« FöregåendeFortsätt »
they do it. Therefore I advise you to hold your tongue, and say nothing about them.
Book. I think, sir, you had better hold your tongue too; for you are worse than I am. I remember very well what old Luther said,-"Every man is born with a Pope in his belly." Ah, sir, if I had only come from the pen of some great man, who was rich, grand, and popular, and whose word is a law, I would not value the mice and rats; I would run over the country like fire in a Prairie, in a windy day.
Cit. What odds is it who the author of a book is, if he only tells the truth? A shepherd's dog may bark; and truth is truth, let who will tell it. And truth ought always to be believed, and respected.
Book. True enough, sir. But you know that truth has always had to cut its way through the world. And when a man gets angry, it is very often truth that offends him.
Cit. But we are off the subject. Tell us what you intend to do.
Book. Why, sir, you know I must promise pretty well at first; and then perform as well as I can. It would also look humble and modest for me to say "Through the help of God," so that if I should happen to make a bungle of it, I may have a chance of throwing the blame off myself.
Cit. But you surely have no notion of telling lies, by promising every thing, and after all, performing nothing worth reading?
Book. No, no; I will try my very best, according to my opportunity and abilities; and if I fail in my performance, I will be found trying.
Cit. Well, what do you promise to do?
Book. Put on your spectacles, sir, and look at the title page, and you will see what I promise to do. If I do all that is there stated, I hope sir, you will think that you have got double the worth of your money.
Cit. (After reading the four articles in the title page.) I would surely wish to own and read such a book, provided these subjects are treated in a masterly manner. And do you think you can perform all this, secundum artem?
Book. I can try it, sir. Fortune favors the brave, you know.
Cit. I suppose you go on a new plan; and you follow your own compass?
Book. No, sir, I followed the OLD BOOK. I let the prophets dictate, and all I had to do, was to follow them. It is true they led me through some rough places, but I scrabbled along as well as I could.
Cit. The OLD Book is a very good compass, I confess; but sometimes writers and preachers put their own magnet to the needle, and make it veer about according to their own notions. May be you have done so too. And, if you have, the OLD BOOK has done you but little good.
Book. Well, sir, you are the doctor; buy a book and read it, and then you can judge for yourself. For a few cents, you may try me to the bottom.
Cit. But I can borrow a book of my neighbor, and read at his expense.
Book. So you can, and many a one does so; and they who borrow books, often throw them about, and give them to their children, and blacken and tear them more in a few weeks, than the owner would do in twelve months. And I am afraid that a man who has not heart enough to buy a little book, would not have bottom enough in him to depend on his own judgment.
Cit. I generally buy when I am able, and have a chance to do so. But we have a number of very learned, good old authors, who have told us already all about the Millennium, whose opinions have stood the test of ages, and you had better take care not to differ, in your notions, with those staunch old fellows who are so orthodox, and so very learned.
Book. I am not disposed to differ from any body, unless I am of a different opinion. Among imperfect men there will always be room for improvement; and I have no notion that wisdom will die with any of us. I care not how sensible, and learned, or how old any man is; only let me stand on his head, and little as I am, I can see farther than he can.
Cit. You must be a curious book, and I will take one any how.
Book. Thank you, sir; and may God bless you.
THE grand object which God has in view in all his works, is the manifestation of his glory. Consequently we must necessarily conclude, that whatever gives us the greatest display of the glory of God, is the greatest work of God. The creation exhibits the almighty power, and the infinite knowledge and wisdom of the great author of our existence; but his justice, truth, and goodness, and the infinite holiness and purity of his nature, are clearly revealed in his word, and exhibited in all the requisitions of his will to mankind.
