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cheered by the light of a spiritual, intelli. , many of old. Indeed we know that while gent, and immortal hope, we must receive many are willing to seek mercy at the hand it not from the discoveries of science, or of of God, tbey are not willing to receive it philosophy, but from an experimental ac through the Cross. Christ crucified is still quaintance with the meaning of these words: to the Jews. a stumbling block, and to the 5. And there will I commune with thee from Greeks foolishness, but to those who believe above the mercy seat." Men under the it is the wisdom and the power of God. influence of the intellect and education may The especial attribute of Jehovah's character approach God to speak with him, bringing which we most need and upon which our with them what they think to be the fragrant | fellowship with him must be built, maniflowers of human virtue, and the fair crea- fested itself of old in a way which the tions of their own thoughts and genius, but wisdom of many could not approve, and in the end they will find that the oracle was the manifestation of Divine mercy through silent, and they must lie down in sorrow, Christ Jesus is no less offensive to many for God speaks only to man from above the now. Those, however, who received this mercy seat.
ancient promise found in the ark of the III. THAT THIS ATTRIBUTE IS EX. covenant more than the wood and gold of ERCISED THROUGH A CERTAIN MEDIUM which it was composed'; it became to them, AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH A DIVINELY through faith and prayer, a symbol of CONSTITUTED SYSTEM.-" There will I com- | divine mystery, the very seat of God; and inune with thee from above the mercy SEAT." those who believe in Christ now find in The mercy to which the people's attention him, though unknown and despised of men, was called by Jehovah of old was not a way of access to God, and an ever-living simply the mercy of his nature, but it was Exponent, Teacher, and Interpreter of the a covenant mercy--a mercy springing forth infinite wisdom of the mind of God. from his own sovereign will to them, and Through him the voice of God becomes under the direction of his own wisdom and audible to us in a way of mercy, and ours love. Now we can imagine that a Jew, to him in prevalent prayer and praise. educated in Egypt and well acquainted This mercy seat was to be made in minute with the learning of his times, looking at 1 accordance with the teachings of mercy. the little chest termed the mercy seat with It was to be made of a certain kind of the eye of sceptical, intellectual, or philo wood, to be overlaid with gold, and in its sophic pride, exclaiming, “There will I sacred interior the testimony or law of God commune with thee; and why there? Why was to be placed ; teaching us the great must we turn our eyes towards it ? Why truth that it is only through the golden must our thoughts embrace that little box propitiatory of a Saviour's blood that sinin that mean and contemptible tent covered ners now can have access to God. Men with badgers' skins ? How much more now commune with God not upon the worthy of the infinite God to have said ground of law as broken in the hand of that this vast universe was his temple, and Moses, but as maintained, perfect, and to have commanded us to commune with entire in the heart and life of Christ. In him through the various and magnificent him God rests with ineffable complacency forms of wisdom and beauty we see within and delight. In him “he delighteth in it and spreading all around us." And yet mercy.” In him he can be just and yet God did say, “And there will I commune the Justifier of all who believe in Jesus. with thee from above the mercy seat ;" and Here all his perfections are harmonized and the humble Jew, willing to subordinate his | shine forth in their unclouded splendour, reason to divine revelation and the teach- and put forth their united strength in ing of God, would be taught that that righteousness to raise the beggar from the mystic chest was the symbol of greater dunghill to sit him among princes, even the mysteries than the earth or the heavens princes of God's people." Here mercy with all their glory could proclaim, and and truth are met together, righteousness that as all nature was minutely declarative and peace have kissed each other;" while of the natural perfections of God, so this each of these glorious attributes, working mercy seat was no less expressive of those both in Christ and man, shall be as a which were no less moral and divine. Take | practical and everlasting exposition of heed, therefore, reader, God's method of the great fact that the God of salra. communion with us now may be as opposed tion is a just God--that his love is not to our reason as it was to the wiedom of I a sickly sentiment of universal affection, a mere instinct without intelligence or 1 IV. THAT THE GREAT TRUTHS WHICH justice, excited by mere misery, and exer UNDERLIE COMMUNION WITA GOD EXcised without any concern for the moral CITE THE CONSTANT INTEREST OF THE nature of those whom it embraces, or the HIGHEST INTELLIGENCE OF HEAVEN AND meaning, strength, and purity of Divine | EARTH.