Isaiah 60:1

I. THE DAWN OF THE NEW DAY. Zion, lying like a prostrate woman on the ground, is bidden to arise, because the glory of her God has dawned upon her. And this in contrast to the thick darkness enwrapping the earth in general. This darkness means alienation from God. As the Israelites had light in their dwellings when thick darkness was on the land of Egypt, so again now. Israel is the "central and mediatorial people." Here a community of God; yonder a world exiled from God. The contrast continues, and ever must continue. "We are of God; the whole world lieth in the evil one." The glory of the pure Church is nothing but a reflection from the Eternal. He is a Sun to enlighten the understanding, open the eyes of the mind, thrill the heart with love. When through the faithlessness of the Church that splendour fades from her, there are no conversions, there is little interest in religion. When it reappears, nations set forth to that light, kings to the brilliance of that dawn.

II. THE RETURN FROM EXILE AND INFLUX OF WEALTH. Here the prophet exults in the contemplation of Arabian wealth flowing into the holy city. Their gifts are viewed as religions, as sacrificial, - consecrated to God. "The wealth of the heathen world shall be consecrated to the service of the Church. In part this has been the case. No small part of the great wealth of the Roman empire flowed into the Christian Church. The time will come when the wealth of India and China, and of Africa, and of the entire world, shall be devoted to the service of God."

III. THE NEW JERUSALEM. The walls shall be raised by the willing hands of strangers, probably the converted heathen, whose kings shall become servants of Zion; an endless stream of caravans shall flow through the open gates. And "eager to minister to Israel, the far-off nations force their reluctant chiefs to join them." For the very existence of these nations must depend on their organic connection with Israel. The Prophet Zechariah significantly declares that the nations who refuse to come up to Jerusalem to worship shall not enjoy the blessing of rain (Zechariah 14:17, 18), which means they must perish, and their land become desolate. Whatever is said of the territory is said of the nation. To Zion, thus effulgent in her revived glory, shall be attracted also the beauty of natural products - the splendour of the trees of Lebanon, that the courts of the temple and the whole city may be decorated in honour of Jehovah. The oppressors, once so hated and feared, will come in the attitude of crouching suppliants, and they will call the city, "City of Jehovah, Zion of the Holy One of Israel." This magnificent picture may be construed:

1. As a picture of the ideal Church in relation to mankind. True, in this imperfect state, the prophecy can be but imperfectly realized. The glorious Church, without spot or blemish, remains the dream of lofty prophets and apostles. But without such dreams religious life must become despondent and dreary, fiat and sad. While we listen to such oracles, translate them into song and set them to music, we purify and uplift our hearts. Sursum corda! We rise a little nearer to heaven, or bring heaven a little nearer to earth.

2. As a picture of heaven. There stands the heavenly temple; thither a vast multitude has congregated; and there a vast fund of spiritual riches has accumulated. Prophecy and religious poetry in general are but illusory enchantments unless they point to a reality in that state unseen. - J.

Arise, shine; for thy light is come.
Having repeatedly and fully shown that the national pro-eminence of Israel was not to be perpetual, that the loss of it was the natural consequence and righteous retribution of iniquity, and that their loss did not involve the destruction of the true Church or spiritual Israel, the prophet now proceeds to show that, to the latter, the approaching change would be a glorious and blessed one.

(J. A. Alexander.)

is the spiritual counterpart of a typical Eastern day, with the dust laid and the darts taken out of the sunbeams, — a typical Eastern day in the sudden splendour of its dawn, the completeness and apparent permanence of its noon, the spaciousness it reveals on sea and land, and the barbaric profusion of life, which its strong light is sufficient to flood with glory.

(Prof. G. A. Smith, D. D.)

In the East the sun does not rise; the word is weak for an arrival almost too sudden for twilight. In the East the sun leaps above the horizon. You do not feel that he is coming, but that he is come. This first verse is suggested by the swiftness with which he bursts upon an Eastern city, and the shrouded form does not, as in our twilight, slowly unwrap itself, but "shines" at once, all plates and points of glory. Then the figure yields: for Jerusalem is not merely one radiant point in a world equally lighted by the sun, but is herself Jehovah's unique luminary.


