Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

an argument in favour of his to his humanity, it is generally proper divinity ?

conceded. But what was this Christ's perfect example nature? Might it not be an. proves, at least, that he was an gelic ? Need we suppose it to be extraordinary person. No other divine ? Now, whatever difficuls sinless and perfect character was ty attends the latter supposition, over known among men.“There attends the former. If there is not,” nor has there ever been, was a union ot different natures ma just man on earth, who does to constitute his person, we may good and sins not.” Moses and as well believe, that the fulness Elijah were men endued with of the Godhead," as that the fulprophetic and miraculous gifts ; ness of an angel, or of a creature they were favoured with immel superior to an angel, “ dwell in diate inspiration ; they were him bodily." Either of the eminent for piety and 'virtue ; unions would be to us inexplicathey had near access to, and fa- ble and incomprehensible; and miliar intercourse with God"; both equally so. By denying but still they discovered human his divinity, we neitber explain, imperfection Moses, though nor remove, nor dininish the distinguished by the meekness mystery of the union, but leave of his temper, yet, under great it as great, as it was before. provocation, felt the impulse of Besides, have we such infor. passion, and spake unadvisedly mation concerning the perfecwith his lips. Elijah, though tion of angels, as will justity the pre-eminent for his zeal and for conclusion, that the union of an titude in the cause of God, yet angelic nature with humanity önce, discouraged by opposition, could have produced so perfect a and intimidated by danger, quit- character, as that of Jesus Christ? ted his work for a season, and re- Angels are not impeccable. tired to a cave. But Jesus, un- Multitudes of them have apostader vastly higher provocations, tized, and fallen into condemna. preserved his meekness ; and tion. Those, who have kept in the face of more terrible dan, their first state, and wno, we supger and more violent opposition, pose, are happily secured irom maintained bis fortitude and zeal. detection, are certainly mụcu in. We must then conclude, that he ferior to Christ in purity as well was more than a man ; for we as in dignity. They all worsnip see that the greatest and best of him with humble views of them. men-men endued with the most selves, and with admiring and eminent abilities, gifts, and vir- adoring sentiments of nis mucom tues, fell far below him. His parable holiness. Viken Isaiah example plainly confutes the So- saw, in vision, the glory of the cinian doctrine, that he was a LORD, or, as St. John says, the mere man, authorized and fur- glory of CHRIST, he thus spake nished only to instruct and re- of him ; " I saw the Lord sitting form mankind by his doctrine on a throne high and lifted up, and example:

and his train filled the temple ; That he was truly and proper and above it stood the Serufitin," ly a man, it is agreed ; that there or principal angels ; “ each one was some superior nature united had six wings, and with twain

be covered his face, and with simplify a great and wonderfull twain he covered his feet,” in to- doctrine, taught in Scripture with ken of his humility and rev. as much simplicity, as its nature erence, “and with twain he did permits, and with as much per#y," to execute his Lord's will ; spicuity, as the faith of the hum. and one cried to another, saying, ble Christian requires ? Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of There are angels, who kept bosts; the whole earth is full their first state. But they never of his glory." Jesus is here were appointed to so momencalled JEHOVAH, a name not give tous a work, and never were sub en to any of the angels, except jected to such tremendous trials, the angel of the covenant, the as was Jesus Christ. Had ang Lord Jesus. He is elsewhere one of them been sent, as Christ called the Son of Gud ; and “to was, in the likeness of our sinful which of the angels said God, fesh, and placed in the same at any time, Thou art my Son ?" situation, in which he was, who "God chargeth his angels with can believe that this angel would folly."

When has he thus have conducted with equal digni, charged “ his beloved Son," in ty and constancy, benevolence whom he has declared himself and meekness, humility and pa* well pleased," and who profess- tience? If reason may be allow. es to “ have done always the ed to speak in a question of this things, which pleased him ?” nature, will she not give her

The angels indeed are called judgment in favour of Christ's boly; but still they are imper, Divinity? fect.

