Luke 2:25-32. Now there was a man named SIMEON who
lived in Jerusalem. He was a righteous man and very devout. He was filled
with the Holy Spirit, and he eagerly expected the Messiah to come and rescue
Israel. The Holy Spirit had revealed to him that he would not die until he
had seen the Lord's Messiah. That day the Spirit led him to the Temple. So
when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law
required, Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God,
saying, "Lord, now I can die in peace! As you promised me, I have seen the
Savior you have given to all people. He is a light to reveal God to the
nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!"
Simeon occupies, in sacred story, a place peculiar to
himself. He is the Melchizedek of this transition-period--the connecting
link between the Mosaic and the Gospel dispensations--telling by significant
word and act, that "all old things" were "passing away" and all things
We may regard him, moreover, as the "representative man"
of the pious remnant of Israel of that age. He had long been sitting, an
earnest student, at the feet of the prophets who had testified of Christ; or
standing, like the mother of Sisera at the window, with the roll of Micah in
his hand, and straining his eyes towards Bethlehem, he had been asking, in
prayerful expectation, "Why is his chariot so long in coming? why tarry
the wheels of his chariot?"
But he can afford, also, to resign himself patiently to
the will of God. This he knew, that that great event waited for by all time,
must be close at hand; for he had personally received a divine promise, that
his eyes should not be sealed in death, until gladdened with the glorious
vision which many saints and wise men of old had "desired to see, but were
not permitted!" At length are his hopes and prayers gloriously realized.
"The Desire of all nations," according to the latest prophetic intimation,
has "come." "The Lord," whom the devout Israelite had long sought, "suddenly
comes to his temple," and, in the person of a little child, "fills it with
his glory!" (Mal. 3:1.) With the infant Babe in his arms, and the tear of
joy and gratitude in his eye, he is permitted to take up the strains which
for ages past had hung on the lips, and supported the faith of a waiting
church--"Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given--and his name
shall be called--Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting
Father, The Prince of Peace," the glory of his Church, the Consolation
of Israel, the Light of the World! And now, the rejoicing patriarch, with
the promised Savior in his arms, and salvation on his tongue, is ready to
Let us gaze on this Gospel Sunset with its mellowed
glory. Let us gather, in thought, around this hoary-headed sire, and listen
to the exulting notes with which he is willing to bid farewell to the world.
Well, truly, might he exult. The greatest of the Caesars was then on the
throne. But what was that scepter--that rod of empire, he wielded--although
the badge of the world's sovereignty--compared to that "rod out of the stem
of Jesse," which an old Hebrew clasped in his arms? The throne of
Caesar!--it has long ago crumbled--the scepter of Caesar!--it has long ago
been broken in pieces by the grasp of contending nations. But Simeon beheld,
in these smiles of helpless infancy, the seed of a kingdom that would
overthrow all others, and, yet, itself "never be destroyed;" a throne that
was to be "established forever," and of "the increase of whose government
and peace there was to be no end!" (Isa. 9:7).
It is interesting to mark the occasion of this scene in
the temple of Jerusalem, which had brought Mary and the child Jesus from
Bethlehem. At the birth of every son, the mother, by the Jewish law, was
regarded as ceremonially unclean, and for forty days (as we read in the 12th
chapter of Leviticus,) she was permitted to "touch no hallowed thing, nor
come into the sanctuary." She was enjoined thereafter, to carry a
sin-offering and a burnt-offering "unto the door of the tabernacle of the
congregation, to the priest," who was to "offer it before the Lord, and
make an atonement for her." "When the days of her purifying are fulfilled,
for a son, or for a daughter, she shall bring a lamb of the first year for a
burnt-offering, or a young pigeon, or a turtle-dove, for a sin-offering."
And in the case of those whose extreme poverty and lowly condition did
not permit of this costlier sacrifice, it was sufficient for them to bring a
humbler one--"And if she be NOT able to bring a lamb, then she shall
bring two turtle-doves, or two young pigeons; the one for the
burnt-offering, and the other for a sin-offering--and the priest shall make
an atonement for her, and she shall be clean," (ver. 8.)
