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f human love. Ho could like one man lore than another—John was his bosom iend; one people more than another— s had not "come, save to the lost sheep of ■ house of Israel j" one family more than lother—for it was with a peculiar affec)ti that he loved Martha, and Mary her iicr, and Lazarus whom he raised from e dead. He could also like one place more nn another; for when his last earthly iy was come, he led his disciples up the ope of Olivet, "as far as to Bethany." a this mountain he had often prayed; of ■i two chief districts, Q-ethsemano and tetany, the one was the scene of his pasion, the other the home of his friends. torn its aide and summit he could look own on the hill Calvary, where he was ■ncified, and on that regardless city which «i led him "without the gate." The laces which had been hallowed by the lost momentous and sacred events of his «man life, in which he had drank most reply of the cup of his sorrows, and had firaort foretastes of " the joy set before umi •'I lay beneath his eye. His last *« fell on the slopes on whioh he had pent nights of prayer, the city in which chad lived his most laborious days, the owe in which he had rested and been "ed, the garden in which he had 5°ni«d, the hill on which he had died, >« sepulchre in whioh he had slept. He 055 from amidst the scenes which were ''wasted to him by love and sorrow, by abour end by prayer. To the last a sharer

• our humanity, displaying to the last a uman yearning and tenderness, his final, "going look took in not only the friends *° had " eompanied with him from the •Fining," but also the places which had P> hallowed to him by the events of his *% career.

It is surely very pleasant, brethren, to 18 »i Christ what we feel in ourselves, to Me these correspondences between his «nhood and ours. For why has Christ Korue like us, save that we may become » him? Why has he partaken our "man nature, Bave that we may be made

* "partakers of his Divine nature"? '"has he taken our infirmities on him, "«that we may be "filled with all the ""Wwof God"?

But we must not linger on this theme, J*** and hopeful as it is. The directer *TMgs of the text claim our thoughts.

TD*»elect two or three of them.

We m»y learn from it that Christ

leaves us, not always in anger, lut often in benediction. "And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven." To and to feel forsaken by Christ are two very different things, though we often oonfound them. He often leaves us when he does not forsake us. To mourn an absent Christ may be a stronger proof of love and a better discipline of life than to rejoice in a present Christ. Do these paradoxes seem incredible to you? Do you ask foi proof? Well, there is proof enough and to spare. That Christ's absence, or the sense of it, does not imply that he has forgotten, much less forsaken, those who love him, was the very lesson which he set himself to teach his disciples during the days that preceded his death,—it was the very lesson by teaching them which he strove to prepare them for his departure into heaven. How he taught them this lesson, by what a wise and loving discipline, is worthy of far deeper and more protracted study than we can give it here and now; it is one of the most beautiful features of his whole ministry: yet let me give you one or two specimens of it.

Only a few days before his crucifixion, he sends Peter away to the sea, bidding him cast in not a net but a hook; predicting that in the mouth of the very first fish that took the bait he should find the stater—not any coin, but a certain Roman coin of a defined value—which their exigences required. He does as he is bid, and finds it even as he was told. Peter is thus taught that the prescience and power of Christ are unrestrained; that, present or absent, on the sea or the dry land, all elements and all the creatures of the elements, hearken to his voice and delight to do his will; he is thus taught that even when Christ is not present to his friends, even when he has left them, he is still with them, and with them to fulfil his word, albeit an endless array of contingencies seem to forbid its fulfilment.

Again, and within a few days, he sends two of his disciples to Bethphage to find an ass and a colt, and bring them unto him. He predicts the very objection the owners afterward made, and puts into his disciples' mouths words which even these owners were not able to understand. So, also, he sends other two to a place where three ways met to find a slave bearing a pitcher, and to follow him to an upper chamber furnished for the Passover. In both oases chances and contingencies seem needlessly multiplied; the disciples bare to run the risk of suspicion, and of insult, and of suffering, as evil-doers. And yet in both we find the traces of a most wise and loving discipline. Christ was about to leave them. They were poor and mean men; they might think themselves forgotten, overlooked. Christ teaches them that even while absent from them he is yet with them, directing their steps, providing for their welfare j that whether he has lett them, or sent them away from him, he is still present with them, present to guide, defend, bless. He teaches them that even when not there he knows what is transpiring at Betbphage and Jerusalem; knows not only what Herod, and Pilate, and the chief priests, and Pharisees, are doing, but also of what is being done by the lowly and the enslaved; that he can see and foresee the poor slave going with his pitcher to the fountain of the Three Ways, and the ass and her colt standing at the door of the caravanserai; that his prescience extends even to the furnishing of an upper room; that his power can touch the heart of the distant householder.

