by David Harsha, Argyle, New York; Sept. 15, 1863.

The grand design of this volume is to exhibit, under the beautiful symbol of the Star of Bethlehem, the Savior in His personal and mediatorial glory; and to guide the reader to Him as the Lamb of God, who alone can take away sin. While dwelling on the beauty, excellence, and amiableness of Christ, His great atoning work on Calvary has been solicitously held forth, in its all-sufficiency, and as the only hope of a lost world as bringing glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will towards men. It has been the author's aim to present the subject in a scriptural point of view, carefully regarding the divine declaration- 'To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.' It is believed that the doctrines contained in the work are in accordance with the teachings of divine revelation; and that they will, consequently be cordially received by Christians of all evangelical denominations- by all who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity.

May the Holy Spirit bring the truths presented in the following pages home to the heart of every reader, with saving power; and make this volume, like the star of Bethlehem, the means of guiding weary souls to the meek and lowly Savior. 'May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.'

O You, Who were in Bethlehem born,
The Man of Sorrows and of scorn,
Jesus, the sinner's Friend!
O You, enthroned in filial right,
Above all creature-power and might;
Whose kingdom shall extend,
Until earth, like heaven, Your name shall fill,
And men, like angels, do Your will:
You, whom I love, but cannot see,
My Lord, my God! look down on me;
My low affections raise;
The spirit of liberty impart,
Enlarge my soul, inflame my heart,
And, while I spread Your praise,
Shine on my path, in mercy shine,
Prosper my work, and make it Your.

Chapter 1

Christ, the Lamb, in radiance sits enthroned,
The lively Image of His Father's grace.
O Flower of love! O glorious Morning Star!
O Sun of righteousness, whose healing wings
Brought life, and peace, and mercy from afar!
From You, the light, your beaming Fountain, springs,
That guides poor mortals in their weary way,
through black affliction's night, to pleasure's endless day. James Scott.

Life is a journey; and all men are travelers. The race of human existence is momentary; but the journey beyond the shores of time never ends. In the glorious realms of felicity, or in the dark regions of woe, we will move onwards through the ceaseless ages of eternity. The future state of mankind is vividly represented in the Holy Scriptures; and we are there told how to gain the shores of immortal bliss, and to shun those of unending misery. The Word of God, in the plainest terms, sets before us LIFE and DEATH, and calls upon us, in strong and persuasive language, to choose life; while, at the same time, it admonishes us of our danger in continuing to disregard the invitations of mercy, and living in rebellion against Heaven. It becomes, then, a matter of the highest importance how we pass the brief period allotted to us on earth; for our life here is only preparatory to an existence equal with the ages of eternity. It is a serious thought, that the character we bear this side the grave we will sustain in the world to come. 'The character fixed through life adheres to us hereafter- the moral lineaments engraven here will retain the very same impress in our future state. There will be the reconstruction of the body, but the spirit will be the same.' (Chalmers)

At death, our state will be unalterably fixed; -and there is but a step between us and death- between us and the day of judgment. The time is just at hand when amid the solemnities of the last great day it shall be proclaimed from the glorious throne of Emmanuel; 'He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still; and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still; and he that is holy, let him be holy still.'

Viewed in this light how important is the journey of human life! What weighty interests are connected with our fleeting moments! What inexpressible joys or sorrows await us in the eternal world as the harvest of a pious or ungodly life! 'Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.' 'The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.'

Oh, how carefully should we attend to the momentous concerns of our immortal souls while journeying to the tomb- to eternity! If we neglect these concerns, or make a false step in this all-important journey, how fearful will be our final doom! But if we walk in that path which leads to mansions of glory in the skies, how blessed will be out state through all the countless ages of vast eternity!
'Important journey! awful view!
How great the change! the scenes how new!
The golden gates of heaven displayed,
Or hell's fierce flames, and gloomy shade!
'Awake, my soul; your way prepare,
And lose in this each mortal care;
With steady feet that path be trod,
Which through the grave conducts to God.'

