Page images


[ocr errors]


Peter.-Every one of you.

Object.-But I was one of them that bare false witness against him. Is there grace for me?

Peter. For every one of you.

Object.But I was one of them that cried out, crucify him,. crucify him ; and desired that Barabbas the murderer might live, rather than he. What will become of me think you?

Peter.— I am to preach repentance and remission of sins to every one of you, says Peter.

Object.-But I was one of them that did spit in his face, when he stood before his accusers. I also was one that mocked him when in anguish, he hanged bleeding on the tree. Is there room for me? Peter. For every one of you, says Peter.

Object. But I was one of them that in his extremity said, give him gall and vinegar to drink. Why may not I expect the same when anguish and guilt are upon me?

Peter.—Repent of these your wickednesses, and here is remission of sins for every one of you.

Object. But I railed on him, I reviled him, I hated him, I rejoiced to see him mocked at by others. Can there be hopes for me?

Peter. There is for every one of you. 'Repent and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.' Oh ! what à

essed every one of you’ is here! How willing was Peter, and the Lord Jesus, by his ministry, to catch these murderers by the word of his Gospel, that they might be made monuments of the grace of God. How unwilling, I say, was he, that any of them should escape the hand of mercy. Yea, what an amazing wonder

[ocr errors]


it is to think that above all the world, and every body in it, these should have the first offer of mercy. Beginning at Jerusalem !'.....

Nor was the preaching of the Apostles unsuccessful among these people. Thousands of them came flocking to the Lord Jesus for mercy. Three thousand of them closed with him at the first; and afterwards, two thousand more; for now they were in number about five thousand; whereas, before sermons were preached to these murderers the number of the disciples was not above • a hundred and twenty ;' Acts i. 15; ii. 41; iv. 4. “ Also among

these people that thus flocked to him for mercy, there was a great company of the priests,' vi. 7. Now the priests were they that were the greatest of these biggest sinners ; they were the ring-leaders, they were the inventors and ring-leaders in the mischief. It was they that set the people against the Lord Jesus, and that were the cause why the uproar increased, until Pilate had given sentence upon him. “The chief priests and elders,' says the text, ' persuaded (the people) the multitude,' that they should ask Barabbas and destroy Jesus ; (Matt. xxvii. 20.) And yet behold the priests, yea, a great company of the priests, became obedient to the faith.'

“Oh, the greatness of the grace of Christ, that he should be thus in love with the souls of Jerusalem sinners ! that he should be thus delighted with the salvation of the Jerusalem sinners! that he should not only will that his Gospel should be offered to them, but that it should be offered unto them first, and before other sinners were admitted to a hearing of it. • BEGINNING AT JERUSALEM.

66 THY WORD IS TRUTH.”—No. VII. PERHAPS there is no spot on this earth where the Christian traveller is more forcibly reminded of the curse denounced by the God of truth upon disobedience, than amidst the still splendid remains of ancient Thebes.

This wonderful city is said to have contained 20,000 fighting men, with 200 war chariots ; and as the modern traveller can even now trace the length and breadth of the ground it covered, with the wide waters of the Nile flowing through its midst, we need not question that the farfamed 100 gates really did open upon the desert, from palaces, temples, and dwellings of every description, standing upon a tract of ground twenythree miles in circuit. Nor did the Thebans care only to adorn the dwellings of the living—as we observed in the last number of these papers with respect to the Egyptians--so the inhabitants of Thebes anxiously studied to immortalize the memory of the departed; and if a Cheops or a Sesostris could not remove the awful curse, “Thou shalt surely die,yet did they strive that their names should be remembered, and “their dwelling-places to all generations." But how vain and fleeting are man's poor efforts to make that “abide for ever," which God has declared “ shall pass away.” “ Man being in honour abideth not: he is like the beasts that perish. This their way is their folly. Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; their beauty shall consume in the grave from their dwelling."-Ps. xlix. 12-14.

The writer has wandered amidst the ruins of temples, the grove of pillars, in Carnac alone

180 are still standing, the carving and coloring most exquisite,) rows, or rather avenues of sphinxes, a mile in length ; colossal statues, tombs cut out of the solid rocks, containing chambers of beautiful proportion and costly ornaments. But the men for whose grandeur these palaces were built are gone, and not only do their places know them no more, but their names have perished with them. Even the tombs are ravished, and the bodies of the embalmed are disinterred ; yes, a limb, or a lock of hair, or a skull, may be purchased for a few parahs, by those who care to possess such trophies.

Oh! what an end is here of such splendor as the world had never seen; no, not Babylon, or its successor Rome. “For the day of the Lord of hosts” has been already upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up, and they have been brought low.”—Isaiah ii. 11-19.

And truly refreshing was it in the midst of such witnesses to the mutability of man, to turn the eye from the creature to the Creator; from the crumbling works of man, to the works of his hands, “who spake and it was done, who commanded and it stood fast." Psalm xxxiii. 9. Yes, the lofty mountains on either side stand firm where God has placed them, and the mighty flowing river pours its incessant flood from the wilds of Africa, and passes in its wonted channels by the masses of confusion piled together by human hands, as if in mockery of man's disappointed efforts, and as if to proclaim to this distant age—There is a God, and he holds the pillars of the earth and layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters. He setteth fast the

mountains and girdeth them with strength. “The Lord of hosts is his name.”

Reader! God's works praise him : are you among his saints who bless him? Do you rejoice that you have to do with an unchanging, unchangeable Jehovah. “ His righteousness shall not be abolished.” And when the heavens shall be opened and his righteousness shall be revealed, how will you appear? Think you the trees of the garden, or the mighty rocks and mountains, or the richly carved sepulchre, 'will hide you from his presence ? Ah! No. All are his servants, and earth and sea, cavern and rock, shall give up the living or the dead. Come then now, while the God of truth proclaims his love, and invites you to believe and to be saved. Come and acquaint yourself with him and be at peace; come and take his yoke upon you and learn of him ; come and enter into the chambers of covenant love, and shut thy doors about thee, shut out the stormy hubbub of this noisy world, and its glittering tinsel too, and live upon the great, and sound, and firm realities of his presence and his blessing, whose “ Word is Truth.”

THE WELL OF BETHLEHEM. “ We struck off from the village to the right, and found our path pass along a terrace, through some beautiful gardens. We here came in contact with the conduit coming from the pools of Solomon; and we observed—what we afterwards more particularly observed in other places that the aqueduct rises and falls according to the level of the ground over which it passes, thus clearly

« PreviousContinue »