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discouraged. He triumphed in the salvation of individuals. He triumphed in the deluge. He triumphed in Egypt. He triumphed in Palestine—at the tomb of Joseph-in Germany—in France in England-in America; and at this moment his triumphs are spreading "from sea to sea," and "from the rivers to the ends of the earth." Progressive civilization--progressive Christianity, is all the triumph of Christ. It is true, there is still a vast amount of iniquity upon earth. Sin rages with fearful malice, but the energy of Christ must conquer in the future as it has done in the past. His gracious expedients are developing power that must be irresistible. Not a principle of evil, not a style of sin exists but what has been overcome. Can any man point to grosser darkness than has yielded to the glorious beams of the Sun of Righteousness-more savage fury than that which his presence has tamedviler sinners than have been already subdued, or deeper pollution than his blood has washed away? The world, then, in effect, is already conquered. “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him; having forgiven you all trespasses ; blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it."
3. The triumph complete. This is revealed partly to experience, but mainly to faith. The principles, and many of the facts involved in the final triumph have been graciously given to our own enjoyment. We know what is meant by the conquest of love. We have only to take the facts of a sinner saved by grace, and suppose them carried directly out into all the world, to have a tolerably distinct idea of the triumph of the Saviour accomplished. The power of faith enlarges the conception, and increases the brightness of the scene. T'he moral is to triumph over the phy. sical-the real over the ideal--the social over the selfish—the true over the false.
We may now pause and contemplate the results of these mighty changes. In every part of the world the facts and forms of matter shall lose their control over the affections of men, the spiritual shall subdue the earthly, and the whole living race shall be absorbed in the glory of God. All ideal and visionary schemes will be lost in the richness and power of Divine realities : all cold and degrading selfishness merged in one grand and glorious Christian fellowship. Love"perfect love," will fill every heart, beam from every eye, break from every tongue. Every one, from the
youngest to the oldest, shall be moved by the same rich, overflowing benevolence that gushes from the heart of the Saviour. The philosophical spirit will have turned all its energies toward God and eternity. Ninds with quickened power will rush out into every field of science to gather new truths, to illustrate the character of God and the reign of Messiah. In the light of indications clear to faith, even from our present stand-point, we may see much of the glories of such a triumph. What relief from the evils that now crush our enfeebled spirits—from the dismal night of infidelity—from the cruel injustice that wrongs our fellow-men-from the fell impurities that in vade the sacredness of virtue—from the fearful oaths and blasphemies that break upon our ears. But let us extend the view :- What purity in the church in that bright day -what holy spirituality, what unity and power—what universal knowledge of the Scriptures—what clearness and force in preaching-what growth in grace—what bursting joy and shouts of triumph and hallelujahs will rend the heavens. Governments will have found their legitimate final cause in the greatest good of the whole. What relief, then, from the intrigues of designing menfrom anarchy and oppression—from vicious laws and defective administration. Harmony in feeling, in purpose, in action, will have emancipated the science of government from its only embarrass
Sings and queens shall become nursing fathers and moth. ers in Israel. And in very deed “the nations and kingdoms of this earth shall become the nations and kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ."
From another stand-point we shall better see the moral beauties of a redeemed world." Removed to the heights of glory we shall look out upon the new creation, and in shouts of joy swell the loud anthem of praise that rolls up from every land beneath the sun. Another scene of amazing grandeur will open at the judgment; when the vast generations of man shall await their doom from the lips of the Redeemer; when at his terrific sentence the wicked shall “ depart into everlasting fire"-and at his joyous command the righteous shall “enter into life eternal.” T'hen shall the tri. umph be complete.
1. From the whole it appears that the Saviour has deserved to con. quer. His infinite merit, his unlimited power, his unfailing wisdom and exhaustless love are worthy of the triumphs indicated. His unwearied exertions for the lapse of ages, amid the revilings of his foes have richly earned the victory. With what intense interest do we gaze upon him, as by the light of revelation he stands revealed the mediator-in his toils and sufferings—in his entreaties and prayers, now in heaven; making the.vast preparations which atonement requires; now on earth, proclaiming salvation-agonizing, dying--and again in heaven, betwixt guilty man and flaming justice, pleading for time, and moving the vast instrumentalities of redemption to save the souls of men.
We watch every movement with deepest anxiety -- tremble when victory seems doubtful, and rejoice with unutterable joy as he triumphs in the fearful strife.
2. Chiefly we would urge the vast power of the Saviour's example. We are soon weary under the burdens of the church—soon discouraged when we see how hard a world this is to save. We ask with intense concern,
"Is his mercy clean gone for ever; doth his promise fail forevermore ?" But let us listen to the answer of the holy prophet: “He shall not fail nor be discouraged till he
have set judgment in the earth, and the isles shall wait for his law." How severe a rebuke to our alarm, our discouragements ! While Jesus remains upon the mediatorial throne, shall we yield under the pressure of difficulties? While he prays for his ene. mies, shall we abandon them? God forbid. At every instant of despondency, in every moment of defeat, let us remember the perseverance of Christ-righteous in its action, various in its expedients, against great difficulties, and long continued. If the church would receive its impulse from the action of Christmif his mind were infused throughout the mass of his diseiples, what indomitable energy, what unconquerable resolution, what glorious triumph would mark her career.
3. How strong is the encouragement from the assurances of success. If we are inclined to despair, let us look at the triumph indicated, the triumph progressive, and the triumph complete. It must utterly destroy our unbelief to master these great and glorio truths. Nay, it must create A BURNING ZEAL TO COÖPERATE IN HIS LA BORS, TO IMITATE HIS PERSEVERANCE, AND TO SHARE HIS TRIUMPHS. May God grant it, for Christ's sake.
