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hold the righteousness of God by faith in 1 who are not far from the kingdom. Jesus Christ, unto all and upon all them | God”! Infinitely more blessed are they that believe, producing in them a practical who are within it! righteousness, a personal holiness! The | But what constitutes a nearness to this kingdom of God is righteousness in the | kingdom or, Who are they who may be Holy Ghost.

said to be not far from it ? By alienation from God, we are no less 1. Those, in the first place, to whom the estranged from our own best interests. Word of God has come, who are richi The heart at war with its Maker is no less supplied with the means of grace, and who at war with itself. There is no peace, saith oft have heard the voice of love and mercy my God, to the wicked. But being .justi- in the calls of the Gospel. The benighted fied by faith, we have peace with God, " heathen who know not God" are said to through our Lord Jesus Christ. The king be "afar off” (Eph. ii. 17), while those dom of God is peace in the Holy Ghost. who heard the apostle's doctrine, thouga

Joy is a fruit that will not grow on they rejected it, are made “sure of this, nature's barren soil. The boasted joy that the kingdom of God is come nigh of the world is but the fitful and fleeting ) unto them” (Luke x. 11). Then you, my effervescence of the animal spirits. “The reader, are not far from the kingdom. joy of the hypocrite is but for a moment.”. Without your seeking, the Word of God But “being justified by faith. ;.. . has sought and found you.' Born in : we rejoice in hope." Looking for our land of Bibles-English Bibles—with do Lord Jesus Christ, in whom, though now seal upon them; in a land of schools where We see him not, we believe, we rejoice you have learned to read them, of Sabbath with joy unspeakable and full of glory. schools where you have learned to under The kingdom of God is joy in the Holy stand them, of Gospel ministrations by Ghost.

which the truth has been simplified and “The kingdom of God cometh not with its reception enforced ; with influences all observation. Its approach to you, or of around you from above, to counteract those you to it, is not with outward show or from beneath, what more could be done to noise. The change is spiritual and internal, | bring you nigh? “Say not in thine heart, hid from the observation of others. Con- Who shall ascend into heaven? Or, Who viction of sin is a fire in the bones, and its | shall descend into the deep ? For the i pains are endured in silence. He whom | word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth and the sword of the Spirit has pierced, retires 1 in thy heart ; that is, the word of faith like the stricken deer, and “ mourns apart," which we preach” (Rom. x. 6–8). From and makes confession, like the publican, this word you learn something of the “standing afar off.” The beginning of that nature of this kingdom, its laws, its rekingdom is “ without observation.” Its sources, its privileges ; you converse with progress is no less so. It is “as if a man many of its subjects, and the shout of its should cast seed into the ground ; and King is among you. In all that is outward should sleep, and rise night and day, and and instrumental you are not far from it. the seed should spring and grow up, he It rather presses toward you than you knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth toward it. Every avenue of approach is forth fruit of herself ; first the blade, then thrown open, every obstacle is removed, the ear, after that the full corn in the ear." every facility to enter is afforded, cordial All is silent as the process of vegetation, invitations are given, and hearty welcomes and still as the falling dew. .'

await you. This is what the Master of “The kingdom of God is within you." Assemblies calls being "exalted to heaven," It is Christ dwelling in the heart by faith, brought by God's providence to the very Christ in us the hope of glory, the Spirit threshold of salvation. abiding in' us, as the spirit of adoption, the Art thou thus near, my reader? Say, spirit of power, and of love, and of a sound Why not néarer still ? The specious plea, mind. It is a being made partakers of the “Thou hast taught in our streets," avails Divine nature, and meet for participation not when he asks, “Why standest thou of the inheritance of the saints in light. 1 without ?" When all earthly kingdoms shall have 2. Those whose natural temper, and dis: passed away, then shall the subjects of position, or habits acquired by moral Divine grace shine forth as the sun in the | training, are akin to the spirit of the king. kingdom of their Father., Blessed are they | dom of God, seem to be not far from it.

