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heart; the soul bleeding over losses; the lover kneel. ing at a grave; the eye preternaturally sharpened to see spiritual things by the near approach of the invisible world, that receives the things which are freely given to it of God. But if it be so, then these things are hidden from the wise and prudent. He comes now that they which see not might see, and that they which see might be made blind.
Having stated the seeming paradox, let us consider,
II. The Redeemer's judgment, and gratitude concerning it.
(1) He attributes this arrangement to the universal Lord. “O Lord of heaven and earth," "Thou hast hidden,”—“Thou hast revealed.” This is not merely an interesting fact which we may be called on to explain; it is not a reason for undervaluing or doubting the things themselves; but our Lord deliberately throws the responsibility of the paradox upon the Universal King and Ruler of All ; upon Him who takes the most comprehensive view of man; who clearly estimates man by his capacities for eternity as well as his earthly reputation, by the race to be run in heaven as well as by the fading crowns of earth.
This great fact and apparent paradox is a divine arrangement, not an unfortunate accident. It is not that in this respect the wise and prudent man has perversely wrested his wisdom and prudence to wrong objects, but that the wisdom that is from above is of an altogether different kind. The untoward paradox is a divine thing; does not so much spring out of the corruption of man, as out of the purpose of the Lord of heaven and earth. It is “He who hides," “He who reveals.” The responsibility is thrown upon God, and is not to be borne by man. It is a grand relief from the midst of our mysteries and obscurities to be able to cry unto God, “ Thou hast done it." The Judge of the whole earth must do rightly. Verily, I have more right to ask Him why He at first set fast the mountains, or removed them out of their place, or why He made me thus, than to question the rightfulness of the honour which He has put upon the heart, as distinguished from the intellect of man. Whatever clearly springs out of His will, out of His arrangement, out of conditions which He has made to be introductory to the divinest love, must be good. He is not God to us unless it
His universal government must be the most perfect, wise, and sublime arrangement. If we can say • The Lord hath done it, then we know it must be good, it must be holy. If God hides, it must be His glory to do so. If He reveals, it is only His glorious face that can be seen. There is not more conformity between the eye and light, between the ear and sound, than between the childlike soul and God's revelation of heavenly things. “The fear of the Lord”—not the scientific alphabet, nor the laws of thought~" is the beginning of wisdom.” He has chosen how He will speak, and has determined in
royal independence, through what organs, by what powers, to what condition of mind He will reveal Himself; and this is the result—"Thou, O Lord,” says the great revelation of His perfections, “Thou hast hidden these things from the wise and prudent, and Thou hast revealed them unto babes."
(2) The Saviour acquiesces in this arrangement, not simply as an act of universal sovereignty, but as most merciful and good; as the Father's good plea
Just as He had said on a different occasion, “ Fear not, little flock, it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom:" now He exclaims, “ Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Thy sight.” It was not merely that this was a just decree, one sufficiently proved to be so in the will of the universal Lord, but that it was a good and fatherly thing towards all the brethren of Jesus.
If anything overpowers or confounds us, it is well to know that He is God, and to sit still, waiting for the Lord; but it is a greater thing by far to learn that the will of God is the Father's good pleasure, and to cry,“Father, not my will, but Thine be done." The lesson is here taught us that Christ saw, not merely irrevocable fate, but a wise and fatherly mercy in the whole of the arrangement by which these things were “revealed unto babes, and hidden from the wise and prudent.”
The general nature and subject-matter of the revelation is thus hinted to us. It is suggested that the great theme of revelation is the heart of the Father.
If it had been God's purpose to make known the ends and purposes of science, to reveal what men can find out for themselves of their wisdom and prudence, or to anticipate the conclusions of science, then it could not have been the justice of the Universal Ruler, nor the love of the Divine Father, to hide it from those who with all their efforts have in every age of the world been seeking it. He has put into the hearts of some men desires to find out the meaning of Nature, to learn the harmony and unity of the Universe, and He is ever revealing this to the wise and prudent. But the speciality of His revelation, the peculiarity of His grace, is this, that it responds not to the yearning of the intellect, but to the great need of the heart. Those things of which God's revelation speaks are not addressed to the man of science in his laboratory, nor to the philosopher in his deep reverie ; but to the orphan, crying out for his Father; to the starving souls who hunger for the bread of life; to the blind who say, “ Lord, that we may receive our sight;" to the meek and the mourner; to the babe and the prodigal son; to the broken heart; to the contrite spirit. It is even so, for so it seemed good in the Father's sight. But if so, then the principle here expounded is itself a revelation of the Father's heart.
Jesus does not leave us in any doubt whether this was His meaning, for in the next verse he says, “No man knoweth the Father but the Son, and he to whom the Son shall reveal Him.” He had come
forth to declare the Father. The revelation of Christ was intended to bring out this great conclusion, to disabuse the hearts of men of their fears, to expose their errors, and encourage their unhesitating trust. There is no knowing the Father except through the Son. These things could only enter into hearts that could feel that He was the revelation of the Father, and that in seeing Him they saw the Father. The “ wise and prudent” find a hundred difficulties in this, but the “babe in Christ,” the child-like heart crying out after Christ, sees it, feels it, and adores ! “Even so, Father, for so it has seemed good in Thy sight.”
(3) Christ does more than throw the responsibility on God, and acquiesce in it as the Father's good pleasure: He deliberately thanks God that it is so. It is not merely a profound mystery of God's providence and unsearchable purpose, made palatable by the thought of its being in some incomprehensible way well-pleasing to the Father, but it is a matter for deep gratitude and open, audible praise. Jesus does not deprecate the plan of this Fatherly mercy as beyond His comprehension, He does not pray God to reverse His purpose, to confer His revelation
upon the wise and prudent, but He rejoices in spirit over it. He exults against His own depression. He rises high, and He becomes one with God in His lofty thanksgiving. We, too, may begin by doing as the old prophets did; we may say, "Be still, and know that He is God;" we may have faith that the Judge of