« السابقةمتابعة »
thou canst desire are not to be compared. Fear not, neither be dismayed, because of the multitude of thy past transgressions, which present themselves to thy troubled conscience and set themselves in array against thee. God can forgive, if thou canst repent. Nay, he will “ give thee repentance unto “ life,” if thou wilt request it of him. If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt yet be built up, and, impossible as it may appear, thou shalt put away iniquity far from thy tabernacle; thou shalt cease to do evil, and learn to do good : thou shalt cast off the works of darkness, and put on the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life: thou shalt have thy delight in the Almighty, and lift up thy face unto God: thou shalt make thy prayer unto him, and he shall hear thee; he shall not lay thy sins to thy charge, but forgive thee what is past, and give thee grace to amend thy sinful life; to decline from the ways of the destroyer, in which, perhaps, thou hast unhappily wandered, and incline to the paths of wisdom and righteousness, and walk therein before him all the days of thy life. And when the work shall be finished, for which God sent thee into the world, even the work of thy salvation, thou wilt perceive that to depart and to be with Christ is far better than to live here in possession of all that the world can give thee. Thou shalt go out with joy, and be led forth with peace by angels, who shall convey and welcome thy spirit to the regions of the living, to the bosoms of our holy fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, whence sorrow, grief, and lamentation are banished away, where the light of God's countenance visits and shines continually. And when the trumpet shall sound, and all the tribes and kindreds of the earth shall wail, thou shalt lift up thy voice and sing for the majesty and glory of thy triumphant Lord, and call to the heavens and the earth to bear thee company—“Let the heavens re
joice, and let the earth be glad ; let the sea make ' a noise, and all that is therein; let the field be “ joyful, and all that is in it; then shall all the trees “ of the wood rejoice before the Lord; for he com
eth, for he cometh to judge the earth, and with
righteousness to judge the world, and the people " with his truth." “He which testifieth these things
saith, Surely I come quickly, Amen. Even so, "come, Lord Jesus.”
THE WORD INCARNATE.
JOHN, 1. 14.
The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and
we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only be
gotten of the Father), full of grace and truth. In contemplating the character of man's Redeemer, it is hard to say, whether our admiration be most excited by the natural dignity, or the voluntary abasement of his person. To form suitable ideas of either, it is expedient to take a view of both. And they appear to the utmost advantage in the exordium of St. John's Gospel, where he setteth himself to publish, first, the divinity, and then the incarnation of his most adorable and beloved Master, He mentions in due order and regular gradation, the glory which the word had with the Father, before man, or the world which he now inhabits, had a being : “ In the beginning was the Word, and the “Word was with God, and the Word was God.” -His glory, with respect to the creatures, the works of his hands; “ All things were made by him, and “ without him was not any thing made that was “ made.”—His glory, as the sole author of life and immortality ; " In him was life, and the life was the
light of men.”-His glory, with respect to man in general, as fallen into a state of ignorance and sensuality ; " And the light shined in darkness, and the “ darkness comprehended it not.”-His glory, with respect to the Jews, to whom he first manifested " himself ; “ He came unto his own, and his own " received him not." His glory, with respect to Christians ; “ To as many as believed on him gave "he power to become the sons of God ;” in order to effect which, he himself became the Son of man; 6. The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, " and we beheld his glory, as the glory of the only “ begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
Can any thing be more truly noble and sublime than the former part of the evangelist's discourse, more pleasing and acceptable than the latter, descending from the loftiest of speculations on the divine nature of the Word, to display the benefits of his advent in the flesh : like the Nile, which, rolling from the heights of the Nubian mountains, diffuseth riches and plenteousness over all the land of Egypt?
The union of two natures in the person of our Lord, which may justly be considered as the source of every blessing we enjoy in time, or hope to enjoy in eternity, is expressed by St. John in these terms: « The word was made flesh“," each of which will be found worthy of our attention. The term Word (Royos) was in use among the ancient philosophers, who sometimes speak of a person under that appellation, as the maker of the universe. So Tertullian informs the Gentiles. And Eusebius, in the with book of his Evangelical Preparation, cites a passage from Amelius, a celebrated admirer and imitator of Plato, in which he speaks of the royos as being eternal and the maker of all things. This, he says, was the opinion of Heraclitus ; and then introduces the beginning of the Gospel of St. John; concerning whom, it seems, he was wont to complain, that he had transferred into his book the sentiments of his master Plato.
2 Ο λογος σαρξ εγενετο.
But it is not likely that our evangelist either borrowed from, or intended to copy after, Plato. And since not only Plato, but Pythagoras and Zeno likewise, conversed with the Jews, it is not at all wonderful, that we meet with something about @EIOS Aoroz, or DivinE WORD, in their writings. Nor, after all, might the philosopher and the apostle use the same term in the same acceptation.
It is customary with the writers of the New Testament to express themselves, as much as may be, in the language of the Old, to which, therefore, we must have recourse for an explanation of their meaning, as the penmen of both, under the direction of one Spirit, used their terms in the same sense.
Now, upon looking into the Old Testament, we find, that “the Word of Jehovah,” is frequently
b “ Apud vestros quoque sapientes, aeyov, id est Sermonem atque
Rationem, constat artificem videri universitatis. Hunc " enim Zeno determinat factitatorem, qui cuncta in dispostione “ formaverit.”
e ' .
.דבר יהוה C