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MAN TO THE HIGHEST LIFE
to it, and lead into it as radia to their centre. It is,
therefore, the sublimest sub"And he said, The God of our
ject of thought. It expresses fathers hath chosen thee, that the divine nature, it reveals thou shouldest know his will, and the universe. It is, therefore, see that Just One, and shouldest
the great theme for the study hear the voice of his mouth. For thou shalt be his witness unto all
of eternity. To the study of men of what thou hast seen and this Paul was thus ordained, heard."-Acts xxii. 14, 15. He began it then, he is at it THE verb, Tpoexeipioarô, now, he will continue at it which is here translated,
for ever. "chosen," only occurs in this ΙΙ. Το A VISION OF THE form in one other place in HIGIIEST EXISTENCE, “ And the New Testament. (Acts see that Just One.” Not only xxvi. 16), where it has the to understand the will which sense of “making," or ap
is the law of the universe, pointing." The idea here is but to see the Lawgiver Himordination, or setting apart.
self. “ That Just One." Ananias tells Paul that the Who? Evidently the MesGod of their fathers had siah-the God-man. (See ordained him to the life Acts iii. 14.) He is called specified in these verses.
“that Just One" not merely And truly the life is one of because, as God, he is absothe highest that man can live lutely just, the Fountain of on earth. What is the ordi. eternal rectitude. Nor merely nation? It is
because, as man, he did no I. TO AN UNDERSTANDING sin, neither was guile found HIGHEST SUBJECT,
in his mouth.” But as Media“That thou shouldest know tor who has engaged to make his ucill.” God has a will. A unjust men just. His work will in relation to all exist- as mediator is to make a ences—a will in relation to world of unjust men just to every individual man. His themselves, just to their will is at once the spring of fellows, just to the universe, all existence, the rule of all just to God. This is his work, motion, the standard of all and his work exclusively. character. To understand it Hence he is designated" that is to understand the philo- Just One."
Paul was orsophy of all being, the cause dained to see Him. First : of all phenomena, and the To renovate him as a sinner. science of all duty. All true The vision of Christ is the subjects of thought are related soul-transforming force!“ Be
holding, as in a glass, the what an ecstasy of joy! glory of the Lord, we are Every utterance of that voice changed," &c. Second : To will then dispel some cloud qualify him as an apostle. of mystery from the sky of It would seem that one of spirits, and open up some the necessary qualifications of new realm of thought to the an apostle was, that he should intellect, some new domain of have a personal view of beauty to the imagination. Christ. Hence he says, “ Am
What is the voice of your I not an apostle ; have I not Platos or even of your Pauls
Christ Lord ? ” compared to the voice of Thirdly : To consummate his Christ? The glimmerings of blessedness as a man. What rushlight to the light of day. is the heaven of souls? The IV. To A DISCHARGE OF beatific vision of Christ. The THE HIGHEST MISSION. What sight of Him thrills all, work was He chosen to ? brightens all, elevates all, “ Thou shalt be his witness enraptures all. (Rev. v. 6, unto all men, of what thou 12.)
hast seen and heard.” First: III. TO A RECEPTION OF THE To bear witness of the highest COMMUNICATIONS,
facts about the Greatest Being. " And shouldest hear the Paul was appointed as voice of his mouth.” To have witness for Christ. He was a direct communication with to declare all that he knew Christ seemed necessary in
from observation and experiorder to put Paul on a level ence concerning the Son of with the twelvo apostles.
This he nobly did. (Acts xii. 3; Galatians i. 1.) Second: To bear witness of But whilst this was specially the highest facts about the required for Paul as an apostle, Greatest Being, to all man. it is a high privilege to which kinil. “ Unto all men." To God “hath chosen," or ap
the Jew as well as to the pointed all good men. And Gentile. what a
privilege ! Who Oh, brothers ! be“ordained" teaches like Christ? “ Never to such a life as this. How man spake like this ‘man." earnestly should we aspire So they said who heard Him to such an ordination ! when on earth, when he spoke only the few things that they could bear. His words on
GETTING RID OF SIN. earth were original, suggestive, soul inspiring. But to
“And now, why tartiest thon?
arise, and be baptized, and wash listen to that voice in Heaven,
away thy sins, calling on the
name of the Lord." -Acts xxii. by which the Eternal Spirit 16.
does cleanse." (Ezek. xxxvi. The narrative in the ninth
25, 27; 1 Cor. vi. 11; Titus chapter records the execution iii. 7 ; Eph. v. 25, 26; Rev. of this proposition but not i. 5, 6; vii. 14.) Thank God the proposition itself. Here
it is possible on this earth to Ananias calls upon Saul to
separate the sin from the be baptized ; there we sinner. told that after he had received IL It is a PRAYING work. his sight "he arose and was “Calling upon the name of baptized.” The discrepancy the Lord.” The correcter here is not contradictory, but reading seems to be "calling supplementary. The words
on his name "-autov rather suggest three remarks con- than kuplôv. Christ's name, cerning the work of getting however, is Himself; to call rid of sin. It is a possible,
upon his name is to call a praying, and an urgent upon Him.
upon Him. First: Christ is work.
