תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

torpid calonic in the material world. It is prepared for use, but is useless ; it is adapted to afford comfort, but communicates none. O that “God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, may shine into our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of his glory in the person of Jesus Christ !”

The sun in the firmament is visible only by its own light: and “the invisible God” is only to be known by us, as his glory shines in the face, or person, of Jesus Christ, who is “God of God," as light is of the sun. * Whosoever hath seen Him hath seen the Father, for He and the Father are one. This is all philosophically true in the grand symbol of THE HEAVENS; and the Unita

* Filium manasse de Dei substantiâ, sic tanquam lucem de sole, atque ejusdem esse ac patrem substantiæ, quia lux ejusdem est substantiæ, cujus sol. The doctrine of Origen as stated by Huetius, and cited by Bp. Bull, in his Defensio Fidei Nicæni, Sect. II. Cap. ix. $ 14. The Bp. in commenting on this passage of Huetius, affirms that the above illustration is to be found in the Antenicene fathers, in the Nicenc creed, and in the Scripture itself, as in Heb. i. 3.

“Wisdom, or The Logos," is more moving than any motion ; she passeth and goeth through all things by reason of her pureness. For she is the breath of the

power of God, and

pure

influence flowing from the glory of the Almighty: therefore can no defiled thing fall into her. For she is the brightness of the everlasting light, the unspotted mirror of the power of God, and the image of his goodness.” Wisdoni of Solomon vii. 24–26. The whole book of Wisdom, in the opinion of Grotius, was written in Hebrew, under Simon the High Priest, who flourished under Ptolomy Lagus. Allix's Judgment, Chap. v. p. 66.

a

[blocks in formation]

rian, or rather the Antitrinitarian, must change the ordinances of the heavens, before he can disprove the doctrine of a Trinity in the Divine Essence; the modern Pharisee must reverse the course of nature, before he can demonstrate that fallen man, in any sense or degree, is capable of being his own Saviour; and the Antinomian must shut up all his avenues of sensation, before he can justify his views of salvation by a lifeless and inoperative faith.

I am, my dear friend, truly yours,

LETTER VI.

THE FORMATION AND CONSTITUTION

OF MAN.

MY DEAR FRIEND, While I enter on the subject which I have chosen for my sixth letter, I am conscious that I am about to lead you over ground of peculiar difficulty ad danger ; and I am therefore very anxious to be guided by the Word and Spirit of God, in order that I may myself be preserved from all important error, and from leading you into it. The attributes of matter are the subjects of our senses, though even these are often mysterious; and it is by combining revelation and experiment that we may most safely conduct inquiries concerning them. But, in approaching the confines of the spiritual world, our senses are no further of use to us, than as Revelation has compared spiritual with material objects, and has taught us the attributes of the former by analogy with those of the latter. In describing the formation of the material universe, the inspired historian has, moreover, been comparatively explicit. But in his account of the formation of man he has been so concise, as to make it necessary that, at every step, we should have recourse to subsequent Scriptures, in order that we may understand the information he gives us.

The subject, then, of this communication is the production of the highly favoured tenant, for whose use the magnificent mansion before described had been provided. And what dignity is attached to the character of man, what importance is connected with his existence, when we consider that for his accommodation, instruction, and education for eternity, the wonderful machinery of this material system was contrived by infinite wisdom and executed by almighty power? Surely our highest thoughts of our own responsibility, our deepest convictions of the sin and folly of forgetting our high destination, and our most exalted views of the goodness of God in our first creation, and in our restoration by redemption, must fall very far short of the truth.

In reviewing the narrative given us of the origin of man, I shall place before you the two accounts which Moses has furnished, and then inquire what further illustration of the subject we can find in other parts of Scripture. In his account of the last and sixth day's work, Moses has told us that “THE ALEIM said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and

[ocr errors]

over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So THE ALEIM created man in his own image, in the image of the ALEIM created he him: male and female created he them.” Gen. i. 26, 27–And the Lord God, (Jehovah Aleim) formed man (of) the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, (Heb. lives) and man became a living soul, *

Gen. ii. 7. The word which, in this latter account, is translated “ life,” is in the plural number, lives; and unless this plural term be considered as including the spiritual branch of the constitution of man, it does not appear that any separate information is given by Moses of its production, the other terms which he has used being commonly employed in speaking of animal life. The life even of inferior animals is of two distinct kinds ; and that of man is threefold. He has, in

* An organized being, endowed with animal and spiritual life. was signifies to breathe and the substantive a breathing frame, the visible part of man.

† See Whitby and Macknight's notes on 1 Th. v. 23. Whitby observes, “ Here the Apostle justifies the ancient and true philosophy; that man is, as Nemesius styles him, spojenpens UTOSAOIS, a compound of three different parts. This was the doctrine of the Pythagoreans, as we learn from Iamblicus, who having told us that man consists of soul and body, adds, that the soul consists of two parts, one endued with reason and one without reason. This also was the philosophy of the Platonists, as we learn from Nemesius and Sallust, who informs us that there is in man a soul irrational, which follows the affections of the body, and a mind which useth the body as its instrument, and fights against it. This also was the doctrine of the Stoicks, whence Antoninus saith, the three consistent parts of man are

G3

« הקודםהמשך »