They stand not in their We need not say that Christ's own strength. It is the nature perfect character alone, is a full of a creature to be mutable. and decisive proof of his proper .Had Jesus been mutable, he Divinity. There other would have been incompetent to proofs. But this has its weight. the work assigned him ; for he At least it opens the way for the might have failed, and the work positive evidences to come with miscarried. If, then, we sup- greater force, and removes some pose him to be a creature ever principal objections. In the ob 80 perfect in his nature ; we jections, which arise from cer. must suppose some kind of union tain metaphysical difficulties atwith Divinity, to secure him tending the union of different nafrom the possibility of error. tures, we are not, at present, And why may we not as well be concerned; for, whatever hypolieve that Divinity was, in some thesis we assume, these still re. mysterious way, united to the main. man Jesus, as believe that an Let a man read the Bible, angelic or superangelic nature especially the New Testament, was united to him, and this na- laying aside the fear of inexplicature, in a way equally myste- ble mystery ; and will he not berious, supported by Divinity ? lieve that the Divinity of Christ Will not the latter supposition is taught there ? Admitting the rather involve, than unfold the doctrine to be true, what more, great mystery of godliness? decisive modes of expression Will it not rather perplex, than would he expect, than those

are

which he finds ? It is a general of the children of men”--that rule, to receive those, as doc- “ he will raise the dead, and trines of revelation, which, if judge the world at the last day'they were such, could not be ex- that “ all the angels of God worpressed in clearer and stronger ship him, and to him every knee terms.

shall bow, of things in heaven I remember once to have and things in earth”-that " as heard two gentlemen disputing he through the eternal Spirit on our present subject. One of offered himself withoŲt spot to them, arguing against the Dio God, so his blood can cleanse vinity of Christ, said, “ If it were from all sin, and purge the contrue, it certainly would have been science from dead works.” If expressed in more clear and we believe his Divinity, these unequivocal terms." “ Well," doctrines are easily understood, said the other, “ adnitting that and readily admitted. If we deyou believed it, were authorized ny it, these doctrines become to teach it, and allowed to use more difficult to be explained, your own language ; how would and more hard to be received, you express the doctrine, to than that which we deny. make it indubitable ?” “I would Rash and injudicious explanasay,” replied the first,“ that Je- tions of the doctrine have probasus Christ is the TRUE GOD." bly been the cause, why some “ You are very happy,” rejoined have denied, or been thought to the other, “ in your choice of deny it. What is denied may words, for you have happened to perhaps, in many cases, be rathhit on the very words of inspira- er the human dogma, than the tion. St. John, speaking of the divine truth. Son, says,

This is the true God, How far right conceptions, and and eternal life.”

correct ideas of this wonderful There are unions in the natur, doctrine, may be essential to al world, which the philosopher salvation, the humble Christian cannot explain. Why should chooses to leave with him, whose the believer attempt, or the dis. judgment is always according to believer demand, an explanation truth. His principal concern is of the union between the divine with himself, to know the truth, and human natures in Jesus and to be governed by it. For Christ? The Scripture says himself he examines carefully, enough, when it tells us, that that he may be fully persuaded “ God was manifested in the in his own mind. But of his Aesh”-that “in Christ dwelt brethren he will hope charitably, the fulness of the Godhead bodi- and speak cautiously. Besiire he ly.Does the philosopher go will be slow to condemn, as herefarther in stating the union be- sy, the rejection of his own extween soul and body in man? planations of particular doc

The Scripture asserts that “all trines ; for he knows, men may things were created by Jesus agree in the substance, but difChrist" that “ he is before all fer in the circuinstances of the things, and by him all things faith, delivered to the saints. consist”-that " he searcheth At a time, when the gospel itthe hearts, and trieth the reins self is opposed, its friends ought to unite their strength in its de- present gratification can compenfence, and be watchful, lest they sate in any degree for the loss of weaken their own, and each oth- the soul. Let that gratification, er's hands by unnecessary con- therefore, be resolutely denied. troversy, and uncandid severity. Valuable as an eye or hand may But let not Christian candour be, it has no value, when comdegenerate into indifference, nor pared with our peace and salvaabandon the distinguishing doc, tion. Less ground is there for trines of the gospel for the sake comparing the pleasure of senof peace. The wisdom, which sual gratifications of any kind is from above, is peaceable, but with the consequent damage susit is first pure. THEOPHILUS. tained both in this and in the fu

ture world. THE DECALOGUE.

