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than we. Yet, with all their advantages and discoveries, such is the fulness of the subject, that they are at an infinite distance from compréhending it : all that is said of them is, that they desire to look into it.
Angels were doubtless acquainted with the general design of salvation, from its first discovery to man ; but the particular way in which it should be accomplished, appears to have been, in a great measure, hidden from them. It was a way so much above' ' what any creature would have expected, that though there were hints of it under the Old Testament, and some very plain intimations, yet it was far from being clearly comprehended. The propbets, as we have seen, did not fully understand their own prophecies; but diligently searched into the meaning of them : neither did the apostles, with all their advantages prior to the event; neither did evil angels, with all their subtilty ; for if Satan had known that from the death of Christ his cause would receive so deadly a wound, it is scarcely conceivable that he would have stirred up Judas and the Jewish rulers to accomplish it. He appears to have entertained a kind of forlorn hope, that by getting him put to death in the most ignominious form, and by the only religious nation upon earth, he should be able to stamp everlasting infamy upon his name, and that all future generations would be ashamed to own him. The disappointment and unexpected shock that he and his adberents met with on this occasion, seem plainly , intimated by our Saviour's having spoiled principalities and powers, and made a show of them openly, triumphing over them on his cross : and though the holy angels might be supposed to understand much more than fallen ones, yet were they not equal to this subject till events made it manifest. Hence it is said, from the begin. ning of the world to have been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ, to the intent, that nou unto the principalities and powers it might be known by the church, (that is, by the redemption of the church,) the manifold wisdom of God. When the event transpired, therefore, it was like a flood of light bursting forth upon them. The resurrection of Christ filled all heaven with transport. Hence, perhaps, we may account for the question of the angel to Mary, Woman, why weepest thou ? 4. d. • Did you
but know all, you would not weep! It is not you that should weep Row, bat your adversaries !'
The cross of Christ, instead of issuing in disgrace, is followed with glory. His friends learned to glory in it ; yea, and to glory in nothing else : and well they might. It was glorious to see the powers of darkness stripped naked, as it were, to their shame ; to see Satan foiled by the woman's seed, and his schemes exposed to the derision of the universe ; to see him taken in his own net, and falling into the pit that himself had digged. It was glorious to contemplate the numerous and important bearings of this one great event. By this, the divine displeasure against sin is manifested in stronger language than if the world had been made a sacrifice :by this a way is opened for the consistent exercise of mercy to the chief of sinners :-by a believing view of this, peace arises in the mind, and at the same time, purity in the heart :--for this he is crowned with glory and honour in the heavens, principalities and powers being made subject to him. This is the only hope of a lost world, the only medium of acceptance with God, and the only admissible plea in our approaches before him. This it is which will put every grace in exercise in this world, and impart all the happiness in that to come, of which created minds are suscep. tible.
These are a few of the bearings of the doctrine of the cross. Is it any wonder that angels should desire to look into it? Rather is it not matter of wonder and shame that we who are more immediately interested in it than they, should be so far behind ? How is it that we should be the last to bring back the king, who are his bone and his flesh ? Our Redeemer took not upon him the nature of angels ; yet they love him, and the gospel of salvation by him ; and wherefore? They love God and therefore rejoice in every think that glorifies him in the highest :-they love men, and therefore rejoice in that which brings peace on earth, and good will to them :-they rejoice in every instance of the prosperity of Christ's kingdom, and in being themselves made subject to him. Had we but their love with our interest, we should not only emulate, but exceed their highest praise. While they, in innumerable myriads, were saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was
slain, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing, we should not only say, Amen ; but add, Thou urt worthy ; for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood, out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation!
HOPE IN THE LAST EXTREMITY.
