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tions,") is added by the Septuagint, not being in the Hebrew; though Evidently implied in the meaning of the passage, and so retained by the apostle.
iii. 4. Verbatim from the Septuagint (Ps. li. 4.) which translates izkeh (" thou mayest be clear," or pure,) by vxos, "thou mayest overcome;") for, "to be clear" in judgment, is "to overcome."
-10-12. The former part of this quotation is an abridgment of the Septuagint, but agreeing in meaning with the Hebrew. The latter part is exactly from the Septuagint (Ps. xiv. 1—3.) πowy ayaSur (Sept. Ps. liii. 3.) The Hebrew word, rendered in our version, in both the Psalms, "they are-become filthy;" and which signifies, to be loathsome or putrid, is render.ed by the Septuagint," they are become unprofitable." This the apostle retains it is not so forcible as the Hebrew, but sufficient for his argument; and it cannot be supposed, that many of the Christians at Rome had any other Scriptures, except the Septuagint.
-13. Both the quotations are exact from the Septuagint of Ps. v. 9, cxl. 3; which accords to the Hebrew.
14. From the Septuagint, which accords to the Hebrew; except as mirmah (deceit), is there rendered xpias (bitterness) probably, they read meraroth.
-15-17. The substance of this quotation is taken from the Septuagint (Is. lix. 7, 8): but it is abridged, and some of the words are changed. Ožeis (Rom.) Tax (Sept.) Eyraoay (Rom.) dicaci Έγνωσαν (Sept.) The Hebrew has "innocent blood." The rest accords to it. The hlteenth verse is found Prov. i. 16: but there is no translation of it in my copy of the Septuagint.
-18. Exactly from the Septuagiat (Ps. xxxvi. 1.) which well translates the Hebrew.
(To be continued.)
1 John iv. 9. In this was manifested the love of God towards us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world that we might live through him.
Our minds are so framed as to receive delight from the view of what is beautiful and excellent. We are surrounded in the world with a great variety of objects which afford pleasure to our senses; but there are beauties of a higher kind, which touch the soul, and yield a still purer and more exalted satisfaction. I mean, moral beauty and excellence. And imperfectly as these exist in our fellow-creatures, they are still fitted to delight the mind. How ravishing then must be the view of the spring and source of perfection, the infinite goodness and unbounded love of God! The creation of God indeed displays this goodness in a very remarkable manner. How can we contemplate the noble variety of his works, so admirably formed, so wisely ordered; how can we contemplate the wonderful frame of our bodies, the still more wonderful faculties of our souls, and the rich provision which is made for our support and enjoyment; without feeling. our souls, and all that is within us, stirred up to bless that God who is the fountain of life, and from whom cometh down every good and every perfect gift?
But if we wish to contemplate a still more glorious and affecting prospect; if we would behold goodness and love in all their beauty, we must turn our thoughts to the redemption of guilty man. Though the earth be full of the goodness of the Lord, yet sin has spread its influence over all things bere below: it bas deformed the face of nature, and darkened our views of the Divine goodness: for with innumerable proofs of the kindness of God, this world bears the marks also of his heavy displeasure. But if we turn our view to the love of God in Jesus Christ,we shall there find good
ness pure and unmixed; goodness also which we do not share in common with the other inhabitants of the universe, but which is exercised towards the children of men alone. This is that mystery of goodness which the angels desire to look into. But how much more should we, who are the objects of it, and who enjoy its blessed fruits, feel gratitude and joy in meditating upon it; how much more ought we to give glory to God in the highest, for peace on earth and good will towards men? We are bound to praise God for his wisdom, power, and goodness, manifested in the works of creation and providence; but we are in a more especial manner bound as Christians to celebrate the more glorious discovery of the Divine perfections which is given us in the redemption of mankind by the Lord Jesus Christ, and which is recorded in the text.
In the verses which precede the text we find the Apostle enforcing the duty of love and affection one to another by the strongest of all motives. "Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God: he that loveth not, knoweth not God, for God is love," the source, the perfection of love. And in order to place this beyond dispute, he produces that most convincing proof of it contained in the text: "In this was manifested the love of God towards us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him."
In pursuing this subject I propose to state some circumstances, which appear to me to enhance the greatness of this love of God, and to conclude with some practical reflections.
