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duties and inestimable privileges of religion. The business we have to transact with our Maker is infinitely momentous; nor can these duties be performed by proxy. Every man must attend to his own eternal interests, because he stands or falls to his own master. The word of life is addressed to us individually, and the saving influence of truth on our hearts depends much upon its cordial reception. Though in the sanctuary, attended with every consideration calculated to produce conviction of guilt and weakness, and at the same time to awaken the warmest gratitude, yet we have no security against temptation. The devil will suggest worldly, unholy, perhaps profane thoughts to our minds, and without great exertion we cannot keep our hearts in a devout and profitable frame. We may be tempted to satisfy ourselves with a routine of outward ceremonies, and thus fail to enter into deep communion with the Father of spirits. To prevent so serious an evil, as to continue like the heath in the desert, or the parched land, while the rain of divine goodness is descending, we should struggle in prayer to obtain God's blessing ; neither should we rest satisfied, till we know that the Gospel is the power of God to our salvation. Satisfied that divine truth has triumphed over our ignorance, pride and unbelief, and made us the children of God by faith, we shall be prompted to a generous concern for those who are still in the gall of bitterness, and the bonds of iniquity.
INFERENCES. 1. If this is God's house, and a holy temple, then it ought to be solemnly and exclusively dedicated to Him. We dedicate this sacred desk, not as a mint of controversy, or a seat for political disquisition, but the place of doctrine, instruction, exhortation and comfort. Here will stand the legate of the skies,' commissioned by Jehovah to negotiate between heaven and earth. He has received his orders from the Lord of life, beyond which he is not at liberty to go. Bear with him when he delivers the whole counsel of God; for he dare not compromise, or lower the standard of Chrisțian doctrine, morals, and experience, to the pride, passion, and self-interest of worldly men. • Wo is unto him if he preach not the Gospel' as he receives it from Christ; and this is the reason that will induce him to warn the wicked, and keep his garments free from the blood of all men. From this elevated and holy spot will the thunders of Sinai roar, and its lightnings glare against the heaven-daring offender : and here the precious promises will distil from the lips of the minister of Christ, sweeter than honey, for the encouragement of the mourner in Zion. May no unhallowed foot soil this sacred desk! May nothing here be advanced, dishonorable to God or ruinous to man! May the priest's lips always preserve knowledge, and his heart that holy flame of devotion, which alone can ensure success to his efforts. Should he, through the fear of man, prophesy smooth things, he will dishonor his sacred profession, and the souls he has ruined will be swift witnesses against him in the day of judgment. This holy altar we consecrate to God. When it is surrounded with the sącramental host of God's elect,' to whom the sacred memorials of a Saviour's mangled body and shed blood shall be administered, may renewed tokens of divine favor be vouchsased, to confirm the faith, animate the hope, and inflame the love of God's people ; and may none who shall here commune with Christ, ever like Judas betray or lift up their heel against Him ; may mourners in Zion crowd to this altar, and receive remission of sins and the renewing of the Holy Ghost! All these pews are henceforth to be considered as dedicated to the Lord, and their occupants will remeinber they are on holy ground. May they not be unnecessarily left vacant, much less burdened with sleepy, captious, or trifling hearers !
If this is God's house, then the transactions of this day, and all future services here, must be of infinite interest both to saint and sinner. The light of eternity alone will fully disclose the consequences of erecting a house of worship, and establishing the gospel in this place. Many of the present and future generations will probably hear the everlasting gospel in this house, repent, and obtain pardon through faith in the Son of God; and through continuance in well-doing, find their way to heaven. But is there no fear that many will receive the grace of God in vain ; and by rejecting truth, at last go down to ruin ? Yes, while those who set on the same seat, and hear the same sermon with you, may augment the number, and swell the anthem of the redeemed, you may be numbered with unbelievers, and wail in anguish forever. Millions upon millions of ages after this temple sball have crumbled to dust, will those who now and hereafter worship here, look back to this sanctuary with indescribable pleasure or regret. God's messengers who shall have labored here, the prayers, sermons, exhortations, ordinances, and tears which shall have been witnessed by the angels, who anxiously watch over our religious assemblies, shall be called up at that tremendous day, when Christ shall judge the world in righteousness, as evidences for or against those who hear the gospel in this house. How should you hear and improve by the gospel, when eternal happiness or wo depends on every breath!' It is our earnest prayer, that you may have occasion to look down from the cloudless heights of glory, when the earth and heavens are passed away, with more than seraphic pleasure, to the day of your espousals in this house. Here, my brethren, may your children, and children's children, be born of the Spirit, and ripen for the heavenly garner. And when this temple, made with hands, shall be blended with the general ruin of nature, may we worship more perfectly in the mansion above, whose maker and builder is God. AMEN.
BY REV. JOHN MOTT SMITH, A. M. LATE PROFESSOR OF ANCIENT LANGUAGES IN THE WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY,
Thy kingdom come.” Luke xi. 2.
