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reflection. When it comes from the sun it is of the which it is applied. The symbols of Scripture are, all purest white, but very few substances give it back un- of them, appropriate. The sacrifice of a lamb, without changed. The leaves of plants, for example, retiect the spot or blemish, for instance, is a fit type of the offering green rays, the others being in a great measure lost, up of the Holy One on the cross for us; bread and wine, while among the varied blossoms that deck our fields, in the Sacrament of the Supper, naturally shew forth each one retlects its peculiar hue. To this decomposi- the benefits we receive from him, whose Besh is meat tion of light, wben reflected from terrestrial objects, indeed, and whose blood is drink indeed; the wası.'ng we owe the beauty of the varied landscape, and, at the with water in baptism, naturally represents the puriz. same time, that ready and distinct perception of differ- cation of the soul by grace : and, in like manner, the ent objects which results from their diversified colours. rainbow is an apt symbol of bin who “ makes known And we may further remark, that if it had been other- to principalities and powers the manifold wisdom of wise ordered, we would have had not merely the same- God ;" for, as in it all the various colours are exhibited, ness of an Arctic scene, but a glare more intolerable than and still their beautiful harmony is preserved, so, in that of a summer's sun shining on new fallen snow. Christ, the different perfections of deity are separately
The first mention that is made of the rainbow, is in manifested, and, at the same time, their essential unity Genesis ix. 12, when it is said, that after the Lord had is proved. made a covenant, that there should not be any more a If, therefore, we admit the propriety of the Scripture flood to destroy the earth, he said, “ This is the token expression, “ God is light," and if we allow that the of the covenant which I make between me and you. orb of day is the best image of the Creator's glory, then I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token the decomposition of Light into its original elements
, by of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall reflection and refraction in this terrestrial scene, is the come to pass, when ! bring a cloud over the earth, that appropriate emblem of the work which Christ bas acthe bow shall be seen in the cloud, and I will remember complished here. The rays of the unclouded sun, when my covenant. The manner in which the rainbow is they shine full on the eye, give pain instead of pleahiere spoken of, would almost lead us to suppose that it sure, and dazzle, instead of enabling us to see; but, rehad previously been unknown, that the mist which is flected from the varied landscape around, they produce said to have watered the earth (Gen. ii. 6) fell only | all that beauty of colouring which delights the eye, and during the night, and that rain in the day time was all that cheerful sense of security which distinguishes caused by some change in the constitution of the atino- the smiling day; and, in like manner, Jehovah, in his sphere, which removed the danger of a second flood. essential majesty, clothed with honour and with strength, Be this, however, as it may, the rainbow is the token covering himself with light as with a garment, pours of an everlasting covenant; and if the ancient heathen down a food of glory, which no created being can di
. were led by vague tradition to honour it as a deity and rectly contemplate, and “no man can see and live;" the messenger of the gods, it should surely remind us but in Jesus and in his work, this brilliance of omnipoof the awful catastrophe it commemorates, and of the tence is veiled, and the blinding splendour of pure digracious promise Jehovah afterwards made. It affords, vivity, which, directly viewed, would overwhelm us, is too, a very apt similitude for illustrating the joys which changed into a softened radiance, that gives all its bliss spring froin hope in the Redeemer. When the Chris- and all its beauty to that heavenly babitation, which tian looks on the dark cloud of aftliction with the eye hath no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine of faith, he sees there the bow of promise in all its in it; for the glory of God doth lighten it, and the Lam) beauty; he remembers that the Lord, who provided an is the light thereof." ark of refuge wherein to save his people from the flood of vengeance, has promised to keep them unto the end; and he feels contident that no cloud can long exclude
DISCOURSE. him from the sunshine of a Father's love.
BY THE LATE Rev. WILLIAM GILLESPIE,
Minister of Kells.
“ Leaving us an example, that we should follow his Changeful and many weathered, seemed to smile,
steps.”—1 Peter ii. 21.
