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compassionate Saviour, but the inexorable Judge, " laughing at your calamity, mocking at your fear
Behold him, humble penitents,-long and dark may be the catalogue of your sins, heavy and intolerable their burden. But why are ye fearful? Listen to the good tidings proclaimed to Zion, that her king, the Lord of Hosts, will come, having salvation. He has come to “feed his flock like a shepherd, to gather the lambs with his arm, to carry them in his bosom d.” And it is the language of divine power, as well as of infinite mercy-“ Look unto me, and be ye saved, all
ye ends of the earth ®;" “ come unto me, all ye that labour, and are heavy laden, and I will give you restf.”
Behold him, faithful Christians, constantly by the eye of faith, in the fulness of his love. Under the sense of your sins, let his mercy
your solace. In the experience of the numerous temptations and sorrows of the world, let his grace be (your confidence. Amidst all the changes and trials of this mortal life, let his service be your delight. With the messenger of glad tidings to Zion, ascend the holy mount, and behold your God, your Redeemer, preparing for you a place in his heavenly kingdom, seats of glory eternal in the heavens, bliss that fadeth not away,
& Prov. i. 26.
e Isaiah xlv, 22,
d Isaiah xl. ll.
“O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion, get thee up into the high mountain ; 0 thou that tellest good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up thy voice with strength, lift it up, be not afraid. Say unto the cities of Judah, behold your God,"
THE SONG OF ZACHARIAS.
[4 CHRISTMAS SERMON.]
LUKE i. 68, 69.
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he hath visited and
redeemed his people, and hath raised up an horn of salvation for us.
• The fulness of time had come,” when the world was to witness the fulfilment of the promise, that “God would send forth his Son;" when the divine dispensations were to receive a glorious completion, and that event was to take place which had been predicted in numerous prophecies, foreshadowed in numerous types, and which had awakened the eager desires, and excited the glowing strains of the holy prophets. The period of the world's redemption had arrived. The glorious Messiah, “ the desire of all nations,” “ the light of the Gentiles, and the hope of Israel,” was now to visit, to redeem, and to save his people.
This was the event which animated the heart of the holy Zacharias, the priest and prophet of the Lord. The recovery of his speech, of which he had been deprived as a judgment for his incredulity, when the angel delivered to him a divine message, and the birth of a son to him in his old age, who was to be distinguished as “the prophet of the Highest,” were events so important, that we should not wonder if they had wholly occupied his mind. But he seems to forget these occurrences, so interesting to him personally, in the view of that stupendous event, which, by faith, he saw accomplished; the incarnation and birth of the promised Messiah. And it was this astonishing display of divine power and mercy, which filled him with gratitude and adoration, and caused him to burst forth in this strain of exultation, “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he hath visited and redeemed his people, and hath raised up an horn of salvation for us."
The same divine personage, her Redeemer, her Lord, and her King, the Church in her services, through many succeeding festivals, at this holy season, exhibits to us. And not less ardent should be our song of exultation than was that of the devout Zacharias. He knew that this Saviour was to be the only hope and refuge of guilty man. He beheld the shades of error, which enveloped the world, dispelled by the day-spring from on high ; the stains of sin, which deformed the soul of man, and rendered him the object of the divine displeasure, washed away by the blood of atonement; and death, the foe of man's enjoyment, stripped of his sting by the power of a divine Conqueror. He beheld an almighty Redeemer conducting his followers, through the grave and gate of death, to seats of glory eternal in the heavens. This glorious prospect filled his soul with transport, and he burst forth in the hymn of triumph.
We, brethren, have the same causes of exultation. For the Church this day proclaims the glad tidings, that, “ Unto us is born, in the city of David, a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord a.”
In the writings of the Apostles and Evangelists, we behold displayed both the humiliation, and the exaltation ; the sufferings, and the glory, of the world's Redeemer. The manger, which was his bed; the path of sorrow, which his footsteps traced ; the hill of Calvary, which witnessed his ignominious crucifixion, and trembled at his expiring groan;
whose bands he burst, the mount from which he ascended to heaven to reign for ever the King of glory; his humility, his patience, his mercy, his grace, and his love-all these, which endear him to us both as the suffering son of David, and as the Redeemer mighty to save, we behold exhibited in the record, which eye witnesses have made; and, animated by the view
a Luke ii. 12.