The perfect tenses are used from the ideal standpoint of the future.

(Prof. J. Skinner, D,D.)

Any one who has spent much time among mountains will appreciate the imagery. Around is absolute blackness; the valleys are in gloom; trees, rivers, towns have been obscured; nothing is visible but that dim shaft of granite rising into the silence of the sky. Suddenly we may imagine a spirit's voice crying, "The light has come." Instantly there is a glow on the mountain — trees, rivers, towns begin to take shape; the whole world has changed. The point to be observed here is that the light was from God. The city was exhorted to be in a condition in which the glory of God might be reflected from it. The chapter describes the degradation of the rest of the world, the effect of the light on other peoples, how they would be attracted toward it; and contains near the end this outburst of victorious joy: "The Lord shall be unto thee an ever. lasting light, and thy God thy glory. This prophecy, was never literally fulfilled, and yet hundreds of years later a light did pour itself upon Mount Zion; it shone on the thickest darkness of the nations, and unto it ever since the people have been attracted. That prophecy was fulfilled in Christ. He is the Light.

(A. H. Bradford, D. D.)

I. THE GOSPEL ERA IS DISTINGUISHED BY A SPECIAL REVELATION OF DIVINE GLORY. The light that has come to the world is the glory of the Lord. What is "the glory of the Lord" We take the answer which the Eternal gave to the request of Moses, "I beseech Thee, show me Thy glory." The reply was not, "I will show thee the infinitude of My possessions, the boundlessness of My, dominions, the almightiness of My power, the immeasurable depths of My wisdom, but, "I will cause all My goodness to pass before thee." The Gospel is a wonderful revelation of God's goodness, in the form of amazing mercy towards a guilty world.

1. The glory of His goodness is seen in the gift of His Son. "He spared not His own Son, etc.

2. The glory of His goodness is seen in the entire history of His Son. All the compassion, the tender love and mercy, which Christ displayed when on earth, were the reflected rays of Infinite goodness.


1. Arise. Do not sleep while the rays of Divine goodness are streaming on you. Arise to thought, to penitence, to gratitude, to worship. Arise, discharge the duties and enjoy the advantages of a day flooded with the sun of mercy.

2. Shine. Reflect the rays of this goodness. Let this love of God be so "shed abroad in thy heart," that it stream forth its radiance in thy every action, and bless the circle in which thou livest. Do not be as an opaque body, obstructing the rays and throwing a shadow over thy sphere; but be a mirror, to reflect every falling beam.


The words of the text comprise an exhortation to "arise " and "shine"; and a reason to enforce it, — "thy light is come, the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee."

I. THE REASON. There is such a connection between ignorance and darkness, that the one is constantly put for the other in Scripture. If ignorance is justly termed darkness, so knowledge is properly compared to light. At the dawn of day, the traveller takes fresh courage; he perceives the path in which he should go, and proceeds on it rejoicing. In the same manner religious knowledge enlightens a man as to his true business in this life, and sets him to work out His salvation. And Christ is the Sun which sends forth this religious knowledge.

1. The sun, when it rises in the morning, dispels all clouds and mists and clews, and shows every object in its true colours. So, without that light which Christ has furnished by His Gospel, we cannot perceive those truths which it is most needful we should perceive.

2. The sun, when it shines above us, does more than enlighten every object. It nourishes, it invigorates. Without it, the sickly plant droops and decays, and brings no fruit to perfection. And the effect of the sun upon outward nature is a striking emblem of the influence of Christ upon the heart. In Him is life, vigorous, spiritual life; and the life is the light of men.

II. THE EXHORTATION. "Arise, shine."

1. When the sun rises, and scatters the mists of night, he gives a summons to mankind to rise also, and set themselves to the discharge of their various duties. In the same manner, the appearance of Christ in the world is a summons to all who hear of His revelation, to "arise." To awake out of the sleep of ignorance, the sleep of thoughtlessness, the sleep of sin, which are, in truth, the sleep of death; and to apply themselves, before "the night cometh in which no man can work," to the business which God has appointed them to perform both for themselves and for Him.

