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founded or not, it is certain that the human mind is continually in danger, from a consultation with flesh and blood, of losing its way to Christ and heaven.

The joy which the Magii experienced, when they saw their luminous companion and friend, was very great. To find themselves still the objects of Divine favour and direction; to have a near prospect of attaining the scope of their wishes; and after all their dangers, fatigues, and doubts, to be within sight of their journey's end; this was indeed a cause for joy. Now the gracious office which the bright conductor of the Magii fulfilled towards them, a more sure word of prophecy, the light that shines on our dark minds fulfils towards every awakened soul:-it leads to Christ. Every ray of it points to Bethlehem in Judea. And when, through the direction of Divine revelation, the peniteut sinner obtains a sight of Christ-when, after all his fears, alarms, anxieties, and doubts-after praying, hearing, and reading, without comfort, perhaps for a great length of time, he is enabled to repose his trust in the testimony of Jesus, then emotions similar to those which sprang up in the bosoms of the Magii, arise also in his heart. He rejoices "with joy unspeak"able and full of glory." It would be easy to prove by a reference to the conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch, the Jailor at Philippi, the Samaritans, and many others, of whom we read in the Acts of the Apostles, as well as to many passages in the epistles, that joy is the constant effect of faith. "The blessed hope of everlasting "life, given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ,' cannot be cordially embraced without producing satisfaction and delight. Our faith therefore is

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of a suspicious kind, if it has not been accompanied in some good measure with this effect. "Hope delayed maketh the heart sick; but, "when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life." And if such be the feelings of the conscious mind on its first discovery of Christ, His all-sufficiency and willingness to save, Oh, what transports of joy must it experience, when, its toils and labours being almost ended, it gets a sight by faith of heaven itself!-when, like Moses on Pisgah's heights, it discerns the good land that flows with heavenly milk and honey, and perceives that it is at no great distance !

On the arrival of the wise men at Bethlehem, they were introduced to the new-born King. Mary, no doubt, recounted to them the wonderful circumstances of His birth, the name which had been given Him by the angel and its interpretation, the vision afforded to the shepherds, and every thing besides which her full heart contained. And we may also suppose, without doing violence to probability, that the Magii recited to her and Joseph what had happened to themselves. Surely it must have been a happy interview to all parties; and that which afterwards the disciples said one to another, when Christ was revealed to them in breaking of bread, must have been equally appropriate to the lips of the holy family and their guests; for their hearts must have burned within them. Unbelief might have suggested a question on the occasion, which would have repressed this holy joy. It might have asked, What is there in the son of a carpenter to compensate all our fatigues and dangers, and to remunerate the expence which we have incurred? Under the influence of this thought they might have turned

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away in disgust, and hastened back to their own country, the victims of disappointment and regret. But we hear of no such evidences of unbelief. The exhibition of these was reserved for modern philosophers. For the Magii "fell "down and worshipped" the child Jesus. Some modern wise men, as they would fain be thought to be, have discovered that He whom the Magii worshipped, whom the angels are all commanded to adore, into whose hands the dying protomartyr by a solemn act of prayer committed his spirit, to whom all the hosts of heaven in obedience to Divine command are represented as paying Divine honours, that this person is not the proper object of religious worship. They may boast of their sophisms, and claim for themselves the meed of wisdom; but they are not wise enough, unless they can unnerve that arm which made the world, or wrest from it the destructive bolt which will "exe"cute vengeance on them who know not God, "and obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus "Christ;" of which Gospel it is a positive requisition, that "at the name of Jesus every "knee shall bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth, " and that every tongue shall confess that He is "Lord to the glory of God the Father." 66 my soul! come not thou into the secret" of these rationalists; "unto their assembly, mine "honour, be not thou united!".




Having paid due respect to the Divine child by a humble prostration of themselves before Him, the Magii proceeded to open the treasures which they had brought, according to the prevailing custom of the East, where no one applies for admission to the presence of a superior


without some suitable token of honour. idea of Irenæus and some modern authors, that the articles which the Magii brought had an appropriate reference to a threefold character of Christ; that the gold was designed for Him as a king, the frankincense as a God, and the myrrh as a man of sorrows, is perhaps rather ingenious than solid: at least much is not to be built on it. It may however lead us to observe that when we go to Christ for the purpose of worshipping Him, and of deriving salvation from Him, we must take with us the treasure of our hearts. The gold of our earthly possessions, the frankincense of prayer and praise, and the myrrh of godly sorrow must be presented to Him. All we have must be laid at His feet--not as the purchase-price of His favour, but as a token of our gratitude to Him.

The prayer which is founded on this remarkable part of the sacred history, consists partly of a position and partly of a supplication." "Mer"cifully grant, that we which know thee now "by faith, may after this life have the fruition "of thy glorious God-head, through Jesus "Christ our Lord."

The position is, that "we now know God by "faith." But, O reader! is the position indeed true? Is the charitable hope, which our church entertains of thee, as one of her sons, founded? "It is eternal life to know the only "true God and Jesus Christ whom He hath "sent." To be ignorant of God is eternal death; for those on whom His vengeance will be taken, when He is "revealed in flaming "fire," are all who know not God and obey "not the Gospel of His Son Jesus Christ." let the inquiry be made with care! for ignorance

tion, or end, conveys ideas to his mind which ravish his soul, and which at times produce an ecstacy that ill brooks delay or a further commerce with this sublunary scene of things.

Reader, Is the fruition of God the ultimate scope and consummation of thy wishes? To be with Him, to see Him, to be like Him, to enjoy close communion with Him,-is this the point to which thy affections tend, the object of thy habitual desire? If indeed it be, then a preparation of soul for it is the work of thy life. An increasing spirituality of mind, an abstraction from the world, and sublimation of affection, are daily cultivated. What says conscience respecting thy sincerity in the use of our excellent collect? Let her answer be the index of thy state.

As we are taught to ask for every blessing preparatory to the fruition of the glorious Godhead in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, so also for this crowning benefit. His merit and intercession are our ground of confidence. Presumption itself can hardly build on any other the hope of eternal glory. "He hath "opened the kingdom of heaven to all be"lievers" by His meritorious obedience unto death; He is entered thither as the forerunner of His redeemed, and He ever liveth to make intercession for them. The arrow of prayer, taken from the quiver of spiritual wants, shot from the bow of fervent desire by the strong hand of faith, pointed by sincerity, and winged by the name of Jesus, is sure to reach its destined mark. Past human guilt, however great, can neither impede its progress, nor divert its aim.

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