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a warfare and a work. Our hands must and abide here." But the discipline not only be lifted up in prayer, but armed through which they had passed, the errands for conflict and engaged in toil. It is good on which they had been sent, the works to be with Christ on the mount. It is also they had been given to do, the sorrows good to come down from the mount and they had been called to endure—this dislabour with, and for, our fellow-men. Let cipline has opened their eyes to a yet higher as remember that, “ while he blessed us, honour and service--that of reflecting and he was parted from us,” and that his bene- reproducing Christ's glory, that of “ tilling diction was given to strengthen us for work up the remnant of his afflictions," and and for endurance. He bas withdrawn but carrying on his work of mercy. Hence for a time, and that we may learn how far they can worship” " him even while he Que manhood has been replenished by fel. departs from them, and return to the Jerubwship with him, how far the Divine salem which he has left “praising and mw dwells in us and is independent of blessing God.” outward aids. He has but sent us from Now, there are two modes in which bin that he may teach us we can nerer Christ is parted from us, two reasons razder beyond his rcacb, that we may find why he hides himself from us. We la prescience and power displayed in may “grieve" him away, cause him to lienes and modes in which we looked not depart by lapsing into our old sins; or it
them. We think it would be best to be may be “expedient” for us, may conduce lways with him. He knows that it is good to our spiritual culture, that we should for us to be sent away on his errands, to
lose the sense of his presence.
In this latmet the demands men make on him, or to ter case he blesses us while he is parted up his demands on them, or to overget from us ;” in the former he blesses us by the opposition to him and to us; in all departing from us. to behold the manifestations of bis grace He blesses us, I say, by departing from and truth. And this leads us to our second us. For consider, brethren, what it is you lesson , viz., that
seek, or rather what it is that Christ seeks Il Christ's benediction, even though it be to make of you and give you. He is seekparting one, should inspire joy and thank- ing to make you, not simply happy and at
"And it came to pass, while he ease, but holy and loving; to give you, not bisted them, he was parted from them. a mere sensual vulgar enjoyment, not a
they worshipped him, and returned to mere present passing happiness, but a far musalem with great joy." The disciples, deeper and more blessed thing—the peace I have said, had not been tavght and which flows from a perfected manhood, Esiplined altogether in vain. At last they from being altogether made like to him. learned what a parting benediction Whatever your thought may be, bis thought
that it meant, “Use faith instead concerning you is, not merely that your ight
; leave contemplation for labour ; sins shall be transferred to his account, your love, not in looks and worde, and his righteousness to yours; but that in patient waiting and strenuous toil ; your sins shall, by whatever painful profrom the lower blessedness of re- cesses, be really purged out of you, and
to the higher blessedness of that by a real spiritual development you
Possibly as they went up the sball grow up into his righteousness. It is of Olivet as far as to Bethany, they a very small thing whether or not you are
“Never were men so blessed at ease, free from dieguietude of heart, at ; never were we so blessed as now." this moment or that, but it is a very had risen, and yet was with them, great thing, to you the greatest of things, të glorious, and yet to the full as gracious that at every moment you should be growerer
, lavishing on them the looks and ing pure and wise, entering more and more of an eternal love. But they were to fully into the Divine life. He did not
eten a higher blessedness than this ; draw back from suffering himself ; he bethey were to touch it in crowded streets, came perfect through suffering; and he opposing throngs, in prisons, at the will not withhold needful suffering from and on the cross. A few short weeks
you; his very mercy will constrain him to and they had not conceived any higher send it, that you also may be made perfect. than that of beholding Christ in his When, therefore, you sin against him, what
They had said, “It is good to be wiser or kinder thing can he do than deand thus; let us build tabernacles part from you, and make you feel that he
has departed ? Nothing will convince you of your sin if that will not. Nothing will make you repent and forsake your sin if that fail. You have then to lament, not the clouds which obscure your heaven, but the bitter waters of evil from which they have been drawn. Shining on these, what can the Sun of Righteousness draw from them but mist and cloud ? You cannot be too sorry that you have grioved Christ; you cannot be too thankful that, when you grieve him, he departs,—by his departure making you sensibloof your offence. That is the highest benediction
you can then receive. But, again, Christ may not only bless by parting from you, he may also bless while parting from you. That is, he may go away, may deprive you of the sense of his presence, not because you have offended him, but because he has been teaching you new lessons and would have you practise them, because he has been conferring new gifts and graces upon you and would have you use them. He has been leading you into some new path of duty, up some new height of experience, and now he withdraws his hand to see whether you can walk alone, leaves you to yourself that he may test your fidelity and strength, and, by testing, aug. ment them. It was thus with the Seventy." Christ taught them, trained them, blessed them, and then sent them forth
as sheep among wolves ; sent them forth, timid, imperfect, unheroic though they were, to do battle with the cruelest and most fatal prejudices and enmities. But the conflict revealed in them unexpected powers; they now learned how much Christ had done for them and given them while they were yet with himlearned it with wonder and delight : astonished at their own triumph, they came back exclaiming, “Even the devils are subject to us!” He blessed them in, and while, being parted from them.