With every child of earth the grand inquiry should be, Is my pathway through life irradiated by heavenly beams? Have I the light of life? Do I enjoy the favor of God? Have I known the way of peace? Has the day dawned, and the day-star risen in my soul? Is the Bright Morning Star guiding me to the peaceful shores of a better world- a world of eternal pleasures- a Paradise of ineffable splendors- a kingdom of unfading beauty- a city of everlasting habitation? Or, is all dark and dreary around this earthly scene? Are destruction and misery in my way? Is there no fear of God before my eyes? Is my soul overspread with the gloom of sin, unbelief, and sorrow? Do I live without God, and without hope in the world?

Here let us reflect on the condition of man, before spiritual light breaks forth upon his soul- before he sees by the eye of faith, the bright and morning Star heralding the opening of an eternal day of light and glory, and guiding him through the, night of sin and sorrow to the rest and felicity of heaven, to that land where no natural sun shines, whose everlasting light is the glory of God and the Lamb.

Before conversion, man is like a traveler in a 'black and dark night,' pursuing his journey- over unknown and dangerous paths, without a single guide to conduct him to the end of his journey, to the beloved home of peace and happiness. Like the poor bewildered traveler, the sinner, in his natural state, rushes on, regardless of the impending danger, over the ruinous ways of sin and folly, with no light from heaven to point him to the happy home of immortality in the skies.

Our blessed Savior said, 'He that walks in darkness, knows not where he goes.' It is truly sad to reflect on the courses of man in his unconverted state. On what a frightful precipice does he stand, ready to fall into the abyss of unending woe! Respecting every sinner reclaimed by divine grace, may we not well inquire with the prophet: 'Is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?'

Look again at the unrenewed state of man. It is one of fearful moral obscurity. It is the night of sin, in which the 'power of darkness' reigns with unlimited control in the heart. In this condition, the eye is closed in spiritual slumbers; the soul is involved in worse than Egyptian darkness; not a single ray of celestial light shines within; the understanding is darkened, all is impenetrable gloom. 'Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, through the ignorance that is in them; because of the blindness of their heart.' 'They grope in the dark, without light.' 'Yes, the light of the wicked shall be put out, and the spark of his fire shall not shine. The light shall be dark in his tabernacle, and his candle shall be put out with him.'

The soul of the unrighteous is not only involved in moral gloom, but is also destitute of spiritual life and action. And in view of this melancholy fact, such a one is thus addressed by Him who 'holds the seven stars in his right hand,' and with whom is the fountain of life: 'Awake, you that sleep, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light.'

The man in whose heart the rays of divine truth have never yet darted, likewise resembles the mariner on a violent sea, when the heavens are overspread with dark, angry clouds, when neither sun nor stars appear, and when a furious storm is ready to burst upon him. How alarming his situation! He is violently tossed upon the raging sea. The very next wave may overwhelm him. Every moment he is in danger of being lost. Such is the condition of the sinner- of the man for whom the cross of Christ has no attractions. As he sails on life's troubled ocean, he is ever exposed to the violent storms of divine wrath; his soul is in danger of being lost forever! 'The wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. 'There is no peace, says my God, to the wicked.'

'Sinner! rouse from your sleep,
Wake, and over your folly weep;
Raise your spirit dark and dead,
Jesus waits his light to shed.
Wake from sleep, arise from death,
See the bright and living path;
Watchful tread that path, be wise;
Leave your folly, seek the skies.
Leave your folly, cease from crime,
From this hour redeem your time;
Life secure without delay,
Evil is the mortal day.
Do not be blind and foolish still,
Called of Jesus, learn his will;
Jesus calls from death and night,
Jesus waits to shed his light.'

Having adverted to the dark side of man's moral condition by nature, let us now turn to the pleasing views which present themselves to the eye at that happy hour when the Sun of Righteousness rises in the soul; when, relying on Jesus for the blessings of grace and glory, the Christian pilgrim begins his journey to the heavenly Canaan. When the grace of God is communicated to the soul, a great moral transformation is at once accomplished- a transformation more important than the creation of a world. This change is effected by the renewing of the mind through the power of the Holy Spirit. 'Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Spirit.' 'Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.'

