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to it. He does a marvellous work to establish the truth of his words. When the Apostles taught their astonished hearers the necessity of faith in Christ, alleging and maintaining that he was risen from the dead and had ascended into heaven, and that they were witnesses of these things, they were not only changed themselves, in ways foreign to all experience, but they changed the course of nature in the constitutions of other men. Though for the most part illiterate fishermen from the region of Galilee, they spake languages foreign to their country, which it was plain they had never learned, and they wrought such cures on the bodies of men, as none but persons divinely empowered could have done.
Their assertions, therefore, were attested by signs following, and their evidence stood on grounds which no human wisdom could controvert. A cripple leaping and dancing at the utterance of a bare word,-a dead person raised to life by the mere taking hold of the hand, —were proofs, beyond all contradiction, that the men who did such miracles were endued with power from above. And when they declared that such power was derived from the very person who had been recently put to death at Jerusalem as a malefactor, and who was then sitting at the right hand of God, it connected, at once, the truth of his character with the profession of his followers, and proved beyond a doubt that he was the Son of God. They who exercised that power and ascribed it to him, were the best judges of the source from whence it had been drawn; and if it enabled them to invert
the order of nature, and to do things which none other men did, it gave them an undoubted title to confidence and belief.
Let us, then, consider well the grounds on which we stand. If the apostolic arguments for the truth of our religion, namely the Resurrection and the Ascension of Jesus Christ, and the Descent of the Holy Ghost, have any weight with us, they will not only confirm us in our belief, but influence us, likewise, in our practice. For how can we contemplate these three most wonderful events, without dwelling on the responsibility they lay upon us to lead holy and regular lives, and to prove ourselves, by all that we say and all that we do, to be the faithful disciples of the blessed Jesus. In whatever sense they are arguments of the truth of his religion, in the same sense are they arguments for our dutiful submission to all that he requires. That faith which calls upon us to receive and adore him, calls also for our obedience as the test of our belief. The very admission of his claim to the Messiahship, renders us responsible to him as our Lord and King. He died upon the cross for our redemption. A ransomed slave is the property of his master. Can we belong to Christ, as being bought with a price,-bought with his precious blood,—and yet refuse to let him reign over us? Shall we dispute his power and deny his right, whilst we enjoy the benefits of his resurrection and ascension, and are made partakers of the Holy Ghost. “ If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." The evidence of this Spirit dwelling in us, is manifested by our dying unto sin and rising again unto righteousness. On him our Salvation rests. If we receive this blessed Comforter into our hearts, and permit him to move and influence them; if we pray for his assisting grace, and dispose ourselves, as much as possible, to yield to his godly motion; if, when our eyes are lifted up to heaven in prayer to God, our hearts and affections ascend thither also; if, in short, we live like men who are not only persuaded that Jesus died and rose again,” but that “them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him ;" we shall become his disciples in the strictest and purest sense; our lives will add lustre to the dispensation under which we live ; and our last end will be that we shall be happy for ever.
CHRIST'S MEDIATORIAL KINGDOM AND OFFICE.
HEBREWS x. 12, 13.
BUT THIS MAN, AFTER HE HAD OFFERED ONE SACRIFICE FOR SINS, FOR EVER SAT DOWN ON THE RIGHT HAND
GOD; FROM HENCEFORTH EXPECTING TILL HIS ENEMIES BE MADE HIS FOOTSTOOL."
THERE is one part of our blessed Saviour's ministry, which is peculiarly interesting to the successive generations of men, as having a more immediate reference to themselves, and that is, the part which relates to his present agency; what he is now doing in heaven; what he has been doing ever since his ascension thither. Though the transactions of his life and death, and all the benefits resulting from them, belong, both severally and collectively, to every succeeding age as well as to the age in which they took place, yet there is something different in the mind's apprehension, between events which have happened in former times, though we be included in their consequences, and those which are now occurring within our own time and observation. This difference is not material but imaginary, for facts cannot lose any part of their reality by the lapse of time; and when we come to consider that the chief Actor in them is still existing in another sphere, and carrying on measures growing out of those events, the past and the present are seen in close connection with each other, and the extended space which intervenes, is in no small degree filled up. Had St. John, who saw our Saviour die, lived to see every succeeding event which has since occurred, is it probable, with every allowance for the imperfection of the memory, that he would have lost the impression of it?
Natural, however, as it is for the mind to feel greater interest in present than in past transactions, I fear, as applied to our view of Christ, this feeling is not strong. Few persons think of what is now going on for them in heaven. The death, the resurrection, and the promises of Christ, have their weight with every one who possesses any seriousness in religious matters. But the thoughts of the invisible world, and of what Christ is now doing in that world, rarely enter into their reflections. Yet, what can be more important and more interesting than this? If a question were put as to the things in which we of this day are most deeply concerned, could it admit of any doubt, that the agency of Christ in heaven would bear away the palm from
What is there that concerns us more? What can possibly concern us half so much? The incarnation and satisfaction of our blessed Lord were but y reludes to the part which he is now performing