BY REV. S. D. BURCHARD,
THE PAST AND THE PRESENT.
"Ye have scen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings
and brought you unto myself.”—Exodus 19 : 4. This passage has reference to the interposition and care o God's providence over the children of Israel. It is highly figura. tive. As an eagle bears her young upon her wings, so God had carried his people on the uplifted wing of his providence. Afflicted and oppressed, he had interposed for their deliverance. He had shielded them amid persecution and peril. He had discomfited and confounded their enemies ; had declared his interest in them by miracle and manifestation. The pillar of cloud by day, and the pillar of fire by night; the miraculous supply of food and water; the defeat and destruction of their oppressors, are all illustrious examples of the Divine protection and providence.
A striking analogy may be traced between the children of Israel and our forefathers--the early settlers of this favored land.
They too were oppressed and afflicted, and not permitted to worship God according to the dictates of their own conscience. At length they escaped from the land of cruel and oppressive laws, and came to this Western continent—the home which Providence bad provided for them. Like the Israelites, they were sent into the wilderness to be educated, by danger and trial, for a noble destiny. Like the Israelites, they were compelled to do battle with the heathen and idolatrous tribes around them; but, like the Israelites, they were folded beneath the wing of a kind Providence. His ruling hand was as apparent in bringing our forefathers to this country, when yet a waste wilderness, and protecting them amid the perils of savage men, as it was when he led the Israel. ites out of Egypt and opened to them a passage through the Red Sea. If we study the features of their history, and the dealings of Divine Providence with them, we shall see how striking is the analogy, and how affectingly appropriate is the text to us as a nation. Or if we look back to the early history of this country, and contrast it with the present—if we compare its physical, political, educational, and religious aspects, then and now, we shall see how God has borne us, as on eagles' wings, and brought us to this land of heritage and blessing.
The Past and the Present then, is the theme to which we propose to call your attention. And, in the contrast and review, we hope to find abundant occasion of gratitude to God.
I. Let us, in the first place, contrast the past and present aspects of our country in a natural or physical point of view. If we go back to the landing of the Pilgrims, we see a band of heroic men and women driven by oppression from their altars and their homes in the old world. Like the Israelites, they had dared the waste of waters, the tempest and the cold, in search of a country, where God had planted the wilderness, as the place of their worship, and reared the mountain as the altar on which to offer their humble and acceptable sacrifice. They wanted no ecclesiastical architecture, no cathedral pomp of pillars and fretted vault to impress them with religious awe. The broad, all-brilliant arch of heaven was their chosen temple, and the soft gush of bird-song was music more grateful to their taste than the chanted vespers
of an ignorant and idolatrous service. God had kindly sheltered their
little bark, as it plowed its feeble way onward through waters, which scarcely before had bathed with foam the prow of an emigrant ship. Like a lone bird, weary and wounded with its fierce battle with the storm, that bark, deeply freighted with the fathers and mothers of a great nation, folded its sails upon a new and in hospitable coast. We see this tempest-worn ship lying there, so desolate upon the dreary shore; a few Indian fires sent up their dismal smoke in the dense forest; a few wigwams lay buried in the snows of that ever-to-be-remembered winter, but the smoke of savage fires, and the roof that sheltered savage life, afforded no hospitality to them. Years passed on-the wilderness is subdued-the bleak coast, where the sea-gull hovered in loneliness, is whitened by the sails of a thousand ships the barren hills of New England are changed into fertile fields. But beyond
this, to the westward, was one vast wilderness, "one boundless contiguity of shade."' Nature, in all her rugged wildness and beauty was there, but the music of her winds, moaning through the tall forest trees, and the thunder of her booming cataracts were unheard by the ear of civilized man. Her treasures of mineral wealth, no diviner's rod had yet discovered; her exhaustless granite lay piled up the mountain sides, as now; her rivers flowed in the same channels, they have deepened for centuries, and with the same grandeur plowed their way to the ocean; her immense inland seas spread their mirrored surface to the bright sun. shine, or tossed their waves to the stormy winds and tempests; her cataracts, which now attract the admiring gaze of travelers from every distant land, raised their eternal anthem, filling the poor Indian, as he drew near with mysterious awe, lifting his thoughts up from nature to nature's God, whose glory appeared in the gorgeous rainbow which overarched the stream, whose voice was heard in the loud thunder of the falling waters, and whose resistless power was symbolized in the rushing flood, and in the hushed billows of the dark abyss. Where now wave the golden harvest-fields awaiting the sickle of the reaper, or rise the beautiful village and the crowded city, resonant with the cheerful hum of business, there stood in thick array and silent grandeur the mountain pine and the tall oaks of the forest, and there trod, in his native pride and freedom, like a lord of creation, the dusky warrior, the stoic of the wood, the man without a tear.
Our far-reaching rivers, wbich once were navigated only by the wild man in his bark canoe, now bear upon their bosoms floating palaces, which move like a thing of life, interchanging the intelligence and the commerce of nations.
Our western forests and prairies, but a few years since traversed only by the buffalo, the deer and the wild panther, flying before the deadly arrow of the red man, are now brought under a vigorous culture; the voice of melody and of praise has succeeded to the startling battle-cry of savage men. Surely the wilderness has been converted into a fruitful field, and the desert has been made to rejoice and “ blossom as the rose."
"Look now abroad-another race has filled
Where once was only the wild war-path or the Indian trail, are canals and railroads, bringing the most distant points of our country into almost immediate contact; annihilating time and space; removing local prejudices and dissensions, linking different and distant parts of this Union into one grand and glorious confedeтасу.