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been allowed to touch it, and lose the love of their fellowcreatures!-to take of it, and lose their precious innocence!-to eat, and lose the charm of their existence!
There is nothing visionary or enthusiastic in the idea which Scripture gives of such a revolution in the human race, of the heavenly gifts which they enjoyed before their first temptation existing in the image of God, (Gen. i. 27,) and of the prodigious loss which they sustained in that revolution: but their sad reverse is demonstrated by constant experience, as well as declared in the infallible word of God. And as the original perfection of our nature may be traced through what remains of it in mind, in soul, in person; so its consequent perversion may be likewise in each. The very expression, "Deliver us from evil," implies something naturally good in us; or something better than that from which we would be delivered; so do all the concurrent expressions which are used in Scripture; as of being reformed, restored, regenerated, healed and pacified, referring to our proper, native state, or the state we derived from God. And hence the line of duty for God's ministers, and others who study the welfare of their brethren in this behalf; namely, to draw the good away from the evil: hence some encouragement for them in the midst of much opposition, disappointment, and regret. For who can help bewailing the overthrow of such a state, the captivity of so many excellent gifts as adorned it, the diversion or drying up of so many gladdening "rivers of the flood", (Ps. xlvi. 4,) so many sources of delight as pervaded that happy state, "the city of God;" and the more so, the more such captivity, overthrow and diversion come home to us in our friends, and in ourselves?
"Weep ye not for the dead, neither bemoan him: (says the prophet:) but weep sore for him that goeth away: for he shall return no more, nor see his native country," (Jer. xxii. 10,) and that is Heaven or Paradise; as I have shewn. Let us not be thought the worse of, for
bewailing such a departure to the wrong side: and more than that; let us never be deterred by any example of the kind, nor yet seduced by indolence, from endeavouring what we can to defeat and restrain the influence of such example. We must needs make a difference; as St. Jude advises to have compassion of some, "and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh:" (Jude 22, 23) and not be too confident of ourselves at the same time either; as St. Paul tells us, "BE NOT HIGH-MINDED, BUT FEAR:" (Rom. xi. 20:) daily beseeching our heavenly Father, Not to lead us into temptation, as we do not lead others, nor wilfully throw our own selves-into the way of it-For Christ's sake, our only Lord.
ON THE LORD'S PRAYER—7, THE WAY OF SALVATION.
"-But deliver us from evil.”
MATT. vi. 13.
To know good and evil is no small privilege for a man; that he may "know to refuse the evil and choose the good:" and a blessed privilege it would be for him, if he could know one only by report, and the other by experience. It was so once; when man's instruction preceded his exploiting, and curiosity was not too strong for obedience: but that happy and innocent relation occurs no longer since exploiting precedes instruction. "For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me," (Rom. vii. 11,) says St. Paul: being just the same as it did by the first man, and has done in some measure by every man since, except one, Having therefore shewn you, my brethren, in a former discourse the way of death, or how a man is led into
sin, which is the same as destroying him, by temptation, -I now propose to shew you the Way of salvation, or how a man is led out of sin and death by following that: Single Exception.
For delivering from evil and not leading into temptas: tion are clearly two distinct parts with one purpose; which we implore of one Object, our heavenly Father; as it rests with him either to lead us deeper into the evil that we have drawn upon ourselves by insuperable temptation, or to deliver us both from the evil and from its seductive influence by the grace which he has annexed to faith in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Any one may perceive, of these two parts, delivering from evil, and not leading into temptation-both equally indispens-, able, which will go farthest in the way of salvation; and consequently, which of the two it may seem most to ask. For in the first part we only implore neutrality,— that our heavenly Father would not lend the weight of his influence to that which annoys us; in the second part we implore his aid, "but deliver us from evil," from the ascendant it already has, unfortunately, in our imagination, and from the constant and constantly increasing mischief which it is sure to work upon us by such means if we be not delivered. So that we have a decided climax in this petition, if it consist only of two degrees; the highest being that which I have now to insist on agreeably to the text, "deliver us from evil:" you may call it THE WAY OF SALVATION, if you will; and those who shew it to you, "Servants of the Most high God," (Acts xvi. 17,) or servants of the lowly Jesus. The subject being an accident of the Kingdom equal in importance with that of creation, is found to agree with several other accidents of the same beneficial import in cases of danger, distress, and degradation; as may appear from what I am about to offer on 1, the State of salvation; 2, the Way of it, including many particulars.
§ 1. Men being compounded of several elements
within a certain mode, and dependent at the same time on various relations and circumstances, their safety and salvation must vary in like manner, to correspond with the evils to which it is opposed: and there is hardly any sort of evil that Scripture has not taken and applied to the state from which we require to be saved, or restored to a state of salvation; as among the incidental— from a state of debt, captivity, condemnation, and the like; among the more essential-from a state of blindness and deafness, of sickness, mutilation, and death: the specific state of salvation answerable to each being accordingly, for the incidental sort-pardon, redemption, and justification; for the essential healing, restoration, or resuscitation, reformation, regeneration, and others of that sort. But in neither of these cases will salvation be more than my text expresses, which is a simple deliverance from evil; while its repetition or continuance will make what we call Safety, or a State of salvation. It matters not to the meaning, if such continuance be but momentary like the state of the weather, which is so much talked of; for it will be a state, as far as there can be such a thing upon earth, if it pass as quick as the weather in this country, or as quick as thought.
Salvation is the fine weather of the Kingdom of God upon earth: the Sun of righteousness emitting his gentle beams in the soft azure of an unclouded sky is what makes it, and also gives to such weather the charm that we feel in it; as the Psalmist observes, "The Lord is my light and my salvation." (Ps. xxvii. 1.) As shining makes the light, and light the day, so saving makes salvation, and salvation the Lord our Saviour. Not that the Lord is literally salvation, any more than the sun is light; but that he saves directly, as the sun shines; and so our salvation cometh of the Lord; as David also has it, "My soul truly waiteth still upon God: for of him cometh my salvation. He verily is my strength and my salvation: he is my defence; so that I shall not greatly fall." (Ib.
lxii. 1, 2.) And to state shortly the sphere of salvation, that we may know where to look for the same on every occasion,—it is shortly in the Lord Christ, and in him only. They are much mistaken "who presume to say, that every man shall be saved by the law or sect which he professeth, so that he be diligent to frame his life according to that law, and the light of nature. For Holy Scripture doth set out unto us only the name of Jesus Christ, whereby men must be saved." "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." (Acts iv. 12.)
It is not by being born in one age or another, it is not by living in one country or another, it is not by belonging to one class of inhabitants or another; nor to one party, sect, or sex, nor to one stature, form, or complexion, nor to any other visible or bodily distinction; but to ONE SPIRIT, which is Christ, and to the sort or state of society which it is sure to produce: where "there is neither Jew, nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female. For ye are all one in Christ Jesus;" (Gal. iii. 28;) says St. Paul to the church of Galatia: and to others, "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." (Rom. viii. 9.)
Of the same state were many gentile families as well as particular patriarchs, priests, and prophets, like Job and Melchisedec; who seemingly stood well with God, and yet had never heard the name of Jesus, nor of any one belonging to him later perhaps than Noah the second patriarch, or certainly, than Abraham, or Isaac, or Jacob; who "did all eat the same spiritual meat, and did drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that Rock that followed them; and that Rock was Christ:" (Cor. I. x. 3, 4:) "so is every one that is born of the Spirit," (John iii. 8,) says he: also, "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad." (Ib. viii. 56.) But many of those who are born of Abra