Or, again, Christ may wish to teach us new lessons, to impart the powers and graces which can only be acquired in the school of sorrow. We may have embodied our partial conceptions of truth in doctrinal formulæ which, once helps, have become bindrances to us; or, through dwelling always in one set of circumstances, we may have acquired one-sided habits of thought and feeling which mar our service and contract our souls. Look, for instance, at Job. He was an “ upright” man, “perfect" even in his loyalty to such truths as he knew. He could charge himself with
no sin, and God charges him with none. But Job held a dogma which was only partially true, which therefore was perniciously untrue. He held that outward prosperity was the proof and reward of righteousness, that suffering was the invariable consequence of personal sin. You see how this doctrinal formula was likely to vitiate his creed and contract his sympathies, how it would provoke to self-esteem and uncharity, making him hard in his judgments of the poor and unprosperous, inciting him to find in his own enlarging prosperity the proof of his own righteousness and good desert. Well, God teaches him his error by introducing new facts into his experience, by permitting an adverso change in all his circumstances. At first Job tries to make the old formula cover the new facts, but he soon learns that it is too narrow; he soon comprehends that suffering, instead of proving personal sin, may be a proof of the Divine love; that it may be sent for culture, and not in anger; that even the tree wbich does bring forth fruit may be ".
"purged that it may bring forth more fruit." Job, too, had been just, generous, princely in his prosperity. “When the ear heard him, then it blessed him; when the eye saw him, it gave witness unto him." But the nobler virtues of adversity-what had there been to develop these ? In these be failed 30 soon as “God put forth his hand and touched all that he had.” That he might be “perfect and entire, wanting nothing,” God compels him to acquire these. In the school of adversity, he acquires meekness, patience, long-suffering, and their kindred graces. Job would not have been so long under the rod had he been an apter scholar; nor should we. When at last, and with many tears, he had learned his lesson, he "worshipped” and gave thanks for the teaching vouchsafed him ; so also should we. To lose the con sciousness of Christ's presence that we may grow wise or strong, that we may be cleansed from error and made perfect in holiness--what is this but to have Christ blessing us while he is parted from us? And if in our loneliness, if while seeking after him we do gain insight or grace, have we not reason to “return with joy, praising and blessing him”? Ho may have left us, as he left his disciples, only to be more intimately with us, taking away the blessings of his presence only to make them more divinely ours.
You ask, perhaps, “ Are we, then, to of the Father.” Their Master's command take
up Peter's word, Depart from me, O “ Wait for that promise at JeruLord; I am
a sinful man'?” Nay, salem.” They obeyed, and in their obedibrethren, God forbid. We are not to ask, ence lies our lesson. but to acquiesce in Christ's departure. We
For in our times of desertion and conseure simply to rest assured that, whether quent dejection of heart, we have all present or absent, he is seeking our found it very hard, I suppose, to use the highest welfare, is affording us the very common means of grace, or to discharge discipline we need. We are simply to joy the common duties of life. We would ana rejoice in his benediction, even though, fain indulge our grief. The service of the while he bestows it, he should be received sanctuary seems to have no blessing for up out of our sight.”-Finally, we may us; the daily duty and the patient waiting learn from this passage that
in the discharge of duty grow very weari. III
. The sense of Chrisť s absence should some to us. To sit silent on the ground, lead us to the place of his perpetual pre
or to break forth into bitter complaints, sence
. “ They returned to Jerusalem with accords better with our mood than to great joy, and were continually in the stand in the temple praising and blessing Temple, praising and blessing God.” The God. We had rather imitate Job than the was the place of Divine manifesta- apostles, rather brood over our
was “ in the sanc- than engage in service. Yet all this, tuary." Christ had been taken from natural as it is, is utterly unwise and them, but the Temple remained. It
wrong. Mere grief and bitterness of seemed sad enough, no doubt, to come heart—because something has been taken away from the mountain to the crowded away crying over what is left, “All is metropolis,– instead of beholding the grace vanity and vexation of spirit”—will do us and truth of Christ to look on the priests harm and not good. In obedience and who had crucified him, and on sacrifices worship lies our only hope. However long " which could not take away sin.” It
we delay, we must at last follow the must have been like going back into the apostles. Job suffered much through his old shadow-land from which Christ had delay, and after all had to do what the delivered them. But it was right to go.
