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spectacle is in actual preparation now, of a world redeemed, regenerated, and disenthralled ; its mountains and all hills, its fruitful trees and all cedars, its beasts and all cattle, its creeping things and flying fowl, its kings and all people, its princes and all judges, its young men and maidens, its old men and children, constituting together a glorious temple and a living sacrifice to God. The spectacle is now in preparation, the spectacle shall be witnessed, and all behold it, and this very self-same world which is now lying in wickedness, shall be seen transmuted and transformed into a Church that walks with God; but come whenever this may come, this is my present truth, the result in all its illustriousness and grandeur shall be attributable to the work of our Lord and Saviour; be all of it the travail of His soul, be all of it the result of His intercession, and be all of it the issue of His mediatorship between God and man. Because He hath accomplished that mediation, therefore God is just, and the justifier of the ungodly; therefore the Holy Ghost comes down and convinces the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; therefore, as the waters cover the sea, the knowledge of the Lord covereth all the earth; therefore, because He hath accomplished mediation, the new heavens and the new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness, wait the millennial blessedness, and there is the Church without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. Because He has assumed and accomplished the work of mediation, therefore what sin had made impossible, has become possible ; mercy and truth meeting together, righteousness and peace embracing each other; every attribute of the Divine perfection co-equal and congenial, honoured by the inauguration of the great multitude that no man can number; by the adjustment and the adjudication of a disordered universe, and by the delivery up of the kingdom unto God, even the Father, that God may be all in all. An unspeakable Gift assuredly, because of the issue which that Gift in God's sovereignty and by God's power will ultimately produce.
Well, take these three points then within your requisition; and speak of them, first, in regard to its inherent value; and in regard, secondly, to its momentous object; and in regard, lastly, to its glorious issue ; and inspired by the recollection of all this, brethren, up from the languor and the lassitude and the deadness of your gratitude and your love, and catch the apostolic inspiration, and say as he said, and as abruptly as ever you like, " Thanks be unto God for His unspeak able Gift.
And now, how shall you evince your thankfulness? Well, never 19 psalmody more true to its vocation than when it is embodying the sentiment of our text; never is the service of song doing itself such honour, as when, with its choicest music and its purest devotion, it is commemorating this Gift of the Lord our God. The psalmody by all means, the service of song, as musically choice and as purely devotional as at any time shall be within our power; albeit, no contentment with vocal psalmody, even at its best estate ; get it at its best estate (as I am glad to know you are getting it here); but never, even then, with vocal psalmody let the Church of God be content. Your life. psalmody, brethren, your life-psalmody,—that is, thank God for the Gift by accepting it. Thank Him for the Lamb of God by beholding Him ; for the new and living way by walking in it; thank Him, thank Him for the sacrifice for sins by trusting that sacrifice; thank Him for the advocacy of His own Son with the Father, by committing to that Advocate your own affairs as between God and yourself. Very poor thankfulness is that which never listens when Christ speaks, which never takes when Christ offers, which never believes when Christ declares, which never expects when Christ promises; poor, poor thankfulness indeed, that leaves Bethlehem unvisited, and Gethsemane unthought of, and the Cross ungrasped. Thank Him, but thank Him by accepting Him, brethren. Take care that your lives do not contradict your profession. Sing as perfectly and as musically as you can, but let it be the singing of the heart that hath grasped that Cross for its salvation, with a grasp that nothing can break, and that nothing will ever lead you to relax.
Your life-psalmody,—that is, proclaim the knowledge of the gift. To limit it is to dishonour it, to conceal it is to insult Him, to monopolize it is to wound it, and to withhold it is to counteract and render it as of none effect. Now you would not counteract, and wound, and insult, and dishonour anything for which you were thankful ; then do not limit, nor withhold, nor counteract, nor conceal this Gift of God. On the contrary, wherever you have an opportunity of personally declaring it, declare it personally; and when you can only declare it through the representation and medium of others, declare it through their medium and representation; and thankfully, with fullest thankfulness in your own heart for the gift of God's only begotten Son, tell out about that gift of God's only Son. No begrudging, no niggardliness, no parsimoniousness, no shutting up of the bowels of your compassion against those who are perishing in their sins; rather an emulation, a vieing with the Apostle Paul himself, who warned every man, and taught every man in all wisdom, that he might present every man - perfect in Christ Jesus. Your life-psalmody along with your vocal psalmody—the acceptance of the gift, and the promulgation of it far and wide.
