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verned. The carnal part of Israel, who could not look through the dark cloud of Levitical ordinances to a spiritual Deliverer, boasted of it as their exclusive felicity; and, as they were appointed to be ancestors to the Messiali, they arrogated to themselves a natural superiority over the Gentile world, from the enjoyment of a carnal privilege, which was to be continued no longer, when its object should be obtained. The promise made so deep an impression on the minds of men, that the tradition of it, perhaps, was never entirely lost among any people; and among the most barbarous, evident traces of ii are discoverable to this day.
However men might delight themselves in their possessions, in the number of their offspring, the prosperity of their domestic concerns, the multitude of their servants and cattle, and the quantity of their gold and precious, things, they could not but perceive that all was not right: the almost unbounded powers of their nature, displayed in the eccentric and infinitely various characters of mankind, were formed for superior purposes. The design of their creation was perverted; Reason had fallen from her throne; they wanted that medium of intercourse between Earth and Heaven, of which Jacob's ladder was a beautiful and expressive type. This wished-for blessing was to be the means of their recovery, and therefore their desires verged to it as the needle to the pole.
Besides the gratification of curiosity (which is not inconsiderable) they might reasonably expect that the most beneficial consequences would flow from the presence of the heavenly guest, from his mercy and goodness in condescending to be made flesh, and to tabernacle amongst us *.
By no medium do we receive greater, or more constant delight, than by the organ of vision. Upon this it is that the beauteous colours of the rainbow strike in all their pleasing varieties; and by this, the charms of nature obtrude themselves on our notice. By this we distinguish the “ human face divine.” The writings of God and man administer food to the mind by this avenue. Innumerable things, agreeable and important, are received through this delicate organ, this "lamp of the body.”+ The ear too is an exquisite passage to the soul. By, it we are delighted with the concord of sweet sounds; and inany things which can neither be seen nor felt, are conveyed to the mind.- Well. These two organs were supposed to be John i. 14. Matt. vi. 22.
fromised a full gratification in the appearance of the Saa viour, in seeing and hearing the Word of life. · Men are affected with sensible things; and we may easily conceive what romantic ideas they formed of seeing him who was to be the brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image of his person, of hanging upon his lips, Listening to the music of his voice, conversing faniliarly with him, wondering at the gracious words that should proceed out of his mouth, and witnessing the exercise of his omnipotent power; and what fond conceptions they entertained of the blessings that would result from having God among them! They could not imagine how the human Trature was to bear the weight of Deity. And, indeed, though the plenitude of the divine nature dwelt in Christ, yet was it veiled, obscured, by the buinai. Deity shone: but humanity bluntee its rays, or was itself dazzled, and not able to receive them.
From considerations of the glory of his person, they earnestly desired his speedy appearance. But God's purposes 'ripen slowly. “ They are the purposes of a God who intends to live for ever.” The design was too vast to be hastily completed; the blessing was of too great and attula inagnitude to be hastily conferred. That the glory of his beams, the brightness of his rising, might be more conspicuous, it was necessary that a long night, with here and there a twinkling star, and afterwards a more cheerful day-spring from on high, should precede this Sun of Righte ousness: he was pot at once to burst iu meridian splendor on the world. Yet the desires of men continued ; and tlris engerness Contained the seeds of idolatry. In nations where the tradition of God's incarnation was received, and but imperfectly understood, perhaps, the abominable pracrice:first began. They made themselves images, hoping the Deity would animate and dwell in them.
But 400y we not improve this subject; we who'make incntion of the name of Jesus, and call bim Master and 10:1?? Do we wish to hear his voice? Do we long to behoidl his person. The still small voice of his love inay yet be heard in his word. 'The dignity of his person, and the exceeding riches of His grace, are there displayed by an Hunterring pen and, if this will not sutlice, we shall, after *** few more rolling sunys,” behold him coming in three cords, witball tris holy angels : shall see his face, clothred with smiles, and hear his voice fraught with tenderness and
love ; or (alas !) lift our astonished eyes, and behold ag'. angry Judge, his bros encircled with frowós, glooiny, as the element, when about to burst into a stoin, and year the thunder of his voice, “ Depart ye cursed ???. . ..
In cloudless beauty, on his argent throne
The question has beeü often agitated, Which requires
the greater nieasure of grace, properly to give, or suitably to receive reproof? However this point be decided, one thing is certain, that Christian reproof can neither be given or received properly without some measure of grace. Reproof given without grace, will degenerate into self-conceit, harshness, and pride; and, as it is entirely contrary to the self-will of our corrupt nature, it will, without grace, be resisted and despised,
Reproof should be considered as intimately connected with advice, else it will appear only as a disposition to blame, without aiming to direct and pronote the future good conduct and happiness of the reproved. This connexion is observed in Scripture, which is said to be profitable both for reproof and for instrụction *.