2. The text requires that you not only "arise," but that you "shine." That Christ has risen in the world is nothing, unless He illuminates your hearts also. When the sun is up, and shines brightly upon any object, that which before was dark shines too; receives a brilliancy not its own, not natural to it. So is it likewise, when Christ illuminates the heart. It takes a new colouring, a light which by nature it had not. Enlightened by the Gospel, the simple becomes wise, and acquires the knowledge which is most truly valuable — the knowledge of duty towards God and man. Enlightened by the Gospel, he who was selfish and covetous is made liberal, and abounds in the feelings of brotherly kindness, and in the works of charity. Enlightened by the Gospel, he who was sensual becomes temperate and pure, and "lets his moderation be known unto all men." The "lover of this world becomes a "lover of God," and "sets his affections on things above." In this way the light which has shone upon them is reflected in their conduct, and is visible in their whole character. The sun shines; but some objects still continue dark and gloomy. Between them and the sun's light other objects interpose, and prevent his beams from shining upon them. And so it is in the world of grace.

(J. B. Sumner, M. A.)

I. THE DAWNING OF THE LIGHT. "Thy light is come." If the light is always near, but the darkness is in man's heart and the blindness in his soul, we have to ask how the darkness passes away, and to point out the manner in which the glory of God dawns upon it, in order that we may see why its dawning is a summons to arise and shine. There are three requisites for its dawning — three stages in the history of the soul's enlightenment.

1. Spiritual penitence.

2. Spiritual penitence must pass into spiritual love.

3. Spiritual love necessitates spiritual prayer.

II. THE AWAKENING CALL. "Arise, shine." That summons is the inevitable result of the dawning of the light. When God is felt to be near a man thus — in penitence, love, and prayer, that man is imperatively bound to reflect the glory which has risen in his heart; to bear witness of the light which has pierced and transformed his soul. Let us again observe that this is also based on a great principle, viz. the deepest emotion in a man's nature must reveal itself in his life. I proceed to show the way in which the glory of the Lord thus manifests itself in life.

1. In the majesty of holiness.

2. In the beauty of unselfishness.

3. In the earnestness of your efforts for men,

(E. L. Hull, B. A.)

I. THE VOICE SPEAKS TO INDIVIDUALS. How few even realize their possibilities. We have had religious training, we have been taught to consider all questions as they appear in relation to God, we have grown up in a religious atmosphere, and yet the consciousness that no man is a true man until he reflects Jesus Christ in words, business, pleasures and thoughts is dim, and not even desired. The light has come; what does it find? It finds men absorbed and heedless, thinking only of what they can keep for a little while at best; not caring for their fellow-men; selfish and as impervious to higher motives as a granite rock to sunshine. The true glory of a man is to reflect Christ.

II. THE VOICE OF THE PROPHET REACHES THE CHURCH, both local and universal. The Church realizes its true mission only as it reflects the Divine light, which means, simply, realizes the life which was in Jesus Christ.

1. The Church should reflect Jesus in its worship. With Him worship was something essential and vital. Before every great act of His career He went apart from men to pray. The sources of His life were in God. Worship and prayer are the conduits along which flow streams of spiritual vitality. Is the Church a praying Church? Then it is continuing Christ's work.

2. The Church lives to repeat the teaching of Jesus.

3. In like manner the Church should reflect Jesus in the service of humanity. It lives to continue His ministry. The most hospitable place in every community ought to be the Church of Christ. Has any one a grief? Let him go to the Church. Are any lonely? Let them go to the Church. Have any disgraced themselves and their friends? Let them seek the Church and its help. But will all these various classes find there a welcome? Not only within its walls, but outside also the Church should serve humanity in the spirit of Christ.

