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mystery was revealed for the very intent, that unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places, might be made known by the church, the manifold wisdom of God. And while we, whose prospect reaches not beyond the narrow limits of the corner we occupy, look on the dealings of God in the world, as carrying in them all the insignificancy of a provincial transaction; God himself, whose eye reaches to places which our eye hath not seen, nor our ear heard of, neither hath it entered into the imagination of our heart to conceive, stamps a universality on the whole matter of the Christian salvation, by such revelations as the following: That he is to gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are in earth, even in him—and that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earthand that by him God reconciled all things unto himself, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

We will not say in how far some of these passages extend the proper effect of that redemption which is by Christ Jesus, to other quarters of the universe of God; but they at least go to establish a widely disseminated knowledge of this transaction among the other orders of created intelligence. And they give us a distant glimpse of something more extended. They present a faint opening, through which may be seen some few traces of a wider and a nobler dispensation. They bring before us a dim transparency, on the other side of which the images of an obscure magnificence dazzle indistinctly upon the eye; and tell us that in the economy of redemption, there is a grandeur commensurate to all that is known of the other works and purposes of the Eternal. They offer us no details; and man, who ought not to attempt a wisdom above that which is written, should never put forth his hand to the drapery of that impenetrable curtain which God in his mysterious wisdom has spread over those ways, of which it is but a very small portion that we know of them. But certain it is, that we know as much of them from the Bible; and the infidel, with all the pride of his boasted astronomy, knows so little of them, from any power of observation, that the baseless argument of his, on which we have dwelt so long, is overborne in the light of all that positive evidence which God has poured around the record of his own testimony, and even in the light of its more obscure and casual intimations.

The minute and variegated details of the way in which this wondrous economy is extended, God has chosen to withhold from us; but he has oftener than once made to us a broad and a general announcement of its dignity. He does not tell us whether

the fountain opened in the house of Judah, for sin and for uncleanness, send forth its healing streams to other worlds than our own. He does not tell us the extent of the atonement. But he tells us that the atonement itself, known as it is among the myriads of the celestial, forms the high song of eternity; that the Lamb who was slain, is surrounded by the acclamations of one wide and universal empire; that the might of his wondrous achievements, spreads a tide of gratulation over the multitudes who are about his throne; and that there never ceases to ascend from the worshippers of him who washed us from our sins in his blood, a voice loud as from numbers without number, sweet as from blessed voices uttering joy, when heaven rings jubilee, and loud hosannas fill the eternal regions.

"And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne, and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and glory, and honour, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth on the throne, and unto the Lamb, forever and ever."

A king might have the whole of his reign crowded with the enterprises of glory; and by the might of his arms, and the wis dom of his counsels might win the first reputation among the potentates of the world; and be idolized throughout all his provinces, for the wealth and the security that he had spread around them-and still it is conceivable, that by the act of a single day in behalf of a single family; by some soothing visitation of tenderness to a poor and solitary cottage; by some deed of compassion, which conferred enlargement and relief on one despairing sufferer; by some graceful movement of sensibility at a tale of wretchedness; by some noble effort of self-denial, in virtue of which he subdued his every purpose of revenge, and spread the mantle of a generous oblivion over the fault of the man who has insulted and aggrieved him; above all, by an exercise of pardon so skilfully administered, as that instead of bringing him down to a state of defencelessness against the provocation of future injuries, it threw a deeper sacredness over him, and stamped a more inviolable dignity than ever on his person and character:-why, my brethren, on the strength of one such performance, done in a single hour, and reaching no further in its immediate effects than to one house, or to one individual, it is a most possible thing, that the highest monarch upon earth

might draw such a lustre around him as would eclipse the renown of all his public achievements-and that such a display of magnanimity, or of worth, beaming from the secrecy of his familiar moments, might waken a more cordial veneration in every bosom, than all the splendour of his conspicuous history-aye, and that it might pass down to posterity, as a more enduring monument of greatness, and raise him further by its moral elevation above the level of ordinary praise; and when he passes in review before the men of distant ages, may this deed of modest, gentle, unobtrusive virtue, be at all times appealed to, as the most sublime and touching memorial of his


blends itself with the fame of his public achievements. But still you think that there would not have been room enough for these achievements of his, had much of his time been spent, either among the habitations of the poor, or in the retirement of his own family; and you conceive, that it is because a single day bears so small a proportion to the time of his whole history, that he has been able to combine an interesting display of private worth, with all that brilliancy of exhibition, which has brought him down to posterity in the character of an august and a mighty sovereign.