1. The greatness of this love may be shewn by a consideration of the character of God and man, and the relations that subsist between them. Here, indeed, it may be truly said, that we cannot order our speech by reason of darkness: "Behold, God is great, and we know him not. Can
we by searching find him out? Can we find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is the Lord, by whose word the heavens were made, and the host of them by the breath of his mouth; who formed the light and created darkness; before whom the nations are as the drop in the bucket, and as the small dust in the balance." But "man, whose foundation is in the dust, and who is crushed before the moth, wherein is he to be accounted of?" Can His government be weakened by our rebellion; can his glory be lessened or his happiness impaired? The Lord, infinitely blessed in himself, standeth in need of none of his creatures. But was there in us any goodness, on account of which he should love us? No. He, indeed, is "glorious in holiness." "In his sight the heavens themselves are not clean; he is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity" with favour. But "what is man, that he should be righteous? Behold, we are shapen in iniquity; and all flesh hath corrupted its way upon the earth.” The whole world has become guilty before God. The divine image has been defaced; the glory which once crowned our nature is no more; we have fallen from our likeness to angels, to a nearer likeness to the beasts that perish; we have rebelled against our rightful sovereign; we have cast off our best friend, and preferred the slavery of Satan to the love and favour of God. Whilst thus guilty, wretched, and vile, could it have been thought that we should receive the very highest proofs of the love of God; that he, on whose authority we have trampled, should interpose to preserve us from the ruin we had brought on ourselves; or should look down from the habitation of his holiness for any other purpose than to exert his power and his vengeance against those who had forsaken him? Thus did he deal with the angels that sinned. Yet herein has God manifested the riches of his grace, in extending mercy to man;-to man, low
and mean in himself, and polluted and debased by sin.
2. But was it consistent with the boliness and justice of God to receive rebellious subjects into favour; or with his truth, to change the sentence which condemned them to destruction, without satisfaction? Could he in that case maintain the honour of his government, or deter his creatures from the practice of sin? Surely no. How then could the purposes of his love be accomplished, and whence was the satisfaction to come? Who in heaven or in earth was equal to this work? None of the guilty sons of Adam could by any means redeem his brother, or give to God a ransom for him. Even the angels, that excel in strength, were unequal to the great ness of this task. Whence then could our salvation come? He alone could determine this, whose wisdom is as infinite as his love. He laid help on One who was mighty to save. He employed in the work his eternal Son, the Son of his love; whose arm alone could bring salvation, and raise us from guilt and misery to happiness and favour. And this is another of the circumstances which unspeakably magnifies the goodness of God. In this was manifested, in an eminent degree, the love of God towards us, because he sent his only begotten Son into the world: his Son, whom he loved, who was the brightness of his glory and the express image of his person; in whom dwelleth all the fulness of the godhead bodily. Had it been possible that any of the spirits who surround the throne of God could have executed the purposes of his love towards men, it would have been an act of goodness deserving our wonder and praise, had he parted with one of them, for the sake of creatures so inferior, and so polluted by guilt. But that he should give his Son, who is God over all, blessed for ever; who is infinitely dear to him-this is an instance of love so astonishing, that thought and speech are too low to conceive or express
it. By this we receive full assurance that the purpose of the divine love cannot fail. Nothing can be two difficult for Him to whom all power is committed in heaven and in earth; nor can our interests ever suffer in His hands, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, whose faithfulness is unto all generations, and whose loving kindness endureth for ever.
3. But a third circumstance which shews the greatness of this love of God, is the meanness of that state, and the dreadfulness of those sufferings, to which God sent his Son. What might not be who spoke into being the heavens and the earth, by the same powerful word have rescued mankind from the lowest misery? Must he leave the throne of his majesty; or, if so, may he not appear in some visible glory? No. He who thought it no robbery to be equal with God, must become of no reputation, must be found in fashion as a man, and be made in the likeness of sinful flesh. Here is a mystery which will be a subject of the highest admiration, even to archangels, throughout all the ages of eternity. That he who is styled God over all, should be born of a woman; should submit to the wants and weakness of infancy and childhood, and by slow steps arrive at strength and manhood; that ha who was the Lord of all things should become subject to earthly parents; that he whose word gave the universe its birth, should depend for sustenance on the very creatures he had made; that he, in whose presence is fulness of joy, at whose right hand are pleasures for ever. more, should be subject to all the labours and sorrows of men!-these are things which the mind of man cannot fathom: all we can do is to wonder and adore.
But if the Son of God must be come man and dwell on earth, might he not have appeared at least as a mighty sovereign, with all that grandeur which commands reverence and respect? No. His first ap
pearance was marked by meanness and obscurity; from the cradle to the grave we attend him through one melancholy scene of poverty and affliction. He was born in a stable, and laid in a manger. While yet a helpless infant, his parents were forced to fly with him into a foreign land, to save him from a cruel tyrant. When he grew up, he was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. He had not where to lay his head. He was reproached as a seditious person, reviled as an impostor, accused as a blasphemer. Through his whole life he endured the contradiction of sinners against himself. But if we follow him to his last scene, we shall behold things yet more wonderful. There we shall view him in his retirement, his' soul overwhelmed with the wrath due to us, his body in an agony, sweating great drops of blood:-we shall see him betrayed by one disciple, abjured by another, and deserted by all; dragged to the judgment hall; buffeted, scourged, and spit upon; by the grossest injustice condemned to an ignominious death, while he is exposed as an object of derision, and his sacred head is wounded with a crown of thorns:-we shall see him led out to Calvary; nailed to the accursed tree, the blood springing from his hands and feet; and, amidst the insults of his persecutors, pouring out his soul unto death. Ask now of the days that are pust, whether there has been any such thing as this great thing is, or hath been heard like it. And shall not our hearts be filled with thankfulness, adoration, and praise, as we turn our thoughts to such a scene? O the heighth and depth, the breadth and length of the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord!
