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thy poor heart deceived, crushed, wounded by sin ? are its recollections bitter ? are its tendencies too strong for thy sincere but weak resolves ? Still for thee there is consolation ! Thy sins, which are many, may be yet forgiven : that guilt which rends thy bosom may yet be removed. Tell Him thy feelings; tell Him thy fears; and He will deliver thee yet. He is able to save to the uttermost. Oh! what a consolation is this amid all thy darkness ! Dost thou not feel it? Let me speak to thee also, the tempted one. For thee also there is consolation in Christ, Temptation is a part of thy earthly discipline ; thy path to the inheritance is through dreary and dangerous deserts: the world now smiling, now frowning, wearies thee: the trifles of life irritate thee: thy senses often conspire against thy soul. Duty is sometimes but a burden, and thy faith in the best things seems like a dream. These things fill thy heart with dark misgivings. The long conflict with sin and sorrow disheartens thee; and thou art tempted even to give up thy religion altogether. Is it thus with thee? Yet be not cast down: thy lot is not uncommon. Remember that all are tempted; that even thy Lord was tempted while here; He sympathizes with the tempted still, and throws around them the sufficiency of his grace. Thou brother of Jesus, walk as He walked, and firmly trust in the love that died for thee. Thou wilt soon finish thy course, pass through the mysterious gate of death, and enter the joy of thy Lord a joy dearer for thy present sorrow, and brighter for those clouds that now darken thine earthly path.
Having thus meditated a little on the personal holiness of Simeon, and on his enlarged view of Jesus as the Saviour of the world, let us for a few minutes look at-
III. THE GLORIOUS END OF SIMEON.
First ; He was permitted to embrace the holy infant. He had been studying the predictions and types of the law; he had been long waiting for the Wonderful One, to whom they pointed ; and now he was blessed with his presence. took he him up in his arms, and blessed God." There is
“ Then Joseph, there is Mary, there is the holy patriarch, and there is the mysterious babe! Who can describe the joy that was there! Oh! it was a blessed hour! the sweetest, the brightest, that had ever passed over Simeon's heart. As he took the incarnate one into his arms, the sunshine of heaven broke upon his soul; as he pressed Him to his heart, ideas, emotions and beatitudes unutterable at once overwhelmed it like a flood; and before he uttered a word of gratulation to the blessed mother, he turned to God, and breathed his praises there; he blessed God. Oh! there are hours when the heart is too full to speak to any but its God. I am anxious to draw one practical sentiment from this affecting scene, which I may do without breaking the law by which the Scriptures should be expounded. It is just this,- What a dreadful thing it is to see death before we see Christ! See death we all mustwe all shall, and that soon; and, like our departed friend, perhaps unexpectedly. But have we seen Christ? Have we embraced Christ? Have we, by faith, seen the divine grandeur of his person, the transcendent excellence of his character, and the preciousness of his cross, as the medium of pardon and the means of perfection? This is the great question. If we have seen the Saviour, then all will be well; then we shall not be alarmed when illness comes ; then we shall be willing to leave the dearest friends we have, to descend the valley of death, and, with a firm step and a song of hope, we shall pass across it to the everlasting fields.
Secondly: He was desirous to die. “Lord,” said the happy man, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: for mine eyes have seen thy salvation.” This is a comprehensive sentence, and admits of a copious interpretation. But we can only just open it to your
devout inspection. See, frst, with what calmness he viewed death. To him, it was only the lettiny h'm go-the departing from one place for another, and a better. I have seen, he said, all that is worth seeing in this nairow shadowy sphere; I have seen what I was most anxious to see; now let me be loosed, that I may soar to the world of the blessed. Again : he viewed his death as being entirely under the control of God. How soothing and sustaining this idea of death. The time, the place, the circumstances of our departure, are all preordained by our Father's love. Child of mortality, child of God! why art thou afraid to die? Already has thy Father fixed the year and the hour when thy earthly sun shall set ; the kind ministry that is to watch the closing scene ; and even the very spot where thou art to sleep till the morning of the great day. All this has been fixed by Him who knows what is best for us; and who is able to bring it to pass.
Let then, thy faith repose in the wise dominion of thy Father over thee and thine, and let not the fear of death keep thee longer in bondage.