One concluding word: your life-psalmody, that is, your glorying in the Gift. There be men in all directions who speak of it contemptuously, men in all directions who speak of it scornfully, who say, “ This work of mediation is the blot on your system ; this insisting upon mediation is the weak place in your ministry; this insisting upon mediation is the hindrance to your work.” Brethren, it has always from time immemorial been the offence of the Cross, it remains so to this day; but let the Cross be no offence to you; no evasion of it, no shirking of it, no repression of it, no compromise, no modification of it. That psalmody for you, and that ministry for you, and that Church for you,
and that institution for you, that puts right forward, in the fore front, this Gift of God to sinful, dying, hell-deserving man. Your position this, that it is along this line that God's purposes are accomplished ; along this line that God's power is manifested ; along this line that God's favour is enjoyed; and be it yours to glory in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ as Paul did; ready at any time to show the reason for your declaration, that it is not a poor, ephemeral, thread-bare, effete, obsolete dogma, that you could no more do without here, than you could without light if you talk about the sun, than you could without the fragrance if you talk about the rose. It is an empty idea talking about the work of mediation being a blot upon the Gospel; why, the work of mediation is the sum and substance of the Gospel ; whoever may think otherwise do you abide by it with all your heart, and soul, and strength.
"Let the vain world pronounce it shame,
And fling their scandals on His cause;
And make our triumphs in His Cross.” “ Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable Gift.” The vocal thanks. giving always, evermore, associated with the acceptance of the Gift, with the proclamation of it by every means within our power, and with the glorying in it. Because, but for the work which I have been attempting to represent to you, there would have been no such spectacle as we are looking upon this morning, and no such spectacle as we are to look upon by and bye. In that work of mediation everything meets; to it our acceptance is to be attributed as sinful men; through it all our mercies have been vouchsafed ; in it our approbation has been established, and through it and by it our salvation is secured. Wherefore we will imitate the apostle, and despise or ignore who may, ours shall be the salvation, the beginning, the middle, and the end of which is this, Christ and Him crucified; “though He was rich, for our sakes He became poor, that we through His poverty might be rich.” “ Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins." Amen.
“A LAUGHING STOCK.” He was a good man, that Deacon | his feelings. Months rolled on, and L. I knew him well. He was my kin- still he was anxious, distressed; dred and my friend. He stood over while yet he had regular seasons of six feet high, and was proportionately secret prayer, read his Bible, and large; a farmer, “well to do”— was doing all he felt that he could always moral and upright. When and ought to do, save one thing. He about forty years old, he became was the head of a family. He deeply interested in religion. Na had a sweet wife and four children, turally very, very diffident, he said | all impenitent; but they were his; little or nothing to any one about 1 and conscience urged him to the duty of erecting the family altar. But the I arose, my poor wife was mortified, cross, -oh, it was too great for his and hung her head to conceal it. My timidity! So it was put off, and brother-in-law said nothing soon new duties discharged in other di retired, and the next morning he rections as an offset ; but he grew left home for college again.” nothing the better, nay, rather the That family altar has not ceased worse. At length, one morning, in to burn with daily incense, though his field, he solemnly resolved that the priest thereof has ministered that night he would, come what unto it for forty odd years. might, make the attempt at least, to Now mark the result of that atpray in his family. A seamstress tempt at prayer, when the good man was at his house," from whose ridi was, in his own esteem, “a laughingcule and scorn he shrank; but his stock.” In about a week he received mind was made up. And here I give a letter from that brother-in-law his own language. “ When I went student, which began with these to dinner, she told me she wished to words : “Rejoice with me, brother go home that afternoon. Never did Daniel, for I have found the Saviour; I carry a person from my house so and that scene at your house the gladly before. She was now out of other evening God has blessed to my way, and one great obstacle was the salvation of my soul.” This removed. Night came on, and I young man studied divinity with a seemed to gain strength for my duty. view to becoming a preacher of the But just as I was about to get my