III. THIS CRY OF THE PROPHET COMES TO NATIONS. Nations, as well as individuals and Churches, exist to continue the Incarnation. That nation has not begun to realize its possibilities which has not learned that its superlative privilege is the manifestation of Jesus Christ. What do I mean? That the function of government is not only the protection of the people, but the service of humanity. John Milton truly said that the State is only a huge man. In the vision of the prophet when the light broke upon the sides of Mount Zion the nations saw the glory and were attracted by it (vers. 3, 14). The most beautiful thing in this world is the character of Jesus Christ; nothing else so wins men.

(A. H. Bradford, D. D.)

I. TO WHOM THE CHARGE IS ADDRESSED. To the Church of Christ. This is evident from the context. Further, it appears from the nature of the charge that it can apply only to the Church. There is none else on earth capable of at once fulfilling the charge. The world cannot, for it is essentially dark — "darkness covers the earth." The Church is compared to reflected and artificial lights. Christ enlightens the world through His Church.

II. THE CHARGE ITSELF. This is a twofold charge implying two distinct acts.

1. "Arise." This implies that the Church is in the meantime in a prostrate condition; her place is in the dust. This may be partly in penitence. It may indicate a state of affliction and mourning; the Church may be sitting in sackcloth. But chiefly it implies a state of sloth, worldliness, carnality. Whatever be the cause of this prostration the Church is directed to rise from the dust now.

2. "Shine." "Christ shall give thee light" for this very purpose; not merely to enlighten yourself, to impart life and joy to you, but that you may "shine," give light to the world. And this applies both to the Church as a whole and to the members of the Church individually. There are two ways in which those who have been enlightened by Christ may give light. On the one hand, by simply shining, each one in his sphere, as a separate light, perhaps in the midst of darkness. On the other hand, by kindling other lights.

III. THE ARGUMENT BY WHICH IT IS ENFORCED. "Thy light is come, etc. The Church has no independent light of her own, cannot shine of herself; and so, such an encouragement as this is needed. "Thy light' — this must mean Christ Himself, for He is the light of the Church. "Is come" - Christ did not come till seven or eight hundred years after this prophecy was delivered. But the prophet refers to Gospel times. Accordingly the Church did arise and shine at that time more brightly and auspiciously than she had ever done before.

(C. G. Scott.)

There are some Christian men who have wasted a large part of their lives for want of somebody or something to wake them up. There is more evil wrought in the world by want of thought than by downright malice, and there is more good left undone through want of thought than through any aversion to the doing of good. Some Christians appear to have been born in the land of slumber, and they continually live in their native country of dreams. They rub their eyes occasionally, and suppose themselves to be wide awake; but they are in the Enchanted Ground, and, though they know it not, they are little better than sleep-walkers the most of their days.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

I. To God's own people this is my first message, REMEMBER YOUR PRIVILEGE. Your light has come.

1. Recollect out of what darkness that light has delivered you.

2. This light, which God has given you, is His own glory. "And the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee." Byron speaks of God S face being mirrored in the sea; but there is not space enough for the face of Deity to be fully reflected in the broad Atlantic, or in all the oceans put together. The image of God is to be fully seen in Jesus Christ, and nowhere else; for there you behold attributes which Creation cannot display.

3. There is also this blessed thing to be said about this light; you will never lose it (ver. 20).

II. I WANT TO ROUSE YOU TO SERVICE. "Arise, shine; for, etc. Since your light has come, shine" —

1. By holy cheerfulness.

2. By a gracious godliness.

3. By zealous earnestness.

4. By a secret bravery.


1. By the world's great need (ver. 2).

2. Because of the great results that will surely come of it (ver. 3).

3. Because of the great blessing it will bring to the Church (ver. 13, etc.).

4. "That I may be glorified" (ver. 21).

( C. H. Spurgeon.)




(G. Huntington, M. A.)

