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"Have ye not heard? Hath it not"been told you from the beginning? "Have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth I It is "He that sitteth upon the circle "of the earth, and the inhabitants "thereof are as grasshoppers; that "stretcheth out the heavens as a "curtain,.. and spreadeth them out "as a tent to dwell in: that bring"eth the princes to nothing: he "maketh the judges of the earth as; "vanity. He shall blow upon them "and they shall wither, and the whirl"wind shall take them away as "stubble,. The grass withereth, the "flower fadeth, because the spirit of "^he Lord bloweth upon it; surely "the people is as grass. The grass "withereth; the flower fadeth. But "The Word Of Our God Shall "Stand For Ever!" .
In ushering in the law of ordinances, it pleased the Almighty Giver of the law to afford such testimonies of its divine origin as were evident to the senses; but in ushering in the law of grace, the appeal was no longer to be made to the senses, but to the understanding and the heart. Every circumstance was declarative of the difference of the dispensation. The glories of this world, which had by
Moses Moses and the prophets been held forth as the reward of obedience, were cast into shade by "the glory "which excelleth," the glory of immortality! Hope was no longer to cling to earthly things; the desires of the heart were to be purified and exalted; and all temporal objects to give place to those which are eternal.
The circumstances of our Saviour's birth gave a mortal blow to worldly pride. When we contrast them with the scene of grandeur and magnificence exhibited at the giving of the law, we cannot wonder that the Jews should doubt and be astonished. They who were filled with high expectations of seeing the reign of the Messiah commence by an external display of might and power, could not by less than miracle be brought to acknowledge, as their promised Saviour, one like him, born and nurtured in poverty and obscurity.
For this they might indeed have been prepared by the prophets, as by some of them his lowly situation in society had been minutely foretold. But the respect which is in this world given to power, and riches, and grandeur, blinded their eyes, and misled their hearts. This had likewise been foretold many ages before; being mentioned by Isaiah as an inevitable consequence of their mistaken views.
"My thoughts are not your "thoughts, neither are my ways "your ways, saith the Lord: for as "the heavens are above the earth, so "are my ways higher than your "ways, and my thoughts than your "thoughts."
The Jews read this, and they believed it; but still, having their minds filled with images of vulgar glory, they forgot that it alluded to the description that had just been given of the Messiah, as "a man of "sorrows and acquainted with grief," and persisted in expecting that the promises made to their fathers should be fulfilled by the appearance of a great and powerful prince.
We ought to reap instruction from their mistake; and as we must be convinced of the cause of their delusion, should be upon our guard, lest it assaults us in another form. I shall have occasion to speak more of this hereafter. At present I wish to call your attention to those circumstances which peculiarly distinguish the revelation given by Jesus Christ from that given by "the messengers "sent before to prepare his way."
In my last letters I have endeavoured to shew you, that the light