« הקודםהמשך »
friend, the assurance of their Christian students under his tuition, in the loss sympathy under this sudden and most which they have sustained: yet rejoices afflicting bereavement, devoutly implor- that their venerable friend was favoured ing on her behalf the unfailing consola- with so large an amount of health and tions and support of God her Saviour. vigour, to the close of his active life, and
5. That taking into consideration that was then admitted to the joy of his the Rev. G. Collison was one of the Lord,' with scarcely any visitation of phyfounders of the seminary, and that he has sical suffering." been the Resident Tutor forty-three years, The following Resolution also was this Committee feel it due to his memory passed by the Committee of the Religious and to the Institution that the expenses of Tract Society :-“Resolved unanimously, his funeral be defrayed by this society.” That the Committee feel it their duty to
The funeral of Mr. Collison took place record on their minutes the decease of at Walthamstow, on Friday, the 12th of the Rev. George Collison, one of the February, and was attended by the Trea- Founders of the Society, who was elected surer, Secretary, seventeen members of on its first committee on the 9th of May, the Committee, the Students, the relatives 1799. His numerous engagements preand personal friends of the deceased, vented, for many years, his continuance and a Deputation from the London Mis- on the committee, but after the lapse of sionary Society. The Rev. S. Ransom thirty-six years, he was, in 1836, again read the Scriptures, and prayed; an im- elected, and manifested much interest in pressive address was delivered by the Rev. the prosperity of the Institution. He A. Tidman; and the solemn service was was present on the 10th of September, closed with prayer by the Rev. Dr. Cox. 1844, when the Society's new building
The Directors of the London Missionary was opened for the business of the InstiSociety passed the following resolution:- tution, and took part in the interesting
" Resolved, That this Board has re- proceedings of the morning. He has ceived, with feelings of deep and solemn rested from lengthened labour, and has interest, the intelligence of the sudden doubtless entered into the joy of his decease of their beloved friend, and faith- | Lord. The Committee sympathise with ful coadjutor, the Rev. George Collison, the family and extensive connexions of the Resident Tutor of the Theological their departed friend, on this solemn, but Seminary, Hackney. The Directors call to him happy, dispensation; and trust to grateful remembrance the long course his removal will lead the members of the of years, during which he has been spared Society to feel more deeply the importance to promote the cause of the Saviour, by of active, devoted efforts, while it is called the ministry of the word, the efficient dis-to-day.” charge of his duties as a tutor, and in From the length of this biographical numerous other branches of Christian sketch, a very small space is left for a enterprise ; but especially do the mem- review of the character of this exemplary bers of this Board record their deep sense servant of Christ. He was eminent for of the value of the long and ardent personal holiness: his integrity was unattachment of their departed brother to doubted; his reputation was untarnished; this Institution, by a diligent co-operation and no one charged him with any indiswith its Board and its Committee for nearly cretion! While he professed to be saved forty-four years, and by having success. by Sovereign grace; to rely on the influfully trained many valuable missionaries, ence of the Holy Spirit ; and to live by now engaged in actual service under the faith on the Son of God, as his only and auspices of this Society.
all-sufficient Redeemer. “ The Board hereby expresses its affec- Mr. Collison was a respectable, if not tionate condolence with the members a profound scholar: he was a sound of Mr. Collison's family, and the body of divine; perfectly familiar with the Greek
Testament, in which he delighted to exer- ! tions were decided and his conduct concise his students; and he was not only 'sistent: but his spirit was unsectarian; their tutor, but their friend—and indeed and he enjoyed the friendship of many of their father.
the evangelical clergy of England and In person, Mr. Collison was of a full Scotland, as well as of the Baptists, and size; having a countenance beaming with of both divisions of the Methodists. He intelligence and kindness. His manners was as humble and candid as he was were those of a complete gentleman-dig- | wise; and greatly beloved by his mininified, courteous, and affable. Wherever sterial brethren, who delighted to render he was known he was respected and loved. him due honour. He married Miss Marshall, of Bridling- In politics, Mr. Collison was a liberal, ton, and was an affectionate husband. but not a party man. He zealously coMrs. Collison died several years ago. | operated, in 1811, in the defeat of Lord His only surviving children are a son and ! Sidmouth's Bill; and rejoiced in the proa daughter; and Miss Collison enjoys the gress of free trade, especially in corn and consolation of having largely contributed the food of mankind. He hailed the adto the happiness of her father since the vancement of civil and religious liberty in decease of her mother.
