Sidor som bilder

this short compendium of Christian Christians, the resurrection, as comconsolation, which he desired might be pared with the crucifixion, might almost carefully borne in mind, he would not be termed a forgotten thing; so that fail to interweave into such compen- if our acts were constructed according dium a distinct reference to the com- to the tenor of popular theology, we plex nature of the Redeemer's person; might mark numerous Good Fridays and, not content himself with referring in the year, and only one Easter Sunhim to Jesus Christ, he would add day; ground being thus afforded for some such description as thism“ of the the necessity, which there was not to seed of David,” in order to mark his Timothy, of being literally reminded real humanity. I am not arguing that that Jesus Christ had been raised from we have reason to expect that wherever the dead. But the resurrection has St. Paul makes mention of the Saviour, set the seal of Deity on the crucifixion. he would accumulate terms expressive It proclaims with a voice as audible of the fact, that, in the person of this and piercing as though the words had Saviour, God and man were wonder- been uttered by angelic messengers fully classed ; but I do argue, that passing through the length and breadth when he commends to the special of the earth, that every debt had been memory of such a convert as Timothy boldly met and discharged, and that a succinct statement of gospel truth, every claim that justice could put we might reasonably anticipate an al- forth on the human race had been deslusion to the fleshly clothing in which troyed; and the shivered fragments Deity veils itself, and look for words of the Redeemer's tomb were just so which would decidedly imply, if not many tokens of the high barriers which directly assert, the mysterious things sin had thrown up, and which were of the Redeemer's incarnation. hurled and dashed away by the God.

I stay not to establish generally the man's anger. In whatever degree you proposition, which can scarcely be learn to behold from the resurrection thought to stand in need of demonstra- the actual completion of all that had tion ; but I turn to the particular truth been proposed by the incarnation, that of Christ's resurrection, and ask you, Christ was delivered for our offences, whether it be not essential to the right and raised again for our justification ; and profitable remembrance of this in that same degree you will be led to truth, that we should always couple link, in all the associations of memory, it with the leading doctrine of our Christ's resurrection and Christ's hucreed, even that of the union of the manity; inasmuch as feeling that no divine and human nature in the per- surety could have died, save one, who son of one mediator between God and was bone of your bone, and flesh of man. It is foreign to my purpose to your flesh; you must also feel that no inquire, whether there be any Christian surety could have risen for you unless faith which does not, in one way or he had been of the seed of David. another, involve a reference to this pro Hence, while reminding Timothy that minent article. The crucifixion is no- Christ Jesus was raised from the dead thing but a most perplexed and inex- might seem vague and unnecessary, plicable mystery the instant we lose the fact which he bade him remember, sight of Christ; first, as man, and that Christ Jesus was of the seed of therefore able to suffer; and, secondly, David, is a lesson every way worthy as God, and therefore able to atone. both of the Apostle who gave it, and It holds good in the same degree of of the disciple who receives it. the resurrection, the one event giving But I have hitherto argued, mainly, to the other the sanction of divine ac- on the supposition that the human naceptance, and Christ, bursting the ture of the Saviour is alone referred to bondage of the grave, proving most in this expression. There is, however, rigidly to men and angels, that Christ, a distant allusion to other truths, as expiring on the cross, had availed to well as to the Redeemer's humanity in the full redemption of the countless this accurate specification. It is a myriads for whom he died. Yet, con. wonderful thing to cast one's eye over nected as are the events, it is unde- the prophetic pages, and behold how niable, that with the majority of years past, and years that are to come, do alike burn with the deeds and tri-|I appeal simply to the fact, and deumphs of David's Son, under the name mand of every student of Holy Writ, and title of a descendant from the man whether there be any title under which after God's own heart. A believing prophecy tenders so vast a revenue of remnant did in the earliest ages eagerly honour as it does to the seed, or heir, watch for a mighty deliverer, who or antitype of David. If I desired to should introduce on earth a new dis- call up in the mind of the patient dispensation, and throw open to the chil-ciple the largest and most splendid dren of our fallen race a storehouse of train of Scriptural expectations, what spiritual benedictions : and the Son of word, or single epithet is there, which David came attended, not indeed by could be used with half so much magic any of the retinue of a monarch's pomp, energy as the name of that monarch and bearing not the outward tokens of who swayed the sceptre over God's affinity to him who had swayed the people, and swept his harp to God's sceptre over the free and prosperous praise, eminently prefiguring that mightribes of Israel. Nevertheless, invest- ty being who shall finally rule over a ed with the splendid credentials, and rejoicing universe, and give golden being not only the offspring but the chords into the hands of millions, who root of David, and gathering to him. shall laud his name with an unearthly selfall that the sacrifices of the Priests, minstrelsy. And if you remember that and the visions of the Prophets, had the resurrection of Jesus Christ was, accumulated of wonderful or beautiful in every sense, preparatory to the setpromise-yea, verily, the heir of Dating up of the unbounded dominion of vid arose, and did marvellous things the seed of David—that which verified, in the land of David. Much that hath in fact, the Redeemer's claim to that been declared of this mysterious per. crown which Daniel had beheld given sonage awaits still its accomplishment: to one like unto the Son of Man-and and future days of glorious doings, on thus pointed out the despised and rewhose very threshold, it may be, the jected and crucified Nazarine as the existing generation may almost tread, I potentate who should achieve the ilare big with strong and brilliant acts lustrious things seen in the vision of to be wrought beneath the government patriarchs and holy men---then is not of him whom Jesse's son but faintly the joint mention of “ the resurrectypified. I ask you to cast but a cur- tion” and “ of the seed of David,” sory glance over those portions of neither more nor less than an emphaScripture whose productions are un-tical appropriation of the treasures of fulfilled; and will you not find that a prophecy to him whom we honour as throne is yet to be erected, on which our Lord and Master ?-and does not shall sit one known and designated by the injunction to“ remember that Jesus this name of David ? What is there of Christ, of the seed of David, has been raised the lovely or the sublime in all the from the deadamount to a solemn, sketches of that scene for which the and yet simple admonition, bidding us church most intensely longs, that is not let go the stupendous hope of the not, in some way or other, bound up Christian Church ; but to bear diliwith the reign and presence of the gently in mind that we are the subseed of David ? So that there were jects of a Being who died in ignominy, little or nothing exaggerated in the but who shall reign in majesty, and assertion, that the Bible developes no who shall exalt to the possession of features of greatness in the approach-extended empire all who bow down ing allotment of the Christian Church, before his cross ? which are not attached, in precise and Truly, the more the mind ponders definite phraseology to Christ, as born over the combination of ideas which of David's seed, rather than to Christ are gathered into this apparently brief as known under any other description. and superfluous message of Paul to

