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I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the
churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the Bright and Morning Star.'
Rev. xxi. 16.
What a beautiful title! How many glorious appellations are applied to the Redeemer of the world! We have contemplated him as a Rock, throwing out its shade in a weary land; as a Covert from the tempest; as Bread to nourish; and as a Shepherd to lead us to God. Now we are to behold him under the emblem of a Star; not a feeble, twinkling star, borrowing its light, but one of underived, unborrowed lustre; one shining by its own splendor, exceeding all others in glory: 'a Star out of Jacob, a 'Day Star,' a Bright and Morning Star!
What is more beautiful than the morning star ? Behold its twinkling light, shining from afar, ushering in the dawn. How pleasant to the lost and weary traveller! Lost amid the darkness of night, he hails the approaching day, as it throws its mellow light from the eastern sky. How joyful to the mariner!
Tossed upon the trackless deep, amid the storms, and tempests, his slender barque thrown among the rocks and quicksands; despairing, he beholds the auspicious star breaking through the surrounding gloom, denoting a calm and quiet day. How consoling to the watcher; to her who has
stood by the bedside of the sick and the dying, bathing the aching head, and wiping the cold, damp sweat from the brow. The world has been hushed in sleep, while she has been smoothing the pathway down to the tomb. How lonely, how dreary have been the hours! But see, the morning star arises ! The day is dawning. What a bright emblem of that quiet and beautiful day that shall at last dawn upon the world, when all tears shall be dried up, and when the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick.'
But behold Jesus, the Bright and Morning Star. Darkness had covered the earth, and gross darkness the people.' Man was wandering and groping his way in search of truth. The afflicted knew not where to look for consolation.
Death was clothed with a thousand terrors. Doubt and conjecture filled all hearts. A long and dreary night had swayed the world. Long and doubtful was the conflict between moral life and moral death. But see! the Bright and Morning Star appears !
And darkness and doubt are now flying away;
When this Star appeared, then was revealed that great truth, that affliction and all moral impurity will cease forever. Philosophy could never have solved the great question. She can penetrate into the secrets of the natural world, and bring out the glorious mysteries of God there. But man, in his affliction, asks for light respecting that world which lies far beyond all earthly scenes. God,
God, in mercy, lit up in the heavens the Bright and Morning Star. It arises not in wrath and terror, nor amidst thunders and lightnings. It smiles upon the world; moral truth and beauty irradiate the human soul. Darkness flees apace; light increases: lo! the Sun of Righteousness arises with healing in his wings ! A thousand splendors fill the horizon. To him, then, let us turn, drink in his light and rejoice in his beams!
Benighted on the trackless main,
While stormy terrors clothe the sky,
And nought but dark despair is nigh, -
With radiant splendor, shines afar,
Appears the bright and morning Star!
That beams on ocean's weary breast;
It lulls his fears to peaceful rest.
For night and danger now are far:
His guide the bright and morning Star!
And waves of sorrow and of sin
And all is dark and drear within,-
Drives every doubt and fear afar
And smiles the bright and morning Star!'
But unto you thạt fear my name, shall the Sun of Righteousness
arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.'.
Mal. iv. 2.
How pleasing to pass from contemplating the bright and morning Star, with its twinkling light, to the Sun, that warms by his touch and kindles all nature into life.
Among the lovely scenes that creation presents to the eye, there is no one more grateful and pleasant than the opening day. How many beauties has God thrown over creation to please the senses. What a splendor in a morning sun! What a rich glow in an evening sky! What a profusion of flowers and blossoms! What a soft verdure in the fields! What joy and melody!
We have seen Jesus veiled beneath earthly emblems, and now we are to contemplate him as a Sun! How sublime! What is more beautiful than the sun? He illumines the mountain-top; he gilds the lofty tower; he throws a smile upon our world, and beautifies and gladdens every object. The bud and flower and fruit all kindle into life at his touch. He is the soul of surrounding worlds; "the heart of the
planets !' Whether we contemplate him in the immensity of his distance, the greatness of his dimensions, or the ampleness of his circuit, we are struck with surprise and admiration. No wonder that uncultivated mind has, in its reachings after the great Sun of the universe, stopped at the threshold of creation, and adored the lord of day, instead of Him who sitteth above these heavens amidst unsullied light and everlasting purity. And what is the sun when compared with creation ? A mere atom, which, if struck out of being, and the whole system of which it is the centre and support, would no more be missed by Him whose eye sweeps the outer boundary of creation, than a leaf in the forest or a grain of sand upon the sea-shore !
But what is the sun, what are all earthly objects, when compared with the Sun of Righteousness? The light of one may grow dim, but the other will shine forever.
"Go, worship at Immanuel's feet;