Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

how faintly we master the true doctrine: for we are sometimes tempted to ask, Where it is said in Scripture, that the manhood shall never be divided from the Godhead? which is as incongruous a question as if we were to ask whether God's justice, mercy, or holiness, can be divided from Him; or whether Scripture ever declares that this or that attribute may not disappear : for as these have no real existence except as in God, neither has our Lord's manhood except as in His divine nature, it never subsisted except as attached to His divinity: it has no subsistence in itself.

Thus all that He did and said on earth, was but the immediate deed and word of God the Son acting by means of His human tabernacle. He surrounded Himself with it; He lodged it within Him; and thenceforth the Eternal Word, the Son of God, the Second Person in the Blessed Trinity, had two natures, the one His own as really as the other, divine and human; and He acted through both of them, sometimes through both at once, sometimes through One and not through the other, as Almighty God acts sometimes by the attribute of justice, sometimes by that of love, sometimes through both together. He was as entirely man as if He had ceased to be God, as fully God as if He had never become man, as fully both at once as He was in subsistence at all.

The Athanasian Creed expresses all this as follows: “ The right faith is, that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ the Son of God is God and man ; God of the substance of His Father, begotten before the worlds; and man of the substance of His Mother, born in the world. Perfect God; and perfect man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting: who, although He be God and man, yet is not two but one Christ; one, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh," as if He could cease to be God, “ but by taking of the manhood into God,” taking it into His Divine person as His own: “one altogether, not by confusion of substance," not by the Divine Nature and human becoming one nature, as if He ceased to be God, and did not become a man, “but by unity of Person.” This is what His unity consists in, -not unity of nature, but that He who came on earth, was the very Same who had been from everlasting

In conclusion, let me observe, that one ought not to speak, one ought not to hear, such high truths, without great reverence and awe, and preparation of mind. And this is a reason, perhaps, why this is a proper season for dwelling on them; when we have been engaged, not in mirth and festivity, but in chastening and sobering ourselves. The Psalmist says, “ Lord I am not high minded; I have no proud looks.

I do not exercise myself in great matters which are too high for me. But I refrain my soul and keep it low, like as a child that is weaned from his mother." When we are engaged in weaning ourselves from this world, when we are denying ourselves even lawful things, when we have a subdued tone of thought and feeling, then is an allowable time surely to speak of the high mysteries of the faith. And then, too, are they especially a comfort to us; but those who neglect fasting, make light of orthodoxy too. But to those who through God's grace are otherwise minded, the creed of the Church brings relief; when, amid the gloom of their own hearts, Christ rises like the sun of righteousness, giving them peace for disquiet, “beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He

may be glorified.”

SERMON VI.

THE INCARNATE SON, A SUFFERER AND SACRIFICE.

Phil. ii. 8.

Being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross."

He who thus humbled Himself, being first made man, then dying, and that upon the shameful and agonizing Cross, was the same who from eternity had been “in the form of God," and was “equal with God,” as the Apostle declares in a preceding verse. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God; the same was in the beginning with God;" thus speaks St. John, a second witness to the same great and awful truth. And he, too, goes on to say, “ And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” And at the close of his Gospel, as we know, he gives an account of our Lord's death upon the Cross.

We are now approaching that most sacred day when we commemorate Christ's passion and death. Let us try to fix our minds upon this great thought.

Let us

Let us try, what is so very difficult, to put off other thoughts, to clear our minds of things transitory, temporal, and earthly, and to occupy them with the contemplation of the Eternal Priest and His one everenduring Sacrifice;—that Sacrifice which, though completed once for all on Calvary, yet ever abideth, and, in its power and its grace, is ever present among us, and is at all times gratefully and awfully to be commemorated, but now especially, when the time of year is come at which it was made. look upon Him who was lifted up that He might draw us to Him; and, by being drawn one and all to Him, let us be drawn to each other, so that we may understand and feel that He has redeemed us one and all, and that, unless we love one another, we cannot really have love to Him who laid down His life for us.

With the hope, then, of suggesting to you some serious thoughts for the week which begins with this day', I will make a few remarks, such as the text suggests, upon that dreadful yet most joyful event, the passion and death of our Lord.

And, first, it ought not to be necessary to say, though it may be necessary even because it is so obvious,—(for, what is very plain is sometimes taken for granted by those who know it, and hence is never heard by others at all,)—this, I say, in the first place, must be ever remembered, that Christ's death was not

Sixth Sunday in Lent.

« AnteriorContinuar »