How wonderful and mysterious this change! 'The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound thereof, but cannot tell where it comes, and where it goes: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.' He who has become the subject of regenerating grace, may truly say with the blind man whom the Savior restored to sight: 'One thing I know, that whereas I was blind, now I see.' He has become a new creature in Christ- 'Old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.' Now is the divine image stamped anew in the soul; now does the true Light shine; now is Jesus precious. 'Unto you therefore who believe, He is precious.' Now does the newly regenerated man obtain a glimpse of the matchless love, excellency, and glory of Him who came from God, the Friend of sinners, the Man of sorrows, the immaculate Victim of Calvary. Now is the Savior exalted far higher in his estimation than any earthly object, so that in the strong and beautiful language of faith he is ready to exclaim, 'Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.' 'My beloved is mine, and I am His.' He is 'the chief among ten thousand; yes, He is altogether lovely.' The desires of his soul are now continually directed towards the blessed Jesus.

'The desire of our soul is to Your name, and to the remembrance of You. With my soul have I desired You in the night; yes, with my spirit within me will I seek You early.' The soul now illuminated -with rays of heavenly light, is filled with joy and peace in believing; and its progress in the divine life is like that of the shining light, which shines more and more unto the perfect day. But look again at the light which beams upon the soul in regeneration; and mark the happy effect it produces. As in the creation of the natural world light was the first thing formed, so in the moral world it is the first effect of divine power in the regeneration of the soul. 'Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun.'

What a marvelous light is unfolded to the view of him whose heart is reached by the glorious beams of the Sun of Righteousness! The eyes of his understanding are enlightened to discern spiritual and eternal objects. To him the heavens are opened; and by the eye of faith, he beholds the King in His beauty, and the glories of the land of promise. On the wings of faith, he is borne away to the realms of day; while earth, with its transitory scene, vanishes before him, and vast eternity, with its untold and unutterable joys, fills his sight. He hears the songs of angels as they touch their golden harps, and sing with loud voices- 'Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing.' He hears the sweet notes of the redeemed before the throne, as they all unite in the wondrous new song of redemption- 'Unto Him who loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and has made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever.'

The glories of Emmanuel and the felicities of the saints' everlasting rest, are themes which daily engage the noblest powers of his mind in holy meditation- which afford him rapturous pleasure- which fill his soul with wonder and admiration. He is now a spiritually-minded man, guided by the star of Bethlehem to the 'meek and lowly' Savior, risen with Jesus to a new life of holiness, with, all his affections clustering around the glorified Redeemer- the Lamb in the midst of the throne- now become his 'boast through time,' Yes, and his 'bliss through eternity.' Oh, how delightful and transporting are the views of the soul enlightened by the Star of morning!

How widely different is the condition of man by nature and grace! Of the latter, the Scriptures declare; 'You were once darkness, but now are you light in the Lord.' 'For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.' 'But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.' Those who are delivered from the power of darkness, and translated into the kingdom of God's dear Son, will often be favored, while on earth, with glimpses of heavenly glory, which may truly be called a, 'MARVELOUS LIGHT.' 'Such people,' says Leighton, 'see as it were a new world, and in it such wonders of the rich grace and love of God, such matchless worth in Jesus Christ, the Sun of righteousness, that their souls are filled with admiration. And if this light of grace be so marvelous, how much more marvelous shall the light of glory be in which it ends!'

He who has been brought from the darkness of depraved nature into the marvelous light of divine grace, may truly say, as he gazes on the rising splendors of the Sun of Righteousness: 'The darkness is past, and the true light now shines.' Yes,
'Tis past- the dreadful stormy night
Is gone, with all its fears!
And now I see returning light,
The Lord my Sun appears.'

The morning Star has now risen in his soul; and this Star is the blessed Savior, whose brightness in the eye of the believer eclipses all the splendors of the natural world; whose glory will be seen and admired by saints and angels to all eternity.

