Imágenes de páginas

being in the work of creation. "Thus saith the LORD thy Redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself," Isa. xliv, 24. "I have made the earth, and created man upon it: even my hands have stretched out the hea. vens, and all their hosts have I commanded," Isa. xlv, 12. If God has done it alone by himself, if his own hands have performed it, then he has not done it by another whom he hath delegated. The Apostle St. Paul, on the behalf of Jesus Christ, wholly disclaims his having been employed as a delegate by another in the creation of all things. For by him were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions, principalities or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: and he was before all things, and by him all things consist, Col. i, 16. If all things were created by him, and for him, then they were not created by him for another; but by him, by the exertion of his own innate and underived omnipotence; and for him as the rightful proprietor of his own work. 2. Because the distinguishing attributes of God belong to him. We have already proved him possessed of omnipotence, unless we believe that a power short of omnipotence could create the universe. In addition to this, he claimed to himself this attribute, when he appeared to John on the Isle of Patmos : "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the ALMIGHTY," Rev. i, 8. It is equally certain that he is omniscient; for no wisdom short of that which is infinite could have devised the wondrous plan of creation, could have hung out in empty space so many worlds, or orbs, supported only by the laws given them by their wise and powerful Author, to govern them in the performance of their various revolutions. He proved his omniscience when he sent Peter to draw tribute money from the mouth of a fish. Who but an omniscient being could have known that there would be a fish at the very place where Peter would cast his hook into the sea bearing a piece of money in its mouth, and that that fish should be the first to take hold on Peter's hook? His disciples believed him omniscient: "Now are we sure that thou knowest all things," John xvi, 30. How could they believe otherwise when they so frequently heard him tell the scribes and Pharisees the secret movings of their hearts, before their thoughts were expressed by words? They knew also that he had often told them their inward and unuttered thoughts, and reproved them for their private bickerings and disputes among themselves.

His omnipresence is also undeniable. His own testimony is, "No man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man that is in heaven," John iii, 13. There he was, visible upon earth, talking familiarly with Nicodemus, and at the same time claiming to be in heaven. His promise to the church: "Wheresoever two or three shall be gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." This promise is to the whole militant church, scattered over the whole earth; and if two or three are met in his name, in thousands of different places at the same time, he is in the midst of each assembly. And at the same time that his presence pervades the different assemblies of his saints below, he fills the mediatorial seat above-he is the joy of angels, and the glory of the heavenly

place. These three distinguishing attributes are infinite attributes, and he who possesses them must be an infinite being. Jesus Christ does possess them, therefore Jesus Christ is infinite. Infinity fills all time and all space, therefore an infinite being must be eternal. Hence it follows that Jesus Christ is the eternal God, for none but God is eternal. 3. He is the object of our hope: "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Saviour and the Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope," 1 Tim. i, 1. 4. He is the object of our faith "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved," Acts xvi, 31. "And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses," Acts xiii, 39. 5. He is the object of our love: "If any man love not our Lord Jesus Christ, let him be anathema maranatha," 1 Cor. xvi, 27. 6. He professed to be one with the Father: "I and my Father are one," John x, 30. 7. He claimed equality with God: " Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God," Phil. ii, 6. 8. He professed to be proprietor of all that belongs to God: "And all mine are thine, and thine are mine," John xvii, 10. "And all things that the Father hath are mine," John xvi, 17. 9. He is the proper object of worship: "And again, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith, and let all the angels of God worship him," Heb. i, 6. Did God, who has so expressly forbidden idolatry on earth, command it in heaven? It must be so if the first begotten be not very and essential God. But God requireth it of all men to worship the Son; and no man can fulfil the duties of a Christian and withhold worship from the Son of God; "For the Father judgeth no man; but hath committed all judgment unto the Son that all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honoreth not the Son, honoreth not the Father which hath sent him," John v, 22, 23. Surely no rational being can. suppose he has fulfilled this requirement, while he pretends to pay divine honors to the Father, and worships him as self-existent and independent God, and treats the Son as a mere created and dependent menial. Let every man, therefore, when he enters his closet to pay divine honors to the Father, remember that the Father requireth him to honor the Son, even as he honoreth the Father; and that to withhold it from the Son is withholding it from the Father also. 10. He received worship, and never rebuked those who worshipped him. The wise men of the east worshipped him; see Matt. ii, 11. The lepers worshipped him, Matt. viii, 2; Luke xvii, 16. Stephen worshipped him, and acknowledged his claim to divine adoration with his dying breath, Acts vii, 59, 60. 11. The inspired writers represent him as the supreme, eternal God: "In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings: with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried to another, and said, Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory," Isa. vi, 1, 2, 3. the prophet had a most wonderful view of the glory of God our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. That the prophet spake this of the Messiah we can have no doubt, when we compare the sixth chapter of Isaiah with John xii, 40, 41. "Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel," Isa. vii, 14: compare this




