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mystery was revealed for the very intent, the fountain opened in the house of Judah, that unto the principalities and powers in for sin and for uncleanness, send forth its heavenly places, might be made known by healing streams to other worlds than our the church, the manifold wisdom of God. own. He does not tell us the extent of the And while we, whose prospect reaches not atonement. But he tells us that the atonebeyond the narrow limits of the corner we ment itself
, known as it is among the myoccupy, look on the dealings of God in the riads of the celestial, forms the high song world, as carrying in them all the insignifi- of eternity; that the Lamb who was slain, cancy of a provincial transaction ; God him- is surrounded by the acclamations of one self, whose eye reaches to places which our wide and universal empire; that the might eye hath not seen, nor our ear heard of, of his wondrous achievements, spreads a neither hath it entered into the imagination tide of gratulation over the multitudes who of our heart to conceive, stamps a univer- are about his throne; and that there never sality on the whole matter of the Christian ceases to ascend from the worshippers of salvation, by such revelations as the fol- him who washed us from our sins in his lowing: That he is to gather together in blood, a voice loud as from numbers withone all things in Christ, both which are in out number, sweet as from blessed voices heaven, and which are in earth, even in uttering joy, when heaven rings jubilee, and him—and that at the name of Jesus every loud hosannas fill the eternal regions. knee should bow, of things in heaven, and “And I beheld, and I heard the voice of things in earth, and things under the earth many angels round about the throne, and and that by him God reconciled all things the number of them was ten thousand times unto himself, whether they be things in ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; earth, or things in heaven.
saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the We will not say in how far some of these Lamb that was slain, to receive power, and passages extend the proper effect of that riches, and wisdom, and strength, and glory, redemption which is by Christ Jesus, to and honour, and blessing. And every creaother quarters of the universe of God; ture which is in heaven, and on earth, and but they at least go to establish a widely under the earth, and such as are in the sea, disseminated knowledge of this transaction and all that are in them, heard I saying, among the other orders of created intelli- Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, gence. And they give us a distant glimpse be unto him that sitteth on the throne, and of something more extended. They present unto the Lamb, forever and ever.” a faint opening, through which may be seen A king might have the whole of his reign some few traces of a wider and a nobler crowded with the enterprises of glory; dispensation. They bring before us a dim and by the might of his arms, and the wis transparency, on the other side of which dom of his counsels might win the first the images of an obscure magnificence daz- reputation among the potentates of the zle indistinctly upon the eye; and tell us world; and be idolized throughout all his that in the economy of redemption, there is provinces, for the wealth and the security a grandeur commensurate to all that is that he had spread around them-and stiil known of the other works and purposes of it is conceivable, that by the act of a sinthe Eternal. They offer us no details; and gle day in behalf of a single family; by man, who ought not to attempt a wisdom some soothing visitation of tenderness to a above that which is written, should never poor and solitary cottage; by some deed put forth his hand to the drapery of that of compassion, which conferred enlargeimpenetrable curtain which God in his mys- ment and relief on one despairing sufferer; terious wisdom has spread over those ways, by some graceful movement of sensibility of which it is but a very small portion that at a tale of wretchedness; by some noble we know of them. But certain it is, that effort of self-denial, in virtue of which he we know as much of them from the Bible; subdued his every purpose of revenge, and and the infidel, with all the pride of his spread the mantle of a generous oblivion boasted astronomy, knows so little of them, over the fault of the man who has insulted from any power of observation, that the and aggrieved him; above all, by an exerbaseless argument of his, on which we have cise of pardon so skilfully administered, as dwelt so long, is overborne in the light of that instead of bringing him down to a state all that positive evidence which God has of defencelessness against the provocation poured around the record of his own testi- of future injuries, it threw a deeper sacredmony, and even in the light of its more ness over him, and stamped a more invio obscure and casual intimations.
lable dignity than ever on his person and The minute and variegated details of the character:-why, my brethren, on the way in which this wondrous economy is strength of one such performance, done in extended, God has chosen to withhold from a single hour, and reaching no further in us; but he has oftener than once made to its iminediate effects than to one house, or us a broad and a general announcement of to one individual, it is a most possible its dignity. He does not tell us whether thing, that the highest monarch upon earth
might draw such a lustre around him as And here it may be remarked, that as the would eclipse the renown of all his public earthly king who throws a moral aggranachievements—and that such a display of dizement around him, by the act of a single magnanimity, or of worth, beaming from day, finds, that after its performance, he the secrecy of his familiar moments, might may have the space of many years for gawaken a more cordial veneration in every thering to himself the triumphs of an exbosom, than all the splendour of his con- tended reign-so the king who sits on spicuous history—aye, and that it might high, and with whom one day is as a thoupass down to posterity, as a more enduring sand years, and a thousand years as one monument of greatness, and raise him fur- day, will find, that after the period of that ther by its moral elevation above the level special administration is ended, by which of ordinary praise; and when he passes in this strayed world is again brought back review before the men of distant ages, may within the limits of his favoured creation, this deed of modest, gentle, unobtrusive vir- there is room enough along the mighty tue, be at all times appealed to, as the track of eternity, for accumulating upon most sublime and touching memorial of his 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 blends itself with the fame of his public though our mansion be, amid the orbs and achievements. But still you think that the systems of immensity, hither hath the there would not have been room enough King of glory bent his mysterious way, and for these achievements of his, had much of entered the tabernacle of men, and in the his time been spent, either ainong the habidisguise of a servant did he sojourn for tations of the poor, or in the retirement of years under the roof which canopies our his own family; and you conceive, that it obscure and solitary world. Yes, it is but a is because a single day bears so small a protwinkling atom in the peopled infinity of portion to the time of his whole history, worlds that are around it-but look to the that he has been able to combine an inmoral grandeur of the transaction, and not teresting display of private worth, with all to the material extent of the field upon that brilliancy of exhibition, which has which it was executed—and from the re- brought him down to posterity in the tirement of our dwelling-place, there may character of an august and a mighty soveissue forth such a display of the Godhead, reign. 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 the same instant on every place, and can of the mingled grace and majesty of God, divide and diversify his attention into any will never lose its place among the themes number of distinct exercises. What I have and the acclamations of eternity.
