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ed that Sabbath was an high day." There are days when the angels say than usual; they are always harping well God's praise, but thering hosts who have been flitting far through the universe, ir centre; and round the throne of God, standing in serried

not for battle but for music, on certain set and appointed she praises of the Son of God, “ who loved us and gave himI do you ask me when those days occur? I tell you, the birthday " is a sonnet day in heaven. There are Christmas-days in rist's high mass is kept, and Christ is glorified not because manger, but because he is born in a broken heart. There are in heaven; days of sonnet, red letter days, of overflowing These are days when the shepherd brings home the lost sheep when the church has swept her house and found the lost piece

are these friends and neighbours called together, and they speakable and full of glory over one sinner that repenteth. - spe, shown you that there is a greater connection between earth

ny of us dreamed. And now let none of us think, when we le blue sky, that we are far from heaven; it is a very little

When the day comes we shall go post-haste there, even without ts of fire. Balaam called it a land that is very far off; we know that is very near. Even now

** By faith we join our hands

With those that went before,
And greet the blood-besprinkled bands

Upon the eternal shore.”

t spirits! I see you now. All hail, angels! All hail, ye brethren iew more hours, or days, or months, and we shall join your happy on your joyous fellowship, your sweet compassion shall ever be our ur consolation-and having weathered all storms of life, we shall at h you within the port of everlasting peace. angels are said to sing whenever a sinner repents. Let us see if there “?NT IN THEIR SONG, or whether they make a mistake. Why do ir penitent sinners? place, I think it is because they remember the days of creation. You od made this world, and fixed the beams of the heavens in sockets porning stars gang together, and the sons of God shouted for joy; star after star flying abroad like sparks from the great anvil e, they began to sing; and every time they saw a new creature is little earth, they praised afresh. When first they saw light their hands, and said, “Great is Jehovah; for he said ‘Light be!'

And when they saw sun and moon, and stars, again they clapped ! they said, “ He hath made great lights; for his mercy endureth to rule the day; for his mercy endureth for ever. The moon to

his mercy endureth for ever.” And over everything he made, more that sweet song, “Creator, thou art to be magnified; for i for ever." Now, when they see a sinner returning, they see gain; for repentance is a new creation. No man ever-repents im a new heart and a right spirit. I do not know that ever God made the world, with the exception of new hearts, the I make anything else. He may, if he hath so pleased, have ce that time. But perhaps the only instance of new creation

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made persect are never far from you and me if we are lovers of Jesus. All those who have passed the flood have still communion with us. Do we not sing

“ The saints on earth, and all the dead,

But one communion make;
All join in Christ, the living Head,

And of his grace partake.”
We have but one Head for the church triumphant and for the church militant :

“One army of the living God,

To his command we bow;
Part of the host have crossid the flood,

And part are crossing now.” Doth not the apostle tell us that the saints above are a cloud of witnesses? After he had mentioned Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and Gideon, and Barak, and Jephthah, did he not say, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight.” Lo, we are running in the plains, and the glorified ones are looking down upon us. Thy mother's eyes follow thee, young man; a father's eyes are looking down upon thee, young woman. The eyes of my godly grandmother, long since glorified, I doubt not, rest on me perpetually. No doubt, in heaven they often talk of us. Methinks they sometimes visit this poor earth-they never go out of heaven, it is true, for heaven is ererywhere to them. This world is to them but just one corner of God's heaven, one shady bower of paradise.

The saints of the living God, are, I doubt not, very near unto us, when we think them very far away. At any rate, they still remember us, still look for us; for this is ever upon their hearts—the truth that they without us cannot be made perfect. They cannot be a perfect church till we are gathered in, and therefore do they long for our appearing.

