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Here we find a sacrifice stronger than the fire. At the quenching thereof, a great shock like an earthquake penetrated through the kingdom of Satan and death; the sun darkened, the rocks rent; and many of the inhabitants of the grave-yard had the doors of their prison opened, the walls were broken in pieces, and a jubilee was proclaimed. The Immaculate Sacrifice, who was, in himself, both priest, altar, and victim, after remaining three days and three nights in the ashes under the altar, revived, and came alive from the burning, and appeared again among his companions. Death shall never have dominion over Him.
O Thou my voice inspire, Who touch'd Isaiah's hallowed lips with fire !
Rapt into future times, the bard begun: A virgin shall conceive, a virgin bear a son! From Jesse's root behold a Branch arise, Whose sacred flower with fragrance fills the skies : The sick and weak the healing Plant shall aid, From storm a shelter, and from heat a shade. All crimes shall cease, and ancient feuds shall fail ; Returning Justice lift aloft her scale ; Peace o'er the world her olive wand extend, And white-rob’d Innocence from heaven descend. Swift fly the years, and rise the expected morn! O spring to light, auspicious babe, be born! See, nature hastes her earliest wreaths to bring, With all the incense of the breathing spring; See lofty Lebanon his head advance ; See nodding forests on the mountains dance: See spicy clouds from lowly Sharon rise, And Carmel's flowery top perfumes the skies!
Hark! a glad voice the lonely desert cheers :
Sees lilies spring and sudden verdure rise;
Rise, crown'd with light, imperial Salem rise !
But fix'd his word, his saving power remains ;
THE INCARNATION OF CHRIST. The incarnation of the Saviour of mankind was one of the most important, one of the most glorious events that ever took place in the revolutions of time. Then the virgin conceived and brought forth a Son, whose name is “ God with us.” The Lord of glory took up his dwelling in mortal flesh. The purposes and promises of God relating to this wonderful transaction were then fulfilled. The fulness of the times was then completed, and God sent forth his Son made of a woman. Angels descended from heaven to bring the joyful news. A multitude of the heavenly host made their appearance on the occasion. Celestial music was heard by mortal ears. The glorious messengers had no sooner delivered the glad tidings, than they united in one of the anthems of heaven. The morning stars sang together, and the Sons of God shouted for joy; “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good-will towards men.” The Sun of Righteousness was now to arise and shine upon a benighted world, and a new star appeared in the heavens, as a signal of a brighter day. Wise men from the east, taught of God to know the significancy of this sacred token, came, under the guidance of its shining rays, to present their gifts and pay their adorations to the new-born Saviour. Such is the history of his birth. Abraham, the patriarch, rejoiced in the distant prospect of this day; he saw it by faith, and was glad.
THE GREAT TEACHER. Our Lord Jesus Christ had been long expected to appear in the Jewish church, as a prophet like unto Moses, and his ministry had been characterized as the most beneficial that could be imagined. The people, therefore, formed the highest expectations of his economy, and he framed it so as to exceed all description. He taught-not as the scribes.
The temper in which he executed his ministry was the noblest that can be conceived. He was humble, compassionate, firm, disinterested, and generous. He displayed, in the course of his ministry, such an assortment of properties as obliged some of his auditors to burst into exclamatory admiration, Blessed are the paps which thou hast sucked ! others to hang upon his lips, wondering at the gracious words that proceeded out of his mouth, and all to acknowledge, Never man spake like this man! This was not a temporary tide of popularity; it was admiration founded on reason, and all ages since have admired and exclaimed in like manner.
Add to these the simplicity and majesty of his style, the beauty of his images, the alternate softness and severity of his address, the choice of his subjects, the gracefulness of his deportment, the indefatigableness of his zeal-where shall I put the period ? his perfections are inexhaustible, and our admiration is everlasting. The character of Christ is the best book a teacher can study.
In order to mortify human vanity, to convince the world that religion was a plain simple thing, and that a little common sense accompanied with