This command has its foundaSEVENTH COMMANDMENT. tion in the present state of things. “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” What it requires is necessary for

MARRIAGE was originally the our own happiness, and also institution of the Creator, and guards one of the best interests was designed to promote the of society. The irregular, break purity, domestic comfort, and through all bounds, and incapacisocial order of mankind. To tate themselves for the purity guard men from violating its sa- and order for which celestials cred duties is the object of this are distinguished. precept.

The crime here forbidden was The comment, which our punished by the law of Moses Lord has given us on this com

with death, inflicted by strangmand, is evidently the dictate of ling, or sioning, according to the true wisdom. “ Ye have heard degree of aggravation attending that it was said by them of old the crime. It was peculiar to time, Thou shall not commit adul- the Mosaic dispensation to relery : but I say into you, That move the jealousy of a husband, whosoever looketh on a woman to when excited, by bitter waters lust after her, hath committed adul- administered in a solemn manner tery with her already in his heart. by a priest to the suspected perAnd if thy right eye offend thee, When the suspicions had pluck it out, and cast it from thee : no foundation, the waters were for it is profitable for thee that one of a salutary and invigorating naof thy members should perish, and ture ; but otherwise, nothing can noi that thy whole body should be be conceived more instantaneouscast into hell. And if thy right ly pernicious and fatal. hand offend thee, cut it off, and

The deviations of those desticast it from thee : for it is prof- tute of revelation

were very ilable for thee that one of thy great with respect to this commembers should perish, and not

mandment. The Lacedemonian that thy whole body should be virgins were taught to consider cast into hell.Let the ave- it as an act of religion to sacrinues to sin be shut. Chasten fice their honour once in their your thoughts, your words, and kfc, out of respect to their godyour actions. In gaining this dess Astarte. The same praca point use every exertion. No tice prevailed at Carthage. The Vol. II. No. 8,

Zz

son.

Lacedemonian virgins were not publish the following extract only indulged, but even en- from the learned Dr. Campbell, couraged by law in exercises, Prelim. Dis. VI. part 1. § 10. which were inconsistent with this « A late learned and ingenious commandment. With respect author, * has written an elaborate to purity of manners the Gentile dissertation to evince, that there world in general were in a la- was no real possession in the dementable state.

moniacs mentioned in the gosScott, in his note on this com- pel; but that the style there emmandment, well observes, that ployed was adopted merely in “ writing, publishing, vending, conformity to popular prejudicirculating, or reading obscene ces, and used of a natural disease. books ; exposing to view inde- His hypothesis is by no means cent picturs or statues, or what- necessary for supporting the ever else may excite men's pas- distinction which I have been ilsions, partakes of the guilt of lustrating, and which is founded transgressing this command; purely on scriptural usage. Conand wit, elegance, and ingenuity cerning his doctrine, I shall ononly' increase

the mischief, ly say in passing, that, if there wierever the specious poison is had been no more to urge from administered. All the arts of sacred writ in favour of the comdress, motion, and demeanor, mon opinion, than the name which form temptations to heed- darmov. Soperos, or even the phrases less youth, with all those blan- desplovlov sXsıx, ExBandes, &c. I should dishments, insinuations, amo- have thought his explanation at rous looks and words, which sub- least not improbable. But when I serve seduction, and prepare the find mention made of the number way for criminal indulgence, fall of demons in particular possesunder the same censure. In sions, their actions so expressly short, the commandment re- distinguished from those of the quires the utmost purity, both man possessed, conversations held of body and soul, in secret as by the former in regard to the diswell as before men ; with a holy posal of them after their expul. indifference to animal indulgen- sion, and accounts given how ces, and the strictest govern. they were actually disposed of ; ment of all the appetites, senses, when I find desires and passions and passions."

ascribed peculiarly to them, and How grateful ought we to be similitudes taken from the confor the restraints of religion. duct which they usually observe; Listen to its instruction. It is it is impossible for me to deny the instruction of tried friend. their existence, without admit. ship, summed up in few words ; ting that the sacred historians do thyself no harm. PHILOLOGOS. were either deceived themselves

in regard to them, or intended to

deceive their readers. Nay if ON POSSESSIONS.” they were faithful historians, As there are some, who disbe- this reflection, I am afraid, will lieve the literal account of pos- strike still deeper." sessions found in the gospels ; a constant reader requests you to

* Dr. Farmer.

EXTRACTS FROM DR. CAMPBELL

« AnteriorContinuar »