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and that the resurrection of the righteous, more especially, will be attended with circumstances unspeakably joyful and glorious, and will constitute the victory of the Messiah over the last enemy-death.

FOURTHLY, that man is a moral agent, capable either of righteousness or of sin; the standard of the former being the will or law of a perfectly holy God—and the latter being the infraction of that will or law--that we are made free to choose either good or evil, either life or death--that we are, in every particular of our life and conversation, responsible to God, from whom alone we derive all things which we possess, and to whom we must individually, in a future world, render the account of our stewardship—and that, when this account has been given, we shall be judged by the Son of God, and punished or rewarded individually, after a rule of perfect justice and equity, according to our works.

FIFTHLY, that the future rewards and punishments of men are declared by the apostles, and by our Lord himself, to be everlasting ; and that, for many plain critical reasons, the term everlasting, as it is applied to future punishment, cannot be fairly construed otherwise than in its highest sense. conclusion is confirmed by a very plain consideration; namely, that the present life alone is the period of our probation; the world to come being ever represented in Scripture (conformably with the dictates of natural religion) to be one of fixed and permanent retribution.

Sixthly, that Adam and Eve fell from their original righteousness and became sinners--that, in consequence of this mournful change, the whole race of their descendants inherit a sinful nature—that the heart or inward disposition of the natural man is infected with sin, and ever prone to evil—that unregenerate men are in a condition of darkness, alienated from the life of God by the ignorance which is in them, and incapable of understanding Divine Truth by their own wisdom - that they are under the dominion of Satan--that they are dead in trespasses and sins, and universally sinners, as amply proved by the historical, as well as the didactic, parts of Scripture—and finally, that, being sinners, they are all guilty before God, and justly liable to the CURSE OF THE LAW.

What, then, are the practical conclusions to which these premises are calculated to conduct the awakened sinner? He. must surely be convinced, that, if he continues under the influence of his fallen nature, misery and destruction are his certain allotment. He beholds his deep moral degradation : he confesses that his enemy has triumphed over him he knows

that he is utterly unable, by any strength or wisdom of his own, = to escape from the dominion of Satan, and from the bitter

pains of eternal death. Stricken with the sight of his iniquities, he trembles under a sense of the divine displeasure, and in the awful expectation of judgment to come ; and be is sensible that he can entertain no hope of his soul's salvation, except in the spontaneous, unrestricted, unmerited, mercy of God. Yet, while an indistinct view of that mercy may cast some gleams of consolation over his path of darkness, he perceives

not how it can be reconciled with the divine justice: he reI members the corruption and defilement of his own heart, and

the perfect holiness of his Creator ; and he still shrinks from the all-searching eye, from the pure and penetrating presence, of the Judge of all flesh. While such is his mental condition, he is prepared to pour forth his sorrows in the language of Job : “ If I wash myself in snow-water, and make myself never so clean, yet shalt thou plunge me in the ditch, and mine own clothes all abhor me. (God) is not a man as I am, that I should answer him, and we should come together in judgment; neither is there any DAY'S MAN betwixt us, that might lay his hand upon us both!” Job ix, 30–33. He prays for a clean heart: he hungers and thirsts after righteousness; but he is inwardly persuaded, nevertheless, that he stands in need of some powerful and perfect Mediator, who can bear the weight of his iniquity, and perform for him the work of reconciliation. In the bitterness of his soul he exclaims, A Saviour, or I die -A Redeemer, or I perish for ever!

With how much eagerness and delight will he then receive the well-authenticated tidings, that such a Mediator has been appointed—that such a Saviour and Redeemer has been freely bestowed—that now mercy and truth have met together ; righteousness and peace have kissed each other”-that God has given HIS ONLY-BEGOTTEN SON," and that " whosoever believeth” in Christ “shall not perish, but have everlasting life!"

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ESSAY X.

ON THE SCRIPTURAL ACCOUNT OF JESUS CHRIST.

HAVING considered the lamentable condition of man, in his fallen and unregenerate nature, and having briefly adverted to the fact which forms the centre and spring of the whole dispensation of the Gospel--that God sent his Son into the world to save sinners--it is natural for us to press forward, with no slight degree of eagerness, to the examination of those passages of Scripture which unfold to our view the person and nature of our Lord Jesus Christ. Diversified and numerous as those passages are, and relating to a variety of different points, the will, nevertheless, be found very remarkably to harmonise to gether—to elucidate and confirm one another ; and it will nom be my endeavour to arrange a selection of them, in such a man ner, as will

, it may be hoped, produce on the mind of the rea: der a clear and useful impression of the wliole subject.

The clue which I propose to follow, in making this attempt is the history of the Son of God, as it is revealed to us in the Bible ; for I apprehend that the order of his history is the natural order of the subject before us; and, the more closely we follow the natural order of any subject we may be investigating the more satisfactorily and explicitly will that subject be opened to our understanding. Now, the revealed history of the Son of God admits of being divided into three principal parti -his preexistence-his abode upon earth--and his reign in glory; and, while I hope not to forget the circumstances and results of our Lord's humanity, it will be my principal object to adduce, in connexion with each of these successive divisions, the testimonies borne by the sacred writers to the great doctrine of his deity.

