Page:Tracts for the Times Vol 2.djvu/32

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TRACTS FOR THE TIMES.

hand" (Mal. ii. 10–13.). But when the sons of Levi had been duly purified, that they might offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness—the true righteousness of the law, perfect brotherly love—then would the Lord again return to his temple, renew with Levi this "covenant of life and peace," and bless the sacred service of his holy congregation. "Verily, I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven," &c. Again, I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree as touching any thing that they shall ask on earth, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." Can we doubt of the meaning of this solemn promise? and is it not full of comfort to faithful members of Christ's holy catholic and apostolic church? Does it not teach us, that upon us truly "the ends of the world are come:" that we are the children of a long line of spiritual ancestry, the heirs, highly blessed and favoured indeed, of a rich and glorious inheritance?

It would be easy to follow out, to an almost indefinite extent, the line of illustration, of which a few points have been traced. Other similar lines might also be drawn, throwing much light upon separate passages of the same Gospel; as, for instance, the comparison of "the kingdom of heaven" to a householder, which might be traced through many parables, &c. throwing light upon the remarkable passage already referred to in the twenty-fourth chapter. Or again, in illustration of the fearful outline, which is there set before us, of the misconduct and punishment of the "wicked servant," we might draw out the intimations, which our Lord's words, on several occasions, give us, of unfaithful ministers and stewards, who were in after days to abuse the power committed to them, to lord it over their fellow servants, to eat and drink and to be drunken: or, still further, we might borrow from the condemnation of the Scribes and Pharisees a fearful light on the character of the "hypocrites," with whom his portion is assigned.

But enough, perhaps, has been said for our present purpose, which has been, not to urge for exclusive adoption a particular interpretation of certain passages, nor even to recommend any particular idea as supplying the only clue to their meaning; but simply to meet an objection, which, it is believed, indisposes the