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 Why, then, does not the man, who can and ephemeral transactions, which crowd shoot his conceptions so sublimely abroad the history of a never-ending administraover the field of an immensity that knows I tion.
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 strewed immensity with the floating recepto establish the position, that the infidel ar- tacles of life, and has stretched over each of gument of astronomers goes to expunge a them the garniture of such a sky as mantles natural perfection from the character of our own habitation-and that even from God, even that wondrous property of his, distances which are far beyond the reach by which he, at the same instant of time, of human eye, the songs of gratitude and can bend a close and a careful attention on praise may now be arising to the one God, a countless diversity of objects, and diffuse who sits surrounded by the regards of his the intimacy of his power and of his pre- one great and universal family. sence, from the greatest to the minutest and Now, it is saying much for the benevolence most insignificant of them all. I also ad- of God, to say that it sends forth these wide verted shortly to this other circumstance, and distant emanations over the surface of a that it went to impair a moral attribute of territory so ample, that the world we inhathe Deity. It goes to impair the benevo-bit, lying imbedded as it does amidst so lence of his nature. It is saying much for much surrounding greatness, shrinks into a the benevolence of God, to say, that a single point that to the universal eye might appear world, or a single system, is not enough for to be almost imperceptible. But does it not it-that it must have the spread of a mightier add to the power and to the perfection of region, on which it may pour forth a tide of this universal eye, that at the very moment exuberancy throughout all its provinces, it is taking a comprehensive survey of the that as far as our vision can carry us, it has 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 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 gence, can constantly embrace all. heart, and cheers by his presence every But God, compassed about as he is with home, and provides for the wants of every light inaccessible, and full of glory, lies so family, and watches every sick-bed, and hidden from the ken and conception of all listens to the complaints of every sufferer; our faculties, that the spirit of man sinks and while by his wondrous mind the weight exhausted by its attempts to comprehend of universal government is borne, oh! is it him. Could the image of the Supreme be not more wondrous and more excellent still, placed direct before the eye of the mind, that he feels for every sorrow, and has an that flood of splendour, which is ever issuing ear open to every prayer ?
from him on all who have the privilege of "It doth not yet appear what we shall beholding, would not only dazzle, but overbe," says the apostle John," but we know power us. And therefore it is, that I bid that when he shall appear, we shall be like you look to the reflection of that image, and him, for we shall see him as he is.” It is thus to take a view of its mitigated glories, the present lot of the angels, that they be- and to gather the lineaments of the Godhold the face of our Father in heaven, and head in the face of those righteous angels, it would seem as if the effect of this was to who have never thrown away from them form and to perpetuate in them the moral the resemblance in which they were created; likeness of himself, and that they reflect and, unable as you are to support the grace back upon him his own image, and that and the majesty of that countenance, before thus a diffused resemblance to the Godhead which the sons and the prophets of other is kept up among all those adoring worship- days fell, and became as dead men, let us, pers who live in the near and rejoicing con- before we bring this argument to a close, templation of the Godhead. Mark then how borrow one lesson of Him who sitteth on that peculiar and endearing feature in the the throne, from the aspect and the revealed goodness of the Deity, which we have just doings of those who are surrounding it. now adverted to-mark how beauteously it
The infidel, then, as he widens the field is reflected downwards upon us in the re- of his contemplations would suffer its every vealed attitude of angels. From the high separate object to die away into forgetfuleminences of heaven, are they bending a ness: these angels, expatiating as they do wakeful regard over the men of this sinful over the range of a loftier universality, are world; and the repentance of every one of represented as all awake to the history of them spreads a jo
and a high gratulation each of its distinct and subordinate provinN
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 ilzled by the whole surpassing grandeur of lustrate the difference in the reach of know. that 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 spé- 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 movernent, 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 it to you, whether, by extending the reach is upon him, and that his repentance would of his views and his affections, he has not at this moment, send forth a wave of de- extended his worth and his moral respectlighted sensibility throughout the mighty ability along with it? throng of their innumerable legions.
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 services, if 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-l vulgarities of party ambition, separates his