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Jacob, and would not destroy them, neither cast he them from his presence as yet ; 80 Hazael king of Assyria died, and Benhadad his son reigned in his stead.
As there appears to have been a resemblance in the wind, the earthquake, the fire, and the still small voice, to the events wbich suceeded, so there is something in the order of these things analogous to the general tenor of the divine proceedings. It is common for the still small voice to succeed the wind, the earthquake, and the fire ; or, in other words, for the blessings of mercy and peace to be preceded by terrible things in righteousness.
When God revealed his word unto Moses, and by him to Israel, the terrors of mount Sinai were preparatory to other things of a different nature. Many of the appearances on that solemn occasion resembled those on the present ; and indeed there appears a manifest allusion in the account of Elijah to that in the nineteenth chapter of Exodus. Nor does the still small voice which terminated the one, less resemble the declarations of mercy which followed the other. Jehovab proclaimed himself, the Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth ; promising also to raise up unto them a prophet from the midst of them, like unto Moses, to whom they should hearker.
The dispensations of Providence have generally moved in a similar order. Many terrible judgments have fallen on the world ; but they have been commonly followed with peace and mercy to the church. The plagues of Egypt, and the destruction of Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea, terminated in the joyful deliverance of the people of God. The same was true of the overthrow of Babylon by the Persians. Thus it was, that by terrible things in righteousness God answered the prayers of bis people. The great calamities with which the world was afflicted by the successive struggles of the four great monarchies of Babylon, Persia, Macedon, and Rome, terminated in the peaceful empire of the Son of God. The diadem was overturned, overturned, and overturned again, till he came whose right it was, and to him it was given.
Similar observations might be made on the Lord's proceedings in the dispensation of his grace. As the thunders of Sinai preceded the blessings of Zion, so the terrible is still seen in many instances
to go before the peaceful. Deep convictiou may produce fearful expectation of eternal ruin ; but if it terminate in a wellgrounded peace, we do not regret the pain of mind, because it renders the hope of the gospel more welcome.
Finally : Is there not reason to hope from these things, that the present convulsions of the world will be followed with peace and prosperity to the church? The fall of ancient Babylon was fol. lowed by the liberation of the people of God; and it is intimated in prophecy, that the fall of the New Testament Babylon shall be followed by the marriage-supper of the Lamb. The present may be the time of whirlwinds, earthquakes, and fires, and God as the God of grace may be in none of them ; but they may be preparatory to the still small voice of truth and peace. In this God will be present, and will be heard. Then the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills, and all nations shall flow unto it. Should this be the issue of the present convulsed state of the nations, afflictive as it may be, it will be more than compensated, and serve as a foil to heighten the glory that shall follow.
AN ANSWER TO THE FOLLOWING QUERY:
How could Jesus grow in wisdom and knowledge, if he were the true
... God, and consequently infinite in both ?
If there be any difficulty in reconciling these ideas, it must be on the supposition that a union of the divine and human natures in the person of Christ implies a communication of properties; i e. that whatever property belongs to him as a divine person, it must, on his assuming human nature, belong to him as human. But I know of no such sentiment being held by any trinitarian. It is always
maintained, so far as I know, that as Christ was very God, he retained all the peculiar properties of Godhead; and as he was made very man, be assumed all the peculiar properties of manhood. The above supposition, so far from belonging to the doctrine of what is called the hypostatical union, is utterly inconsistent with it: for if the union of the buman nature to the divinity imply that it must bécomé infinite in wisdom and knowledge, it also implies that it must become omnipresent and almighty. And it might be with equal propriety asked, How could Jesus grow in stature and strength, if he were infinite in power? as, How could he grow in wisdom and knowledge, if he were infinite in both ? But this is equivalent to asking, How could he be a child born, and yet be called the mighty God ? that is, How could he be both God and man?
Further : Ifa union between the divine and human natures of Christ imply a communication of properties, why sbould not that communication be mutual ? There is just as much reason for con- · cluding that all the imperfections of humanity should be imparted to the divinity, as that all the perfections of divinity should be imparted to the humanity. But this would form a contradiction; as it would be supposing him to retain neither perfection nor imper, fection, and so to be neither God nor man.
