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since it is not in his power. We cannot work ourselves up into such feelings; or, if we can, it is better we should not, because it is a working up, which is bad. Deep feeling is but the natural or necessary attendant on a holy heart. But though we cannot at our will thus feel, and at once, we can go the way thus to feel. We can grow in grace till we thus feel. And, meanwhile, we can observe such an outward abstinence from the innocent pleasures and comforts of life, as may prepare us for thus feeling ; such an abstinence as we should spontaneously observe if we did thus feel. We may meditate upon Christ's sufferings, by which we shall gradually, as time goes on, be brought to these deep feelings. We may pray God to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves, to make us feel; to give us the spirit of gratitude, love, reverence, self-abasement, godly fear, repentance, holiness, and lively faith.
CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD MADE MAN.
Heb. ix. 11.
“Christ being come, an High Priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with han that is to say, not of this building."
BEFORE the Passover the Jews numbered fourteen days, and then the feast came. It was to be the fourteenth day of the month, at even; and to mark the beginning of that period more distinctly, it was made the beginning of months, that is, the first month of the year. We then, if our Easter answers to the Passover, as substance answers to shadow, may well account that from this day, which is fourteen days before Easter, a more sacred season begins. And so our Church seems to have determined it, since from this day the character of the Services changes. Henceforth they have more immediate reference to Him, whose death and resurrection we are soon to commemorate. The first weeks in Lent are spent in repentance, though with the thought of Him withal, who alone can give grace and power to our penitential exercises: the last, without precluding repentance, are more especially consecrated to the thought of those sufferings, whereby grace and power were purchased for us.
The history of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah; of Dinah, Jacob's daughter; and of Joseph in Potiphar's house; the account of our Lord's temptation; and the parable of the man out of whom the evil spirit went and returned sevenfold, which have been read on Sundays at this season, may fitly be called penitential subjects; and of the same character have been the Epistles. On the other hand, to-day's Epistle', from which the text is taken, speaks of Christ's Incarnation and Atonement; while the Gospel tells us of His Divinity, He being that same God who, as the first Morning Lesson relates, called Himself in the bush “ I am that I am.” And so again, next Sunday's Epistle is also upon our Lord's Divinity and voluntary humiliation, and one of the Lessons and the Gospel contain the sacred narrative of His passion and death. The other second Lesson is also on the subject of His humiliation, from St. Paul. And further: all four first Lessons of to-day and next Sunday relate to the deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt, which is the type of our redemption.
Fifth Sunday in Lent.
Let us ,then to-day, in accordance with the apparent disposition of our Services, remind ourselves of one or two of the great truths which the Epistle contains ;-of course we cannot do so with any great exactness or completeness; but still, sufficiently to serve, through God's mercy, as a sort of preparation for the solemn days which lie before us in the course of the next fortnight. It will be a fitting preparation, please God, for Good-Friday, to bear in mind who our Lord is, and what He has done for us. And, at present, let us confine ourselves to this one subject, who our Lord is,-God and man in one Person. On this most sacred and awful subject, I shall speak as simply and plainly as I can; merely stating what has to be stated, after the pattern of the Creeds, and leaving those who hear me, as the Creeds leave them, to receive it into their hearts fruitfully, and to improve it, under God's grace, for themselves.
Let us, I say, consider who Christ is, as the Epistle for the day sets forth in the words of the text.
1. First, Christ is God: from eternity He was the Living and True God. This is not mentioned expressly in the Epistle for this day, though it is significantly implied there in various ways; but it is expressly stated, and that by Himself, in the Gospel. He says there, “Before Abraham was, I am ":" by which words He declares that He did not begin to
1 John viii. 58.
exist from the Virgin's womb, but had been in existence before. And by using the words I am, He seems to allude, as I have already said, to the Name of God, which was revealed to Moses in the burning bush, when he was bid say to the children of Israel, “ I am hath sent me unto you!” Again : St. Paul says of Christ, that He was " in the form of God,” and “ thought it not robbery to be equal with God," yet “made Himself of no reputation.” In like manner St. John says; “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” And St. Thomas addressed Him as his Lord and his God; and St. Paul declares that He is “ God over all, blessed for ever;" and the prophet Isaiah, that He is “ the mighty God, the Everlasting Father;" and St. Paul again, that He is “our great God and Saviour ;” and St. Jude, that He is "our only Sovereign God and Lord 2.” It is not necessary, surely, to enlarge on this point, which is constantly brought before us in Scripture and in our Services. Day by day we magnify Him, and we worship His name ever world without end;" which would be idolatry were He not the Very and Eternal God, our Maker and Lord. We know, indeed, that the Father is God also, and so is the Holy Ghost ; but still Christ is God and Lord, most fully, completely, and entirely, in all attributes as perfect and
Exod. iii. 14. ? Phil. ii. 6, 7. John i. 1; xx. 28. Rom. ix. 5. Isa. ix. Tit. ii. 13. Jude 4.