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ration of an object that appears most attractive, and most worthy to be followed after, with most earnest pursuit. A question, however, will here be raised, touching the fact of such manifestations in the present day. The unbelieving world, indeed, exclaims against the pretence to them, as a crying offence against reason and common sense; and boldly avers, that such tenets draw men only to run after phantoms of an enthusiastic and heated imagination, that takes fancies for facts, and persists in its delusions, in defiance of the conclusions of rea
The unbelieving world, we grant, denies the reality of such manifestations of Christ as our statement assumes; but is this the only point at which their incredulity is startled ? If they admit, with us, the fact of Christ's death, do they receive the doctrine of it too, and yield up their hearts to its influence ?
Their denial of a point in the experience of believers, is little evidence against its reality ; but how stands the belief of the followers of Christ? and, especially, what are the statements of Scripture on the subject ? Now, we admit, that true believers, while weak in faith, or defective in knowledge, may for a season call the fact in ques
tion. Thus Judas (not Iscariot) had no difficulty in apprehending Christ's presence, while the eye beheld his person in the substance and figure of a corporeal frame. But when the Saviour told of his going away, by the withdrawment of his bodily presence, and yet affording manifestation of himself to his disciples, and to them alone, Judas incredulously inquired, “ Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself to us, and not unto the world ?” The Redeemer resolved the doubt of his disciple, and taught him that the manifestation would be real, but the manner of it spiritual ; and, consequently, beyond the perceptions of an unspiritual world, whose disbelief or incapacity to receive the doctrine does not affect its truth.
The person who prayed in the text to be drawn, was no stranger to manifestations of her Beloved; for in chap. v. she describes, though in figurative terms, and, having a foresight of his humanity, in terms suitable to the Man Christ Jesus, who was to come, the manifold properties of Him whom her soul loved, --concluding the description with this summary averment, “Yea, he is altogether lovely!"_lovely.in his names, lovely in his character, lovely in his personal glory.
There is something drawing in the names of Jesus; as when he is styled, “The Hope
of Israel—The Good Shepherd—The Rose ] of Sharon—The Lily of the Valleys
The Plant of Renown." The soul perceives a good savour in such appellations; and is af. fected with a tendency towards Jesus, whose name is as ointment poured forth.”
In his example, too, there is much to draw. There was such a grace in his words, boy while on earth, such benevolence, such kind. b ness, such a divine benignity in his actions,
such comeliness and moral beauty in his d character, as drew multitudes after him
and oft-times so wrought upon the beholders, that numbers of them left all, for days together, to attend him, saying, “ Never man spake as this man-we will follow thee.”
Nor is the influence of his example diminished at this day; for who can contemplate fairly the progress of the Redeemer going about doing good—who of his people can follow him in the evangelic narrative to the grave of Lazarusor behold him at the gates of Nain, recalling the widow's only son to life or listen to the strain of his heavenly discourse, while he so persuasively preached the acceptable year of the Lord who can trace the surpassing virtues of such
a course, without feelings of admiration, and purposes of attachment, and without being ready to say, “ Whether can we go but unto thee?"
Man's nature, we know, is corrupt; and human character, in its fairest form, exhibits defects, which conscience cannot approve, nor reason admire. The best men are neither wholly good, nor altogether amiable; and yet have we seen, or at least have been told of some, whose dispositions were so lovely, and their doings so virtuous, and so laudable, that we have felt our hearts knit to them in close attachment, and would have counted it a privilege to be their companions, though in tribulation, and in distant climes. Yes, we have seen, or read of such, so attractive in their lives, that in their society, it seemed desirable to live and die. But if men's imperfect example has sometimes so engaged our hearts, that we could follow them to the remotest regions of the earth, how drawing must needs the example of the Saviour be, in whose character is found no defect; in whom was no virtue lacking, and every virtue carried to the fullest perfection of moral excellence? And it is owing to men's miserable blindness of understanding, that they do not see, and do
not admire, and do not run after so divine a pattern. Where it is seen in its true light, it mightily draws.
But if there be something drawing in the very names and example of Christ, what must a manifestation of his personal glory be?
We here banish from our thoughts all gross corporeal form, such as is fitted to act upon the external senses ; it is spiritual manifestation only that we intend, such as Christ himself promised, when he said to the disciples, respecting such as loved him, “ I will come and mani. fest myself to him.” It is the office of the Spirit to take of the things of Christ, and to show them to us, with vivid impressions of their character. And if he, in some hour of privilege, draw aside the veil, and manifest the Lord Jesus in the glory of his person--if he “ shine into our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ;" he appears
“ fairer than the sons of men,”-fairer than angels, and more glorious; yea, we “ behold his glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth ;” and we are moved with admiration and with devout regard. If the believing soul get a realizing view of his divine excellence,