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according to thy word; for mine eyes have seen thy salvation !”
Zacharias opened his eyes, closed for incredulity, upon the incarnate Son of the highest, when his soul so truly glorified God. So will all believers lift their eyes, in Paradise, to his all-glorious throne; far, far above all, in the heavens; so will they all, at the last Judgment Day, behold with their own eyes, and not another's, that Jesus, who died to redeem all mankind.
Knowing his benevolent spirit, and that he made all men; can we wonder that he appeared to those of the Old World; to the Jews at many periods of their History; to men when he ministered thirty years upon Earth; to his chosen Apostles frequently after his ascension into Heaven?
As God, he is eternal; and as God, "a thousand years in his sight as but as yesterday."
With the Father and the Holy Spirit he rode forth into Chaos on the wings of the Cherubim; when Angels shouted for joy at the creation of this beauteous World, the work of his Almighty hand.
As God, he formed the lofty firmament
of Heaven; and made those golden planets, which, in one continual round, for near six thousand years, have gone in one unchanging
He, "Wonderful, Counsellor," whose praise no words of man can tell; he bids the comets urge their way through endless space, and yet return, to show to men on Earth his glorious power.
He created even Angels, who admire his Almighty works; the ready messengers of peace to man. To man, over whose true repentance Angels, the immortal worshippers of God, rejoice in highest heaven.
They rejoice, as our Lord Jesus tells us in his Gospel, 66 even over one sinner that
They rejoice, because they know that our Saviour's mercy will open to that sinner the everlasting gates; and, at the last awful day, that redeemed sinner shall join their holy company in heaven.
O blessed hope in Jesus Christ; hope founded on the rock of ages; faith, which already triumphs over the grave; charity, which would lead all men living into our great Shepherd's fold !
And these exalted virtues fill the breasts of Angels, and of all sincere believers.
Angels; and just men, who aspire to become Angels hereafter; fellow-worshippers of God above; they wish all mankind to be saved.
Such was His benevolent wish, who died for men upon the cross.
Of that Jesus, the scriptural "Word of God," who so frequently came to his Prophets in old times; who so frequently appeared to his Apostles in later days, after his public ascension into heaven. That Word of God, which, "in the beginning was with God, and was God;" that Word of God, whom his Apostles, as St. John writes, in his ministry, "from the beginning," saw, and conversed with. "Which," says he, in his first Epistle general, "we have heard; which we have seen with our eyes; which we have looked upon; and our hands have handled ; of the Word of life."
That Word of God who was foretold to the first man as his Redeemer; who spake by his Spirit to those who were sometime disobedient in the days of Noah. Who visited faithful Abraham, and other Patriarchs; who ap
peared to Manoah, and to Gideon and to many Prophets, and pious worshippers of God, in all ages.
How much is the reading of Scripture increased in interest, when we find our Lord Jesus, in whose Name only is our redemption; ever active, in all ages of the world, in forwarding that God-like work! He is the "one Mediator, the man Christ Jesus, between God and man.
Then let us ever bless His holy Name; cheerfully submitting to his will in all things; readily, and gladly, obeying his commandments. He promised to be with his Church always, even unto the end of the world: and He is faithful that promised.
Built on the everlasting rock of Ages, let our most ancient of the Western Churches spread wide her glorious banner of the Cross : and, as it courts the passing breeze, let it shew forth His Universal Redemption "to all Nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues."
Our ancient British Church was founded by St. Paul, and his personally instructed Disciples; when "Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house at Rome, and
received all that came in unto him: preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence; no man forbidding
A constant intercourse between Rome and Britain, had been opened by Julius, and Augustus Cæsar; and Roman Legions went from this Island, and from this very neighbourhood, to the siege, and downfall, of Jerusalem.
Those Legions had slain our Druids; those Romans, near this very spot, erected a Temple to their Idol Pallas; and, long before even a Papal Church existed, pure Christian faith had triumphed on this very ground; and had erected a Church on the ruins of her idolatrous Temple.
The first pure Church of Rome was founded by St. Paul, about the same period as our own ancient British Church: both professing the doctrines only of Christ, and his Apostles; and and "so we preached, so have ye