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pains they took to find the Saviour, the faith they exercised, their perseverance, and, finally, their not being offended at the lowly condition in which they found him, though their imaginations had, no doubt, presented him to their minds in a manner corresponding with the sublime sign which had distinguished his birth. If they took with them to their home the sacred books of the Jews; if devout men had been moved, during their brief sojourn in the neighborhood of Jerusalem, to disclose to them such thoughts and feelings, concerning Jesus, as Zacharias, and Elizabeth, and Simeon, and others like them entertained; if, along their homeward journey, by day and by night, they read, and prayed, and talked concerning the Messiah, and found that they could worship still at the feet of that every where present Saviour, in the desert, and in Persia, as well as in Bethlehem; and if, returning to their people with this song in their hearts and upon their lips, "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace," they thus became the worshippers of the true God and the Redeemer, what gain must they have felt that their long and dreary journey had brought them; what caravan ever brought back treasures to be compared with those unsearchable riches of Christ, of which they had become possessed;

and what must have been their joy as they turned, from worshipping the host of heaven, 'to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.'

No distant, silent star beckons us, like them, to seek Christ. We have a more sure word of prophecy a Bible, in which prophets and apostles conspire to bring us to the Saviour; his history is finished; we have not only his manger, but his cross, his tomb. Judea, Samaria, Galilee are imprinted with his familiar footsteps; his resurrection and ascension, the gift of the Holy Ghost, the testimony and blood of martyrs, the conversion of souls already without number, all perform that office for us which that solitary star rendered to these wise men. But faith is not in proportion to the amount of evidence. 'Prophets teach the Jews in vain; a silent star beckons the Gentiles; they arise and follow.' Still, the same promise assures us of success, if we follow after the small portion of light which our unbelieving eyes take in; still, he that seeketh findeth, if he seeks, like these wise men, with all the heart.

These wise men will, hereafter, condemn those nations who, on the first news of Christ, and salvation by him, should have received the gospel, but still reject it. The Queen of Sheba, it seems, is summoned as a witness, at the last judgment, against the men of


the Saviour's time; for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, while a greater than Solomon was with the unbelieving men of that age. So if we, with all our knowledge of Christ, should fail to believe on him, the sight of that company of wise men from the east, appearing, in the last judgment, before the Saviour, to be openly acknowledged by him, as a consequence of their faith and zeal, would powerfully condemn our indolence and unbelief, and leave us without Could we then return to earth, no pilgrimages, sufferings, zeal, and love would seem too much for so great an object as a personal interest in the work of redemption. Yet this is offered to us every Sabbath, and as often as we open the Scriptures. With the example of the wise men before us, and all that serves to illustrate and enforce the privilege and duty of believing on Christ, with every opportunity to obtain all that others have been obliged to purchase at vast expense, let us be sure that we be not thrust down from such exalted privileges to a deeper hell. It is not enough to commend religion by approving its doctrines and its influence. "He that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God."

If those wise men are now among the redeemed, having washed their robes and made them white in

the blood of the Lamb, what thoughts and feelings they must have, as they recollect the star in its first appearance to them; the difficulties which they overcame in following after it; the joy they felt when it reappeared, and gave a divine seal of approbation to their effort; their first sight of the infant Jesus; the impressions made upon them when, in this young mysterious potentate, as they believed him to be, they found the King of kings and Lord of lords! As they cast their crowns at his feet, they remember the gold, and frankincense, and myrrh which they once brought so far and laid there; they adore the sovereign love which selected them in their idolatrous land, and brought them to worship at those feet, and now rewards their gifts and their zeal, which were themselves the work of divine grace, with heavenly blessings. Among the happy spirits in heaven, these wise men must have no common joy in thinking of the method by which they were brought to the knowledge of Christ, and their salvation was secured. Who, of all the armies of heaven, fall at the feet of Christ with more affecting recollections, or with greater reason for gratitude and praise? Of the innumerable friends of Christ in heaven, who more suitably lead the Gentile church than those who were the first fruits of his advent, the trophies of victories won by him while yet in his manger at Bethlehem? And yet every one of us who shall be saved will be an

instance and illustration of sovereign mercy; and in proportion to the strength of our faith and love shall we be happy in the recollections of earth, in the society of just men made perfect, and be qualified for future employment in the service of God.

We read no more of these wise men but that they returned to their own country. They carried with them, of course, the news of the Saviour, and no doubt were instrumental in advancing the new religion in the east. Were we allowed to indulge our fancy, as the Christian writers of the middle ages have done, and embellish the history of these wise men with imaginary incidents, we might do it, perhaps, after this manner. Persia, we would say, has not yet ceased to feel the benefit, indirectly, of their early homage at the feet of the infant Saviour. We cannot fail to remember, in connection with these Magi, that to their fellow-countrymen, the Nestorians of Persia, we are now sending the means of reëstablishing among them a pure Christianity. That people are remarkable from early times for their substantial orthodoxy. Nestorius was excommunicated by the Papal church for denying that Mary was the mother of God, and refusing to worship her; and it is interesting to notice here that the wise men paid no homage to Mary. A peculiar tone of piety characterizes the Nestorian converts, and it may be that they are blessed, and that great blessings are yet in

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