« הקודםהמשך »
of the Godhead bodily, who was on the throne, and received the worship of heaven, as it is here represented. The attributes ascribed to Him in the text are holiness, almighty power, and eternity. These attributes, combined, are peculiar to the Divine Being; His name is holy; He is the almighty God; He only is from everlasting to everlasting. These are the peculiar attributes of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; the three everblessed Persons in one Jehovah.
The same language as that in the text is used in the vision with which the prophet Isaiah was favoured. He says, In the year that king Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims, each one had sir wings, with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts ; the whole earth is full of His glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone ; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts. This is the feeling which a view of the transcendent holiness and glory of the Divine Being will ever excite in the minds of the children of God. They will be abased before Him under a sense of their utter
unworthiness to appear in His presence, who is infinitely holy. In reference to the Person to whom the vision of Isaiah related, the Evangelist St. John informs us, These things said Esaias, when he saw His glory, the glory of Jesus, and spake of Him. The prophet mentions further, Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I, send me. And He said, Go and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes ; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert and be healed. On which St. Paul observes, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers, saying, Go unto this people and say, Hearing ye shall hear and not understand, and so on.
The glory of the Triune Jehovah is then that which was displayed both to the enraptured prophet, and to the beloved disciple; and for this reason the threefold repetition is made, Holy, holy, holy; since “the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one, the glory equal, the majesty co-eternal.” With what reverence and awe does it become the creatures of His power to contemplate His infinite perfections! The holiness of God is the
1 Isaiah vi. 1---5, 8-10. 2 John xii. 41. 3 Acts xxviii. 25, 26.
First of His attributes mentioned in the text. His holiness denotes His inconceivable purity, and entire separation from all evil, so that it is said, Yea, the heavens are not clean in His sight, in comparison with Himself. The infinite holiness of the Lord God Almighty, the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of heaven, is enough to fill us sinful creatures with the greatest dread of Him. The proclamation of it causes the most profound adoration, and the highest songs of praise in His sacred presence. The heavenly hosts worship their Creator and their King, cast their crowns before Him, and chant His praises, as being alone worthy of the highest honour from all created intelligences. With what humility ought we to contemplate it, when we fall so far short of it. So much so, that it is said, What is man, that he should be clean? and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous ? Behold, He putteth no trust in His saints ; yea, the heavens are not clean in His sight. How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water.
The consideration of the holiness and majesty of God, naturally leads to the inquiry, How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean that is born of a woman? How can a sinful creature be accepted with Him? For, behold even to the moon, and it shineth not; yea, the stars are not pure in His sight; how much less man that
is a worm? and the son of man, which is a worm? How then should man be just with God? since, if He will contend with him, he cannot answer Him one of a thousand. We must confess, as Job did, If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me; if I say, I am perfect, it shall also prove me perverse. But such is the pride of man, that we are naturally prone to justify ourselves rather than God. As long as this spirit is indulged, we are evidently ignorant both of ourselves and of God. When Job was made acquainted with himself, and with the holiness of God, he humbly said to the Lord, I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear; but now mine eye seeth Thee; wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes. Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer Thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth; once have I spoken ; but I will not answer ; yea, twice; but I will proceed no further in self-justification,
The method of God's dealing with mankind is, He looketh upon men, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that which is right, and it profited me not; He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light. Then He is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit, I have found a ransom. The broken and contrite heart He will not despise ; but on the contrary, the prophet Isaiah represents Jehovah as speaking, Thus saith the High and Lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place ; with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit; to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones." While the proud He beholdeth afar off, o He graciously declares, To this man will I look, even to him that is poor, and of a contrité spirit, and trembleth at my word. Hence the first work of the Spirit of God, when He comes to mankind, is to reprove the world of sin, or to produce conviction in the consciences of those who have transgressed the laws of God, that they are verily guilty before Him, in order that they may be led to believe in Him who is the Saviour of sinners, to behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world;" to put their trust in His infinitely perfect righteousness, who is gone into heaven to plead it before the throne of God on behalf of His believing people; and to live as becometh those who are delivered from condemnation, as well as from the dominion of Satan and sin, and are looking forward to the judgment to come with a good hope, through grace, that they shall not be ashamed before the Judge of all the earth at His coming.
4 Job xv. 14; xxv. 4; ix. 2, 20; xlii. 5; xl. 4; xxxiii. 27.