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254 HOMILETIC GLANCE AT THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES.
"In the name," that is, by the delegated power, "of Jesus of Nazareth." "Jesus of Nazareth," an allusion to the contempt with which that name was popularly regarded. "Rise up and walk." The man might have said, "You have mocked me; I cannot move a limb, I have never walked a step." Peter's command implied that a faith and volition were required on the part of the cripple. (4) Peter took him by the right hand and lifted him up. "In this, as in many of our Saviour's miracles," says a modern expositor, "the healing word was attended by an outward touch or gesture serving to connect the miraculous effect with the person by whom it was produced. (Matt. viii. 15, ix. 25, xiv. 31, xx. 34.) Such was the order or method, with which the miracle was wrought. The simple and minute account of the successive steps, gives to the whole narrative a living reality.
Sixthly: The indubitableness of the miracle. Immediately his feet and ancle bones received strength. "And he, leaping up, stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God." (1) Look at the effect upon the man himself. The poor cripple who had never used his limbs for forty years, "stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God." Though the cure was well-nigh instantaneous, yet there is a great gradation observed. First, strength came into "his feet and ancle bones;" then he leaped up; then stood; then walked; then entered the temple. The man's frame bounded with new energy; his soul was flooded with divine joy and praise; and his limbs were agile and blithe, expressing these emotions. Who can describe, nay— who can imagine the man's emotions, &c.? (2) Look at the effect upon the people. "All the people saw him walking and praising God." The miracle was public. It was not wrought in a corner; it was almost in the height of day, and before the eye of the multitude. The subject of the miracle was well-known. 66 They knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple." Many had seen him lie there, year after year, a helpless cripple at the gate. The
people, therefore, were "filled with wonder and amazement." They were struck with astonishment. "All the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon's, greatly wondering." The whole neighbourhood felt the shock; Jerusalem was awe-struck.
The use that Peter makes of this miracle as a Text, will appear in the next paragraph.
(To be continued.)
Germs of Thought.
SUBJECT:-A Call to the Utmost Expansiveness in Religious Sympathy.
"For all things are your's; whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are your's; and ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's."-1 Cor. iii. 21-23.
Analysis of Homily the Six Hundred and Forty-ninth.
SHE Church has not always treated its ministers rightly. Even in apostolic times, there were those professing to be disciples of Christ who would extol one minister to the depreciation of others. In the Church at Corinth, there were those who were of Paul, and those who were of Apollos. The attendants on a Christian ministry may be divided into two classes.
First Those who esteem the doctrine because of the teacher. There are not a few in all congregations who accept doctrines simply because of the strong sympathies they have with the preacher. They become so strangely fascinated with the preacher, that they will accept the most crude, as profound; the most blasphemous, as sacred. Paul seems to have had those in his eye, when he wrote this chapter. He alludes to men in the Church at Corinth, who had been taken more with the teachers than with their doctrines. There were some there
who admired the philosophic reasoning of one preacher; and others, the brilliant eloquence of another. This is a mistake, as bad as it is prevalent. The man who accepts a doctrine because of the teacher, sins against truth, and degrades his own nature. The other class of attendants on a Christian ministry, are
Secondly Those who esteem the teacher because of his doctrines. A man who preaches to them, they feel is estimable only as he embodies and propounds the true doctrines of the Gospel. However commanding his eloquence, beautiful his imagery, cogent his reasoning, or graceful his actions, if he is not the organ of the Divine in doctrine, he is to them as "sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal." The impropriety of glorying in teachers, rather than in their doctrines, is strikingly illustrated by three things in the text.
I. THE UNIVERSE IS FOR THE CHURCH. yours." "All things ""—not some things. ceeds to catalogue some of the "all things."
First: The ministry is for the Church. or Apollos." There is no agency on earth more valuable than the Christian ministry. In every way it serves man-intellectually, socially, materially. But its grand aim is to restore the human spirit to the knowledge, the image, and fellowship of its God. Now this ministry, in all its varieties, is the property of the Church. Why, then, should it glory in any one form? Let those who like Paul, take Paul, and be thankful, and not find fault with those who regard Apollos as the most effective preacher. Pitting one minister against another is unworthy the Christian character.
