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made that was made ; though now made flesh, and dwelling or tabernacling among us, as the true Shechinah, in whom dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. Oh, how happy are we, to find our faith thus founded on God in Christ, and sustained by the immediate testimony and glory of God the Father. Every thing depends upon the certainty of this article of our faith, “God manifest in the flesh." Upon this one prime truth the whole edifice of christianity rests.
You know, Paul calls this mystery “incontrovertibly great," and certainly it is so, in whatever way we consider it. It is great, in its amazing contents—God in man! Great by its mighty achievements—having cast down a thousand infernal strong-holds and refuges of lies, by which the deceiver of the whole world holds men in the bondage of sin, fear, and tempt ation. Great by its unexampled operation—it plants a new creation in the old. Great by the continuation of its Divine power —it daily delivers fresh victims from the depths of Satan. Great on account of the glorious promises connected with it-for all the nations which God hath made shall come and worship him through this mystery, and shall glorify his name. Indeed, what may we not perceive by the light of this single truth, “ God manifest in the flesh ?” We may see heaven open, and behold the eternal mansions of poor sinners prepared for them. We may see this earth, once the seat of the curse, hereby transformed into a residence of the glory of God, a scene of the greatest wonders of his love. We may see the fallen sons of Adam renewed unto holiness. We may hereby see the fountain of Divine mercy opened to us, of whose depths we formerly had no conception; and perceive a Divine and human Saviour
upon throne of power, who is not ashamed to call us brethren ; with the holy angels for ministering spirits to him and to us. Well, therefore, does the apostle call the mystery of “God manifest in the flesh,” “ the pillar and ground of the truth.” Certainly the whole temple of our happiness rests upon,
this The Father calls the Lord Jesus, "his beloved Son." But who can fathom the depth of this expression, “My beloved ? In all human or angelic love there is no parallel to this. Didst thou even know how human glorified spirits love, yea, how angels love one another, still this love of the Father would infinitely excel it all. Who, from a mere drop of water, can learn the extent and depth of the ocean? Who, from the dim light of a candle, can conceive of the blaze of noon, and the extent of the solar rays? Yet these are but comparisons of things finite with finite. And yet this beloved Son, O sinner, God spared
not for thee: he SO loved the world, that he gave him for thee, that, believing in him, thou shouldst not perish, but have everlasting life! Who shall comprehend the full import contained in that so? Eternity alone can disclose it.
Again, who is it to whom the voice of the Father thus bears testimony ? Is it not to him, who, as the Second Adam, is our representative, our covenant Head and Surety ? Surely this testimony of the Father's complacential love is borne likewise in favour of all who belong to Christ; that is, of all who abide in him, and keep his commandments. Therefore, they may well refresh and strengthen themselves with the same Divine love and kindness.
The declaration, “ This is my beloved Son," is followed by the testimony,“ in whom I am well pleased.” The Father beholds his own glorious perfections in him; and besides this, he beholds in him the Mediator for us, and with this he is well pleased also. Jesus said, “ For their sakes I sanctify myself ;" and the Father is perfectly complacent in his so doing. Here, then, we see our own interest in the testimony given in the holy mount. Are we the
devoted followers, the obedient disciples of Jesus ? Then the Father, who is well pleased in him, is well pleased in us for his sake; is well pleased with us in him.
“ Hear ye him !” is the conclusion of the voice from the cloud. Christ is the Truth, as well as the Way and the Life. Had he not come as the teacher of this ignorant and benighted world, what should we ever have known that is worth the knowing? We should have been like poor forsaken orphans, and should have been ever at a loss to know what we are, where we are, and what is to become of us. We should have been forlorn wanderers indeed, in the valley of the shadow of death. No prophet would then have carried a torch before us. No apostle could have showed us the path of life. Moses, Isaiah, Daniel, and all the rest, shone not by their own light, but by the light of the Sun of righteousness. They were but as moons, some of them only in the first quarter, others more advanced, and some in full-orbed splendour. The same remark applies also to our teachers under the New Testament dispensation. The great office of them all is to bear witness to Christ, the Sun of righteousness.