What a touching delineation is here given of the Savior's
lowly state and poverty! Mary coming up to the temple to offer the
accustomed sacrifices, "according to that which is said in the law of the
Lord," "a pair of turtle-doves or two young pigeons." But where is
the lamb for the burnt-offering? Has her meek spirit already forgot the
thanksgivings of that hour of unexpected joy, when in exulting strains she
thus poured out the emotions of an overflowing heart--"My soul does
magnify the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For he has
regarded the low estate of his handmaiden--for, behold, from henceforth all
generations shall call me blessed. He that is mighty has done to me great
things?" (Luke 1:48-49.) No! Her lowly estate cannot afford "the lamb
for the burnt-offering"--and in its stead she must substitute the
gracious alternative provided for the poor of the people, "a pair of
turtle-doves or two young pigeons!"
It is from such incidental circumstances as these, those
minuter incidents which crowd His mysterious pilgrimage of love--that we
obtain the most affecting displays of the Redeemer's humiliation. At one
time, we behold Him a homeless wanderer, who, when "every man went
unto his own house, Jesus went unto the Mount of Olives" (John
7:53)--(when there was a home for every one in Jerusalem, there was no home
for Him!) Again, as a weary, toil-worn pilgrim, exhausted and fatigued with
his journey, He is seated by a well on the way-side, asking a cup of cold
water from a poor sinner whom He had redeemed with His blood (John 4:6); and
here, we contemplate a lowly woman, bending before the temple-gate, and
telling to all around, by the humble offerings she lays on the altar, that
poverty is the birthright of her infant Child!
But we proceed to gather a few beams from this hallowed
"sunset"--a few thoughts from this closing chapter in Simeon's life, as
delineated in the sacred narrative.
We have there presented, A BEAUTIFUL EPITOME OF THE
CHRISTIAN CHARACTER. And though his spiritual graces were called
into lively exercise by what was presented immediately to sight, that
same glorious reality remains to us still an object of faith, which
we may appropriate as really and as substantially as Simeon did!
Observe, I. THE OBJECT OF ALL HIS JOY--it was
"seeing Christ the Lord."
To see God! what an honor! The, highest Archangel in
heaven knows no higher! It was the culminating prayer of Moses of old, "I
beseech you, show me your glory." The prayer was answered--but how? The
honored servant of God was hid in a rocky cleft; and the hand of God covered
his face, as the terribleness of the divine Majesty swept by; for, said He,
"no man can see my face and live." But here, a devout Hebrew, who
trod in the footsteps of Moses' faith, is permitted to gaze on the God-man
unconsumed. His glory is veiled under a garb of humanity. God is "in very
deed dwelling with man on the earth"--"Great is the mystery of godliness;
God manifest in the flesh." Yes! Simeon stands in the magnificent shrine
of which Haggai and Malachi spoke. The glory of Solomon's house, with all
the gold of Ophir, and all the wealth of Lebanon, and the lavish splendor of
Tyrian handicraft, fades into nothing by reason of the new consecration it
has received from that "Infant of days." "The glory of this latter house"
is "greater than the glory of the former." Let its veil be torn! let its
dim altar-fires be quenched! Let it not bewail its missing Shekinah, or
cling to its melting shadows. The types have given place to the great
Antitype. The advent-hour is striking--"Lift up your heads, O you gates,
that the King of glory may come in," chimes from the temple-towers. The
Lord truly was in that place, though a scoffing world knew it not--"it
was none other than the House of God, and the gate of heaven."
The object of the joy of every genuine believer is the
same as that of Simeon--"Christ the Lord." True, indeed, that Savior
is changed in His outward state or condition. The infant Babe, whom the aged
man folded in his arms, is now seated on a mediatorial throne, wielding the
scepter of universal empire. The earthly Temple in which He stood, is
exchanged for the magnificent sanctuary above, where every knee is at this
moment bending, and every tongue confessing that He is "Lord to the glory of
God the Father." But though no longer an object of contemplation to the
natural eye, His heart changes never--"Whom having not seen, we love; in
whom, though now we see him not, yet believing," (like Simeon) "we
rejoice with joy unspeakable, and full of glory," (1 Pet. 1:8).
And as Jesus, the Object of faith, is the same to
the believer now, as he was to this Saint of old; so will every soul, which
has felt the burden of sin, be equally prepared to hail Him as "the
Consolation of Israel." The world had been longing for its Lord; it was
growing weary of its sins and sorrows; all the remedies philosophy and
civilization had applied, had failed to erase one furrow from its brow, or
bind up one of its bleeding wounds. Woe-worn humanity had been sighing for
four thousand years for a Deliverer. The Jewish Church--the godly remnant of
God's covenant people--were also panting for a brighter day. The nation's
altars were blazing with unhallowed fire; a general apostasy prevailed; many
a holy saint sat in ashes, amid a sadder spiritual desolation than that of
the prophet who uttered the plaintive soliloquy, "How deserted lies the
city, once so full of people!" (Lam. 1:1.)
