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“He was a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” Such was the inward anguish of his mind, on account of the hardness of the hearts of those among whom he sojourned, that sorrow had so marred his countenance, that when scarcely thirty-three years


age he appeared to be nearly fifty years old. * Although this was his general state, now that his disciples returned with success in their divine mission, he breaks forth in accents of holy joy, and adoring praise to his Heavenly Father, for this display of divine goodness in revealing his word to babes.

If we compare these words, as given by St. Luke, with the parallel passage, as recorded by St. Matthew at the end of the eleventh chapter, we shall find that this expression of our ever to be adored Saviour, was accompanied with one of the most encouraging invitations which ever passed from his lips : “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I

* See John viii, 57.

am meek and lowly in heart: and ye

shall find rest unto your souls ; for my yoke is easy, and my

burden is light.” Surely this joy of our divine Lord, accompanied with so large an invitation, may give to us the greatest encouragement, both in preaching, and in bearing his word; especially when, in compliance with his command, we are meeting you with this salutation, “ Peace be to this house ;'-a salutation which, I can with perfect truth affirm, I deliver with the greatest pleasure ; for there is not one individual present whose peace I do not desire from my inmost soul. Yes, not that false peace with which Satan blinds his followers, when “as the strong man armed he keeps his goods in peace;" or in a vain delusive hope of final happiness, whilst living in sin. This is like a pleasing dream, produced by an opium draught, which afterwards leaves the invalid more weakened and disturbed than before :—not that false peace; but the true peace, -" the peace of God which passeth all understanding,”—a peace, as I mentioned, including in it reconciliation with


God, an approving conscience, a contented
mind, a loving heart. This is the peace
which we cordially desire every one of you
may be brought to enjoy. I say, when we
are meeting you with this salutation, how
encouraging it is to reflect upon this joy of
our Lord over the conversion of these illi-
terate babes. For surely, if in the days of
His humiliation he received delight from such
a manifestation of his Father's goodness, we
may well believe, that now that He is seated
on the right hand of the Majesty on high,
he will be ready to present the prayers of
every one desirous of this peace.
therefore, let me particularly recommend
you, in the silence of your soul, now to put up
this petition, “Lord, give this peace to me-
thine own peace,


which is thy legacy to thy disciples—the purchase of thine own most precious blood. O give this


peace to me!''

I am confident that there is no one who offers this

in faith, but shall find an answer of peace; that although he may have entered this house in great anxiety, or bowed


down with many sorrows, still he shall find, at least, such a measure of peace springing up in his heart, as will enable him to say with the Psalmist, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul ? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God : for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance and my God.”

Pause, then, for a moment, and endeavour to realize our Saviour thus rejoicing in spirit. Oh, may it encourage you to look to him for a blessing; that you may leave this house of God as Hannah did, when, having poured out her soul in silence before the Lord, she went her way, and her countenance was no more sad.*

There is but one more lesson, which I shall at present mention, which may be drawn from this remarkable portion of the word of God; although I would recommend the whole chapter to your attentive perusal : it is this, THE PRIVILEGE OF THE PEOPLE OF GOD IN THE PRESENT DISPENSATION. This is mentioned at the twenty-third and twentyfourth verses : 66 And he turned him unto his disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes

* i Sam, i. 9-18.

which see the things that ye see ; for I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.” You mark the expression : “ He turned him to his disciples, and said privately.This well merits our notice, since it was in private that some of the most important lessons were taught by our Lord to his disciples. It was in private, for instance, that he taught his disciples how to pray. It was in private that he shewed them his glory upon Mount Tabor. It was in private that they beheld him in his agony in the garden. It was when assembled in private, also, that he first appeared to them after his resurrection. But this is remarkable: that they to whom he vouchsafed those private privileges were they who followed him in public, and there openly confessed his name.

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