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which divine grace had opened a of life, whilst guarded by Cherdoor of hope to him, when all ubims and a flaming sword hope by virtue of the first coven- which turned every way. ant was utterly cut off.
4. What great cause we have These observations will be for gratitude and praise for the closed with a few brief remarks provision and clear revelation naturally suggested by them. now made to us, of a way of life
1. Adam's expulsion from the and endless happiness, of free garden and the guard set to ren- grace through the mediation of der his return impracticable, Christ; and how highly it conwere well suited to afford him cerns us to comply with it. useful instruction, and to operate
PAREPIDEMOS. as means to bring him off from all dependence on his own righteousness or obedience to entitle him to life and a happy immor- Christ the faithful Witness, con. tality, and to excite him to look sidered in some Remarks on for this blessing in the way of Rev. i. 5. mere grace through the promised Seed.
- “ And from Jesus Christ, who 2. The divine conduct in this is the faithful witness." affair, was expressive not only of holy displeasure against sin, T is generally agreed that but also of great wisdom and goodness. For 'the same facts, written by the same person who in God's treatment of our first penned the gospel of John-the parents, which clearly manifest- same who was called the belored great displeasure against ed disciple ; and who, in the them for their disobedience, exercise of an uncommon intiwere well calculated and admi- macy with Christ, leaned on his rably suited to warn and guard bosom at supper. It was writthem against those attempts to ten at Patmos, a desolate island, establish their own righteous- whither the writer was banished ness, of which they were in great by the cruel edict of a persecudanger, and which would have ting emperor. It is generally greatly tended to prevent a cor- agreed that this took place about dial compliance with the only sixty years after the ascension possible way of salvation ; and of Christ, and, of course, when on the contrary to excite them John was far advanced in life. to look forward by faith to the He was spared to a great age promised Seed as their only re- that he might complete the revfuge and hope.
elation of God, and close the ca3. How vain, foolish and dar- non of scripture. ing it would be, for us to expect In the verse immediately beand attempt the attainment of a fore the passage under considtitle to life and immortality, in eration, John begins an address the way of the first covenant, or to the seven churches in Asia. by the law of works as foolish “ John to the seven churches and daring as it would have been which are in Asia : Grace be for. Adam to have attempted to unto you, and peace from him force his way back to the tree which is, and which was, and
which is to come ; and from the lover of Jesus will act. But
him into view, therefore, both
But yet, it A witness, in the common ac- may be observed that Christ ceptation of the word, is one that hath acted in both these capacitestifies to the truth of any fact. ties ever since the fall of man. In courts of justice, where caus- It was in the full belief of those ës are disputed, and controver- truths he revealed by his pro: sies settled, the judges deter- phets, and on the ground of his mine faets according to the tes personal righteousness, that the timony of witnesses. The word saints under the former dispenwhich in the Greek is put for sation died in peace, and went to a witness signifies one who tes- heaven. tifies to the truth at the expense Christ is the faithful witness, of life. Hence from the same I. As having revealed all neGreek word is derived Martyr. cessary truth. It follows therefore that the By all necessary truth is detruth is more important than sigred all that truth necessarily case, happiness or life. The connected with the salvation of faithful witness at all hazards, sinners. There are certain truths adheres to truth. The great which are necessary to be known question with him is not how he and embraced, without which shall please men, and secure his we can see no consistent way own personal safely. But the for sinners to be saved. Of these grand question is, “ what has the patriarchs, and saints of the Cod revealed, and what does he first ages of the world were firmrequire should be maintained ly persuaded; concerning whom and supported as true ?” When the apostle saith, Heb. xi. 13. this question is once determin- | These all died in faith, not having ed he adheres to the truth, and received the promises, but having trusts the event with God. seen them afar off, and were per When this point is settled, he suaded of them and embraced them, declares the truth, even at the and confessed that they were stranexpense of life. On this princi- gers and pilgrims on the earth. ple the apostles acted when life These pious men of old saw by was at stake : On this principle faith the good things contained the primitive teachers of Chris- in the truths revealed by the protianity acted with death in full phets, and embraced the promview; and on this principle the ises of God, made 'to the Fa
thers, pertaining to a Saviour to the appointed time he entered come. The glorious Redeemer, on the work of teaching and exthe second person in the adora- plaining the truths which, for ble Trinity, having been appoint- many ages, he had taught by ed from everlasting, and given his prophets. Having completfor a witness to the people, hath ed the work he had to do on performed, completely, the work earth, and finished his personal and business assigned him. He ministry among men, he left a hath made such a revelation as number of chosen and commisthe state and circumstances of sioned servants to close the cadepraved man required. non of scripture. These explain
1. He hath revealed all that ed, established and confirmed was necessary pertaining to doc. what had been taught by Christ trine.
