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pity his weaknesses, and forgive his sins! Blessed Physician! I find, on looking at thee, new life, and returning health. I forget my weaknesses and my frailties. In looking at thee, I seem almost even now to be enjoying immortal health! God be praised. 'Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no Physician there?'

(Yes, there's a great Physician near;

Look up, my fainting soul, and live!
See, in his heavenly smiles appear

Such help as nature cannot give?

He has appeared in the midst of this pestilential world, and standing beside us, he is saying, with a smile of love, I am the Physician that healeth thee. "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because * * * he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted.' * * * And the great Physician will pursue his work till he heals 'all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.'

Finally, we shall reach that bright and beautiful world where we shall not need the skill of our Physician, but where we shall adore him forever; for there the inhabitant shall not say,

I am sick.'

There sickness never comes ;

There grief no more complains;
Health triumphs in immortal bloom,

And purest pleasure reigns.

*

No cloud those regions know,

Forever bright and fair ;
For sin, the source of mortal wo,

Can never enter there.'

LXI. PRINCE OF PEACE.

Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the govern.

ment shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.'

Isa. ix. 6.

What an amiable, what an illustrious title! How exceedingly appropriate when applied to him who came not to destroy men's lives, but to save them.' He is also called the Prince of the kings of the earth, Rev. i. 5; the Prince of life, Acts iii. 15.

Prince of Peace! How many rich associations cluster around this name ! The mind luxuriates amid unnumbered beauties! The loveliest scenes spread out before the eye in prophetic vision! We see nations, powerful in arts and arms, laying aside their implements of war; their jarring differences all settled; their drawn swords returned to the scab- . bard; and they go back to their hills and valleys, their vines and their fig-trees; and beside the cool fountain and the over-arching shade, and around the domestic hearth, no longer visited by sudden and cruel alarms, they celebrate the dominion of peace, and the triumph of justice.

I. The teachings of the Prince of Peace.
II. The nature of his kingdom.

I. The teachings of the Prince of Peace. Let us go directly to his first sermon: ‘Blessed are the

the rose.

poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the peace-makers: for they shall be called the children of God. Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you.'* What a sermon! Like dew upon the tender plant; like broad rivers in a desert; like the bright morning star ushering in a day of righteousness and peace. The very wilderness budded; the desert rejoiced and blossomed as

From that hour to the present, the blessed influences of this sermon have been felt by the wise and the good. It has been to the world 'like rain upon the mown grass, and as showers that water the earth.'

II. The nature of his kingdom. The prophets everywhere describe this kingdom in the most glowing strains, and throw around it the richest imagery. Sometimes they present it under the type of a city descending from heaven; sometimes under the type of a wilderness newly clothed with bud and blossom; sometimes as a great temple, capacious enough to contain all nations. Hear a few of the prophetic strains, as the prophets touch the golden harp of prophecy :

'Rejoice greatly, o daughter of Zion; shout, 0 daughter of Jerusalem : behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of

* Matt. v. 3, 5, 7, 9, 44.

an ass.'*

His name shall endure forever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun : and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed.'t 'And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him.'I Such were the beautiful strains of prophecy. And when at last the auspicious hour arrived for the Prince of Peace to be born, and to commence his reign, the earth was lulled into repose, and he was ushered into our world amid the song of angels, uttering, in strains unknown before, 'Peace on earth, and good will to men.'

'In heaven the rapturous song began,

And sweet seraphic fire
Through all the shining legions ran,

And strung and tuned the lyre.

Swift through the vast expanse it flew,

And loud the echo rolled ;
The theme, the song, the joy was new,

'Twas more than heaven could hold.

Down through the portals of the sky

The impetaous torrent ran ;
And angels flew with eager joy

To bear the news to man.'

In this new kingdom, all the implements of war are to be destroyed or burned with 'fuel of fire.' There is a very beautiful illustration of this prophecy found in the customs of some heathen nations, which was, to gather from the field of battle heaps of armor,

* Zech. ix. 9

† Psa. lxxii. 17.

| Dan. vii. 14.

and make an offering to the god supposed to be the giver of victory. Virgil mentions the custom :

"Cum primam aciem Præneste sub ipsa
Stravi, scutorumque incendi victor acervos.'

n. lib. viii. 561.

"Would Heaven (said he) my strength and youth recall,
Such as I was beneath Prænesta's wall-
Then when I made the foremost foes retire,
And set whole heaps of conquered shields on fire.'

DRYDEN.

But the implements and weapons of war will not simply be burned up, but the disposition to use them will be removed. The heart will be converted, and will become the residence of gentleness, kindness, and compassion. The very nations themselves who have met on the field of battle will 'beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning-hooks.' Violence and bloodshed will no longer be known. Every passion will be hushed, and love and good will reign triumphant. Such was the meaning of the language where the prophet says, 'The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf, and the young lion, and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. It is in this way then that war and violence shall be removed from the earth; not simply by conversion of the implements to agriculture and the peaceful arts, but by a conversion of the very hearts who have loved war and gloried in its victories. The 'nations shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. Yes, they shall cease to learn, to study the art of war. For in

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