This nearness consists in likeness to some . Many of you may possess a character for of the fruits of the spirit-gentleness, truth and sobriety most unexceptionable. meekness, readiness to oblige, self-re- In the midst of temptations to what is straint, sincerity, and truth. The amiable, wrong, you hold fast that which is right, ingenuous, and kind, are, in the world's | and retain your integrity both in your morality, blameless; and they are often words and actions. With many a seducing

deemed nearer than they are, and the spirit around, and warm passions within, you U deficiency is considered rather a notional | keep yourselves pure from the unhallowed

than a real one that separates them from joys of lust and excess. In all this you are the kingdom of God." "My master is not far from the kingdom of God." But not a Christian," said the servant of the be not deceived. With a heart unchanged amiable but sceptical philosopher in the there must be disorder within, though all

story of "La Roche," but he is the best be regularity without; passions yet reign E of unbelievers." When Jesus saw that within, though there be no revelling with.

the young scribe answered discreetly, that 1 out; the stream is diverted, but the foun

is, with the intelligence and simplicity of tain is uncleansed. The world's darker - truth, he said, “Thou art not far from the courses may be declined, but the world kingdom of God."

itself is predominant in the heart. Hence There are qualities possessed by many in the conduct that is your praise, and perhaps early life, which assume the appearance, or your pride, becomes your peril too. Be give the promise, of something better still. aware of the necessity of an inward change,

There are many beautiful traits in the cha lest the publicans and harlots go into the -racter of some young people, which not | kingdom of God before you.

only please the eye, but delight the heart, In addition to these excellent qualities, and draw the affection of all who know some of my readers may have been trained them. But, alas! the conscious possession | to habits of personal and practical benevo? of these, is apt to beguile the young heart, lence, and have acquired a readiness in disunrenewed, into a false view of its own tributing to the necessities of the poor and state in the sight of God, and make it a friendless. Surely such are “not far from stranger to itself. When the Lord Jesus the kingdom of God." But be not deceived. looked on the young and wealthy ruler, Without euspecting unworthy motives, unthus blinded by his very virtues to his less the highest motive of all constrain you, deficiencies," he loved him ;" loved him unless your righteousness flow from a for all that was amiable and excellent higher source and through a holier channel there, but was not deceived by it, nor than these, lovely and of good report allowed his interesting inquirer to be so though they be, you are still without. In long. “One thing thou lackest.

vain you give all your goods to feed the So, my readers, there may be some of poor, waste all your energy in their seryou endowed with one or other or all those vice, or even give your body to be burned qualities which the heart approves and for their sake. One thing more is needful. Oves ; for instance, with strong or ten- | Gain this, and all is gained ; lose this, and ler feeling for the woes or wrongs of all is lost. thers. The well-told tale of slavery's Nor is the danger arising from moral sitter draught, or poverty's straits, or worth, apart from piety toward God, conalamity's distresses, may touch your heart, fined to those who possess it. Met with ind unseal the fountain of your tears. in every walk of business and philanthropy, But be not deceived. Your heart may yet lying all around the territory of the kingJe insensible to its own depravity, may dom of God, vieing with its subjects in hanifest no ingenuous gorrow for sin, rectitude, benevolence, and truth, they are 10 unfeigned repentance toward God, no unconsciously imparting to the observer hildlike confidence in a dying Saviour, no, the dangerous idea that it is possible to be reathings after holiness, no sighs for hea | virtuous without being religious. ren. Over the burdened and bleeding 3. There is a third class who are “not far Man of Sorrows wept the daughters of from the kingdom of God;" those who Jerusalem, but were insensible to their have acquired considerable knowledge of -wn sing which crushed him, and to their the letter and even of the spirit of Divine wn unbelief that pierced him. So you may truth. Here is a scribe well instructed in e not far from the kingdom of God, but the law of his God, who sees through the till without.

| design of its ritual so far, that the obsery. ance of it is not the end of the law, but through the blood of the Cross. They that love alone, supreme towards God, and may come by night, as Nicodemus, or universal towards man, is its sum or fulfil by day, as Nathaniel ; but, sincerely desir. ment. He answered discreetly, that is, | ous of knowing the trath, and almost as intelligently, from the convictions of his sincerely resolved to do the truth when own mind, and not from blind reliance on known, their prejudices yielding, their the traditions of the elders. Now this hearts opening, their desires increasing, conviction led him up close to the grand surely such are “not far from the kingdom truth, that mankind having fallen short of of God." this love, the law, in its sum, was broken, Are any of you, my readers, thus near? and an atonement alone could save. The Have you not, under the faithful preaching law was his schoolmaster to bring him of the word, sometimes felt a misgiving of toward Christ, and the clearer he saw into mind respecting your state in the sight of the nature, and spirituality, and extent of God? your piace in his judgment now? the law, the nearer he was to the kingdom. 1 your place when his judgment shall hare He cannot be far from it who searches the finally passed ? Has not a sense of sin Scriptures with an unbiassed mind, who sometimes rushed on your conscience with pursues his inquiries with perseverance, such power, that with difficulty you shook who adds truth to truth in their mutual off the painful impression ? Have you not relations, till the whole system of Divine often wished you were the subjects of truth in its simple grandeur and exquisite Divine grace, and possessed that peace proportions rises before his mind.

