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well as in earth, were to be reconciled unto the Deity”; “ wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things) in earth, and [things] under the eartha,” “ of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named b."
Thus it appears, that “all things in heaven," all“ principalities and powers in heavenly places,” were to obtain reconciliation “ by the blood of the cross” of Christ; not only all things in earth were to obtain peace through His crucifixion, but all other created things were to be reconciled through the same means. Christ, then, is the Saviour of all those things which He made; and in Him“all things," “both which are in heaven and which are on earth," are to be gathered together in one', and to constitute one familyd. Thus Christ declared, “ Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one Shepherd e."
The mysterious scheme of Christianity, then, embraces the whole universe; all created things,
b Eph. iii. 15.
Eph. i. 10.
whether “ visible or invisible," are included in the covenant of the cross of Christ. And, when this scheme is fulfilled, then shall come “ the day of the Lord-in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat; the earth also and the works that are therein, shall be burnt up; the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat f;" and there shall be “new heavens and a new earth, and the former shall not be remembered, nor come to mind 8." When that scheme which embraces all things in heaven and in earth is fulfilled, “ heaven and earth shall pass awayh.” The existence of the heavens and of the earth, then, is limited and fixed by the Christian scheme of redemption. Christ, who created all things, shall, when that scheme of salvation which he hath ratified is fully completed, come with all the mighty angels, and all the things which He created shall be dissolved. So that the heavens and the earth, which were made after the scheme of Christianity had been “ purposed,” shall, when that scheme receives its final completion,
pass away,” and “ be dissolved,” and “shall not be remembered nor come to mind."
i 2 Peter, iii. 10, 12.
h Matt. xxiv. 35. Psalm & Isaiah, Ixv. 17; lxvi. 22. cii. 26. 2 Peter, iii, 13. Rev. xxi. 1.
What a magnificent view do we thus obtain of the antiquity, dignity, importance, and universality of the scheme of salvation through Christ! That Christianity is the spring, by which all things that exist are regulated and directed; that it is the pillar, upon which the whole fabric of the universe rests; that it is the end for which all things were designed, the goal whither all things tend; that it is a scheme which embraces, not only that speck in the creation which we inhabit, but all those worlds which are scattered throughout boundless space; that all the operations of nature are silently and resistlessly advancing toward the accomplishment of this scheme; that the whole economy of this globe, the rise, progress, and downfall of nations, all the leading events in the annals of mankind, have been, and still are, so ordered and directed, as to afford illustration, and to contribute toward the designs, of this universal scheme; that all things which exist in heaven and in earth, form but one Whole, upon which the stamp of Christianity is impressed ; that the Creator and Upholder of the universe, the Life of nature, has glorified humanity by assuming its condition, and, by so doing, has reconciled all things to the GODHEAD; that feeble, sinful man, is included in the benefits of that scheme, to the establishment and fulfilment of which, the creative energies of Almighty Power have
been (as far as our imperfect senses can discern) exclusively directed ; that every individual of this earth is, in his ultimate destiny, connected with the destinies of countless myriads whose abodes are dispersed throughout infinite space; that our own globe, in concert with that host of worlds, in uninterrupted harmony proclaims the mighty majesty of the Christian scheme, by which their existence is upheld, and by which it is limited : these, these are the glorious, the inconceivable, the incomprehensible views, which the Holy Scriptures present, of the nature, extent, and economy of that majestic and mysterious SCHEME which is denoted by the term CHRISTIANITY.
It is impossible to read attentively the brief history of the creation, as given by Moses in the first chapter of Genesis, without discovering in it strong and remarkable traces of the Christian dispensation. The expressions made use of in that chapter, occur in other parts of the sacred writings as figurative expressions illustrative of the religious history of man.
As “ the earth was without form, and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep, until “ God said, Let there be light, and there was light ";" so “ the earth was without form and void, and the heavens they had no light," “ darkness covered the earth, and gross darkness the peoplem” until “God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, shined in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ". “ The glorious light of the gospel of Christo shone“ to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death P;” Christ “the light of the world,” “ the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world"," came " to lighten the Gentiless,” that they might “ be the children of light t."
i Gen. i. 2.
“ And God called the light, day; and the darkness called He night.” So the absence of the light of the Gospel is called night, and the presence of that “ light” is called day. “ Ye are all,” says St. Paul to his Thessalonian brethren, “ the children of light and the children of the day; we are not of the night nor of dark
“ The night is far spent, the day is at hand w."
“ And God said, Let there be lights in the
k Gen. i. 3.
2 Cor. iv. 4. p Luke, i. 79.
9 John, viii. 12; ix. 5.