the only cleanser of human I. It is a POSSIBLE work. souls. His work is to wash “ "Be baptized and wash away
away the sins of the world. thy sins.” The Holy Word
The Holy Word To purify the moral garments represents the sinful state of of humanity. To make them thesoul under different figures. white “ without spot, Sleep, slavery, disease, death, wrinkle," &c. Secondly : pollution. Here pollution-Prayer is the ordained means the words imply that it is a of attaining his cleansing cleansable pollution. It is influence. “Whosoever shall not ingrained. It is a some
call upon the name of the thing separable from the soul. Lord, shall be saved." (Rom. It can be washed away. Bap- x. 13.) The prayer addressed tism to Saul, would not only to Him in the upper-room at be, what it ever was, the or
Jerusalem, brought down his dinance by which men passed cleansing influences on the from one religion to another, day of Pentecost. You may but would symbolize that get wealth by industry; inmoral cleansing of the soul telligence by study; wisdom which he so deeply needed. by experience ; but moral No water, of course, can wash | purity only by prayer. Prayer the soul; all the waters of takes the soul up to the the Atlantic could not cleanse fountain opened for the washone moral stain. There is, ing away of all uncleanness. however, a spiritual water, III. It is an URGENT work. "the truth as it is in Jesus, “Why tarriest thou ?” Or
more literally, why art thou | dency of man to pray implies about acting, instead of acting the oul's innate belief in really? Do not hesitate a some of the leading facts of moment. Be prompt. What theology, such as the being, thou doest, do quickly. The the personality, the presence, importance of promptitude and the entreatability of God. may be argued_First: From II. HERE IS A COMMON the greatness of the work.
REACHING THE WONEternity depends upon it. DERFUL. The trance, ÉKOTAOIS, Second: From the time is the state in which a man already lost. The whole life
has passed out of the usual should have been given to it, order of his life, beyond but much has run to waste. the usual limits of conscious Third : From the increase of ness and volition. To this difficulties. Disinclination, “ecstasy” of the Apostle Paul insensibility, force of habit, we owe the mission which increase. Fourth : From the was the starting-point of the character of the future. It history of the universal is (1) brief ; (2) uncertain. Church, the command which
bade him “depart far hence
unto the Gentiles." It is A COMMON THING REACHING supposed by some, and with
THE WONDERFUL. much probability, that it is “While I prayed in the temple,
to this trance Paul refers I was in a trance."-Acts xxii. 17. (2 Cor. xii. 1-5) when he I. HERE IS A COMMON THING. speaks of being caught up to A man praying. Prayer is the third heaven. Now, it
instinct of the soul. was prayer, a common thing, Danger seldom fails to rouse that conducted Paul into this this instinct into the pas- wonderful state of ecstasy. sionate supplication even of CONCLUSION.--- First: Learn the most depraved (see Psa. the sublime possibilities of the cvii. 13). Volney in a storm human soul. By a mysterious at sea, a striking example of power of abstraction it can this. Alas! more than half close upall the physical senses, the prayers of the world are shutout the external universe, worthless. All worthless and transport itself as on the prayer may be divided into wings of an angel into a world two classes. First: Prayer where there are scenes too addressed to the wrong god. grand for description, and Second : Prayer addressed to communications surpassing the right God in a wrong utterance.
Isaiah, Ezekiel, way.
The universal ten- | Daniel, John, as well as Paul,
were often transported to these supernal states. Second: Learn the incomparable worth of true prayer. It was while Paul was praying that he got into this trance. Prayer is the road into the celestial. While Daniel was praying,
Seeds of Sermons on the Book of
LABOUR AS ENHANCING THE RE
LATIVE VALUE OP A MAN'S
POSSESSIOX. “The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting : but the substance of a diligent man is precious.". Prov. xii. 27. The original word bere translated "slothful,” is in several other places rendered “ deceitful.” Slothfulness is almost necessarily connected with deceit. The idle man is a dreamer; he lives in false hopes. He makes promises that prove fallacious, because he has not the industry to work them out. Slothfulness stands almost always Dearly akin to falsehood. Tře text means one of three things. First: Either that the slothful man is too lazy to “roast” and to prepare for food what he happened to strike down without much effort in the field. Or secondly: That which he “roasts” and prepares for food he had no hand in procuring, and that he lives on the production of other men's labours. He has “roast" meat, but that which heroasts is not what he himself took in hunting: Or thirdly: That what he caught in the field was so easily caught, caught with such little effort, that
he did not value it enough to prepare for food:-He did not take it up, carry it home and prepare it for the table. The last, I think, was the idea that Solomon had in his mind when he wrote this text. The last clause indicates this: “But the substance of a diligent man is precious," as if he had said, The slothful man does not value sufficiently what he has without labour caught in the field to prepare for food; but what the industrious man has, as the result of his work, is precious to him. The general principle, therefore, contained in these words is this :That labour enhances the relative value of a man's possession. This principle is capable of extensive illustration ; it applies to many things.
I. IT APPLIES MATERIAL WEALTH. Two men may possess property of exactly the same amount, of exactly the same intrinsic and marketable value, but whilst the one has gained it by long years of industry, it has come to the other by accident or fortune, or in somo way entirely irrespective of his labour. Is the property equally appreciated by these two men? Is there not an immense