gospel, but when about to be orBible and tell my family what I in- dained, he was taken with bleeding tended then and thereafter to do, who at the lungs, and soon went to his should knock at my door but the | rest. That wife, those children, and youngest brother of my wife, a mirth many others under the same roof, loving, captious young man, a mem have found the Saviour through the ber of college, just the last person instrumentality of this praying man. in the world I then wanted to see. He bore the cross and received the What should I do? What,--what? crown. He lives still in a green ole my heart cried; and my agony age, calmly waiting for his summon seemed to me more than I could to go up higher. bear. But my vow had been made, Be sure it is always best to obey and there could be no going back. I God. Nothing is gained, but much arose, got my Bible from the shelf, is lost, by shrinking from duty. and told them what I was about to They are difficulties overcome and
conquered, upon which we rise. The "My wife looked as though she | Christian is a soldier. He must not would sink. My children looked one fear when executing a command. at another, at their mother, and at The anxious lose-oh, how much me, not knowing what was to happen. | they lose! sometimes the immortal My brother-in-law seemed greatly soul-by failing to do the right amazed. But rallying all my strength thing, that one thing to which God I read a psalm and knelt down; evidently calls. Many a head of a at length I said, O Lord'- and family has stumbled at the cross of could not utter another word; and family prayer, and lost all. What, there I was, a great stout man, upon though for once, or a hundred times, my knees, a laughing-stock for my he may be “a laughing-stock!" It family. There I was; I could not matters nothing, when such interests speak; and there my proud heart are in peril. The care of the soul is
bumbled, and there my heavenly the great care. Who can-or will ther met me, and my soul was neglect it? alled with unutterable peace. When |
JOYFUL SOWING AND TEARFUL REAPING.
BY THE REV. D. M. MACGREGOR. COMPANION portraits often teach by contrast. In a former picture we looked at a weeping sower becoming a rejoicing reaper. Let us now, reversing the picture, look upon a rejoicing sower and a weeping reaper. Both result from the truth that in our present life pleasure must be bought with pain. The cross must either precede or follow the crown. “He that soweth to the flesh, shall of the flesh reap cor. ruption," while “to him that overcometh will I give to sit with me in my throne.”
“Sowing to the flesh," to what is perishable to man-gratifying our bodily appetites and passions, giving more heed to the lower parts of our nature, and heeding not the higher and more spiritual—whenever this is done we are cultivating that which in the end will pass into corruption. The athletic man glorying in his muscular powers, continues in a painful course of discipline until he reaches full vigour and stands erect a splendid specimen of manhood; but after, and perhaps in consequence of, all his labour, the brawny arms become unstrung, the stalwart frame bends low, the limbs totter, and the earthly house of this tabernacle, like a weatherbeaten abode, is fast crumbling to the dust. The land of corruption is throwing open its gates to receive him. The sensuous man goes into scenes of pleasure and high revelry, ignoring the dictates of his better nature; in stilling the voice of conscience, he inscribes on his banners, “ Man was made to be merry," and looks upon life as a pleasure ground, and for a time it is so to him ; but at length the song fades into silence, the jokes become stale, the music harsh and repulsive, and boon companions a weariness of the flesh. The enamel has dropt from the face of pleasure, and through the hard, wrinkled features a skeleton looks forth. And although to a less degree, yet the same holds good of merely intellectual pleasures. The brain which could crush the hardest problems and unravel the deepest mysteries, loses its power to grasp the simplest thought.
In all these forms of pleasure there is joy, and at times joy of a very exalted kind. Music can thrill the soul, books can entrance, and to an enthusiast there is a kind of rapture in passing from one difficulty to another. But their doom is written, and after we have enjoyed such pleasures to the full, we can only do as the great epicure did, wail out our soul in the cry of anguish, “ Vanity of vanities, all is vanity." Sad indeed that it should be so, yet life in all its manifestations proves it to be true. To a thoughtful mind no sight is more awful than that of a youth gifted with splendid powers, becoming a mere pleasure hunter, and finishing as a bloated epicurean. The ruins of human greatness are ever a solemn sight.
As we look at them, a vision comes before us. The rising sun scatters colours of crimson and gold over the solemn, silent sky; while in an earthly paradise a beautiful youth sleeps, and as he dreams of high