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interpretation is sustained by innumerable facts. Sinners are awakened, regenerated, sanctified, saved. The justice of God is maintained, and his throne is secure while the work of redemption is in progress. Thus the question of power is settled. It is infinite as the nature of God. No possible demand can exhaust or diminish it. The fiercest assault of fallen men—the wildest onset of millions of demons cannot drive him from the mediatorial throne. From it he directs the affairs of the remedial dispensation amid the tumults and mad strife of the race infuriated by Satan, with the calmness and dignity and ease of Omnipotence. His resources of power are unfailing, and this is the second condition of his perseverance, till the world shall be lit up with the flames of the judgment.
3. His infinite wisdom.—The direction of almighty power in the work of salvation must be the highest possible effort of wisdom. Difficulties more formidable than we can appreciate must crowd every moment of the mediatorial reign. They baffle the skill of the wisest oi' men, as often as they engage them. Not in. deed in the choice of remedies. One sole relief for the woes of the world is mentioned by the omniscient God. But the disease is so malignant and mysterious that no man can know it. The remedy is 100 profound for the penetration of finite powers. The place, the time, and the mode of its application, are all infinitely beyond our reach. Omniscience alone is adequate security against fatal mistakes, in such a work as an attempt to save à soul. It is a seariul thing to be limited in intelligence even when we treat the diseases of the body. The peril of life is too often the sad necessity, imposed by defective skil. But how much more fearful would be the result of an error in this great Physician. The undying soul is the seat of the disease. The death it threatens is damnation in hell. No wisdom but the unerring is equal to the cure. The most intelligent of men stand aghast before an agenizing sinner sinking to perdition. But the Son of God knows instantly what to do. He who could penetrate the dark bosom of deceit and declare its hypocrisy while it rejoiced in its fancied concealment--he who “needed not that any should testify to him of man, for he knew what was in man”-he can never be at loss to know the power of his own blood-the instant in which its application becomes practicable in the sovereignty of right, and saving in the sphere of the doomed.
The same Omniscient sight penetrates the utmost extreme of this world's darkness, sees at a glance its part, and its whole of corruption, and suilering-its demerit and exposures. He who is omnipresent in history-the history not only of time but eternity, pot only ef man but of God, sees the work to be done and the way. to do it, which the renovation of the race, the establishment of * judgment in the continents of earth,” and “the isles of the sea". require. If then to uniailing merit and unlimited power, we add the Saviour's infinite wisdom to direct in the application of both, we have the third great condition upon which this perseverance depends.
4. His exhaustless love.—Only one question remains. Has he love to move him to the use of his merit, his power, and his wisdom? The demands upon his love are seen in the fact that his efforts are required for the good of the race alone. No necessity for one of them exists in the nature or wants of the Son of God. For man he must have had a love so deep, so infinite as to move him to all his mediatorial acts. And he must toil not merely for the needy and the wretched, but for the corrupt, the guilty," the rebellious.” His vast preparations extending through thousands of years were expressly for a mission to a world in arms against the Father, Son and Holy Ghost! A mission not to destroy, but to save! What depths of holy love must have dwelt in his infinite mind to have moved him to this! It was sufficient. It brought him from the realms of light. It bearned from his countenance. It breathed in his language. It was the ruling element of his acts. It mingled in his miracles, in his private interviews with his chosen ones, and in his stern rebukes to the hypocrites, by whom he was surrounded. It carried him to the cross. li gushed from his heart in the verr agonies of death. It bore him to the intercessor's throne. It has sustained him there to this hour. And it is impossible for us to conceive of a necessity greater than that which has demanded his love, since the morning of redemption dawned upon the race, of a principle of love in possible, not already in actual requisition. Our faith in the infinity of Jesus' love wants not a single quality of indubitable evidence. Whatever therefore his unfailing merit would justify; whatever his unlimited power can accomplish, and his infinite wisdom vindicate, his exhaustless love moves him to do. And this is enough. Other causes there doubtless are—causes that lie deep in the infinite intelligence--but these are satisfactory to us. In merit, and power, and wisdom, and love, “ he shall not fail.” He will therefore not be “ discouraged.”