It concerns not my argument to Timothy, the more will it be struck examine into the reasons which might with the beauty and consolation it coninduce the frequent introduction of the veys. Can a believer be told that name of David whenever the triumphs Christ Jesus has been raised from the of Messiah are the subject of discourse. dead, without finding the whole array of the mediatorial work, all its wrest- / Now, I have dwelt at sufficient lings-all its glories-all its victories, length on the first head of discourse; pass rapidly before him; inasmuch as and much that I have advanced in the memory of the risen Saviour does illustration of the importance of the presuppose the immediate knowledge clause, “ of the seed of David," apof a dying Saviour ? And how can a plies equally to the other, “ according believer be reminded of that being to my gospel ;" which I would, in who thus won to himself the honours the second place, exhibit to you, as of God, by spurning the trammels giving strength and emphasis to St. which bound all those whom sin has Paul's commemoration of the death made heirs of corruption-how, I say, and resurrection of our Saviour. can he be reminded that this Being is You remember the strong terms in the very mighty one of whom glorious which St. Paul, when writing to the things are spoken as of the seed of Corinthians, states the importance of David, without feeling his spirits hur- the resurrection as an article of the ried into the august palaces which are Christian faith. He may be said to yet to be built for the saints of the resolve the whole of our religion, all Most High, and beholding the waste its truth-all its value-all its beauty places of the earth enamelled with into the one fact that Christ Jesus freshness, with fountains bursting forth had been raised from the dead. “If amid the sands of the desert, and piety Christ be not raised"-thus it is he and purity encircled in one girdle, and speaks—“your faith is in vain, you the powers of unrighteousness chained are yet in your sins: then they also and subjugated, and the teeming tribes which are fallen asleep in Christ are that shall possess this earth ; and all perished.” And it is in accordance these marvellous revolutions produced with such passages as these, parallels under the government of him who des- of which are of most frequent occurcribes himself under such terms as rence, that I shall consider myself these—“ I am the root and the off warranted in pronouncing the gospel spring of David-the bright and morn- of Christ Jesus the gospel of the reing star.” Then I ask, whether there surrection. be not, in consideration and reflection. We are so accustomed, from our of this expansive character, a suffi- earliest infancy, to believe implicitly ciency of proof that the connexion of the doctrine of the soul's immortality the fact of Christ having been born of it is taught us, I might almost say, in the seed of David, and Christ having our cradles and so wound up with been raised from the dead, gives to the all the institutions of religion, and all resurrection of the Redeemer much of the associations of life, that we pass its most sublime and solemn character into a comparative forgetfulness of its -that it invests it with those proper-awful stature ; and receiving it as a ties which render it, to creatures con- thing of course, overlook it as a truth stituted as ourselves, the most prized of the most stupendous dimensions. and precious article of belief-and We forget, amid the multiplicity of that, consequently, suggesting as it truth which even natural religion will manifestly does, the gigantic thought now profess to put forth of a future of a world redeemed by the risen Me- state, that the proudest and most acute diator from the tyranny of Satan, and philosophy which ever arose amidst that same world reanimated beneath the wisest of Heathen nations wrestled the Redeemer's dominion with a love with strugglings which were mighty, liness tenfold more lovely than that but which were wholly ineffectual to which sparkled amid the young and throw themselves into the deep regions yet unblighted Eden-I ask you, whe- which lay beyond the grave, and to ther there be not, in all these combi-snatch some fragments of knowledge nations of instructive thought, enough which might be held up to the admirato vindicate from the charge of un- tion and gaze of a world lying in ignomeaning truism, and to stamp with im rance. We forget that always, previous portance this declaration of Paul to to the appearance of Christ on earth, Timothy, “ Remember that Jesus Christ, and independent of the assistance of of the seed of David, was raised from the divine communication, there certainly dead according to my gospel ?"

