Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Her excellent writings, by

Silent the lyre, and damb the tuneful which though dead she still

tongue

That sung on earth her great speaketh, and which are the faith

Redeemer's praise ; ful counterpart of her amiable But now in heaven she joins the anmind, exhibit to us the fairest gelic song, picture of the original. The In more harmonious, more exalted following lines are inscribed on days. her tomb.

Religious Communications.

THE DIVINITY OF THE GOSPEL pious. His enemies, who' were

PROVED FROM THE EXAMPLE numerous, learned and subtle,
OF ITS ACTHOR.

watched him with jealous and

envious eyes ; and though they The miracles, which Jesus, used every artifice to ensnare performed, demonstrate his hea- and embarrass him, they could venly mission. But had he never convict him of sin. Their wrought no miracles at all, his enmity to him arose, not from holy and blameless life would any fault, which they could find have been a proof, that he came in him, but from his freedom in from God, and taught the way of reproving their fanlts. God in truth. No impostor crer Enthusiasts may sometimes, lived in the manner in which he from the warmth of natural paslived. Impostors always have sion, fancy themselves inspiredy some selfish, worldly design at and may teach and practise irraheart ; and though they may tional and absurd things under teach many useful truths, and an impression, that these things may inculcate many excellent are dictated to them by the precepts, and may seem to prac- Spirit of God. But in Christ tise some specious virtues, yet there never was the remotest apgoverned by their favourite ob- pearance of enthusiasm. We ject, they run into many incon- see in him no extravagance, no sistencies of conduct, which be- irregularity, or excess. His pitray their pride, avarice and am- ety was warm, but calm ; his bition. They never support a temper was feeling, but serene ; uniformly virtuous character. his devotions were frequent, but They may for a while deceive not ostentatious; his virtue was the simple and credulous ; but strict, but not austere ; their folly and hypocrisy will, teaching was affectionate, but sooner or later, be manifest to rational ; he inculcated the obthe wise and discerning. By servance of instituted forms, but their fruits they will be known. always made them subservient

The character of Christ, from to justice, mercy and the love of his first appearance to the close God. of his life, was the same; it Such a man as this could not was unexceptionably pure and be an impostor. One, who had

5

his

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

not a good heart, could not live they could conceive and draw as he lived. One, who had a such a pure, consistent and exgood heart, would not pretend to alted character, as they have asa mission from God, when he cribed to Christ, if they had nevknew, he had no such mission, er seen it? The disciples of but spake merely of himself. Socrates, and the followers of

If then we believe, that there Mahomet have given their rewas such a person as Jesus spective masters no such characChrist, and that he really sus ter: and yet their zeal for and tained that holy and blameless attachment to their cause cercharacter, which is ascribed to tainly would have induced them him, we must believe, that his to say as much, as truth could gospel is divine, and that the re- justify, or their own imagination ligion, which it contains, is true could suggest. It was not in and important. They, who pro- their power to frame such a fess to believe, that there was character, as is given of Christ, such a man, and yet disbelieve for such a character had never exhis divine authority; and heaven- isted in their minds. They had ly mission, most palpably contra- never seen or heard of the like. dict themselves ; for such a man What the disciples of Jesus saw & would never have claimed an au- heard, that they have declared s thority, and assumed a charac- for if they had not seen or heard ter, which did not belong to him. it, they could not have declared

An infidel will ask; “ How it; nor would it have come into do we know, that he was so per- their imagination. fect a man? May not this high They appear to be men of character be a fiction of his dis- honesty and candour. In their ciples, who have written the histories they freely relate their memoirs of his life " It must own and each other's faults, their then be supposed, that his disci- weakness, unbelief, dulness of ples were dishonest and wicked apprehension, mistake of the men. And would men of cor- prophecies, ambition of preferrupt hearts and vile intentions ment, expectation of a worldly. have ascribed to their master a kingdom, the treachery of one character, which must condemn in betraying their Master, the themselves? The disciples of an falşeligod of another in denying impostor will always exhibit the him, the cowardice of all in forexample and doctrine of their saking him at the time of his master, in a manner, which tol- crucifixion. If they had seen erates their own vices. They any faults in him, would they not will make him teach and prac- as readily have related these, as tise a religion lax in those their own and each other's faults? points, in which they wish for The candour, with which they indulgence. Yea, is it suppos- have written, shews, that they able that wicked men ; men,

were honest and faithful histowho were in heart utter stran- rians, and that the character, gers to true religion ; (and such which they have given of Jesus, the disciples of Christ were, if is perfectly just. In short, it they were deceivers and liars ;) shews, that as his enemies, who I ask, Is it supposables titat malignantly watched him, could