The old story is repeated; Zion sits in the light while Egypt cowers in gloom. The light which shines upon her is the glory of the Lord, the ancient brightness that dwelt between the cherubim within the veil in the secret place of the Most High, and is now come out in the open world to envelop the desolate captive. Thus touched by the light she becomes light, and in her turn is bidden to shine. There is a very remarkable correspondence reiterated in my text between the illuminating God and the illuminated Zion. The word for "shine" is connected with the word for "light," and might fairly be rendered "lighten" or "be light." Twice the phrase "thy light" is employed; once to mean the light which is thine because it shines on thee; once to mean the light which is thine because it shines from thee. The other word, three times repeated, for "rising" is the technical word which expresses the sunrise, and it is applied both to the flashing glory that falls upon Zion, and to the light that gleams from her. Touched by the sun she becomes a sun, and blazes in her heaven in a splendour that draws men's hearts.

I. AS TO THE FACT. Beneath the poetry of my text there lie very definite conceptions of a very solemn and grave character. and these conceptions are the foundation of the ringing summons that follows and which reposes upon a double basis — viz. "for thy light is come," and "for darkness covers the earth." There is a double element in the representation. We have a darkened earth and a sunlit and a sun-like Church, and unless we hold these two convictions in firm grasp, and that not merely as convictions that influence our understanding, but as ever-present forces acting on our emotions, our consciences, our wills, we shall not do the work God has set us to do in the world. If we take the sulphurous and smoky pall that wraps the earth and analyze its contents, they are these: the darkness of ignorance, the darkness of sorrow, the darkness of sin. On the other side, remember the contrasted picture here of the sunlit and sunny Church. The incarnation of Jesus Christ is the fulfilment Of my text, "We beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. If you and I are Christians, we are bound to believe in Him as the exclusive" source of certainty. "We hear from Him no Peradventue," but His word is "Verily verily, I say unto thee," and on that we rest all our knowledge of God, of duty, of man, and of the future. If we have the light we shall be light. That is but putting in a picturesque form the very central truth of Christianity. The last word of the Gospel is transformation. We become like Him if we live near to Him, and the end for which the Master became like unto us in His incarnation and passion, was that we might become like to Him by the reception of His very own life unto our souls. These two convictions of these two facts, the dark earth, the sunlit, sun-like Church, lie at the basis of an our missionary work.

II. WE HAVE BASED UPON THESE TWO FACTS THE SUMMONS TO THE CHURCH. "Shine, for thy light is come. If we have light, we are light: if we are light, we shall shine; but the shining is not altogether spontaneous and effortless. Stars do not need to be bidden to shine, nor candles either; but we need the exhortation because there are many things that thwart the brilliance and the clearance of our minds. The command suggests effort, and the effort may be in the direction of the specific vocal proclamation of His name. If we are light, we shall be able to shine; if we are light, we are bound to shine; if we are light, we shall want to shine.

III. THE CONFIDENT PROMISE. "The Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising." If we have the light we shall be light; if we are light we shall shine, and if we shine we shall attract. A painter will fling upon his canvas a scene that you and I, with our purblind eyes, have looked at hundreds of times and seen no beauty in it, but when we gaze on the picture then we see how fair it is. There is an attractive power in the light of Christ shining from the face era man.

