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has all the resources of nature and of mind at His disposal, is holy. He cannot look upon sin; He has
, resolved to bring His Omnipotence to bear upon its extermination, for He is holy, and it is He who says to you, “Be ye holy."
Again, He who is Omniscient is holy. He who knows all the recesses of your heart, all the excuses to which you resort, all the palliations that you can make for yourself, all your thoughts, passions, fears and joys, is holy. “Beloved, if our heart condemn
, us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.” Again, He who is everywhere-present is holy. Wherever you go you meet Him. If you ascend up into heaven, He is there; if you make your bed in hell, behold, He is there. If you take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall His hand lead you, and His right hand shall hold you. He who is the witness of your secret worship and public deeds, your inward struggle and your daily business, says, “Be ye holy, for I, who am Omnipresent, am holy.”
Once more, He who is merciful is holy; therefore, “Be ye holy." However ample is the provision which He has made for sinners, however complete the promise of mercy to the vilest and most downtrodden of our race, He is not tampering with law, or conscience, or His holy word. “There is forgiveness with Him, that He may be feared.” His mercy is a manifestation of holiness; it is not a random or an arbitrary affluence of pity for our misery, but it is the transfiguration of holy law into heavenly love; so that from nature and from Calvary, as well as from Sinai, is heard the voice which says, “ Be ye holy, for I am holy."
ABOUT THE FATHER'S BUSINESS.
LUKE II. 49.
And He said unto them, How is it that ye sought Me? Wist ye not
that I must be about My Father's business ?
SILENCE is often more expressive than speech. The restraint which a great teacher imposes upon himself is frequently as instructive as the words that he utters. The genius of a great artist is seen quite as much in what he conceals, as in what he depicts. The wisdom of an historian is perhaps more conspicuous in the choice of facts over which he draws the veil, than in the events that he thinks it needful to record. We may learn, in like manner, from the utter silence which Divine revelation preserves upon many subjects that seem of great and curious interest, almost as much as from the gracious disclosures that are made to us in its wonderful pages.
If we had been consulted by God as to what we should have liked to know on special Divine authority, we should doubtless have given a great many
Some of us would have desired a little more history, and others a little more science. Some might have been curious to learn the reasons and upshot of certain events which are shrouded in impenetrable secrecy: others would have demanded more circumstantial evidence than has been afforded with reference to great miracles, or to the divine commission of God-sent men. Some would have asked for more detailed information about another world, and others would have been better satisfied if more definite statements or prophecies had been given about the destiny of this. However, the great Revealer has not consulted us on this matter, but has told us simply what was most instructive and most neces cessary
for us to know. The more we ponder what God has said and what He has not said, His speech and His silence, the hiding and the unveiling of His face, so much the more shall we be surprised with His goodness, and amazed at the “ depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God.”
It is very remarkable that such a profound silence should reign in God's revelation over the youth and early manhood of Jesus. Our Lord must have passed through all the stages of life from infancy to boyhood,--from the ardour of youth to the breadth of His manhood,-- from the little talk of a child to the mighty words of a great prophet; and yet the curtain is hardly lifted, and the veil is scarcely withdrawn. Jesus was working in a carpenter's shop in a small Galilean village, quite as much shut out from
the rest of the world as some of the hamlets of Northumberland are now hidden from London, Birmingham, or Paris. So quiet had His youth been that He was unknown by name or face to the inhabitants of the neighbouring village of Cana, a spot, moreover, where He or His mother had some intimate acquaintances. The Man who in three years afterwards produced by His teaching, His miracles, and His death such a tremendous effect on mankind, that the old world has been reeling ever since with the blow which He dealt on its prejudices and the sweep that He made of its philosophies and its idols; the wonderful Being whose words are to this day binding up broken hearts, opening doors into heaven for poor wanderers in every clime, shaking the thrones of the earth, throwing down the gates of brass, and overturning the institutions of centuries; the Being who is destined to be the universal Saviour and Teacher, as He will prove to be the absolute Lord and Judge of the human race, -spent thirty years of His mysterious life in absolute, unbroken, self-contained, unobserved, awful secrecy. It is true that some three or four hundred years after His death and departure from our world, the imagination of His friends and His enemies dressed up a long array of fables about His earliest infancy; but if any one wants to be convinced of the inspiration of the four Gospels, he cannot do better than read in some of those foolish, feeble, vamped-up stories, the mighty contrast between the