the British empire, as he was assured that As a Protestant Dissenter, a Congrega- this would contribute to hasten the gloritionalist, and a Pædobaptist, bis convic- ous kingdom of the Lord our Saviour !
OUR LORD'S TEMPTATION IN THE WILDERNESS, The singular event, the record of which “into the wilderness, to be tempted of is contained Matt, iv. 1-11, occurred the devil." immediately after the baptism of the Sa
Why was he led up into the wilderviour, and before the commencement of ness? May it not be replied, that retirehis public ministry. Few occurrences in ment and solitude were peculiarly adapted his life are more remarkable, and full of to the circumstances in which the Saviour instruction; and few, consequently, de- was then placed ? Previous to the command from us more careful attention. It
mencement of any very important enteris my design to explain, in the first place, prise, we all feel the necessity for much the account given us by the evangelist of and undisturbed reflection. We withthe event itself; and, in the second place, draw, accordingly, to a place where we to state some of the practical lessons are likely to be secure against intrusion, which it was intended to convey.
—feeling that the presence even of our I. Let us seek to obtain a correct con- most intimate friends would be unwelcome ception of the event recorded by the evan- at a moment like this.
At the precise gelist. The passage referred to contains time, to which the history in Matthew rean account, speaking generally, of a fers, our Lord was about to enter upon his temptation which the devil, with equal public ministry. He had previously represumption and folly, addressed to our sided with his parents, and obtained supLord himself. My wish is to be as little port by the labour of his own hands; so controversial, and as practical, as pos- that sufficient time and opportunity had sible; I therefore throw the substance not been enjoyed for that calm and deli. of what I have to say into the form of berate reflection upon the manner in remarks.
which he should commence and proseThe first remark relates to the scene of cute his mission which its infinite imthe temptation : “ Then was Jesus,” says portance demanded. The solitude of a the bistorian, “led up by the Spirit,”- wilderness was obviously better adapted that is, by an impulse of the Spirit— to this purpose than the bustle of a city,
the confusion of a shop, or even the com- his true and proper humanity. Unitparative retirement of his chamber. He arians mistake the proper object of atwas, therefore, led up into the wilderness. tack when they refer to this fact as at
It is to be observed, further, that Divine variance with our opinions. They ought wisdom was displayed in so arranging to bring it to bear with all its force events, as to cause the temptation, to against those ancient heretics who mainwhich we are about to refer, to assail our tained that the Saviour did not possess Lord in, a wilderness. There can be no
a real body, but the appearance of one doubt that, when the tempter finds us merely. In a contest with the Docetæ the alone--unsupported by the counsel, and fact to which we refer might be of service encouragement, and warnings of our
to them; against us it is a pointless dart. Christian friends, we are most likely to Since our blessed Lord possessed the become the prey of his devices. Certain entire human nature, he was manifestly individuals have sung—and sweetly sung, as accessible to temptation as to the atit may be added, the praise of solitude; tacks of disease, or to the stroke of death. but they have totally mistaken the matter. The wonderful constitution of his person, In regard to security, as well as on other
-comprising, as it did, both the Divine accounts, two are better than one. When and human natures,-may be expected in a time of peril, a number of Christians to throw some degree of obscurity over are found together, the understanding, the subject ; but I apprehend that, while and faith, and firmness, and spirituality we contemplate him as enduring temptaof the whole become defensive armour tion, we are to think of his human nature, for each; and the weaker believer, who and his human nature exclusively. It might have stumbled and fallen had he
was as man that he was accessible to been travelling alone, has found support temptation; as man that he actually enin the friendly arm of his brother. dured temptation; and as man that he
Our Lord, however, enjoyed no such triumphantly overcame it. Doubtless the support. The tempter found him in a hypostatical union, as theologians have wilderness; and the scene of his conflict called it, rendered it impossible for the renders his victory more signal and human nature of our Lord to be vansplendid.
