« PoprzedniaDalej »
all men, may still be a God of truth and grace. The records found in Matthew xix. 28, and in Luke xxii. 29, 30, may still be faithful and true records. "And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, that ye which have followed me in the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall set upon twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me, that ye may eat and drink at my table, in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel."
Upon the whole, it must be admitted as an incontrovertible fact, that as they who sit at odds, the attributes of Omnipotence are enemies to the perfection of God; so, those who labour to render contradictory the testimonies contained in the sacred volume, give a mortal stab, as far as is in their power, to the authority of sacred writ. Can any thing be more derogatory to the honour of God our Saviour? Can any thing be more impious, more irreverent than to select one part of his most holy word to confront or give the lie to another? It is a well established fact, that Christ Jesus was delivered up for our offences, by the determinate purpose, council, and foreknowledge of God. Yea, the instruments were appointed, and the spirit of prophecy accurately described. Psalm xli. 9, "Yea, mine own familiar friend in whom I trusted, who did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me." Psalm lxix. 25, "Let their habitation be desolate, and none dwell in their tents."
That these references are strictly applicable to the immediate instruments of the crucifixion of our LORD, and especially to Judas, is beyond a doubt; and we are authorized to speak thus positively by the spirit of inspiration, which, in the first chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, decidedly sayeth, "Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost, by the mouth of David, spake before concerning Judas, who was guide to them that took Jesus. For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of the ministry." For it is written in the book of Psalms, "Let his habitation be desolate, let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take."
Yet we see, that although our Saviour was delivered up to death by the determinate council of God, deep anguish of soul was, nevertheless, denounced upon the instruments of this astonishing transaction! The perpetrators of this important, this preconcerted
deed, were haunted by remorse, by all the terrors of a guilty conscience. I have sinned, said the wretched apostate, in that I have betrayed innocent blood.
For God's works of providence, we pretend not to assign reasons; we only believe they are holy and wise, just and good, because they are the operations of infinite, of unerring wisdom.
Blessed are they who are exempted from temptation, or who are sustained in the trials which they may be called to endure. Blessed are they who are delivered from evil, or, as it is sometimes rendered, from the evil one.
Lastly, The genuine believer, the true christian will look forward with faith and joy, nothing doubting. He will anticipate the day of the LORD, as described by he prophet Isaiah, xxv. 6, 7, 8, 9.
As there can be no doubt that Judas was a lineal descendant from Adam, as we cannot learn that he was exempted from the grand charter of privileges, as it is asserted in holy writ, that the devil entered into him in like manner as Satan entered into Peter, stimulating him throughout the whole guilty transaction; and as, when the evil spirit was exorcised from his bosom, his agonies were undescribable; and as tears are to be wiped from all faces, we look forward with perfect confidence, expecting when the burden of crimes will be removed even from the bosom of Judas, when tears shall be wiped even from the face of Judas, and when the rebuke shall be taken, even from him who betrayed his LORD and Master.
Finally, Christians faithfully anticipate an era when there shall be no more pain; when he who sitteth on the throne shall say, Behold I make all things new. Write, said the Redeemer, for these are the true sayings of God. Glory, therefore, be unto hiṣ name for ever and ever.-Amen and Amen.
LUKE i. 38-45.
First, MARY, in the language of the believing heart, exclaims, Be it unto me according to thy word.
Secondly, Upon the departure of the angel she went immediately into the hill country to visit her kinswoman Elisabeth. This hill country was in the tribe of Judah, and it contained a city, appropriated to the sons of Aaron, of which house was Zacharias and Elisabeth.
Thirdly, Elisabeth, upon hearing the voice of Mary, was filled with the Holy Ghost, and with a loud voice spontaneously ejaculated, Blessed art thou among women.
Fourthly, Elisabeth piously addresses Mary, as the mother of her LORD. Ye call me LORD and Master, saith the Redeemer, and ye say right, for so I am.
Fifthly and lastly, Blessed is she that believed, for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the LORD.
If the communication made by the angel to Mary be not true, there can be no dependence upon what we are accustomed to receive as inspiration. If it be true, there can be no dependence upon those who seek to controvert the mysteries of our holy religion. Every one who doth not believe that Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost, and that of course she was divinely inspired, uttering the words of truth, must rank with those unbelievers, who made God a liar. It is upon such infidels that all which is denounced upon the unbeliever must fall; upon them rests the sentence of condemnation or damnation, and such will be their portion, as long as they continue unbelievers. But every individual who believes the truth of God is assured, that unbelief will ultimately know a period. That it will last no longer than that day of the LORD, when every eye shall see, and every tongue confess.
ĻUKE i. 46–49.
First, UNDER the influence of the divine spirit, Mary speak
eth of the Trinity in her own person. My soul doth magnify the LORD, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
Secondly, Her language is the language of the faith of former ages. Genesis xxx. 13, "And Leah said, happy am I, for the daughters will call me blessed." 1 Samuel ii. 1, "And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the LORD, mine horn is exalted in the LORD," &c. &c. Psalm xxxv. 9, "And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD, it shall rejoice in his salvation." Habakkuk iii. 17, 18, "Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation."
Thirdly, Mary, under the influence of the holy spirit, speaketh of God as her Saviour, and her testimony perfectly corresponds with the testimony of the prophets and apostles. Isaiah xlv. 21, "And there is no God else beside me, a just God, and a Saviour." Psalm cvi. 21, "They forget God their Saviour, which had done great things in Egypt." 1 Timothy iv. 10, "We trust in the living God who is the Saviour of all men, especially of those that believe." Titus i. 3, " According to the commandment of God our Saviour." Again iii. 4, "But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared." 2 Peter i. 1, "Through the righteousness of God our Saviour." Jude xxv. "To the only wise God our Saviour."
Fourthly, One reason why Mary magnified her Saviour, God, was, that God had regarded her low estate. 1 Corinthians i. 27, "But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, and God hath chosen the weak things of this world, to confound the mighty." James ii. 5, "Hearken, my beloved brethren, hath not God chosen the poor of this world, rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to those that love him." But Mary urges a second reason, for magnifying her
God-From henceforth all generations shall call me blessed; unquestionably they shall, unquestionably they will.
Fifthly, For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. Our subject furnishes an excellent specimen of divinity. It doth not afford the marrow of modern divinity, but it is a true example of ancient, primitive divinity, of the teaching of the holy Spirit. All who are under the influence of the spirit are thus taught. The teaching of the spirit which is contrasted to the spirit of truth, exhibits the reverse, and engenders glooms and impenitence. It is our duty and our interest, to give heed unto the teaching of the divine spirit, for faith cometh by the hearing of the word of God. Wherever these sacred truths are received, a correspondent spirit will be manifested, the spirit will rejoice. In what? In God the Saviour; and the soul will magnify, not itself, but Jehovah. Let us examine and prove ourselves by these testimonies, and if we be indeed true believers, wę shall possess that peace which the world can neither give, nor take away.
LUKE i. 50, 51.
First, THE mercy of the LORD is on them that fear him from generation to generation. Job v. 11, "To set up on high those that be low; that those which mourn may be exalted to safety."
Secondly, The LORD hath shewed strength with his arm. What is the arm of the LORD by which he manifests his strength? The arm of the LORD is the man Christ Jesus; this appears from the following scripture testimonies. Isaiah xl. 10, "God will come and his arm shall rule for him. Verse 1, "He shall gather the lambs with his arm." Chapter li. 5, "Mine arm shall judge the people, the isles shall wait upon me, and on mine arm shall they trust. Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD." Chapter lii. 10, "The LORD hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God." Chapter lix. 16, "Therefore