apostles did. It was not till he had Now that Christ, the living Temple of Been God," till he had risen from the God, was taken up into heaven, and until heap of ashes to offer “sacrifice," that the Holy Ghost came down from heaven “the Lord turned his captivity.” The to open bis temple in their hear they apostles were wiser in their generation. could do nothing better than carry their They hastened to worship and obey. And praises and hopes into the ancient house you, brethren; Christ may seem to have of God. The divinest means of grace they
forsaken both the outer sanctuary and had ever known had been taken away, but the inner temple of the heart; obedience they would not therefore neglect what may be distasteful, the public service may means were left. Diviner means of grace seem unprofitable : but only as you bring were promised them and were drawing the daily sacrifices of obedience and seek migh, but they would not therefore neglect the Lord in his sanctuary will your captiWhat means they had. And they had vity be turned. It is not yours to "sit fheir reward. They found Christ in the upon the ground," or to "stand gazing up
or rather were found of him. into heaven.” You have received comThe day of Pentecost came, even as he mands ; obey them. You have received had said
, and with it gifts and labours. promises ; seek their fulfilment in the The Holy Ghost fell upon them. The temple. The day of Pentecost will surely Spirit gave them utterance. They preached The Spirit will give you utterance. Carist, the Resurrection and the Life, “ The Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly winning to his faith and service thousands come to his temple," to renew his manithose who had just delivered him to festation and to rekindle your joy.
And in this hope, dear brethren, many They have taught us a lesson, left us an of you have doubtless come up hither tosample
. Had they “stood gazing up day. To some of you the spiritual expeinto heaven," hoping to see Christ return, riences which I have ventured to describe this hope would have made them ashamed;
are quite familiar. It may be that contact they would not have received the promise with the cares of life, or exposure to the
perpetual solicitations of sense, or the weary never-ending conflict with temptation, or the pressure of sorrowful selfcondemning thoughts, or the mere dulling influence of the mechanic round of duties in which you walk, or even the exhaustion which comes of pleasurable excitement, or, saddest of all, brooding and bitter regrets for trespasses into which you have fallen -it may be that some one of these things, or that several of them combined, have darkened and deadened your spirits. You fee that there is silence and desolation in the inward temple ; that your faith goes groping after God with unexpectant and almost blinded eyes. Christ has parted from you-gone up into some inaccessible heaven. The fountains of spiritual strength and joy are sealed up. Only his touch can open them; and you cannot find him,
though you have sought bim carefully and with tears. And so you have come to the sanctuary, the place of his per petual presence, hoping that he will ince more manifest himself unto you. B of good cheer, O forlorn and darkened heart! Weary and heavy-laden, you have yet to come to him, and he will give you
His word is pledged ; his deeds have pledged him. He who of old left his dis ciples on the mountain that he might meet them in the Temple, parting from them for a while that he might gladden then with his perpetual presence and the gift of his Spirit, ceasing to be with them that he might be in them-he will also meet with you and dwell in you. Only wai and worship, and he will come; and, with him, light and strength and joy!
LAZARUS MADE USEFUL.
BY THE LATE REV. JAMES SMITH.
