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remain impenitent. No, it is a treasury of wrath hidden from you, but God knows it, He looks down from heaven, and He sees that your day is coming,--that day when you will have to answer for all your sins. Oh! what then will you have to say? Will you appeal to mercy? Why it is that you have abused, that you have insulted all your life long !
Now I put the question to every individual here; I dare speak to every individual person; and I address it likewise, at the same time, to my own heart. « Despisest thou the goodness and forbearance and long-suffering of God, not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance; but after thy hardness and impenitent heart, treasurest up to thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God ?”
I give thanks to God for the hope I have, that many in this congregation have been led to repent and forsake their sins; I make no apology to such for introducing this subject; I think the consideration of it is calculated to reduce sin more and more, and to affect the heart with emotions of gratitude and love towards the Lord. But there is one display of the goodness of God, which I have not touched upon, and which far exceeds all you have heard : I mean THE MEDIATION OF CHRIST. Oh, my hearers, it transcends all you have heard, and exposes more than all I have stated of the sinfulness and ingratitude of your conduct! But so comprehensive is this subject that I must transfer the consideration of it to a future occasion (if spared), when I hope to shew you the goodness of God in a much richer and far higher degree, in the gift of his own Son, as a ransom for our sins! But, I beseech you, pray to your Heavenly Father that the feeble description I have this morning given you of the goodness of God, may affect your minds. I can state but very imperfectly the tender mercies of God to each of you individually, but you can fill up the picture in your closets; go home, and fill it up with your meditations; go, and consider; look back on the history of God's goodness to you. How often has he stept in betwixt you and death! You can tell, and you can say, how often his providence has operated in your favour, and how all things have worked together for your good, in remarkable deliverances out of perplexities and trials, which I cannot enumerate! Consult, however, as I before stated, the history of your life, and you will find in every page some traces of the goodness of your God; rnd then ask your own heart, “ Shall I any longer despise the riches of his goodness and forbearance, and long suffering, seeing they lead me to repentance ?” AMEN.
A Sermon DELIVERED BY THE REV. H. MELVILL, A. M. AT CAMDEN
CHAPEL, CAMBERWELL. 2 Tim. ii. 8.-“Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David,
was raised from the dead according to my gospel.” · WHEN persecution and calumny first harassed the church, the minds of Christians seem to have usually clung with a more than ordinary grasp to the declarations of Scripture, and to have searched with more than common eagerness into the hidden meaning of every portion of revelation. In proportion to their need of support was their vigour of perception; and with an ardent and with a steadfast energy, which would be deemed almost enthusiastic by the religious professors of modern days, did they pore over and ponder the sayings of inspiration; and they would gaze on the firmanent of the Bible with all the eagerness of astronomers scanning and searching the natural heavens; and whensoever the beauty and force of some obscure and difficult text broke suddenly on them, there was just the same gladness as that felt by the observers of the material canopy, if a new and brilliant planet should be observed on the horizon. It would not be so to persons of cursory acquaintance with the writings of our reformers (and well would it be if such acquaintance were more general; it would serve to show how grievously, in many respects, the churches have degenerated from the earliest elements of Protestantism), it would not be so to persons of cursory acquaintance with the writings of our reformers, without being struck with the pre-eminent value attached to the word of God by those illustrious men who laid down their lives in support of its doctrines. And if from among the mighty group of martyred saints it be lawful to select one more distinguished than the rest, by the characteristics to which I have alluded, then, I think, I might mention the name of BRADFORD, he who underwent so readily the tortures of the stake that the byestander said of him, “ that he endured the flames as a fresh gale of wind on a hot summer's day;" I might point to him as a special example of a man who was always intense, and carefully diligent, in searching the mind of the spirit as disclosed to us by Apostles and Prophets. It is in exact accordance with this disposition that, in one of his letters to a dear friend, we meet with the following words, in reference to the text on which I propose to meditate :-" Let me have your prayer at all times, that God would open my heart to feed and taste of those comfortable places of Scripture which to me are locked. Remember that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead. This text (as a text, of more comfort the more it is needed; and when God will I
shall feed upon it) Paul sent to Timothy to be his comfort in all places."
Now the verse seems, at first sight, to contain nothing but a simple commemoration of a well known truth; and we might, consequently, be disposed to feel something of surprise, both at the difficulty which Bradford professes to have found in unravelling it, and at the consolation he expects, when elucidated, it would afford him. Bnt if you were to associate, as the martyr does, the words with the fact, that they are sent as a comforting message from the Apostle to his beloved disciple Timothy, you will admit there must be hidden some costly treasure, which is not to be discovered by a mere cursory glance at the surface of the subject. I first of all ask you, whether there can appear any human probability that Timothy, nurtured as he had been in the faith and knowledge of redemption, could be required to be reminded of the historical fact of Christ's resurrection. Was it a fact at all likely to escape the memory even of Christians far less familiar with the elements of the religion of Jesus than this distinguished convert? -and does not the very supposition than an actual necessity existed of admonishing Timothy to bear in mind an event, the forgetfulness of which is caused by nothing but infidelity-does not such a supposition go far to contradict every scriptural statement which has reference to the character of Timothy ?-and is it not utterly at variance with all our previously existing conceptions of the man whom Paul addresses as his own son in the faith, and whom this Apostle greatly desired to see, that he might himself be filled with joy? I account it, therefore, undeniable that our text must include much more than the historical fact. that Jesus of Nazareth was raised from the dead; and it must have been the assurance that the Apostle's admonition was far mere energetic than such a reference can be commonly accounted, that Bradford so longed to fathom its consolations. I am persuaded that, with all the aspect of what might cover a common-place announcement, there is contained in our text a copious material of most profitable meditation; and the limits of a single discourse will, perchance, not permit of our investigating its several bearings.