The excellence of Christianity is evinced, not
more by the sublimity of its doctrines, and the
purity of its precepts, than by the perfect examOn the good man's pale check, when he in peace Departing gently from a world of woes,
ple of its author. The founders of all the ancient Anticipates the realm where sorrows cease!
systems of philosophy and Religion bad many ble
SOUTHEY. We find the rainbow again spoken of in Ezekiel i. 28. and tarnished their fame ; and should we imitate
mishes, which were at variance with their principles, “ And above the firmament that was over their heads; them too closely, we should be betrayed into error, was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone, and upon the likeness of the throne was prejudice, and crime. They frequently contradictthe likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it. ed, by their lives, what they so powerfully enforced And I saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of by their eloquence. Like the Scribes and Pharisees fire round about within it, from the appearance of his those high pretenders to sanctity, “ they bound loins, even upward, and from the appearance of his heavy burdens, grievous to be borne, and laid loins, even downward, I saw, as it were, the appearance them upon men's shoulders, but they themselves of fire, and it had brightness round about. pearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of would not move them with one of their fingers." rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round Christianity, in fact, is the only system of Religion about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord.” Similar passages are found in Re- in the person of its blessed founder, a perfect es;
ever communicated to mankind, which exhibits, velations iv. 3, and x. 1. In these passages the rainbow is evidently employed as a means of shadowing to be « visible philosophy,” and that of Jesus is
ample of all moral excellence. forth the perfections of the Redeemer. And let no one accuse us of giving undue indulgence to our fancy, when the mirror from which is reflected his sublime we say that it is admirably adapted to the purpose to and amiable Religion. It proves to us not merely
A good life is said
that his Religion is true, but likewise that it is ' “ Peace on earth, and good-will to the children of practicable, and he who assumed our nature, men.” The star which pointed him out to the and had a fellow-feeling for all our infirmities, has wise men, was the precursor of that “ Sun of shewn us our duty in every relation of life, and Righteousness that was to arise with healing unbecome at once our instructor and our guide. der his wings.” He appears amongst men, full of That character, which even his enemies have grace and truth; and though his enemies have never ventured to impeach, attracts our ad- assailed his doctrine, they have been forced to conmiration by its beauty, and disarms malice by its fess their admiration of his life. Yes, Christians, modest unobtrusive excellence. Never can we his mercy and his beneficence attest his divinity examine it too narrowly, or imitate it too closely. no less than the ancient predictions, and those “ Because, Christ also has suffered for us, leaving miraculous works, which prove him to be the Son us an example, that we should follow his steps.” of God with power. He goes about continually
Let us pause for a few moments to contemplate doing good. His divine lips are opened only to the character of the blessed Jesus. Let us endea- instruct, and his blessed hands are unceasingly your to concentrate some of those rays of excel- stretched forth in works of charity and benefilence, which were reflected from his humanity. cence. How dignified, how divine, is his person and the As he walks in the fields, amid the works of purity of his conduct! In the words of inspiration, the Creator smiling around him, he inculcates the “ He was holy, harmless, undefiled.” No un- sublimest truths of his Providence and his love. halowed thoughts ever rose in his heart. Nay, with what simplicity and affection does he breathe to indulge such thoughts, he enumerated amongst the words of divine wisdom! He who clothes the greatest of crimes. Contemplate his equani- | the lilies of the valley, will he not much more mity. The storms of passion disturb not the clothe his children? And he who feeds the birds placid tranquillity of his soul. Him, no interest of the air, will he not protect and nourish those captivates, no ambition inflames, no fame dazzles, who love him ? He recommended our love to each no grandeur allures. He is equally unmoved, whe- other by the example of his supreme love, “ which ther the inconstant Jews, strewing his path with maketh his sun to shine on the evil and on the flowers, wished to make him their king, or raised good, and his rain to fall on the just and on the the inhuman cry, “ away with him, away with unjust.” He inculcates upon us, mercy to our him.” His mind is majestic, and serene as the brethren, by the mercy of God to us ; forbearance rinclouded heaven from whence he sprung. It is to each other, from his long suffering; and the tranquil as the ocean, which he stilled with his matual forgiveness of injuries, as we expect forvoice. By his abstinence, humility, and self-de- giveness from Him, whom we have all so frenial, he shews his contempt of the illusive plea- quently offended. sures, the vain honours, and