But, to come to our text a little more minutely. It assures us that the angels have communion with us. Bright spirits, first-born sons of God, do ye think of

Oh, cherubim, great and mighty; seraphim, burning, winged with lightning, do ye think of us? Gigantic is your stature. Our poet tells us that the wand of an angel might make a mast for some tall admiral; and doubtless he was right when he said so. Those angels of God are creatures mighty and strong, doing his commandments, hearkening to his word-and do they take notice of us? Let the Scripture answer, “ Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister unto those that shall be heirs of salvation ?” “ The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him.” “For he shall give his angels charge over thee; to keep thee in all thy ways; they shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.” Yes, the brightest angels are but the serving men of the saints; they are our lacqueys and our footmen. They wait upon us; they are the troops of our body guard; and we might, if our eyes were opened, see what Elisha saw, horses of fire and chariots of fire round about us; so that we should joyously say, “More are they that are with us than they that are against us."

Our text tells us that the angels of God rejoice over repenting sinners. How is that? They are always as happy as they can be; how can they be any happier? The text does not say that they are any happier; but perhaps that they show their happiness more. A man may have a Sabbath every day, as he ought to have if he be a Christian; and yet on the first day of the week he will let his Sabbatism come out plainly; for then the world shall see that he doth rest. “A merry heart hath a continual feast;” but then even the merry heart hath some special days on which it feasteth well. To the glorified every day is a Sabbath, but of some it

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can be said, “and that Sabbath was an high day.” There are days when the angels sing more loudly than usual; they are always harping well God's praise, but sometimes the gathering hosts who have been fitting far through the universe, come home to their centre; and round the throne of God, standing in serried ranks, marshalled not for battle but for music, on certain set and appointed days they chant the praises of the Son of God, “ who loved us and gave himself for us." And do you ask me when those days occur? I tell you, the birthday of every Christian is a sonnet day in heaven. There are Christmas-days in paradise, where Christ's high mass is kept, and Christ is glorified not because he was born in a manger, but because he is born in a broken heart. There are days—good days in heaven; days of sonnet, red letter days, of overflowing adoration. And these are days when the shepherd brings home the lost sheep upon his shoulder, when the church has swept her house and found the lost piece of money; for then are these friends and neighbours called together, and they rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory over one sinner that repenteth.

I have thus, I hope, shown you that there is a greater connection between earth and heaven than any of us dreamed. And now let none of us think, when we look upward to the blue sky, that we are far from heaven; it is a very little distance from us. When the day comes we shall go post-haste there, even without horses and chariots of fire. Balaam called it a land that is very far off; we know better—it is a land that is very near. Even now

" By faith we join our hands

With those that went before,
And greet the blood-besprinkled bands

Upon the eternal shore.”

All hail, bright spirits! I see you now. All hail, angels! All hail, ye brethren redeemed! A few more hours, or days, or months, and we shall join your happy throng; till then your joyous fellowship, your sweet compassion shall ever be our comfort and our consolation-and having weathered all storms of life, we shall at last anchor with you within the port of everlasting peace.

II. But the angels are said to sing whenever a sinner repents. Let us see if there is any JUDGMENT IN THEIR SONG, or whether they make a mistake. Why do angels sing over penitent sinners ?

In the first place, I think it is because they remember the days of creation. You know, when God made this world, and fixed the beams of the heavens in sockets of light, the morning stars sang together, anıl the sons of God shouted for joy; as they saw star after star flying abroad like sparks from the great anvil of Omnipotence, they began to sing; and every time they saw a new creature made upon this little earth, they praised afresh. When first they saw light they clapped their hands, and said, “Great is Jehovah; for he said •Light be!' and light was.” And when they saw sun and moon, and stars, again they clapped their hands, and they said, “ He hath made great lights; for his mercy endureth for ever. The sun to rule the day; for his mercy endureth for ever. The moon to rule the night; for his mercy endureth for ever.” And over everything he made, they chanted evermore that sweet song, “ Creator, thou art to be magnified; for thy mercy endureth for ever.” Now, when they see a sinner returning, they see the creation over again; for repentance is a new creation. No man ever-repents until God makes in him a new heart and a right spirit. I do not know that ever since the day when God made the world, with the exception of new hearts, the angels have seen God make anything else. He may, if he hath so pleased, have made fresh worlds since that time. But perhaps the only instance of new creation they have ever seen since the first day, is the creation of a new heart and a right spirit within the breast of a poor penitent sinner. Theretore do they sing, because creation cometh over again.