passing understanding, of which you have Some of my readers must surely have heard but never felč? Have you not attained to some good degree of kpowledge occasionally desired to know what that via the word of God. By regular attend faith is, the possession of which seems to ance on the ministry of the word, by fre be the Scriptural turning-point on which quent perusal of the sacred volume, by a saving change rests? Have you never reading other works which cast light on been affected, even to weakness, at the {he obscurity of Scripture, the scheme of thought of your indecision, waywardnes, redemption, the glorious Gospel of the and infirmity of purpose, in spiritual blessed God, must be a thing familiar to things? Then, after having been the the minds, and approved to the reason of subject of so many exercises of a religion many. But be not deceived. If your kind, have you not begun to derive satis knowledge of the truth has wrought no faction from this very circumstance? Be sanctifying change within, if your familiar ware! You are, indeed, “not far from the ity with the word has not humbled and kingdom of God,but fatal would be the contrited your proud heart, if your ac | result were you to rest satisfied with you quaintance with the doctrines of the Cross | position, or despair of its being improved, has not crucified you to the world, if your 1 Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and view of a Saviour's love has not borne you thou shalt be saved." Yield yourselves above the supremacy of creature affection, entirely to him, make no reserye, keer and constrained you to judge that you | back no part of the price! He has part chould live no more to yourselves, but to | for all; and the unconditional surrenda Him that died for you and rose again, your of your heart, with all it values, to hin knowledge has brought you " not far from will bring you, through his grace, with the kingdom of God, but alas ! has left the bounds of his heavenly kingdom. I you at the most important stage of your And why, having come thus near, do s progress-without the gate.

many linger there in a state so dangero' 4. One other class may still more appro doubtful, and unsatisfactory? Why, like priately be said to be not far from the Mr. Fearing, in the “ Pilgrim's Progress, kingdom of God;" those who are the sub | do so many hang near the wicket-gate jects of deep convictions of truth, and of afraid to knock, drawn back by influence desires for its possession. They tremble they are ashamed to own ? at the word of the Lord, and feel something 1. When the heart, under convictiof its power, breadth, and spirituality ; l of sin, instead of immediate recourse to it reflection has brought tliem to serious | Saviour and simple faith in bis blood, maar feeling, to candid acknowledgments, and to many a sacrifice, parts with many au u pamest inquiry. Silent wishes have almost confesses and resolves, seems ready to laste sleepened into prayers for pardon and peace all, take up the cross and follow Chia

Cheslo

then a new struggle oft arises. What! give saved! Out of Sodom, yet tarrying in the up all ? let go my last hold of the world, | plain! In flight from the avenger, yet and self? From this shrinks all the pride lingering near the gate of refuge! Having and depravity of the heart, and hence often weathered the storm at sea, but in danger this balting, lingering, doubting, so near of being wrecked on the bar! So has it the kingdom.

been with many. Let it not be so with 2. The opposition may be without. When you. It may demand a struggle ; "the a soul seems yielding to the claims of truth kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and

and mercy, a storm of persecution oft arises the violent take it by storm." Surrounded - which brings it to a stand. "I shall wait as you are by so many influences adverse till the tempest wastes its force, till a more to your success, nothing but violence done convenient season." Hence the indecision to self and sin can win the day. of many. Let such take warning. The Should the friends and companions of "fearful" are classed with the “unbeliev your youth cling around you, court youring and the abominable," and have alike society for the world, or upbraid you for their portion in the lake that burneth your desertion, turn to Him whose friend(Rev. xxi).

ship is better by “a hundredfold" than 3. Sometimes the mind, as if exhausted that of the nearest and dearest earthly ties. by exertion in approaching thus near, Should the world itself allure you with settles down in that position, content with | her most winning smiles, and promise the he advantages it has won. The debat joys which her varied stores impart, count ible ground, so near the kingdom of hea the costm-strike the balance. The whole fen, is nearer still to the world. If here world for thy own soul,—what remains ? hey can secure the good of both, without

Nohe trials peculiar to either, they will come

“I cannot buy your bliss so dear, 10 nearer.