Jonah ii. 4. Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy
The greater part of the writings of the prophets contain little bistory ; but this book is an exception. It is a history of a prophecy against a city, which at that time was the metropolis of the world. It affords a singular example of the influence which the true religion, as presented among the Israelites, had upon the surrounding nations. When we read of the idolatrous Gentiles we are apt to think they were altogether sunk in ignorance ; and with. out any means of knowing better, except what were afforded by the light of nature. But in those early times, God bad a people, as he has now, who were witnesses for him; and whose testimony left a strong impression on the minds of mankind about them. If - Jonah, when overtaken by the tempest, bad been a heathen, and had committed a crime, the mariners might have been alarmed, concluding from their general notions of an uoseen Providence, that vengeance bad overtaken him ; but when they were told that he was a Hebrew,—and feared Jehovah, the God of heaven, who made the sea and be.dry land, but had fled from his presence, then they were exceedingly afraid. They had heard, no doubt, of this God of gods, who was worshipped by the Hebrews, and trembled at bis judgments. So when Jonah entered into Nineveh, and threatened its overthrow, if he had been a heathen sootbsayer, bis message might have influenced a few; but government would doubtless bave apprehended bim, and either have punished him as a disturber of the public peace, or confined him as a madman; but finding him to be a prophet, sent by Jehovah, the God of Israel, whose judgments upon Egypt and other nations had rung through the world, they were struck with amazement. The king rises from his throne, lays aside bis robe, covers himself with sackcloth, sits in ashes, and causes a fast to be proclaimed, accompanied with an admonition for every one to turn from his evil way, saying, Who can tell if God will repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not? Great is the force of truth and true religion upon the conscience!
But let us observe more particularly the bistory of Jonah, in which we see an affecting example of human depravity, and of the mystery of Providence. God commands bim to go and prophesy against Nineveh, a great city, north of Judea. He dislikes the errand; and in downright rebellion tasks a ship for Tarshish, a sea-port of the Mediterranean, in nearly a southern direction. But whither can he fee from God's presence ? Though suffered to take his course for a while, he is soon pursued. A tempest over. takes him. One would have thought bis restless mind must have anticipated it, and been the first to interpret it; but instead of this, all parties are alarmed before him-he is asleep at the bottom of the ship. A guilty mind cannot be always on the rack of reflection ; yet its repose is not peace, but the stupidity of horror and wretchedness. The rebuke of the shipmaster seems scarcely to have awakened him. At length however, the lot of God falls upon bis guilty head; and now we bave to witness a most humiliating sight: a propbet of the most bigh God arraigned at the bar of a company of heathen sailors! We should have said, “Let it not be known unto the heathen ! He, if he could have prayed at all, would have said, Make me not a reproach to the foolish. But God says, “It shall be known.' He knows how to vindicate the honour of bis name, without having recourse to the little arts of con
cealment, of which creatures commonly avail themselves. The whole must come out: his country, his religion, his character, his sin! And do the heathens reproach him? If they bad, we could not have wondered ; but it operates in a differeat way. God knows how to soften the hearts of men by that which we might expect would harden them; and things which appear to us injurious to his cause, shall tend to establish it. They inquire of him what they shall do ; and he pronounces his own doom. Humanity, notwithstanding, and the fear perhaps of incurring the displeasure of his God, struggle hard for his deliverance; but struggled in vain. He must be cast away, or they must all perish. No time is to be lost; they must come to a decision. Lifting up their eyes to heaven, they appeal to God for the painful necessity under which they acted; and then taking up the unhappy man, they cast him into the sea! Reader, had you and I been spectators of this affett. ing scene, and in possession of our present views, we should prob. ably have not only cropped a tear over the watery tomb of the prophet, but have exclaimed, How unsearchable are God's judg. ments, and his ways past finding out! Viewing the effect upon all the mariners, we should have seen men who till now were stran. gers to Jehovah, calling upon his name ; we should have seen, perhaps, the hopeful conversion of somne, and rejoiced in the sacrifices and vows which on this mysterious occasion were offered: but what would have been a damp to our pleasure, we should have seen Jonah himself committed to the deep, prayerless, and to all appearance without a ray of hupe! But 0! the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! When the closing waves had parted him from human observation, Divine Providence still follows him. He is swallowed by a great fish; probably a shark.* In this perilous situation, his life and consciousness are preserved ; and here he is brought to his right mind. From hence he who could not offer one petition while in the presence of the mariners, prays unto Jehovah his God. What were his prayers, and the workings of his mind, be recorded after his deliverance. A part of it is contained in the sentence on which this paper is founded: Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward
* See Parkhurst's Greek Lexicon, on xntos. VOL. VIL