the empty grandeur He communicates the sublimest truths in the of this passing state. He beholds them, as the most beautiful and interesting parables, derived sun seems to view those fleeting vapours, that from the most familiar incidents in life, or the may conceai, but cannot add to his majesty and simplest objects of nature. From the brow of a Anigence. Sublimer objects occupied his mind. mountain, beneath the canopy of heaven, he Beyond the troubled horizon of this world, his teaches the will of the Great Author of nature, who eve rests on a region of purer bliss. From this is not confined to temples made with hands. How vale of tears, he looks forward to that better world, full of affection are his words, “ Blessed are the where his Father shall wipe all sorrow from the meek; blessed are the merciful; blessed are the eres; and, amid the conflict and humiliation of in spirit; blessed are the peace-makers.” He is fond the present scene, anticipates his triumph at the of the candour, simplicity, and innocence of little right hand of God, where he shall obtain“ a children, so congenial to his own nature, which unites name, above every name.” Ye! whose hearts are to the simplicity of a child, the dignity and magcaptivated by the riches, the pleasures, and the nanimity of a God.“ Unless ye become as little honours of the world, reflect, that he who had all children,” says he, "ye cannot enter into the kingthese in his power, despised them as beneath the dom of heaven.” He calls himself by the affecdignity of an immortal nature, and not worthy to tionate and humble appellation of the good sheple compared to the glory that shall be revealed herd, who came to gather the “ lost sheep of the
house of Israel.” In him is fulfilled the ancient Nor was that heart so pure and serene, without prediction, “ that he shall feed his flock as a shepkindness and beneficence. His tranquillity was herd; he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and not the result of apathy, nor his temperance that carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead of insensibility to the benevolent affections. The those that are with young." God-Man, is all love, all goodness, all beneficence. Compassion and kindness flow from his lips. His whole life is a beautiful epitome of his divine He weeps over the grave of a departed friend. and amiable Religion. How admirably does it His greatest miracle was wrought in proof of the accord with that dispensation of love and mercy, most amiable sentiment which actuates the human which he came to communicate! When angels breast. He felt for the poor culprit who was announced his advent to the shepherds of Bethle- brought before him. • He that is without sin hem, it was in songs of joy, which proclaimed, amongst you,” says he, “ let him cast the first
stone.” And he would “not send away the mul- | distresses of others touched his benevolent heart
, titude fasting in the wilderness, lest they should and called forth his miraculous powers. He refaint by the way.” And on that night on which stored a daughter from the dead to the arms of he was betrayed, when his disciples, weary with | her afflicted mother; and called a brother from watching, had fallen asleep, instead of guarding the grave, to the embraces of his weeping and distheir master in the season of his suffering and his consolate sisters. But it was chiefly for the salvaperil, he merely rebuked them in these gentle tion of the souls of men, that he became on earth terms: “ Could ye not watch with me," says he, the “way, and the truth, and the life.” This was “one hour,”—a last, a parting hour! then, as if re- the grand end of his mission ; for this he lived, gretting the reproof he had just given, he imme- he suffered, he died; for this he ascended triumdiately adds this apology: “ The spirit, indeed, is phant from the grave, a leading captivity capwilling, but the flesh is weak." Full of affection tive.” With him a new era was to arise. “Truth to his native country, he exclaims, “ Oh, Jerusa- was to spring out of the earth, and righteousness lemn, (anticipating the judgments ere long to befall was to look down from heaven.” The crooked that devoted city,) thou that kiilest the prophets, places were to be made straight, and the rugged and stonest them that are sent unto thee, how places smooth.”. 6 Old things were to be done often would I have gathered thy little ones toge- away, and all things were to be made new.” The ther, as a hen doth gather her brood under her savage nature of man was to be humanized; the wings, and ye would not !” “ As he beheld from wolf was to lie down with the lamb, and the leo. a mountain," says the Evangelist, “the city, he pard was to dwell with the kid. The wilderness wept over it.” “ Daughters of Jerusalem,” says he, and solitary place was to hear his voice, and at another time, to the sorrowing females who be glad, and the desert to rejoice, and blossom as deplored his fate, when he was dragged through the rose. The voice of God was again to be heard the city, bending all the while under the weight in the gardens and in the groves, and incense and a of his own cross, weep not for me, but weep pure offering were to ascend up on high, from the for yourselves and for your children.” What disin- rising to the setting sun. Such are the blessed terested friendship! What divine composure ! effects of that divine charity, which so eminentir What love of his country!