Now, it is quite impossible, I think, to connect and consider these historic facts, without perceiving that they are part of that wise and loving discipline of which I have spoken; without perceiving that Christ was preparing his disciples for his departure, teaching them that distance could not separate from him or remove them beyond the reach whether of his eye or his hand. The obvious meaning of them was, that as he could penetrate the depths of the sea and guide its creatures at his will, so also he would look down on them from the heights of heaven and direct them in all their wayB; that as his eye was on the Blave by the well and in the upper chamber furnished for the Passover, so also his eye would be on them, poor and despised though they were, and his hand prepare a table for them; that as from the mountain be touched the heart of the householder in the city, and constrained their owners to give up the ass and her colt in the village, so also when absent from them he would incline the hearts of men toward them and restrain the rage of their opponents. "As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings," shows them the use of the pinion and makes them use it, driving them from the nest that they may learn to fly; or, as a mother tries her child's strength, with

drawing and returning her hand, befors she sends him forth to walk alone; so the Lord Jesus before he went up on high taught his disciples to use the wing of faith, taught them to walk alone—trying them, proving them, sending them away, suffering them to return—that when he wr carried up into heaven and received out their sight they might be able to dispel with his visible presence, might know tt though he had /e/Uhehadnot/orsaieatlieni.

Alas! they did not profit by this p» paratory discipline as they stiould ban done. When he was first taken awy, taken by death, they lost all hope,^ forgetting the lesson he had taught. Yet it was not wholly wasted on them. When he was taken away the second time, carried up into heaven, they understood whatww meant as, "while he blessed them, he»« parted from them." They did not to" hope now ; they knew that he had notfo'saken, albeit he had left them, and so they "returned to Jerusalem with great joy.

That discipline, brethren, was given {<" their sake; it is recorded for ours. Christ often seems to leave us, to go up '«» earth into an inaccessible heaven. F<*' brief season we feel that he is with m We rejoice in his nearness. Divine joys flow from his presence. The sweetae*' of an intimate fellowship are vouchfflfw us. He speaks to us, and his *>di awaken responses which echo song!TM! through all the courts of our souls. *° his "Seekye my face," we respond, "W face will we seek j" to his "Give me thin heart," "Our hearts are thine." The sacrifices of obedience are cheerfully p"* We sing and give praise. The indwelli»S Christ, the shekinah of the heart, fills t» inner temple of the soul with his glory. We gain insight; we grow in grace;" feel the powers and graces of the Divi* life unfolding themselves within us. Bi'i at the best, such seasons are of the briefestVery commonly they are succeeded by times of comparative deadness and _*" haustion. The Christ seems to have wit0' drawn his presence. "We weary p* heavens with the inquest of our beseeching looks," but no sign is given. We turn our eyes inward to find the temple desertTM* the sacrifice consumed, the sacred fire burned out, the shekinah invisible. ATM we mourn and complain. We say Christ has left, has forsaken us. And yet why should wo? Adoring contemplation is,0 be only our occasional attitude. We ha'c > warfare and a work. Our hands must not only be lifted up in prayer, but armed for conflict and engaged in toil. It is good to be with Christ on the mount. It is also »ood to come down from the mount and abour with, and for, our fellow-men. Let Js remember that, "while he blessed us, M was parted from us," and that his benediction was given to strengthen us for work wd for endurance. He has withdrawn but for a time, and that we may learn how far our manhood has been replenished by fellowship with him, how far the Divine now dwells in us and is independent of outwird aide. He has but sent us from Win that he may teach us we can never wander beyond his reach, that we may find lii» prescience and power displayed in •cenea and modes in which we looked not for them. We think it would be best to be •lwajs with him. He knows that it is good for Hi to be sent away on his errands, to meet the demands men make on him, or to urge his demands on them, or to overget 'heir opposition to him and to us; in all •o behold the manifestations of bis grace •nd truth.—And this leads us to our second "•on, To., that

II. Christ's benediction, even though it be "parting one, should inspire joy and thank/«'»»». "And it came to pass, while he Messed them, he was parted from them. TM they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy." 'The disciples,

■ I have said, had not been taught and disciplined altogether in vain. At last they 'nd learned what a parting benediction n>«uit| that it meant, "Use faith instead °» ngfat; leave contemplation for labour; npress your love, not in looks and words, TM' in patient waiting and strenuous toil; "» from the lower blessedness of f receiving' to the higher blessedness of jPW'g.'" Possibly as they wont up the Mount of Olivet as far as to'Bethany, they N thought, "Never were men so blessed "Wei never were we so blessed as now." Wilt had risen, and yet was with them, "ore glorious, and yet to the full as gracious

■ «er, lavishing on them the looks and ones of an eternal love. But they were to »uch even a higher blessedness than this; ai they were to touch it in crowded streets, ■* opposing throngs, in prisons, at the "Me, and on the cross. A few short weeks H°«nd they had not conceived any higher "wour than that of beholding Christ in his jTM7- They had said, "It is good to be "en and thus; let us build tabernacles

and abide here." But the discipline through which they had passed, the errands on which they had been sent, the works they had been given to do, the sorrows they had been called to endure—this discipline has opened their eyes to a yet higher honour and service—that of reflecting and reproducing Christ's glory, that of " tilling up the remnant of bis afflictions," and carrying on his work of mercy. Hence they can "worship" him even while he departs from them, and return to the Jerusalem which he has left "praising Slxa blessing God."