And here we would more fully contemplate the Lord Jesus in the character in which He is represented in the title of this introductory essay, as the bright and morning Star, the Sun of Righteousness, and Light of the world. But who can describe His beauty and excellency? Ah, what tongue can express His matchless loving-kindness to the sons of men? Oh, to be with Him, to be like Him, to see Him as He is in His heavenly kingdom- His countenance shining as the Sun- His brow encircled with 'many crowns'- His apparel all-glorious! Then shall we be able to celebrate in higher, sweeter tones, the praises of Him who, in unspeakable love and amazing condescension, deigned to assume human nature- to visit earth with tidings of immortality- to pour out His precious blood on Calvary for our redemption!

'Soon shall I pass the gloomy valley;
Soon all my mortal powers shall fail;
Oh, may my last expiring breath,
His loving-kindness sing in death!
Then let me mount and soar away
To the bright world of endless day:
And sing with rapture and surprise,
His loving-kindness in the skies.

UNDER THE BEAUTIFUL EMBLEM OF A STAR IS THE SAVIOR REPRESENTED IN THE SCRIPTURES. Balaam, in prophetic vision, exclaims: 'There shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Scepter shall rise out of Israel;' and Zacharias, filled with the Holy Spirit, utters these glowing words when he prophesies of Jesus; 'The rising sun from on high has visited us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.' And as illustrative of the same figure, how beautiful and striking is the language of the Savior Himself, when revealing a glimpse of His heavenly glory to the apostle John, in the isle of Patmos: 'I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.' And again; 'I will give him the morning Star.'

Here our Lord and Savior not only exhibits His own personal excellence- under this most appropriate symbol, but also holds out the promise of Himself and all His unsearchable riches to every one that overcomes, and keeps His works unto the end. How should such a glorious promise confirm our faith in God, enlarge our desires after spiritual things, enrapture our souls in holy thought, and make us ever grateful for those blessings, whose value eternity alone can unfold!

The Savior may be compared to a star because of the light, and grace, and glory which are in Him; and because He communicates these blessings to all that come to Him for illumination, wisdom, and instruction. It has pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell. Grace is abundantly poured into His lips; and His glory is as of the only begotten of the Father. With Him is the fountain of life; and in His light shall we see light. And from Him flow all the rich blessings of spiritual light and life, grace and glory- 'The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.' 'The grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ.' 'The Lord will give grace and glory.' Oh, what inestimable favors are these! The blessings of grace here, and glory hereafter- all that the soul desires or can contain!

The Savior may also be represented as a star because of His mediatorial glory- a glory which will ever excite the admiration of the redeemed in heaven, and with which they shall be crowned through all the ages of immortality. How cheering to the true believer is the declaration of a compassionate Redeemer- 'The glory which you gave Me, I have given them.' Transformed into the glorious image of Christ, the bright and morning Star, all the redeemed will at last shine as the brightness of the firmament- as the stars forever and ever. Oh, how glorious is Jesus, our Star, our Sun and Shield! How free, how immense the riches of His grace! 'O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusts in you.'

Is he a Star? He breaks the night,
Piercing the shades with dawning light;
I know His glories from afar,
'Is He a Sun? His beams are grace;
His course is joy and righteousness;
Nations rejoice when He appears
To chase the clouds and dry their tears.'

The Savior may be compared to a BRIGHT Star, because He is the brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image of His person. Who can conceive the transcendent brightness of Jesus in His person, and in His work? 'You are fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into your lips: therefore God has blessed you forever.' The Creator of the universe, the appointed Heir of all things, He is the most glorious and illustrious of all beings. 'All kings shall fall down before Him; all nations shall serve Him.' 'The Lord of hosts is His name; and your Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; the God of the whole earth shall He be called.'

He may be compared to a MORNING Star, because his manifestation in the flesh foretold the close of a long and dreary night, and ushered the dawn of a brighter day than had ever before gladdened this sin-stained earth- the day of gospel light and peace- the day of heavenly glory and immortality. When the Son of God appeared on earth in the humble garb of humanity, when this glorious 'day-spring from on high' was seen in our horizon, the shadows fled away; the night of Jewish darkness was at its close; the day of Christian splendor opened; light beamed upon the nations sitting in darkness, and in the shadow of death; a new and living way back to a Paradise lost was opened; while, at the same time, all heaven rejoiced, and angels sang- 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.'