When the inspired writers wish to convey an exalted notion of the divine power and glory, they frequently represent the Deity as a Monarch, who administers the affairs of the world as a king those of his kingdom. “ The Lord is a great God and a great King.” Ps. xcv. 3. The apostle Paul ascribes to him honor and glory, as the “King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God” (i Tim. i. 17); and elsewhere declares his supreme dominion as the “ blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords.” 1 Tim. vi. 15. In many places, these titles are distinctly applied to the Lord Jesus Christ, for he is called “the King of Israel," “ the King of saints,” “ the King of kings,” “ the King of Glory.". Not only the titles, but also the appendages of royalty are included in the description of his majesty." Thy throne, o God, is for ever and ever : a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy Kingdom.” Heb. i. 8. Let us consider,
1. THE KINGDOM; II. Its COMING.
* This sermon was found among the posthumous papers of professor Smith, and was sent to us for publication by our much esteemed friend, Rev. Dr. Fisk, accompanied by the following remarks :-" It is probable the author intended to have made some alterations in it, before he permitted it to go to the public, as he was heard to make some remarks to that effect, not long before his death He evidently intended it for the Preacher,' and I therefore here with submit it for publication, not feeling niyself at liberty to alter a sentiment in it. Indeed, it will be found, I believe, to be a very correct sermon, both in doctrine and composition. Little did he think, when he was writing it, that he was so near that kingdom of glory, which he so feelingly described. As none who knew him could doubt his relation to the kingdom of grace on earth, so none of us can doubt but he is now in the kingdom of glory. The kingdoms are but one.' He died 27th December, 1832, aged 37."
I. THE KINGDOM. The boundless universe is the realm over which the great Jehovah presides--a territory both unconfined and immeasurable. To him the earth belongs, as far as human feet have trodden, or human eyes have looked. The visible heavens, with all their furniture of revolving globes are upheld by his power, and subject to his control ; while all ranks of creatures which dwell in this and in unknown worlds, constitute the subjects of his immense empire. But, confined as we are to a small circle of observation, it is impossible for us to know much concerning the vast regions which are under the sovereign sway of God.
Our knowledge even of the globe which we inhabit, is very imperfect: : many countries have never been explored, and the vast abyss which forms the great basin of the ocean, is concealed wholly from human view, together with all the variety of unknown creatures which frequent its depths, without ever showing themselves at the surface : much less are we acquainted with those innumerable orbs which deck the arch of heaven, or with those beings which dwell upon them.
But revelation unfolds, what to us is of the greatest importance, that there are eternal abodes in some distant part of the universe, to which we, the children of time, are to be transferred, after having spent a few years in our present condition; that our 'mode of existence will be essentially different from this, and that uninterrupted happiness or misery will be our eternal portion, as the recompense of a godly or of a sinful life.
There is reason to believe that God deals much in the same manner with all his moral and intelligent creatures. To all, in the first period of their being, a state of probation is assigned, which is followed by a state of retribution. Thus he dealt with angels, some of whom kept not their first estate. We, in like manner, are now on our trial ; and, if there be other moral intelligences besides angels and men, may we not believe them to be under a similar administration ?
There are, then, three states of being, in which the subjects of this universal kingdom live. The first is that in which we discover ourselves to be. To us, the Sovereign Disposer of all things has appointed a habitation for a few years in this world, that, by a life of obedience, we may obtain his favor, and secure eternal bliss. He has revealed his nature and his will in a manner and degree suited to our capacity, appointed the means of access to himself, given his Son for our redemption, and invited us to the everlasting possession of heaven.
When, in his good pleasure, he shall have brought our trial to its close, he will institute a most solemn judgment upon our conduct. Then shall all receive the reward of their deeds. The Eternal Judge shall separate the righteous from the wicked forever; and from the glory of that heaven to which those shall be exalted, or from that irrecoverable perdition into which these shall be plunged, it will be impossible to return to live again on earth.
Another state is that of angels and saints in heaven. Though God is omnipresent, yet he displays his presence, by peculiar tokens, in some places more than in others; as, for instance, in temples dedicated to his worship: such was the Shekinah, or supernatural light, which rested over the oracle in the Jewish temple. He manifests himself by the agency of the Holy Spirit, in the congregations of the faithful. “ Where two or three are met together in my name, there am I.” But in heaven his presence is revealed in a way, which, though inconceivable to us, must be glorious beyord all that eye hath seen, or ear heard.
Like the sun in the midst of the visible heavens, dispersing in every direction the beams of cheerful light, giving life and vigor to innumerable creatures ; so, “ enthroned above all height,” dwelling in the light which no man can approach, the Centre and Source of all blessedness, Jehovah, sheds on all the beams of his love. Those beings whose superior holiness and dignity permit them to dwell nearest the throne, enjoy his largest favors ; but in all the apartments of his courts, and in all the precincts of the city and habitation of God, there is glory ineffable, and uninterrupted delights. “ In his presence is fulness of joy, and at his right hand are pleasures forevermore."
In these domains of the great King dwell those angels who fell not, and those holy men who have come up through great tribulation, and through grace have endured to the end. They are here honored with the perpetual society of their exalted Lord, and are sent to execute his commands as ministering spirits, or as messengers of mercy to the human family.
In a third portion of his realm, far from the blaze of glory which surrounds the Sun of Goodness, and even beyond the faintest ray which he emits; in the outer or extreme darkness, lie the regions of despair and misery—the eternal abode of fallen angels and of damned men. This is the immense prison of his kingdom, in which his rebellious subjects are confined, bound with chains of darkness, and shut up in recesses of eternal anguish and gloom. On that land no joyful day ever dawns ; its sun is set forever. The wretched outcasts who inhabit it, are doomed to bear the tortures of perpetual solitude, or of misery aggravated by the presence and sight of fellow sufferers; while the tedious periods of eternity move heavily along, and not the feeblest hope of deliverance ever arises to allay their grief.
In scripture language, the phrases “ kingdom of heaven,” “ kingdom of God,” frequently occur, and denote, 1. The place of eternal happiness and glory ; as in Matt. viii
. 11 “ They shall come from the east and from the west, and shall sit down with Abraham and Isaac in the kingdom of heaven.” The parallel passage, Luke xiii. 29, reads “ kingdom of God.”
2. The gospel dispensation. “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven