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PARISH CHURCH OF ST. JAMES, BRISTOL, 2. Stiu 91232
wh:1011: bl10 # 9 l On Sunday, FEBRUARY 26, 1909,
Society for Missiops to Africa and the East.”..
trill (On the Author's return from India.) - 7j. Seltui , }) Bruja, -510,76; por
وار (2) دیر در
Matthew ii. 2. For we have seen His “ Star
" in the East, and are come to worship him.”
When, in the fulness of time, the Son of God came down from heaven to take our nature upon him, many circumstances concurred to celebrate the event, and to render it an illustrious epoch in the history of the world. It pleased the divine wisdom, that the manifestation of the deity should be distinguished by a suitable glory ; and this was done by the mi. nistry of Angels, by the ministry of Men, and by the ministry of Nature herself.
First, This was done by the ministry of Angels; for an Angel announced to the shepherds “ the glad tidings of great joy which should “ be to all people;" and a multitude of the heavenly “ host sang Glory to God in the highest, “ on earth peace, good-will toward men.”
Secondly, It was done by the ministry of Men; for illustrious persons, divinely directed,
came from a far country, to offer gifts, and to do honour to the new-born King. LThirdly, It was done by the ministry of Nature. Nature herself was commanded to bear witness to the presence of the God of Nature. A Star, or Divine Light, pointed out significantly from heaven the spot upon earth’ where the Saviour was born.
Thus it pleased the Divine Wisdom, by an assemblage of heavenly testimonies, to glorify the incarnation of the Son of God.
All these testimonies were appropriate ; but the Journey of the Eastern Sages had in it å peculiar fitness.
We can hardly imaginea more natural mode of honouring the event than this, that illustrious persons should pro ceed from a far couniry to visit the child that was born Saviour of the world." They came, as it were, in the name of the Gentiles, to ać. knowledge the heavenly gift, and to bear their testimony against that nation which neglected it. They came as the representatives of all the heathen; not only of the heathen in' the East, but also of those in the West, from whom wel are descended. In the name of the whole world, lying“ in darkness, and in the shadow ce of death,” they came inquiring for that Light which they had heard was to visit them in the fulness of time. .-6. And the Star - which «. they saw in the East went before them till
« him i
" it came and stood over where the young “ child was. And when they were come into “the house, they fell down and worshipped
and when they had opened their trea“ sures, they presented unto him gifts, gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.”.
Do you ask how the Star of Christ was understood in the East? or why Providence ordained that peculiar mode of intimation ?:.
Christ was foretold in old prophecy, under the name of the Star that should arise out of Jacob;hts and the rise of the Star in Jacob was notified to the world by the appearance of an actual Star...
!!! We learn from authentic, Roman history, that, there prevailed," in the East” a constant expectation of a Prince, who should arise out of Judea, and rule the world. That such an expectation did exist, has been confirmed by the ancient writings of India. Whence, then, arose this extraordinary expectation, for it was found also in the Sybilline books of Rome.
The Jewish expectation of the Messiah had pervaded the East long before the period of his appearance. to The Jews are called by their own prophet the “ Expecting people,* (as it may be translated, and as some of the Jews of the East, translate it) the “people looking for ton * Isas xviii. 2." Tlie people meted out," in our translation.