SAVING

HIS

PEOPLE

find no fault in him, so his friends, the family of an obscure man, who were intimately conversant and though he assumed no earthwith him, knew of none. There- ly pomp, was infinitely greater fore, from the example of Christ than the greatest king that ever recorded by the Evangelists, we flourished-in this world. He have full evidence, that the reli- was. God manifest in the flesh. gion of the gospel is divine. As God, he is equal with the Fa.

Christ has left us an example, ther, possessing all the divine not only that we should believe in perfections. He is eternal, ornhim, but also that we should fol- niscient, infinite in power, and low his steps. If the same perfect in goodness. As man, he mind be in us, as was in him, we possessed powers and faculties, bave a witness in ourselves, that which were derived and limited. his gospel is divine, and that we As man, he was the descendant are interested in the salvation of David, and never had exist. which it reveals.

ence, until he was born of the THEOPHILUS. virgin Mary. Viewed in the

mysterious character of God-Man, he is David's Lord, and, at the

same time, David's Son. To JESUS,

this two-fold character he evi. FROM THEIR SINS.

dently referred, in the following The wonderful personage, on remarkable words, recorded in whose character and work, the the Revelation of John; I am the writer of this paper has turned Root and the Offspring of David. his thoughts, is that Seed of the The Word of GOD, or the secwoman, which was to bruise the ond person in the Trinity, being serpent's head. He is “ the true thus made flesh, had power to light which lighteth every man lay down his life, as a sacrifice that cometh into the world.” for sin, and he had power to take To reveal this Jesus is the grand it again, that he might become, scope of the Holy Scriptures. as he is declared to be, the resurTo bim pointed all the sacrifices rection and the life. By the an. under the Mosaic dispensation ; gel who announced to Mary, and of him spake all the proph- and afterwards to Joseph his ets, from the patriarchs to John birth, it was foretold that he the Baptist. The inspired pen- should be called Jesus, a name men of the various books, com- peculiarly expressive of his gloposing the New Testament, have rious and divine person, and of also one great object in view, the great work, which he came which is to unfold the character, into the world to perform. The illustrate the doctrines, and make word Jesus, means a Saviour. It known the kingdom of Jesus. is the same as Joshua, who was Were we to exclude Jesus Christ an eminent type of Christ. The and his kingdom from the Holy incarnate God, or the great MeScriptures, we should render ev- diator, was thus called, because ery part of them uninteresting it was to be his office and work and unmeaning.

to save his people from their sins. This wonderful personage, This divine Saviour is to be though born and brought up in considered, as the Father of the

spirits of all men, because it is One part of his work, as the expressly declared in the Holy Saviour of his people, is to delivScriptures, that “ all things were er them from the punishment of made by him.” But, though their sins. No language can deall men are Christ's by creation scribe the greatness of the evil and preservation ; yet they are to which sin exposes those who not all his by covenant and adop- commit it. To be a sinner is to tion. By his people in the re- be a transgressor of that laui, stricted sense in wbich they are which threatens eternal death, spoken of by the inspired writ- and which knows no mercy. ers, we are to understand that The sinner, therefore, viewed part of the fallen race of Adam, out of Christ, as he must be while which was given to Christ in the he remains in unbelief, is in a covenant of redemption. Some, ruined, helpless state. He is who were given to him by the represented in the word of God Father, have long since finished to be a lost creature. No creattheir mortal race, and are now ed arm can rescue him from in heaven, liberated from all sin, eternal punishment, nor give a and, in ceaseless anthems, prais. ransom which will meliorate, in ing God and the Lamb. Others the least, his condition. They, are now dwelling in the flesh, who are given to Christ, are by subject to labour and toil, and nature, like all other men, in this struggling against foes without ruined state. But, he has come and foes within. A far greater to save them from the punishnumber, we have reason to be- ment to which their sins expose lieve, are yet unborn, and are re- them. To effect this great and served as future trophies of the important work; he gave his own victorious grace of the incarnate life a ransom. He died in their God.

