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our apprehension of the devil's snares, must diminish our watchfulness and our security. But, in truth, I am not sure but such expressions are in themselves, and of their own nature, evil. Sinners as we are, it is not for us to treat with scorn even the worst and most wretched of God's creatures, and that spirit against whom the archangel would not bring a railing accusation, is by no means a proper subject for the laughter of fools, or the songs of the drunkard.*
While, however, the recollection of our own weakness, and of the former dignity of the fallen spirits, should restrain us from regarding them with any other feelings than compassion and self-abasement, the consideration of their malice and
power, when compared with the protection which we enjoy in the present world, and the victory which is promised us in the world to come, will be, to a wellregulated mind, the source of abundant thankfulness to that God, who hath not given us over as a prey unto their teeth, and to that blessed Son who, to save us from their malice, hath humbled Himself
* Michaelis Jubr. vol. iv. p. 392, goes much further than I have done. “I really think" (are his words) “ that they transgress the bounds of propriety who make it their business, either in the pulpit or in their writings, to represent the devil as an object of detestation ; since, notwithstanding his fall, he is still a being of a superior order.” How we can do otherwise than regard the devil as an object of detestation, I do not know; but without laying any stress on his present dignity, his fall may well operate on us as an awful warning, nor have we any right to insult the fallen.
to endure its violence. Were human weakness and folly opposed unaided to the power and craft of angels, the contest were, indeed, without hope, But, God be praised, it is not in our own strength that we are to contend with them. We fight under the banner of Christ our Lord, and the armour which His grace supplies to us is proof against all their terrors. While, therefore, the recollection that we wrestle with principalities and powers should make us sober and watchful unto prayer, the means of defence which we have received from the Most High should remove from us all desponding thoughts, and warm our inmost souls with a holy hope of victory
But let us remember that this hope must needs be vain, unless our own exertions correspond with it, and that it is by a faithful perseverance in the works and warfare of a Christian, that our salvation must be secured. The helmet, the breastplate, the sandals of peace, which decorate the soldier of the Messiah, these are not a clothing adapted for sleep or revelry. The faith which is our shield is useless, if we suffer it to hang idle by our side ; and our knowledge of the Scripture is but a sheathed sword, unless we wield it against the destroyer. Nor, let us forget that, even thus provided, we cannot hope of ourselves to help ourselves, and that our mortal courage and our celestial panoply must both alike be vain, unless we frequently support the one and renew the other by the holy influences of Christ's altar and sacrifice, and by that fervent prayer,
can call down the Captain of our salvation to our rescue, and interpose the promise of the Most True God between ourselves and our spiritual enemies.
And to Him, the Seed of the woman, and bruiser of the serpent's head, to Him, from the inhabitants of every world, and element, and sun, and star, and from all who dwell on the earth, above, or under it, be ascribed, as is most due, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, all might, all honour, glory, and dominion now and for ever. Amen.
ON THE INSPIRATION OF THE PENTATEUCH.
[Preached at Lincoln's Inn, November 10, 1822.]
Exodus iii. 14.
And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I Am; and He said,
Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I am hath sent me unto you.
In considering these words of God to His servant Moses, there are three points to which I am chiefly anxious to call your attention. They are, first, what grounds we have for believing that such a communication was actually made to Moses ; secondly, the character and rank of the celestial
person by whose immediate agency it was made; and thirdly, the meaning of the communication itself, and its moral and religious consequences. And though these topics have been so often and so ably discussed, that little novelty or illustration of argument can be expected on any of them, yet the endeavour may, by God's blessing, be not without its use, to present in a compendious form to my younger hearers some of the most striking evidences of that earlier creed on which our own is
mainly founded; to point out in one conspicuous instance, the connexion which subsists between the Mosaic and the Christian economy, and to refresh in our minds that recollection of God's nature and attributes in which both Jew and Gentile have, in all ages, been equally concerned.
It is true, indeed, and it is an observation which it is wise as well as candid to bear in mind, that our faith in the Lord Jesus may be satisfactorily defended by the internal and external evidence of the New Testament alone, though we should abandon as spurious or apocryphal the volume of the law and the prophets. It was thus that very many of the ancient heathen were converted who cannot have been acquainted to any great extent, with the sacred writings of the Jews; and it was thus that some early sects to whom, notwithstanding their errors, it would be unjust to deny the name of Christian, rejected the inspiration of the books of Moses as at variance with those Platonic prejudices* which were among the greatest hindrances which the Gospel had at first to encounter.
But though it be possible to receive the Christian faith without acknowledging the previous claims of the Mosaic theology, and though the defence of
* Epiphanius Ηeir. Ixi. 74. Λέγει και αυτός Μάνης, ου δύναται ενός διδασκάλου είναι παλαιά και καινή Διαθήκη-. 75. Δένδρεσιν δε εξηραμμένους και γεγηρακόσιν απεικάζει πάλιν νόμον και προφήτας. Ire. næus, 1. i. 24. [Basilides] prophetias a mundi fabricatoribus fuisse ait principibus, proprie autem Legem a principe ipsorum. See also $. 29, &c.