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and its furniture were vastly inferior to the temple of Solomon. But among whom of the sons of men did He dwell in particular? He generally chose to associate Himself with the poor of this world. The fishermen of Galilee, publicans and sinners, were those with whom He was most conversant. He might have had the Priests and Rulers for His attendants; but He chose rather to appear in the lowest station of life as to poverty, not having where to lay His head; that the poorest and meanest might be encouraged to to approach Him without fear, and present their supplications before Him. And He always regarded the prayer of the poor destitute, and despised not their desire.77
But in the midst of the poverty with which He was surrounded, His Divine glory was conspi
We beheld His glory, said His disciples, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father. He manifested forth His glory,78 by the miracles which He wrought for the benefit of those who sought His aid in the time of their need or distress. He turned water into wine. He fed the multitudes. He stilled the tempestuous winds and waves. He healed the sick. He gave sight to the blind. He made the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak. He cleansed the lepers. He raised the dead by His word. In these things
77 Psalm cii. 17.
78 John i. 14, ii. II.
He displayed His power and glory. And He called on all men to believe in Him because of the miracles that He wrought.79 He manifested His glory also to three of His disciples, on the mount of transfiguration ; which led the Apostle Peter to say, We have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ; but were eye-witnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to Him from the excellent glory, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice, which came from heaven, we heard, when we were with Him in the holy mount. 8o But He made no ostentatious show of His glory. His disciples were commanded not to mention the circumstance of His transfiguration until He should have risen from the dead. 81
The character which He sustained towards mankind was one full of grace and truth. He went about doing good. He bestowed the gifts of His bounty freely. They who surrounded Him declared, Of His fulness have all we received, and grace for grace 782 supplies continually renewed according to their need. To dispense these benefits was the great object of His incarnation. To bless mankind He came from heaven to earth. Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. 82 He was full of truth. He was the truth, the substance or reality to which all the figurative representations of the Mosaic dispensation referred. He called Himself, The way, the truth, and the life. 83 He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him was no sin.84 Those who believed in Him, purified their souls in obeying the truth, through the Spirit.85 This description of our Lord Jesus Christ, as being full of grace and truth, is given to us in order that we may make our application to Him for the rich blessings of His grace; and may be in heart and life conformed to His holy image and His blessed will.
79 John x. 37,38. €0 2 Pet.i.16–18. 81 Mat. xvii.9. 82 John i. 16,17.
Where the grace of Christ influences the heart, truth will be manifested in the conduct; falsehood and deceit will be banished from the character.
What a high dignity is it to be called the children of God, to be heirs of God and of glory. This is the privilege of every believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. If this be our character, if we are believers in His name, we have reason to rejoice in the birth of Christ, to rejoice that He came into the world to save sinners.86 And while we celebrate His incarnation, we shall also esteem it our privilege to commemorate, as we are this day invited to do, the end for which He appeared, to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself »87 whereby glory redounded to God in the highest, peace
John xiv.6.841 Johnji.5. 85] Pet.i.22. 86] Tim.i.15. 87 Heb.ix.26.
on earth was effected between guilty man and his offended Creator, and the good will of God toward man was displayed.84 Thus shall we unite together the wondrous scenes of Bethlehem and Calvary, praying that our love and gratitude may flow in a deeper and broader stream to our redeeming God and Saviour. He was glorious in His death, as well as in His birth. If an angel appeared in glory to announce His birth, an angel from heaven also appeared to Him in His agony, strengthening Him to endure what was further to come upon Him. Let us then rejoice in Him with fear and trembling; thankful for His redeeming love, and for His great salvation; and seeking to partake of the blessings which He came to bring to sinful men on earth. Let us turn from all sin to the Lord our God. And let us look forward in hope to the time of our Saviour's second coming, rejoicing in hope of the glory of God ,89 that when His glory shall be revealed, we may be glad also with exceeding joy;90 and may enter into the joy of our Lord, 91 to praise and bless His holy name for ever and ever.
89 Lukeži. 14. 89 Rom. y. 2. 90 1 Peteriv. 13. 91 Matthew xxv. 21.
FIRST SUNDAY AFTER CHRISTMAS.
THE NATIVITY OF CHRIST.
Matthew i. 25.
AND HE CALLED HIS NAME JESUS.
In the Gospel for Christmas day, the simple and sublime account of St. John concerning the high dignity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and His incarnation, or being made flesh, for us men and for our salvation, was brought before us. The corresponding account of St. Matthew is the subject presented to us in the Gospel for this day. The former merely related the wonderful event as having taken place. This enters into some particulars respecting it.
Let us consider them with humility, and with prayer that the blessings which flowed to mankind