But the great Consoler has appeared! the footfall of the
great Physician is heard--the Lord has come! "He shall speak peace to his
people and to his saints!"
What Christ was to the believing Jewish remnant
collectively, He still is to His believing people individually. In every
possible variety of condition and circumstance; in all their needs and
sorrows, their afflictions, their sufferings, their temptations and fears,
this is the blessed "name with which he is called"--"the Consolation of
Are there any who peruse these pages, overwhelmed under a
sense of sin, which they feel too heavy for them to bear, and which is
almost leading them to despair of pardon? Christ is "Consolation" for
you. These are His precious words, "Come unto me, all you that labor
and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest," (Matt. 11:28).
Are there any who are struggling with the corruptions of
their own evil hearts--who feel the power of indwelling iniquity dragging
them to the dust in spite of all their efforts to soar
heavenwards--temptations so assailing them, as ofttimes to extort the cry of
agony, "O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me?" Christ is
"Consolation" for you. Hear His own blessed promise, "My grace is
sufficient for you; for my strength is made perfect in weakness," (2
Are there any who are experiencing seasons of darkness
and depression, who are sighing in vain over the loss of hours of holy joy
and peace, whose memory is now all the remains--any who are tempted, in the
despondency of their hearts, to say with mourning Zion, "My God has
forsaken me, and my Lord has forgotten me?" Christ is "Consolation"
also, for you. These are His own gracious words, "Can a woman
forget her nursing child, that she should not have compassion on the son of
her womb? She may forget, yet will I not forget you," (Isa. 49:15).
"Return, you backsliding children, and I will heal your backsliding,"
Are there any who have been called to pass through the
furnace of affliction--who are mourning over the wreck of some beloved
earthly joy--some cup of 'earthly' consolation which has been dashed from
their lips, and with it all their hopes of earthly happiness? Oh, Christ is
"Consolation", for you. These are among the last words which dropped
from His lips before He gave the great, the omnipotent pledge of His love--"I
will not leave you comfortless; I will come unto you," (John 14:18).
But why need we swell the catalogue of a Savior's
consolations? There is not a wounded bosom on earth for which "there is not
balm in Gilead, and a Physician there." Christ is "THE consolation"--"the
God of all consolation." He has a remedy for every evil--an antidote for
every sorrow--a cordial for every heart--a hand of love to wipe every
weeping eye--a heart of tenderness to sympathize with every sorrowful
bosom--an arm of power to protect--a rod of love to chasten--immutable
promises to encourage on earth--an unfading crown to bestow in
heaven--strength to bestow in the hour of weakness--courage in the hour of
danger--faith in the hour of darkness--comfort in the hour of
sorrow--victory in the hour of death!
The world's consolations! What are they in comparison to
this? Test them in the time when they are needed most, and they will be
found to be the first to give way--broken reeds--the sport of every tempest
that desolates the heart. But here, O tempest-tossed, here is "your
Consolation," emphatically "THE consolation"--for the
consolations of Christ are those alone which are independent of all times
and circumstances, all vicissitudes and changes--which avail alike in
prosperity and adversity, in joy and sorrow, in health and sickness, in life
and death. No, the drearier the desert, the sweeter and more refreshing are
the streams of consolation of which He calls us to partake. The darker and
gloomier the night of earthly woe, the more gladsome is it when this great
Day-star of "CONSOLATION" is made to arise!
II. Let us note the CHARACTER given of this
He was "just and devout"--"just" to man, and
"devout" to God; implying a scrupulous observance of both tables of the
law--a beautiful combination--the result of an active, living, influential
faith--"working by love, purifying the heart, and overcoming the world."
Here is the secret of all true morality and holy living. Never let it be
said that the tendency of the doctrine of free forgiveness is to turn the
grace of God into licentiousness, and give permission to sin with impunity!