Oh, how glorious did this morning Star, this Harbinger of eternal day appear, rising over the plains of Bethlehem, amid the songs and joyful acclamations of angels, and the worship and admiration of men, conducting the wandering sinner through earth's dark and stormy night, to heaven's bright and peaceful shore!
'Behold the morning Star arise,
You that in darkness sit
He marks the path that leads to peace,
And guides our doubtful feet'

'Unto you that fear my name, shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in his wings.' Most appropriately may He be called a Sun on account of His transcendent brightness, purity, majesty, and worth; and because he dispels all moral darkness, and gives light, and heat, and animation to all upon whom He graciously shines. But He is a Sun that infinitely surpasses all created light. His glory suffers no eclipse. His brightness is essentially His own. Oh, if we have obtained but a glimpse of the glory of Emmanuel, how dim, in our view, will appear all the transient splendors of earth! How will we rise above these temporal things, and long for the beatific vision of the King in His beauty on His heavenly throne- of the Sun of Righteousness, shining in unclouded splendor in those new heavens, wherein dwells righteousness!

As the sun is a glorious luminary, so is Jesus. In His human and divine nature, and in all His works, he is 'glorious in holiness,' 'You are glorious and more majestic than the everlasting mountains!' And blessed be His glorious name forever: and let the whole earth be filled with His glory.'
He is also most pure; 'a lamb without blemish and without spot,' 'who did no sin, neither was deceit found in His mouth.' 'Every word of God is pure.' From Him alone proceeds the pure river of the water of life. How pure indeed is that Savior who has charged His angels with folly- in whose sight the 'stars are not pure!' 'You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on iniquity.'

He is, moreover, invested with royal majesty; and His worth cannot be declared. 'He is clothed with majesty.' 'O Lord, our Lord, the majesty of your name fills the earth! Your glory is higher than the heavens.' How most aptly, then, may the Savior be compared to the sun for His brightness, purity, majesty, and worth!

Now, look at the great work which the Sun of Righteousness accomplishes when He rises in the soul, and see how appropriate and beautiful is the emblem. He scatters the darkness of the night of sin and sorrow, and brings the day of grace, and joy, and eternal felicity. Yes, when Christ is formed in the soul, the hope of glory, light breaks through the clouds; the shadows flee away; a morning, clear, bright, and beautiful, dawns upon the moral vision- a morning without clouds- a day which will never end; for where this Sun shines there shall be no night.
Sun of my soul! Oh Savior dear,
It is not night if You be near;
Oh! may no earth-born cloud arise,
To hide You from Your servant's eyes!'

Christ, our Sun, communicates the choicest blessings to the moral world. Under His genial and fertilizing influence, the Church is enabled to put on her beautiful garments, and to shine in the perfection of beauty; and the very desert is made to rejoice and blossom as the rose. "All darkness flies away before Him: it was His arising in the world that made the day break and the shadows fly away. The types and shadows of the law were then abolished. It was His light that dispelled the mists of ignorance and idolatry, and He alone delivers the soul from the night of sin and misery produced by it. All the stars, and the moon with them, cannot make it day in the world; this is the sun's prerogative: nor can nature's highest light, the most refined society and morality, make it day in the soul; for this is Christ's jurisdiction.' (Leighton).

As the Sun of Righteousness, He gives light to all nations on whom He has risen with healing in His wings; and His glory will soon fill the whole world. His beams are circumscribed by no limits, nor are they confined to any particular nation, class, or denomination of men. Jesus is exhibited as the light of the Gentiles and the glory of His people Israel. 'There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus.' 'For by one spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we are Jews or Gentiles, whether we are bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one spirit.' 'There is one body, and one spirit, even as you are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.' Oh, how comprehensive and inspiring are these scriptural declarations respecting our Lord Jesus Christ, whose glory will yet make the world as the garden of the Lord, and be the everlasting light of the saints above!