have been men gifted above their fel.

lows, who pondered deeply on futurity, have dreamt in the wildest dream of and grappled with the mysterious sha- enthusiasm of uttering such words as dows of some coming destinies; yet a these" I am the resurrection and luminous doubt was, after all, the very the life." summit of their attainments, and a By stating the fact, that life and imsplendid conjecture the highest result mortality have been brought to light of their most laborious searchings after by the gospel, to which I suppose St. truth. Even if human science had Paul to allude when he speaks of revealed, with the general develope- Christ Jesus as “ raised from the dead ment of the fact, that man, frail as he according to my gospel"--I suppose seems and feeble, doth yet carry in him designing to remind his son Timohimself a spark of celestial fire, which thy, not so much of the simple truth of can no more be quenched than can the Saviour's resurrection, as of the that Deity which is the light of the colouring and character which this universe; still, that bone should come event gave to the whole system of again to bone-that the dust which is Christianity : and however meagre scattered to the winds of heaven shall might sound the bare mention of be compounded once more, into shape Christ's emancipation from the power and symmetry, and that the rude heaps of the tomb, yet when we have reason of the charnel house shall resolve to remember that this truth interthemselves into living forms--that cor-weaves itself with every part of our ruption shall put on incorruption, and religion—that the wbole fabric of our mortal put on immortality-Oh, there faith is virtually based upon it-that never would be philosophy which could independent of this, whatsoever there master this : it was above it—it was be of promise loses all its attractivebeyond it: and while familiarity with ness, whatsoever there be of precept the truth takes off something of the loses all its impressiveness--there is strangeness of the marvel; yet I pray no longer any thing unnecessary in the you to remember, when you see a apostolic message, though one scarcely grave prepared, and the coffin lowered, inferior to the Apostle be the party adand the tears of the mourners almost dressed. Hence the surprise we might dried up by the brilliant thought that have felt at St. Paul's writing to Tithe body of the brother or sister which mothy, “ Remember that Christ Jesus they thus commit to so cold a custody was raised from the dead," vanishes shall not only moulder or waste away, utterly, and is lost, when we find him but shall stir at length in its narrow adopting such terms as these-“Rehome, and throw off, as with a giant's member that Jesus Christ, of the seed strength, the ponderous burthen of the of David, was raised from the dead ac-' sepulchre, and come forth with that cording to my gospel.” The latter body glorified and purified which is clause may, in fact, be said to identify now encompassed with all the disho- the gospel with the resurrection : nours of death-when, I say, you be- and certainly I am prepared to argue hold a spectacle like this, a spectacle that the more you regard the gospel of which would be deemed a most unac-Christ as the gospel of the Resurreccountable prodigy if it were not of tion, the more you will understand the common occurrence --Oh, it is the gospel, and the more you will be consoul's loftiest triumph-a triumph over soled by the gospel. Is not the resurthe wreck of all that is material and rection mixed up with the earliest elesensible a triumph over bone, and ments of the gospel? Is it not said flesh, and sinew, dislocated and de- that“ we are buried with Christ--that composed and shattered ;-then I pray like as Christ was raised up from the you to give the honour alone where dead by the glory of the Father, even the honour is due, to ascribe the vic- so we also should walk in newness of tory to the true and actual conqueror, life ? Is not that power whereby and to remember that the gospel of sinners are converted, and through Christ is the gospel of the resurrec- which they are held up and establishtion; and that until the Redeemer ap-ed, literally defined as the resurrection propriated the character to himself, power ? For does not St. Paul pray there was never a being who could on behalf of his Ephesian converts, “ that they may know the