What does experience testify? Is it not that the holiest and humblest--those
most distinguished by lofty integrity to man, and close and habitual walking
with God, are they who are looking most simply and undividedly to Christ as
their only ground of hope and assurance, who, like Simeon, have taken Him in
the arms of their faith, and embraced Him as "all their salvation and all
their desire?" It was the same mighty, constraining influence, in his case
prospective, in ours retrospective, which leads us thus to
judge, that "Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one
died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who
live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and
was raised again. " (2 Cor. 5:14, 15).
III. Observe the special Christian grace in the
character of Simeon called into exercise with reference to the great object
of his hopes. He is represented as "WAITING"--"waiting for the
Consolation of Israel."
He had again and again gone, like the lone watcher on the
mountain-top, to catch the first glimpse of the rising beam. Often, we may
well believe, had he climbed, with pilgrim-staff, the steeps of Zion, and
planted himself by the temple-gates, to hail the entrance of the promised
King, saying, in the words of one of the old songs of Zion--"My soul
waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning." Nor would
he abandon these holy watchings until he could joyfully exclaim, "Lo!
this is our God; we have waited for him," (Isa. 25:9).
"Waiting." This is a compound virtue. It is made up
of the two Christian graces, Faith and Patience. When a man
waits, it implies, first of all, belief in the reality of the object
of his expectation. He believes it to have a real existence, and that
eventually it shall be his. But it implies also uncertainty as to the
time of the fulfillment of its hopes; the possibility of a period of
suspense and anxiety intervening before the object of his wishes can be
No child of God can be ignorant of this twin Christian
grace. Every redeemed soul in yonder heaven knows of it; for it is expressly
said, that, from Abel downwards, it is "through FAITH and PATIENCE they
are now inheriting the promises." Think how many and how precious are
the assurances the Bible gives to waiting Christians. "The Lord is good
to those who WAIT for him," (Lam. 3:25). "WAIT on the Lord, be of
good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart," (Ps. 27:14). We found
in a previous chapter that aged Jacob's dying words of exultation and joy
were these--"I have WAITED for your salvation, O God."
It were easy for God to give an immediate answer to the
prayers of His people; by snapping all at once every chain of sin or
suffering, to usher them into the glorious liberty of His children. But He
would have them learn a lesson of dependence on Himself--of trust and
submission--of resignation and patience. He would have "weeping" and
"waiting" to "endure for the night," that they might value all the more "the
joy" which shall assuredly come "in the morning." Yes, their waiting time
here, though often doubtless a trying time, will, in the light of eternity,
be seen and confessed to be a precious time; a gracious part of the
cross, which, in the case of every redeemed child of God, must precede the
crown. How will not the blessedness of that world of unbroken rest be
enhanced, by the trials and struggles, the tossings and tribulations which
went before; when life's tempestuous sea, wherein faith and patience were
often well-near shipwrecked, is exchanged for that haven of peace, where not
one wave of trouble is ever after to roll!
IV. Let us note how Simeon was brought at this time
into the Temple.
He came "by the Spirit." We read, in the previous
verse, that "the Holy Spirit was upon him;" and without the Spirit's
influences, none of these lofty Christian graces could have been his. On
entering its courts, what does he find there? A lowly woman with an infant
babe. No mystic star, no angelic host is there, to proclaim His glory.
Yet the Holy Spirit opens the aged saint's eyes, and tells him to behold in
that helpless Child, the Savior of mankind.
The ordinances of God are the Temple to which believers
are still summoned to behold their Lord. The House of prayer is such
a Temple. The power and glory of God have, in the experience of His people
in all ages, been "seen in the sanctuary." "The Lord loves the gates of
Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob" (Ps. 87:2); and it is His own
gracious declaration, "I will make them joyful in my house of prayer,"
The Bible is such a Temple. Unlike that in which
Simeon stood, whose holiest courts were open only to a favored few, it is
patent to every worshiper. Glorious temple it is! God's own words its living
stones; His immutable promises its pillars; His oath and covenant its
foundations; its walls salvation; its gates praise; Jesus Christ its
corner-stone; prophets, and apostles, and saints its high-priests, giving
forth the responses of Deity!
But what will all the glories of either temple be to us,
unless, like Simeon, we be led there of the Holy Spirit? Without His
influence, we shall find a deserted sanctuary. We may have the name of Jesus
on our lips, and His praises on our tongue; but without the Spirit of God,
there will be "no beauty that we should desire him," (Isa. 53:2).
