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THREE ERAS OF LIGHT,
THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE
ON COMMENCEMENT SUNDAY,
July 1st, 1810
GEN. I. 3. Let there be LIGHT:
IN THE BEGINNING, GOD created the hea: cvens and the earth. And the earth was 66 without form and void, and darkness was
upon the face of the deep. And God said, « Let there be Light: and there was Light.” In these first words of Revelation we read how God gave light to the NATURAL world. But he is also the author of spiritual light; and by the same Almighty Fiat, he dispelled the darkness of the MORAL world. For, “ when " the fulness of time was come, God sent « forth his Son," who is “ the brightness of « his glory, and the express image of his per
son;" and he said unto the Church, which was to be illuminated by him, “ Arise, shine, “ for thy light is come:” (Isa. lx. 1.) and the people which sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, saw a GREAT LIGHT. (Matt.
Now the Scriptures mark a certain analogy between the creation of natural and of spiritual light; and shew that both are produced by an exertion of the same Almighty power. “ For God, who commanded the light to o shine out of darkness, hath shined in our
HEARTS, to give the light of the knowledge “ of the glory of God in the face of Jesus 66 Christ." 2 Cor. iv. 6.
Under the authority of this analogy we may be permitted to inquire, which is the grandest display of the Divine power,--the creation of natural or of spiritual light? The production of the sun, which shines in the firmament, or spiritual illumination by Him, who is called “ the Sun of Righteousness;" connected as it is with those stupendous events in heaven and earth, “ which angels desire to look “ into;"—the incarnation of the Deity; the passion, death, resurrection, and ascension of the Mediator; the coming of the Holy Ghost; the gift of Tongues; the promulgation of the Gospel; and the liberation of millions of souls from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God ?-Doubtless, the glory of the spiritual dispensation far transcends that of the natural creation, both in the importance of its effects, and in the extent of its duration,
Let this, then, be our subject, to contemplatè the spiritual illumination which comes