quished in the hour of temptation ; but The second remark relates to the sub- | his actual triumph is to be ascribed, not ject of the temptation : "Then was Jesus
to the indwelling Deity, but to the anointled up into the wilderness to be tempteding of the Holy Spirit, of which he had of the devil.” How could Christ, it has so recently become the subject. been said, who was the Son of God, be The third remark relates to the reasons accessible to temptation ?
which may be supposed to have led to the This is an old objection of the Unit- permission of the temptation. arians. Since Christ was capable of being Here we can be at no loss, since the thus assailed by Satan, he must, there question is answered by the word of fore, be man, they allege, and not God. inspiration : "It behoved him," says the There is a mixture of truth and error in apostle, "to be made like unto his this objection; for the fact that our Lord brethren; that he might be a merciful was accessible to temptation does cer- and faithful high priest in things pertainly prove that he had really the nature taining to God, to make reconciliation of man,-since “God cannot be tempted for the sins of the people: for in that he with evil;" but fails to prove that he himself hath suffered, being tempted, he had no higher nature than that of man. is able to succour them that are tempted." The fact, recorded in this chapter by We shall cease to imagine any mystery Matthew, does not militate against in this, if we admit that it was as a man those who maintain the supreme Deity that our Lord endured temptation ; and of Christ, but against those who deny that, consequently, the results of temptation, in reference to his human nature, sure of heavy affliction, we unburden our must have been what they uniformly are. sorrows, with greater confidence of seNow we know from experience, that no- curing sympathy, to one who has underthing prompts us so powerfully to sym- gone similar trials, than to a friend who pathise with others as the endurance of has experienced nothing like them. And, suffering in our own persons. And it in our supplications to the throne of may be observed, in general, that we feel grace, who has not felt the relief which is most keenly for an individual whose afforded by the thought that our great afflictions most nearly resemble those Intercessor was once the man of sorrows? that we have ourselves sustained. We and when to this is added the recollection enter more easily and entirely into their that this man of sorrows is the mighty feelings, and more completely make God, we are ready to exclaim, with the their case our own. Constituted as man psalmist, “ Therefore will not we fear, is, sufferings of some kind, in our own though the earth be removed, and though persons, seems almost essential to the the mountains be carried into the midst existence of compassion. Even with of the sea."_“The Lord of hosts is with natural tenderness of heart, an individual us, the God of Jacob is our refuge!" who had felt no pain himself would ex- Finally; this temptation was permitted perience little pity even for those who to befal our Lord, that his triumph over are suffering under its fiercest assaults. it might afford encouragement to his The fountain might be full; but without people, that they, also, when exposed to the personal experience of pain, it would similar attacks, shall obtain the victory. remain closed up. Our Lord “suffered, On this part of the subject it is of special being tempted, that he might be a merci importance to remember the statement ful, as well as a faithful, high priest.” already made, that the actual triumph of The trials he endured had the same ten- our Lord is not to be ascribed to the dency and influence upon the human union of the Divine with the human nature of the Redeemer, though in per- nature in his person. In that case his sonal union with the Divine, as they triumph would afford no such encouragewould have had upon that nature existing ment to us. The Saviour, let us not apart from the Divine. “He knows, forget, triumphed as
a man, by the from experience, the hearts of tempted anointing of that Spirit which he had resufferers; he knows what aid is necessary ceived without measure. Now, since God to preserve them from the power of the has engaged to pour down the same adversary; and suffering has rendered Spirit upon us, in a measure adapted bim, as man, prone to afford that aid.” to our exigencies, we may rejoice in