Secondly: The world is for the Church. By the world we mean the earth with all its beauties and blessings. In the sense of legal possession, the world of course is not the property of Christians, nor is it the property of others. For he who claims the largest numbers of acres, has but a handbreadth compared with its numerous islands and vast continents. Yet in the highest sense it is the property of
"All things are And Paul pro
the Christian. He feels an intense sympathy, a oneness, with God who created it; he rejoices in it as the workmanship of a Father's hands, as the expression of a Father's heart, the revelation of a Father's wisdom and power. Spiritually he appropriates the world to himself, he gathers up its truths, he cherishes its impressions, he drinks in its Divine Spirit.
Thirdly Life is the property of the Church. "Or life." There are certain conditions in which we find men on this earth, in which they cannot be said to live. There are some for example chained in their cell under the sentence of death; they have forfeited their life-their life is not theirs-it belongs to the avenging justice of their country. There are others whose limbs and faculties are so paralyzed they can neither speak nor move. Life is not theirs. Morally, sinful man is this criminal; he is under the sentence of death—he is a paralytic-he is dead in trespasses and in sin; his life is not his. But life is the Christian's. His sentence of death is removed; his sins are pardoned, and he has a right to life again. His moral infirmities are healed, and all his faculties and powers are alive unto God. He has everlasting life; he is enjoying the right of life, he is prosecuting the mission of life, he is answering the grand purpose of life.
Fourthly: Death is the property of the Church. "Or death." What is death? Who shall define it? Who shall penetrate its meaning? The word has unfathomable depths of the wonderful and the terrible. But it is for the Christian: it is his. It delivers him from the imperfections of the present state; it frees him from all that is incompatible with his peace, his safety, and his advancement; it introduces him into the scenes, the services, the society of a blessed immortality. It is his. It is the last step in the pilgrimage, the last storm in the voyage, the last blow in the conflict.
Fifthly: General events are the property of the Church. "Things present, or things to come." An expression this, including all the circumstances of existence. Things present," whatever their character-painful or pleasant-are ours. "Things to come." What things are those! What
things come to us in a day. But we are to live for ages without end. What things, therefore, are to come. Yet all these things are for us if we are genuine disciples of Christ.
Now, if all these things are for the Church, why should any of its members give themselves up to any one particular ministry to the disparagement of others? Why should they tie their faith to the teachings, or centre their sympathies in the person of any one man? If they are Christ's, all ministries are theirs: that not only of Paul, Cephas, and Apollos, but of universal events and agents.
Another thing which illustrates the impropriety of Christians glorying in particular teachers, rather than in their doctrines,
II. THE CHURCH IS FOR THE REDEEMER. Christ's." There are two very different senses in which Christian men are Christ's. They are His
First By His relationship to them. He is the Creator of all. "By him were all things created, visible and invisible," &c. He is the Mediator of all. He tasted death for all men. To every man it is said, "Ye are not your own; for ye are bought with a price," &c. Christian men are His
Secondly By their pledge to Him. They have pledged themselves to Him as their moral Leader. They have vowed unqualified obedience to His teaching. They have determined to know nothing amongst men. One is their master, even Christ. If they have thus consecrated themselves to Him as their Great Teacher, how absurd to glory in subordinate and fallible teachers. Why live under the rays of the rush-light, when you can bask under the beams of the sun? Follow a Plato in philosophy, a Solon in law, a Demosthenes in eloquence, a Bacon in sciences; but no one but Christ in religion. Value your Calvins, your Luthers, your Wesleys for what they are worth; but disclaim them as leaders. Fight not under their flag, wear not their name. Your Captain is Jesus, your banner the Cross, your name Christian.
Another thing which illustrates the impropriety of