« AnteriorContinuar »
eye not the God-Man, Immanuel, she will ever look and rely in vain for a helper, supporter and strengthener, in vain for solid ground whereon to set her dependance and confidence. Let us learn, from the example of the man of God, thus to adore our glorious Redeemer; and, in all our concern in spiritual matters, to look to him alone for renewed light and knowledge who is the Lord of his church and people.
But what may be understood by Christ manifesting himself to his people as he does not unto the world ? It is in the glorious gospel we make our discoveries of the Lord Jesus Christ ; through the word of the truth of the gospel, being made known to our souls by God the Holy Ghost, we enjoy that manifestation of Christ to which the world is a stranger. Our Lord says in this same chapter, “ He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me; and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” Now, who or where is the man or woman of whom it may be said, they are lovers of God ? Man may profess to love God, but the love of a poor sinner to God is the offspring of God's love to that poor sinner. Whatever be professed or declared concerning this sacred principle, there is no such affection possessed by the human soul till the fire of divine love generates the pure flame there. God is love : from everlasting he hath loved his church: and the effects of that love in his good time shall be manifested towards them, shall be revealed to them. When the God of love hath displayed this love in giving Christ to them-in accepting Christ as the surety for them in giving the Holy Ghost to instruct them, convincing them of their ruin and misery, and leading them to Christ—then do they become possessed of a principle of love to him: they love him because he first loved them the love of Christ constrains them. They are quickened to feel their lost state without him,-they are enlightened to discover their interest in his person, and in the work he hath wrought out for them.
The word of God cannot of itself effect a divine manifestation, yet it is the appointed means in the hand of God; for it is the gracious declaration of his mind and will; and it is as he takes that word, clothes it with divine power, and seals home the instruction it affords, that the truth sought after is enjoyed. But what is the word which it is their privilege and desire to keep? and, which they would, but for the temptations of the devil, and their darkened understandings ? certainly the testimony God hath given of his Son, the perfection of the work he has accomplished, the complete satisfaction given to eternal justice, the perfect fulfilment of the demands of the holy law, and the full satisfaction received by Jehovah from the life which he lived, and the death which he suffered for his church and people. “ He that loveth me keepeth my words.” The soul that has a desire to come to him, and so to come to him as to live upon him, and to draw all his supplies from him, he keepeth his words; he embraces the blessed record God hath given of bis Son, and learns what Christ is to him and has done for him. This is the manifestation the man of God so earnestly desired, the knowledge of Christ dwelling in his heart by faith, and dwelling there as his covenant and living head. - We are not warranted in expecting any further manifestation than what we receive by believing in and resting on Christ and the word of his grace. “ The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is the word of faith which we preach.” It is the object of the great enemy of souls, to persuade poor sinners made sensible, of their need of Christ, and brought with weeping and supplication to cry after Christ, that no manifestation has been made to them. But, poor sinner, the very concern wrought in thee, to come to, and to seek after Christ, is the manifestation of himself. Say then, has he not manifested himself unto thee as he does not unto the world what greater manifestation can we need ? it arises from the divine favour he hath from all eternity borne to our souls. Though all to whom the Lord's power and grace are manifested in granting the exercise of a lively hope, and in bringing them to the mercy-seat to plead the blood and righteousness of Christ for justification, are not enabled to say, they know the foundation on which they stand, or, they know in whom they have believed; yet have they the strong assurance, the blessed foretaste and anticipation, that in the Lord's time the desires of their souls shall be fully realized ; yet shall they all know him as the God of their salvation in establishing and building them up in their most holy faith..
The never-failing consequences that arise in the soul from the knowledge of these things are thus described by the Psalmist : 6. Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing ; thou hast put off my sackcloth; and girded me with gladness; to the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O Lord, my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever." And by the prophet Isaiah: “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation. he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness." These gracious discoveries stimulate the believer to greater activity in the cause of God, animate him to go forward with alacrity, and to run diligently in the ways of God, produce courage to prosecute the war he is called to engage in with the world, the flesh, and the devil, and dignify the high character of the christian, enabling him to glorify and honour God in his day and generation, and opening up to the eagle-eye of faith, which pierces the gloom, the fogs, and the mist of his time-state, the endless rest that awaits the enjoyment of all that believe. • The Lord the Spirit bless the truths of bis own word to the soul of the reader, for Christ's sake. Amen.
