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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 avail 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 If there were contained in these words nothing beyond that historical reference to the resurrection of Christ, on which I have already spoken, then it is manifest that, without doing any injury whatever to the meaning of the passage, we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
whom it belongs from all kindred and companionship with the sinful tenantry of a ruined creation. The title of anointed Saviour, full, though it be of magnificent and colossal mercy, consisting of attributes and principles bearing the impress of a superhuman greatness and, however stupendous and dazzling the truth, that Deity has interposed on behalf of the helpless, that the arm which compreses the universe around us should have stretched itself forth to raise from the dust rebels who have been their own wilful destroyers; still the Saviour of man must be one who could hold communion and fellowship with man; he must not be separated from him by the appalling attributes which mark a divine Creator. If there must be a celestial nature to afford the succour, there must also be a terrestrial nature to ensure the sympathy. Hence, I think it just to imagine, that when the Apostle sent to a beloved disciple this short compendium of Christian consolation, which he desired might be carefully borne in mind, he would not fail to interweave into such compendium a distinct reference to the complex nature of the Redeemer's person; and, not content himself with referring him to Jesus Christ, he would add some such description as this-" of the seed of David," in order to mark his real humanity. I am not arguing that we have reason to expect that wherever St. Paul makes mention of the Saviour, he would accumulate terms expressive of the fact, that, in the person of this Saviour, God and man were wonderfully classed; but I do argue that when he commends to the special memory of such a convert as Timothy, a succinct statement of gospel truth, we might reasonably anticipate an allusion to the fleshly clothing in which Deity veils itself, and look for words which would decidedly imply, if not directly assert, the mysterious things of the Redeemer's
I stay not to establish generally the proposition, which can scarcely be thought to stand in need of demonstration; but I turn to the particular truth of Christ's resurrection, and ask you, whether it be not essential to the right and profitable remembrance of this truth, that we should always couple it with the leading doctrine of our creed, even that of the union of the divine and human nature in the person of one mediator between God and man. It is foreign to my purpose to inquire, whether there be Christian faith which does not, in one way or another, involve a reference to this prominent article. The crucifixion is nothing but a most perplexed and inexplicable mystery the instant we lose sight of Christ, first, as man, and therefore able to suffer; and, secondly, as God, and therefore able to atone. It holds good in the same degree of the resurrection, the one event giving to the other the sanction of divine acceptance, and Christ, bursting the bondage of the grave, proving most rigidly to men and angels, that Christ, expiring on the cross, had availed to the full redemp
tion of the countless myriads for whom he died. Yet, connected as are the events, it is undeniable that with the majority of Christians, the resurrection, as compared with the crucifixion, might almost be termed a forgotten thing; so that if our acts were constructed according to the tenor of popular theology, we might mark numerous Good Fridays in the year, and only one Easter Sunday; ground being thus afforded for the necessity, which there was not to Timothy, of being literally reminded that Jesus Christ had been raised from the dead. But the resurrection has set the seal of Deity on the crucifixion. It proclaims with a voice as audible and piercing as though the words had been uttered by angelic messengers passing through the length and breadth of the earth, that every debt had been boldly met and discharged, and that every claim that justice could put forth on the human race had been destroyed; and the shivered fragments of the Redeemer's tomb were just so many tokens of the high barriers which sin had thrown up, and which were hurled and dashed away by the Godman's anger. In whatever degree you learn to behold from the resurrection the actual completion of all that had been proposed by the incarnation, that Christ was delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification; in that same degree you will be led to link, in all the associations of memory, Christ's resurrection and Christ's humanity; inasmuch as feeling that no surety could have died, save one, who was bone of your bone, and flesh your flesh; you must also feel that no surety could have risen for you unless he had been of the seed of David. Hence, while reminding Timothy that Christ Jesus was raised from the dead might seem vague and unnecessary, the fact which he bade him remember, that Christ Jesus was of the seed of David, is a lesson every way worthy both of the apostle who gave it, and of the disciple who receives it.
But I have hitherto argued, mainly, on the supposition that the human nature of the Saviour is alone referred to in this expression. There is, however, a distant allusion to other truths, as well as to the Redeemer's humanity in this accurate specification. It is a wonderful thing to cast one's eye over the prophetic pages, and behold how years past, and years that are to come, do alike burn with the deeds and triumphs of David's Son, under the name and title of a descendant from the man after God's own heart. A believing remnant did in the earliest ages eagerly watch for a mighty deliverer, who should introduce on earth a new dispensation, and throw open to the children of our fallen race a storehouse of spiritual benedictions: and the Son of David came attended, not indeed by any of the retinue of a monarch's pomp, and bearing not the outward tokens of affinity to him who had swayed the sceptre over the free and prosperous tribes of Israel; nevertheless, invested with the splendid credentials, and being not only the
offspring but the root of David, and gathering to himself all that the sacrifices of the priests, and the visions of the prophets, had accumulated of wonderful or beautiful promise-yea, verily, the heir of David arose, and did marvellous things in the land of David. Much that hath been declared of this mysterious personage awaits still its accomplishment: and future days of glorious doings, on whose very threshold, it may be, the existing generation may almost tread, are big with strong and brilliant acts to be wrought beneath the government of him, whom Jesse's son but faintly typified. I ask you to cast but a cursory glance over those portions of scripture whose productions are unfulfilled; and will you not find that a throne is yet to be erected, on which shall sit one known and designated by this name of David? What is there of the lovely or the sublime in all the sketches of that scene for which the church most intensely longs, that is not, in some way or other, bound up with the reign and presence of the seed of David? So that there were little or nothing exaggerated in the assertion, that the Bible developes no features of greatness in the approaching allotment of the Christian Church, which are not attached, in precise and definite phraseology, to Christ, as born of David's seed, rather than to Christ as known under any other description.
It concerns not my argument to examine into the reasons which might induce the frequent introduction of the name of David, whenever the triumphs of Messiah are the subject of discourse. I appeal simply to the fact, and demand of every student of holy writ, whether there be any title under which prophecy tenders so vast a revenue of honour as it does to the seed, or heir, or antitype of David. If I desired to call up in the mind of the patient disciple the largest and most splendid train of scriptural expectations, what word, or single epithet is there, which could be used with half so much magic energy as the name of that monarch, who swayed the sceptre over God's people, and swept his harp to God's praise, eminently prefiguring that mighty being who shall finally rule over a rejoicing universe, and give golden chords into the hands of millions, who shall laud his name with an unearthly minstrelsy. And if you remember that the resurrection of Jesus Christ was, in every sense, preparatory to the setting up of the unbounded dominion of the seed of David-that which verified, in fact, the Redeemer's claim to that crown which Daniel had beheld given to one like unto the Son of Man-and thus pointed out the despised and rejected and crucified Nazarene as the potentate who should achieve the illustrious things seen in the vision of patriarchs and holy men-then is not the joint mention of "the resurrection" and "of the seed of David" neither more nor less than an emphatical appropriation of the treasures of prophecy to him whom we honour as our Lord and Master?-and does not the injunction to "remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David,