Imatges de pàgina
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vant" in the family of God, executed his office according to divine command. But "Christ being come, a high priest of good things to come, is counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who buildeth the house hath more honor than the house. He hath obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises." By the same oath," by which Jesus was constituted "a priest, forever, after the order of Melchizedec," some better things were reserved for us, in the “bringing in of that better hope, by which we draw nigh to God."

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From the collected evidence which has been adduced, we infer, that the manifestations of truth have always been gradual and progressive. It is also natural to conclude, that our duty and privileges, our obligation and interest will be better explained and more forcibly urged, under every improving dispensation. It is no disparagement of the ritual law, to say, that the gospel exceeds it, in glory. The substance always exceeds the sha

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dow. The thing signified is superior to the sign. Hence the apostle reasons, with reference to the comparative glories of the two dispensations, the law and the gospel; "for even that which was made glorious, had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth; for if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious." The lights, which men enjoyed under the law, were of use, during that dark period, as lamps are serviceable during the absence of the sun; but as the splendour of heaven's luminary eclipses all artificial lights, so the “rising of the Sun of righteousness" and the effulgence which he sheds, as he progresses in that path, wherein "he shineth brighter and brighter," extinguishes the inferior glory of the preceding economy. The purity of christianity and the worship which it prescribes depend wholly upon internal principles and affections. All of religion, as recommended in the gospel, is a concern in which the whole heart must be engaged. "God requireth not burnt offerings nor sacrifices, neither

thousands of rams, nor ten thousands of rivers of oil." The pure, the simple requisition is, "My son give me thy heart." The voluntary surrender of the will and affections, is more "pleasing to the Lord, than an ox or bullock, that hath horns and hoofs." No dead oblations are required at the altar of christianity. Our "bodies are to be presented, a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, as a reasonable service." With a disposition to comply with this duty, to which we are "besought by the mercies of God," the "humble and contrite spirit" becomes associated with the Deity. It maintains "communion with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ." In this sacred fellowship, the christian worshipper realizes his exalted station. He needs not the external evidences of the Divine presence, as were requisite in the first dispensation and in the first temple. But "worshipping the Father in spirit and in truth," he experiences that "he is raised up, and made to sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus." The ark of Moses nor the temple of Solomon, possessed not

the sublime character which belongs to the "living temple of the Holy Spirit." The glory of the latter house exceeds the glory of the former. In this place, indeed the Lord giveth peace, to rule in the heart, the peace of God, that passeth understanding." Who, can forbear to exclaim with "the sweet singer of Israel," How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord God of Hosts;" or with the christian poet,

"Here would I find a settled rest,
While others go
and come;

No more a stranger or a guest,
But like a child at home."

Secondly, We are led by the foregoing observations, to point out some of the essential requirements of true worship.

Every duty that a man performs and every privilege which he enjoys, require a state of mind, corresponding to the nature of the duty and to the extent of the privilege. Christian worship requires many things, as necessary to its character, which are either expressed or implied in the holy scriptures, and specially enjoined by the great "author

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and finisher of our faith." We have time to mention but a few of them, and they will be considered with all the brevity, that the nature of the subject will admit.

1. It is necessary to the true worship of God, that the worshipper should have some degree of knowledge of his character. It may, at first, appear strange, that we should contend for so plain a truth, as the one just stated. It ought to be observed, however, that much apparent homage is often paid to a supposed object of worship, attended too, with great zeal; and yet the worshipper is ignorant of the being he adores. In stating

this, we present no new fact. Our Saviour said to the Samaritan woman, "Ye worship, ye know not what." Ignorance has sometimes been said, by some religionists, to be the parent of devotion. If this be true, it must be a blind devotion; and the zeal, with which such devotion is performed, is that, which is denominated "a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge." In short, this kind of worship, if not the parent or child

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