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tion at its best, we well may ask, “ who is Spirit :- to which are you dead? to sufficient for these things ?" A power and which are you alive? May the Lord a principle however are here brought before strip off the mask of delusion from your us, by means of which a strength was eyes, and of deceit from your hearts, and made perfect in the Apostle's weakness, reveal to each of you the position in and may be so in ours ;-" The life which you are at this moment standing in which I now live in the flesh I live by the his sight. faith of the Son of God, who loved me, ! To such of you, brethren, as your own and gave himself for me.” Here it is, consciences may convict that you are only Faith working by LOVE,— Faith realizing alive to time, and dead to eternity, I to him his crucifixion with Christ, and would say, tremble, for you are un-united consequent deadness to sin, his life with to Christ : all that Christ has done and Christ, and consequent prevalence with suffered is as yet of no avail to you, save the Father, and over temptation,—tracing only to increase your condemnation, all this to its source in that love of Christ tremble, for up to this present moment it which caused him to give the greatest were better for you that Christ had never gift that God could give himself-and come,-it were better for you that you thus calling forth an answering fount of never had heard of him,-it were better love to spring up within his heart, and for you that you had never been born,flow throughout his life, and leading him, but, do not despair, the cords of love by inasmuch as Jesus had given himself for which alone the sinner can be drawn unto him to give himself to Jesus. My bre the Saviour, held in the Spirit's hand and thren, if the Spirit who testifies of Christ entwined around the Redeemer's heart, has ever led you to see him as the Apostle are let down to you in the Gospel's prosaw him, and to love him as the Apostle mises and invitations,-only put out your loved him, this life, difficult, and self | hand, the hand of faith, and take hold of denying though it be, will be your glory them,—-only say, concerning them, “they and your joy.
are mine," only pronounce your“amen" Is it so, let me in conclusion ask, with to them, and the touch you give will be you, are you united unto Jesus? This is felt and responded to, the voice you utter the great question, are you united to will be heard and answered in heaven, him, not by a knowledge of him in your you will be Christ's and Christ will be heads—for that never unites, it contains yours. no principle of union_but by a faith in Believing brethren--and I rejoice to him and a love of him in your hearts ?- know that I am addressing such, Oh Oh, try yourselves upon this point, bre consider I entreat of you the privileges, thren, for your life, your death, your and the responsibilities which are conseeternity, your all depends upon it! Take quent upon your union with Christ.the test, the only true test, afforded by Remember that as Christ is, not what you the passage which we have been consi- are, is the question with regard to the dering, to what are you dead ? to what payment of your debt, and the certainty are you alive? here is this world, its of your acceptance,—so what Christ is, business, its pleasures, its honours, its not what you are, is also the question riches, all standing out so visibly and with regard to the deadness to the world vividly before you. There is the world which you are to manifest, the power over to come,-its unfading glories, its eternal temptation which you are to exercise, treasures invisible to mortal eye, and in- and the standard of holiness towards conceivable by human heart, but yet which you are to strive. revealed to the child of God by the
Dublin : Published by the Proprietors, T. R. and R. DUNCKLEY, at the New Irish Pulpit Office, 1, St. Andrew-ST. ; John ROBERTSON, W. CURRY, Jun. and Co. ; R. M. Tims, W. CARSON, D. R. BLEAKLEY. London, SIMPKIN and MARSHALL ; Edinburgh, White and Co. ; Cork Tract Repository ; Derry, CAMPBELL ; and all Booksellers.
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BY THE REV. ALEXANDER IRWIN, A.M.
Revelation xxii, 16. “ I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the
root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.”