The Character and Offices of Christ, illustrated by a Comparison
with the Typical Characters of the Old Testament. In a series of Discourses. By the Rev. John Crombie, A.M. Minister of St. Andrew's Scotch Church, London. Underwood.
A Volume of valuable discourses on the character and offices of Christ, evangelical in sentiment, composed in a superior and attractive style, and adapted to the wants of very many who name the name of Christ, but are deficient in their knowledge of the scripture record of him who is the sum and substance of all truth. The typical characters noticed in so many several discourses, are: Adam, Abel, Noah, Melchisedec, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, Joshua, Samson, David, Solomon, Jonah. We admire the ground the author takes in his introduction from which he pursues the important subjects brought under review.
“Let us enquire by what test these ancient types and shadows of the Saviour are to be tried, that we may not fall into error, either by accepting as typical that which is not; or, by refusing as such, that which is. We have the more need to be cautious in this matter, because an almost invincible prejudice hath been conceived, in the minds of many, against the allegorical interpretation of scripture, in consequence of the imprudent and intemperate zeal with which it has been sometimes pursued by well-meaning, but injudicious and imaginative men. To search every where, even in the plainest narratives, for spiritual allusions, and to change the external appearance of every passage by the enchantment, as it were, of mystical explanations, is neither wise nor profitable; hath often given occasion to the enemy to blaspheme; and can tend but little to promote the acceptable worship of Him, who would be worshipped in spirit and in truth. The consciousness of this fact has led others to the contrary extreme, to reject every thing in the Old Testament as typical, which is not expressly declared to be so in the New : an extreme which, if it is at all less injurious to the cause of religion, is however, apt to become more hurtful to the individual who has run into it. For, while a tendency to the former excess argues a soul that loves Christ, and that seeks in every place and on every occasion to'find him ; the other indicates a soul sunk in slothfulness, and slow to believe ; which dissevers the Old Testament as much as possible from the New, divesting it of its spirituality, and depriving it of its christian tendency.'
The discourse on Adam and Christ,” treats of the creation of Adam, as compared with the birth of Christ-the extent of authority and dominion conferred on our first parent-as the federal head and representative of his posterity—as a husband and a father. Each of these particulars is discussed at length, and the comparisons drawn in which they are typical of the second Adam, the Lord from heaven. Christ, as the husband of his church, is thus spoken of. .
“ As Adam was called the husband of the woman thus formed from his own body, so is Jesus called the husband of that gospel church which he hath redeemed with his own blood. Even God's ancient church is represented as
standing in this relation to him; when, in the words of the prophet Jeremiah, he promises to make with the spiritual house of Israel a new covenant; “ but not according to the covenant made with their fathers, when he brought them from the land of Egypt;" and adds, “which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord.” The promise of this endeared and hallowed union was made to the gospel church, even in prophetic times : “ for thy Maker,” says Isaiah, “is thine husband, and the Lord of Hosts is his name.” This prophetic declaration of the Old Testament is confirmed by the apostolic authority of the New. “For I am jealous over you," says Paul to his Corinthian converts, “I am jealous over you with godly jealousy; for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you a chaste virgin unto Christ.” The terms also of this marriage union betwixt Christ and his redeemed people are set before us in scripture; all the advantages of which are on one side, being conferred by Jesus, and bestowed upon his church. I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in loving-kindness, and in mercies: I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness, and thou shalt know the Lord. And not only is the church of believers on earth, but also the church triumphant in heaven, spoken of in the same metaphorical language. “And I saw,” says the author of the Revelations, “ the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband."""