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

This is a great statesman's vision unveiling the moral and spiritual possibilities of a people. The prophet is primarily addressing his speech to an awakening nation. To direct a nation's views is to shape its policies, and to determine the trend and colour of its life. What, then, shall be the elements of an efficient and fruitful ideal? "The Lord shall arise upon thee," etc. (vers. 2, 3). What are the constituent elements in the vision? "Light " and "glory. A certain light, the element of illumination, charity, and simplicity of thought; a certain heat, the element of fervour, warm and expansive sympathies; a certain gravity, the element of impressiveness, weight and strength of moral principle. But the glory of the ideal is still further enriched and intensified. We cannot take Isaiah's ideal and employ it with Isaiah's limitation; we must carry over his vocabulary into the fuller day and let it receive enlargement in the life and mind of Christ. "Light," interpreted by the character of the Master, means the absence of shady compromise, sunlit definiteness of purpose, the clear discernment of essentials. " Heat," interpreted by the character of the Master, means, an ardent inclusiveness of sympathy, cosmopolitan in its pervasion. "Gravity, glory, interpreted by the character of the Master, is significant of moral weight, incorruptible spiritual ambition, unconquerable virtue, whether illustrated in the light of a marriage-feast, or in the sombre experience of Pilate's judgment-bar. "Arise! ", Stand erect and set thy face towards the burning vision, and thou shalt "shine' with reflected glory. By contemplating the Divine thou shalt incarnate the heart of thy contemplation. "The Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee, ' and thy imperial treasure shall be found in thy shining notabilities, in the radiant motives and ambitions of thy common life. We have seen this transfiguring ministry at work in the life of the individual. But we may be more than a little doubtful as to whether the vision will also serve and ennoble the community. Well, where is the line of transition? Surely, even in the nation we have again and again witnessed the transforming influence of the grand ideal. It was even so with the later experiences of the eighteenth century. The breaking up of formality, the melting of callousness, the opening out of rivers of philanthropy, the enlarged and sweetened life of our people, the enlightened measure of emancipation, can be directly traced to a "strange warming of the nation's heart," resulting from a restored contemplation of the light and glory of God. The prophet's vision reveals an imperial deal, and unveils the only permanent imperial treasure.

1. The imperial character is to be creative of imperial unity (ver. 4). There is to be an enrichment of the home, a consolidation of the family, a knitting together of the finer fellowships of the nation. And mark how this statesman describes the large characteristics of the communion. "Then shalt thou see and flow together." It is to be an open-eyed communion, an illumined, society, a fellowship of transparent aims and aspirations. "Thine heart shall fear; the fellowship is not to be flippant, light-hearted, and vain; it is to be possessed by the pervasive influence of reverence, that saving element which preserves the sense of true perspective, and gives everything the setting of a just proportion. "And be enlarged; the fellowship is not to be fixed and exclusive; its sympathies are to be elastic and expansive, reaching out in ever enlarging circles of interest and regard.

2. The imperial unity is to be the minister of a world-wide illumination. "And nations shall come to thy light," etc. (ver. 3). If this be the true portrayal of imperial welfare, may we not infer the consequent obligations which rest upon the leaders of the people? The first essential of efficient public ministry is a large and exalted aim. The true aim of every true leader is to build up the moral energy of the people. To give ourselves to the production of superior men — this is the aim which should possess the minds and hearts of all who exercise leadership among their fellow-men. An aim like this, definitely and personally expressed, and pursued with undeviating consistency, will preserve a man from those perils of benumbment which seem to attach themselves to every public ministry.

(J. H. Jowett, M. A.)

The Church is promised an extraordinary measure of light and glory; an immense increase in the number of her adherents, universal exaltation in the eyes of her enemies, and permanent safety and happiness.

I. THE DIVINE ILLUMINATION WHICH THE CHURCH RECEIVED. "Thy light is come," etc. The text suggests —

1. The nature of this illumination. It embraces —

(1)The light of Divine revelation.

(2)The light of the Gospel dispensation.

(3)The light of the Holy Spirit's teaching.

2. The necessity of this illumination. The Church existed in a dark age; intellectual, moral, and spiritual darkness prevailed everywhere. This was preeminently the case when Christ came. This was —

(1)The darkness of moral guilt.

(2)The darkness of religious error.

(3)The darkness of spiritual ignorance. This darkness was deep, profound, awful.

3. The beauty of this illumination. "The glory of the Lord,' etc. Allusion is probably made to the Shechinah. God manifested Himself to His people, and shone upon them in the glory of His grace and mercy.

4. The source of this illumination. "Thy light is come," etc. It emanated from a Divine source. It was derived, not inherent. The Church is not the fountain of light, but the medium of it. It is called "thy light" because it was the exclusive or peculiar prerogative of the Church. It does not come from the Church, but is given to it, for its benefit and use.

