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3. Take this sentiment into the Family. We might not be thanked if we were to insinuate that matrimonial jars existed in any instance in the circles in which this Magazine is found. We therefore disclaim the insinuation, because we do not know that the case is so. There are, however, little troubles at home sometimes which the generous spirit of the Psalmist would essentially mitigate or altogether remove. Husband and wife have chosen each other “for better for worse." There may have been a possibility of a better or wiser choice, but the choice has been made, and we cannot rush to the Divorce Court for every little incongruity of temper or divergence of opinion. The husband may be exacting and tyrannical, and crush the soul out of his wife by his own foolish conduct or his imperious demands. Strive she never so commendably to meet the claims of her situation, she finds it impossible to satisfy the expectations of her “companion;" and, except in some rare instances of fortitude and cheerfulness, the poor creature sinks into despondency, and becomes stupefied and useless. Sometimes the fault is on the other side, and the husband is the sufferer. If, in a litigious spirit, the parties determine to settle the arithmetic of blame
-if they call in friends to adjust their differences, if they appeal to any tribunal except their own hearts and their God to rectify the wrong between them, the breach will probably be widened, and happiness will for ever flee from their home. There is a better remedy than this. Let the husband, in the strength of his character and the generosity of his soul, say, “This is my wife, my companion,' who has left her home and her friends to follow my fortunes, and to identify her lot with mine; I will cherish and defend her; I will bear with her infirmities; I will love her as Christ loved the Church, and gave himself for it." Let the wife, in a similar spirit, honour and love her husband, seek his happiness, and co-operate with him in nobly battling with the ills of life, and there is nothing necessary to their mutual happiness and holiness that they cannot achieve. More of the esprit de corps, a feeling for the honour of our own battalion, which, translated into other language, is the feeling expressed by the Psalmist in the words we are considering, would do us all a world of good in the Church, in the ministry, in the family, and in all the relations of life. It is a right spirit—a noble, generous, manly spirit ; as far removed from all littleness and meanness as light is from darkness, and as envy, malice, and uncharitableness are removed from the spirit of heaven.
Look not mournfully into the past; it comes not back again. Wisely improve the present-it is thine. Go forth to meet the shadowy future without fear, and with a manly heart.
THE INTERCESSION OF CHRIST.
BY THE REV. W. BUTTERWORTH. “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them."Heb. vii. 25. The sacred Scriptures, as constituting a revelation from God to man, are of inestimable inportance. “ All Scripture,” says the apostle, “ is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness,” thus forming a complete rule of faith and practice.
Divine revelation will not admit of any human addition or subtraction, and for man to attempt either would be to render himself liable to the infliction of the plagues which are threatened against all mutilators of God's Word. It is most solemnly and emphatically stated that “the law of the Lord is perfect.”
The apostolic epistles are of intrinsic excellence and of special value. These precious letters have served for the guidance and edification of the Christian Church in all her difficulties and controversies, and have been a never-failing but ever-available source of consolation and encouragement to the followers of Christ for near eighteen centuries.
Of all the apostolic writings, the Epistle of Paul to the Hebrews has justly been considered the most important and useful; for in it all the doctrines of the Gospel are embodied, illustrated, and enforced, in a manner the most lucid, by references and examples the most illustrious, and by arguments the most cogent and convincing.
The apostle carries our minds back to the old dispensation, and eloquently discourses of the high priest, the sacrifices, and cere-. monies of the Levitical economy ; telling us that they were “shadows of good things to come," and showing what these types were intended to represent under the new dispensation. The great object the apostle had in writing this epistle was to show the great superiority of “the Gospel of Jesus Christ " over "the law of Moses," and that the writer succeeds in establishing his position, and that on the firmest possible basis, must be admitted by every unprejudiced mind.
In the pursuance of his design, he propounds and elaborates three grand arguments-namely: First, that Jesus Christ, the great high priest of the Gospel, was in every respect superior to angels, inasmuch as he was the only begotten Son of God, “ for unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee?” Secondly, that Jesus Christ was greater than Moses, because the patriarch was only a servant, but that Christ was the
Lord from heaven. Thirdly, that the Saviour was superior to Aaron, and all the other high priests, by showing that he was a priest after the order of Melchisedec, and that whilst the priests under the Mosaic economy failed through death, Christ was a priest for ever—“this man, Christ, because he continueth for ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.”
