 'and the great whole is governed by general laws. Unity, fimplicity, multitude variety, strike the eye of every attentive beholder ; every individual presents a little world apart, and the vast combination of individuals forms but one world, animated by one vital principle. * But Jehovah makes himselt known to his intelligent creatures not only in the stated order and harmony of his works, but in the occasional and temporary interruption of that order, and in deviation from that harmony. The powers of earth and heaven are shaken; the sun is turned into darkness and the stars withdraw their light'; tre barrier which restrained the ocean is reinoved, the windows of heaven are opened, and the earth is overflowed. The rain that falls on Sodom becomes a fiery tide; the fame of Nebuchadnezzar's fiery tura nace is rendered harmless air ; the hungry lion licks the proph. et's feet.' The glaring excentric comet, the wandering, plana et, and the fixed star, all, all refer us to one original, to one • Gving, restraining, directing, supporting cause.

Neither,

Neither, however, the regular observance, nor the occa. Goral suspension of the laws of nature are mere wanton displays of power, to amuse the curious, to alarm the fearful, or. 10 confound the proud. Every word that proceedethout of the mouth of God, and every act of omnipotence have an important meaning and design. The end at which the Ruler of the world still aims, is the manifestation of his own glory in promoting the wisdom and happiness of his creatures. ..

The Prophet, in the paffage of the facred volume which has now been read, is evidently referring to some signal display of the divine glory. We behold universal commotian raised and settled by the same power ; heaven and earth, the fea and the dry land, and all the kindreds of the nations shaken together. Universal attention is excited, universal expectalion is raised, and that expe&lation is completely gratified, by the appearance of “the desire of all nations ;” by the restoration of peace to a troubled world ; by a lufire bestowed on the second temple which should eclipte the glory of the first. Now the expression, the glory of this latter house shall be greater than the former, saith the Lord' of hofts,” enables us to fix the period, and to discover the person here described.' Haggai lived and prophefied after the Babylonish captivity, and the immediate object of his prophecy was to urge his restored countrymen to industry and perseverance, in the work of rebuilding the temple of the Lord. And as the most powerful and encouraging of all motives, he is commissioned to assure them, that the period saft aproached when the fabric which they were then rearing should be invested with much greater honor, than that of Solomon and all his glory ever: possessed. But if this were meant of temporal splendor mere. ly, the fact contradicts it ; for from Ezra we learn, that, in this respect, the former temple was far fuperior to the latter ; " many of the priests and levites, and chief of the fathers wha were ancient men that had seen the first houle, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice :” so mortifying was the comparison. Our. Prophet himself holds the same language, ch. ii. 3. “Who is Jeft among you that saw this house in her first glory ? and how do you see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing ?” We must look therefore for a different kind of glory, to explain and confirm the prediction; and it is impossible to be at a loss about an interpretation, when we consider wherein the real glory of the second temple confifted.

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