II. THE PERSEVERANCE OF CHRIST IN ITS ACTION.
1. It is righteous in its character. He has been engaged in no selfish work-no attempt to overreach or destroy his enemies. Not a single act of resentment can be traced in all his history. But he saw that the laws of God had been set aside in this earth, trampled upon by the very beings for whose protection they were designed. That man had risen up against his fellow-man, that war and blood had followed in the train of angry passion, proud selfishness, and ungodly ambition. That “justice had gone away backward,” retreating in anger from a world in which she had been insulted and defied. “To set judgment in the earth,” and give his righteous law to the isles of the sea, was therefore his great and glorious work. The darkness which hung like the night of Egypt over the earth was to be dispersed-man's attention to be engaged to a Divine voice, speaking to his inner naturehis thoughtfulness of God, spirit, law, duty, death, heaven, and hell to be raised to a habit-rodly sorrow for sin to be wrought in his heart-faith to supersede infidelity. Sin in all its guilt to be
pardoned—the soul, dead to God and truth, to be brought to life -polluted, to be cleansed from sin. This for the individual.
For society, the purity and power of a Christian civilization were to be extended to the remotest parts of the earth. A higher, holier life was to be poured through the social system. War, aggression, and injustice of every form to be superseded by goodwill to men. The universal brotherhood of humanity to become a recognized reality. Jehovah enthroned in the hearts of men to become the acknowledged Sovereign of the race, and “the earth be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea."
This is the work in which the Son of God is engaged. Verily it is righteous in its character, compared either with the laws of eternal rectitude, or the commonly received opinions of men. Righteous in view of the wants and woes, the bliss and the destiny of the race. Righteous ?-Nay, it is benevolent; it is gracious in every principle it involves, in every impulse it gives to human thought and feeling; it is glorious in every issue re. vealed 10 sense, or consciousness, or faith.
2. It is various in its expedients.—The Divine Redeemer has confined himself to no single mode of carrying out his gracious purposes. His anxiety to succeed, and our vast debt of gratitude are indicated by the almost infinite variety of the means he has adopted.
Look, for instance, at the general system of rewards and punishments—the invariable connection established between virtue and happiness, vice and misery—the manifestations of himself as the remedial governor of this revolted province of Je. hovah's empire. He swept an entire race of sinners from the earth ; He elected the family of Abraham to be the witnesses of his power and medium of communication with the whole world. He delivered his law amid the thunders of Sinai; He moved before Israel in the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire ; He scourged the rebels of Palestine by war, and pestilence, and death; terrible vengeance fell upon Sodom and Egypt, Idumea and Babylon ; the tabernacle, the temple, and the cross revealed the Divine authority of law, the exalted dignity of worship, and the ineffable glories of redemption. The self-consciousness, the language and the acts of the righteous attest the power of pardon, the wonders of a spiritual resurrection, and the moral splendors of a holy life. Faith disarms the tyrant death-snatches from the grave its victim, and lights up eternity with the smiles of the Godhead. But proud, rebellious sinners, in war with Jehovah, by guilty millions, is bite the dust," doomed and damned forever. Thus does the adorable Redeemer seek to guard the laws upon which the harmony of the universe depends, and retrieve the affairs of earth.