and his prophets before him. So Christ, by his prophets, made that Christ, as the faithful witness, a revelation of all the essential hath revealed and made known doctrines of religion. The gos- all things pertaining to doctrine pel and its essential truths were which is necessary for sinners to known long before Christ ap- know, that they may be saved. peared in the flesh. There was 2. In the same character a revelation of the doctine of sal-Christ hath revealed every thing vation by the Son of God many pertaining to precept which is ages before his birth. The pro- needful for men to know. mise in the garden, that the seed Man is a dependent, account. of the woman should bruise the able creature. His actions are serpent's head, made, probably, connected with a future state, by Christ himself; pointed out and his character in this life is his incarnation and future suf- formed for eternity. Hence it is ferings, and brought his atoning exceedingly important for him sacrifice, clearly, to view. Moses to know the mind and will of his prophesied of the same person Sovereign. Unhappy, indeed, with a great degree of clearness; would be the state of man had and after him all the prophets, he no intimation of the divine until prophecy ceased about four pleasure more than what is nathundred years before he made urally impressed on his mind, or his appearance in the world. can be known by the light of naBut no one of the prophets hath ture. Aside from supernatural given so clear views of the gos- revelation, we must be exeedpel as Isaiah ; for which reason ingly in the dark as to our duty he is called, by some, “the evan- to God and our fellow men. gelical prophet.” He appears to Without the revelation Christ have spoken strikingly of Christ, hath made, we never could be as to his birth, life, sufferings fully satisfied, whether God is and death. All the essential doc- pleased or not--whether our contrines pertaining to salvation are duct will meet the divine approfound in the prophets.
bation, or incur the displeasure After the world for ages had of our God. But men are not been instructed by the prophets, so left in the dark as to a knowlChrist himself appeared among edge of duty. It is made as men, in the body of flesh that plain as the noon-day sun: The was prepared for him. And at I faithful witness gave the ten com
Vol. V. No. 10,
mands from mount Sinai, which grace of the Lord by which they teach men their duty to God and are made partakers of his body one another, and are to remain and blood, to their comfort here, an unaltered rule of life, to the and glory hereafter. end of time. He went before Thus Christ the faithful withis people in their long march ness hath revealed all necessary to the land of promise, from time truth. to time gave them sueh laws, II. The next idea suggested and so opened and explained by the passage is that Christ their duty, as in the fullest man- hath acted in the character, and ner, to let them know his di- performed the office of a priest. vine pleasure. When his gos- Jesus the "Saviour not only pel kingdom was set up he gave acted as a faithful witness in relaws for the government and revealing all necessary truth, but gulation of his church, which are he sealed that truth with his own to continue in force as long as blood. He had discharged the he has a church on earth. office of a prophet, and been con
3. Christ, in the same char- sidered by the Father, and relied acter, hath revealed and made on by the saints, as the atoning known to his church the ordi- priest, long before his incarnanances to be observed, until his tion, even from the time of the second coming
