the temple was the most sacred spot. Within the temple, the holy of holies was so peculiarly sacred, that even the high priest durst not enter it, save once a year. Within the holy of holies stood its precious deposit, the ark, surmounted by the mercy-seat, and shaded by angels' wings. Within the ark, a kernel within a kernel, were the tables of the Law.

XXIX. A commentator has made an observation to the following effect. The whole law of God, with all its numerous precepts and prohibitions, is included, in substance, in the ten commandments : these ten are comprehended in two, love to God, and love to our neighbour : and these two, again, are summed in one, by that single clause, “ love is the fulfilling of the law."

XXX. There is an observable connection between the end of the eighth chapter of Ezekiel, and the beginning of the ninth. At the end of the eighth chapter, the Lord says to the prophet

, concerning the transgression of Judah," though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them.” Then it is added, at the beginning of the next chapter, “ He cried also in mine ears with a loud voice, saying, Cause them that have charge over the city to draw near, even every man with his destroying weapon in his hand.” Thus the Lord's cry to the avenger supersedes the cry of the transgressors for mercy.--We have the same correspondence in the New Testament, but the order inverted. The murderers of Stephen “ cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord.” He was hurried out of the city and stoned. But when now at the point of death, he also, having kneeled down, “ cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. Thus, while, under the Old Testament, the shout of deserved vengeace drowns the cry of supplication, intercession raises its voice under the New, to be heard above rage and fury.

XXXI. The followers of the Lord too often shew far less encouragement to such as come to him, than the Lord himself. The disciples beseech him, saying, “Send the multitude away." So, too, when the woman of Canaan prayed for mercy on her daughter : “Send her away; for she crieth after us." "So, too, when little children were brought to him: "His disciples rebuked those that brought them.” So, too, when the blind man cried, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me: “Many charged him that he should hold his peace.

But, to shew us how all such obstructions should be dealt with, " he cried so much the more, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.” No matter who opposes or discourages us, as long as the Lord himself is willing to receive us.

XXXII. “When we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.” And when this is the case, when we can see nothing to desire or prize in the Lord Jesus, it is probable that we shall have other desires and preferences, of a low, worldly, or unworthy kind. “He released unto them him that for sedition and murder was cast into prison, whom they had desired ” (or asked). It was fitting that they who cried out against Jesus, " Away with him, away with him, crucify him," seeing no beauty in him that they should desire him, should desire a murderer to be granted to them. Yet here the Jews were only the representatives of mankind in general. The world stands equally guilty, in seeing nothing to admire in Jesus, and in seeing so much to admire in worthless, ill-regulated, and sometimes even depraved and savage characters. Herein may you discern the depravity of your heart. Tell me, Have you never experienced feelings of interest and admiration, in reading the accounts of wild, daring, wicked characters, in history or in romance? And did you ever experience any feeling of love or interest whatever, in contemplating the character of Jesus, in whom God the Father seeth all beauty and excellency? Then is it not possible that you also, if present, would have rejected Christ, and desired Barabbas? Vilest of the vile are they, however popular and admired, who dress up worthless characters in attractive colours, in works of fiction; and, out of the corrupt and misdirected preferences of their own bosoms divining what will be welcome to others, tinsel out the reprobate hero or idol of their fancies, from the stores of their tainted imaginations and seared hearts! Oh, it is the tinsel of hell !

XXXIII. When the four thousand were to be fed, the disciples had seven loaves (Mark viii. 5). Here faith in the Lord was to be exercised, in giving to others. Not long after, in the ship, they had but one loaf (ver. 14). Here faith in the same Lord was to be exercised, in trusting for their own support. It may be said, that the Lord's having performed a miracle on the former occasion, was no proof that he would do so on the latter : and, in the language of modern theology, which decries faith, the supposing that he would do so would be called presumption. But the severe reproofs of our Lord, when his followers spoke of their having no bread, shew that this was an exercise of faith which, so far from being improper, was what he looked for and required at their hands. Let us beware how we curtail, restrict, and circumscribe, in our doctrine, the province and actings of faith : for the general tenor of the Bible, more particularly of our Lord's teaching, is, that we have not faith enough, that we have very little faith, that we ought to have more faith ; but the

tenor of too many modern instructors is, that we must not carry faith too far, that what we call faith may be a delusive notion, &c. Be assured that we may trust, and ought to trust, in many cases where trusting would now be called, not presumption merely, but madness and folly.

XXXIV. In our Lord's feeding the multitude by a miracle, we discern a method, and an attention to order, in many particulars. For instance, when the five thousand were fed, it is mentioned that they sat down in ranks, by hundreds and by fifties : that is, probably, an hundred one way, and fifty the other, which would exactly make the five thousand. When therefore our Lord said, “ Make them sit down by fifties in a company,” it seems to have been with a view to this arrangement. An hundred such fifties would make the number.-On the same occasion, also, there were five loaves, which was a loaf to a thousand; and the disciples gathered twelve baskets full

, or a basket to each apostle; to teach them and us, that we lose nothing by giving up our substance, according to the Lord's direction, for the relief of the distressed. Afterwards, when four thousand were fed with seven loaves, they took up seven baskets full, or a basket for a loaf, gaining in proportion to what they gave.