And here it may be remarked, that as the earthly king who throws a moral aggrandizement around him, by the act of a single day, finds, that after its performance, he may have the space of many years for gathering to himself the triumphs of an extended reign-so the king who sits on high, and with whom one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day, will find, that after the period of that special administration is ended, by which this strayed world is again brought back within the limits of his favoured creation, there is room enough along the mighty track of eternity, for accumulating upon himself a glory as wide and as universal as is the extent of his dominions. You will In like manner did the King eternal, allow the most illustrious of this world's immortal, and invisible, surrounded as he is potentates, to give some hour of his private with the splendours of a wide and everlast-history to a deed of cottage or domestic ing monarchy, turn him to our humble tenderness; and every time you think of the habitation; and the foot-steps of God mani- interesting story, you will feel how sweetly fest in the flesh, have been on the narrow and how gracefully the remembrance of it spot of ground we occupy; and small though our mansion be, amid the orbs and the systems of immensity, hither hath the King of glory bent his mysterious way, and entered the tabernacle of men, and in the disguise of a servant did he sojourn for years under the roof which canopies our obscure and solitary world. Yes, it is but a twinkling atom in the peopled infinity of worlds that are around it--but look to the moral grandeur of the transaction, and not to the material extent of the field upon which it was executed-and from the retirement of our dwelling-place, there may issue forth such a display of the Godhead, as will circulate the glories of his name Now apply this to the matter before us. among all his worshippers. Here sin en- Had the history of our redemption been tered. Here was the kind and universal confined within the limits of a single day, beneficence of a Father, repaid by the in- the argument that infidelity has drawn gratitude of a whole family. Here the law from the multitude of other worlds, would of God was dishonoured, and that too in never have been offered. It is true, that the face of its proclaimed and unalterable ours is but an insignificant portion of the sanctions. Here the mighty contest of the territory of God-but if the attentions by attributes was ended-and when justice which he has signalized it, had only taken put forth its demands, and truth called for up a single day, this would never have octhe fulfilment of its warnings, and the im- curred to us as forming any sensible withmutability of God would not recede by a drawment of the mind of the Deity from single iota, from any one of its positions, the concerns of his vast and universal goand all the severities he had ever uttered vernment. It is the time which the plan of against the children of iniquity, seemed to our salvation requires, that startles all those gather into one cloud of threatening venge- on whom this argument has any impresance on the tenement that held us-did the sion. It is the time taken up about this visit of the only-begotten Son chase away paltry world, which they feel to be out of all these obstacles to the triumph of mercy-proportion to the number of other worlds, and humble as the tenement may be, deeply and to the immensity of the surrounding shaded in the obscurity of insignificance as creation. Now, to meet this impression, I do it is, among the statelier mansions which not insist at present on what I have already are on every side of it—yet will the recal brought forward, that God, whose ways of its exiled family never be forgotten-and are not as our ways, can have his eye at the illustration that has been given here of the mingled grace and majesty of God, will never lose its place among the themes and the acclamations of eternity.

