Imágenes de páginas

Sauveur du monde; ce qui n'eust point esté sans le dessein de le perdre, sans la vente & la reprobation qu'ils en firent.

Dans la prison Joseph innocent entre deux criminels; Jesus en la croix entre deux larrons. Joseph prédit le salut à l'un & la mort à l'autre sur les mesmes apparences; Jesus Christ sauve l'un & laisse l'autre aprés les mesmes crimes. Joseph ne fait que prédire; Jesus Christ fait. Joseph demande à celuy qui sera sauvé qu'il se souvienne de luy quand il sera venu en sa gloire; & celuy que Jesus Christ sauve, luy demande qu'il se souvienne de luy quand il sera en son Royaume.”—Pensees de M. Pascal.

Kidder, in his demonstration of the Messias, traces the resemblance much further; and then finds a similar correspondence between Sampson and our Lord.

Dr. Jortin enumerates thirty-nine points of resemblance between Moses and Jesus.-See Remarks on Eccl. Hist. i. 148.



DEUTERONOMY, xxix.-29. "Secret things belong unto the Lord our God; but those

things which are revealed, belong unto us and to our children, for ever, that we may do all the words of this Law."

As this text has no perceptible relation to the preceding discourse of Moses, it may be considered as a separate piece of instruction, of general application. The subject, also, is so distinctly divided, that we need not look for any better distribution of it. It implies, first, that Mysteries, which have not been revealed, belong exclusively to God: secondly, that religious truths, which have been made known to us by revelation, are intended for the use and benefit of us and our children, for ever; and, thirdly, that the end, which they are intended to serve, is obedience to the Divine law.

In Scriptural language, Mystery is tantamount to a secret or “ hidden wisdom:" not implying, in general, that the subject is “hard to be understood," much less incomprehensible; but only, that it has not bitherto been revealed. Thus, Paul speaks of the “revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made manifest." “ We speak of the wisdom of God in a Mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which none of the princes of this world knew: but God has revealed it unto us.” “Having made known unto us the mystery of his will,” (his secret intention) “ that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and partakers of the promises in Christ.” This he calls “the fellowship of the mystery,” or the mystery of the fellowship. Such is the meaning of the word in the Epistles of Paul. It is usually applied to the calling of the Gentiles, which was a plain matter of fact. To the Corinthians he says, “ Behold I shew you a mystery;" and then proceeds to explain the re. surrection of the dead. The word occurs but once in the Gospels, where our Lord says, “unto you it is given to know the Mystery of the kingdom of heaven.” But this mystery was no more than the interpretation of the parable of the sower. It is to be found in the Revelation of John; but not in his Epistles, nor in those of Peter, James or Jude; nor in the Old Testament. In the texts quoted from St. Paul, there is nothing unintelli. gible in the subject of his mysteries. If there had, it would have been vain to attempt to explain them. When he speaks of a doctrine, which is really incomprehensible, he declares, “ that eye hath not seen, or ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive it."'*

As there are mysteries in nature, so there must be mysteries in revelation: as there are anysteries in philosophy, so are there in religion. If our own nature and origin, both in soul and body, be mysterious and incomprehensible, we can hardly expect, that the nature of God, or other spiritual beings, should be perfectly intelligible. If the visible creation, which is exposed to our senses, and of which it is necessary for us to have a certain degree of knowledge, abound in mystery, how can we expect, that the nature of the invisible world should be free from it; espe. çially, as such knowledge is probably a matter of indifference to us? These subjects must comprise an infinity of facts and speculations, which we are incapable of comprehending; the knowledge of which would be of no use; and which have never been communicated to mortals. The knowledge of such truths is peculiar to the Supreme Being, or those of his creatures, to whom he may have made them known: but, it is evident, that


* See Mark iv. 11.-1 Cor. ii. 7. xv. 51.-Eph. i. 9. iii. 3, 4, . 9. vi. 19.-Col. i. 26, 27. ii. 2. iv. 3.

in them we have no share; and, with respect to them, we are not, in any degree, accountable, though in their reality we may be deeply inte. rested. We cannot know what has not been revealed; nor can we believe what we do not know:

No man can believe further than he has ideas. Should any one say, that he believed that, of which he had no idea ; I would ask him, what it was that he believed; and it is manifest, that he could not tell. Were he to insist, that he believed a form of words, because it was extracted from the word of God, or from a creed, sanctions ed by the Church, I should reply that he mistook the object of his belief. He might believe in the veracity of God, or the authority, of the Church; but he could not believe in the proposition concealed under these expressionis, because he knew it not. He might as well believe one speaking in an unknown tongue. He can believe only so much of a doctrine as he understands. It is to be feared, however, that many pretend to this implicit faith, and even value themselves upon it, make it the essence of their créed, and consign to eternal perdition all, who cannot adopt it.

I do not mean, that a man cannot believe a doctrine, unless he be able to reconcile it with' every other, or a fact without being competent to understand the manner, in which it came to pass; but only, that he must have a distinct con

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