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XLIX. LIGHT OF THE WORLD.

"Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the Light of the

world; he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.'

John viii. 12.

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Jesus is called a Light in seven instances in the Scriptures, and Light of the world in one other passage. The Divine Teacher also called his disciples the Light of the world, Matt. v. 14.

If the reader will turn to the first verse of the chapter where the motto is found, he will there see that

early in the morning Jesus came again into the temple,' and that the case of the adulteress was brought before him. With great wisdom and calmness he eludes the artful snare which the Jewish sanhedrim had laid for his destruction. And then with great dignity he resumes his discourse, probably availing himself of the rising sun, which was at that moment beautifully illuminating that magnificent edifice, to declare to the people, that as this luminary gave light and animation to the material world, so he, in like manner, was destined, in the counsels of Supreme Wisdom, to give light and vigor to the moral, intellectual, and spiritual worlds! How appropriate and striking then is this title. And we have thought that if we could sketch a few of its beauties, we might interest the reader, and perhaps persuade him to study the excellencies of the brightest

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and purest character that has ever been displayed before mortal eyes. It is worthy of remark, that Jesus communicated both moral and natural light. He not only opened the natural eye, but he also opened the eyes of the understanding. He had command over both the natural and moral world. He could make the mind and the body whole. No disease, either of body or mind, was too inveterate for him to remove. And it is remarkable that he never refused to do either even to the vilest of our

race.

But in what sense is the Redeemer the Light of the world? There are several qualities in light, which may all be applied to Jesus and his mission.

I. Light cannot create; it can only show what already exists.

II. Light is perfectly adapted to the human eye.

III. Light is inexhaustible; otherwise we should live in constant fear of eternal night.

IV. Light is impartial; having no favorite to bless.

Now Jesus is the light of the moral world, as the sun is the light of the natural world.

Man can no more do without Jesus, than he can do without the light of day. As natural light follows in the track of the sun, so does moral light follow in the path of Jesus. Without me,' said the great Saviour, 'ye can do nothing.' All systems of religion, where Jesus is not taken for a Light, must sooner or later come to nought.

I. Jesus did not come to create truth. He came to reveal what had been true from all eternity. No being can create truth. Man might as well attempt the creation of a God, as to think of bringing the

simplest truth into being. She is not of created things, and is therefore exempt from their destiny. God's well-beloved daughter knows neither age nor decay. Before the work of creation began, she was with the Father of all things; and when time shall have ceased to be, she will stand before his throne, and still bask in the living light of the ineffable presence !' Jesus came to shed light on the character of God. He revealed him to the world as a Father. Man now can repose the utmost confidence in God; for he feels that he is his best friend. Jesus presented human duty in a clearer light than was ever seen before. A great many systems of moral philosophy have been presented to the world, but the system of Jesus excels them all. It is comprehensive, and exactly adapted to the mind. "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind; thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.' Can any thing be more excellent? These two commands of God are binding on every moral being throughout the universe, and the time can never arrive when man will cease to be amenable to them.

II. Jesus adapted the truths which he taught to the human understanding, as natural light is adapted to the

eye
of man.

That is, he communicated truth in such a simple and plain manner, that the lowest mind could comprehend him. His usual form was by parables, the most pleasing medium through which truth can be presented. Hence, when he taught, the multitudes thronged to hear him. Jesus 'knew what was in man,' and therefore, he was well qualified to reach his heart. Truth never appeared

in such a lovely form before. It won the affections, and man paid homage to the great moral Teacher sent from heaven. In a word, there was every thing so grand in doctrine and so delightful in manner, that the people might well exclaim, 'Never man spake like this man !!

III. The moral light of Jesus is inexhaustible. Though our earth were crowded with inhabitants, there would be natural light enough for them all. The sun was designed for the whole of our globe, and it shines alike upon the palace of the rich, and the humble cottage of the poor. So God designed this moral Light for all, and all will ultimately enjoy its beams. As the morning flower turns to receive the rays of the sun, so will the mind, in due time, turn to Jesus as the Light of the world.

IV. Jesus, as a moral Light, is impartial. He has no favorites: all are alike objects of his grace. so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, not to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.' 'It is a light thing,' said Jehovah, speaking through the medium of his prophet, to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and restore the preserved of Israel; I will give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation to the ends of the earth.' Can such language mean any thing less than the happiness of the whole world ? It would be derogatory both to the character of Jehovah and his Son, to suppose that any thing short of the salvation of the world was intended in the Gospel plan. Indeed, the comparison would be lost, which Jesus designed to draw between himself and the natural light of day. As well contend that the sun

grace. God

was not made for all, as to assert that Jesus was not sent to be the Saviour of the world.

But let us turn to the great moral truth connected with our subject by Jesus himself: 'He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.' A more beautiful and delicate expression was never dropped before. It seems to contain a world of meaning. It presents a truth that should be engraven on every heart. Jesus is the true Light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world.' Yet many seem to love darkness rather than light. Thousands follow their own devices in preference to the precepts of the great Redeemer. By following Jesus, we may understand walking according to his example.

There are many other interesting traits in Jesus; but we must leave them, as this number already exceeds the limits which we designed. We trust the reader will be guided by this Light sent from heaven, and if so, he will find himself in the true path to happiness, and will have the light of life.'

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