with Matt. i, 23, "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel, which, being interpreted, is, God with us!" "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of peace," Isa. ix, 6. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert," Isa. xxxiv, 4, 5,6. Compare this with Matt. xi, 2, 3, 4, 5: “ Now, when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, and said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another? Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and show John again the things which ye do hear and see; the blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.' This was enough for John. He remembered that there was a promise in the prophecy of Isaiah, that the God of Israel should come with a recompense, to save his people: and that when he should come great and mighty works should be wrought by him. Jesus Christ had come. He professed to be one with the Father-equal with God—and proprietor of all that belonged to God—to have come with a recompense, a sufficient redemption price, even his own soul, body, and blood, to offer as a vicarious sacrifice for sin. And all the mighty works which the prophets foretold should take place, when the God of Israel should come, were performed by him. "He is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen," Rom. ix, 5. "And without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory," 1 Tim. iii, 16. The reader will please to observe that God is nominative case to all the verbs in this sentence. "For therefore we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God; who is the Saviour of all men, especially of those that believe," 1 Tim. iv, 10. Jehovah hath several times declared himself by the prophet the only Saviour. One instance may serve our turn for the present. "I, even I, am the Lord; and besides me there is no Saviour," Isa. xliii, 11. St. Peter said that Jesus of Nazareth was the only Saviour: "Neither is there salvation in any other for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved," Acts iv, 12. The prophet and the apostle both allege that there is but one Saviour; Isaiah contends that Jehovah is that Saviour; and Peter with equal assurance affirms that Jesus is that Saviour. Now, unless the Jesus of the apostle be the Jehovah of the prophet, one or the other of the inspired witnesses must be wrong; for, to say they are both right would be to suppose two Saviours; that is, if Jesus be not God: but that would go to destroy the testimony of both the witnesses, and leave us in the dark whether there be any Saviour in whom we may trust. These are some of the reasons why I, as did Thomas, receive Christ as my Lord and my God, and render to him the true homage of my heart.

By an examination of the foregoing remarks it will be perceived that in the character of my Redeemer I combine the true essential God with very man-the Father of eternity with a child born of a woman-the strength of Omnipotence with the feebleness of the babe of Bethlehem-the Lord and proprietor of all things in heaven and in earth with the son of the carpenter, complaining that he had not where to lay his head-the God whom angels worship with the suffering victim in the garden, baptized in his own blood and sweat-the glorious Being who only hath immortality with the man upon the cross, on Mount Calvary, who suffered, bled, groaned, and died in the most exquisite agony. And these opposite traits of character I view as essential to constitute the character of a Mediator between God and man. I cannot, nor shall I undertake to, explain the mystery. The facts I find revealed by God himself, in the holy Scriptures, and I believe them; and believing, my soul is happy. And now, reader, let us retire to our closets, and pay our humble and fervent devotions to Almighty God, rendering equal honors to the Father and the Son: and may Heaven hear and answer our prayers, and pour upon us the quickening influences of the Holy Ghost; that, being led into all truth, we may grow in grace and in the knowledge of God; be saved from sin here, and saved with an eternal salvation hereafter. So prays your sincere friend and humble servant in Christ Jesus,


For the Methodist Magazine and Quarterly Review.


