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may, perhaps, be considered in this light, from the commendatory manner in which the evangelist has spoken of him: 'a counsellor, a good man and a just; the same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them, *** who also himself waited for the kingdom of God.'*

Simeon was among the number who ardently desired the appearance of the Saviour. Age succeeded age in the record of time; the promise had been made to the patriarchs, reiterated to the prophets, sung by angels. For four hundred years the voice of prophecy had ceased. The auspicious period drew near that was to bring the consolation of Israel.' At last heavenly strains were heard on high; they reached earth. They told the all-absorbing truth that a Saviour was born. In a few days, he was 'brought to Jerusalem to be presented to the Lord.' There this aged saint for the first time saw the Lord's Christ. Then he took him up in his arms and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: for mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.' He also takes up the strain of prophecy, saying to the mother, 'Behold! this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against.' Then he foretels her sufferings in the strong language of that day. 'Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also; that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.' of this excellent man,

we know * Luke xxiii. 50–53.

nothing more than is here presented in this short narrative by the sacred historian. How long he lived to enjoy the object of his faith and pious confidence, we are not permitted to know.

His joy was full. He saw, he felt, he adored his Saviour. He had quietly waited for the salvation of the Lord.' His life was prolonged that he might see the 'consolation of Israel.' His soul was so full of joy that it longed to leave its frail tenement, and go where there are pleasures forevermore. We may suppose him to exclaim, 'Yes, O my God, let me quit this earth! I see that thou callest me! and I quit it without regret. Thou hast fulfilled all my desires and completed my wishes, and I desire to be detained no longer from the full enjoyment of thyself. Happy man! may the closing hours of my sojourn on earth be as peaceful as thine! And when my thoughts turn to the consolation of Israel,' may I feel that ardent devotion which filled thy breast with such rapture and joy.

But we find ourselves entering on a large subject where there appeared hardly enough to furnish a page. The reader will forgive our wanderings. Let him remember that we are considering a character that has been the theme of prophets and angels, and will, as it becomes fully made known, be the wonder and the glory of the universe.

We remark, in closing our present number, that Jesus was sent to impart consolation to his nation; to teach them the trųe character of God, and their duty. He was to be a Priest, King, Deliverer, &c. Then his work was to be extended, even

to the gathering together of all things in heaven and earth. But 'he came to his own, and his own received

him not.' Then God 'opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.' *** Blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.'*

It is worthy of remark, that Simeon leaped over the narrow enclosures set by his people and nation. He considered the babe 'as a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Israel.' He thought of the world as well as his own people and kindred. How very different from that narrow, persecuting spirit afterwards manifested upon learning that Jesus was sent to be the Saviour of all men. When the pure soul meets with the fulfilment of its desires, how quickly its benevolence extends over the whole earth. If a mere creature desires so much, then how great must be the desire of Him who is benevolence itself in all its immeasurable extent. Can a God of infinite purity be satisfied with any thing less than the purity of a universe ?

* Rom. xi. 25, 26.

XVIII. CORNER STONE.

“Therefore, thus saith the Lord God, Behold! I lay in Zion for a

foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation : he that believeth shall not make haste.'

Isa. xxviii. 16.

This appellation is found in three instances where our Lord is evidently intended. Other equivalent expressions, however, are employed : such as the head of the corner,' 'a sure foundation. We find the words corner stone, in the singular, and in the plural, once each, but then having reference entirely to other subjects, wholly foreign to our present pur

pose. *

Respecting this appellation, Dr. Clarke presents the following pertinent remarks :- This is the same as the foundation stone; and it is called here the chief corner stone, because it is laid in the foundation, at the angle of the building, where its two sides form the ground-work of a side and end wall. And this might probably be designed to show that in Jesus, both Jews and Gentiles were to be united : and this is probably the reason why it was called a stone of stumbling and rock of offence; for nothing stumbled, nothing offended the Jews so much as the calling of the Gentiles into the church of God, and admitting them to the same privileges which had been before peculiar to the Jews.'t

* Job xxxviii. 6. Psa. cxliv. 12.

† Com. on 1 Pet. ii. 6.

There would seem to be no essential difference between this title and that of 'Foundation. True, the architect would tell us that the corner stone is but a small part, while the foundation comprises the whole base of the building. But then it should be remembered that the sacred writers were not governed by rules of rhetoric, nor by the principles of science. They had one great, broad, everlasting theme. This filled their whole minds, and often did they find all human language inadequate to the task of portraying the glories of God and the Redeemer. Witness the fervency of the prophet: 'Wo is me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.'* We find the apostle also expressing his inability to give an idea of the glories which he saw. He 'heard,' he says, 'unspeakable words which it was not lawful for man to utter.'t We find the sacred writers every where laying hold of every argument and metaphor that could be reached to support and illustrate the grand scheme of man's redemption. They distinguish this stone by the choicest appellations: chief, 'precious,' 'living,' 'elect,' 'tried.' The prophets and apostles and early Christians are represented as engaged in this great building of which Jesus was the corner stone. The metaphor is even carried out till we find the whole human race included within its ample dimensions. It is pleasing to a benevolent mind to learn the various ways employed by the inspired writers to prove the doctrine of the ultimate reign of purity and happiness. Sometimes * Isa. vi. 5.

† 2 Cor. xii, 4.

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