Or part with heaven for you.” 4. Some presume that they are already Should the flesh shrink from the sacrifices. vithin the kingdom, though only near it. , and plead her weakness, complain of the They mistake their convictions, their re- | daily cross, the unremitting self-denial, the ormations, their knowledge, and their | hourly watching, the unceasing prayer, say, leasing frames, for conversion to God and Am I a debtor to the flesh, to live after the be experience of his children.

flesh? What has it done for me? What Dear reader, if, from these hints, you can it do for me? I have only the reply, are reason to fear that you are yet without, “ If you live after the flesh ye shall die." e aware of the sin and danger of remain Then let me crucify the flesh, and let life, ig so. The Church of God beholds you eternal life, be mine. tith interest and hope, but with no satis Should the heart still halt, and the spirit action till you are found in Christ." quail, turn from all self-converse to Him ussured that there is salvation in him alone, whose promise of aid responds to the cry of hat he is the only city of refuge for those the helpless, “ Create in me a clean heart, a eeing from the wrath to come, she looks God, and renew a right spirit within me !" n those "afar off" with pity and dismay; ! God give you courage and good success ut on you who are near, she bends an | to go in and possess the promised land, the pxious eye, a beating heart. Almost kingdom of God !

THE GRAVE IN THE GARDEN.

BY THE REV. 8. MANNING. "Now in the place where he was crucified, there was a garden; and in the garden a new* epulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. There laid they Jesus.”—John xix. 41.

17“all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable," we may: be quite sure that every word which relates to the death of our Lord has its Meaning and value. In relation to such an event nothing can be trivial or taimportant. It is impossible for us to exaggerate, or even adequately ta'

estimate, the great transactions of Calvary. All the other events of history dwindle into insignificance compared with this. Yet a few verses which may easily be read in a quarter of an hour, comprise all the information we possess respecting it. Amongst these. there cannot be one “ vain " or "idle word." What we read in the text and in parallel passages assuredly was written for our profit, and deserves our most attentive study.

I. We have here a striking fulfilment of prophecy. In the preceding verses the evangelist has traced out the accomplishment of four predictions in the details of the crucifixion, and declared that these things were done “ that the Soripture might be fulfilled” (verses 24, 28, 36, 37). Matthew is careful to point out the Messianic prophecies relating to the birth, and John those relating to the death, of our Lord." In Isa. liii. 9, we find a prediction respecting his burial. The phraseology of the passage in our version is somewhat vague and indefinite. 5. He made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death.” Even accepting this translation as adequate, the coincidence is remarkable. The following readings of the clause by writers belonging to widely different schools of theology, will make the meaning more clear, and the accomplishment more striking. "A grave is assigned him with the wicked, but his tomb is a rich man's."-Pye Smith. A grave was appointed him with malefactors, but with a rich man he was received in his death."--Michaelis. They had also assigned his grave with the wicked, but he was with the rich after his death."-Henderson. His grave was intended to have been among sinners, but he was laid in the tomb of the rich man."-Seiler. Nothing can be more precise than these passages. Their meaning is unmistakable. It was out of the power of his friends to give effect to so impossible a prediction. How unlikely that his enemies and executioners would allow it to be accomplished. In the ordinary course of events his body would have been buried with those of the malefactors who were crucified with him, at the foot of the cross. But two wealthy and influential disciples, who had not yet dared to avow themselves " for fear of the Jews," go in to Pilate; “ beg the body," and Joseph laid it "in his own new tomb." Waiving altogether the question of inspiration, we challenge the infidel to explain this succession of marvellous coincidences between the language of the Old Testament and the facts recorded in the New Testament.

II. We have an illustration of our Lord's poverty. He had not where to lay his head either in life or in death. When he came to earth, no palace threw Tide its gates to receive him. There was not even a cottage he could call his om: There was not room for him at the inn. A stable was his birth-place, a manger his cradle. Even from this poor shelter he was chased and hunted “by the wrath of the king," During the period of his ministry he was homeless, “Every man went unto his own house ; Jesus went unto the Mount of Olives." There he passed his nights when he had spent the day labouring in the temple. "The foxes have holes, the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man hath not where to lay his head.” Even in death, he is indebted to the charity of his friends for a grave. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were pilgrims and sojourners on earth, and possessed not a foot of soil in the promised land which they could call their own except a sepulchre. This significant fact in their history has been often alluded to as typical of the position of those who are “ Abraham seed and heirs according to the promise.” We may all claim six feet of earth as an inheritance and birth-right. But the dying Saviour had not where to lay his head. When the rude soldiery had “ divided among themselves his raiment." and “cast lots for his vesture,” there was nothing left wherewith to purchase

grave!

III. It is worthy of remark that he not only died, but was buried. He mai made in all points like unto his brethren." He would enter “the house appointed for all living." A bleeding, bruised, and mangled corpse, he was lazu

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