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when he delivered this testimony, for if his views had been limited by the separating wall which divided the Jews and the Gentiles, the feast would have been made for Jew, but not for Gentile. But Jesus hath broken down the middle wall of partition between Jew and Gentile, that of the twain he might make, in himself, one new man.
A feast made by our heavenly Father for all people cannot be designed to reconcile him who makes the feast to those for whom it is made; nor can this feast be composed of sentiments which exclude any from its blessings. The same prophet, stimulated by the quickening energies of the nourishing qualities of this feast, exclaims as follows; “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? And your labour for that which satisfieth not? Harken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.'
As other emblems of this divine repast, the same prophet speaks of rivers of waters in dry places, streams in deserts, and pools in parched ground. All these beautiful representations are realized in Jesus, who declared himself to be the bread of God, which came down from heaven to give life to the world; and who said that the water which he should give should so satisfy, that those who drank of it should never thirst.
In view of Jesus, in this extensive character, we understand his testimony, in which he says; “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me;" in which declaration he speaks of the fulfilment of the words of Isaiah, who said: “And it shall come to pass, in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it.”
The spirit of the christian religion, and that
which leads the devotions of the sanctuary, is unfeigned gratitude 10 our inerciful Father in heaven, who graciously forgives our iniquities, transgressions and sins; and who never fails to administer those salutary chastisements, which, in his hand, are means of grace, mercy and peace; and who has endowed his holy child Jesus with power to bring life and immortality to light through the gospel; and a lively active benevolence towards all mankind, as the offspring of our universal Parent, who is equally good unto all, and whose tender mercies are over all his works. Under the inAuence of this spirit, and in the enjoyment of this feast, which God hath made in Sion for all people, a christian assembly presents, in the exercises of devotion, the most pleasing and delightful entertainment that our imagination can conceive.
Where parents and children, neighbours and friends, the old and young, assemble to confess their sins and realize the mercy of a pardoning Redeemer, to offer prayers in faith for all needed favours, to feast their hopes with the bright prospect of immortal glory, and to offer anthems of praise to the giver of every good and perfect gift; while all the social affections are warmed and strengthened, we may justly call such a place an heavenly place in Christ Jesus. Of such a place, the pious Watts, expressing the sentiment of the sweet singer of Israel, says;
“ I've seen thy glory and thy power
Through all thy temple shine :
That vision so divine
Can please my soul so well,
And in thy presence dwell.” 3dly. We are to speak of the design or object to be promoted by the public worship of God.
This is definitely expressed in the last member of our text, as follows: “That thou mayest learn to fear the Lord thy God always."
In order to obtain correct views of this most important subject, it seems necessary in the first place to understand what is meant by the fear of the Lord. This fear is not that slavish dread, which too many deluded minds entertain, by erroneously supposing that our heavenly Father is a tyrant, destitute of that goodness, which renders him the proper object of our supreme love and confidence ; but it is that fear which love and confidence produce in the mind. We who are parents ought to understand this principle perfectly; for without it, it is impossible to govern our offspring to their advantage. If our children are taught to fear to disobey us, because they realize our love and affection for them, their fear will be a safe defence against transgression, while at the same time it is both honourable and pleasing to us. But what parent would wish to see the dear objects of his affections, filled with a slavish fear, standing and trembling, as if their lives were every moment in danger, from the uplifted hand of his vindictive vengeance?
The Apostle John has very justly disposed of this kind of fear, by informing us, that he that feareth is not made perfect in love, and that love casteth out fear. But love does not cast out the fear of the Lord, but induces it. This is that fear of the Lord, which the wise man said is the beginning of wisdom, and which he further describes as follows: "The fear of the Lord is to hate evil."
Too many misguided souls have erroneously mistaken this subject, and preposterously supposed that they were exercised with the true fear of the Lord, while all they feared was what their kindest benefactor might do to them! They learn to dread and to hate what they are taught to fear that God may do to them; but they neglect to learn the true fear of the Lord, which is to hate evil.
Having this rational and scriptural understand ing of what the fear of the Lord is, let us next ob.
serve tnat this fear may be learned by a due at. tention to the ordinances of christian devotion.
Mankind are naturally as capable of learning to fear and love God as they are to learn any science whatever. Let youth accompany their parents to the sanctuary of devotion, and let the true doctrine of the divine name be set forth in the light of the gospel of our Redeemer; let the odious nature of iniquity, transgression and sin be undisguisedly set before them; let the tongue of deceit and temptation, which endeavours to persuade the simple, that stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant, be silenced, and its folly exposed; let the loveliness of virtue and the true fear of the Lord be presented to the understanding; and let this be practised continually, and youth will learn, and the scripture which saith; “They that are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God, they shall bring forth fruit in old age,” will be abundantly verified.
Christian friends and brethren who have cheerfully and willingly offered of your substance to erect this beautiful and convenient house for the public worship of our common Father in heaven, inay I be indulged, not only in my own behalf, but in behalf of my ministering brethren, to congratulate
yoll, for the good success, which has attended your laudable and praiseworthy exertions. Our eyes have been towards you, while our prayers have ascended to him, without whose aid, they that build the house labour in vain. And this day brings us to the mutual enjoyment of reciprocating our best and most refined affections, while howing before the sacred name, and dedicating this fruit of your labours and expenses as a nursery for your families and the rising generation, in the wisdom, love, knowledge and true fear of the Lord.
Brethren, may all your hopes be realized, and may the ministry of reconciliation prosper within these walls, to the honour of God, and to the comfort of multitudes for many generations to come.
THE INSTABILITY OF ERROR, AND THE STABILITY OF
DELIVERED IN HARTFORD, CONN., AUGUST 18, 1824.
HAGGAI, II. 6, 7.
“For thus saith the Lord of Hosts, Yet once, it is a little while, and I
will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; and I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of Hosts.
In the Epistle to the Hebrews, the author presents us with the true sense and proper application of these words of the prophet :-" Now he hath promised, saying, yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.”
The bringing in, and setting up of the blessed kingdom of gospel grace and peace in the world, must necessarily be preceded iy the removing of all such political and religious establishments as naturally oppose the wisdom and goodness of our heavenly Father, by holding mankind in ignorance and slavery. This work is that which shakes not only earth but heaven. It crumbles to dust the proudest monuments of human wisdom and power, and prostrates the lostiness of spiritual wickedness, in high places.
In those prophetic visions which are recorded in Daniel, those empires which were represented by the splendid image, whose brightness was excel