the same instant on every place, and can divide and diversify his attention into any number of distinct exercises. What I have now to remark, is, that the infidel who

urges the astronomical objection to the no limits-why does he not also shoot truth of Christianity, is only looking with them forward through the vista of a suchalf an eye to the principle on which it cession, that ever flows without stop and rests. Carry out the principle, and the without termination? He has burst across objection vanishes. He looks abroad on the confines of this world's habitation in the immensity of space, and tells us how space, and out of the field which lies on the impossible it is, that this narrow corner of other side of it, has he gathered an arguit can be so distinguished by the attentions ment against the truth of revelation. I feel of the Deity. Why does he not also look that I have nothing to do but to burst abroad on the magnificence of eternity; and across the confines of this world's history perceive how the whole period of these pe- in time, and out of the futurity which lies culiar attentions, how the whole time which beyond it, can I gather that which will elapses between the fall of man and the con-blow the argument to pieces, or stamp upsummation of the scheme of his recovery, is on it all the narrowness of a partial and but the twinkling of a moment to the mighty mistaken calculation. The day is coming, roll of innumerable ages? The whole inter- when the whole of this wondrous history val between the time of Jesus Christ's leav-shall be looked back upon by the eye of the ing his Father's abode, to sojourn among remembrance, and be regarded as one inus, to that time when he shall have put all cident in the extended annals of creation, his enemies under his feet, and delivered and with all the illustration and all the up the kingdom to God, even his Father, glory it has thrown on the character of the that God may be all in all; the whole of this Deity, will it be seen as a single step in the interval bears as small a proportion to the evolution of his designs; and long as the whole of the Almighty's reign, as this soli- time may appear, from the first act of our tary world does to the universe around it, redemption to its final accomplishment, and an infinitely smaller proportion than and close and exclusive as we may think any time, however short, which an earthly the attentions of God upon it, it will be monarch spends on some enterprise of pri- found that it has left him room enough for vate benevolence, does to the whole walk of all his concerns, and that on the high scale his public and recorded history. of eternity, it is but one of those passing and ephemeral transactions, which crowd the history of a never-ending administration.

Why, then, does not the man, who can shoot his conceptions so sublimely abroad over the field of an immensity that knows


On the Sympathy that is felt for Man in the Distant Places of Creation. "I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons which need no repentance.”—Luke xv. 7

I HAVE already attempted at full length to establish the position, that the infidel argument of astronomers goes to expunge a natural perfection from the character of God, even that wondrous property of his, by which he, at the same instant of time, can bend a close and a careful attention on a countless diversity of objects, and diffuse the intimacy of his power and of his presence, from the greatest to the minutest and most insignificant of them all. I also adverted shortly to this other circumstance, that it went to impair a moral attribute of the Deity. It goes to impair the benevolence of his nature. It is saying much for the benevolence of God, to say, that a single world, or a single system, is not enough for it-that it must have the spread of a mightier region, on which it may pour forth a tide of exuberancy throughout all its provincesthat as far as our vision can carry us, it has

strewed immensity with the floating receptacles of life, and has stretched over each of them the garniture of such a sky as mantles our own habitation-and that even from distances which are far beyond the reach of human eye, the songs of gratitude and praise may now be arising to the one God, who sits surrounded by the regards of his one great and universal family.

Now, it is saying much for the benevolence of God, to say that it sends forth these wide and distant emanations over the surface of a territory so ample, that the world we inhabit, lying imbedded as it does amidst so much surrounding greatness, shrinks into a point that to the universal eye might appear to be almost imperceptible. But does it not add to the power and to the perfection of this universal eye, that at the very moment it is taking a comprehensive survey of the vast, it can fasten a steady and undistracted