The discourse on “ David and Christ,” notices the name of the monarch, “ Beloved,” as having typical reference to the Messiah of
Israel- the place of his nativity, as distinguishing him a type of Christ—as also his early and humble occupation of a shepherd's life -the sufferings by which he arose to greatness-the vicissitudes of his exalted station-and, as a victorious prince in his royal dignity typical of Christ, &c. On the sufferings of David which bore a resemblance to those of Jesus, our author remarks :
“When David was forced by an unnatural son and by his rebellious subjects to fly from Jerusalem, he passed over the brook Kedron, and all the people passed over with him toward the way of the wilderness. That very day on which Jesus was seized by his kinsmen the Jews, and delivered into the hands of his enemies, he passed this same brook Kedron, accompanied by the little band of his faithful disciples. When David had passed the channel of this mountain stream, he ascended the Mount of Olives, and wept as he went up: and when Jesus had passed the same, he entered the garden of Gethsemane, upon the sides of the Mount of Olives, and began to be exceeding sorrowful, even unto death. In this day of David's bitter grief, his sorrow was augmented by the reflection that the agents of his sufferings were his kindred and his friends. It was his own son who headed the revolt, and of whom he thus speaks: “For it was not an enemy that reproached me, for then I could have borne it, neither was it he that hated me, that did magnify himself against me, then I could have hid myself from him ; but it was thou, a man mine equal; we took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God.” It was moreover his ancient counsellor who matured the plans of this rebellion, of whom David thus complains : " yea, mine own familiar friend in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.” Jesus too was brought to judgment and to death, by the very nation which was peculiarly his own, and by the people who were the sheep of his pasture; and he was betrayed into the hands of sinners by a disciple who had followed him in his ministry, who had taken part in his counsels, and who had been honoured with his friendship. It may be worthy of remark, that the false friend of David was called AHITHOPHEL, that is, a brother of ruin; and the betrayer of Jesus was surnamed ISCARIOT, that is, a man of murder. Their sad end was the same; for we are told, “ that when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his ass and arose, and gat him home to his house, and to his city, and put his household in order, and hanged himself, and died:” and by the Evangelists we are informed, “that Judas, when he saw that Jesus was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, and cast them down in the temple, and went and hanged himself." Of the one David says, “Let his days be few, and let another take his office:" and of the other the apostle Peter declares, “Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein, and his bishopric let another take.” But in the end, the afflictions of David were crowned with victory, and followed with triumph and peace; and so also was He who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, in the end crowned with glory anil honour."
With one other quotation we must close our notice of the volume. In the discourse on “ Solomon and Christ,” speaking of the wealth and splendour of the person and kingdom of Solomon, as justly typical of Christ, our author observes
“In the history of this prince we are informed of his gorgeous apparel and costly ornaments, even those splendid garments which smelled of myrrh, aloes, aud cassia, out of the ivory palaces wherein they made him glad. We read with astonishment of the various ranks of his ministers, and the different duties of their office; of his numerous household, and the vast provision for their daily maintenance; of the magnificence of his public buildings, and the splendour of his private dwellings; of the superb grandeur of his throne, and the rich provision of his table; of the number of his horses, which Judea did not furnish, but were brought to him from Egypt and Arabia, and the adjacent countries; and also of the immense revenues which flowed into his coffers from the tributary streams of many foreign lands. But in contemplating the glory of Solomon, our attention is especially attracted to that extensive and lucrative commerce which made gold so plentiful in Judea, that silver was nothing accounted of, in the days of that illustrious monarch.
“How mean was the Saviour's humanity when compared with this! Instead of the variegated and splendid apparel of Solomon, one plain robe, without seam, woven from the top to the bottom, was his garment. Instead of the ivory throne and princely palaces of Solomon, Jesus often had not a place where to lay his head. Instead of receiving taxes and levying tribute from foreign kings and distant lands, Jesus must send his disciple to cast his hook into the sea, and to take from the fish's mouth a piece of money to pay his own. Instead of going out and coming in before his people, like Solomon in his peaceful days, with the proud neighings and prancings of the superb war-horse, Jesus must be contented, even when he triumphs, to enter Jerusalem upon a despised beast of burden. Instead of a variety of officers, and almost innumerable attendants, chosen from among the Hebrew nobles in the proudest era of the Israelitish monarchy, Jesus was attended, at the period of its lowest depression, by a scanty train of followers, chosen from the poorest classes of the people.
“But was the Saviour of men as poor in reality as the outward meanness of his condition bespoke him to be? His was indeed the earth and the fulness thereof; yet though rich, for our sakes he condescended to become poor, that through his poverty we might be made rich. As Mediator between God and man, his kingdom was not of this world, and the gold which perisheth was not his portion. And yet Isaiah, speaking in the name of the Saviour, says, “For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass, and for stones iron." But the prophet here speaks of those invaluable riches which are treasured up in Christ Jesus, to which all the gold of Ophir is not equal, and which even the price of worlds could not
Vol. IV, -No. 40.