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the carrying of the ark to Zion, and the services of the tabernacle; yet it does under those figures treat of Christ's resurrection, His going up on high, His triumph over sin and Satan, His pouring out the gifts of the Spirit, erecting his Church in the world, and enlarging it by the accession of the nations to the Christian faith. Here are subjects of thankfulness which call for our earnest gratitude, and the words of the text exhort us to a mode of expressing our joy which, if our heart also make melody with our lips, will tend to promote spiritual and heavenly feelings, to elevate the soul above this lower world, and to bear it away with a pure devotion to the foot of the throne of God,-it invites us to "Sing unto the Lord, and sing praises unto his name." Such an employment is indeed a reasonable one, and if we take heed that whenever we praise God with our lips, we also "make melody in our hearts unto the Lord," it must ever be acceptable to him who alone is worthy of all praise and thanksgiving.

We are passing through a world of care, and trial, and sorrow, and we need all the means of encouragement which may tend to cheer us on our way. In the text we hear one deeply tried and deeply afflicted, exhorting us to "sing unto the Lord, to sing praises unto his name." An Apostle, moreover, who himself went through a "great fight of affliction,”† who blessed God, that he was permitted to comfort † Heb. x. 32; 2 Cor. xi. 23.

* Eph. v. 9.


others who are in any trouble with the comfort by which he was himself comforted of God; he also exhorts us that we should teach one another


in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs."

While in an incident of his life, related in the Book of Acts, we find him practically applying himself to this source of consolation; we there read, that having been, with Silas, beaten with many stripes, thrust into the inner prison, and their feet made fast in the stocks, at midnight in their dungeon, amidst pain and suffering, they prayed and sang praises unto God in the hearing of the other prisoners, and it was, when pouring forth those prayers and praises, we are told "the prison was shaken, the doors were opened, and their bands were loosed."§

We are in captivity; we also, are tied and bound, but, with the chain of our sins, and we have need to pray that God of the pitifulness of his great mercy may be pleased to loose us; and in the midst of our bondage, let us also, "in the hearing of our fellow-prisoners," sing praises unto Him who

* 2 Cor. i. 3, 4.

† Col. iii. 16.

Acts xvi. 25.

§ We have the example of the " Man of Sorrows" himself, of him who was indeed " acquainted with grief." On the very night in which he was betrayed, immediately after he had solemnized the last Supper, in the expectation of his agony and crucifixion, and as a final preparation for his intense suffering in the garden of Gethsemane, it is said of our Lord and his disciples, "When they had sung an hymn they went out into the Mount of Olives." Matt. xxvi. 30.

was sent to "proclaim liberty to the captive, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound." And looking, beyond the doors of our prison-house, to that "Land of pure delight,

Where saints immortal reign,
Infinite day excludes the night,
And pleasures banish pain,"

let us rejoice in the assurance, that singing the praises of Jehovah is one of the enjoyments of the heavenly host, and of the spirits of just men made perfect.

In the Book of Revelations * we read of "A great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, who stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever." With such examples before us, the hearts of believers should indeed desire to begin the heavenly anthem now, in the house of their pilgrimage, to emulate the songs of angels, and to catch, as it were, a distant sound of the hallelujahs of heaven.

Rev. vii. 9, 10, 11, 12.

BEFORE JEHOVAH'S awful throne,
Ye nations bow with sacred joy;
Know that the Lord is God alone;
He can create, and he destroy.

His sov'reign power, without our aid,
Made us of clay, and form'd us men;
And when like wand'ring sheep we stray'd,
He brought us to his fold again.

We'll crowd thy gates with thankful songs,
High as the heavens our voices raise ;
And earth, with her ten thousand tongues,
Shall fill thy courts with sounding praise.

Wide as the world, is thy command;
Vast as eternity, thy love;

Firm as a rock, thy truth shall stand,

When rolling years shall cease to move.



LUKE II. 32.

"A Light to lighten the Gentiles, and to be the Glory of thy people Israel.”

Ir was the prayer of an aged and devout worshipper of the Most High God, "That he might depart in peace," as soon as he had been permitted to behold the long-expected Saviour. Led by the Spirit of God, he had visited the temple at Jerusalem, and there found the infant Jesus, of whom it had been revealed to him, "That he should not die, till he had seen the Lord's Christ."* He now joyfully claimed the fulfilment of the Divine Word, and "taking the Child' in his arms," "blessed God that the salvation which had been prepared before the face of all people," was at length manifest in the flesh; that the "Light" had arisen, which was soon to burst forth on the Gentiles, and to be the "Glory of his people Israel." And the full assurance of hope and heavenly peace which possessed the *Luke ii. 26.


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