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hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him, for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing that thou hast not witheld thy son, thine only son, from me.” Picture to yourselves the ardour of devotion and of grateful piety with which, in the strong revulsion of feelings mighty and intense, amidst the throbbings of a parent's heart-almost bursting, we may
suppose, with the conflict of a thousand violent and contending emotions—he joined in that vicarious and propitiatory sacrifice which God vouchsafed to accept in the place of the child of promise. Oh! think of these things, and then apply them to yourselves. Apply them, I say, to yourselves; for to you and all of us they do apply, in more than comparison, in more than type, in more than prophecy. We, like Isaac, had come into the presence of God, laden with a burthen greater than his, the burthen of our many sins. Like him, with fearful and melancholy foreboding, we had made the anxious enquiry, Where is the lamb for the burnt offering? Where shall the vicarious sacrifice be found ?' We, like Isaac, were destined to die ; but unto us, as in his case, there hath come forth
mercy in the midst of judgment. The voice of the messenger of heaven hath been heard saying to the destroyer, “ Stay thine hand for an atoning victim hath been found.”
The song of the company of the angels hath pealed upon mortal ears, celebrating the rescue that hath been wrought for man ;--a voice even more joyful than that with which, at the first creation, “the morning stars sung together, and the sons of God shouted for joy." And a world of glad messages of hope and joy indeed was made known, in the tidings which told that “on this day was born in the city of David a Saviour which is Christ the Lord.”
Such then, oh! such as this, be now the Christian's joy. It is no common or ordinary blessing that we commemorate this day. It is more than safety from danger and barm.
It is more than the rescue of the dearest relative from the jaws of the grave.
It is more than the restoration of a child to an afflicted parent; of a lost parent to an afflicted child. It is life, everlasting life and happiness, offered—and oh! that it were more often accepted !)-yet still offered to ourselves ;-to those who are nearest and dearest to us,--to all the world. With joy, therefore, and gratitude, come ye, and give thanks unto God. With joy-not like that mere worldly gladness in the midst of which the heart may yet be heavy, and “ the end of that mirth be bitterness.” With a joy, rather, like that which could make the apostles, in the midst of sorrow, yet “always rejoicing,"—rejoicing in God when man's friendship had all forsaken them, -rejoicing in the hope of heaven when the world had nothing further to bestow. Let us rejoice as culprits who have been just reprieved and pardoned, and from whom the bitterness of death hath unexpectedly passed away.
Let us rejoice like captives, long in prison, restored to liberty and life. Let the social and domestic affections which at this period are enkindled with peculiar warmth, be sanctified with that grateful love to God which alone can truly and permanently bind the attachments of earthly friends. Let all the best feelings of the heart and soul be attuned into one glad and passing harmony of praise unto the King of kings. And, catching some distant echoes of that language of joy and piety with which the holy angels hymned the birth of the infant Saviour, let us join in that beautiful and cheerful strain which has formed a part of the service of this day, saying, “Therefore, O God, with angels and archangels, and all the company of heaven, we laud and magnify thy glorious name, evermore praising thee, and saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts, heaven and earth are full of thy glory, glory be to thee O Lord Most High !”
SERMON FOR ADVENT SUNDAY.
Romans xiii. 11, 12. Now it is high time to awake out of sleep ; for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand : let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
It is not, perhaps, sufficiently considered that time is one of those talents for the due appropriation of which we are responsible to God. Every single hour that we waste so carelessly, and whose passing we so little heed, forms an important link in the chain of our being. And, unconscious as we seem of its value, yet on the right use or the abuse of some of its minutest portions the whole character of our eternal destiny may possibly depend. Silently as the sands of our