Besides, let us not forget the additional the confidence that in every encounter confidence which the recollection of his with the foe we shall be brought off temptations gives us, that his aid, in our victorious. time of trial, will not be withheld. This The fourth remark relates to the partiappears to be hinted at in the conclusion cular form or manner in which the devil of the fourth chapter of the Epistle to the made this attack upon our Lord. Hebrews : "We have not an High Priest This is a point of considerable diffi. which cannot be touched with the feeling culty—the full amount of which does not of our infirmities; but was in all points perhaps, at first sight, appear. It is a tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let point, also, in reference to which different us, therefore, come boldly unto the throne opinions have been formed by men disof that we may obtain mercy, and tinguished by judgment and piety. It is, find grace to help in time of need.” therefore, needless to add, that it becomes
It is difficult, or rather impossible, to us to maintain our own with deference divest ourselves of the feelings of our and modesty. nature; and, therefore, under the pres- One preliminary remark may help to
guide to a right judgment in reference to control over all his powers both of body this point, viz., that the passage, in and mind. Matthew, to which we now refer, is the And, if the words we are now consi. narrative of a real templation sustained dering are to be regarded as an inspired by the Saviour. If this remark be well record of a real temptation, there are founded—and I see not how its truth can only two opinions which can be formed be denied—it must prove fatal, as it ap- in reference to the event of which they pears to me, to one mode of explaining speak. The first is,-that the devil prethe statements of the evangelist, though sented himself personally and visibly to it has the sanction of great names for its our Lord; and that the events spoken of support. The mode of explanation to in these verses literally happened just as which I allude is the following, viz., that they are described. The second is, that the sacred writer records not an actual there was no personal and visible appearevent, but describes a scene which was ance of the devil to our Lord ; that the presented to the fancy of our Lord, during whole description, which certainly apthe hours of sleep, or vision. And, among pears to imply this, is to be regarded as those who hold this general sentiment, a bighly figurative mode of representing there exists a minor difference of opinion the suggestion by the tempter of a parti—some supposing that the whole is to be cular mode of conduct, (a mode of comascribed to the agency of Satan, and mencing his mission,) which he earnestly others to that of the Spirit of God. The desired the Saviour to adopt, that the latter imagine, of course, that the design purposes of his mission might be defeated of this illusory representation, seen in -a suggestion brought to the mind of sleep or vision, was to exhibit Satan to our Lord in the same manner precisely in our Lord as his most powerful opponent, which his suggestions are conveyed to and “ to prefigure the difficulties by which the minds of Christians generally; so this arch-apostate would aim to embar- that it may be truly, and with emphasis, rass him in the execution of his media- said of our Divine example, as well as torial office.” It was, in fact, a Divine Redeemer, that he was in "all points prophetic vision of the temptations tempted like as we are, yet without sin." by which he was to be assailed in the ac- A writer of some celebrity among us complishment of the work of human seems to regard the first of these hyporedemption.
theses as scarcely worthy of notice. I Now, according to this view, it is not have been constrained, by what appears easy to see how Christ can be said, with to me overpowering evidence, to adopt it. any propriety, to have been tempted at The writer, to whom I have alluded, allows all. If the representation, or vision, were that in the way of suggestion the devil from God—as the latter hypothesis sup- might urge the Saviour to turn stones poses--its object must have been to in- into bread; but thinks that the subsestruct and caution, not to tempt him, for quent narrative cannot be thus explained. “ God tempteth no man." And, if the I submit, however, that the entire narrarepresentation, or vision, were from Satan, tive must either be taken literally, or I am at a loss to conceive of anything figuratively ;--that we cannot, with any which might render it proper to designate appearance of consistency even, explain a mere illusory scene, called up to the the temptation to turn stones into bread, mind of our Lord, in sleep, or in a vision and to cast himself from a pinnacle of the -though it should be by diabolical temple, in two such radically different agencya temptation. Nothing can, I
ways. apprehend, be a temptation—in the sense The opinion, thus briefly exhibited, will in which the word is here used,—but a be more fully unfolded hereafter. In the direct inducement to sin, presented to a meantime it may be expedient to consiperson in full possession of his ordinary | der the forınidable objections that lie in