As the light which is emitted from the sun is free to all the nations of earth, so the light which emanates from Christ, the Sun of Righteousness, is free to all men, even the most depraved, those whom the Scriptures designate as 'the stout-hearted, that are far from righteousness.' The invitation is to all, without exception; 'Come, and let us walk in the light of the Lord.' How free, rich, and amazing is the grace of God, which brings salvation to lost and wretched man! Oh, let us prize this grace more highly.

As but one sun gives light to the world, so there is but one Sun of Righteousness; one Son of God; one Mediator between God and man; one Lord and Head of the Church. Christ is set forth as the only Savior of a lost world. Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.' Here is the only method of mercy- the only refuge from the storm of divine wrath. Then come to the Savior; build your hopes of immortal felicity on this only foundation- this Rock of Ages. See Him, who only has brought life and immortality to light, waiting to receive you. Take refuge in the arms of His mercy, and your guilt will be cancelled, the sting of death removed, and your soul eternally saved.

Who would not long for the revelation of Jesus in the soul, when His glories are so great, and the blessings He confers so immense! Oh, may the Sun of Righteousness rise in our souls with healing in His wings, shedding forth His marvelous light, and preparing us for beholding His brightness in that world of blissful immortality beyond the stars.

Christ, whose glory fills the skies,
Christ the true, the only light,
Sun of Righteousness, arise,
Triumph over the shades of night;
Day spring front on high, be near,
Day star in my heart appear.
Dark and cheerless is the morn,
Unaccompanied by Thee;
Joyless is the day's return,
Until Your mercy's beams I see;
Until your inward light impart,
Gladden my eyes and warm my heart.
Visit then this soul of mine,
Pierce the gloom of sin and grief,
Fill me, radiancy divine,
Scatter all my unbelief;
More and more yourself display,
Shining to the perfect day.'

THE SAVIOR IS REPRESENTED AS THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD. John describes Him as 'the true Light, which enlightens every man that comes into the world;' and this is His own declaration, 'I am the light of the world; he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.' And again, 'I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the darkness.' These words admirably express the excellency and glory of His character. It has been well remarked, that 'among all created excellences none can be borrowed more fitly representing Christ than that of light.'

He is called a Light because He is the author of the light of nature and grace; of eternal glory and felicity. It is He who gives light to those sitting in darkness and in the shadow of death, revealing in the clearest manner the divine will concerning our duty to God and man. 'He reveals the deep and secret things: he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him.' He discovers deep things out of darkness, and brings out to light the shadow of death.' The light which comes from Him, who is the bright and morning Star, guides and cheers the Christian pilgrim on the troubled ocean of life, and conducts him in safety to the haven of heavenly rest, where all are forever sheltered from the storm and the tempest.
'Fair morning Star arise,
With living glories bright,
And pour on these awakening eyes,
A flood of sacred light.
The horrid gloom is fled,
Pierced by Your beauteous ray;
Shine, and our wandering footsteps lead
To everlasting day.'

It is the divine radiance from Him who came to save, which lights up the gloomy valley of death, dispels the fearful darkness of the grave, and causes the departing believer to break forth in the song of triumph- 'O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?' Yes, it is this glorious morning Star that enlightens and smooths the passage to the dark and silent grave:
The Star that ever burns
Upon the tomb's dark confines,
still to cheer The soul, departing.'

It was the Father's promise, when He would send His only begotten Son into the world as its Savior, to give Him for 'a light of the gentiles; to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and those who sit in darkness out of the prison-house;' and when the aged Simeon held the 'Child Jesus' in his arms he uttered this fervent prayer; 'Lord, now let you your servant depart in peace, according to your word: for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared before the face of all people; a light to reveal God to the nations.' When Isaiah, rapt in prophetic vision, sees Christ as the light of the church and the world, how sublime is the eloquence that thrills his heart and bursts from his lips! 'Arise, shine! Let your light shine for all the nations to see! For the glory of the Lord is shining upon you. Darkness as black as night will cover all the nations of the earth, but the glory of the Lord will shine over you. All nations will come to your light. Mighty kings will come to see your radiance.'
O true Light, which enlightens every man that comes into the world, glorious Sun of Righteousness still shine, dispelling all moral darkness, until every nation beholds Your brightness- until every land rejoices in your life-giving beams.
O Sun of glorious splendor,
Shine with healing in your wing;
Chase away these shades of darkness,
Holy light and comfort bring.
Let the heralds of salvation
Round the earth with joy proclaim,
Death and hell are spoiled and vanquished
Through the great Emmanuel's name.
Take Your power, Almighty Savior,
Claim the nations for Your own;
Reign, O Lord of Life and glory,
Until each heart becomes Your throne.