XXXV. Though Jesus and his mother often appear in the New Testament together, there is generally something to mark a dignity in him, which was not in her. “They saw the young Child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped HIM," not them. Surely, if Mary was ever a fit object of worship, she would have been worshipped then. But the adoration of the wise men was not more discriminative than the enmity of Herod. “Take the young Child and his mother, and flee into Egypt :....for Herod will seek the young Child, to destroy him;" not, The young child and his mother, to destroy them. And again : “ Arise, and take the young Child, and his mother ....for they are dead which sought the young Child's life.”

Scoffers display the same discrimination, when our Lord is upon the cross between two thieves. “ Then were there two thieves crucified with him ; one on the right hand, and another on the left. And they that passed by reviled him.” He, the Lord Jesus, was their mark.' They revile Him; but the malefactors, one on each side of him, escape. Thus persecuting powers will yet assail Jesus through his members, while public delinquents are overlooked.

XXXVI. In Jesus submitting, as we have already seen, to be placed by Satan on the top of the mountain, and on the pinnacle of the temple, yet triumphing over every temptation, we learn

how the enemy of our souls may have power over us, as to outward circumstances, while we may yet be kept internally, by the power of God, unto salvation.-In Jesus submitting to be dragged by men from one part of Jerusalem to another, previous to his crucifixion, we learn how Satan often employs his agents in this life, to vex and harass the people of God.-In Jesus submitting, when an infant, to be carried down into Egypt, we learn with what perfect acquiescence, and childlike repose, the believer may commit his safety to the Lord.-In Jesus submitting, when he had taught the multitudes from a ship, to be conveyed in it by his disciples, to the other side, even as he was,

we learn with what entire disengagement from temporal concerns, and with what indifference as to external arrangements, the faithful missionary may give himself to the preaching of the word.—In Jesus submitting, when dead, to be wrapped, by friendly hands, in grave clothes and spices, which he needed not, we learn that it is not worth while to quarrel with the wellmeant dispositions and attentions of others, even where they are not required.-In Jesus submitting to be anointed for his burial, by other hands, before his death, we learn solemn preparation of heart for all that is to come upon us hereafter, according to the will of God.-In Jesus submitting to be taken down from the cross, and laid in the tomb, we learn, that whatever, after death, may befal our bodies, all will go right with them at the last, if we are found in Him.



On the Study of the Prophecies. OBJECTORS to the study of prophecy are accustomed to say, “ Some things are clearly revealed, other things are hid from us: therefore, prophecy must be let alone.” But, to try the force of this argument, it will be necessary to fill it up; or to put in that member of it which is omitted and assumed. The argument will then stand thus. “ Some things are clearly revealed, other things are hid from us : prophecy is a thing of this latter description : therefore, prophecy must be let alone.” Now, then, we have got the question on its right ground. How far is it true, that prophecy belongs to those things which are hid from ?

If it be ineant only, that the meaning of some prophecies is more or less hid from us, this is not to be denied. For example:


we read them, perhaps, and see but little of their import. We read them again, and are still at a loss.

But prophecy itself is not hid from us, for we have it in the Book. The page of Holy Scripture is the page of REVELATION, not the page of concealment. Some things God has been pleased to reveal to us, other things he has kept back from us. True. But all things that are contained in the Scriptures belong to the things revealed, and therefore prophecy among the rest. If we cannot make them out, it is not because they are not revealed, but because we are blind. Granted, there are many things in the prophetical parts of Scripture which I cannot understand. But I can remember the time when I could not understand the Epistle to the Romans. Perhaps it may only shew my self-conceit, if I think that I understand it fully now. In this respect, then, it is not clear that there exists any very great difference, between the prophetical parts of Scripture, and the rest of the Book. Had I believed, I might probably have understood the Epistle to the Romans long ago, about as well as I do now. Therefore, for what I do not understand, whether in this part of the Bible or in others, I must perhaps blame myself. The Bible is a discovery. Prophecy, as being contained in the Bible, is a discovery also. Yea, and it is a discovery now; before the future events, to which it refers, are accomplished. Either it is this, or prophecy does not partake of the character of that Book of which it forms a part, as a revelation to man: and if I ought to let alone the prophetical parts of Scripture because I do not understand them, I ought to let alone more or less of the rest of the Bible, for the same reason. At length, then, we trace the objection home. It is Popish. And let not that man think himself much of a Protestant, after all, who is loud for every person's right to search the Scriptures for himself, yet censures the study of Scripture prophecies.

Be it observed, that what I contend for throughout, is the study of prophecy, as contained in Scripture. To such study alone does my argument apply. The study of books written on prophecy is quite a different question. Carried too far, it may interfere with, or supersede, the study of the prophecies of Scripture : carried to a very great excess, it may bewilder and infatuate : in moderation, in its proper extent, in due subordination to the great object of studying THE PROPHECIES THEMSELVES, it may have its service and its place.

But, if the truth is to be spoken, our argument for studying the prophecies may be carried further still. Prophecy is a discovery, not only of future, but of present, of passing events.

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