attention on each minute and separate portion | throughout all its dwelling places. Put this of it; that at the very moment it is looking at trait of the angelic character into contrast all worlds, it can look most pointedly and most with the dark and lowering spirit of an infiintelligently to each of them: that at the very del. He is told of the multitude of other moment it sweeps the field of immensity, worlds, and he feels a kindling magnificence it can settle all the earnestness of its regards in the conception, and he is seduced by an upon every distinct hand-breadth of that elevation which he cannot carry, and from field; that at the very moment at which it this airy summit does he look down on the embraces the totality of existence, it can insignificance of the world we occupy, and send a most thorough and penetrating in- pronounces it to be unworthy of those visits spection into each of its details, and into and of those attentions which we read of in every one of its endless diversities? You the New Testament. He is unable to wing cannot fail to perceive how much this adds his way upward along the scale, either of to the power of the all-seeing eye. Tell me, moral or of natural perfection; and when then, if it do not add as much perfection to the wonderful extent of the field is made the benevolence of God, that while it is ex-known to him, over which the wealth of patiating over the vast field of created things, the Divinity is lavished-there he stops, and there is not one portion of the field over- wilders, and altogether misses this essential looked by it; that while it scatters blessings perception, that the power and perfection over the whole of an infinite range, it causes of the Divinity are not more displayed by them to descend in a shower of plenty on the mere magnitude of the field, than they every separate habitation: that while his are by that minute and exquisite filling up, arm is underneath and round about all which leaves not its smallest portions neworlds, he enters within the precincts of glected; but which imprints the fulness of every one of them, and gives a care and a the Godhead upon every one of them; and tenderness to each individual of their teem- proves, by every flower of the pathless deing population. Oh! does not the God, who sert, as well as by every orb of immensity, is said to be love, shed over this attribute of how this unsearchable being can care for all, his its finest illustration, when, while he sits and provide for all; and, throned in mystery in the highest heaven, and pours out his ful- too high for us, can, throughout every inness on the whole subordinate domain of stant of time, keep his attentive eye on every nature and of providence, he bows a pitying separate thing that he has formed, and by an regard on the very humblest of his chil-act of his thoughtful and presiding intellidren, and sends his reviving Spirit into every heart, and cheers by his presence every home, and provides for the wants of every family, and watches every sick-bed, and listens to the complaints of every sufferer; and while by his wondrous mind the weight of universal government is borne, oh! is it not more wondrous and more excellent still, that he feels for every sorrow, and has an ear open to every prayer?

"It doth not yet appear what we shall be," says the apostle John, "but we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is." It is the present lot of the angels, that they behold the face of our Father in heaven, and it would seem as if the effect of this was to form and to perpetuate in them the moral likeness of himself, and that they reflect back upon him his own image, and that thus a diffused resemblance to the Godhead is kept up among all those adoring worshippers who live in the near and rejoicing contemplation of the Godhead. Mark then how that peculiar and endearing feature in the goodness of the Deity, which we have just now adverted to-mark how beauteously it is reflected downwards upon us in the revealed attitude of angels. From the high eminences of heaven, are they bending a wakeful regard over the men of this sinful world; and the repentance of every one of them spreads a joy and a high gratulation N

gence, can constantly embrace all.

But God, compassed about as he is with light inaccessible, and full of glory, lies so hidden from the ken and conception of all our faculties, that the spirit of man sinks exhausted by its attempts to comprehend him. Could the image of the Supreme be placed direct before the eye of the mind, that flood of splendour, which is ever issuing from him on all who have the privilege of beholding, would not only dazzle, but overpower us. And therefore it is, that I bid you look to the reflection of that image, and thus to take a view of its mitigated glories, and to gather the lineaments of the Godhead in the face of those righteous angels, who have never thrown away from them the resemblance in which they were created; and, unable as you are to support the grace and the majesty of that countenance, before which the sons and the prophets of other days fell, and became as dead men, let us, before we bring this argument to a close, borrow one lesson of Him who sitteth on the throne, from the aspect and the revealed doings of those who are surrounding it.