-The golden cherubims which government. Law and moral nature are stood upon the ark are represented as correllatives; they stand or fall together. looking towards the mercy seat upon which He who from ignorance or inadvertence they stood-a symbolical representation weakens one, weakens the other ; he who doubtless of the fact contained in the would know one, must know the other; to Apostle's words, “That now unto the the extent that we apprehend the law principalities and powers in heavenly places spiritually we apprehend ourselves. He who might be known by the church the manihas read most clearly the meaning of the fold wisdom of God.” And in another law within the ark, and pondered over its place," which things the angels desire to burning letters most frequently, with hum look into.” So that the Church, as a ble, weeping eyes, will see most of the visible exponent of Divine mercy, and brightness and beauty of that kingly gold coming up from the depths of her dewhich formed the mercy seat above, over gradation, misery, and sorrow, brings out which, through many a night of sorrow, | in practical form to the minds of angelic sweet words of life, instruction, and mercy intelligence the infinite deeps of Divine have come to comfort, direct, and sustain. wisdom and the latent principles of Divine To the extent, therefore, that the ark be government, which to them otherwise would comes to us an ark of testimony, it becomes never have been known. If, then, the a mercy seat, God giving to us an under death of Christ and all the other correllastanding that we may live ; and we so tive and connected truths is to the unsul. living a life of communion which, while lied and collective intellect of heaven a it involves mercy, brings light, become constant object of adoring contemplation, numbered with those witnesses whose tes what should it not be to us? There are timony shall live for ever, in the salvation some who speak of the Gospel as though it of myriads before the throne of God and were simple in the limited nature of its the Lamb. He, therefore, who would great and eternal principles as well as in rightly teach others, must reach through the the words of its utterance; and hence outward forms of truth to its secret life babes, who have learnt how God can par. and power.
don their sins, think they have all but Let us rejoice then, believer, that our grasped the whole of the mind of God in mercy seat is also a throne, and worthily the Divine mystery of the incarnation and filled by One who is FAITHFUL and Just in death of Christ; while young men, whose the forgiveness of sins; whose grace reigns, prayer is, “ Give me understanding, and I but reigns “ THROUGH RIGHTEOUSNESS shall live," cry out for bread. But the unto eternal life.” Our mercy seat is not Atonement is but the centre of a great sysbuilt upon a broken law, or chaotic govern trm of truths, originating from the depths ment, considerations of utility and mercy of infinite wisdom, in the midst of which merely, but upon eternal truth, the will God himself may be said to dwell with inand wisdom, yea, the very attributes of effable delight. With what deep humility, God himself. Can we wonder, then, that | therefore, and awe should we constantly God is said to “dwell between the cheru- | approach our mercy seat; with what child bims"; that his seat, as the centre of like faith and reverence should we not law and mercy, should be the symbol of the study the propitiatory sacrifice of the Son highest mysteries of our faith; that this of God, knowing that it embodies and resymbol should have upon it a “crown of veals the greatest mysteries of the mind of gold round about," when He who, in un God. How prayerfully with the angels deserved mercy, speaks peace to our guilty should we here be learners in the school of hearts does so in righteousness, and is not Christ, and seek to understand the princi. only a Priest but a King, who“ reigns in ples which underlie, as well as to realize righteousness," and One who heals us not the virtues which ever fill, this wondrous only by the merits of his wounds, but by the transaction. The scattered rays of Divine commands of his lips, the nobility of his truth, as they shine forth in positive instipast life, and the purity and rectitude of | tutions of Divine law, the prophetic utterhis present and everlasting administration ? | ances of the ancient seers, the wonderful experiences of the sweet singer of Israel, and l established in the earth, it will not be by above all, the words of Christ, we should, 1 the achievements of education, of political by contemplation, faith, and prayer, seek or of moral science or philosophy, perpetually to bring to one focus in Cal. but through the prevalence of that knowvary, remembering that here only we have ledge which leads men to realize the reality the true mirror which can fully reflect the and greatness of their relation to each other character of Him whom to know is eternal by virtue of their relationship to God as life. May the Apostle's prayer, therefore, | their Father and Saviour in Christ Jesus be no inoperative prayer in us when we ap the Lord. It is at the mercy seat only that proach the mercy seat: “ That I may know all the wounds of bruised and down-trodden Him, and the power of his resurrection, humanity can be healed; for it is here and the fellowship of his sufferings, being only while men contemplate the love of God made conformable unto his death.”
