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persecuted'; who preached the glad tidings of salvation to all the world :-it is the true Emmanuel, God and man in one person, who condescends to take our nature upon him, and to dwell among us.
And that judgment which the prophetic Psalmist ascribes to him, is that royal authority ' which he exercises, as well over his church, which is his proper dominion, as over all the rest of the world. His kingdom indeed here is but yet in its infancy, and its progress upon earth is retarded by the malice of devils and wicked men; there are yet many dark corners of the world where his blessed name is unknown, and his authority unacknowledged; but the day will come, in God's good time, when his glorious kingdom shall be enlarged; when Jews and Gentiles will join in giving him the honour due unto his name; when all people shall fall down before him, and all nations do him service; when we shall all be one fold, under one shepherd, Jesus Christ.
This, then, is what the Psalmist saw and foretold concerning the coming of Christ. And what he foretold, we have actually seen fulfilled and accomplished. The Messenger of the coyenant, the Redeemer of mankind, is come, and
hath judged the world with righteousness, and the people with equity. He has encountered our enemies, he has delivered us from the bondage of sin, he has restored to us the lost image of God, and made us heirs of eternal salvation. If therefore the Psalmist rejoiced to see his day, and was glad; if the distant prospect of so great a blessing filled his breast with the most lively gratitude ; what ought our joy and gratitude to be, who have not only seen, but actually enjoy, what he beheld obscurely and afar off? If a small emanation of heavenly light could kindle such divine raptures of love in his affections, what ought we to feel, who have seen the Sun of righteousness rising in his strength, and filling the world with his heavenly effulgence? If the sea, the floods, and the hills, and all inanimate nature, are called upon to pay their tribute of praise, what praise and adoration are due from us, to whom the Lord hath given so great salvation? or what excuse shall we plead, if we neglect to do it? They indeed have no power to express their homage to the God of nature but by silent obedience to his commands; for there is neither speech nor language heard among them: but God hath given us an understanding and a tongue; the one, to conceive the wonders of his providence, and the other, to set forth his praises : we are therefore inexcusable, if we do
not employ those faculties he has given us in extolling his goodness, and declaring his love to wards the children of men.
These are duties indeed incumbent upon us at all times : but they are more especially so at this solemn season, when we are assembled to celebrate the miraculous birth of our dear Redeemer, and at the same time to commemorate his painful death in the holy mysteries of the Sacrament. And the more to encourage us in the discharge of these holy duties, he has promised that he will be in the midst of us, where two or three are gathered together in his name, and that he will dwell in those who devoutly eat his flesh and drink bis blood. We may therefore truly say with the Psalmist, « The Lord is “ come indeed :" He now looks down from heaven on this his house of prayer, and will honour our solemnity with his presence: He regards the supplications of his people, and will hear their cry: He seeth the sile;ut breathings of the contrite heart, and listens to the penitential murmurs of the returning sinner.
Are then the eyes of our Redeemer thus over us ? let him not find us sleeping, but let us be sober, and watch unto prayer. Is he now at the door, and expects us to meet him at his holy 3
table, and to be partakers of the marriage feast? let us prepare to meet him, by putting on the wedding garment required of God in the Gospel, by resolving to forsake our past sins, to amend our lives, and be in perfect charity with all men'; so shall we be meet partakers of his holy mysteries, and intitled to that salvation which he came to purchase for us : for he came to save repenting sinners.
And when we return from these holy ordinances, let it be oựr fixed resolution to go and sin no more, lest some worse thing befal us, than we have yet experienced. Let us renounce the hidden works of darkness, and put on the armour of light; knowing that Christ calls us to sublimer delights and more exalted joys than the world can give.
And, lastly, whilst our hearts are filled with his love, and our mouths with his praises, let us lay aside all, hatred, quarrels, and animosities, all malice, strife, and envy, forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven us.
PHILIP. ii. 8, 9.
And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled
himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. IVherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name.
IN the beginning of this chapter, the Apostle
exhorts the Philippians to the discharge of two very necessary duties, unity and humility. In the first and second verses, he requests them to maintain peace and concord among themselves; lest being divided and rent asunder by intestine contentions, they should expose themselves to the insidious frauds of false apostles and teachers.--" If there be any consolation in
Christ,” says he, any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, fulfil ye my joy, that ye be like