But if we admit the scripture account of things, no such conse- . quences will follow. If that eternal life that was with the Father was 80 manifested to us as to be capable of being heard, and seen with our eyes, and looked upon and handled; in other words, if he were a divine person, always existing with the Father, and was manifested to us by the assumption of human nature, and if each nature, though mysteriously united, yet retains its peculiar properties, all is consistent. Things may then be attributed to Christ which belong to either his divine or his húman nature ; he may be a child born, may grow up from infancy to age, increase in knowledge, in wisdom, and in stature ; be subject to hunger, and thirst, and weariness, and pain ; in a word, in all things be made like unto his brethren ; and at the same time be, in another respect, the mighty God, upholding all things by the word of his power. .
If thou be the Son of God, said Satan, command that these stones be made bread. This was insinuating that it was inconsistent for so
divine a personage, who had the command of the whole creation, to be subject to want ; but the answer of Jesus intimates, that he was also the Son of man ; and that, as such, it was fitting that he should feel his dependence upon God.
The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews, after asserting the dignity of the great Author of Christianity, as not only superior to angels, but acknowledged by the Father as God, whose throne was for ever and ever, obviates an objectiou that would arise from his deep humiliation ; showing the necessity there was for his being made like unto his brethren. Chap. i. ii.
Socinians may amuse themselves and their admirers, by talking of the absurdity of God being exposed to suffering, and of a man of Judea being the Creator of the world. They know well enough, if they had candour sufficient to own it, that it is not as God that we ascribe the former to him, nor as man the latter : yet owing to the intimate union of divinity and humanity in his person, there is an important sense in which it may be said, that the Prince, or author, of life was killed; that God purchased his church with his own blood ; that hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us ; that our great High Priest, Jesus, the Son of God, was touched with the feeling of our infirmities; and that he who was born in Bethlehem was before all things, and by him all things consist.
LIFE AND DEATH SET BEFORE THEE, OR THE BROAD AND
Matt. vii. 13, 14.
The wbole world are travellers ; there is no rest for the sole of man's foot : the ways in wbich they walk are extremely various,
yet all reducible to two ;-"To heaven or hell we daily bend our course.” These two are here described by their properties and end. The one is attended with things which are smooth and agreeable to the flesh ; bilt the end is destruction : the other with things which are hard and disagreeable ; but the end is everlasting life.
If you incline to the first of these ways, it has many things, it must be owned, to recommend it ; particularly,
You have no difficulty in your entrance upon it; it is a wide gate : it just suits your depraved inclinations. As soon as the powers of your souls begin to act, they will incline that way : so of every particolar evil course that you may take, it is easy to get into it : the gate of temptation is wide, and is set wide open to invite you : you are in, ere you are aware. Evil babits are readily contracted ; the transition from occasional to habitual indulgence is very short, and that of which you are scarcely sensible at the time.
You have also full scope for inclination in your progress. Broad is the way. Though there is but one way to heaven, and that a strait one ; yet there are many ways to hell, out of which you may take your choice. The broad way admits of many divisions, and subdivisions. You may walk in the path of gross immorality; may swear and lie, or drink and commit lewdness ; or if you covet a degree of reputation, wbich does not comport with such a life, you may pursue a much more decent course, in the indulgence of avarice or pride. You may be a mean sycophant, cringing to the great; or a haughiy, overbearing oppressor to those who are beneath you ; nay, you may be both these at the same time. You may revel with the vulgar, or banquet with the genteel, as circumstances and inclination may lead you. You may scoff at all religion; or, if that does not suit, you may be religious yourself. You may be righteous in your own eyes ; or if that does not accord with your creed, you may be an advocate for grace, and turn it, when you have done, into lasciviousness.
Moreover, you will be in no want of company, for many go there. Rich and poor, rude and learned : it is impossible you should be at a loss for agreeable society. You will have the majority on your side, and that with many is a great matter ; yea, the majority in all the nations, cities, towns, and villages in the world. You will bardly go into any company or place, but you will find fellow-travellers to