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Keep your eye on the main point in Revelation. Learn Christ learn every thing else in the Bible ; but chiefly, primarily, prominently learn Christ. Never will you fully master this one subject ; the length and breadth and depth and height of his love so far surpass knowledge. But advance more and more.
Unite all the main parts of the comprehensive lesson as you proceed. What you do learn, learn well. Let every thing be proportionate. The lesson is wide as the Bible itself. Pray most earnestly for God's Holy Spirit, the great primary Teacher of the Church. Soon shall you bless God with holy joy for having taught you all the saving “ truth as it is in Jesus," and for having opened before you a boundless scene of further acquisition.
Let the captious or reluctant scholar be cautioned. You are full of difficulties on the subject of Christianity. You object to this topic and to the other. You know not that your embarrassments arise from learning Christ in the wrong method. “The vanity of the mind” is not subdued ; the darkness remains on your understanding. The heart is alienated. The world carries you down its stream. You despise the instructions of ministers; you live in quarrelsomeness, malice, and envy.
What can you expect then? You are, of course,
never able to come to the knowledge of the truth,” though you are ever learning ;” because, “whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.”
Enter then on a new course. Submit to Christ's discipline. What is there so worthy of humble, diligent study as this mighty lesson? You learn every thing, except the very thing which most concerns an immortal creature. You learn what may gratify a petty curiosity as to art, science, history,
philosophy, jurisprudence; and you neglect that art, that science, that history, that divine philosophy which “angels desire to look into.”
You learn things which are to benefit only the body; and are ignorant of that which is to save the soul. You learn that which may never succeed in its application and supposed uses; and you pass by that knowledge which is sure in the acquisition, and infinite in the benefit.
Seek, then, “the Lord while he may be found." Now he exhibits himself to you as your lesson, and says, “ Learn of me.” Hereafter he will come in his glory and say, Appear before me; approach my tribunal; awake to eternity! Hereafter he will assume his throne of judgment. Hereafter he will solemnly examine whether you have improved or not your advantages for knowing him as a Savior. Then it will be too late to learn any thing further, except the misery which follows disobedience. It will then be the time, not of learning, but of suffering; not of acquiring, but of enduring. Let us all, then, unite now in one resolution, to begin, if we have not yet done so, to learn Christ; and to learn him more and more, and in the only true and saving manner, if we have already entered on the divine study.
ISAIAH LVII. 15.
For thus saith the high and lofty One, that inha.
biteth Eternity, whose name is Holy ; I dwell in the high and holy place ; with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit ; to revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
In the application of Christianity to the human heart, nothing receives so effectually all the directions of holy Scripture, as a duly humbled mind. To the contrite all is easy; to the obstinate and proud all is difficult. A trembling apprehension of entertaining false conceptions of the divine character,' is not inconsistent with consolation and joy in the breast of the lowly. Nay, the very greatness of God, his awful distance from us, his infinite glories become, as we see in the text, the source of comfort, when the heart is once penitent and broken before him.
Let us, then, consider this subject, The glory and majesty of God the source of comfort to the con
trite in heart. It will naturally divide itself into three parts; The greatness of God; the correspondent temper which becomes man; the consolations flowing in this way from the very majesty of the divine character.
I. The prophet first gives a magnificent description of the greatness of God : “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place.' This glory of God consists, then, in his essential Majesty ; his Eternity ; his infinite rectitude ; his exalted place of peculiar abode.
1. His glory appears in his essential Majesty. He is “the high and lofty One”-the exalted One; the one only glorious Being who is on high ; far above out of human view and conception; the one mighty Author, Creator, Preserver, and Lord of all; to whom none other is like; with whom there are no participators nor partners; who is not merely not one amongst the pretended deified men or heroes, the objects of idolatrous worship, but the excellency of whose essential being and perfections raises him far above all comparison with any created beings, whether they be angels, or archangels, or principalities or powers. “I am the Lord, and there is none else. I am God and there is none beside me.” “ Now will I rise,” saith the Lord, “ now will I be exalted ; now will I lift up myself.”
I saw the Lord,” said the prophet, “ sitting on his throne, high and lifted up."* "Now stand up and bless the Lord your God, for ever and ever,” said Nehemiah, “and blessed be thy glorious Name which is exalted above all blessing and praise.” God has thus a sovereign dominion over all, an incontestable right to all, and an exalted power and glory which raises him above all. Man creeps upon this lower earth ; man is a worm, and the son of man is
His vain efforts to swell and lift up him. self, are the tumors of pride. God only is great. All is little, all is low, all is mean, compared with the one only God.
2. But his greatness appears, further, in the immutability of his existence, He "inhabiteth eternity.” What a sublime expression! It occurs here only. Not only is God self-existent, high, lifted up, but he is immortal, eternal, unchangeable. And all this in such a degree, that “He only hath immorta. lity;" he only inhabits and dwells in eternity, possessing it as his abode. “A thousand years in his sight are but as yesterday when it is passed.” “From ever. lasting to everlasting he is God." Man, indeed, is as “the grass ; as the flower of the field, so he flourish. eth ;" but the Lord is “ the same, and his years do not fail.”
This Eternity God inhabits, as it were ; he embraces and comprehends it; it is so attached and connected with his nature and kingdom, that it cannot be separated even in thought. There is with him “neither beginning of days, nor end of life.” He “hath life in himself;" he is both immortal and immutable. We must shortly be removed into Eternity ; but he has always dwelt in it and possessed it; he has it constantly; he has it in himself, and cannot be dispossessed of it. “The invisible things of Him from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made; even his eternal power and Godhead.”
3. But this glory appears, again, in the infinite Rectitude of his Nature; whose name is Holy.”. The exalted and immutable character of the most High God are important truths indeed; but the great question for an accountable being like man, is, What are the moral attributes of the Almighty? How is man to think of Himas respects wisdom, righteous. ness, truth? What is the rule of duty, the way of acceptance, the hope of pardon and salvation ? "Holy,