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the nature of man, as the cross on which it is grounded, by the very mention of which a Roman fancied himself dishonored. But the Lord, whose name is • Wonderful, the Counsellor, the Mighty God, was with his servants who bore witness unto him,—their watchword was, whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord; whether we live, therefore, or die, we are the Lord's!' They rejoiced in their sufferings, and at last had the honor of sealing their testimony with their blood, in their deaths to become like their great Shepherd, and then to receive out of his own hand the crown of glory!
These simple men, who came out of an obscure corner of the world, but who were anointed by the Spirit and power of God, preached among us the divine work of redemption, 'the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the world unto our glory.'-As the cross was raised upon Calvary—they raised up the word of atonement in our miserable world, the dwelling place of sin and of death, and poured forth every where a new life. We must have lost the power of appreciating what is great and divine, if we are not penetrated with astonishment and admiration, when we look on the unpretending aspect of those witnesses of the truth, and on the simple means by which they affected such glorious results; in short, on their human insignificance and lowliness, and yet their heroic courage. Are not our schools and churches, baptism and the eucharist, our Bibles and songs of praise, our hospitals and orphan
houses, all monuments of those witnesses who preached the Gospel in our land, and testified here of that faithful and true witness who is called Amen.
We must not content ourselves with a mere transient admiration of those instruments in the hands of the Lord, who were so weak, and yet so strong—but we must receive the intelligence they utter as the oracles of God. "If we receive the witness of men,' says John in his first Epistle v. 9, 10, the witness of God is greater : for this is the witness of God, which he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself, and in the twelfth verse,
He that hath the Son hath life.' Another Apostle says, 'How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will. Heb. ii. 3, 4. We need no longer the testimony of signs and miracles; of them the Bible presents us with sufficient, and, indeed, the Holy Scriptures, in their origin and comprehensiveness, are as great a miracle of God as any thing related in them. Those messengers, to whom the Lord gave a mouth and wisdom, still walk among us, and pray and admonish us thus continually, “Be ye reconciled to God! and when we receive their word, there rises up in our own hearts a witness, which transports us above all that is external and earthly. It happens to us as it did to the man lame from his mother's womb, at the gate of the temple called Beautiful, when Peter
took hold of his right hand, and raised him up, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, "immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength, and he, leaping up, stood and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking and leaping, and praising God,' Acts iii. 7,8. If ye continue in my word,' says our Lord, John viii. 31, 32, then are ye my disciples indeed, and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make
The whole of the Gospel is God's testimony to his Son; it is like the gift of speech bestowed on man, that he might preserve it, impart it, and extend it. It is therefore called gospel, that is to say, 'good news,' and a joyful announcement of the Word become flesh; it is spread from mouth to mouth, like human language, and like the treasures of speech, descends from one man to another; if the
every one were to close, then human speech, and, along with it, human thoughts and emotions would perish; it is the same with the word of God, it would be extinct likewise.
It is entrusted to every Christian, that he should labor and work diligently for its preservation and extension, as a servant of God. All who have received salvation are to preach the Gospel, though, like Cornelius, it should only be in the circle of their family and friends. In the first little assembly of witnesses who devoted themselves to the Lord, and first testified of him in Judea, and then through all the world, we see an example for each Christian, and for every Christian community, to imitate.
For this reason our Lord set the greatest value on
the public acknowledgment of him, “Whosoever, therefore, shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven;" and Paul says, 'If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved, Rom. x. 9. “Ye are,' says Peter in his first Epistle, ii. 9, a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.'
CHRIST CRUCIFIED AND RISEN AGAIN.
THE hour is come that the Son of Man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but, if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit,' John xii. 23, 24. This was said by the Lord Jesus, a short time before his sufferings, to Philip and Andrew, when they informed him that the Greeks, who had come up to the feast at Jerusalem, desired to see him. Our Lord here speaks of his own glorification, and of his approaching death, the path which led to it; the comparison he makes use of is very simple, a daily occurrence in the kingdom of nature, which every one knows, but which no one comprehends. The corn of wheat falls into the ground, dies and decays; and by this means only does it bring forth fruit; if we had not known and seen it from childhood, it would appear almost impossible that out of death a new life should arise; but it is the universal law of this earth, and is of daily occurrence.
The simplicity of the image must not surprise us; for, in reality, the growth of the plant from the seed is as great a proof of the mysterious influence and power of God, as the formation of the human eye, or the guiding of the planets through the heavens. The hu