صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

cannot fpread among mankind to any valuable purpose, nor have its full power and efficacy upon fuch as embrace it, till it is rescued from the pernicious mixture of human errors, and difcerned to be, what it really is, as it lies in the New Teftament. Our judgment concerning Jesus Christ, our faith in him, our regards to him, are to be founded on the tranfactions fubfequent to his nativity, on the things faid and done by him while upon earth, on the divine teftimonials in his favour, and the power and authority given him by the Father.

Though man, he had glorious prerogatives: he had a diftinction above all others: he had in all things the pre-eminence. He was a man chosen of God to execute a commiffion of unfpeakable dignity and importance, honoured with the most fignal and illustrious teftimonies of divine approbation and concurrence, favoured with an extraordinary presence of the Deity, completely furnished, by divine communications, with the moft glorious gifts and powers, exalted by the right hand of God, to be a prince and a Saviour, to give repentance to Ifrael, and remiffion of fins. He was a man, whom God fent, and who spoke the words of God. He was a person whom the Father fanctified, defigned, confecrated, feparated from the reft of men, by a fupernatural birth, by a communication of the spirit without meafure, and by a fpecial commiffion to declare his will. He was a man

in

in whom refided, after an inconceivable manner, the knowledge, wifdom and power of God. He was a man whom God anointed with the Holy Ghost and with power. It pleafed the Father, that in him all fulness fhould dwell. God gave the spirit, not by measure unto him. He anointed him with the oil of gladness above his fellows. In him dwelt the fulness of the godhead bodily.* He had a commiffion, infpiration, miraculous powers, and confequent divine authority, in a fupereminent measure and degree. He was a man, whom the Father loved, and into whofe hands he hath given all things,+ whom he hath appointed heir, or lord of all things, and to whom he hath

Col. ii. 9. It is remarkable, that the apoftle prays that the Ephefian converts "might be filled with all the fulness of God," (Eph. iii. 19), a text which happily illuftrates that alluded to by our author. Ed.

+ John xiii. 2, 3. "Supper being ended, the devil having now 43 put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's fon, to betray him;

Jefus knowing that the Father had given all things into his "hands, and that he was come from God," &c. the meaning of which paffage seems to be, that Jefus was affured, notwithstanding all which his enemies could do against him, that his caufe would be finally triumphant; that in fact all things were working for him, instead of against him. The phrase has probably in general fome such restricted meaning.

The apostle, addreffing himself to the chriftians 'at Corinth, fays, "all things are yours, whether Paul, or Apollo, or Cephas, 66 or the world, or life, or death, or things prefent, or things to "come, all are yours," 1 Cor, iii. 21. Ed.

committed

committed all judgment. The Father raised him from the dead, and hath conferred on him the reward of high exaltation at his right hand, given him all power in heaven and earth, conferred on him the highest glory, and greatest happiness, given him a name above every name, made him head of angels and men, and by him will God judge the world in righteousness. His prefiding in the general judgment, appearing with all the enfigns of majesty and glory, and paffing fentence upon mankind, is to be the finishing tranfaction of our bleffed Saviour's mediation: for then, he is to refign the kingdom to God even the Father, that God may be all in all.*

I cannot

1 Cor. xv. 24. This text is thus paraphrafed by Mr. Alexander, "Then cometh the end, and full completion of the pro"mises which God hath made to his Meffiah, when Chrift fhail "deliver the kingdom which has been so long, poffeffed by "others, to God even the Father, when he fhall abolish all em"pire, dominion and authority which now fubfifts throughout "the world, and remove every thing out of the way, which oppo"fes itself to his greatness." The apostle (obferves this learned " and ingenious writer) explains what he says concerning Christ's "delivering up the kingdom, by adding, when he shall have put "down all rule, dominion and authority. For Chrift, by triumphing "6 over the powers of the world, and subduing all things to himself, "introduces that state which is called the kingdom of God in the "New Teftament. And when he is raifed to this height of glory “ and dignity, he will not, like the princes of this world, rule by "maxims which dishonour the Creator, and are inconfiftent with "the happiness of his rational offspring. For, notwithstanding

"his

I cannot therefore but agree with a late learned author, in affirming that the fcripture idea of Christ (and it is a truly great and glorious one, adapted to engage the highest respect and veneration) is, in short, that of a man appointed, anointed, beloved, honoured, and exalted by God, above all other beings.

Syftematical divines have ftrangely entangled and perplexed things, which, in the fcriptures themselves are easy, plain and intelligible enough. Should not the fcriptures be the only rule of our chriftian faith? and how fhall we rightly explain the scriptures but by the free use of our own reason and understanding? The New Testament is a faithful, authentic narrative of the most interesting important branch of the Divine Providence with

"his exaltation, he will continue fubject and obedient to the "Father, managing the kingdom of which he is poffeffed, accord"ing to the will and for the glory of the fupreme Lord, fo that "God fhall be all in all. And the only reason why Chrift is "faid to deliver the kingdom to God then, and not before, is, be"cause he is not fuppofed to have the full poffeffion of it himself "till the time spoken of. For, as the kingdom of God and of Chrift "is one and the fame; fo his delivering the kingdom to God, " and having all things put under his own feet, are the very fame "thing. The kingdom of God is then established, when all "things are fubject to the authority of the Meffiah, and therefore "it was indifferent to the apoftle to fay either, when the Meffiah "fhall poffefs the kingdom, or, when he shall deliver it to the "Father." See a Paraphrase upon the fifteenth chapter of the firft of Corinthians, with critical notes, &c. by John Alexander. Ed.

regard

regard to mankind: it is a fufficient and certain record of the wonderful measures taken by the wisdom of eternity, for the restoration and confirmation of true`religion, of the method chofen, the means used by the great Governor of the world, to difpel darkness, superstion and vice, to enlighten, convert, and fave mankind. The work of redemption is not inferior to the work of creation. Our bleffed Saviour's ministry, was the most glorious, amazing fcene of things, that was ever exhibited on the theatre of this world.

"He was a man approved of God among you, by "miracles, and wonders, and figns, which God did "by him, in the midst of you, as ye yourselves alfo "know." The Evangelical History fully illuftrates this declaration. Let me briefly enumerate the divine teftimonials to our bleffed Saviour. His coming into the world was particularly and expressly predicted by a long fucceffion of prophecies. He was conceived by the immediate power of God. Many remarkable evidencies of an heavenly concurrence attended his nativity. There appeared an extraordinary ftar, pointing out the time and place of his birth, and directing the eastern fages to pay their homage. An angel proclaims to the fhepherds, "I bring glad tiding of great joy to all people; a Saviour is this day born." Immediately a celeftial choir celebrate the event in a folemn hymn of praise. A multitude of the heavenly hoft, appear upon this important occafion, faying, "Glo

ry

« السابقةمتابعة »