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Isaiah, Micah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, each in succession, bear testimony to Moses. Malachi, the last of the prophets, while predicting the coming of John the Baptist, still gives this charge, Remember ye the law of Moses, My servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments." In like manner in the New Testament the last of the prophets and apostles describes the saints as singing "the song of Moses, the servant of God" (this is his honourable title, as elsewhere), and the song of the Lamb !.” Above all, our blessed LORD HIMSELF sums up the whole subject we have been reviewing, both the doctrine and Jewish illustration of it, in His own authoritative words,—" If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead?.” After this sanction, it is needless to refer to the reverence with which St. Paul regards the law of Moses, and to the commemoration he has made of the Old Testament saints in the eleventh of his Epistle to the Hebrews.

Oh that we had duly drunk into this spirit of reverence and godly fear. Doubtless we are far above the Jews in our privi. leges; we are favoured with the news of redemption ; we know doctrines, which righteous men of old time earnestly desired to be told, and were not. To us is revealed the Eternal Son, the Only-begotten of the FATHER, full of grace and truth. branches of the True Vine, which is sprung out of the earth and spread abroad. We have received Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, pastors, and teachers. We celebrate those true Festivals which the Jews possessed only in shadow. For us Christ has died; on us the Spirit has descended. In these respects we are honoured and privileged, oh how far above all ages before HE came! Yet our honours are our shame, when we contrast the glory given us with our love of the world, our fear of men, our lightness of mind, our sensuality, our gloomy tempers. What need have we to look with wonder and reverence at those saints of the Old Covenant, who with less advantages yet so far surpassed us ; and still more at those of the Christian Church, who both had higher gifts of grace and profited by them! What need have we to humble ourselves; to pray God not to leave us, though we have left Him; to pray Him to give us back what we have lost, to receive a repentant people, to renew in us a right heart and give us a religious will, and to enable us to follow Him perseveringly in His narrow and humbling way.

We are

9 Mal, iv. 4.

1 Rev. xv. 3.

2 Luke xvi. 31.

SERMON CXLVII.

REVERENCE IN WORSHIP.

1 SAMUEL ii, 18.

“ Samuel ministered before the LORD, being a child, girded with a linen

ephod."

SAMUEL, viewed in his place in sacred history, that is, in the course of events which connect Moses with Christ, appears as a great ruler and teacher of his people; this is his prominent character. He was the first of the prophets; yet, when we read the sacred narrative itself, in which his life is set before us, I suppose those passages are the more striking and impressive which represent him, in the office which belonged to him by birth, as a Levite, or minister of God. He was taken into God's special service from the first; he lived in His Temple; nay, while yet a child, he was honoured with the apparel of a sacred function, as the text tells us, “ he ministered before the LORD, being a child, girded with a linen ephod.”

His mother had “given him unto the Lord all the days of his life?,” by a solemn vow before his birth ; and in him, if in any one, were fulfilled the words of the Psalmist, “ Blessed are they that dwell in Thy house, they will be always praising Thee?."

Such a constant abode in God's house would make common minds only familiar with holy things, and irreverent; but where

1 1 Sam. i. 11.

2 Psalm 1xxxiv, 4.

VOL. V.

P

God's grace is present in the heart, the effect is the reverse ; which we might be sure would happen in the case of Samuel. “ The LORD was with him," we are told; and therefore the more the outward signs of that Lord met his eye, the more reverent he became, not the more presuming. The more he acquainted himself with God, the greater would be his awe and holy fear.

Thus the first notice we have of his ministering before the Lord, reminds us of the decency and gravity necessary at all times, and in all persons, in approaching Him. “He ministered before the Lord, being a child, girded with a linen ephod.” His mother had made him yearly a little coat for his common use, but in Divine Service he wore, not this, but a garment which would both express, and impress upon him, reverence.

And, in like manner, in his old age, when Saul sent to seek David at Naioth, where Samuel was, his messengers found Samuel and the prophets under him all in decent order. “They saw the company of prophets prophesying, and Samuel over them.” And this was so impressive a sight, that it became an instrument of God's supernatural power towards them, and they prophesied also.

On the other hand, if we would have an example of the want of this reverence, we have it in Saul himself, the reprobate king, who, when he was on his way to Naioth, and was visited by God's HOLY SPIRIT, did not thereupon receive the garment of salvation, nor was clothed in righteousness, but behaved himself in an unseemly wild way, as one whose destitution and shame were but detected by the visitation. He stript off his clothes and prophesied before Samuel, and lay down in that state all that day and all that night.

This difference we see even at this day :-of persons professing religion, some are like Samuel, some like Saul; some (as it were) cast off their garments and prophesy in disorder and extravagance; others minister before the Lord, “girded with a linen ephod,” with “ their loins girt and their lamps burning,” like men awfully expecting the coming of their great and glorious Judge. By the latter, I mean the true children of the Holy Catholic Church ; by the former, I mean heretics and schismatics.

There have ever been from the first these two kinds of Christians--those who belonged to the Church, and those who did not. There never was a time since the Apostles' day, when the Church was not; and there never was a time but men were to be found who preferred some other way of worship to the Church's way. These two kinds of professed Christians ever have been-Church Christians, and Christians not of the Church; and it is remarkable, I say, that while, on the one hand, reverence for sacred things has been a characteristic of Church Christians on the whole, so, want of reverence has been the characteristic on the whole of Christians not of the Church. The one have prophesied after the figure of Samuel, the other after the figure of Saul.

Of course there are many exceptions to this remark in the case of individuals. Of course I am not speaking of inconsistent and thoughtless persons in the Church, or out of it; but of those who act up to what they profess. I mean that zealous, earnest, and faithful members of the Church have generally been reverent; and zealous, earnest, and faithful members of other religious bodies have generally been irreverent. Again, after all, there will be real exceptions in the case of individuals which we cannot account for ; but I mean that, on the whole, it will be found that reverence is one of the marks or notes of the Church; true though it may be that some particular individuals, who have kept apart from it, have not been without a reverential spirit notwithstanding.

Indeed so natural is the connexion between a reverential spirit in worshipping God, and faith in God, that the wonder only is, how any one can for a moment imagine he has faith in God, and yet aflow himself to be irreverent towards Him. To believe in God, is to believe the being and presence of One who is All holy, and All powerful, and All gracious; how can a man really believe thus of Him, and yet make free with Him ? it is almost a contradiction in terms. Hence even heathen religions have ever considered faith and reverence identical. To believe, and not to revere, to worship familiarly, and at one's ease, is an anomaly and a prodigy unknown even to false religions, to say nothing of the true one. Not only the Jewish and Christian religions, which are directly from God, inculcate the spirit of " reverence and godly fear," but those other religions which have existed, or exist, whether in the East or the South, inculcate the same. Worship, forms of worship,--such as bowing the knee, taking

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