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the Infinite. If, indeed, the mind can ever entertain such thought, what a mysterious and thrilling alteration would be made in the face of this present assembly, if the preacher's voice were suddenly hushed, and in its stead there were heard a sound, whose might and melodiousness proclaimed it not of this earth ; and if, yet further, the structure within which we are gathered, losing all aspects of material, perishable matter, were converted into one brilliant manifestation of Godhead—its walls composed of the sapphire and the cloud, and the solemn and the splendid coruscations of righteousness and truth; and justice, and love, and kindness, mingling themselves for its roof! Who shall tell me the emotion of every heart, whilst in the temple it saw nothing but Deity embodied; and the voice of the Eternal One made mention of solemn things, and august, and fearful, and magnificent? Who amongst those who are following on with all diligence to know the Lord, would not feel, even after the trials of his present estate, the coldness and the poverty of the best earthly ministrations, and long, with an ardour such as never yet had glowed within his breast, to be thus again, as it were, enshrined in Deity, and again taught iromortality by Him who was, and is, and is to come ? You shall not long in vain: if there be faithfulness in the delineations which Scripture gives of the heavenly Jerusalem, the Almighty himself and the Lamb shall be the temple of that glorious city. And therefore, the inhabitants, in place of assembling as now in churches made with hands, shall be for ever encircled and occupied by fresh displays of divinity; while the Mediator, moving continually through their ranks, shall unravel the intricate and unfold the mysterious.
There is much in the figurative sketch which represents man as nobly elevated amongst the orders of being, and of the sublimest knowledge as thrown open to his searching. Man is elevated in his powers for the ordinance and institution-an introductory state to the open vision and free intercourse of spirits who never sullied their immortality. The sublimest knowledge is made accessible; for with God as his temple, along what aisle of the stupendous edifice could he pass, and not collect from every column and every arch, truths which in the infancy of his being his blessed Lord has suggested? Where could he stand, and not hear the pervading spirit of this Sanctuary, breathing out secrets which he had in vain striven to explain, and wonders which he could not have dared to conquer ? And then, if it be blessed to know that, hereafter set free from all the trammels of the elemental dispensation, we shall take our place in the beautiful mansions of Paradise, amongst the nobles of creation ; that gifted with capacities, and privileged with opportunities for deriving from immediate contact with Deity, acquaintance with all that is majestic in the universe, we shall need no longer these means of grace, which, while they strengthen, prove us not made perfect ; yea, if it be blessed to know this, to know that, though now we see through a glass darkly, hereafter we shall see face to face—that though now we know only in part, hereafter we shall know even as we are known: 0 then it is a blessed thing to hear, that there shall be no temples in the heavenly Jerusalem! The substitution of God for the house of God is the most energetic representation of a change which elevates inan into dignity, and gives a height and a depth to the survey. And he feels, therefore, that so far as the ripening of his powers is concerned, or the moral splendour of his hereafter, or the freedom of his expatiations is described, he
will live exulting himself in the announcement of the evangelist, that he “ saw no temple” in the heavenly city: “ for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it."
And if you
But we may not enlarge further on this topic, though it'tempts us to enlarge, and proposes most attractive material for a lengthened discourse. We are, in conclusion, to apply the whole subject to that interesting cause, which is asking support from those gathered within its walls. It must follow from the foregoing statement, that both from the nature of the case, and from the appointment of God, it is essential to the very existence of a community, that provision should be made for public worship. We have shown you, that a land without churches must become especially a land without Sabbaths : so that taking from our population the public means of religious instruction, would be the readiest method of uprooting Christianity from our pale. admit this, then when an appeal is made to you in support of the simple object of increasing or sustaining the amount of church accommodation in an overgrown neighbourhood, we see not how any who wish well to the best interests of their fellow men, can with hold their contributions, or will tender none but a niggard aid. In nothing has our Church Establishment been so wanting, as in the not endeavouring to provide that the increase of Church accommodation might, in some degree, keep pace with the increase of our population. The inhabitants of our parishes multiply from tens to thousands; and the single small parish church is still expected to contain them, and the single parish priest to attend to their spiritual necessities. The result has been unavoidable: in crowded districts, large multitudes have been alienated from the Establishment, just because the Establishment itself had practically excluded them from her pale.
We thankfully admit, that within the last few years, vigorous efforts have been made towards repairing and enlarging the sanctuaries. New churches have been built, and old enlarged; so that there has been a great reduction in the disproportion (which is still quite appalling,) between our population and the means of religious instruction. But while this disproportion is so vast as it is, there must be no relaxing in our endeavours supply places of public worship. A chapel such as this in which we are assembled, and towards the support of which we ask you to contribute, is not precisely on the footing which we could desire as an ecclesiastical structure. We are daily and increasingly persuadec that every approach towards what is called “the voluntary system,” is to be deprecated by those who wish well to the progress of Christianity in a land. We would not have a minister dependant for his bread on his hearers; for we are certain, that, in a variety of cases, this dependence is likely to tell injuriously on his faithfulness. We would not have him exposed to the temptation of compromising truth, lest it should offend his supporters. It may accord with the maxims of the times, that the clergyman should be kept like the tradesman, in the power of those whom he serves ; so that if he gives not satisfaction, he
may be quickly dis ssed: but we have to argue, that the vast majority of men, however competent to judge the tradesman's goods, are quite incompetent to judge the clergyman's doctrines. And, therefore, what they dislike, will generally be that for which the preacher will obtain the most commendatiun. The very thing for which the tradesmen would be commended, would be for serving them well; but the clergyman would be discarded for serving them well, inasmuch as he can scarcely serve them well without giving them offence. We might be advocates for the voluntary systein were our whole population already converted : but we cannot contemplate it without dread, knowing its inefficacy for the conversion of that population. We are frank, therefore, in acknowledging, that if we had our choice, we would not have chapels constituted as is this, in connexion with our Establishment. But we have no choice : do away with the system of chapels in the metropolis and its environs, and you diminish most fearfully the amount of our church accommodation. The system has risen from the pressing urgency of the case, and whatever its evils, must be supported for the sake of the vastly inore than counterbalancing good.