stead. It is true, there is efficacy · Before the Lord Jesus will enough in his blood to atone for have done with this world, he the sins of the whole world ; and will renew by his grace, and call the finally impenitent will be coninto his kingdom, the whole of demned, in the great day, for rethis chosen number, from all jecting mercy, freely offered to nations and languages. They them, through his mediation. will then be known to be his peo- But, meritorious and extensive ple, " his jewels,” in distinction as is the atonement, it will eventfrom the rest of men, and he will ually benefit none who are not " spare them, as a man spareth united to Christ. The unbeliev. bis own son that serveth him.” ing and incorrigible it will not He is now, as he has been for save from the punishment of many ages, sealing them, and he their sins. On the contrary, 'it will shortly make it manifest, will be a mean of greatly agthat he “ knows them that are gravating their condemnation, his." He will say to the Father, and will, in fact, be to them a “I have manifested thy name un- savour of death unto death." to the men which thou gavest Widely different from this arc me out of the world ; thine they the condition and prospects of were, and thou gavest them me, believers. Though their sins and they have kept thy word.” are numerous and aggravated

beyond all description, yet they tongues. It renders them deaf are pardoned for Christ's sake, to all that can be said of the and through him, they will be wretchedness of the wicked in saved from deserved wrath. hell, on the one hand, and of the They will experience the worth blessedness of the righteous of Christ as a Saviour. Reflect- in glory on the other. While · ing, as they now often do, on the in this state all their actions are demerit of sin, and the punish- defiled, and are so far from re: ment threatened to sinners in the commending them to the favour divine law, they are led lo ex- of God, that they are an abomi. claim in the language of the nation in his sight. They' arę evangelical prophet; " Wbo a- restless and unhappy in every mong us shall dwell with the de- condition, and are continually vouring fire? Who among us "treasuring up wrath against shall dwell with everlasting burn- the day of wrath.” This is a ings?" From such a punish- faint representation of what it is ment, yea from everlasting burn- to be under the dominion of sin, ings, Jesus came to save his peo- and to be chained down in unbeple. The language of the gos- lief. Who can name any kind of pel is, “ He that believeth on the bondage that is so unfriendly to Son hath everlasting life.” peace, and so destructive in its na“ There is now no condemnation ture as this? From thisbondage the to them that are in Christ Jesus.” Lord Jesus saves his people. He From these Scriptures, however, can do that which no created we are not to infer, that since arm could effect. He can speak Christ has come, the law is the word, and they, who are dead abated, cither in its requirements, in sing will hear his voice, or in its penalty. The law stands and come out of their bon: in full force. Christ did not dage. To this salvation from come to destroy, but to fulfil it. the dominion of sin the Saviour He took on him the iniquities reserred in his conference with of us all, and by offering his own the Jews, Joho viii. He said to precious life a sacrifice for sin, them, “ The truth shall make he became the end of the law for you free.. They, not under righteousness to every one that standing him, answered, “We believeth.”

be Abraham's seed, and were Another part of the work of never in bondage to any man ; Jesus is to save his people from how sayest thou, Ye shall be the love and dominion of sin. All inade free? Jesus answered men are by nature in bondage to them; Verily, verily, I say un. their vile affections. They are

to you, Whosoever committeth bound with a chain, which is so sin is the servant of sin. If the strong, that no created arm can Son, therefore, shall make yoy break it; and this chain is their free, ye shall be free indeed.” unconquerable love of sin. Though In effecting this deliverance, sin destroys all their present so happy in its consequences, peace, and brings a dark, impen- Christ acts as a physician. He etrable cloud over all their future heals the maladies of the soul, prospects, yet they roll it as a and gives spiritual life, where sweet morsel under their before reigned spiritual death,

« AnteriorContinuar »