characterized the life and the dispensation of Jesus, His miracles, too, while proofs of his divine —which is the queen of all the virtues,—the Lond mission, were eternal monuments likewise of his of perfectness and the fulfilling of the law ! " B love. They accord with that goodness by which this shall all men know,” says he, “ that ye are my his whole doctrine and life were so peculiarly dis- disciples, if ye love one another.” tinguished ; and, as one expresses it, “have a Kor was the character of Jesus less distinguishmuch stronger character of beneficence than ofed for sincerity and justice! He gives to every power.” Unlike his predecessors, the prophets
, man his due, “ provides things honest in the sighi he wrought no miracles of the severe kind, and of men.” “ He did no sin, neither was guile his disciples wrought but few, and such only as found in his lips.” The son of God pays tribute to were necessary to establish their authority, and to Cæsar. In short, he who came to establish a king confirm their doctrines. He bade not, like Moses, the dom not of this world, gives tribute to whom tiearth open to swallow up his enemies, nor, like bute is due, honour to whom honour, and she's Elijah, invoked the fire of heaven to consume the a respect to human governments and institutions. votaries of idolatry. In proof of his mission, the Neither were the sterner virtues of justice, sun stood not still to prolong the slaughter of his temperance and self-denial combined in him with fues; the sea rolled not back to overwhelm his that ruggedness and austerity of manners, which enemies with its waves ; the voice of the thunder frequently characterize the founders of new systems accompanied not the promulgation of his laws; of Religion. He was mild, gentle and unassuming, nor did darkness, lightnings, and tempests fill the and, though the eternal Son of God, demeaned people with terror. On the contrary, “ the songs himself as the humblest of men. Thus
, he is of angels chanted peace at his birth ; a heaven compared to a Lamb without spot, to express ly voice proclaimed, “ This is my beloved Son, the gentleness of his nature, as well as the imınacuhear ye him ;” and the ocean sunk to a calm lateness of his sacrifice. He affects no peculiar when he uttered these words, “ Peace, be still.” reservedness of temper, but, on the contrary, mixes His sympathy evaporates not in unavailing ex- in all the innocent pleasures of society, and his pressions of pity ; but every miracle he wrought, first miracle was wrought at Cana of Galilee
, at carried a blessing in its bosom to some distressed the celebration of a marriage feast. He treats fellow-creature. In him were realized the pro- man suitably to his nature, as a being formed to phecies of old, “ That the eyes of the blind were live in society, and whose happiness springs from opened, the ears of the deaf unstopt, the lame the proper exercise of all the amiable affections of leapt as the hart, and the tongue of the dumb was his nature. Not, therefore, forbidding in his manheard to sing." "He wrought not one miracle for ners, he was so easy of access, that the very children, his own advantage, to relieve himself from attracted by the mildness and benignity of his pain, or to extricate himself from difficulty and nature, flocked unto him, and he took them up in misfortune. No, Christians, affliction and sor- his arms and blessed them, saying, row he bore without even a murmur ; but the the kingdom of heaven.” We find no hershness,
“ of such is
no rudeness, no selfishness or affectation in the but rejoices in suffering, that he may promote character of Jesus. His is that genuine mildness the present and eternal happiness of others. and unaffected kindness of deportment, so differ- How great is Jesus in suffering ! here he is nothing ent from that false politeness so common in the less than the God in humanity. Is he not subworld, and which frequently varnishes over the jected to hunger, to poverty, to persecution and basest qualities of the heart. Greatly, therefore, sorrow; oppressed, calumniated, despised ? Is not do they mistake the true spirit of his Religion, his breast bare to every blast of affliction ? Is he who consider it to consist in mortification, solitude not assailed by every art of malice ? Was he not and privations, as was supposed by the monks and almost wholly destitute of those consolatory enanchorites of the early ages, who mistook the dearments of friendship, which alleviate, by tender doctrines of Plato for those of Christ. No, sympathy, the miseries of the unfortunate ? Was Christians, we are to let our light shine before he not destitute of all the ease which wealth men, and genuine Christianity consists in that affords, and while the “ foxes have their holes, universal goodness and benevolence which breathes and the birds of the air have their nests, the Son nothing but love to God and man.
of Man had not where to lay his head.” His good Nor was his piety less ardent than his benefi- deeds, his labours of love, met not even with the cence. We find him proof against all the snares of animating meed of deserved approbation ; and the tempter, and all ihe wealth and kingdoms of what is frequently unmeritedly bestowed on the the world will not induce him to deny his God. statesman and the warrior, is denied to the most " It was his meat and his drink to do the will of benevolent soul that ever appeared upon earth. his father ;” and with emotion He exclaims, “ to Around the brow of Jesus no wreath of glory was do thy will I take delight, O my God." Apart twined. He was a friendless wanderer in this vale from men, he freqnently conversed with God; in of tears, but the unspotted excellence of his own the retired garden of Gethsemane, or in the character bore him up under all the complicated solitary Mount of Olives, he often spent whole misfortunes and afflictions to which he was exnights in prayer, and the silent stars witnessed the posed. It was this that enabled him in meekness, pious aspirations of the Son of Man. Christians, resignation and patience, to possess his soul. It if Jesus so prayed, who had no errors to be cor- was this that enabled him to display that exemrected, or sins to be forgiven, as we have, then plary magnanimity, that elevation of character, well may we.