4. But why was all this? It was, as the text expresses it, that "we might live through Christ." By our wicked works we were at enmity with God, alienated from him, exposed to his wrath: but Jesus Christ having made peace by the blood of his cross, hath reconciled
us unto God. We were in slavery to sin and Satan: but by Jesus Christ we are called into the glorious liberty of the sons of God. We were dead in trespasses and sins: Jesus came to create us anew unto good works, to breath into our souls a new and divine life, and to bless us by turning us from our iniquities. We were heirs of eternal death; he came to restore to us immortal life. The gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. And what tongue can describe the greatness of this gift? It was a great blessing to be called from nothing into life; greater still to have that life continued and enriched with so many comforts: but to have that life continued for evermore in the midst of angels and saints, and in the immediate presence of God, freed from pain and infirmity, surrounded with every joy, raised to the highest perfection-this is such a blessing as no tongue can express. And can we reflect on that endless misery which was the just desert of our sins, and at the same time raise our thoughts to this heavenly bliss, without feeling our hearts to overflow with gratitude for that love which sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him ?
1. And does not this wonderful instance of goodness lay us under the strongest obligations to live in the exercise of love and cheerful obedience to God,our Benefactor and Redeemer ? He has every claim to our affections which the highest perfection can give. He created us, and he has kept us hitherto. He has made our happiness to depend on our loving him, and has appointed eternal misery as the portion of those who love him not. Yet more: he loved us while we were yet enemies to him by wicked works, when we deserved nothing but punishment at his hands. And shall we not love him who thus first loved us? Well may the thought of such goodness melt our hearts. Shall the Majesty of heaven and earth labour, as it were, to win us to him by mercy,
whom he might destroy in a moment, and shall we trample on his kindness, and reject his friendship? Shall we thus requite the Lord? O rather let his love kindle in our breasts a kindred flame; let it constrain us to obey him with willing minds; to live henceforth not unto ourselves, but unto him who died for us and rose again.
2. This instance of the Divine goodness should also engage us, if we are his children and servants, to rely on God for every blessing we stand in need of. If God spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? After this shall we harbour any doubt or distrust of his goodness, or regard his government as harsh or severe? If we have less than others of the good things of this life, let us not repine as if we were forgotten by God, but let us rest with holy confidence in the wonderful proof he has given us of his love. And even if we should be visited with distress and affliction, we may yet rejoice in our tribulations, assured that they will work for our good, if we be faithful to our God. We ought to be convinced that God loves us more than we love ourselves, and instead of giving way to anxious cares about what we shall eat or drink, let us seek first the kingdom of God, trusting in him that all needful things shall be added. Yea, though the fig-tree should not blossom, and there should be no fruit on the wine; though the labour of the olive should fail, and the field should yield no meat; though the flock be cut off from the fold, and there should be no herd in the stall; yet let us still rejoice in the Lord, and joy in the God of our salvation.
3. And let us attend to the improvement which the Apostle makes of this doctrine. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. In the example given us by Jesus Christ we are taught of God in a special manner how we ought to love one another; and the goodness he has shewn to us, binds CHRIST, OBSERY, No. 109.
us in the strongest manner to shew kindness to our fellow-creatures. Has God shewed his love to us though he was independent of us, and shall we not love those on whom we ever depend, and without whose good offices we could scarcely preserve our beings for a day? Has he shewn such goodness to us though we were vile and polluted in his holy sight, and shall we regard the lowest of our fellow-creatures as unworthy of our love? Has God loved us while we were enemies, and shall the petty offences of our neighbours fire our minds with hatred and revenge? No; let us be fol lowers of God, as dear children; putting on bowels of mercy, compassion, and forgiveness; putting on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. One great design of the Gospel is to promote peace and love among men. Christians are united to each other by the most sacred ties. They are the servants of one Master, who has left it, as the proof of their attachment to him, that they should love one another. They are brethren of the same family, and therefore they ought to love as brethren. They are all members of the same body, of which Jesus Christ is the head; there should therefore be no schism in it, but the members should care one for another: whether one member suffer, all the members should suffer with it; or whether one member rejoice, all the members should rejoice with it.
4. And, lastly, if God has sent his Son into the world that we might live through him, let us lay to heart how inexcusable we shall be, if we neglect this offered salvation. See that ye refuse not him that speaketh; for if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven. If the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward, how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation? He that despised Moses's law, died without