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that Jesus, though anointed above all' with the oil of gladness, though far above all principalities and powers, is “ the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever.” But, after such a scene as this, permit me seriously to inquire, How you have been acting by your infant children? Although no mere local approach to the Saviour, in the days of his flesh, constituted, in itself, the acceptance of any one, and though no such approach on your part is possible now, still I hope you know that you labor under no disadvantage whatever. Is Jesus indeed the same to-day? How, then, have you been acting toward Him, with regard to your children? Have you, I do not say, ever, but have you often taken them up in your arms, and carried them to His? Even though some illinformed disciples should forbid, or frown upon you, has your imploring eye looked still at Him? Then be not dismayed. You are aware, I trust, that the arms to which he looks are the arms of faith ? and that the language, to which he has never been known to shut his ear, is the prayer of faith? Then be assured -rely upon it-you have only to remember also, that it is good—assuredly good, both for yourself and your offspring, thus to pray habitually—to pray without impatience—without undue anxiety--without wrath or doubting; and again I say, rely upon it, your breath will not be spent in vain.
Let your eye, then, my reader, be fixed on this blessing of the Almighty; for this it is, in all cases, which alone commands success; nor need you hesitate to implore it, if your undivided hope rests on Emmanuel. For “thus saith the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come, concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands, command ye me.” The arrow of such a suppliant comes, it is evident, from a bow fully bent; but still, if you only pray in that disposition of mind which simply corresponds to the many affirmations and condescending promises of your heavenly Father, all will be well with you and yours. What though all flesh is grass, and the glory of man but as the flower of the field ? • The
of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children--to such as keep his covenant--to those who remember his commandments to do them.”
(See the Engraving.) ONE of the most sublime chapters in the entire history of the world, is that which details the reception and proclamation of the moral code in the desert of Sinai. It may well form, as it has often formed, the theme for the painter's skill. Every circumstance attending the receipt of this code is significant and worthy of note. The people of God were first led into the wildest and rudest part of the vast desert, through which they were to pass, on their way to Canaan. An observing traveler, who has visited that country, calls it a “perfect sea of desolation. Not a tree,” he says, “ or shrub, or blade of grass, is to be seen upon the rugged sides of innumerable mountains, heaving their naked summits to the skies; while the crumbling masses of granite all around, and the distant view of the Syrian desert, with its boundless waste of sands, form the wildest and most dreary, the most terrific and desolate picture that imagination can conceive.”
Stephens, the celebrated American traveler, gives a similar account of the appearance of the country. As he approached the place honored by the advent of Jehovah to earth, “the scene, ” he says, “at every step, became more solemn and impressive. The mountains became more striking, venerable, and interesting. About mid-day we entered a narrow and rugged defile, bounded on each side with precipitous granite rocks, more than a thousand feet high. We entered at the very bottom of this defile. At the other end we came suddenly to a plain table of ground, and before us towered, in awful grandeur, so huge and dark that it seemed close to us, the holy mountain of Sinai. Among all the stupendous works of nature, not a place can be selected more fitting for the exhibition of Almighty power. I have stood upon the summit of the giant Ætna, and looked over the clouds floating beneath it; upon the bold scenery of Sicily, and the distant
mountains of Calabria ; upon the top of Vesuvius, and looked down upon the waves of lava, and the ruined and half-recovered cities at its foot; but they are nothing compared with the terrific solitudes and bleak majesty of Sinai.”
But the sublimity of the scenery around the mountain on which the law was given, imposing though it must have been to the Israelites, formed but a small part of that singularly solemn and wonderful drama, which was enacted when our world received the law. Jehovah came near to his people--came in a thick cloud, and with the most impressive manifestations of his glory. “There were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that were in the camp trembled ; and Mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire; and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace; and the whole mount quaked greatly."
Nothing which could add to the sublimity of this memorable event, seems to have been omitted. At length the moment came when the Lord responded to the voice of his servant. The Lord came down upon Mount Sinai, on the top of the mount; and the Lord called Moses up to the top of the mount,” where the tables on which the law was inscribed were received.
If we take pains to reflect upon the character of the divine law, its purity, its obligations, our relation to it, the penalties of disobeying it, we can see clearly the fitness of all the astonishing phenomena attending its formal advent to the earth. Those by whom it was first received, and through whom it was to be handed down to future generations till the end of time, needed such manifestations, in order suitably to impress their minds with a sense of the supreme importance of Jehovah's law. A cursory reader of the Scriptures may see in all the divine arrangements made for delivering these tables of stone to Moses, a great deal that is unaccountable, and some things, perhaps, that seem unnecessarily and almost unjustly stern and forbidding. A careful reader of the Bible, especially if he be a devout one, too, views these arrangements in a very different light. To him they seem strikingly significant and appropriate. Nothing can be plainer, than that the
omnipotent God, infinitely removed, intellectually and morally, above the highest of his creatures, could not tolerate in those creatures the same familiarity that they observed among themselves, and that, on such an occasion as this, of communicating to them his law, when he was, so to speak, to visit them in person, he could not entirely break down the walls of separation between himself and them. Every one must perceive the impropriety of such a want of reverence as a rash intrusion, at this time, of the Israelites into the presence of God, would indicate. It was simply the intention of God to prevent the exhibition of this rashness.
What an illustration is here of the necessity, and excellence, and glory of the mediatorial system! The children of Israel needed a mediator, in this communication with the great Governor of the universe. They could not otherwise, as we may suppose, have received these tablets, on which the divine will was inscribed. The glory that shone out from the visible manifestation of God's presence on the mount, even when reflected from the face of Moses, so dazzled the people, that they entreated him to put a veil on his face, when he talked with them. They could not bear the influence even of those reflected rays, so that their mediator was obliged, in making his communications to them, to wear a veil.
Blessed be God for the plan of communicating with his creatures in this fallen world, through the intervention of a Mediator. Sinful as we are, what could we do but for a Mediator, such a Mediator as we find in Christ, of whom Moses was but a symbol ? In him, in that precious Saviour, we find the character of the Eternal God united with the character of a Friend and Brother, with whom we may hold the most intimate and precious intercourse. Blessed be God for the gift of a Mediator!
JESUS OBEYED HIS MOTHER.
BY REV, SAMUEL I. PRIME.
In the early life of the Saviour, there is nothing that strikes me with more pleasure that this trait; his cheerful and ready obedience.
Did it ever occur to you, that while the blessed Saviour was an infant on his mother's neck; when he was a bright boy, at his reputed father's side, in the midst of his daily toil, he knew that he was the Son of God, and the destined heir to the throne of the universe! He bore this knowledge about with him in the days of childhood and youth, as an ever-present reality. But it did not lead him to question the right of his mother to direct his steps. He knew that at some future time his mother would worship him as her Lord. But he obeyed her as the humblest and most respectful of children. He was a good son. It gives him joy to-day, when he thinks of his love and tenderness to her who bore him.
The Saviour is a perfect pattern for children as well as their parents. We all ought to be like Christ. We shall be more like him when we grow to be men and women, if we are like him when we are young
I have said that the Saviour obeyed his mother. There are many children in whom a nod or a look of their father will command the promptest obedience, but they do not obey their mother. They wish to reason with her, when she directs. They call in question the wisdom or propriety of her directions, and sometimes wish to take an appeal to the father. But this is not as Christ obeyed. He answered not when she spake. He did not appeal to Joseph. He went down, and was obedient to both mother and father.
Blessed youth! What meekness and grace must have shone in his walk and his ways! What delight he must have imparted to