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sings- we fear - and a cloud of doubt, which even our Christlan belief does not entirely dispel, comes between us and the light of immortality. With Simeon it was not so. He waited but for one blessing more-to see the consolation of Israel ; and his wish was granted. His cup of joy was full; the Saviour had come ;
the “light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Israel,” had appeared; and now the old man looked to God in perfect, fearless confidence, ready to depart in peace, to pass quietly from the anticipation to the full enjoyment of heaven. How happy is the death of him who is alike the friend of God and man! He looks around on earth, and sees Almighty goodness employed in promoting those best interests of his race which have ever been dear to him ; he looks up to Heaven, and there a Father's love is ready to bid him welcome. He closes his eyes, and enters peacefully on the “inheritance of the Saints in light."
Since at length my aged eye
FLIGHT INTO EGYPT.
MATT. II. Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of Herod the king, behold there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews ? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, in Bethlehem of Judea : for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda; for out of thee shall come a Governor that shall rule my people Israel. Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, inquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child ; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. When they had heard the king, they departed; and lo, the star which they saw in the east, went before thein, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down and worshiped him ; and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. And being warned of God in a dream, that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way. And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise and take the young child
and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word; for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt; and was there until the death of Herod; that it might be fulfilled which was spo. ken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.
The Almighty operates by human means. The life of Jesus was precious in his sight, and he would not abandon it to the murderous attempts of Herod ; yet he did use the ordinary instruments for its preservation. Joseph must arise at midnight, and undertake a long and toilsome journey, that Jesus may be rescued. This should teach us, that the care of life and health is a duty with which we may not dispense: it is not enough to say that we leave these things in the hand of Providence. Providence has committed them to us, and we may not resign our trust.
But the flight into Egypt, though it tore from their home the husband and his recently wedded wife, and exposed them to toil and danger, had its consolations. They knew that the life of their child was dear to God; that his guardian care protected their way; and that, since he was near them, there was no cause
for fear. Such is the faith of the Christian. He adopts, indeed, those measures which a wise prudence dictates for his own happiness and that of others; but he ever feels that, in the use of these means he is surrounded and upheld by the Providence of God; that his heavenly Father beholds him in love, and will order all things, even those which may wear the aspect of calamity, for his final good.
Oh ! lovely voices of the sky
Which hymn’d the Saviour's birth,
“Peace on earth”?
Wherewith, in time gone by,
Oh! voices of the sky.
That hour heaven's glory shed,
And on the shepherd's head ;
As in that holiest night
Oh! clear and shining light.