Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

liver such a body of divinity as was contained in the divine law graven by him upon the two tables, and in such a public manner to give sanction and authority to the same. As he did to Isaiah in the temple, chapter 6, "I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was. filled with smoke."

Thus it appears, when it was necessary, on, such important occasions and to deliver such sublime messages, our Lord did appear in some measure in the glory of his God-head, in order to give sanction to the message delivered; and it is nothing inconsistent. When he appears to Abraham, or Manoah, to communicate the promise of a son, although an errand worthy of redeeming love, he appears as an angel, or man, or man of God. Had the Doctor thoroughly weighed all these points, in his great wisdom, being assisted by his deep piety and candor, we think he would have believed, and been in sentiment with us, that this character, was the proper Son of God, in his pre-existent dignity.

It may be observed, that the appearance of our Lord, at sundry times to the apostles, after he came in the flesh, was somewhat like his ancient appearances to the patriarchs and prophets, in ihe two respects above stated. His first appearance after the resurrection, was to Mary Magda* len, in a Common habit, no doubt, for she supposed him to be the gardner, and said "unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away."—■ But when he spake in his usual voice and accent, aad "saith unto her, Mary," she knew him.—• And again on the same day, as some of his disciples went " to a village called Emmaus," he appeared as a traveller on his journey. And at another time to Saul of Tarsus, in his native glory and splendor, accompanied with uncreated light above the brightness of the sun in its meridian light and effulgence. And to John on the Isle of Patnws in a similar state of dignity and glory, and "he had in his right hand seven stars," and he walked in the midst of seven golden candlesticks, and opened a door in heaven, and showed John the throne of God, and some things, which it was impossible for man to utter.

We may discover in all this a perfect consistency. There can be nothing inconsistent, in supposing that he that hath created the intelligent powers of man, can reveal himself to man, in that mode or form, which he in his infinite wisdom, and pleasure, seeth fit; and we for ourselves, consider we can see much wisdom in our Lord's, manifestations of himself to the children of men, "at sundry times, and in divers manners," as we have cited.

We think every christian will see as perfect consistency in our Lord's manifestations to his chosen, after his coming in the flesh, as in his ancient manifestations to the patriarchs.

Look for a moment at the two made to Mary, and the disciples, as they went to Emmaus. Notwithstanding all the information and instruction ♦hey had received from our Lord and the scriptures, it is strikingly evident, their minds were beclouded and dark, on this important point of our Lord's resurrection; and needed instructions for their confirmation on this point of the prophcies, that related to the resurrection of our Lord. And their minds were perfectly ripe for such instruction, consequently, nothing could be more consistent, and fit, than for our Lord to make his appearance to them in a similar form, in which they had known and conversed with him, before his crucifixion—and that their eyes should be holden from recognition of him, until he had opened 'to them the scriptures, which related to that point, that they might have a rational understanding of that fact, which then labored in their minds, and was about to be called in question by the sharpsighted, and keen avidity of their enemies. The time required it.

[graphic]

It is an experimental fact, that no person is in a proper situation to receive instruction, till they are convinced of the need of such instruction ; and generally not, until the mind becomes perfectly deliberate. Therefore, if our Lord had made hi* appearance, in these cases in the glory of the Godhead, it would have been morally impossible, for them to have received such instructions, as were strictly necessary, on so dear and interesting points. Had he appeared in the resplendant glory of the God-head, in that case, there could be little doubt, but their minds must have been agitated, with terror, or joy, or probably with a mixture of both, even to that degree, in which their understanding and memory, could not have been in proper exercise.

But in the evening as they sat at meat with him, and the time had fully arrived for our Lord to sanction the conversation and instructions, he had given them, " he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by t\e way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?"

Should we now spend a few thoughts, on the manifestations of our Lord to Paul and John, after our Lord's ascension to glory, it is probable we shall derive some further advantage from them. Paul informs us, that he journeyed, verily thinking, he " ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth." And by authority of the chief priests, imprisoned, put to death, punished in every synagogue his followers, compelled them to blaspheme, and persecuted them even unto strange cities. As in Acts, chapter 26.

"Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the high priests,

"At mid-day, 0 king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me, and them which journeyed with me.

"And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying, in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks."

Here let it be remarked that Paul had been brought up at the feet of Gamaliel, and instructed in the scriptures; but was so zealous for the traditions of the fathers,, which had s;o blinded

[ocr errors]

and prejudiced his mind, that probably frothing short of such a manifestation, would convince his mind, disclose to him his error, and discover to him his duty. And even in this case, our Lord sent him to Damascus for further instruction, "and he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink." And all this was necessary to arrest him in his course, and for his information, and to prepare him for a chosen vessel.

It is profitable to remark here also, that extraordinary manifestations and revelations, are, and always were necessary, when no other means are provided, or can be obtained. This comment may, however, be objected to, in relation to this trial of Paul, on the principle, that Paul had all the necessary means of grace, and information, that the nature of the case could possibly require. Our, Lord is, however, far the best jndge in this case; none but him can tell the force of education,the stubbornness of prejudice,and the strength of bigotry, assisted by slanders and falsehoods.— These comments are not intended to draw in question, how far this apostle could be innocent orexcuseable, in these prejudices; but there is one thing we may rely upon, that our Lord who knows all hearts and circumstances, saw fit to arrest this suddenly constituted apostle in the manner he did, for his own glory, and for the good of the church.

Our digression to this point, is to reason and see, if it is rationally possible to reclaim a heated, raging and proud bigot like Saul of Tarsus; not merely the man who trusts in the tradition of his fathers, who contends for modes and forms, but a bigot of the "strictest*sect,'' that is above all

« AnteriorContinuar »