II. THE PERMANENT OBLIGATION WHICH THE CHURCH INCURS IN RELATION TO IT. The Church is a Divine institution, raised up for a specific purpose. Its work is to teach men the truth of God and to testify of the grace of God. But she sometimes fails fully to realize her obligations, privileges, prerogatives, and responsibilities. Here she is enjoined —

1. To arise. She must arise from spiritual apathy, lethargy, and obscurity, take her legitimate position before the world, and faithfully discharge her obligations. Here is a loud call —

(1)To behold the light, and hail it with joy.

(2)To receive the light.

(3)To utilize the light.

2. To shine. Privilege confers responsibility. Every fresh accession of spiritual illumination or power increases her influence and responsibility. The Church is a luminous body, and must shine with heavenly lustre.(1) For its own sake and benefit. It must gladly participate in the light that shines upon it from above, and be encompassed with light and glory. It should at all times be radiant with the beauty of holiness.(2) For the sake and benefit of others. Not only is it to participate in the light, but to become the grand medium and means of imparting it. Like the reflector to the lamp, it is to collect, receive, and reflect its rays for the benefit of those needing its light. How is the Church to shine? By the beauty of her teaching. By the perfection of her example. By the purity of her doctrine. By the exemplification of her principles. By the grandeur of her life. By the vitality of her organizations. By the vigour of her activity. Like the light in the lighthouse, the light of the Church, in every age, is to shine conspicuously, constantly, cheerfully, and without fail.

III. THE GRAND PREDICTION WHICH THE CHURCH IS ULTIMATELY TO REALIZE. "And the Gentiles," etc. This was partially accomplished soon after the rise of the Church, when thousands of the Gentiles "walked in this light." When a few years elapsed, the Roman Emperor and many other kings ostensibly opened their eyes to the beams of light shed on the world by the Church. Large accessions are being made, and her power and influence are growing and will extend till the Gospel shall universally triumph over error, ignorance, and ungodliness.

(J. S. Spilsbury.)

I. THE CHURCH HAS THE LARGEST SCOPE. Nations " come to her light, kings to the brightness of her rising." She is world-wide and universal.

II. THE CHURCH BEARS THE CLEAREST WITNESS. She "arises." She "shines." When she pulses and palpitates with the life of God, how impressive is her trumpet-call! It penetrates far. It arouses multitudes.

III. THE CHURCH DOES THE MOST GLORIOUS WORK. "Who are these that fly to her as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows?" Her Lord in her saves and edifies His sons and daughters, convinces and converts and comforts.

IV. THE CHURCH ENJOYS THE MOST LASTING BLESSEDNESS. In His favour her King "has mercy on her." He never fails nor forsakes her. He leads her members just now in green pastures and by the waters of quietness. He will bring them by-and-by to the "Lovely city in a lovely land."

(A. Smellie, M. A.)

man: —






Light makes many a surface on which it falls flash, but it is the rays which are not absorbed that are reflected in the optics of earth; but in this loftier region the deviation is not superficial but inward, and it is the light which is swallowed up within us that then comes forth from us. Christ will dwell in our hearts, and we shall be like some poor little diamond-shaped bit of glass in a cottage window which, when the sun smites it, is visible over miles of the plain. And if that sun falls upon us, its image will be mirrored in our hearts, and flashing in our lives. The clouds that lie over the sunset, though in themselves they be but poor, grey and moist vapour, when smitten by its beneficent radiance become not unworthy ministers and attendants upon its glory. So it may be with us, for Christ comes to be our light.

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

Life of Faith.
One summer day, when walking in Surrey, on the slope of a hill — the sun setting behind me — right away across the valley I espied a most remarkable light. It was more brilliant than electric light, and seemed to rise from the ground. At first I supposed that some one had lit a fire with resinous wood that sparkled and flashed, but there was evidently no smoke. It seemed as though some angel had dropped a brilliant star down there upon the ploughed field, and that it was burning itself out. Finally, on my reaching the spot, I discovered that an old piece of broken glass had caught the light of the setting sun, and was bathed in a supernatural glow. An old piece of bottle-glass — yet so brilliant — the bottle-glass not being visible, because of the light that shone on it!

(Life of Faith.)

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