"Wherefore," says the apostle, adducing the language of the text from what he had previously advanced, “he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”
OUR SUBJECT IS, THE INTERCESSION OF CHRIST. Jesus Christ, a priest after the order of Melchisedec, is the important and absorbing theme of this epistle. In virtue of his priestly office, Christ makes intercession with the Father on behalf of all those who entrust their cause unto him. That man needs an intercessor is self-evident. “How may I approach'God ?” is the instinctive and earnest cry of every soul seeking salvation. The ground of it is to be found in that consciousness of guilt and alienation from God which the soul feels when enlightened by the Holy Spirit. Every awakened and convicted soul is ready to endorse the declaration of the apostle, that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” History, observation, experience, and revelation unite in demonstrating that man is fallen and estranged from God. There is a wide and deep gulf between the offended and the offender, and how the sinner is to pass that mighty gulf, and how he is to obtain access to the presence and receive the pardon of God, cannot but be questions of the highest moment unto him. Left to himself, what could man do to secure God's favour ? what bridge of human construction could span the vast distance which lies between the Holy Being and his fallen creatures ? what ladder of human invention could equal that seen by Jacob in the visions of night? Humanly speaking, our case is hopeless. Left to our own unaided efforts we could never find God. God is holy, man is unholy. The law is holy ; it has been transgressed by man, and it is declared, “ Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the law to do them!" Here is man's peril and helplessness, and hence arises the pressing need of a Saviour and Mediator between God and man. The necessity has been promptly and adequately met. “Help was laid upon one mighty to save !” “Lo, I come to do thy will, O God,” said the Son of God. That will was, that Christ should make his soul an offering for sin. In the fulness of time he came ; "the Word was flesh, and dwelt among us." Christ himself said, “I must work the works of him that sent me,” and when dying on the cross, he exclaimed, “ It is finished !” He died, was buried, on the third day
hinzself salono on the third das he rose again and ascended upon high; he led captivity captive, and gave gifts for men. “We have,” says the apostle, “a great high priest that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God," where “he ever liveth to make intercession for us."
As the doctrine of Christ's intercession is one of pure revelation, all the knowledge to be gained concerning it must be obtained from the Word of God.
We find that the fact of Christ's intercession was typified under the Levitical economy. The Jewish high priest made intercession for the people. After he had offered the atoning victim, he was required to enter once a year, on the great day of atonement, within the veil of the most holy, there to make intercession for the people. In this act he took part of the blood of the victim he had offered in sacrifice, and sprinkled it upon the mercy seat, overshadowed with the symbol of the Divine Presence, and burnt incense before the Lord —the cloud of the incense covering the mercy seat. While he was thus engaged, the people in the outer court were prostrate in prayer. Thus their prayers and the intercessory incense of the high priest ascended together before God. This shadowed forth in the most beautiful manner the intercession of our Saviour. “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true ; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us ” (Heb. ix. 24). “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us ” (Romans viii, 34). “There is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. ii. 5). “If any man sin," says John, “ we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”
Thus the Word of God reveals and teaches in the plainest manner the fact of Christ's intercession. Raising our thoughts from the things which are visible to the things which are invisible and eternal, by the eye of faith, we behold Jesus the intercessor exalted above principalities and powers, and standing in the very brightness of the Father's glory, interceding on our behalf.
“He who for men in mercy stood,
And poured on eartb his precious blood,
The Saviour and the Friend of man.” But we now proceed to show that Jesus Christ possesses, in the highest degree of excellence, every qualification requisite to constitute him an efficient Intercessor.
1. Consider the Constitution of his Person. He was God manifest in the flesh—he was God and man united
in one person. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” “For verily he took not on him the nature of angels, but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest, in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.”
That the Son of God did take upon him our common humanity, without sin—that he did appear in our world and spake as never man spake—that his mission was to bear the sins of a guilty race, in his own body on the tree—that he was crucified, was buried, and, according to prophecy, rose again—that he ascended upon high a conqueror, and that he now, clothed in a body like our own, appears before God in heaven, as the Intercessor of mankind, are facts and truths clearly and fully taught in the sacred Scriptures; thus demonstrating the completeness of the scheme of redemption, in all its wondrous arrangements, and in the adaptation of its provisions to meet man's spiritual necessities.
2. Consider Christ's Disinterestedness. He pleads for man, not for himself. That the Saviour intercedes at all, is purely an act of grace and mercy on his part, springing from that deep fountain of love wherewith he has loved the human family. Christ cannot be charged with impure personal motives. He seeks no reward, such as is meant by the world's interpretation of the term. He pleads without money and without price. All he desires in his intercession is, that man should be forgiven, be made happy, and received into heaven, to dwell with him for ever.
3. Consider Christ's deep Sympathy with the human family. “We have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” He has passed into the heavens, but although invisible to us, he is not the less kind and loving than he was in the days of his flesh. Having had an actual experience of our humanity, he is well qualified to enter into our feelings, and he fully comprehends the nature of our wants.
“In every pang that repds the heart
The Man of Sorrows had a part;
And to the sufferer sends relief.” His name is Jesus; he is called the Son of man, and said to be the friend of sinners. Did he, whilst a sojourner below, sympathize with the pious and interesting family at Bethany, and weep by the graveside of his friend Lazarus; with the heart-stricken widow and mother, who was following her only child to the grave; with poor