PART I.

ON CHRIST IN HIS PREEXISTENCE.

When we open the New Testament, and peruse the various statements contained in the four Gospels respecting the quali

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ties and powers, the discourses and actions, of the Founder of our religion, we cannot fail to perceive that he was an extraordinary and wonderful being ; and it is with irresistible force that the inquiry presents itself to our minds, Who was he, and what was his nature ? The narrations of the four evangelists afford abundant evidence that he was born, lived, and diedthat he was endowed with those physical and intellectual properties which we ourselves possess—that his body was a human body, and his mind a human mind; and therefore we cannot with any reason refuse to allow, that he was really and absolutely man. But did he possess any other nature besides the nature of man? Were his conception and birth the commencement of his being ; or did lie exist in some higher character and condition than those which appertain to mankind, before his conception and birth took place ?

To these enquiries we shall have little difficulty in returning an affirmative answer, when we have calmly reflected on the declarations of the Sacred Volume, that Jesus proceeded forth from God—that, in other words, he was the .“ Lord from heaven:" 1 Cor. xv, 47. “I proceeded forth,” said our Saviour to the Jews, “ and came from God” (or more literally, I proceeded forth from out of God and am come*;)"" neither came I of myself, but he sent me:" John viii, 42. “No man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from (or from

out of) heaven,t even the Son of man which is in heaven :'' of John ini, 13. “ For I came down from heaven, not to do my

own will, but the will of him that sent me:" vi, 38 ; comp. 41, 51, &c.

It cannot, with any colour of probability, be pretended that these expressions were applied by our Lord to his own cir

cuinstances, on the mere principle, that he was the messenger * of God, and was invested (however eminently) with the pro

phetical office; for no such expressions are ever employed in

Scripture to describe the mission either of the prophets or of | the apostles. Among the inspired servants of the Lord, an

exalted place was unquestionably held by John the Baptist, who was a burning and “a shining light,” and “ more

than a prophet,and yet the distinction between John and Jesus Christ was this; that John was of the earth, earthly-Jesus Christ from above, from heaven. “ He must increase,” cried the Baptist,

“ but I must decrease. He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth : he that cometh from heaven is above all :"

* Εγώ γάς εκ του Θεού εξήλθον, και ήκω. 1 εκ του ουρανού καταβάς.

John iii, 30, 31. The expressions in question, therefore, must be interpreted as far as the nature of the subject will allow) according to their literal and apparent sense

se--namely, as importing that Jesus Christ, at a certain appointed period, came forth from that immediate presence of God, which the apostie emphatically describes as the bosom of the Father," (John i, 18,) and from that high and holy place, where, after a peculiar manner, he dwelt in glory, and that he then descended into this lower world.

That this is a just view of the subject is moreover evident, because the Scriptures teach us to estimate the reality of our Lord's descent from heaven by that of his ascent into hearen. It is a truth plainly declared in the New Testament, and universally allowed by Christians, that, at the close of his abode upon earth, Jesus Christ ascended into heaven, and went t his Father; and in certain passages of our Lord's discourses

, his descent from heaven, and his ascent or return to heaven, are mentioned as parallel and corresponding circumstances. "This is that bread,” said he to the Jews, " which came down from heaven... Doth this offend you? What, and if ye

shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?” John ri, 58--62. Again, to his disciples he said, “ I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world. Again, I leave the world and go to the Father :” John xvi, 28.

If the inquiry be suggested, At what particular period did our Lord thus proceed forth from the l'ather, and descend from heaven? we may answer, on the authority of the passage last cited, and on that of others of a similar import, When he came into the world; and if again the question be asked

. When did he come into the world ? we may reply, At his incarnation or birth; for, to come into the world, and to be born, were, according to the customary phraseology of the Jews, synonymous terms.* Such appears to have been the doctrine of the apostle Paul. “When the fullness of time was come,” said he, “God sent forth leis Son, made (or born) of a woman :” Gal. iv, 4. It was when Jesus Christ was born of a woman, therefore, that God sent forth his son ; and, in a very remarkable passage of the Epistle to the Hebrews, the coming and incarnation of the Son of God are mentioned as

*Vide Lightfoot Hor. Heb. in John 1, 9. So also Schleusner, Lex. in τοε. κόσμος, No, 4. «Ηoc etiam

pertinet formula έρχεσθαι εις τον κόσμο h, e. garvão Bas, nasci,John xi, 27. o sis tòy xóruor leszáusvos

, homo factus phetæ prædixerunt: Ibid. 1x, 39 ; xii, 46. Rabbini etiam omnes homi

Ibid. vi, 14. ó és képesvos eis toy xóomov, quem nasciturum pro

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