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caldron unhurt, to convince us, that nothing can harm “ the disciple whom Jesus loveth.” The emperor, however, not at all moved by this miraculous deliverance, banished the holy man to a wretched and comfortless island, called Patmos, where he saw heaven opened, and beheld those glorious visions recorded in the book of Revelation : as God often vouchsafes a larger portion of spiritual joys and comforts to his servants, when they are secluded from those of the world.
Upon the death of the emperor Domitian, many of his cruel edicts were revoked by his successor; when St. John, taking advantage of the indulgence, returned to Ephesus : and finding Timothy the bishop of that church martyred, he took upon himself the government of it, till, in a good old age of about a hụndred years, he most willingly resigned his meek and gentle spirit into the hands of his Lord and Saviour, to experience the fulness of his love, and possess the glories he had so often contemplated.
These are the great outlines of St. John's life and character. But, after all, whoever would be thoroughly acquainted with him, in order to become like him, must survey and copy that fair picture which he hath drawn of himself in his divine writings, where we sometimes behold the lofty flights of the eagle, and at others hear the plaintive voice of the turtle; we behold him viewing and describing the glories of Christ in his Godhead and kingdom; we hear him relating the sweetly sorrowful and loving discourses of his dear Master, in bis state of humiliation. Let these holy books, therefore, be in our hands, until they have wrought their proper work in our hearts; that is to say, until, by believing the doctrines and practising the duties taught therein, we shall have learned to live the life of faith and charity. So shall we be CHRISTIANS, in word and in deed; so shall we be s the DISCIPLES whom Jesus will " LOVE.”
JEREMIAH, XXXI. 15, 16, 17.
Thus saith the LORD; A voice was heard in Ramah,
lamentation, and bitter weeping ; Rachel, weeping for her children, refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not. Thus saith the LORD; Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears; for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the LORD; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy.
And there is hope in thine end, saith the Lord, that thy children shall come again to their own border.
Of the events which befel the church of Israel in old time, many were by Providence ordained and disposed to be figurative of other events in the latter days, relative to the church Christian or universal. Let it be supposed for example, in the present instance, that the Babylonish captivity, and subsequent restoration, to which these words of Jeremiah relate, did, like the Egyptian bondage and the redemption therefrom, represent that more wretched, durable, and general captivity, in which mankind were detained by their grand enemy, with the restoration from it, which the Son of God, as at this season, was born to effect. And let us try, upon this plan, to show the beauty and propriety of the application which St. Matthew has made of the passage to the slaughter of the Bethlehemitish infants, and the lamentations of those who were thus bereaved of their children by the sword of Herod.
It is not easy, perhaps, to find a more judicious illustration of the case in hand, than the following one, given by the excellently learned Dr. Jackson, to whose most useful labours, on a curious and difticult subject, I must here, once for all, acknowledge myself indebted for the substance of what I am now about to lay before you.
“We know,” says this able divine, “ that a map, though in itself a thousand times less than the least
parcel of enclosed ground, may represent the exact “ form or proportion of the country whose name it “ bears, though that be ten thousand times bigger “ than the largest field that our eyes can look upon. 6. And thus hath the wisdom of God, under the same 66 words and phrases, included two deliverances, of “ which the one is a map to the other. He, there“ fore, who should deny passages to be literally meant “ of the deliverance of Judah and Benjamin from “ Babylon, because they are only fulfilled in our de"liverance by Christ, will give the Jew no small
advantage; he will commit as great an oversight,
as if an heir, possessed of a goodly estate, should “ burn the map or terrar of it, which his ancestors “ had truly taken for the benefit of their successors, “ if they should know how to use it, when any con
“troversy should arise concerning the bounds or ex
tent of their inheritance. - The Jew, on the con
trary, in denying these places to be meant of Christ “and us, because they have been literally verified « of the deliverance of his fathers by Zorobabel, and “ Joshua the priest, is like a man distracted, who “ boasts he hath a goodly heritage, because he can "show the map or engrossed terrar of those lands " of which the law has deprived him, since he knew “not how to use them aright.”
In the prosecution of this design, permit me in the First place, to collect and present to you
the historical circumstances concerning the person introduced by Jeremiah, as making lamentation over her children, and the occasion of her so doing, with the prophet's consolatory address to her, upon that occasion :
after which we shall be prepared, in the Second place, to take a view of those parallel
circumstances, which offer themselves in the lamentation made by the Bethlehemitish mothers, and the cause thereof, with the consideration which was to administer comfort to them, in the day of their great and bitter
affliction. The mournful scene is laid by Jeremiah in Ramah, a city belonging to the tribe of Benjamin, of which tribe, it may be observed, the prophet himself was a member, as we learn from the first verse in his book: “ The words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, of the
priests that were in Anathoth, in the land of Ben