Well may we pour out our spirits that trust in Providence, that cheerful resignation in that prayer which is the revealed channel of to his Father's will, which the heaven-born spirit divine communication, which wafts the soul to the of his Religion can only inspire. It was this heavens to which it aspires, and assimilates it to which enabled him to show with what unshrinkthe object which it adores.
ing fortitude he could carry himself amid all the His Religion is truth itself, and truth is in all troubles and persecutions by which he was assailed. his thoughts, his actions, and his words. That in the palace of Caiaphas, the high priest, this led him sincerity is ever the object of his praise, which to support the mildest dignity, the most sweet and gives life and energy to Religion, and lies at the amiable forbearance, though surrounded by bigotted foundation of all the virtues. Thus, the ostenta- priests, by malignant rulers, by a ferocious soldiery, tious hypocrisy of the Pharisees he reproves with and a low and brutal rabble.
66 When he was more than his usual earnestness, and the prayer reviled, he reviled not again ; when he suffered, he which he has left us as a model for our imitation, threatened not, but in all things submitted himself is the most simple, comprehensive and sublime. to Him who judgeth righteously." How divine is the prayer, that the “ will of God that, in the garden of Gethsemane, even in the may be done on earth, as it is done by the angels hour of his bitterest anguish, caused him to exin Heaven ;” and though he was soon to introduce claim in these memorable words of resignation, a new order of things, a better dispensation, of “ Not my will, O God! but thine be done.” Finwhich the former was but the shadow, yet we find ally, it was this which, at the Cross on Mount him in the synagogues and temples of the Jews, Calvary, when his enemies were inflicting upon paying a becoming respect to the institutions of him all that malice could devise, or cruelty inflict, Religion, which wise and good men must ever revere, made him pray with love all divine, for forgiveness to as the cause of order, subordination, and instruc- his bloody and implacable murderers ! Well might tion, among the great mass of mankind. Thus, the centurion exclaim,“ Truly this was a just to a mind the most comprehensive and enlight- man; truly this was the Son of God.” ened, we find him uniting the utmost modesty, In short, Christians, what a character was here! humility and simplicity.
What spotless purity, what unassuming modesty, If suffering be the grand test of the excellence what ardent, extensive, and unwearied beneficence, of the Christian, in how sublime and interesting what sublime and fervent piety! what fortitude a light must our Saviour appear! It is affirmed in adversity, what patience in suffering, and what by the ancients, that to behold a good man bravely resignation to the divine will! In the period of struggling with adversity, and by patience over- his humiliation, he evinced all the glory of uncoming it, is a spectacle on which even the gods shaken magnanimity, and while he suffered the look down with delight. But how much more death of a man, he displayed all the fortitude and admirable must he appear, who not only bears, benignity of a God.
CAIN AND ABEL.
Such, Christians, is a short and imperfect sketch | interests of Christ's kingdom upon earth, and
preof that excellence which the Apostles have hand- pare ourselves for the rewards and enjoyments ed down to us. From the obscurest source was above.- Amen. to arise that divine stream which was to refresh and beautify the earth. He who was born in a
SCRIPTURAL RESEARCHES. stable, laid in a manger, the heir of indigence and mis
No, IV. fortune, despised by the rulers, and held at naught even by the vilest of the people, condemned as a
BY THE REV. JAMES ESDAILE, selon, and executed as the basest malefactor, who Minister of the East Church, Perth. exhibited in his life an utter contempt for all the “ The Lord had respect unto Abel, and to his offering; but unto
Cain, and to his ottering, he had not respect." honours, riches and pleasures, which are the darling objects of human pursuit, was destined to give birth The offering of these two brothers is the first act of to a Religion superior to the most perfect delinea- worship recorded in the history of Religion ; and having
its origin in the very cradle, as it were, of the buinan tion of human wisdom, which was to supersede race, we need not be surprised at its early and universal that of the Cæsars, and spread itself to the re- prevalence among mankind. We are not told wbether motest corners of the earth,—a Religion which they offered from the suggestion of their own feelings, was to give hope to the despairing, and consolation or in consequence of a positive appointment by God; to the afflicted, to become the parent of liberty bence much controversy has prevailed on this subject
, and civilization, to restore to humanity its violated into which I decline to enter ; and shall merely state
in one sentence, the argument which appears decisive, rights, and to raise man to the true dignity of his in my mind, in favour of the divine appointinent of nature. But it belongs to the divine wisdom to sacrifices. It is this, that if sacrifices are of human produce from causes apparently the most inade- invention, it follows as a matter of course, that fallen, quate, the most sublime and magnificent effects. apostate man could devise an acceptable method of apThe feeble acorn which Jesus planted, has become proaching God: but the apostle tells us, that it was by a mighty tree, whose top reaches to the heavens, Cain ;" that is, he offered in the faith of some promised
faith that “ Abel offered a more excellent sacritice than whose branches spread over the whole world, so blessing connected with sacrifice; and whatever is of that all nations may repose under its shade. The faith is not from the invention of men, but by the rock cut out of the mountain without hands, was revelation of God. to smite the image (of superstition,) and fill the I hold, then, that both the brothers offered in conwhole earth.
sequence of a divine command, or in dependence on a Let this, then, be the great model of our imita- ference? It is needless to agitate this question after the
divine promise. What was it then, that made the diftion,—let this be the pillar of light to conduct explicit declaration already quoted from the words of the the pilgrim through the perilous wilderness,—let apostle, who tells us, that the excellence of Abel's it be the star to guide the mariner through the sacrifice consisted in the faith of the offerer. But we tempestuous ocean of life. Consider those as may probably discover, in the nature of their respective your greatest enemies, who would persuade you offerings, soine features of the mind and feelings of the
offerers. that Christianity emancipates you from the ties
“ Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an of moral obligation. For what end did Christ teach under the law, and acceptable to God when offered in
offering unto the Lord.” This was an authorised offering us such holy precepts, if we were not bound to
a proper spirit ; but it was an offering of thanksgiving obey them ? or set before us such exalted vir- rather than of supplication ; and we may infer that it tues, if we are not bound to imitate them ? Can was offered by Cain as an expression of gratitude tur we call Jesus Master and Lord, and yet neglect temporal mercies, and that he looked to no higher bless the duties which he has commanded? Can ings; in short, Cain's offering was one that might have
been presented in the state of innocence as a symbol of we contemplate such disinterested beneficence,
thankfulness to the Giver of all good. But Abel's ofwithout feeling our bosoms glow with kindred
fering was an expiatory sacrifice, which could not
, by love,—such dignified purity, without preserving possibility, have been comprebended in the state of ourselves from sensual and degrading indulgences, innocence. Abel by faith looked forward to that sacri
. ---such integrity and justice, without respecting the fice which was to take away the sin of the world; and rights of our brethren, and the claims of our
the very circumstance of his offering such a sacrifice
, country, finally, such sublime and fervent piety, decided proof that infinitely more was revealed to our
and of God's accepting it in honour of his faith, is a without elevating our desires and our affections to first parents after the fall, than is recorded by the sacred the source of all excellence and perfection ? If historian. This is not a defect in his writings, but a we contemplate him in all the beauty of his char- proof of the divine wisdom by which they were dictated, acter, it must be the object at once of our admi- which guarded the great mystery of godliness against ration and love ; we shall be attracted by its excel- premature disclosure, but scattered marks and tokens lence, and imperceptibly be led to imitate what the prominent feature in all God's dispensations since we love and admire.
the beginning of the world. Weak and imperfect as we are, we must ever
In consequence of the rejection of Cain's offering, come short of the faintest image of his excellence. we are told that he “ was very wroth, and his counteYet our souls will be ennobled by the object of our
nance fell.” From this, it is evident that he had ercontemplation, animated by the virtues which we perienced a grievous disappointment. What, then, can admire, and inspired with that love by which we
we suppose to have been his expectations, are redeemed. By this alone shall we prove our
his wrath directed against his brother? It was not
that he envied his spiritual privileges ; the man who selves worthy of the Christian's name, advance the really prizes these blessings cannot hate him who pos.
or why was