Many other worshipers were doubtless in the temple of Jerusalem when Simeon
entered, and who gazed with him on the infant Child; but it was he alone who
had come forth from communion with his God, and on whom the Spirit was, who
"beheld his glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father, full
of grace and truth," (John 1:14).
Let the prayer of Moses ever be ours, before entering the
holy ground of ordinances, "If your presence," O Spirit of God!
"go not with us, carry us not up hence," (Exod. 33:15). Remember that
"no man can say that Jesus is Lord but by the Holy Spirit," (1 Cor.
V. Observe next, THE CONSUMMATION OF HIS FAITH--"Then
took he him up in his arms."
What a moment of ecstasy was this! The day on which his
hopes, and wishes, and prayers had long been centered, had now at last
arrived. He of whom Isaiah had sung as "the Hope of Israel," was now its
"Consolation!" "My eyes have seen your salvation!" The waiting-time
of the saint is now at an end; and, with the promised Child in his embrace,
he can look forward to a peaceful departure. What glowing emotions, in this
hour of joy, must have been kindled in his heart! That great "mystery of
godliness," of which seers had sung--the theme of the types, and prophecies,
and hopes, and longings of ages--"the seed of the woman"--the
promised "Shiloh"--"the Star of Judah"--"the hiding place from the
storm"--"the Branch" whose "leaves were for the healing of the
nations"--"the fountain to be opened for David's house"--"the Desire of all
nations"--"the Prince of Peace"--is now folded in his arms.
But the aged Israelite, in these moments of exultation,
is carried by inspiration down the vista of coming ages; and fresh visions
of glory crowd up from the future. National bigotry can find no place in a
heart overflowing like his. He knows no distinction between Jew and Gentile.
With the true Christian and expansive spirit of the dawning gospel
dispensation, he looks forward to the time when men of every nation, and
kindred, and people, and tongue, shall kiss the scepter of this anointed
Child, and confess him to be "King of kings, and Lord of lords"--"My eyes
have seen your salvation, which you have prepared before the face of all
people; a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of your people
Israel," (Luke 2:30-32).
It forms a fine picture, to watch the sunset
radiance--the last visions which crowd and linger around the evening of this
old man's days. He is standing on the borders of the grave. Earth seems
receding, and heaven in view. But where are his thoughts? not on himself,
but on the 'Light of the world'--on that day when the Sun of
Righteousness was to arise on the nations with "healing in his beams," and
when "Gentiles should come to his light, and kings to the brightness of
his rising," (Isa.)
It is a missionary prayer which forms the last
breathings of the departing saint. It reminds us of the concluding strain
which rose from the harp of the royal Psalmist of Israel. It was a
magnificent anthem over a regenerated world--a prayer, not for Israel, but
for mankind. "Let the whole earth be filled with his glory"--then,
then only, could he close the fervent aspirations of his soul--then, then
only, when he had commended the cause of A WORLD to God, could he add--"The
prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended," (Psalm. 72:19, 20).
So it was with Simeon. He holds the Messiah forth, in his
withered arms, by a symbolic action, to the whole world. As if he had said,
"Take Him, you nations! Israel's glory is now to wane. The mission of the
peculiar people is ended. The gates of the old economy are now to be shut,
after being opened for two thousand years. The portico of the wide world is
now to be unclosed! Gentiles, meet him with your hosannas! Come, Sheba and
Seba, and offer him your gifts! Come, Ethiopia, strike off your iron
fetters, and stretch out your hands unto God! Distant isles of the ocean,
prepare His diadem--'crown him Lord of all.' Ships of Tarshish, spread your
sails for a costlier freight, and nobler mission--carrying apostles from
shore to shore with 'the unsearchable riches of Christ!' Let the kingdoms of
the earth 'sing praises to this King;'--for that holy Church, which is now
trodden by my tottering steps, is henceforth by Him to be made 'a house
of prayer for ALL nations.'"
That which formed the consummation of Simeon's faith, is
the consummation of ours also--taking Jesus in our arms! Happier the soul
cannot be, than when it is enabled to lay hold on Christ as "all its
salvation." Simeon having seen his Lord, his hopes could go no further.