Look also at miracles and prophecies.-To emancipate Israel from the thraldom of Egypt, he turned her river into blood, and slew her first-born. He led his people triumphantly through the divided waters, and overwhelmed their raging enemies. In
the might of his providence he poured the torrent from the smitten rock, sent bread from heaven, and brought quails upon the camp of Israel. He divided Jordan by his power, and established his colony upon the soil of his foes. He selected a few from the ranks of his people, and fixing their gaze toward the coming future, he drew aside the veil which concealed the latter days. They saw with prophet's ken a sufferer hang upon a cross. They saw the blood that gushed from his wounds. They saw the light that beamed from his soul, flashing through the earth and the heavens. Before the power that went out from the dying Christ they saw types and shadows fleeing away-pagan temples crumbling to dust-souls by millions leaping from the chains of superstition into the glorious liberty of the sons of God-dynasties and kingdoms falling, rising, forming and partaking of a new, a strange, a potent life. They saw, and wrote, and shouted, “ The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ.” And he came as was predicted. This sinful world saw its Creator veiled in humanity; saw him “ without sin,” the model of perfection; saw him assert by his miracles his sovereignty over nature's laws; heard the gracious words that fell from his lips; saw him die amid the convulsions of nature, and rise in triumph from the tomb. A risen Christ walked abroad in the midst of his foes, and mingled with his disciples, breathing kindness and consolation to their hearts. Sinners upon earth verily saw their Lord and Saviour ascending to heaven! What a demonstration of the reality of souls, and of resurrectionbodies-of the spirit-world, and our relation to it! What displays of goodness had passed before the eyes of men! What redeeming merit had been concentrated in his death! What triumph in the fulfillment of prophecy, and the demonstration of the whole Christian scheme ! What wonder that the truth established amid such displays of love and power proves too mighty for the “gates of hell ?” Thus was this great expedient, upon which all others depended, tried in the sight of angels and men.
But others were to follow. “I will send the Comforter" was his gracious promise to his desponding disciples—“I will send the Comforter ”-the glorious announcement to a world in anguish! And the Comforter came, but no mortal could tell the extent of the gift. He was light to the benighted-reproof to the obdurate -consolation to the sorrowing—sanctification to the impure! In short, a constant message from eternity, calling spirits away from this stranger-land to a congenial home in heaven-the might of God rescuing souls from the grasp of the Devil-a guide to immortality so bright with the effulgence of Divinity as to light up the path of the pilgrim through time and the grave to the land of the blessed.
And when Christ had gone, it was found that he had left behind him the elements of a holy fellowship, a spiritual brotherhood, a living church; that these, by their own celestial affinities, approached each other--combined and formed an imperishable
unity, the outward manifestation of which was the kingdom of God on earth, visible to men. Thenceforward, as before, it should be impossible to say there is no God in history. His very habitation should be palpable to the senses, and his reign upon earth a living, distinguishable, powerful fact, to deny which, would be to assail all faith in verities, and resolve universal being into phantasms; and thus the church has stood, varying in her external forms, but indestructible in her essential being-a veritable theocracy in the midst of anarchy, despotism, and misrule“the light of the world”_"a city set upon a hill.”
This Divine institution included many of the gracious expedients relied upon by the Saviour, for the redemption of man. Her sacraments were not only signs and seals of the spiritual covenant between Christ and her members—they were monuments of her organization, her principles, and her heroism. To this day they attract the gaze of a sinking world, as a light upon the shore does that of the tempest-tossed mariner. They defy the shafts of infidelity, and bless the world by their support and diffusion of Divine truth.
Her Bible had been early commenced. " Holy men of old wrote and spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” The Son of God took his place in the revelation. The apostles recorded their message, and the sacred canon closed. Like the death of Christ in relation to his atoning acts, this Holy Book is central in relation to the means of moral illumination ; it is pure light directly from Heaven ; it is God teaching by language! declaring the attributes of his nature-the rights of his sovereignty --the rebellion of man, and the way of salvation! Appealing by law to his sense of duty—by threatenings, to his fears—and by promises, to his hopes ; addressing his reason by the loftiness of its truths, the force of its diction, the grasp of its literature, and the sublimity of its science-to his sensibilities, by the benevolence of its proposals, the energy of its pathos, and the power of its love. With these mastering qualities it is sent through the church into all the world, a Divine expedient for the salvation of the race.
Her ministry is appointed by Jehovah himself. They are men of like passions with ourselves, sent out to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ. From the lips of our brethren, whose integrity we know, we hear intelligence from the spiritual worldfrom the throne of grace—from God, the Holy Trinity. From hearts imbued with a Saviour's love they proclaim mercy for sinners. By Divine authority they summon us to a holy life ; they teach us how to glorify God; ihey offer us peace and triumph in death, and ete, nal happiness in heaven. From the sacred oracles they instruct, convince, and persuade us. They “ warn us night and day with tears” to “ flee from the wrath to come”-to make our calling and election sure.” What a gracious expedient is this!
And besides all these, the Redeemer will use the governments of