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ance: behold the proofs of his sufferings and death: Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood, he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. See how he delights in the deliverance of his people!-had he looked back upon his sufferings with regret, he would have abolished the impressions of them: but he reviews Calvary with pleasure; he sees of the travail of his soul, and is SATISFIED. And shall we be ashamed of the marks of the dying of the Lord Jesus?-The scars of a general, wounded in the defence of his country, are viewed by his fellow citizens with admiration and applause. And "God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world."
Let us pass, III., to the consequence of all this. It produced a full persuasion of mind in the wavering disciple. It does not appear that Thomas complied with the liberty the Saviour gave him to handle him and see-and which had been required before as an absolute condition of faith. No. Conviction, no doubt, flashed into his mind. He is satisfied with the evidence afforded, and is ashamed of his own perverseness and unbelief. He weeps for joy, as well as sorrow, and he not only. believes with the heart, but confesses with the mouth: And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God." Few words, but very interesting.
It is the language of dedication and devotionMy Lord. By calling him his Lord, what does he but acknowledge him as his master, and resign himself to his service-saying, "What wilt thou have me to do?” “Thou hast an undeniable
right to my obedience. At thy disposal I am resolved to live. And if I have offended and dishonoured thee-the more concerned will I be to please, and to serve thee."
It is the language of faith; of faith not only in his resurrection, but in his divinity; of faith, not only in his dominion, but in his deity-My Lord and my God. How is this evidence to be baffled? The title was given him by a good man, and what good man upon earth ever did or ever will call a magistrate, a teacher, an angel, his Lord and his God? Besides, Thomas was brought up in the Jewish religion, and could not be ignorant of the unity of the divine nature; he knew what Moses and the prophets had said against idolatry; and how solemnly God himself had declared, "My glory will I not give to another, nor my praise to graven images." As he would have been backward to give this title, so our Lord would have been backward to receive it-unless it had been his due: 'yea, he ought peremptorily to have refused it; and to have reproved him for it, as the apostles rebuked those who spoke of them as only gods come down from heaven, and would have done them homage. This was the more to be expected, because he was the prophet that should come into the world to bear witness to the truth, and to guide our feet into the way of peace-but he accepts-he commends the confession! One resource is left. It is, to consider this confession as an exclamation produced by a sudden panic or fright. But this is making Thomas not devout, but profane. Besides, it is remarked, that it was an answer, and that he did not exclaim about him, but spake to him: Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God." He was, therefore, the object of his address.
While, therefore, others dispute and doubt, let us adore and rejoice. Let us give him the glory which is due unto his holy name: and let us say with confidence, "I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day:" for we should not be satisfied with a speculative belief of this truth.
Thomas uses the language of appropriation:"My Lord, and my God. Were it not for this possessive pronoun my, the devil might use the creed as well as the Christian; for he believes and trembles: he knows that he is Lord and God-but not his either to serve or enjoy. And without this such a Being is terrible; especially when we know that unless he is our Friend, he is our Enemy. But to hear him saying, "I am thine, and all that I have;" to take hold of his covenant, and say, All these blessings are mine; to "encourage ourselves in the Lord our God," and say, "Thou art my portion and refuge in the land of the living;-whom have I in heaven but thee, and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee," -what peace, what joy, must such a blessed confidence inspire!
"My beloved is mine, and I am his. He loved me and gave himself for me. What, then, can trouble me? What can alarm me? What can I want? He is able to do for me exceeding abundantly above all I ask or think. His perfections are mine; his providence is mine; his promises are mine; mine is the promise of "the life that now is, and of that which is to come."
Till we attain this blessed hope, we are strangers to some of the most pleasing parts of the Christian's life. But how can we attain it? Be
his; and he will be yours. Call him your Lord in a way of service, and he will own himself to be your God in a way of privilege. For, there is a connexion between these-if you have chosen him, be assured he has chosen you; and if you love him, be assured he has loved you. For the one is the consequence, and, therefore, the evidence of the other.
Many are ready to call him their God, who do not honour him as their Lord: they boast of communion with him, but do not live in a state of subjection to him. Now this is awful. For if you are not his to serve-you have no reason to conclude that he is yours to save.
This is the way-to ascend from that which is more clear, to that which is less obvious. The Christian cannot always say, He is mine-but when is it that he cannot say, I am thine?-thine to seek thee and obey thee-thine only and wholly-and for ever thine!
If for the present you are unable to say with David, "Thou hast given me the heritage of them that fear thy name "-go on praying, as he did(and you shall not pray in vain)"Remember me, O Lord, with the favour that thou bearest unto thy people: O visit me with thy salvation; that I may see the good of thy chosen, that I may rejoice in the gladness of thy nation, that I may glory with thine inheritance."
"Now, the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ: to whom be glory for ever and ever.
CONTENTMENT WITH LITTLE.
And having food and raiment, let us be therewith content.-1 Tim. vi. 8.
WHEN Jacob was going from Beersheba to Haran, he was indulged with a very remarkable vision. It was designed to encourage him in the dangers and difficulties of his journey. It deeply impressed his mind, and drew forth his devotion -and on this occasion we are told, that " He vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in the way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, so that I come again to my father's house in peace, then shall the Lord be my God. And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house: and of all that thou shalt give me, I will surely give the tenth unto thee."
What I admire is the moderation of Jacob's desire with regard to temporal supplies. He does not stipulate for affluence, power, honour, or a splendid equipage: he does not ask for delicacies, or dainties-but only for conveniences; only for necessaries-" Bread to eat, and raiment to put on.
His example holds forth a rule, by which every good man's disposition should be governed, with regard to the things of this life. It is the admonition of the apostle: Having food and raiment, let us be therewith content."
Is it then unlawful for a Christian to be rich?