Earth could give no more, and the aged man seeks no more. And
so with the believer still. When he gets Christ as his portion, he needs no
other--he seeks no other. His language is, "Whom have I in heaven but
you, and there is none upon earth that I desire beside you;" for, in
point of fact, in thus by faith appropriating the Savior, all worth calling
a portion becomes his--"the world," "life," "death," "things present,"
"things to come," the light of God's countenance, the sweets of His
friendship, the smile of His love--assurances outweighing the wealth of
Observe, finally, Simeon having seen and embraced Christ,
is PREPARED TO DIE. "Now, Lord, let you your servant depart in
peace, according to your word."
Not that he wearied of life. If God had willed it, he
would cheerfully have remained to be a sharer with Christ in His sufferings,
before being a partaker of His crown. But the divine promise, that death
should not seal his eyes until he had seen the Savior, was fulfilled. He had
now no longer any assurance of continued life, and he could fall asleep
whenever his faithful Lord saw fit to take him.
Reader, having embraced your Lord by faith, are you ready
to die? With a Savior in your arms, is the King of Terrors to you
vanquished? and are you prepared, when it is the will of God, to depart? But
mistake not. There may be some ready and willing to breathe, in one sense,
Simeon's prayer--"Lord, let me depart in peace." If not at this
present moment, you may, in times past, have experienced seasons, when,
weary of the world, life seemed a burden, and death was coveted and longed
for as a welcome relief. In hours of sadness and desolation, when some fond
earthly hope has been leveled with the ground--some cup of earthly happiness
dashed from the lips--some lacerating disappointment, some instance of deep
ingratitude, or faithless friendship occurred--in such an hour as this, you
may have often felt a longing to be done with the world, and tempted to
exclaim with David, "Oh that I had wings like a dove, for then would I
flee away and be at rest," (Ps. 55:6).
But mark! Simeon's prayer was a prayer uttered, not in an
hour of wretchedness, but in one of holiest and most rapturous joy--the most
hallowed hour that had ever dawned on him.
It was the sight of the promised Redeemer that disarmed
death of its terrors, and made him alike content to live, or willing to die.
With a Savior-God in his arms, come what might, the aged saint was ready to
meet it all.
Learn here, the great secret of calm composure and joy in
death--a cleaving closely to Christ. Simeon was "just and devout;"
and doubtless as he had lived holy, so would he, in very proportion, die
happy. But the "justness" and "devoutness" of his character could not, by
themselves, have smoothed his death-pillow. Many there are who thus may be
said to die in peace--who can look back on lives of comparative moral
purity, unstained, it may be, by any very gross or glaring violation of
God's law--just in all their dealings with their fellow-men--faithful in the
discharge of life's relative duties--amiability and benevolence may have
followed their footsteps, and in the world's estimation and their own,
heaven is all secure. And yet they may all the while be whispering to
themselves, "Peace, peace, when there is no peace." It may be a delusive
dream--a false slumber of self-security. Amiability of character--lofty
moral virtues--will prove, in a dying hour, poor preparatives for a throne
But, united to Christ by a living faith, we can, with
this aged saint, stand on the very borders of eternity, with the declaration
on our lips that we are ready, whenever it is the will of God, to depart in
peace. "Jesus! Jesus!" that is the magic word the dying man loves!
Jesus!--How sweet that name sounds! what music is there in it!--when the
recollection of all other names, (yes, that of wife, children, sister,
brother,) has faded away. "Jesus!" It is a green spot in the
wasteland of memory! When all other earthly props and fastenings have given
way, and the mind is drifting like a vessel broken loose from its moorings--"Jesus!"
That anchor secures it. The arms that can clasp nothing else, can clasp a
living Redeemer, and the lips can exclaim, "Now Lord, let me depart in
We have all heard of "triumphant death-beds," here
is the secret of them--"triumphant death-songs," here is the key-note
of them. Let us learn the first notes of that song now, that when we come to
a dying hour, we may sing it with unfaltering voice--having then nothing to
do, but to die, with Christ in the arms of our faith, and salvation
thrilling on our tongues. "Jesus! Jesus!" It has been the one
passport to white-robed myriads at the gate of heaven! It was the name they
last uttered on their dying couches. They were heard singing it through the
dark valley--they have carried it with them before the throne. Let it be our
firm resolution, in a strength greater than our own, that that name shall be
all our boast; "that whether we live we will live unto the Lord; or
whether we die we will die unto the Lord," that thus, whether living or
dying, we may be His, that, having Simeon's FAITH, we may at last be
sharers in Simeon's CROWN, and with him look forward from a death full of
peace, to an immortality full of glory.