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placid into the furious; it is impossible. He is of one mind, and no one can turn Him. The mind that sees all things in their true light in one glance can have no succession of thought. And the heart that can never be affected with the external can experience no variation of feeling. "With Him there is no variableness."

It is not satisfactory

Secondly: Because it is inconsistent with the moral excellence of God. We deem it an imperfection in man to indulge in anger, and to act upon the principle, of resentment. The human father who withdraws in indignation from his son who has offended him, and holds no more communion with him, excites our censure rather than our praise. We feel that it is a far nobler thing to forgive an insult than resent it-to overcome an enemy by kindness than to crush him by wrath. Can what is unamiable with man be right with God? I trow not.

The other source to which we may look for an answer to this question is

III. DIVINE REVELATION. How does the Bible account for this felt distance ? Listen to its statements:"Your iniquities have separated between you and your God; and your sins have hid His face from you, and He will not hear." "My people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water." "Alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works" (Col. i. 21.) The Bible everywhere represents sin as રી forsaking of the Lord, as departing from Him, as a going away from His presence. The sinner is the prodigal son. The son departs from the father, not the father from him.

This we hold to be, first, a satisfactory solution. It accounts for the feeling that man has, that God stands aloof from him. Outward objects are always to us according to the state of our minds in relation to them. Physically, the rising and the setting of the sun are nothing more than the

relation of our bodies to the great orb of day. And, spiritually, the distance or nearness of God is determined by the state of our minds in relation to Him. Let us be guilty of a faithless act towards an old friend, and though he be ignorant of it, the next time we see him we shall feel that he is distant from us. The boy who has acted contrary to the expressed wish of a beloved father, will, until he is assured of forgiveness, feel that his father stands at a distance from him.

Nay, more; the consciousness of having done wrong towards a friend, will not only make us feel that that friend is distant from us, but is indignant with us. When we meet him after the offence has been committed, though he may be unconscious of the injury we have done him, and feel towards us all the love he had ever felt, yet looking at him through the medium of the sense of the wrong we have done him, we shall discover a coldness, if not anger, in his looks and words. This explains the sinner's feeling towards God, as a distant and angry Being. In reality God is near to him in every sense ;-physically near: "In him he lives and has his being;"-relationally near: The tenderest of parents, the most absolute of proprietors, his very life sympathetically near Loving him infinitely more than any other being has ever done or ever can do. Notwithstanding this, through the deep sense of his sin he feels that this most near Being is the most distant, that this most loving Being is the most indignant.

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The Bible often presents God, as He appears to the mind of the sinner, just as it speaks of natural objects as they appear to our senses. What? it may be said, does the Bible speak of Him as jealous, full of indignation and wrath, and is He not so? Are we not bound to believe that He is in Himself what the Bible represents to Him be? In reply, we ask: Are we bound to believe that He has eyes, ears, hands, feet, head, back, nostrils, mouth-that He wears a crown, and drives a chariot of burning fire. Such representations are confessedly anthropomorphisms, condescensions to our modes of apprehension. No truth shines out on the face of the universe, radiates more clearly from God's Book, and is more congruous

with man's intuitive beliefs, than that fury is not in God, but that He is love. The atonement of Christ is not the cause, but the effect, the expression, the vehicle of the Infinite love of the Great Father towards His sinful children. "Herein is love; not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and gave His Son to be the propitiation for our sins."

This we hold, secondly, to be a vital solution. The removal of the felt distance is essential to his well-being. Conscious nearness to God, as our loving Father, is the only heaven of spirit. But a right knowledge of the cause of the distance on our part would seem indispensable to its removal. And this knowledge-we have seen-the Bible, and the Bible alone, supplies. What a Book! It knows our profoundest solicitudes, and matches the full measure of our wants.

I Homiletic Glance at the Acts of the Apostles.

Able expositions of the ACTS OF THE APOSTLES, describing the manners, customs, and localities described by the inspired writers; also interpreting their words, and harmonizing their formal discrepancies, are, happily, not wanting amongst us. But the eduction of its WIDEST truths and highest suggestions is still a felt desideratum. To some attempt at the work we devote these pages. We gratefully avail ourselves of all exegetical helps within our reach; but to occupy our limited space with any lengthened archæological, geographical, or philological remarks, would be to miss our aim; which is not to make bare the mechanical process of the study of Scripture, but to reveal its spiritual results.

SECTION SEVENTH.-Acts ii. 14-47.

"But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said. unto them, Ye men of Judæa, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: for these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh : and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: and on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour our in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: and I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs

in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: the sun shall be turned into darkness, aud the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: and it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance. Men and brethren, let me speak freely unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; he seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, until I make thy foes thy footstool. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?" &c.— Acts ii. 13-47.

SUBJECT:-The Pentecost the culminating period in the system of Redemption.

(Continued from page 72.)


YE have already said that the Grand Epoch of the redemptive economy was characterized by three things,-A new manifestation of the Divine Spirit,-A new style of religious ministry, and—A new development of social

life. The first characteristic engaged our attention in the last section, and is developed in the first thirteen verses of the chapter. To the second, which is displayed from verses 14-37, we must now give ourselves.

II. A NEW ORDER OF RELIGIOUS MINISTRY. “But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice," &c. The address, or, if you will, the sermon of Peter on this occasion, is something strikingly fresh in the history of preaching. There had been religious preaching before :-Moses preached, Joshua preached, prophets preached, John the Baptist preached, Christ preached, but this preaching of Peter was, in many respects, a new thing in the earth. The occasion was new. The spiritual excitement of the disciples, produced by Divine influence and leading to strange thoughts and miraculous utterances, which was the occasion of Feter's discourse, was something thoroughly new in the mental history of the world. The substance of his sermon was new. It was not a prophetic or a present, but a historic Christ,-a Christ who had been here and wrought miracles, had been crucified, had been buried, had risen from the dead to the throne of the universe. No one had ever preached Christ in this form before. It was Peter's honor to commence a new, but a permanent, form of religious ministry. The impression of his sermon was new. He convicted the multitude of having put to death their Messiah. This sermon worked a new and terrible feeling in human souls. "When they heard this, they were pricked in their heart."

Now, in analyzing so much of the discourse as we have recorded-for "in many other words" did he speak to them— we find it consist of three distinct parts,-A statement for refuting the charge of the scoffer,-An argument for convicting the hearts of the hardened, and-An address for directing the conduct of the awakened.

First Here is a statement for refuting the charge of the scoffer. The charge of the scoffer was, that the wonderful excitement and the miraculous speech of the disciples were

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