We call on you, therefore, for a demonstration, that you are so alive to the worth of Sabbath ministrations, and so conscious of the efficacy of that system of religious instruction which the Established Church prescribes, that you will not allow those who maintain the worship, to be straitened for want of support. You will remember that after this chapel had been long occupied by a zealous and admirable minister, whose praise is in all the churches, there seemed the greatest likelihood that its connexion with the Establishment would be dissolved, and the building itself be used for secular purposes : and I only wish to know, whether a grievous moral injury, an injury which it is not possible to calculate, would not have been inflicted on the neighbourhood, if the Sabbath-bell had ceased to ring from this structure, and the house of God had been desecrated into a school or manufactory. Is it nothing that the Gospel shall be brought to the doors of numbers who might otherwise have said that they had no opportunity of hearing it? Is it nothing that the minister is traversing a district overrun with pauperism, and where otherwise there might have been a complete abandonment of the sorrowful and the dying? Is it nothing that the children of the destitute are sought out, and guided with carefulness and Christian instruction, who might otherwise have been left to grow up in ignorance and vice? The claims of this chapel on your liberality are just to be measured by the disastrous consequences which must have followed on its being no longer used as a place of public worship. It was to prevent this, that Christian men generously came forward, and, at their own risk, consecrated the place afresh to the Lord. The only question then is, Can you be backward in contributing to a cause which has the highest and loftiest sanctions on its side? We rejoice to say, that much has been already done towards liquidating the debt on this chapel; but there is still great need to appeal to the liberality of the Christian public. We trust the appeal, so far as this day is concerned, will not be made in vain. I own I feel great interest in the matter; and I would gladly communicate that interest to all who hear me. I feel great interest, because in this place I commenced my own ministration in the Metropolis. I feel great interest, because I know, that had not the present pastor stepped forward at the crisis to which I have alluded, a place in which the Gospel of Christ has long been faithfully and affectionately preached, would have been withdrawn from this neighbourhood, and a great gap made in the moral advantages of a densely populated district: and I have no idea of the burden being left on those who were bold in meeting the exigency. A public good has been done, and public benevolence should supply the wanted
We therefore put it to you to demonstrate that you know the importance of dedicating structures to the service of God, and the worth of those ordinances which our apostolical church dispenses.
We have no time to add more. The contrast between earth and heaven is this-that there are temples in the one, and none in the other. If our aspirations be towards that eternal city, of which the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple, we shall long that our families, that our neighbours, that our countrymen, may go up with us. Nothing, indeed, that is human will be excluded from our solicitudes; but our first anxieties will be given to our own land and our own parish. Remember, it is through the ministrations of the sanctuary that God ordinarily trains men for heaven : and you will aid in effecting the noble result, by providing that every man may have his Sabbath as a day of rest, and his church where he may do homage to his Maker. In contributing to the necessities of this chapel, you are contributing towards the achievement of those noble results; and I therefore confidently commend the cause to your conscience, in the night of a heart-searching God.
THE INVITATION OF THE SPIRIT AND THE BRIDE.
REV. T. MORTIMER, B.D
“ And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let
him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”— REVELATIONS, xxii. 17.
There are two interpretations of this text; neither of which I conceive would be wrong.
The words may, without impropriety, be applied to a verse that goes some little distance before, where the Lord Jesus testifies of his own coming—“ Behold I come quickly." And the words of the text may, I conceive, without any impropriety, be interpreted and expounded as applying to that event: the Spirit saying “ Come;" and the bride-the Church-saying, “ Come;" and they who are athirst for spiritual blessings saying “ Come." This is one interpretation of the text.
But there is another which I conceive equally proper, and which, indeed, I am disposed the rather to take, because the latter part of the verse seems more properly to agree with it; namely, this—the Spirit inviting to a participation of Gospel blessings. The Spirit says,
« Come.” The Church, the bride, says, “ Come.” And he that heareth is directed to say, « Come;" as he listens to the word himself, and as he goes, he is to say to others, “ Come, come;" inviting all around him to come and participate. And he that is athirst is to come; and whosoever will is welcome to come and drink of the water of life freely.
In this latter sense, then, let us consider the text. I call it a splendid text; for it is so. O brethren, when we read the Bible, which we oft and again do, we wish that our sermons could keep pace with these blessed truths; and we wish that he would assist us by his grace and Holy Spirit, that we might so explain, so enforce, and ourselves so enjoy, these passages, that, by God's blessing resting upon us, we with you, and you with us, may at length attain unto eternal life, and praise God and the Lamb for ever. 4 And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves ; but our sufficiency is of God.” It is he, and he alone, who can make poor worms like unto us “ able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life.”
Now, then, before we begin the sermon, I would wish, either in so many words, or else, at least, in synonymous terms, to say to the people, one and all, Lift up your hearts: and then our hope in God is, that you silently are echoing back the voice, if not in the words of our church, in the spirit of the response