We can scarcely conceive what the effect on the earth, and the vengeance which on the mind of the Apostle Joho must have shall be taken on the enemies of God. been, when in his lonely place of banish- But the sound of the harps and voices in ment in the Isle that is called Patmos,” the heavens praising and adoring Christ those glorious revelations of futurity and was rapturous beyond the description of of the invissible world were vouchsafed man. Each vision seemed grander than to him, which he has here recorded. the preceding, until at length he actually One after another, in august procession, beheld “the great city, the holy Jeruand with overpowering splendour, the salem, descending out of heaven from visions passed before him-while with a God, having the glory of God, so that it heart throbbing with ecstacy and wonder had no need of the sun, neither of the he looked through a door opened in moon, to shine in it.” What then must heaven, and saw “ the things that are, have been the sensations of the beloved and the things which shall be hereafter.” disciple when, after gazing for a moment Awful indeed were some of those sights, upon this transcendant prospect, he found betokening woes and desolations coming it receding from his view—the melody
of heaven becoming less distinctly heard, future heirs of salvation! What a thought! till it died upon his ear—the super- yet how little can we tell of what their natural light fading away—and then services are! A few notices, indeed, nothing visible around him but the barren are recorded in the Bible, to show us rocks of Patmos, and an angel talking something of how they have been occawith him! The deep impression that sionally employed for us. We are told was made upon him, we may perceive by that two of these heavenly beings conthe emphatic, earnest manner in which ducted righteous Lot out of Sodom. he says again and again, as though as- One of them went before Abraham's suring us of the fact_“ I John saw these servant on his journey to seek a wife for things.”
Isaac. An army of them encamped on We can hardly be surprised that, as the mountain round Elisha for his dePeter on the mount of transfiguration, fence against the Syrians—so that who stupified almost by excessive delight when the Lord opened the eyes of and wonder, spoke he knew not what of the young man (his servant) he saw building tents there for Moses, and Elias, and behold the mountain was full of and Christ; so this disciple bewildered horses, and chariots of fire round about by the transporting scenes he had witnes- Elisba.” An angel was sent to close sed, did not well know who this celestial the lions' mouths, when Daniel was being was that showed him such shings, cast into the den. At another time, and remained standing beside him. He when he was by the river Ulai, where he thought, most likely, that he could be had seen a vision, and was seeking its none other than the Lord himself, and interpretation, " he heard a man's voice, he fell down to worship before his feet. which called and said, Gabriel, make But the angel said unto him, “See thou this man to understand the vision;" and do it not: for I am thy fellow-servant, on the instant on angel drew near him and of thy brethren the prophets, and of and explained it. Again (ix. 20, 21, 22,) them which keep the sayings of this book; when Daniel was praying and confessing worship God.”
his sins, and the sins of Israel, the same My brethren, how little do we know Gabriel, “ being caused to fly swiftly, of that unseen world, in the midst of touched him about the time of the even· which we are even now living! We all ling oblation, and talked with him, and
readily admit our ignorance of futurity; said, O Daniel, I am now come forth but how imperfect is our knowledge even to give thee skill and understanding." of “the things that are," and in which we And afterwards again (x. 12, 13, 14, 21,) ourselves are most deeply concerned. when he stood by the river Hiddekel
With regard to the innumerable com- one of these heavenly visitants appeared, pany of angels, the Apostle, writing to and thus mysteriously disclosed his errand the Hebrews, asks, “are they not all and his occupation : “ Fear not, Daniel, ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for from the first day that thou didst set for them who shall be heirs of salvation ? thine heart to understand, and to chasten What !-the whole of the innumerable thyself before thy God, thy words were company, engaged in the service of the I heard, and I am come for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia ven, an angel preached unto them his withstood me one and twenty days; but return in glory. An angel loosed and lo! Michael, one of the chief princes, conducted one of his apostles out of came to help me; and I remained there prison—an angel descended in the storm with the kings of Persia. Now I am that wrecked another, to assure him of come to make thee understand what shall safety. An angel smote the earliest perbefal thy people in the latter days. And secutor of the church, and he was eaten now will I return to fight with the prince of worms. But what are all these records of Persia. I will show thee that which of their services, but mere glimpses is noted in the Scripture of truth : and which we catch through a momentary there is none that holdeth with me in parting of the clouds that hide from our these things but Michael your prince.” sight what may be constantly going on.