Now, there are two modes in which Christ is parted from us, two reasons why he hides himself from us. Wo may "grieve" him away, cause him to depart by lapsing into our old sins; or it may be "expedient" for us, may conduco to our spiritual culture, that we should lose the sense of his presence. In this latter case "he blesses us while he is parted from us ;" in the former he blesses us by departing from vs.

He blesses us, I eay, by departing from us. For consider, brethren, what it is you seek, or rather what it is that Christ setks to make of you and give you. He is seeking to make you, not simply happy and at ease, but holy and loving; to give you, not a mere sensual vulgar enjoyment, not a mere present passing happiness, but a far deeper and more blessed thing—the peace which flows from a perfected manhood, from being altogether made like to him. Whatever your thought may be, his thought concerning you is, not merely that your sins shall be transferred to his account, and his righteousness to yours; but that your sins shall, by whatever painful processes, be really purged out of you, and that by a real spiritual development ^ou shall grow up into his righteousness. It is a very small thing whether or not jou are at ease, free from disquietude of heart, at this moment or that; but it is a very great thing, to you the greatest of things, that at every moment you should be growing pure and wise, entering more and more fully into the Divine life. He did not draw back from suffering himself; he became perfect through suffering; and he will not withhold needful suffering from you; his very mercy will constrain him to send it, that you also may be made perfect. When, therefore, you sin against him, what wiser or kinder thing can ho do than depart from you, and make you feel that he has departed? Nothing will convince you of your sin if that will not. Nothing will make you repent and forsake your sin if that fail. You have then to lament, not the clouds which obscure your heaven, but the bitter waters of evil from which they have been drawn. Shining on these, what can the Sun of Righteousness draw from them but mist and oloud? You cannot he too sorry that you have grieved Christ; you cannot be too thankful that, when you grieve him, he departs,—by his departure making you sensibloof your offence. That is the highest benedictionyou can then receive. But, again, Christ may not only bless by parting from you, he may also bless while parting from you. That is, he may go away, may deprive you of the sense of his presence, not because you have offended him, but because he has been teaching you new lessons and would have you practise them, because he has been conferring new gifts and graces upon you and would have you use them. He has been leading you into some new path of duty, up some new height of experience, and now he withdraws his hand to see whether you can walk alone, leaves you to yourself that he may test your fidelity and strength, and, by testing, augment them. It was thus with "the Seventy." Christ taught them, trained them, blessed them, and then sent them forth among wolves;" sent them

forth, timid, imperfect, unheroic though they were, to do battle with the cruelest and most fatal prejudices and enmities. But the conflict revealed in them unexpected powers; tlioy now learned how much Christ had done for them and given them while they were yet with him— learned it with wonder and delight: astonished at their own triumph, they came back exclaiming, "Even the devils are subject to us!" He blessed them in, and while, being parted from them.

Or, again, Christ may wish to teach us new lessons, to impart tha powers and graces which can only be acquired in the ■cbool of sorrow. We may have embodied our partial conceptions of truth in doctrinal formulae which, once helps, have become hindrances to us; or, through dwelling always in one set of circumstances, we may have acquired one-sided habits of thought and feeling which mar our service and contract our souls. Look, for instance, at Job. He was an "upright" man, "per- i feet" even in his loyalty to such truths as he knew. He could charge himself with