The infidel, then, as he widens the field of his contemplations would suffer its every separate object to die away into forgetfulness: these angels, expatiating as they do over the range of a loftier universality, are represented as all awake to the history of each of its distinct and subordinate provin

ces. The infidel, with his mind afloat among ment. I now make my appeal to the sensisuns and among systems, can find no place bilities of your heart; and tell me, to whom in his already occupied regards, for that does the moral feeling within it yield its humble planet which lodges and accommo- readiest testimony-to the infidel, who dates our species; the angels, standing on a would make this world of ours vanish away loftier summit, and with a mightier prospect into abandonment-or to those angels, who of creation before them, are yet represented ring throughout all their mansions the hoas looking down on this single world, and sannas of joy, over every one individual of attentively marking the every feeling and its repentant population? the every demand of all its families. The And here I cannot omit to take advaninfidel, by sinking us down to an unnotice- tage of that opening with which our Saviour able minuteness, would lose sight of our has furnished us, by the parables of this dwelling-place altogether, and spread a dark-chapter, and admits us into a familiar view ening shroud of oblivion over all the con- of that principle on which the inhabitants cerns and all the interests of men; but the of heaven are so awake to the deliverance angels will not so abandon us; and undaz- and the restoration of our species. To il zled by the whole surpassing grandeur of lustrate the difference in the reach of knowthat scenery which is around them, are they ledge and of affection, between a man and revealed as directing all the fulness of their an angel, let us think of the difference of regard to this our habitation, and casting a reach between one man and another. You longing and benignant eye on ourselves and may often witness a man, who feels neither on our children. The infidel will tell us of tenderness nor care beyond the precincts those worlds which roll afar, and the num- of his own family; but who, on the strength ber of which outstrips the arithmetic of the of those instinctive fondnesses which nahuman understanding-and then with the ture has implanted in his bosom, may earn hardness of an unfeeling calculation, will the character of an amiable father, or a he consign the one we occupy, with all its kind husband, or a bright example of all guilty generations, to despair. that is soft and endearing in the relations But he who counts the number of the of domestic society. Now, conceive him, stars, is set forth to us as looking at every in addition to all this, to carry his affections inhabitant among the millions of our spe- abroad, without, at the same time, any cies, and by the word of the Gospel beck- abatement of their intensity towards the oning to him with the hand of invitation, objects which are at home-that stepping and on the very first step of his return, as across the limits of the house he occupies, moving towards him with all the eagerness he takes an interest in the families which of the prodigal's father, to receive him are near him—that he lends his services to back again into that presence from which the town or the district wherein he is placed, he had wandered. And as to this world, and gives up a portion of his time to the in favour of which the scowling infidel will thoughtful labours of a humane and publicnot permit one solitary movement, all hea- spirited citizen. By this enlargement in the ven is represented as in a stir about its re- sphere of his attention he has extended his storation; and there cannot a single son or reach; and, provided he has not done so at a single daughter be recalled from sin unto the expense of that regard which is due to his righteousness, without an acclamation of family-a thing which, cramped and conjoy among the hosts of paradise. Aye, and fined as we are, we are very apt, in the exI can say it of the humblest and the un-ercise of our humble faculties, to do—I put worthiest of you all, that the eye of angels is upon him, and that his repentance would at this moment, send forth a wave of delighted sensibility throughout the mighty throng of their innumerable legions.

it to you, whether, by extending the reach of his views and his affections, he has not extended his worth and his moral respectability along with it?

But I can conceive a still further enlargeNow, the single question I have to ask, ment. I can figure to myself a man, whose is, On which of the two sides of this con- wakeful sympathy overflows the field of his trast do we see most of the impress of hea- own immediate neighbourhood-to whom ven? Which of the two would be most the name of country comes with all the glorifying to God? Which of them car- omnipotence of a charm upon his heart, ries upon it the most of that evidence which and with all the urgency of a most righteous lies in its having a celestial character? For and resistless claim upon his servicesif it be the side of the infidel, then must all who never hears the name of Britain our hopes expire with the ratifying of that sounded in his ears, but it stirs up all his fatal sentence, by which the world is doom- enthusiasm in behalf of the worth and the ed, through its insignificancy, to perpetual welfare of its people-who gives himself exclusion from the attentions of the God- up, with all the devotedness of a passion, head. I have long been knocking at the to the best and purest objects of patriotism door of your understanding, and have tried-and who, spurning away from him the to find an admittance to it for many an argu- vulgarities of party ambition, separates his

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