VARIOUS are the subjects which come within the range of human contemplation. But it is certain there is none of such vital importance as that which relates to the salvation of the soul. If, therefore, among the magnificent plans to which the eternal Mind has given birth for the salvation of man, we can designate one that has been for this purpose adopted with more uniformity than another, we claim, for the execution of such plan, the concentrated energies and exuberant resources of the church of God. The salvation of man is an object of deep solicitude with the hosts of heaven, as his destruction is that of demons in hell. Earth has been the theatre of their action, and has therefore presented a scene of wild commotion since it first felt the shock, and gave "signs of wo that all was lost." To discover the operations of the divine hand controlling these rival powers, and bending them in subservience to the will of the Almighty, has been a subject of intense solicitude in every period of the world. But vain is the stretch of human intellect in its efforts to comprehend the Infinite. From the development of his plans alone can we judge of the benevolence of his purposes. Such developments, however, in all their variety of aspect and peculiar features, tend to show that the means of man's ultimate salvation are contemplated in the administration of Providence. If, therefore, in this administration we discover that the Supreme Ruler has called man to act a prominent part, we shall have a lofty object of

faith, a ground of hope, and an inducement to energetic action in carrying forward the religious enterprises of the church. To settle this question the attention of the reader is invited to the following proposition, viz.:

It is in accordance with the divine economy to save man by human instrumentality.

That there have been many instances of angelic interference to rescue particular individuals from untimely death is indeed readily admitted. But such peculiar cases of personal deliverance do not by any means affect the general question. In support of our proposition, it may not be irrelevant to advert to the incarnation of the Son of God. He, to save man, assumed his nature, and in it died to atone for sin. For this work he took upon himself the form of a servant, and became very man. The circumstances connected with the preservation of the patriarchal family in Egypt, while famine raged in Canaan, show how man was made instrumental in the salvation of his brethren, and impart to us moral instruction of a most interesting character. Not less striking and appropriate is the argument drawn from the series of miracles wrought through the instrumentality of Moses for the deliverance of God's ancient people. They were groaning under the galling oppressions of a tyrannical monarch. What measures did the Almighty adopt for their relief? Did he cause an earthquake to shake the kingdom and make the tyrant tremble on his throne? Did an armless hand portray his destiny on the wall of his palace? No, he sent Moses, whose ministry was authenticated by numerous manifestations of miraculous power. The burden of his instruction was, "Go speak unto Pharaoh, that he may let my people go." But the mandate was disobeyed till Heaven, by a high hand and outstretched arm, softened the tyrant's heart. In contemplating this exodus from Egypt, the psalmist was overwhelmed with the scenes of grandeur that arose before him. He indulged in the boldest flights of fancy in his description of Jehovah riding forth in his chariot of salvation. Here inanimate nature springs into life. "The waters saw thee, the waters saw thee, and were afraid! The depths also were troubled; the clouds poured out water; the sky sent out a sound; the voice of thy thunder was heard in the heavens; the lightnings lighted the world; the earth trembled and shook." Yet this exhibition of the divine majesty was through human instrumentality; for he adds, "Thou leddest thy people like a flock, by the hand of Moses and Aaron," Psa. lxxvii. Take another instance. Immediately after this display of glory we find the people of Israel in the trackless wilderness, agonized with all the apprehensions of prospective death, and because of this they complained against Moses. But at the command of God he smote the flinty rock, and the crystal wave rolled, and life and joy were diffused through the famishing ranks of Israel! The liquid stream forbears to flow, but rises to a wall, and the solid rock suspends its laws, by a stroke of the same rod. But again. In their onward march they approach the flowing of Jordan; the priests who bear the ark of God dip their feet in its brim; the turbid waters roll back; and the redeemed captives march in triumph to the land of promise.

Again: the sacramental hosts of God's elect are marshalled on the field of battle in array against nations ripe for the vengeance

« AnteriorContinuar »