EVERY soul that is converted by the grace of God is intended to be a witnes for God, and an instrument in carrying on the work of God. Converted Peter was to strengthen his brethren ; the woman of Samaria, when converted, neve rested until she had brought a multitude to Christ; and Lazarus, when raised from the dead, so spake and so acted “ that by means of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus” (John xii. 11). Observe
WHAT JESUS HAD DONE FOR HIM. He had raised him from the dead, mad him his friend, placed him beside him at the table, restored him to his family and constituted him a witness of his power, love, and Messiahship. And hat he not, in a spiritual sense, done all these things for us ? Were we not dead it trespasses and sins, and buried in worldliness or superstition ? Did he no quicken us by his Divine power, open our graves, bring us up out of our graves and place us among his people ? Are we not his workmanship, created aner by him? Do we not live by the faith of him, and is not he our life? Has h not won our love, reconciled us unto himself, and taken us into the closes friendship ? Has he not acted the part of a friend toward us, and does he no now call us friends, speak to us as friends, and in every way treat us as friends And have we not a place at his table--at his Gospel-table, and at his supper table? Do we not also expect to sit down with him at his table in his kingdom, Did he not also restore us to our family, saying, as to one of old, “Go home thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, an hath had compassion on thee"? And are we not constituted his witnesses required to witness to his power because we have experienced it in our regenera tion, emancipation, and many deliverances—to witness to his love because w have proved its freeness, tasted its sweetness, and enjoyed its hallowin influences ? And, as to his Messiahship, can we not testify that he is the Christo God, the Saviour of the world ? Notice now
WHAT HE HAD DONE FOR JESUS. He had confuted come, he had silence otiers, he had been the means of converting many; for " by reason of him man
the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus." "He spoke of Christ, he com
mended Christ, he led to Christ; in so doing he honoured Christ. Here is our work. We should, by the holiness of our lives, confute slanderers ; by our benevolence, disinterestedness, and consistent conduct, silence gainsayers. Nor should we stop here, but should aim at the conversion of all around us. Whos bad to convert as a superstitious Jew, especially before the Spirit was poured out at the Pentecost? and yet because of the testimony and conduct of Lazarus many Jews believed on Jesus. Let us speak of Christ, and speak of Christ to them that know him not, to them that love him not. Let us speak of his glorious person, of his finished work, of his tender love, of his boundless compassion, and of his infinite merit. Let us speak of him as the Saviour, the only Saviour, the all-sufficient Saviour, the ever-willing Saviour. Let us so speak of Christ as to commend him to others, and on purpose to commend him to them; on purpose that they may think rightly of him, feel rightly toward him, and so come to him, and be saved by him. Let us speak of Jesus in order to lead those to whom we speak to come to Jesus. Nor let us ever consider our work done, or our end attained, until we have brought them to Jesus. As Lazarus did, let us endeavour to honour Jesus in all the feelings we encourage, in all the engagements we make, in all the works we perform, and in all the words we speak. For the honour of Jesus let us live, labour, walk, talk, and die. SeeWHAT THE JEW3 DID BECAUSE OF HIM. “ They went away, and believed on Jesus." They thought very seriously about him, they changed their minds respecting him, and being convinced that he was Jesus, the true Messiah, tney believed on him. Let us endeavour to get sinners to think seriously about Jesus'; about what he is, what he has done, what he is doing, and what he will come to do; about their need of him, the importance of an interest in him, and the way to obtain salvation by him. Let us try to get sinners so to think of Jesus as to change their minds respecting him. Until they think rightly of him tney will not feel rightly toward him, and until they feel rightly toward him they will never come to him that they might have life. The end of every believer, in all he does as a religious man, and he should do everything as a religious man, should be to bring souls to Jesus, to lend sinners to believe on bim.
Let us think much and often on what Jesus has done for sinners—for us; also on what Jesus expects us to do for him, what he deserves at our hands. And let us be encouraged and stimulated by marking the success which crowned the testimony of one plain experimental witness for Christ. Many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.” How often has this been the case since ! One plain man of small talents, speaking ont of the experience of his own heart, wearing his own personal testimony to the worth, value, and excellency of the Lord Jesus
, has won many souls to God. Great talents are not essential to usefulness
, but a personal, heartfelt, experimental knowledge of Christ is. And where such knowledge is accompanied with a glowing love to souls, and is crowed with an active and holy life, great and glorious
results are sure to follow. What
encouragement, then, we all have, who being raised from the dead are made the friends of Jesus, to go and act as Lazarus did! And
what an honour to have it recorded of us, Because of him many sinners went away, and believed on Jesus! But what a reproof is administered to many! Who ever believed on Jesus through them ? Are there not many in the Church of Christ who never brought one soul to Jesus ? who never made it the study and aim of life to save souls from death? who never travailed in birin
or agonized with God for their salvation ? Reader, is this true of you? Is it? Can you be happy if it is ? What, owe so much to Jesus. and do nothing for him! receive so much from Jesus, and render no return ! O my soul, come not thou into such a man's secret! But perhaps you have not there is no other way of salvation. believed on Jesus ; that is, not believed to the saving of the soul. Remember
“He that believeth and is baptized shawi le saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned."