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his talent has not been conceal ed knowing the goodness of his Lord, he has used it in dependence upon his blessing. To account for it, he is always ready, and as he habitually acts with reference to the day of reckoning, it can never arrest him unprepared. Be this our posture. Be this the present, constant concern of our minds, to be found vigilant and FAITHFUL, waiting for the coming of our LORD. X.
very proper to ask them the present question. Their reply was, "The son of David." This prepared the way to a further question. "How then doth David in spirit call him LORD? If David call him LORD, how is he his son ?" This point they could not solve.
The inquiry now before us is, What have the holy scriptures taught us respecting the per son and character of CHRIST?
When the Pharisees said that the MESSIAH was the son of David, Jesus referred them to the words which David, by inspiration, spake concerning him, Psalm cx. 1. "The Lord said unto my lord, sit thou at my right hand till I make thine enemies thy footstool." The Pharisees never thought he was the root as well as off spring of David. Viewing him merely as a man, proceeding from David's loins, they might well be perplexed to understand how a son of David could be his Lord, and sit down on the right hand of God in heaven. He must have descended from David according to the flesh, or he could not have been his son: He must have had an higher original, or could not have been his Lord; could not set down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. His seat there proves his superiority to the angels. They all worship him.
What then have the scriptures said respecting the transcendent dignity of his nature? They appear plainly to teach his existence prior to his in
For the Panoplist.
CONTEMPLATIONS ON CHRIST.
What think ye of Christ. ONE of the Pharisees asked our Lord, “Which is the great commandment in the law?" The answer was, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.' The evangelists Mark and Luke inform us, that the answer was perfectly satisfactory to the inquirer, and to others of the sect, who were then present. Our Lord embraced so favourable an opportunity to ask them, "What think ye of CHRIST, or MESSIAH? whose son is he?" They were the acknowledged interpreters of the Jewish scriptures, which foretold and described that JUST ONE. It was therefore
* Mark, xii. 32. §Luke, xx. 39.
carnation. This is a point of much moment, and claims particular attention.
In his prayer, not long before his death, he mentions the glory which he had with the Father, before the world was. He declares that he proceeded forth and came from God; that he testified none other things than he had seen with his Father; that he came down from heaven, (John, iii. 13, v. 13, 31, 32, vi. 33, 61, viii. 23, 38, xiv. 10, xvi. 27, 28, 30, Ivii. 8.) He who is ascended far above all heavens, first descended from thence. (Eph. iv. 9. 10.) He is ascended up where he was before. The bread of life is he who cometh down from heaven. The WORD was made flesh! This wORD was a real person, not a mere quality. How could a mere quality, reason, for instance, be made flesh? It is added, that the WORD dwelt among us, full of grace and truth. We beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father. His name is called, THE WORD OF GOD. In him was life. If the WORD was a real person, then this person existed before he was made flesh. If in him the glory of the only begotten of the Father was beheld, then he was not a mere man. Before he was found in fashion as a man, he was in the form of God, the brightness of his glory, and express image of his person. His being made flesh was a signal instance of humiliation. "He humbled himself, made himself of no
reputation," when he laid aside his divine form, took on him an human one, and "became obedient unto death." For this instance of humility he is now highly exalted." Is it not clear, that our Lord had an existence, a superior existence before his incarnation? This point being settled, an inquiry arises, Have the scriptures informed us that there ever was a time when he was not? We have the prediction of his birth by the prophet Micah in these words: "But thou Bethlehem, Ephratah, out of thee shall he go forth that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting." The author of the epistle to the Hebrews saith, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and for ever; and applies to him the words of Psalm cii. 25, 26, 27," Of old hast thou laid the foundations of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure. They shall be changed, but thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end. He whose name is the Word of God, St. John saith, "was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him." St. Paul saith," By him were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions, or principalities or powers." In the Revelation he sent by his angel to John, it is written "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith
the Lord, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty." This is repeated five times in the same book. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, before the world began, made a covenant with him, even the everlasting covenant. The covenant of peace was between them both. Before Abraham was I AM.
There is good reason to suppose that MESSIAH was the person who appeared to the patriarchs, to Moses and Joshua, and to the Jewish church. When God was about to conduct Israel to their promised rest, he said, "Behold, I send an angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not: For he will not pardon your transgression; for my name is in him." The above words seem to be equivalent to the declaration of the voice from heaven, "This is my beloved Son; hear him."
LORD sitting upon a throne high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims," with veiled faces, expressive of humility; and with wings, expressive of alacrity and zeal in doing his commandments."And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts: The whole earth is full of his glory."(John, xii. 41. Isai. vi. 1, 2, 3.) The same prophet describes his person, and the joy of the church in his birth and kingdom, in the following language; "For unto us a child is born, unto usason is given: And the government shall be upon his shoulders: And his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judg ment and with justice from henceforth even for ever."
The SHECHINAH, or visible symbol of the divine majesty, was no other than MESSIAH in the form of God. When this radiance appeared, it called for religious homage. Paul tell us, that HE who followed Israel in the wilderness was Christ. They marched or encamped as directed by the pilJar of cloud and of fire. This was light to them, but darkness and confusion to their enemies. St. John assures us, that "Isaiah saw the glory" of the Messiah, when he saw the
Isaiah further foretold, "A virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name EMMANUEL," or God with us. Any comment upon the nature of the event predicted would be improper. It is and must remain a great mystery. But it must have been a fact; otherwise christianity is a fiction. An event may be foretold in explicit language, and take place as foretold, while its nature and cause are unsearchable. "In him," says St. Paul,
dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, God was manifest in the flesh." The incarnation of the Messiah is to be believed upon divine testimony, as is the doc trine of the Trinity: Neither can be explained to our understanding. We cannot comprehend God; but we may receive his testimony, and set to our seal that HE is true. The incarnation is attested by a double trinity of witnesses; three in heaven, and three on earth. "We receive the witness of men: The witness of God is greater. Upon the whole : What must we think of Christ, to
ON THE DEPARTURE FROM THE PECULIAR TRUTHS AND SPIRIT
The following seasonable and excellent observations on the gradual departure from the peculiar truths, maxims, and spirit of Christianity, are extracted from the Rev. Robert Hall's Fast sermon of Oct. 19, 1803.
whom the attributes of eternity and omniscience are ascribed. "I am the first and the last. Lord, thou knowest all things. I am HE who searcheth the reins and the hearts." What shall we think of Christ, if all things were made and are upheld by him? What shall we think of Christ, if he could claim the peculiar appellation, by which God revealed himself to Moses and the jewish church; I AM THAT I AM?What must we think of Christ, if this is his name, EMMANUEL? And this, JEHOVAH OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS?
(To be continued.)
"The truths and mysteries which distinguish the Christian from all other religions," observes our able author, "have been little attended to by some, totally denied by others; and while infinite efforts have been made, by the utmost subtilty of argumentation, to establish the truth and authenticity of revelation, few in comparison, have been exerted to show what it really contains. The doctrines of the fall and of redemption, which are the two grand points on which the Christian dispensaVol. I. No. 5. Dd
tion hinges, have been too much neglected. Though it has not yet become the fashion (God for bid it ever should) to deny them, we have been too much accus tomed to confine the mention of them to oblique hints and distant allusions. They are too often reluctantly conceded, rather than warmly inculcated, as though they were the weaker or less honourable parts of christianity, from which we were in haste to turn away our eyes, although it is in reality these very truths which have, in every age, inspired the devotion of the church, and the rapture of the redeemed. This alienation from the distinguishing truths of our holy religion accounts for a portentous peculiarity among christians, their being ashamed of a book, which they profess to receive as the word of
"Indifference and inattention to the truths and mysteries of revelation have led, by an easy transition, to a dislike and neglect of the book which contains them; so that in a christian country, nothing is thought so vulgar as a serious appeal to the scriptures; and the candidate for fashionable distinction would rather betray a familiar acquaintance with the most impure writers, than with the words of Christ and his apostles. Yet we complain of the growth of infidelity, when nothing less could be expected than that some should declare themselves infidels, where so ma
ny had completely forgot they were Christians." "The consequence has been such as might be expected, an increase of profaneness, immorality, and irreligion." (page 32-34.)
"The traces of piety have been wearing out more and more, from our conversation, from our manners, from our popular publications, from the current literature of the age, In proportion as the maxims and spirit of christianity have declined, infidelity has prevailed in their room."
feem to have forgotten there was ever any cause of grief in those fufferings. I could be paffionate to think, O Saviour, of thy bitter and ignominious death, and most of all, of thy vehement strugglings with thy Father's wrath for my fake, but thy conqueft and glory takes me off, and calls me to hallelujahs of joy and triumph; Blefing, honour, glory and power, be unto him that fitteth upon the throne, and unto the lamb for ever and ever, Rev. v. 13.
SELECT THOUGHTS, BY BISHOP HALL.
WHEN I think on my Saviour in his agony, and on his cross, my foul is fo clouded with forrow, as if it would never be clear again Thofe bloody drops, and thofe dreadful ejaculations (methinks) fhould be paft all reach of comfort; but when I fee his happy eluctation out of these pangs, and hear him cheerfully rendering his fpirit into the hands of his Father; when I find him trampling upon his grave, attended with glorious angels, and afcending in the chariot of a cloud to his heaven; I am fo elevated with joy, as that I
THE witty Earl of Rochester, happened to be in company with King Charles II. his Queen, Chap lain, and some of his ministers of State: After they had been difcourfing on publick business, the King, of a fudden, exclaimed"Come, let us unbend our thoughts from the cares of ftate, and give us a generous glafs of wine, which cheereth, as the Scrip ture faith, both God and man." The Queen hearing this, modeftly faid, fhe thought there could be no fuch text in Scripture; and that the idea feemed to her to be little less than blafphemy. The King replied, that he was not prepared to turn to chapter and verse; but, he was pretty fure, he had met with it fome where in his Scripture reading. The Chaplain was appealed to, and he was of the fame opinion with the Queen. Rochefter fufpecting the King to be right, and being no friend to the Chaplain, flipt out of the room, to inquire among the fervants, if any of them were converfant with the Bible. They named David, the Scots cook, who always carried a Bible about him; and David being called; recollected both the text, and where to find it. Rochefter ordered him to be in