But of all the works that God has ever performed, and made known to the children of men, the wonderful plan of redemption gives, by far, the greatest display of the glory of the Deity. God as our Creator is great and glorious; but God as our Redeemer appears, in the plan of the gospel, infinitely amiable, and divinely excellent, To fallen spirits God must appear in all the grandeur of terrible majesty; but to a ransomed sinner he appears possessed of every thing that renders him divinely great, adorable, and lovely. Redeeming grace is a darling theme; it fills all heaven with astonishment; it is the admiration of angels, and the inexhaustible theme of all the ransomed sons and daughters of Adam. Jesus Christ is the darling of heaven, and the glory of the church. He is the great Vehicle, or Medium, through whom the infinite glory of the invisible Deity is communicated to finite capacities; "in him dwelleth all the fullness of the godhead bodily, and he is the brightness of his Father's glory, and the express image of his person.
From the account which the scriptures give us, it evidently appears, that the supreme glory of the Deity is intimately connected with, and dependent on the mediatorial glory of Christ. It is true, God is essentially glorious independent of all his works, and of all the creatures he has ever formed. His essential glory con sists in his being possessed of all perfection, and in the possession and contemplation of his divine perfections
he is infinitely happy, and would have been so to eternity, even if he had never formed a creature.But what we mean by the glory of God, is what is called his declarative glory, to wit, the exhibition of his divine perfections, which he is pleased to make to his intelligent creatures. As God has seen fit to make himself known to his creatures, his glory required that he should make himself known to them as a God possessed of every excellence; otherwise he could not appear glorious to them. Therefore, to manifest his power, he must perform powerful works; to show forth his wisdom, he must act wisely; to show his justice, he must act justly; to show his truth, he must be faithful to his word; so likewise to show his benevolence and tender mercy to us guilty sinners, he must redeem us, and exercise his pardoning grace towards a lost and ruined world. But he must not contradict the principles of justice in showing mercy, for it would be unjust for him to do so. If he is merciful to all, he must be just and merciful both, or he would tarnish his glory; because justice is the fundamental perfection of the Deity. God could be glorious without ever extending mercy; for there is no moral obligation on God to be merciful; but he could not be glorious without being just, because there is a moral obligation on every intelligent being ever to act justly; therefore, if God has any regard to the glory of his name, he must act forever, and in every respect, according to the correct principles of justice and equity.
Herein lies the grand mystery of the gospel, and the mediatorial glory of Christ, that God can be just, and the justifier of him who believeth in Jesus. It required wisdom and power to create the world; it requires justice and goodness to make the angels in heaven happy; it required justice and power to expel te sinning angels from heaven; it required justice and truth to expel Adam out of Paradise; but it required the combination of wisdom, power, justice, truth, goodness, love and boundless mercy and compassion, yea, we may say, it required the energy of all the perfections of Deity, to redeem a sinner from death. Hence with great propriety the heavenly host sung, at the Redeemer's birth, "Glory to God in the highest;" and Jesus said, "Now is the son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him-Father, the hour
is come, glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:" and the apostle Paul says, that "God gives us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."
Inasmuch as the declarative glory of God depends principally on the glory of Christ as a Mediator, we are to consider what constitutes the mediatorial glory of the Redeemer, which in such a peculiar manner displays the glory of the Deity. The glory of Christ as a Mediator, consists in two particular things. 1st. In what he has done, as the great Redeemer of his people. 2dly. In the glory and greatness of his church, and kingdom, as the grand consequence of the work of redemption.
1. The fundamental glory of our Redeemer is the great atonement which he has made on the cross for the redemption of sinners. The death of Christ is the foundation of his kingdom, and the ground work of all his mediatorial glory, and of the glory of his church. Therefore the prophet says, (Is. liii. 10-12) "Because he hath poured out his soul unto death, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. He shall see the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong." And Paul says, (Phil. ii. 8—11) "He humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross; therefore 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, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." And in Heb. ii. 9. he says, "We see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor." Christ was glorious in his resurrection, and in his ascension, and he is glorious in being forever seated on the right hand of God; in his making continual intercession for his people, and in his having made ample provision for the complete salvation of his church.
2. The glory of Christ consists in the respectability of his church. If the church were a trifling, degraded, or disrespectable object, and if it were to continue to be so, even far inferior to the kingdoms of the world, or the