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prophecies, and truths directly asserted. source of spiritual enjoyment in reading the Bible a sound discretion should, of course, preside.

Believing, then, that the babe at Bethlehem was Immanuel, God with us, we believe that the visit of the wise men was intended by the divine Spirit to be an act of adoration in honor of the incarnate Word, and also for the comfort and encouragement of all who at that time were waiting for the Messiah. As a choir may sing a piece which some more spiritual and devout hearers will enjoy far more than they, and adopt it as their own offering of praise to God, so this act of the wise men, no doubt, was received and seconded, by many a pious heart in Jerusalem and elsewhere, as a sacrifice to the Saviour. Many a heart that had waited long for the consolation of Israel, would see in the coming of the wise men a strong confirmation of their faith and hope. In that Jerusalem which is said to be "troubled" at the arrival of these men from the east, there was a hidden Israel, the Simeons and Annas, who did not share in the consternation of the king and the unbelieving world. God visited this his chosen people in the coming of the wise men, and gave them a glimpse of the way in which the prophetic Psalms and the visions of Isaiah and of the minor prophets would be fulfilled. God will not leave his people comfortless who wait for him. Were nothing else effected

by the visit of the wise men, this warranted their mission, that their coming fulfilled the hopes of the devout men and women who were longing and waiting for the promised Saviour.

Nor did the friends and worshippers of Christ at that day alone receive comfort and joy from the act of the wise men. All of every age who love him and espouse his cause, and are praying and waiting for his final triumph in the earth, may see in this adoration by the wise men a prophecy and illustration of the future glory of Christ, when he shall be King of nations as he is now King of saints. "The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts. Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him." Ps. lxxii. 10, 11. This act of the wise men we adopt as ours, the future homage of the nations we make our own, and our personal gratitude and thanksgiving take the form of earnest prayer that the Saviour may soon receive the love and adoration of all the earth. The cause of foreign missions rises in majesty and beauty, and affords us ways in which to express, by the consecration of ourselves and our children to Christ, our love and thankfulness, while our full hearts find relief in those assemblies for prayer and praise which have regard to the universal extension of the Redeemer's conquests in the earth.



Though we may need nothing to persuade us of the power of God to fulfil those promises which relate to the conversion of the world, yet when we see the eastern world aroused by a meteor, and turning their eyes to the birthplace of Christ, we are furInished with an illustration of the infinite ease with which God can and will, in the fulness of time, make nation after nation bow to the sceptre of the Redeemer. By some events of Providence, no less interesting in their kind than the appearance of the star to the Persian sages, and falling in with the habits or circumstances of the different nations as that star coincided with the thoughts and pursuits of the Magi, revolutions of popular opinion will occur which will fulfil the prediction, A nation shall be born in a day. Happy will those missionaries, and ministers, and christians be, who, with long patience, shall be found laboring and praying for those days, and shall have their faith rewarded, when, by the great outpouring of his Spirit, the Lord, whom they seek, shall suddenly come to his temple.

Not merely to the Simeons and Annas of Jerusalem, nor to those who already love and worship him, but to every soul for whom Christ came to be a Saviour, does this act of the wise men speak encour

agement. The object of these discourses is, to present the Saviour as an object of faith, and love, and worship; to excite those feelings which sinners should have to their Saviour; and if any are ashamed of Christ, to show them in what ways some of our fellow-men, from every rank and in every condition, have expressed their love and worship; and to make it appear that all things are but loss compared with the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord. Perhaps Christ, as a sacrifice for sin, is beyond the present measure of your faith. He is the great mystery of godliness, which, because you cannot fathom it, you do not receive; and, as Judge of the living and the dead, perhaps he awakens your fears.

Begin, then, where the wise men began, supposing your knowledge and your belief to be even as limited as theirs; but, adopting their desire and zeal to know something more of Christ, like them, follow on to know the Lord.' Let us trace the progress of their faith.

The star shone at a great distance, but in the direction of Judea; and these wise men arose and followed it. But when they had entered on their way, the star, for a large part of the time, if not entirely, must have disappeared. In the daytime, of course, they could not see it; in stormy and dark nights it was veiled; and thus, through their long

and wearisome journey, they must, to a great degree, have walked by faith.

Not supposing that a king could be born out of the metropolis, they bent their way toward Jerusalem, inquiring for Christ. Instead of finding the great city moved with joy at his birth, it would seem as though the city had the first information of it from these Persians. The story of the shepherds, perhaps, had been treated with ridicule, and was forgotten; and the arrival of the Magi, with such an inquiry, only had the effect to trouble the king, and the whole city with him. Nothing daunted by this, nothing chilled in their faith and zeal, they literally followed on to know the Lord, seeking him with all the heart; and, pursuing their way to humble Bethlehem, behold, the star which they saw in the east came and stood over the place where the young child was.

If we were half as zealous to know the truth respecting Christ, and the way of salvation by him, as these heathen were to find him, all our wishes would be crowned with complete success. We are strongly disposed to hope and to believe that they were not moved to perform such a journey, and such an act of love and worship, to die, after all, without a saving knowledge of the Redeemer. Supposing them to have become acquainted with the gospel, they must have reflected with great satisfaction on the

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