divine promise that the seed of The faithful witness hath taught the woman should bruise the serhis church that God is to be pent's head. The legal priests worshipped in a public, and in a were all, in a greater or less deprivate manner. He hath taught gree, typical of Christ the great ihe various duties they are to antitype. But the high priest perform relating to Godand their was more eminently so. When fellow men. But there are two he went into the holiest of all, and, special divine ordinances which with the blood of the sacrifice, are of peculiar significancy, and sprinkled the mercy seat, it of perpetual binding force. Bap- pointed out, and prefigured tism and the holy supper are the Christ as entering into heaven, two special, standing ordinances by his own blood, and making which every Christian is bound intercession for his people. This to observe. These are to con- showed how an atonement would, tinue to the end of the world. in due time, be made by Christ, One is designed to signify the and a complete sacrifice offered washing of regeneration, and for sin. When the appointed sprinkling with the blood of time arrived, he showed that this Christ, whereby the sinner, be- was no unmeaning service. To ing renewed and cleansed from complete the purpose and design the pollution of sin, is brought of God Christ must die, and into the covenant of grace, and make an ample atonement. The entitled to the promises of the way was prepared for his death gospel. The other is designed by the truths he taught. The to represent and show forth the truth must be preached; and Lord's death, and bring to the preaching the truth must bring view of believers, in every age him to the cross. of time, the love of Christ where- There was a glorious consistby they are redeemed ; and the ency in the divine plan. Hence Jesus taught those truths which | up the vision and prophecy, and were galling to the corrupt, un- to anoint the most Holy. Know, sanctified heart. None more so therefore, and understand, that than his real divinity. This doc- from the going forth of the comtrine had been taught by the pro-mandment to restore and to build phets ages before Christ appear Jerusalem, unto the Messiah the ed among men, especially by Prince, shall be seven weeks, and Isaiah, when he declared, Unto threescore and two weeks : the us a child is born, unto us a son is street shall be built again, and the given, and the government shall wall, even in troublous times. And be upon his shoulders ; and his after threescore and two weeks name shall be called Wonderful, shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Counsellor, The mighty God, The himself. everlasting Father, The Prince of When Messiah was cut off, Peace.* This doctrine which the but not for himself, then was reprophets taught with a degree of conciliation made for iniquity, obscurity, was declared by Christ and the vision and the prophecy with great clearness. He ex- sealed up. To this pointed all pressly declared his eternity, Be- the sacrifices and legal oblations. fore Abraham was I am.t He To this all the predictions of the asserted his oneness with the Fa- prophets had respect ; and in ther, I and my Father are one.f this they had their accomplishThis important, fundamental ment. Herein was the plan of doctrine of Christianity, Christ God relating to redemption comtaught as much more clearly pleted. As a faithful witness than the prophets, as the meri- Christ revealed divine truth, and dian sun outshines the pale died to confirm and establish it. moon, or twinkling stars. And And herein he made reconcilia. for this doctrinę, more than any tion for iniquity, and brought in other, the Jews brought him to everlasting righteousness. the cross. By his death, he faith- It may not be improper to fully witnessed the truth; and by hint a few thoughts naturally his death he completed the atone- suggested by the foregoing rement. He came into the world marks. not only to give witness to the 1. We are led to conclude truth by his death ; but, also, by that Christ is the promised Savhis death to make reconciliation iour. If Christ was pointed out for iniquity, and to bring in ev- as the Saviour, and in that charerlasting righteousness, How acter was the subject of propheclearly is this expressed by Dan- cy for hundreds, yea for thouiel in his prophecy relating to sands of years ; if the legal the seventy weeks. Seventy weeks priests were all typical of him, are determined upon thy people, and in him the prophecies and and upon thy holy city, to finish the types all meet, and are fulfilled ; transgression, and to make an end if these things are true, then he of sins, and to make reconciliation is to be viewed as the Saviour. for iniquity, and to bring in ever. He is doubtless the person prolasting righteousness, and to seal mised in the garden, and who