in its meridian splendour that all those V. THAT THE KNOWLEDGE UPON WHICH differences which have their origin in pride COMMUNION WITH GOD IS BUILT BECOMES | fade and melt away like the morning mists A SOURCE OF UNITY BETWEEN GOD AND before the rising sun. Let not, therefore, MAN.—The cherubims were formed out of those who, like the Levites of old, have nothe gold upon which they stood upon the thing to carry with them upon the staves of mercy seat. And those who in their com- | a rustic knowledge but the ark Christ munion with God rest upon the atonement Jesus, despair of usefulness among men; of Christ become one with Him who made for it is through the revelation of the it, and through him with God who pro mercy seat to the hearts of men that God vided it. By the heathen nations who will gather them to himself, and make the surrounded the children of Israel the ark divided nations of the earth one family again. of their covenant might have been deemed VI. THAT OUT OF TRUE COMMUNION WITH a mean and useless thing compared with GOD COMES FORTH THE SPIRIT OF ZEAL the importance they attached to it; but it AND INTELLIGENT OBEDIENCE.-The cheruwas the outward means of their union to bims gazed upon the mercy seat with outGod, and the covenant bond of their stretched wings. Their knowledge stimu. union to each other, and that on higher lated all their powers to do the will of God. grounds than that of their natural relation. And those who through the atonement of ship to each other. Every true Israelite Christ find the mercy seat of a divine and traced through it his connection with God intelligent fellowship with God, find that and his favoured brethren, the seed of which with holy love, awe, and gratitude, Abraham. And it is through a knowledge leads them with joy to serve him. Life of the great propitiation and the com | with them can no longer be a voluptuous munion with God wbich is realized through | dream, nor can their knowledge of Christ it, that men become one with each other in crucified evaporate in idle speculation. feeling, faith, and affection. However torn Such know that the precepts of Christ have and divided men may be, they must meet a relation to their misery as well as his protogether when they come to the mercy mises, and frequent the mercy seat not only seat, and there by virtue of their union to to receive consolation and peace, but to Christ they are made truly and everlast hear his commands. The atonement of ingly one with each other. Here the faces Christ puts no premium upon sloth ; the of men long estranged from each other by Faith which receives it communes with the same sin which estranged them from Him who made it, not only as to what is God, are now like the cherubims of old, 1 meant, but what she ought to do to declare turned again towards each other, while they that such meaning has been received. The gaze in love and faith upon that one sacri more complete our legal death at the Cross, fice which removes the guilt of all. Not the more perfectly is self destroyed ; and until a man's heart truly embraces God the more perfectly this is accomplished, the will it embrace his fellow; not until our more we experience the awakening of a new thoughts blend, and are coloured by God's and better life within, and become more thoughts, will they blend in sweet union completely the children of that love which, and fraternity with the thoughts of our casting out fear, constrains us to run in the fellow-men. When we become as children way of God's commandments. Faith in before God, we become as children with the vicarious sacrifice of the Son of God each other, and if ever a true reign of destroys legal hope, but with it also dies liberty, fraternity, and equality is to be | legal pride and fear, and true humility is produced, which lies at the very root of | ignores the atonement of Christ, will be heavenly zeal and true greatness of cha found equally vain, and tending but to foster racter. Men may talk of the moral in another form of pride, which has self for its fluence of the Atonement, but until its legal hope and pride for its god. influence is felt by them-cleansing the In the mercy seat, therefore, God's people conscience and awakening hope—the former of old had an ark of testimony, a Divine is in reality unknown. To the extent that secret, the mysteries of which continued to I believe I am saved entirely by the substi unfold themselves beneath the supervision tution of another, to that extent I am hum of God through the lapse of ages until they bled; and a service in relation to law on found their full-orbed significance in the entirely new grounds is commenced endless, person and work of the Son of God. it may be, as the very duration of God, but And in our mercy-seat now, believer, we from the entire range of which pride and have still the unfoldings of a Divine wisself-complacency must be everlastingly ex: l dom and love, the infinite depths of which cluded. However well, therefore, men may 1 we shall never fully explore, even when we write, however amiable and fair they may stand side by side with the redeemed above, appear before their fellow-creatures, if the and with the elect angels gaze upon His vicarious sacrifice of the Son of God is by face whose death brought us hope even in them rejected, they have not as yet learned these lowlands of darkness and sorrow, and the initial letter of the alphabet of that peopled the heavens with myriads, whose true greatness which, while it rests all its everlasting song even now we would make qopes upon Christ, stands with outstretched ours, and join with them to ascribe “Blesswings ready and willing to obey him. ing, and glory, and thanksgiving, and honour, Communion with God which does not lead and power, and might be unto our God to our obeying God, is worthless; but for ever and ever. Amen." prayers which lead to an obedience which
“I HOLD STILL.”