him!" This needful admonition suggests a mournful reflection upon our present moral condition. Think only, that to a race of beings who, spiritually considered, know not as it were their right hand from their left, a Saviour is sent, who is as much at home beyond the stars as on this side of them,
and whose ministry, as proceeding forth from God, is sealed with proofs sufficient to astonish heaven and earth. This Saviour comes, saying to the world, “ I will remove all darkness and doubts from before you ; I will explain to you
mystery of your existence; I will teach you the true nature of God and of man ; I will unfold to you the remotest ages that are past, and the most distant of those that are to come; I will show you
the of peace, and direct
you to the open gate of a New Paradise.” Might we not reasonably expect that the whole world would immediately gather around him, and that all the race of Adam would sit, like Mary, at his feet; or be like Samuel, who said, “ Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth ?” But how very different is the fact! There has been, alas, no lack of teachable disciples at the feet of erroneous teachers, false prophets, and vain babblers ; but in the church of the great Day-spring from on high, there has always been room to spare, even to the present hour. Not as though there were any want of authentication of his doctrine. No: the sole reason of it is the entire corruption of the human heart; the deep depravation of human nature. Not as though the gospel did not exactly befit our human necessities ; for nothing can be more suitable to them than the remedies it brings : but this is the cause- _that the sinner neither knows nor cares to know his own most urgent necessities. Nor is it that the gospel is unintelligible; for it is, in all its most essential matters of faith, within the comprehension of a child. But it opposes the vain delights and desires of our fleshly mind, which loves darkness rather than light, that it may not meet with any check to its own wilfulness. Neither does the Saviour impose any heavy yoke upon man! Oh no! “his yoke is easy, and his burden light." But the degenerate creature, in its rebellion and pride, will not hear of any yoke at all, and will obey nothing but the dictates of its own fleshly will.
“ Hear ye him!” How important a testimony is this to the whole of the New Testament revelation. Let us then learn to read and listen to every word of Christ, as if the testimony of the Father, “ Hear ye him,” were still sounding in our ears. When the Saviour
“ Without me ye can do nothing ;" and testifies, “ I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life; no man cometh unto the Father but by me:" when he promises eternal life to those who believe on his name, and threatens the unbelieving with the wrath of God, and with a fire prepared for the devil and his angels, forget not the voice of majesty which said, “ Hear
him. He then who refuses to hear the Son of God, refuses to hear the Father. Not to hear him and receive
his words, what is it but to make God a liar ? But " he that hath received the testimony of Jesus, hath set to his seal that God is true," John üïi. 33.
But what kind of a hearing is it which the Father here enjoins ? It is the hearing of our implicit and cordial faith. « He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life ; and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.” This passage of Scripture is like the pillar of cloud and of fire between the egyptians and the camp of Israel. It secures the salvation of believers, and the condemnation of unbelievers.
Let us only further notice how the apostles of Christ refer to this testimony of the Father, as one of the most powerful arguments for the truth of their doctrine. 66 We have not followed,” says St. Peter, “ cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Let this testimony then remain ever present to our faith. If you are looking for a pole-star amidst the confusion of the present unbelieving age, it beams upon you from this testimony. The voice from the holy mount will serve to dispel all your doubts.
“ There are,” says an enlightened writer, “ two sorts of persons that deserve the name of men of understanding. Those who serve God with their whole heart, because they know him ; and those who, because they know him not, seek him with their whole heart.” He adds, “ There are in the world, spiritually considered, three sorts of persons. The first have found God, and serve him. The second have not yet found him, but seek him. The third live without either serving or seeking him. The first sort are wise and happy; the last sort are unhappy, wicked, and foolish. The second sort are wise, but not yet happy." “ He that hath ears to hear, let him hear !" Amen.
XXXII.-NONE BUT JESUS.
part of the
There are, through the mercy of God, many among us, my brethren, whose heart bears them witness, that they have obtained the one thing needful, that they are believers. Happy are they! But I fear there are but few, who know even a small
power, loveliness, and excellency of Him,“ in whom” they have believed! This is much to be lamented. Not only in the world, but in the midst of his own family, the Saviour is often but little known. Our acquaintance with him increases with the consciousness of our necessities; and the more we become acquainted with him, the more will the Divine nature be expanded within us.
Man is from his birth a degenerate being, blind and naked, alienated from the life of God, through the ignorance that is in him, and a willing servant of sin. He neither knows Christ nor feels his need of him. He cries “ Peace ! peace!” to himself and to others, when “there is no peace.” Erroneous ideas, of God and himself, lull him into carnal security ; but there are seasons when he has many misgivings, and when God appears to him in the light of a jealous God, a consuming fire. By the grace of God, many in this disquieted state begin to inquire in earnest after peace. They hear or they read of Christ. They find some consolation in the news of a Saviour ; but not of the true and right kind. They betake themselves to many means of amending their lives ; but, alas ! instead of trusting wholly in Christ, they lean upon their own performances. They make vows and good resolutions, and soon break them as easily as they were made. Thus they discover their own insufficiency and helplessness, and this teaches them to found all their hopes on Christ. By and by, however, they learn again that their faith, though real, is still very weak, by reason of their still looking partly to themselves. Some assault or trial of their faith serves to convince them of this. Temptation of some kind has proved too effectual; and now they begin to perceive that all their strength is in him, that they must maintain perpetual communion