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hands and feet, and put our hand into His side, that we may see that it is He Himself, and that we follow no deceitful vision. He said to Mary,

He said to Mary, “ Touch Me not, for I am not yet ascended to My Father.” He is now ascended, therefore we may touch Him. Let us, as far as is permitted us, approach Him, who walked upon the sea, and rebuked the wind, and multiplied the loaves, and turned the water into wine, and made the clay give sight, and entered through the closed doors, and came and vanished at His will. Let us see Him by faith, though our eyes are holden, that we know it not. Evermore may He so be with us, a gracious Lord, whose“

garments smell of myrrh, aloes, and cassia,” of “spikenard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with all the trees of frankincense, myrrh, and aloes, and all the chief spices'.” So may He be with us evermore, moving our hearts within us, “until the day break and the shadows flee away.”

? Ps. xlv. 8. Cant. iv. 14.

SERMON X.

THE SPIRITUAL PRESENCE OF CHRIST IN THE CHURCH.

John xvi. 16.

A little while and ye shall not see Me, and again a little while

and ye shall see Me, because I go to the Father.”

VERY opposite lessons are taught us in different parts of Scripture from the doctrine of Christ's leaving the world and returning to His Father; lessons so opposite the one to the other, that at first sight, a reader might even find a difficulty in reconciling them together. In an earlier season of His ministry, our Lord intimates that when He was removed, His disciples should sorrow,--that then was to be the special time for humiliation. “Can the children of the Bride-chamber mourn,” He asks, “as long as the Bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the Bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast "." Yet in the words following the text, spoken by Him when He was going away, He says; “I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.” And He says shortly before it, “It is expedient for you that I go away." And again : “I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth Me no more: but ye see Me." Thus Christ's going to the Father is at once a source of sorrow, because it involves His absence, and of joy, because it involves His presence. And out of the doctrine of His resurrection and ascension, spring those Christian paradoxes, often spoken of in Scripture, that we are sorrowing, yet always rejoicing; as having nothing, yet possessing all things.

1 Matt. ix. 15.

This, indeed, is our state at present; we have lost Christ and we have found Him; we see Him not, yet we discern Him. We embrace His feet, yet He says, “ Touch Me not.” How is this? it is thus: we have lost the sensible and conscious perception of Him ; we do not look on Him, hear Him, converse with Him, follow Him from place to place; but we enjoy the spiritual, immaterial, inward, mental, real sight and possession of Him; a possession more real and more present than that which the Apostles had in the days of His flesh, because it is spiritual, because it is invisible. We know that the closer any object of this world comes to us, the less we can contemplate it and comprehend it. Christ has come so close to us in the Christian Church (if I may so speak), that we cannot gaze on Him or discern Him. He enters into us, He claims and takes possession of His purchased inheritance; He does not present Himself to us, but He takes us to Him. He makes us His members. Our faces are, as it were, turned from Him; we see Him not, and know not of His presence, except by faith, because He is over us and within us. And thus we may at the same time lament because we are not conscious of His presence, as the Apostles enjoyed it before His death; and may rejoice because we know we do possess it even more than they, according to the text, “whom having not seen (that is, with the bodily eyes) ye love; in whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable, and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

Concerning this great and mysterious gift, the presence of Christ, invisible to sense, apprehended by faith, which seems to be spoken of in the text, and is suggested by this season of the year?, I purpose now to say some few words.

Now observe what the promise is, in the text and the verses following ;-a new era was to commence, or what is called in Scripture “a day of the Lord.” We know how much is said in Scripture about the awfulness and graciousness of a day of the Lord, which seems to be some special time of visitation, grace, judgment, restoration, righteousness, and glory. Much is said concerning days of the Lord in the Old

?"

"1 Pet. i, 8.

Easter,

Testament. In the beginning we read of those august days, seven in number, each perfect, perfect all together, in which all things were created, finished, blessed, acknowledged, approved by Almighty God. And all things will end with a day greater still, which will open with the coming of Christ from heaven, and the judgment;—this is especially the Day of the Lord, and will introduce an eternity of blessedness in God's presence for all believers. And another special day predicted and fulfilled, is that long season which precedes and prepares for the day of heaven, viz. the Day of the Christian Church, the Day of the gospel, the Day of grace. This is a day much spoken of in the Prophets, and it is the day of which our Saviour speaks in the passage before us. Observe how solemn, how high a day it is: in His account of it, He says, “I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice; your joy no man taketh from you. And in that Day ye shall ask Me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My Name, He will give it you.

Hitherto have ye asked nothing in My name; ask, and yé shall receive, that your joy may be full. ... At that Day ye shall ask in My Name, and I say not unto you that I will pray the Father for you, for the Father Himself loveth you, because ye have loved Me, and have believed that I came out from God. I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world ; again I leave the world, and go to the Father. The Day, then, that dawned upon the Church at the

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