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actually nearer to Him, and more established in His service than you are this day. And if so, would it not be true also, as I said, that all the happiness of the happiest holidays which you ever spent or could spend, would be tame and poor when compared with the joy of having truly walked with God, and having tasted Christ's Spirit. Nor do I say this on any supposition of illness befalling you. I do not mean only, that if dangerous or fatal sickness, such as we have seen amongst us, should be our own portion also, that then we should feel the happiness of belonging to Christ. We should feel it then, indeed, with unspeakable comfort; but I mean much more: I mean that in your highest health, in your most secure prospect of earthly enjoyment, at your young age, moreover, when the delights of life seem doubly delightful-even then, the joy of being Christ's servants, the sense that His grace had not been given in vain, that you were drawn more closely to Him, and were following Him in faith and obedience, would be keener and deeper than any joy which you had ever known before; and would convince you, by your own experience, of the blessedness of a Christian life.

May this experience be indeed yours, not at the end of the coming fortnight only, but at the end of many fortnights, and many months, and

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many years,-a rising in Christ's stature from the confirmation and communion of this day, to that eternal confirmation, and that perfect communion which Christ's redeemed enjoy in Christ's kingdom.

May 30, 1841.




Psalm xxxiv. 8, 9.

O taste and see how gracious the Lord is; blessed is the man

that trusteth in Him. O fear the Lord, ye that are his saints ; for they that fear Him

lack nothing.

THESE words, from one of the Psalms of this evening's service, appear to me to be suited at once to the great festival of the church which we celebrate this day, and to our own situation also, as so soon going to separate for our accustomed holidays. For the words speak generally of God's goodness, and of the blessedness of fearing Him, and trusting in Him. They do not name any particular mercy, such as those which we commemorate on other festivals, our Lord's birth, when He became man, or His resurrection, or His ascension, or the descent of the Holy Ghost. But these and all other blessings which we have ever received from God,mour creation at first, our preservation daily,—our redemption once, our sanctification daily, — whatsoever good we

, have derived in body or soul, or spirit, from Him who made us and redeemed us, and sanctified and sanctifies us. All these belong to the matter of this day's solemnity, which thus in a manner, as it is the last in order of all the festivals of the church, is also the union and the crown of them all. Thus the words of the psalmist have, as used on this day, a most comprehensive meaning. God's mercies, all brought together before us, are indeed more in number than the sand; they can no more be counted than they can worthily be comprehended. And still more, if we would ascend from His mercies to Himself, the tongue and thought of man must utterly fail, and that in His divine existence, which is dimly shadowed to us by the representation of the Three Eternal Persons in one Godhead, like all the other truths which relate to God's nature, and not to His dealings with man, must of necessity be far beyond the reach of our

it. In this matter we must ever remember, that no man hath seen God at any time; that the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him. The Father and the Holy Spirit we can know only by their works.

minds to grasp

Notion, conception, image of God, we can form no other than that of Jesus Christ our Lord. He is the image of the invisible God, and in Him is represented all the fulness of the Godhead, until we shall know even as we are known.

We should bear in mind that the Scripture itself recognises the difficulty of considering God in His own nature, and therefore urges us to seek Him in and through His Son Jesus Christ. We do ill when we neglect the merciful help He has given us; when we would come, as it were, directly before God without our Mediator. Providence, the Supreme Being, the Deity, and other such terms, repel us of necessity to an infinite distance ; they speak of One incomprehensible and unapproachable. Our God is the Lord, revealed to the Israelites as the God of their own nation, who came down upon Mount Sinai to give the law, who dwelt between the cherubims in the mercy seat, in the innermost part of the Temple ; revealed to us as the Son of Man, born of a woman, made in all but sin one of ourselves, living and dying and rising again, after the common condition of us all. This is our manifestation of God. To Him we should come in faith and love, and He will show us of the Father, and give us of His Holy Spirit, in such measure as our present nature can bear, preparing us for a fuller revelation hereafter.

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