exceeding resurrection. “ Whoso eateth my flesh greatness of God's power to us-ward and drinketh my blood, hath eternal who believe, according to the working life; and I will raise him up at the last of his mighty power, which he wrought day.” Who, after the introduction of in Christ when he raised him from the such particulars as these, can fail to dead ?” And is not, moreover, the join in the desire which St. Paul has Christian's hope-nay, even the Chris- expressed on his own behalf, “ that I tian's title to future blessedness, so may know Christ, and the power of completely the result of the resurrec- his resurrection :" and who, when he tion, that the resurrection may be re- finds the character of that knowledge presented as the acting and generating after which the Apostle most ardently principle? For what else can Peter strove, can marvel that he should denote when he speaks of God as haycharge his own son in the faith, to live ing “ begotton us again unto a lively in memory of the truth, that according hope by the resurrection of Jesus to the gospel which had been preachChrist from the dead, to an inheritance ed to him, Christ Jesus, of the seed of incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth David, had been raised ? not away?” I ask you, whether it be I leave to you to collect the several not undeniable that the Redeemer's particulars of our discourse, and joining resurrection enters most intimately together our observations on these two into every part of the system of salva- clauses,“ of the seed of David," and tion; and whether it be an unmeaning “ according to my gospel,” decide whemessage which enjoins the remem-ther they give not a beauty and embrance that “Jesus Christ has risen phasis to St. Paul's message to Timofrom the dead according to my gos-thy, which warrant their being called pel ?” Is it not, rather, a compendious the very nerves and sinews of the passage. memento of all that is contained in the Oh! it is much to think of Jesus Christ gospel ? And if a man, by remember as rising from the dead, and thereby ing the resurrection, remembers that it vindicating to himself all that magnifiis “ according to the gospel”—that it, cent empire which scripture promises in fact, accords with the gospel-so to the seed of David. And it is much, that it unites itself, blends itself, com- moreover, to consider ourselves interpounds itself, with every iota of gos-ested in the declaration of the Apostle, pel truth, then the gospel will always which proclaims the final overthrow of bear to him the richest aspect of death, which so interweaves its every which it is capable; and he will look portion with the glowing prospects of forward to the resurrection as the full a restored and renovated creation, that consummation of the saint's blessed- it may be said to utter constantly such ness, and his thoughts will rest on the language as this of the prophet_"} new heavens and the new earth spring will ransom them from the power of ing, by a glorious resurrection, from the grave; I will redeem them from the ruins of the old.

death; 0, death, I will be thy plague; If St. Paul was desirous of winning O grave, I will be thy destruction.” Christians from the earth, by what Yea, truly, all this is much ; and it is motive did he stimulate them? By the no idle thing that we be bidden to try resurrection. “ If ye then be risen to bear it in memory. with Christ, seek those things which I trust not myself to speak on a are above, where Christ sitteth at the topic which may almost be said to have right hand of God.” If this Apostle split the Christian world into factions studied to animate himself by spread. -I mean the doctrine of the first and ing before his view some sparkling second resurrections_whether or no object of pursuit, whither turns he for the buried saints of the Most High such object? To the resurrection. shall be personally and corporeally “ If by any means I might attain unto present, when the heir of David's line the resurrection of the dead.” If the ascends that throne which we can now Saviour exhibits the privileges of those only know from the gorgeous spectacle who by faith are incorporated into his of prophetic architecture ; yet we nomystic body, whence does he derive thing doubt that they shall be delighthis terms and expressions ? From the fully conscious of all that is passing

« FöregåendeFortsätt »