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and move and have our being." He is not said to be in all things, pervading all, surrounding all: but he is himself the prominent object, and all things are in him. He sustains all, observes all, actuates all, controls all. It is not change of place but change of condition that is to enable you to perceive his presence, to "see him as he is," to "behold him face to face," as happy spirits behold him. Your informations of objects come to you at present through the medium of sensation, and God is not an object of sensation. But could you, immortal spirits! at this moment throw off those pelicles of flesh that obstruct your clear perception,-behold at once you are in the presence of the Deity! You see him! You know him, as spirit knows spirit. And now, though you cannot discern him through those veils; yet he is here: he sees you: he hears me: in him we have life and breath and being. Job, when he had lost the light of God's countenance, that only sensible manifestation of his presence which is ordinarily afforded to tenants of the flesh: "Oh, that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat!-Behold I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him: on the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand that I cannot see him: But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me I shall come forth as gold." Hear David, hear the father of our Solomon: "Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there; if I make my bed in hell, behold thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about
me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee."
Mysterious, awful presence! Well might the psalmist infer: "thou knowest my sitting down and my rising up; thou understandest my thoughts afar off." Well might he assert: "thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. There is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether." Well might he exclaim: "Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it." And you— you, my dear brethren, who are compassed like the psalmist, with this wonderful presence, will you not devoutly join him in the petition he puts up? If God be in this assembly, if he sees you, if he sustains you, if he is to judge you, will you not now say to him: "Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts; and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way
But we cannot tell you now of the ends to which you should employ these feeble glimmerings of knowledge.For though our theme be mysterious, it is not therefore a useless one: The presence of the Most High is a most commanding thought; and our bare knowledge of it should lead us to many a deduction of stupendous import. All these we must defer till, if so please the present Deity, we meet you here again.
Communicants! You are about to take your places at the table of the Lord. Is it not, to you at least, an awful thought that the Lord is in this place! In his presencebefore his very face, you are going, in a few moments, to stretch forth your hands and take the smybols of the Saviour's body and blood. He will see you! he will note
you! "Behold, the heavens are not clean in his sight, and he chargeth his angels with folly!" Does it seem to you, all defiled as you are, a fearful thing thus to pass in review before the living God? Do you fear lest your offences should now rise up in dark array before him and provoke him to curse you where you sit? O, no! O, no! That is not the turn you should give to these reflections. Your sins have already risen up before him. They stood before his face, in all their rankness, the very hour they were committed. And it is his own goodness-his own goodness that has provided for you this place of refuge, that the arrows of his justice might not rankle in your breasts. This, this is the place of a sinner's safety, and a communion hour his hour of jubilee. Behold the Saviour's body broken for the perishing! behold his blood poured out to release the guilty! Behold the grand experiment of heaven, whether miscreants can be fitted to stand like cherubs before his throne! And he invites the miserable, and the guilty and the abandoned to come and submit themselves to the process he has instituted! And you-you want if possi ble to share in this great mercy, and all helpless as you are, all hapless, all defiled, you come to submit yourselves to the process he has instituted! It is well, O, it is well that God is in this assembly. For he is here to aid you. He is here to do for you the thing that you desire. He will not sure he will not suffer the experiment to fail in his own immediate presence. Make bare then your wounds before him; pour out your hearts before him; spread all your wants before him; tell him you are here because his bible bade you come. Cry, my Father! my Father! and see if he do not answer you, "Son, daughter, be of good cheer: thy sins be forgiven thee."
This is the use his bible teaches you to make of the doc
trine of his omnipresence. Hear himself, how he wields it, after having contrasted his own immensity with the sculptured and molten images of paganism: "Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names, by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth." And if God conduct those mighty orbs, so that not one of them falls short of the goal to which he destines it, shall his purpose falter, shall his power fail him, when he undertakes to conduct a sinful being back to the ways of righteousness! It may not be. If of all those glorious fires that bowl round the hill of heaven, "not one faileth," "for that he is strong in power," then "not one" of you shall fail, whose trust is in his mercy; for it was his own proposal to undertake your cure. Is this our inference, brethren?the God of the bible says so:-"he calleth them all by names, by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power, not one faileth. WHY SAYEST THOU, O Jacob, AND SPEAKEST, O ISRAEL, MY WAY IS HID FROM The Lord, AND MY JUDGMENT IS PASSED OVER FROM MY GOD? Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, Jehovah, the creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not neither is weary? There is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall. But they that wait upon Jehovah shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint." The God of salvation grant that you, my dearest brethren, may find it thus with you to-day! Amen.
Behold the heaven, and the heaven of heavens, cannot contain thee. 1 Kings viii. 27.
It was a humiliating lesson which the Saviour on one occasion taught his disciples, when they were disputing, as they often did in no very dignified or amiable style, which of them should be "greatest in the kingdom of heaven." He "called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of hea ven." You must utterly dismiss that pride of character, and that pertinacious adherence to your own opinions and preferences, which the mass of mankind consider it their right and glory to maintain: and taking your station hum- bly and quietly at the feet of Jesus Christ, you must conduct in the spirit of a little child, which never thinks of questioning the wisdom or truth of the parent whom it loves; and never permits the pride of opinion or the love of amusement to interfere with any of the instructions or commands which come to it under the sanction of an authority so venerated.
It was not, my dear brethren, for the disciples alone that this lesson was intended. An apostle has remarked that "whatsoever things were written aforetime, were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope:" and as this assurance of