The manner in which reproof is given, is of the utmost consequence to its success: it certainly should be affectionately, as well as faithfully; for, except I have a firin persuasion my reprover has an unfeigucd regard for me, instead of profiting by his reproof and advice, I shall be eagerly seeking some flaw in his character or conduct, and reply, in the taunting language of the proverb, “ Physician, heal thyself.” What a bright example, in this respect, was Christ! how faithful, and yet how tender his reproots! So also were those of the Apostles. Reproof should always be given in a spirit of meekness, especially from the inferior relation. - We cannot have a better picture on this part of the subject, than the servants of Naaman the Syrian t.
Let the proper season be also duly attended to.--Ą wise.
man's heart discerneth time and judgment*. It was observed by the late Mr. Toplady, that reproof, given in a wrong spirit, was like administering medicine scalding hot; so also, if the season be wrongly selected, the effects will be alike painful. It were much to be wished the advice of our Lord was strictly adhered to in this respect: “ If thy brother offend thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and bim alone.” Reproof given in the presence of others, except circumstances absolutely require it, is neither proper nor judicious. The conduct of Abigail is praiseworthy, as an example, in well-timing her reproof and advice t.
Our reproof should ever be accord panied with commen. dation of what is laudable: this will temper the former, and animate the minds of the reproved.
The way in which we attend to reproof is of great importance. — Let us receive it in a teachable, submissive, thankful, and obedient spirit. If we are wise in our own eyes, we shall not look abroad for instruction ; but this will not be our case if taught of God. As we have received the kingdom of God in the teachable spirit of little chil. dren, so we shall be glad of a hint from any quarter, which kas a tendency to promote our spiritual welfare.
Intimately connected with this is submission ; few appear sensible how much is comprehended in that one word, both as it respects God and man; and, except we have some measure of this spirit, we shall not profit by reproof, Herod could not submit to Jolin's reproof, and therefore he sinned yet more
Nor let äs barely be submissive, bụt thankful, when any of our mistakes and blunders are corrected. Is not the tra Felier thankful for direction from a person who is well ac quainted with the road to which he is a stranger, and thankful for being checked, if he is turning his steps into some bye-path? How sweet is the language of David! " Let the righteous smite me, it shall be a kindness; and let him reprove me, it shall be an excellent ail:" - and, as a grateful return, he concludes, My prayer also shall be in their calamities g. If we are sometimes reproved beyond our fault, as we imagine, let us remember how often, through the partiality or Aattery of our friends, we are also praised for excellencies which we possess, if at all, but in Jeeble measure; and yet how do we relish this adulation! • Eccl. viii. 5o
James iv. 1. Eph. V. ale Luke ili, 19.
Poulm cali. S.
If we would profit by reproof, we must be obedient; We can only appreciate its benefits by a wise, attention and constant obedience *..
There is an instructing and pleasing anecdote on the subject of suitably receiving reproof, related by the Spectator, No. 382.
A dauphin of France, upon a review of the army, and a command of the king to alter the posture of it by a marchi of one of the wings, gave an improper order to an officer at the head of a brigade; who told his Highness, he presumed he had not received the last orders, which were to move a contrary way. The prince, instead of taking the admonition, which was delivered in a manner that accounted for his error with safety to his understanding, shook a cane at the officer, and, with the return of opprobrious language, persisted in his own orders. The whole matter came, necessarily, before the king, who commanded his son, on foot, to lay his right hand on the gentleman's 'stirrup, as he sat on horseback, in sight of the whole army, and ask his pardon. When the prince touched his stirrup, and was going to speak, the officer, with incredible agility, threw himself on the earth, and kissed his feet."
To conclude, -Let us, whenever we assume the character of reprovers, first examine ourselves; for, as was truly observed by the Puritans, “ They that reprove the world, should be those whom the world cannot reprove t." Let us also ask ourselves in what measure we have profited by reproof, especially by God's reproof; there is an awful alternative; much is said of the danger and sad prospects of those who refuse reproof. “He that hateth reproof shall die I: but the ear that heareth the reproof of life, . abideth among the wise .
S . Westminster.
SINGULAR INSTANCE OF GENEROSITY. In the month of September 1801, W. TMinors, Esq: of :Kinperstey, vear Uttoxeter, in Staffordshire, a gentleman of an ancient family in that neighbourhood, departed this life; and, dying without a will, his large property, which was chiefly landed estate, devolved to his eldest son, Vol. X.