I would premise, that I look upon it as a wonderful feature of the writings of inspiration, that they contain little or nothing of that redundancy of speech which serves, in merely human compositions, for the purpose of oratorical effect. There is generally a superabundance of language, words being oftentimes ostentatiously introduced, rather with a view to the harmony of the sound than the perfection of the sense; and it were consequently easy, without doing injury to the author's meaning, to abbreviate in many cases the author's expression. But when I take up any portion of the scriptural page, there is an end at once of all this liberty of cashiering or circulating the formulary of language. There may be much which we, on a hasty glance, may suppose could be safely omitted, the sense being uninjured; but a more diligent study will, almost invariably, prove that the proposed alteration would be of the most material character; and that the words which we, in the pride of our criticism, would have cast away as superfluous, are, after all, the very nerves aud sinews of the passage; and, in cases in which our own research may not avais to detect the force of words which we have been used to consider as expletives, the holy reverence which is due to the inspiration of scripture should go far to prohibiting the notion, that there is any thing of repetition or superfluity in the statements of the Bible. Of all concessions which can ever be made to carnal and philosophical inquirers, I suppose the most dangerous would be, that which would, in any degree, have yielded or qualified the doctrine of the plenary inspiration of Holy Writ. Without question, the inspiration by which one portion of the Bible was penned differs considerably from that which guided the composition of another portion. The inspiration which wrapt the prophet in future times was of a loftier character than that which rested on the historian when compiling the records of departed ages : but just as much it was the divine influence which enabled Isaiah to lay down, with all the pomp and gorgeousness of imagery, the marvellous things of coming generations; so it was the divine influence which assisted Ezra in stating, with all the strictness of a scrupulous fidelity, the annals of by-gone years : and while neither the prophet nor the historian could possibly be an eye witness to the main events on which each insists, yet the fact of their having inspiration gives me equal assurance, that whatever Moses had related was an actual occurrence, and that whatever John predicted shall receive a perfect completion.
Now, from these general remarks on the paramount importance of aspiring and searching after the beauty and emphasis in every, the least turn of scriptural expression, if you refer to the words which Paul addressed to Timothy, you will find the present a singular illustration of the truth on which I have insisted. “ Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel.” If there were contained in these words nothing beyond that historical reference to the resurrection of Christ, on which I have already spoken, then it is manifest that, without doing any injury whatever to the meaning of the passage, we might considerably curtail the sentence, and reduce it to such a form as thus—“ Remember that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead.” I have omitted two portions of the seed of David” and “ according to my gospel :"' and certainly it might be thought, that, however the sentence is mutilated, the sense is in no degree marred; the idea of the resurrection being equally preserved whether we read “ Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel,”-or
simply, “ remember that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead." Now, here is an exact case in point. If it ever be lawful to deal with the words of scripture as if they were redundant words, it must be in such an instance as is now under review : but if it be unwarrantable thus to deal with inspired words as superfluous words, then it would follow that there must be parts we have cast away, which intimately connect them with those words we have retained. It is certainly somewhat curious to observe, that the eminent servant of God, whom I have mentioned as ardently longing to apprehend the apostle's meaning, quotes the passage with exactly these omissions, of which I have shown it might be susceptible. The martyr's words are, “ Open my heart to feed and taste of these comfortable places of scripture. Remember that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead.” And if there be any truth in the observations with which I have hitherto occupied your attention, it might be fair to argue that Bradford had darkened the passage, by passing over, as unimportant, those clauses which he introduces not into the words of his quotation. He introduces Paul as reminding Timothy of the fact of the Redeemer's resurrection. There then arises a considerable difficulty in reconciling the character of the admonition with the character of the person admonished: whereas, on the contrary, if you take the text in its original and unabbreviated form, I do heartily believe that the very parts we are disposed to cast away will be found to contain the actual pith and marrow of the apostle's meaning; or rather they are the nerves and sinews, separated from which the verse loses all its vigour, and becomes in real truth an idle thing.
Now the subject of my present discourse is thus opened before you; and I desire, in dependance on the teaching of the Holy Spirit, to speak to you on the importance of connecting the fact of the Saviour's resurrection with two other facts—namely, first, that Christ was of the seed of David, and, secondly, that the resurrection of Christ is so essential a part of the gospel of Christ, that the one may be described as according with the other. “Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead, according to my gospel.”
There can be no dispute that it could not be needful for St. Paul to characterize Jesus as of the seed of David, in order to distinguish him from any other being whom the name might recall to the mind of Timothy. I deny, therefore, altogether, that there is any thing whatsoever of the fanciful, or the far-fetched, in our ascribing any particular emphasis to this casual introduction of the human lineage of Messiah. I look on the name of Jesus, and its every syllable seems to burn and blaze with divinity. I may explain and interpret it; I may expound it as promising salvation, as eloquent of deliverance to our fallen race; but in exact propor tion as I magnify the wonder, I remove, as it were, the being un