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glorified bride of Christ. "I beheld, and lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands and cried with a loud voice saying: Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb." Rev. 7: 9-10.

7th. Christ excels all other bridegrooms in His love før His bride.

Paul says: "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church, and gave Himself for it." Ephe 5: 25. History records some noble examples of self-denial and self-sacrifice on the part of the husband for the good of the wife. We have read the beautiful story of Leander and Here He swam the Hellespont every night to visit his beautiful mistress, until at last, during the storms of winter, his strength failed, and the waves carried his lifeless body to the foot of the tower, where Hero anxiously awaited him. Poetry has thrown its charms around this story, and immortalized the love of Leander; but how far short this falls of the wonderful story of the Saviour's love for His bride, the Church Cyrus, King of Persia, had taken captive a young Prince of Armenia, together with his beautiful and blooming Princess, whom he had recently married and whom he passionately loved. When both were brought before the tribunal, Cyrus asked the Prince what he would give to be re-instated in his kingdom? He said: "That as for his crown, and his liberty, he valued them at a very low rate. But if Cyrus would restore his beloved Princess to her native dignity and hereditary possessions, he should infinitely rejoice, and would pay willingly his life for the purchase." Thus the bride of Christ was in bondage, and held in cruel

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slavery by the powers of darkness. To redeem her He cheerfully laid down His life. The love of the Bridegroom subdues the rebellious will, and wins the heart of the bride. Love is sometimes turned to hatred; but we have instances in which hatred has been converted into love. We have striking instances of this in the history of the wars of Queen Anne. Two English soldiers, who had fought in these wars, and who had been intimate friends for years; quarreling in some love affair became bitter enemies. One was an officer and the other a private. The officer made an ungenerous use of his authority to annoy and persecute, so as to fret him into madness; and he was frequently heard to say that he would die to be avenged of him. Months passed in this way; when, in the midst of their mutual rage, they were selected as men of tried courage, to share in some desperate attack, which was unsuccessful; and the officer in the retreat, was disabled, and struck down by a shot in the thigh. His old comrade rushed passed him. “Ah, Valentine and will you leave me here to perish? he exclaimed. The poor injured man immediately returned; and in the midst of a thick fire, bore off his wounded enemy to what seemed a place of safety, when he was struck by a chance ball and fell dead under his burden. The officer, immediately forgetting his wound, rose up, tearing his hair; and throwing himself on the bleeding body, he cried: "Ah, Valentine! and was it for me, who have so barbarously used thee, that thou hast died? I will not live after thee." The enmity of his heart was slain, and he could not be removed from the corpse of his friend; but was taken with it, bleeding, in his arms to a tent where he died next day in the pangs of remorse. This


poor abused soldier, by dying for his enemy, had "heaped coals of fire on his head," "while he was yet an enemy." Such is the power of love, suffering for the good of an enemy, to slay the enmity of the heart, and win man back again to goodness and to God. The Bridegroom approved His love "in that while we were yet sinners, He died for us." There is an inexpressibly great power in the principle; and many a deeply stirred heart has felt it to its core. The wonderful love of the Bridegroom is seen in His long suffering patience with the brides infirmities. He is perfect, she is imperfect; but her imperfections never destroy His affection for her. An eminent physician was happy in the society of a beautiful and accomplished wife. A great trial came upon Him. His wife, in consequence of a family malady, became insane, and con-. tinued so for a year or two. He kept her with Him, and continued His labors in the midst of this harrowing distraction. Her madness was mild enough, but she talked continually. She dreamed wide awake. Her husband's patience never failed him. A friend expressed to him his admiration of his conduct. His answer was: "In an asylum where they would not put with her little whims, she would become entirely mad, and would never recover; but well treated, not being started or frightened, seeing only a friendly face, hearing only connected and sensible words, she will be cured at last, without any other remedy." And so, in fact, it did really happen. A more beautiful example of affection can not be found in the history of man, Such, only infinitely greater, is the love of Christ for His church. He not only bears patiently with the unavoidable infirmities of His people, but also with their willful wickedness.


III. The Advantages of this union to the bride. 1st. It will raise her to an exalted state.

Instances have occurred in which marriage has raised the bride from the lowest circumstances in life, to the most exalted rank and power. Perhaps the most remarkable illustration of this thought, in the history of the world, is the experience of Catharine of Russia. She was an orphan child raised by the hand of charity. Providentially brought under the notice of Peter the Great, Czar of Russia, who was captivated by her charms, and made her his wife. Thus she was raised from the humblest situation in life, to the throne of one of the mightiest empires on earth. Thus the Christian by his union with Christ is raised from his fallen state to a throne. "To him that overcometh,' saith Christ, "will I grant to set with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in His throne." Rev. 3: 21. Catharine by her marriage with the Czar became the companion of the first persons of the Empire, and the Christian by his union with Christ, is raised to an equality with the angels in heaven." They which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection." Luke 20: 35-36. What a glorious destiny this thought opens to the Christian. We cannot grasp it in all its depths of meaning. We can only say with John: "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is." 1 Joh. 3: 2.

2d. It will make her heir to invaluable inheritance. "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ." Rom. 8: 16-17. Paul gives us the following inventory of the bride's riches: "All things are yours; whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; and ye are Christ's: and Christ is God's." 1 Cor. 3: 21-23. It is regarded as a fortunate thing for a young woman to marry a man of wealth; but what are the riches of the wealthiest husband on earth compared to the vast possessions of Christ. We know not what His riches are. The light of eternity above can reveal them. Peter rejoiced in view of the glorious inheritance that awaits the Christian in heaven. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which, according to His abundant mercy, hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time." 1 Pet. 1: 3-5.

3d. She receives the name of the Bridegrom.

When a woman marries a man she gives up her own name and takes his. By it she is to be known in the future. Thus the Church, the bride, receives her name from the Bridegroom, Christ. Paul says: "I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named." Eph. 3: 14-15. The expression "of whom," refers to Christ; and the idea is that the family of God derives its name from Him; all are

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