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and ruinous in the affections, the passions, the notions, and the desires, &c.; but when the Saviour is received into the heart by faith, everything that was corrupt is changed; the old man and his deeds and motives are put off, and Christ Jesus is put on; the old garment is changed for the new one; the old one is thrown aside, and never more worn. The affections change their object of admiration, and unto everything that is holy are the desires directed; sin and vice are discarded ; divine love and heavenly joys are cherished, and sought after. This change cannot take place in an individual without its having a proportionate result, or without its becoming a benefit and advantage to others. For instance, a wife and family cannot witness the conversion of a drunken husband and father without rejoicing, because he who before was the bane of his family, by this change becomes a benefit; the money which was formerly spent in inebriating liquors, is now employed in .providing wholesome food and comfortable clothing; the man who formerly spent his time in the demoralizing haunts of vice, now becomes domesticated ; his presence, which was formerly a terror, now cheers the family circle; his tongue, which was formerly a scourge, and employed in imprecations, is now a tree of life, and in it is the law of kindness. But this change, while it results in benefits to others, is attended also by consequences the most momentous to the soul that is the subject of it.

The Saviour's advent was intended not only to redeem us from all iniquity, and to purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works, but that where he is, there we might be also,—that the redeemed soul might be made a partaker of his glory; and this renders the angel's message to the believer “good

tidings of great joy.” Eternally to abide with Jesus, to see his face, to rejoice in the beamings of his love, to witness and be a partaker of his enrapturing smiles, to chant his praises perpetually, oh, this is indeed “good tidings of great joy" to all who love him and long for his appearing.

Lord, how our souls are all on fire

To see thy bless'd abode;
Our tongues rejoice in tunes of praise

To our incarnate God.
And while our faith enjoys this sight,

We long to leave our clay;
And wish thy fiery chariots, Lord,

To fetch our souls away.”

The Saviour's advent is the occasion of glory to God ; and therefore is it “good tidings of great joy.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest." One angel published the glad tidings, but all the host of heaven praised God upon the occasion. “ The morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy.” The ransomed of the Lord also gave glory to him : " 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 in the house of his servant David, as he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began.” We see that God does not make the same distinctions which men are accustomed to do, as it regards the rank or condition of those to whom he affords communications of mercy. He did not send a heavenly messenger to the Emperor of Rome, nor to Cyrenius, who was then the Governor of Syria, nor to the high priests of the Jews; but the angel was commissioned to convey the good tidings to

a few poor shepherds, moving in humble life, with simplicity of manners, and who were busied in the performance of their avocations, at the post of duty, and not spending the night in jollity and mirth. From this fact we may all take a lesson.

The good tidings are still sent to the poor, and to those who are despised by a proud and scoffing world. The Lord Jesus himself declared in the Jewish synagogue-"

“ The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor ; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, and to set at liberty those that are bruised" with the galling chain of sin. We

may learn also from this subject not to venerate superstitiously any day that God has not in his word appointed to be kept holy. Reader, you have an understanding that, with the Bible for your guide as a rule of conduct, ought to enable you to judge for yourself, independently of the practices of a church that is in many things corrupt, and in some things only one remove from the church of Rome—that mother of harlots. Had Jesus Christ, the great head and governor of his own church, which he has redeemed by his blood-had he intended Christmas-day to have been kept holy, or the day which the churches of Rome and England call Good Friday to have been kept holy, he would not have left us in ignorance of his

supreme will, but would doubtless have specified it in his word, and we should have directions accordingly, as we have for the sanctification of the Sabbath. The Bible is a rule for all observances for all believers ; therefore, while we rejoice in the message that a Saviour was born in the city of David, who is Christ the Lord, let us not superstitiously venerate the

day on which the event is erroneously supposed to have occurred, and esteem it more highly than the Sabbath of the Lord.

We may learn that, notwithstanding the angel's message, and the shepherds' joy, notwithstanding the glad tidings that have been announced of the nativity of Jesus, notwithstanding the communication of this good news “to all people," the preaching of the gospel to all nations, yet, notwithstanding all this, if, reader, you despise the message, reject the Saviour, and resist the motions of his Spirit in your heart, it had been better for you had you never been born. What, think you, will knowledge avail you? What the better will you be at the day of your death, that you have read of the advent of the Lord Jesus, if indeed you receive him not into your heart ? I will tell you: at the day of your

will be ten-fold more miserable, now that you

have read of these glad tidings, than a pagan who never heard a Saviour's name! You cannot now shake off the knowledge you have acquired; it will stick by you ; it will haunt you on your death-bed ; if you do not follow it up by prayer, by an earnest seeking for an interest in redeeming love, the knowledge that you

have now attained will, like a mill-stone, sink you into an unfathomable abyss. You will be damned, damned, for ever damned!

Oh, then, “ seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near : let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts ; and let him turn unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon."

death, you


JESUS Christ, as God, knew what was in the hearts of his hearers; he saw the thoughts that arose in their minds, while he was remarking upon the case of those Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices; and while he had been improving the event of those men on whom the tower of Siloam fell-and he knows how prone we all are to draw uncharitable conclusions respecting such as are suddenly cut off from the land of the living-he asks, “ Think ye that they were sinners above all men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell ye nay; but except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” And then, for the purpose of enforcing the doctrine of repentance, he related the parable of the barren fig-tree.

Jesus Christ taught that God spared some sinners longer than others; and we elsewhere learn that, as a Sovereign, he has a right to do it; that he can do it, and yet be perfectly just towards those whom he speedily punishes. In the similitude of the labourers who were called at different hours of the day to work in the vineyard, God shews that he is in nowise indebted to any man: those who were engaged to work at the eleventh hour received every man his penny ; and when those came to be paid who had borne the

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