I doubt not, too, that they sing because they behold God's works afresh shining in excellence. When God first made the world, he said of it, “ It is very good"-he could not say so now. There are many of you that God could not say that of. He would have to say the very reverse. He would have to say, "No, that is very bad, for the trail of the serpent hath swept away thy beauty, that moral excellence which once dwelt in manhood has passed away;" but when the sweet influences of the Spirit bring men to repentance and faith again, God looks upon man, and he saith, “ It is very good.” For what his Spirit makes is like himself-good, and holy, and precious; and God smiles again over his twice-made creation, and saith once more, “ It is very good.” Then the angels begin again, and praise his name, whose works are always good and full of beauty.

But, beloved, the angels sing over sinners that repent, because they know what that poor sinner has escaped. You and I can never imagine all the depths of hell. Shut out from us by a black veil of darkness, we cannot tell the horrors of that dismal dungeon of lost souls. Happily, the wailings of the damned have never startled us, for a thousand tempests were but a maiden's whisper, compared with one wail of a damned spirit. It is not possible for us to see the tortures of those souls who dwell eternally within an anguish that knows no alleviation. These eyes would become sightless balls of darkness, if they were permitted for an instant to look into that ghastly shrine of torment. Hell is horrible, for we may say of it, eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive the horrors which God hath prepared for them that hate him. But the angels know better than you or I could guess. They know it; not that they have felt it, but they remember that day when Satan and his angels rebelled against God. They remember the day when the third part of the stars of heaven revolted against their liege Lord; and they have not forgotten how the red right hand of Jehovah Jesus was wrapt in thunder; they do not forget that breach in the battlements of heaven when, down from the greatest heights to the lowest depths, Lucifer and his hosts were hurled; they have never forgotten how, with sound of trumpet, they pursued the flying foe down to the gulphs of black despair; and, as they neared that place where the great serpent is to be bound in chains, they remember how they saw Tophet, which was prepared of old, the pile whereof is wood and much smoke; and they recollect how, when they winged back their fight, every tongue was silent, although they might well have shouted the praise of him who conquered Lucifer; but on them all there did sit a solemn awe of one who could smite a cherubim, and cast him in hopeless bonds of everlasting despair. They knew what hell was, for they had looked within its jaws, and seen their own brothers, fast enclosed within them; and, therefore, when they see a sinner saved, they rejoice, because there is one less to be food for the never-dying worm-one more soul escaped out of the mouth of the lion.

There is yet a better reason. The angels know what the joys of heaven are, and therefore, they rejoice over one sinner that repenteth. We talk about pearly gates and golden streets, and white robes, and harps of gold, and crowns of amaranth, and all that; but if an angel could speak to us of heaven, he would smile and say, “All these fine things are but child's talk, and ye are little children, and ye cannot understand the greatness of eternal bliss, and therefore God has given you a child's horn book, and an alphabet, in which you may learn the first rough letters of what heaven is, but what it is thou dost not know. O mortal, thine eye hath never yet beheld its splendours; thine ear hath never yet been ravished with its melodies; thy heart has never been transported with its peerless joys." Thou mayest talk, and think, and guess, and dream, but thou canst never measure the infinite heaven which God has provided for his children: and therefore it is, when they see a soul saved and a sinner repenting, that they clap their hands; for they know that all those blessed mansions are theirs, since all those sweet places of everlasting happiness are the entail of every sinner that repenteth.

But I want you just to read the text again, while I dwell upon another thought. “ There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth." Now, why do they not save their joy till that sinner dies and goes to heaven? Why do they rejoice over him when he repents? My Arminian friend, I think, ought to

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