« הקודםהמשך »
ning and the end, the first and the last, which was, and which is, and which is to come, the Almighty.” The exalted offices which he came to execute-to unfold the eternal counsels of the Father-to establish the everlasting rules of truth and duty—to satisfy the claims of divine holiness and justice—to demolish the dominion which sin and death had established over mankind—to open the gates of everlasting bliss which divine wrath had closed against a guilty world—these are offices which a creature, stamped with native weakness could never execute—they require the omnipotent strength of the Creator of the universe—they claim for Jesus, who triumphantly executes them, divine and eternal powers. The triumphs of his cross, which bore down the opposing prejudices, learning, and power of the world, and still reduces under its sway the perverse imaginations of the heart, proclaim the divinity of that Jesus who, though he suffered as a malefactor, confers upon the cross, which was the mark of ignominy, these divine powers. View, finally, the glorious throne on which he governs, and will, at last, judge the world. What divine splendour surrounds it -How extensive and resistless its dominionHow powerful its decrees-What thunders burst from it, on the impenitent adversaries of God-What immortal felicities are dispensed from it to his obedient subjects—What divine and immortal honours are paid to the glorious Personage who is seated on it, holding “ the
keys of hell and death”—“ Thousand thousands stand before him, ten thousand times ten thousand minister unto him." _The host of heaven present their eternal adoration to him, who is infinitely exalted above the most perfect of their celestial orders, “ the King of kings and Lord of lords.” Ah, my soul, these are illustrious proofs that he with whom thou art to confide thy everlasting salvation, is, indeed, thy Lord and thy God, claiming thy most profound homage, thy unbounded confidence, thy unreserved submission. In every view which faith opens to thee of the Saviour, fix thy contemplations on the glory of his divine nature, When thou dost repose on the omnipotent arm of a divine Saviour, the emotions of love shall be exalted, the ardours of hope strengthened, the triumphs of thy faith shall rise above all the enemies of thy salvation. What sublime awe surrounds the symbols of the altar, when faith discloses to thee the glories of the incarnate God, whom they set forth! Oh! what reverential, yet what delightful emotions swell the bosom of the believing communicant, when, in the reception of the sacred elements, he enjoys the exalted assurance, that he is united to a divine Saviour-that he is admitted into communion with the Son of Godthat in the person of that blessed Redeemer, to whoin he has committed the salvation of his soul, dwell all those divine attributes which are calculated to invigorate his love, his grati. tude, his joy, his holy triumphs.
The lively exercises of faith should be directed to the Saviour as the divine Prophet, by whom we are instructed in the laws and counsels of God.
Through him were the beams of truth to be shed on a world enveloped with the shades of error-through him was the benighted mind to be enlightened in that spiritual knowledge which its most exalted researches could never attain. Behold, O my soul, what infinite claims, as thy divine instructor, the Saviour possesses to thy reverence and obedience. He whom thou art to receive as thy Prophet, is himself the eternal Word-he was from all eternity in the bosom of the Father-in him dwelt the Holy Spirit without measure. Perfectly acquainted, therefore, must he have been with the will of his Almighty Father. To the prophetic office he was illustriously inaugurated, by the overshadowing of the Highest
, by the descent of the Holy Ghost, by the solemn declaration of the Father, this is my beloved Son, hear ye him. Gloriously does this divine Prophet execute his office. A luminous revelation of divine truth, developing the attributes of the Godhead, the means of access to the throne of offended justice, the universal circle of religious, moral, and social duties, the eternal mansions beyond the grave, did this celestial Prophet promulgate. By stupendous miracles, which proved that his power was from on high, did he enforce his doctrines—by his own splendid example, did he urge his holy precepts
by the shedding of his precious blood, did he put the seal to the divinity of his mission. Evangelists and apostles he inspired to proclaim his Gospel to the world—in the oracles of the law and the testimony, we still behold the divine truths of salvation—through the ministrations and ordinances of the sanctuary, Christ, our Almighty Prophet, still sheds on the soul that enlightening radiance which discloses to her the excellence and consolations of divine truth. Oh! my soul, when the blindness, the depravity of human reason, forced upon thee by thy own experience, and by the view of the world sunk in ignorance and error, awaken the anxious desire to find a refuge from thy perplexing doubts in the bosom of an infallible instructor-embrace, by faith, that holy Jesus who was 6 anointed with the Holy Ghost, and with power," " to preach good tidings unto the meek,” « to put his laws into the hearts,” and “to write them upon the minds” of the children of men. Bring all thy errors, thy doubts, and prejudices at his feet; humbly implore that guidance which will translate thee from the darkness of natural reason into the light of celestial truth. Let every approach to the holy supper be embraced with ardour, as affording thee an opportunity of renewing the exercises of faith in Christ, thy divine Prophet, and of contemplating with admiration and gratitude the excellencies of that instructor, on whose head rests the radiance of the Godhead, from whose lips flow the accents of truth. At the altar, where thou dost commemorate the infinite condescension of this divine guide, seal thy vows of bringing every thought into captivity to his obedience, and of embracing, as the subjects of thy daily and reverential meditations, as the standards by which thy opinions are to be formed and thy practice regulated, as the infallible guides by which thou art to be conducted through the mazes of error and sin, to the glorious fulness of eternal truth the inestimable revelations and laws of that blessed Redeemer, who only is the way, the truth, and the life.
Behold what exalted claims the Saviour possesses to thy lively faith as a gracious Priest and Intercessor.
For man sunk under the condemning sentence of a violated law, and obnoxious to divine wrath, he gave himself an offering, and sacrifice unto God." Holy, harmless, undefiled,” shedding over the atonement which he offered, the glories of his divinity, he made 66
ha full, free, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world." Ascending up on high, into the holy of holies, not made with hands, he presents before the altar of divine justice the all-sufficient incense of his merits, and averts from all penitent believers the wrath of an indignant Judge. Seated on the right hand of God, “ he ever liveth to make intercession for us”—he implores from his Almighty Father the blessings of pardon, grace, and holiness, which, through him, descend on his penitent people.