no sin, and God charges him with none. But Job held a dogma which was onlj partially true, which therefore was perniciously untrue. He held that outwai1 prosperity was the proof and reward ol righteousness, that suffering was the in variable consequence of personal sin. Yoi see how this doctrinal formula was likel; to vitiate his creed and contract his sympi thies, how it would provoke to self-esteei ■ad uncharity, making him hard in hii judgments of the poor and unprosperocu, inciting him to find in his own enlarging prosperity the proof of his own righteoiuness and good desert. Well, Gtod teacha him his error by introducing new facta into his experience, by permitting r" adverse change in all his circumstanci At first Job tries to make the old formi cover the new facts, but he soon lei that it is too narrow; ho soon comprehends that suffering, instead of proriis personal sin, may be a proof of the DiriM love; that it may be sent for culture,and not in anger; that even the tree whioh does bring forth fruit may be "purged that it may bring forth more fruit." Job, too, had been just, generous, princely in li« prosperity. "When the ear heard him, then it blessed him; when the eye f»' him, it gave witness unto him." But th* nobler virtues of adversity—what to" there been to develop these? In these be failed ao soon as "God put forth hii hu^ and touched all that he had." That he might be "perfect and entire, wanting nothing," God compels him to acquire these. In the school of adversity he acquires meekness, patience, long-sufleriu!, and their kindred graces. Job would not have been so long under the rod had he been an apter soholar; nor should «* When at last, and with many tears, he had learned his lesson, he " worshipped" M" gave thanks for the teaching vouohssfeu him; so also should we. To lose the consciousness of Christ's presence that *• may grow wise or strong, that we may » cleansed from error and made perfect in holiness—what is this but to have Chris' blessing us while he is parted from ue? And if in our loneliness, if while Beeling after him we do gain insight or gro<*' have we not reason to "return with jo.r> praising and blessing him"? He may have left us, as he left his disciples, oplr| to be more intimately with us, tatiuf away the blessings of his presence only t» make them more divinely ours.

You ask, perhaps, "Are we, then, to take up Peter's word, 'Depart from me, O Lord; I am a sinful man'?" Nay, brethren, God forbid. We are not to ash, >ut to acquiesce in Christ's departure. We ire simply to rest assured that, whether iresent or absent, he is seeking our lighest welfare, is affording us the very lisoipline we need. We are simply to joy md rejoice in his benediction, even though, »hile he bestows it, he should be "received ip out of our sight."—Finally, we may team from this passage that

III. The sense of Christ's absence should bai ut to the place of his perpetual preuna. "They returned to Jerusalem with freat joy, and were continually in the Temple, praising and blessing God." The Temple was the place of Divine manifestation. God's "way" was "in the saneMiry." Christ had been taken from them, hot the Temple remained. It seemed sad enough, no doubt, to come away from the mountain to the crowded metropolis,—instead of beholding the grace and truth of Christ to look on the priests who had crucified him, and on sacrifices "which could not take away sin." It must have been like going back into the old shadow-land from which Christ had delivered them. But it was right to go. Now that Christ, the living Temple of God, was taken up into heaven, and until the Holy Ghost came down from heaven to open his temple in their hearts, they could do nothing better than carry their praises and hopes into the ancient house of God. The divinest means of grace they M ever known had been taken away, but TMv would not therefore neglect what ■M were left. Diviner means of grace *W promised them and were drawing •ja, but they would not therefore neglect TMt means they had. And they had •jar reward. They found Christ in the «mple, or rather were found of him. TM day of Pentecost came, even as he P "aid, and with it gifts and labours. «e Holy Ghost fell upon them. The "N; gave them utterance. They preached •rut. the Resurrection and the Life, ^"w>g to his faith and service thousands « those who had just delivered him to With.

Biev have taught us a lesson, left us an •apk Had they "stood gazing up X \mfm>" hoping to see Christ return, TM* hope would have made them ashamed; Illf7 would not have "received the promise

of the Father." Their Master's command was, "Wait for that promise at Jerusalem." They obeyed, and in their obedience lies our lesson.

For in our times of desertion and consequent dejection of heart, we have all found it very hard, I suppose, to use the common means of graoe, or to discharge the common duties of life. We would fain indulge our grief. The service of the sanctuary seems to have no blessing for us; the daily duty and the patient waiting in the discharge of duty grow very weariBome to us. To Bit silent on the ground, or to break forth into bitter complaints, accords better with our mood than to stand in the temple praising and blessing God. We had rather imitate Job than the apostles, rather brood over our sorrow than engage in service. Yet all this, natural as it is, is utterly unwise and wrong. Mere grief and bitterness of heart—because something has been taken away crying over what is left, "All is vanity and vexation of spirit"—will do us harm. and not good. In obedience and worship lies our only hope. However long we delay, we must at last follow the apostles. Job suffered much through his delay, and after all had to do what the apostles did. It was not till he had "seen God," till he had risen from the heap of ashes to offer "sacrifice," that "the Lord turned his captivity." The apostles were wiser in their generation. They hastened to worship and obey. And you, brethren; Christ may seem to have forsaken both the outer sanctuary and the inner temple of the heart; obedience may be distasteful, the public service may seem unprofitable: but only as you bring the daily sacrifices of obedience and seek the Lord in his sanctuary will your captivity be turned. It is not yours to "sit upon the ground," or to " stand gazing up into heaven." You have received commands; obey them. You have received promises; seek their fulfilment in the temple. The day of Pentecost will surely come. The Spirit will give you utterance. "The Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to his temple," to renew his manifestation and to rekindle your joy.

And in this hope, dear brethren, many of you have doubtless come up hither today. To some of you the spiritual experiences which I have ventured to describe are quite familiar. It may be that contact with the cares of life, or exposure to the

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