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That the Most High may thus “ hold us up, that we may be safe,"—that He may ever be our

refuge and strength, our rock, and our strong salvation,-may God of his infinite mercy grant, through the merits and atonement of Jesus Christ, our only Lord and Saviour! Amen.

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SERMON

XXVIII.

FOR CHRISTMAS DAY.

PHILIPPIANS 11. 5.—Let this mind be in you, which was

also in Christ Jesus."

WHEN we raise our thoughts to the divine Original of our incarnate Lord,—“the image of the invisible God,”—by whom “were all things created,"—who “is before all things, and by whom all things consist,”—how should our hearts overflow, with wonder, adoration, and praise, at that all-surpassing love, that amazing condescension, which led the only begotten Son of God, to leave his Father's bosom, and all the glories of the eternal throne,-to veil the Godhead in mortality,-and, “to be made in the likeness of men,”-yea, of the humblest of the sons of men ;-to “take upon him the form of a servant:"_“and, being found in fashion as a man, to humble himself, and become obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” And this, for what? O! it was to save from ruin, a “world lying in wickedness,”—to manifest God's nature, and His will, to His rebellious creatures, -to reconcile fallen man unto Himself,—to point the only way to life eternal,—to help and guide poor sinners in that way,--and make them meet to share immortal joys! Yes, brethren, for this our Saviour Christ came down from heaven, “ took upon him our nature, and was, as at this, time, born of a pure virgin.” And when we reflect, that all the interests of eternity, are “ briefly comprehended in this saying,” “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners ;" — how infinite in number, how vast in importance, must we acknowledge to be, the mighty purposes of our Lord's incarnation ! Yes,—when He, “who is over all, God, blessed for ever,” forsook the mansions of immortal splendour,and, in unutterable compassion, descended upon earth, not only to dwell among the creatures he had made, but to assume their physical weaknesses and wants,-their susceptibility of pain and suffering, and even of death itself,—well may we be assured, that the high object of such humiliation, was worthy of Him who planned the great, mysterious scheme,-worthy the counsels of Omniscience.

By the mystic union of the divine and human nature, in the person of the Redeemer, Christ suffered, and bled, and died, “ that we might live through him.” Thus, did our “great High Priest,” of his own body, make “a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world :" thus did our adorable Saviour,“ taste of death for every man,” ransom our souls from sin's dire penalty, and seal our pardon with his precious blood.

Christ's priestly office too, was joined to that of “a teacher, come from God,”—one who“spake as never man did speak;” whose doctrines should enlighten and instruct the mind, whose righteous precepts should improve the heart.

The blessed Jesus came, “ to seek, as well as to save that which was lost;"—to awake the slumbering soul, and warn the sinner of his fearful state : to set before his eyes the hideousness of inborn, and of actual sin, with all its sad, inevitable consequences ;-to shew him that the goods of this frail life, can never satisfy the high capacities of an immortal spirit; and that the gain of even all the world, would be in truth, a profitless exchange for the soul's ruin. This, Jesus shews: and, by the mysterious workings of his Spirit, incites the sinner to repent, and live : quickens, increases, purifies his faith ; cleanses his heart, “holdeth his soul in life, and, suffering not his feet to slip,” guides him through paths of righteousness, to realms of peace.

“The way,” indeed, “is narrow,” and “strait the only gate that leads to life, and few alas ! there be that find it.” But, painful, and steep, and thorny though it be, Christ's sovereign grace can raise the valleys, bring the mountains low, and make the crooked and rough places plain. He is Himself, “the door;" and all who will, by Him, may enter in;-His righteousness their passport and their claim. Yes, all, whose lives bear witness to their faith, in whom the graces of the Spirit shine,— whose love to Christ is shewn by love to men,-shall surely find an entrance to his fold; and, with “the Shepherd of their souls,” enjoy refreshing and eternal pastures. It may

be remarked however, that it is not to any of the high and important offices of our Lord, that the Apostle alludes, in the words of the text. Having exhorted the Philippians to avoid strife, and vain glory; and to practice genuine meekness, humility, and self-denial, virtues by which our divine Redeemer was so pre-eminently distinguished, he says, “let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus :" obviously wishing to inculcate the momentous truth, -that, if his converts desired to share hereafter, the benefit of Christ's atoning sacrifice, and be made partakers of the heavenly inheritance, it must be their constant endeavour, in this their earthly pilgrimage, to "follow the blessed steps of his most holy life.” An idea,

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