The Savior is not only the Light of the world, but also of heaven; the light of that city which has 'no need of the sun, neither of the moon to shine in it,' whose light is 'like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.' In the New Jerusalem above, the Sun of Righteousness will ever shine in midday splendor, while the nations of the saved will walk in His light through ceaseless ages. In that celestial world, all created light is unnecessary on account of the surpassing brightness of the Savior's glorified Person; and in the light which comes from Him will the redeemed forever behold the face of God with inexpressible joy. Happy is he who can say with the psalmist: 'As for me, I will behold your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake, with your likeness.'

With what emotions of wonder, admiration, and gratitude, should we contemplate the Savior as THE BRIGHT AND MORNING STAR, and LIGHT of the world! Blessed be God, that He has given us such a glorious Light to guide us through the dark and bewildering scenes of mortality to a happy land beyond the river of death- a land where grows the fruitful tree of life, and where flow those crystal streams whose fountain-head is at the throne of the Eternal! It is a thought which should ever rejoice our hearts, that Jesus has appeared in the world as the daystar, the Sun of Righteousness, whose healing beams are bringing life, and peace, and immortality to countless millions once in spiritual darkness and death.

Oh, how great are the blessings which this true Light confers on the moral world- infinitely greater than those which the sun in yonder heavens pours upon earth. If the Sun of Righteousness had not risen upon us, as the day-spring to guide our feet in the path of peace, we would have groped in 'the dark without light' through our earthly course, and been finally doomed to the 'blackness of darkness,' through those vast ages which roll beyond the grave. Oh, then, let us be grateful for this Light which shines from heaven to guide our erring feet to a blissful shore. And let us earnestly endeavor to walk in the light of the Lord Jesus, and we will find that all His ways are ways of pleasantness, and that all his paths are peace; that, at the end of our pilgrimage, glory, honor, and immortality will be our reward in heaven.

The divine injunction is, 'Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.' 'Walk as children of light.' 'The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.' 'You are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.' If we walk as the children of light and of the day, we will be adorned with the resplendent robes of the Redeemer's righteousness, while journeying homeward and heavenward, until, translated to that brighter world, we shall shine with the reflected glory of Emmanuel, as the stars forever and ever.
'Walk in the light! and you shall own
Your darkness passed away,
Because that light has on you shone,
In which is perfect day.
Walk in the light! and even the tomb
No fearful shade shall wear;
Glory shall chase away its gloom,
For Christ has conquered there;
Walk in the light! and you shall be
A path, though thorny, bright;
For God, by grace, shall dwell in you,
And God himself is light!'

Christians are called the light of the world; and the source where they derive their brightness is from the Star of Jacob- the Star of Morning-
'There, as to their Fountain, other stars
Repairing, in their golden urns draw light.'

The church must first be enlightened by Christ, the Sun of Righteousness, and then she will shine 'fair as the moon, and clear as the sun.' Then let all come to the Savior for spiritual light and life, and all the joys of salvation. If we remain at a distance from Him, if we listen not to His compassionate voice, if we refuse His invitation of mercy, if we quench His Holy Spirit, we will wander on in the 'darkness and blindness' of our minds until the shadows of an eternal night gather around us, until our immortal souls are forever beyond the reach of mercy. Oh, let us come at once to Jesus, who is waiting to shed His light upon us. Let us look to Him; and celestial radiance will beam forth upon our souls. 'They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.' 'While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may be the children of light.'