But when he who is the Lord of angels Yet transient and indistinct as the views was born into this world, we have several are that have been permitted us, how intimations of their constant attendance | valuable and how interesting are they to and busy service. An angel announced us! They serve to convince us, that the conception of his forerunner; then the innumerable company which we shall of Christ himself. An angel revealed join hereafter are far from being strangers his birth to the shepherds of Bethlehem, to us and our concerns here, and far and a multitude of them were heard re from uninterested therein. They have joicing at it. When his life was in been in and out of this world so long, danger, an angel was sent with warning and have been so much about us, that that he might be removed ; and when the they know more of us than we know of danger was over, an angel came with the each other; and there is joy among them, tidings to Joseph, in order that he might real joy, over one sinner that repenteth. return. When he encountered the This glance which I have taken of some tempter in the wilderness, and had van of their recorded ministrations may illusquished him, then “angels came and trate what the angel here said to John, ministered unto him.” Throughout the “I am thy fellow-servant, and of thy whole of his course, they “ had charge brethren the prophets, and of them which concerning him.” And when, at the close keep the sayings of this book.” of more than thirty years' humiliation, | Instead, however, of intruding into the cup of bitter suffering was put into things which we have not seen, let us his hands to drink, and our poor nature turn our attention from these ministering which he bore, was sinking almost under spirits, to their Lord—the object of their the struggle he was going through, an universal worship—who, for the suffering angel appeared “strengthening him." of death, was indeed made for a little On the morning of the resurrection an time lower than they, but is now crowned angel rolled' away the stone of his se with glory and honour. Let us meditate pulchre, to let the women in to see the on what he has here spoken of himself : place where the Lord lay. An angel “ I, Jesus, have sent mine angel to testify directed them to go into Galilee to meet | unto you these things in the churches, him : and, as he ascended up into hea- I am the root and the offspring of David,
aud the bright and morning star.” He is Jesus when on earth, did he ever refuse the “ Root” of David, as being David's this divine homage?—when the disLord—the Creator from whom he and eased and afflicted fell down at his feet all derive their being; he is the “off- and worshipped him, did he ever say, spring,” as being born, after the flesh, see thou do it not? Never. “ Worship of the house and lineage of David. But God,” said the angel. Yet what did what is implied in naming himself “the those visions disclose which were just bright and morning star ?”
shown to the apostle, but the entire You know that what we call the universe, “every creature which is in morning star, is that beautiful planet heaven and in the earth, and under the the nearest of the heavenly bodies to the earth,” worshipping Jesus the Lamb of earth—which during part of its progress
God? Surely, if there be any intellithrough its orbit, precedes the sun at his gible meaning and consistency in the rising ; and when the other stars are inspired writings, Jesus must be one with fading in the light of approaching day, Jehovah. Were he the highest of created worn out, as it were, with watching
beings, though never so high above us and through the night, its superior brilliancy above angels in the scale of existence,renders it not only visible but conspicu- were he any thing less than God, one with ous, the most attractive object in the the Father, it were a violation of the first arch of heaven_shining in the yellow and great commandment so emphatically dawn, like a diamond set in gold. Thus, repeated by the angel, to worship him. then, is the Lord Jesus the great object When our mind is fully satisfied of of admiration which attracts the eye of this truth, and we are taught by the Holy faith, and fixes it,—the chiefest among
Ghost to “call Jesus Lord”—and we then the thousand—the altogether lovely. So
think of his humbling and offering himthat the languege of every believer behold self up a sacrifice for us, bearing our sins ing him is “ Whom have I in heaven but in his own body on the tree, how overthee ?" The divine majesty of his per- whelming, how astonishing does this great son as the only begotten Son of God, is fact appear!— Nothing but the testimony that which, as it gives an inherent and of God could assure us of its truth. But inestimable value to all that he has done being assured of it, what rest and confiand suffered for us, concentrates upon dence does it give us that the way into the him all the hopes and expectations of his holiest is indeed opened for us, degraded redeemed people, and all the adorations and sinful as we are, through that costly and praises of the inhabitants of heaven. / propitiation. Full of grace and truth And what a proof of his Deity is afforded he has declared, “ verily, verily, I say in the very incident which is related in / unto you, he that believeth on me hath this chapter. The angel shrunk from everlasting life.” the worship which the apostle ignorantly! When the soul has been agitated with offered to him, and with hasty earnesto apprehensions about its own safety, overness exclaimed, “ see thou do it not whelmed with the anticipation of being worship God.” But often as we read condemned eternally for sins aggravated of the disciples and others worshipping and innumerable, the burden of guilt is