Thirdly : Finally, he viewed his last scene as oversprcad with peace. “Now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace.” The departure of the just is peaceful. He has peace with heaven, with earth, and with his own nature. It were unseasonable to direct you, to-night, to the death-bed of the wieked. There is no peace there. Oh, no! What a scene is that! Oh, what a scene is that! Oh, what a scene is that!
Have you ever witnessed it? But how different the death of the Christian ! How peaceful his departure !
I have done. I have endeavoured to give you an idea, though a very imperfect one, of the religious history of Simeon. He was just towards men, and devout towards God; he felt and expressed a deep interest in the advent of the Messiah, and its lofty aspects on the moral destinies of humanity; he realized his highest wish on earth, and then expressed his longings to mingle with the spirits of heaven.
THE LATE CALEB MORRIS.
Homiletic Glance at the Acts of the
Able expositions of the ActS OF THE APOSTLES, describing the manners, customs, and localities described by the inspired writers; also interpreting their words, and harmonizing their formal discrepancies, are, happily, not wanting amongst us. But thie eduction of its WIDEST truths and highest-suggestions is still a felt desideratum. To some attempt at the work we devote these pages. We gratefully avail ourselves of all exegetical helps within our reach; but to occupy our limited space with any lengthened archæological, geographical, or philological reinarks, would be to mis our aim; which is not to make bare the mechanical process of the study of Scripture, but to reveal its spiritual results.
SUBJECT : Paul's final Visit to Jerusalem ; the Apostle as a
Prisoner defending himself before the Sanhedrim. "On the morrow, because he would have known the certainty wherefore he was accused of the Jews, he loosed him from his bands, and commanded the chief priests and all their council to appear, and brought Paul down, and set him before them. And Paol, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good, conscience before God until this day,” &c., &c.-Acts xxii. 30, xxü.. 1-11. TTE have in our last article noticed Paul's defence before
the people; these verses present to us his defence before the Sanhedrim. His appearance as a prisoner before the great council of the nation takes place on the day following his defence before the people.
“On the morrow, because he would have known the certainly whereof he was accused of the Jews, he loosed him from his bands, and commanded the chief priests and all their council to
appear, and brought Paul down, and set him before them."
It is here stated that Paul by the commands of the chief captain“ was loosed from his bands.". This does not mean that he was loosed of the bands mentioned in versc 25,
but the chains by which he was bound by two soldiers mentioned in verse 33 of chapter 21. Thus unchained he stands before the assembled members of the Sanhedrim. The fact that the Sanhedrim was convened by the command of the Roman officer proves, how completely the Jews even in the internal
HOMILETIC GLANCE AT THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES.
concerns of religion were subject to the Roman sway. this trial, even if indeed it may be so called, we have two very remarkable things--the outrage of justice by a judge and the employment of policy by an apostle.
I. THE OUTRAGE OF JUSTICE BY A JUDGE. Ananias was the leading functionary in this judicial assembly, he was the president, the high priest. It appears from Josephus that there was a high priest by the name of Ananias at this time, and that he was an avaricious and an intolerant man, and who, on account of his conduct with the Samaritans, had been sent by the Roman Governor Quadratus to answer for himself before the Emperor. Whether he was there detained or sent back to Judea, and if sent back to Judea, whether he continued or was re-appointed high priest are disputed points of no great moment. Luke's statement is quite sufficient that a man bea ring the name of Ananias now acted as high priest and pre sided over this court of Jewish justice. This man, in the sacred name and temple of justice, now outraged the cause he professed to represent and administer. “He commanded them that stood by him to smite Paul in the mouth.” Though this indignity accorded with the barbarism of both ancient and modern Oriental usages, it was not the less an outrage of all justice. The narrative suggests two remarks concerning it
First: It was most unprovoked. Was there anything either in what Paul said or did to justify such gross insolence and injustice ?
Let us see. Was there anything in that look of his ? He seems to have given them a wonderful look.. And “ Paul earnestly beholding the council.” That look was the look of conscious innocence and of searching observation. We may rest assured there was nothing insolent or hard in that look but everything that was reverent and tender. That earnest look of Paul at the council would scarcely fail deeply to affect his own heart. Some twenty-five years had elapsed since he had been present as a member when Stephen the martyr stood a criminal, and to whose death he consented, as the intolerant Jew, to receive commission of the high priests