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so much joy upon an exchange of the state for that of marriage, as is implied in the following passage of scripture : "Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him : for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

After John in his vision had heard a voice coming from the throne of God, saying, “ Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye who fear him, both small and great, then he heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, responding, saying, Hallelujah, for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him.” God himself is represented as rejoicing over a repenting sinner; then he has another object of his love, and it is the happiness of God to be doing good, for he is a beneficent being : God is said to rest in his love towards believers, and will prove his love to their souls in the most satisfactory manner; “ he will rejoice over thee with joy ; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing." The angels in heaven rejoice over a repenting sinner : “ I say unto you likewise that joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth.” The church on earth also shall rejoice, because every sinner who is turned from the error of his ways is an additional laurel in the Saviour's crown, and the church rejoices in the honours of the Saviour; the church makes efforts to heap honours on their Redeemer, and this is the end of all their endeavours, of all their strivings, of all their sacrifices—" and they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry,

and shall send gifts one to another.”

It is not only natural for the church to rejoice on such an occasion, but it forms part of their duty. We are directed to “ rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep;" that is, the Christian is

to sympathize with and feel for all who are united with him in Christ, to share their joys and sorrows as members of the same family.

All this gladness at the conversion of a sinner argues something of the worth of a soul-joy in heaven, and joy on earth. Besides, the individual who is the subject of redeeming grace shall be glad and rejoice. We hear people who are ignorant of the effects of genuine religion upon the heart frequently talking about a religious life being a melancholy life; but so far from it, it is a matter of fact that of all men living the Christian is the only individual who has a right to be cheerful and happy ; for he only has a solid foundation of happiness within him. Notwithstanding, it must be admitted that very many Christians do not live up to their privileges; very many are slothful, are remiss in watchfulness, and the consequence is, they fall into sin, defile their garments, becloud their evidences, and, not infrequently, bring disgrace upon the cause, and give the enemy an occasion to blaspheme. “ Let the righteous be glad, let them rejoice before God; yea, let them exceedingly rejoice."

We are invited to give honour unto God; and how can this be done more effectually than by living to his praise ? When we see the children of a man who is counted respectable, going in rags and filth, do we not conclude it to be a disgrace to the man ?

But the Eternal has not left his children in this forlorn and tattered condition. No, blessed be his name! he is an indulgent father, and if his children are not joyful and happy it is not his fault.

He has promised them joy and peace in believing ; he has given them blessings in reversion, foretastes of those blessings during their earthly sojourn ; he has sealed them by his spirit, confirmed them with his oath.

The marriage of the Lamb is come.” “ The Lainb” is one of the names given to the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lamb that was offered in sacrifice at the passover was a type of Christ, who, by the sacrifice of himself, should take away sin : “ Behold the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world.” The appellation of the Lamb is expressive of the qualities of the Lamb, which is remarkable for meekness, and innocence, and gentleness; and all these qualities were pre-eminent in the Lord Jesus. Many of the names given to our Saviour in scripture are expressive of the qualities of the things they represent; for instance, he is called “a rock," and the analogy consists in Christ being the firm and immoveable foundation of his church : " Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation, a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner-stone, a sure foundation.” He is called " a fountain." He was typified as such by the ceremonial washings of the temple, which were intended to purge away pollution : Christ is the fountain opened; “ the blood of Christ cleanseth from all sin."

The marriage of the Lamb is come,and this is a reason for rejoicing. It is well that the believer should always be able to give a reason for what he does, inasmuch as it is a satisfaction to the mind. The fool's mirth is like the crackling of thorns under a pot; it is a fruitless and unsatisfactory effort, which blazes for a time, and astonishes the beholder, but ends in darkness and smoke, because there is no real foundation for joy and gladness. We read, it is “ better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting; for that is the end of all men, and the living will lay it to heart. Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.” Those who give their hearts to mirth, who

evince that they make it their business, who think of scarcely anything else than parties of pleasure, feasting, and jollity, are justly compared to brutish creatures, which live only for the gratification of their senses ; they have no higher aim, no worthier object.

The man of sense and wisdom will, on the contrary, seek more and oftener the things that profit than those which only please ; he will have no objection to join in parties of pleasure occasionally, and to partake of the hilarity and cheerfulness of others; but then they must be rational and lawful pleasures, and not be carried to excess; and even then he will evince that he does not make pleasure the business of life, but only a relaxation from business. But the Christian will still more scrupulously enter into the pleasures of life; he will require not only that they be rational and lawful, but also that they are such as cannot be condemned by the people of God, such as will not bring a stain upon the conscience, or unfit the mind for devotion.

The follower of the Lamb will require not only that the pleasures in which he engages are reasonable, (that alone is not enough,) they must also be seasonable. “ To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven." It was never intended that this life should be a life of pleasure ; and, indeed, it is impossible that it should be so, when we consider the transitoriness, the great uncertainty, of everything below.

God in his providence sweetens or embitters life as pleaseth him; and although it is said there is a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, it does not follow that because these things will come to pass, will be done, that, therefore, God allows time in which they may lawfully be done.

Although Christ would not have his disciples mix

indiscriminately with the world, or pursue the pleasures of the world, yet there are times and seasons in which he permits his people, yea, encourages them, to “ be glad and rejoice.” The time of marriage is a season for joy. “ There was a marriage in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there, and both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage." A commentator says" Christ and his disciples being at this marriage-feast both lets us know that feasting at such a time is proper, and that the most severe religious persons may lawfully be present at such meetings ; only they are obliged to keep to rules of frugality, modesty, and sobriety, to a breach of which, possibly, such meetings may give more temptations." And when we consider that a miracle was wrought to furnish the guests with wine, we conclude that this act, together with his presence, sanctioned cheerfulness and rejoicing on such an occasion.

The subject of our present consideration — the marriage contract between Christ and his church, or between Christ and every believer-is, a covenant : “ Thy Maker is thine husband, the Lord of Hosts is his name, and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, the God of the whole earth shall he be called." In contracting marriages, it is customary for the man to choose the woman; and we are told by Christ, the bridegroom, “ Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen

and ordained



and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain.” The choice was made from before the foundation of the world ; and it has been quaintly remarked by an aged saint, “ If Christ had not chosen me before I was born, I am sure he would never have chosen me for anything that was to be seen in me since !” The Saviour not only chose, but purchased us with his

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