(FROM THE GERMAN.)
God's breath upon the flame doth blow,
And trembles at the fiery glow :
On the hard anvil, minded so
With his great hammer, blow on blow;
The sparks fly off at every blow;
And lets it cool, and makes it glow;
Thus only longer-lived would be;
When God has done his work in me;
Affliction's glowing, fiery brand,
Inflicted by a master hand;
Tales and Sketches.
THE ATHEIST REDEEMED. plain words. He had no God! He be
lieved that this poor life was the all. Yes ; “GRANDPA, grandpa, did you know little to this had his great accomplishments, his Mary was very, very ill?”.
great researches, led. He was alone-a blind These words broke from the pale lips of groper in the dark-a wretched fatalist. a young woman. The door was thrown And still he thought himself a happy man. suddenly open, disclosing a handsome old | The Great Supreme had seen fit to let the man, occupied with books and papers. He work of his hands prosper, though some looked up through his spectacles, and see | doubters were led into serious trouble as ing the haggard face, and strained and tear they saw it. “Why does he not suffer as ful eyes, he sprang in sudden alarm to his we do?" they would exclaim. “We be
lieve in God, heaven, and immortality; we “No, indeed, my daughter. You look worship and work in faith ; we tremble to ill yourself. Come in ; tell me all about offend God; but we are not prospered, it."
and he is." Yes ; it even troubled King “I can't stop-I must hurry to her. O David, when he saw the goods of the ungrandpa !” (she called him so because her righteous greatly multiplied ! little child did), “I feel so distressed ! so As Esquire Hart had believed, so had frightened! I've been up nearly all night. he trained his child. If he had but had She don't know me. O grandpa," she half the implicit trust in our Heavenly added, with almost childish pathog, “ what Father that she had in him, the world shall I do, what shall we all do if we lose I would have been the happier for his little Mary ?"
long and not utterly useless life, for She was sobbing piteously now, upon her 'Squire Hart had always lived above refather's breast; for the old man had gone proach. Naturally a generous man, many towards her and taken her tenderly in his were the poor who remembered him, and arms.
his name was coupled with many a bless. so but I musn't stay; I've been too ing, and uttered in many a prayer. For eter long, already. I can't bear to be a minute all this, he despised the law of the Lord, out of her sight-the dear, suffering dar cavilled with Christians, and sneered at the ITA ling," she cried, releasing herself from his “ Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins og hold. “Come in presently, and see for of the world.” yourself; and oh! tell me in pity that she Not long after the visit of his daughter, won't die."
the fold man went, with a sorely troubled ac The old mar, noble in stature, handsome heart, to the nursery. He opened the door in feature, walked back to his easy chair, softly, and looked in with a blanched cheek; IJE and sat there with a cloud on his forehead. for he dreaded, with a nameless, instinctive N Little Mary, his daughter's child, was, in fear, the sight of suffering. The large room * every sense of the word, an idol in that was darkened. Little Mary, her fair limbs family. Few disappointments had been stretched to the utmost extent, lay in the fine that old man's lot. His business had pros lap of the nurse. Her father stood near, pered, he had married late in life, and was talking, in a low voice, with the doctor : the father of a son and a daughter, the her mother, with strained and tearless eyes, latter the young mother of little Mary. knelt close beside her, every line in her face Houses he had added to houses, and land a story of her agony. to land; he had seen his son placed at the “O grandpa! if she only knew any head of a thriving business, his daughter one! if she only knew me! but that fixed happily married to a man of her choice; expression, that rigid look! Oh, it is too and, to crown all his blessings, this angelic terrible!” child bad been sent to him, the veritab le “What does the doctor say, my love ? " angel of the household. This rich old man, asked the old man, stooping down and who had no God, made a god of his grand gazing into the lustreless eyes. child!
“I dare not ask him," cried the afflicted I have mapped out the man's position in / mother : “I only know that something is i