And while we linger on the shores of time, let our earnest petition be that of the Psalmist- 'Lord, lift up the light of Your countenance upon us.' 'God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause His face to shine upon us.' In the expressive and appropriate words of Jonathan Edwards, 'This light gives a view of those things that are immensely the most exquisitely beautiful, and capable of delighting the eye of the understanding. This spiritual light is the dawning of the light of glory in the heart. There is nothing so powerful as this to support people in affliction, and to give the mind peace and brightness in this stormy and dark world.'

Christian pilgrim, let your thoughts daily dwell on the majesty, purity, excellence, and glory of Jesus, our Morning Star. As you gaze on the starry sky in the silent hour of night, and contemplate the magnificence of its glowing luminaries, oh, think of the Star of Jacob- of Him whose glory shines from heaven to earth- of Him who has come from mansions beyond the skies to these dark abodes of sin and death, that He might conduct us to the light and blessedness of heaven. Think of Him as the Babe of Bethlehem, as the Man of sorrows, agonizing in the garden, and expiring on the cross, that you might reach the skies and shine as a star in glory. Think of Him as bursting the bands of death; as ascending triumphantly to heaven; and as interceding for you in the presence of God. Think of Him as the brightness of the Father's glory, full of grace and truth, ready to bring peace and joy, grace and glory, to the weary spirit thirsting after happiness. Think of His amazing grace in undertaking and accomplishing your salvation- of the many mansions of felicity He has prepared for you above- of the unspeakable joys which await you in the skies.

O bright and morning Star, O glorious Sun of Righteousness, in Your boundless compassion, rise in my soul with healing in Your wings. Oh, shine as the day-star in my heart, to give me the light of the knowledge of the glory of God. Dispel the gloom of sin, and sorrow, and unbelief; and give inward light, and joy, and peace. 'Let your mercies come also unto me, O Lord, even your salvation, according to your word.' Cheer my heart with the genial power of your love; elevate my affections from earthly to heavenly objects; and fill my whole soul with Your fullness. Be with me through all the changing and trying events of life's pilgrimage; in weakness be my strength; in sorrow my joy; in adversity my solace. When I sit in darkness, be a light unto me; when I descend into the valley of the shadow of death to close my eyes on all the scenes of earth, may all around me be bright and serene; and when the last breath is drawn and the last mortal struggle is over, oh, may some ministering spirit from the skies be sent to conduct my departing soul home to the far-off city of rest and felicity; then be my everlasting light, my glory.

O blessed Jesus, hasten that long wished-for day of heavenly beatitude, when your servants shall enter into those mansions of light, where their sun shall no more go down; when they shall be with You, where You are; beholding with unceasing admiration Your untold glories; when, clothed with the robes of immortality, they shall walk in Your light through the celestial realms, shining 'all glorious within;' when they shall be enraptured with the contemplation of Your finished work on Calvary, tuning on golden harps Your praise; and when, amid the unutterable splendors of Paradise, You shall conduct them to living fountains of waters, perennial streams of joy, boundless oceans of felicity. Speedily dawn, O happy day, upon my soul and the world. Let Your glory, O Emmanuel, soon fill the whole earth, until all the redeemed are gathered home to be forever with You. Then shall a multitude which no man can number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, behold with admiring eyes the ineffable glories of the MORNING STAR; then shall You, blessed Jesus, be eternally glorified in your saints, and admired in all then who believe.

O my soul, until that happy period arrives, keep gazing at the bright and morning Star; so shall Jesus become more and more precious to you; so shall the excellence of His Person and the riches of His grace be your sweetest song until mortality is swallowed up of life- until you shall reach the home of the soul in your Father's house on high, and there begin the unending song of Moses and the Lamb.
'Arise, O bright and morning Star,
And send Your silvery beams afar;
Dispel the shades of dreary night,
And let me hail the dawning light.
Blinded by sin I went astray,
And, wandering left the heavenly way,
Dart forth Your soul-reviving rays,
And guide me all my future days.
With growing strength may I pursue
The course -which heavenly wisdom drew,
Until I shall reach the blissful shore,
Where pilgrims rest, and stray no more.'