« AnteriorContinuar »
God has been much displayed by the glasses of the astronomers. But if Moses and the telescope were at issue, I would trample on the glasses of the philosophers. I have more evidence that the Scriptures are the word of God, than can ever be produced for the truth even of the Newtonian system. This I say, not from any opinion of interference, for I am persuaded there is none. The Scriptures are not pledged for or against this system. But the usual way of speaking on this subject, discovers too little respect for the word of God, and too much deference for the authority of philosophy." Pp. 33, 38.
"Nothing can be more unfounded than the train of consequences which the author draws from the supposition of the Scriptures being written by man through an inspiration which should have suspended all the operations of the writer's mind. 'This,' he says, 'must have spread an uniformity and sameness over the whole surface of Scripture; must have expunged all 'the varieties of style, diversities of narrative, and selection of topics-must have impressed one and the same phraseology, and turn of expression upon all 'the sacred books in the same language.' 519. There is not a must in any one of these particulars. Had God declined the instrumentality of man altogether in the writing of the Scriptures, would he not still have written in the language and style of man? Such writers seem strangely to take it for granted, that if God had communicated the Scriptures without man, he would not have used the language of man. In their odd suppositions, they sometimes speak of the language of angels, as if that would be a revelation to man. I suppose the Ten Commandments are as intelligible as any part of the Scriptures, yet they they were written by the finger of God, without any instrumentality of man. This then puts it beyond speculation, what the Scriptures would have been, even had there been no human instrumentality in them." P. 48.
In the preceding extracts we have taken the liberty so far to garble our Author, as to omit expressions which seem to reflect personally on Mr. Wilson, without adding strength to the arguments. In the conclusion Mr. Carson declares the pain it has given him to contend with the real
friends of the Lord Jesus; and that, whilst he has not spared error, his love to those in error is not abated. "Nothing (he says) but the conviction, that I am pleading the cause "of God and truth, could console me in opposing so many distinguished writers on the nature of the inspiration of the Holy Scriptures.
We had nearly omitted to mention, that Mr. Haldane adds Appendix to his Treatise, containing extracts from eminent writers; concurring in the view he has taken. We have only further to add, that we recommend to our Readers the perusal of these works themselves; from the examination of which we rise with our own minds decidedly strengthened, and with a feeling of increased reverence for and submission to every word in the Bible. By way of a short practical application to the whole, we finally subjoin the following from Mr. Haldane, page 156:
"Every christian should remember, that the view which he takes of the inspiration of the Scriptures, is to him of the greatest practical importance. With what a different feeling must that man read the Bible, who believes, that it is a book which partly treats of common and civil affairs,' and partly of things religious;' which is partly the production of men, (who were sometimes directed in one way, sometimes in in another, and who sometimes were not directed at all,) and partly the production of God; and that it contains certain things unworthy of being considered as a part of divine revelation: from the feeling of the christian, who reads that sacred book under the solemn conviction, that its contents are wholly religious, and that every word of it is dictated by God! In reading these words, Proverbs, iii, 2, My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord, neither be weary of his correction' -how differently must he be affected, who reads them as addressed to him merely by Solomon; from the man who views them as addressed to him by his heavenly Father, according to Hebrews, xii, 5!
OF HIS MAJESTY KING WILLIAM THE FOURTH.
[Having been requested, at the particular instance of several who heard the following Discourse, delivered on occasion of his Majesty's Coronation, to insert it in the Investigator, we the more readily comply, because it is our intention, when opportunity offers, to present prophetical topics practically treated, the subject being sometimes made prominent, sometimes collateral, and sometimes subordinate. We believe that such occasional deviations from the severer style of theological disquisitions will render the Investigator both more useful and more acceptable to many. The following is only an abridgement. ED.]
2 Kings, xi, 12. And he brought forth the king's son, and put the crown upon him, and gave him the testimony; and they made him king, and anointed him; and they clapped their hands and said, God save the king.
This is the first regular account which we have in Scripture of a coronation ; although, from the manner in which the ceremony is introduced and related, it is evident that it had been already customary among the Jews. There is indeed some account of Saul being made king, and also of Solomon; and we have the hurried proceeding described, which took place when Jehu was proclaimed.* * But brief as are the particulars contained in the text, it is nevertheless more explicit than any of the previous narratives. I shall therefore proceed to notice it.
1. The crown was placed upon the head as an emblem of honor and sovereignty. Every anointed person-whether anointed to be a pro
INVESTIGATOR, No. IV.
phet, a priest, or a king-was a type in those respective offices of Messiah: and not only the king, but the high priest also wore a crown upon his mitre, a in order to shadow forth that union of the priesthood with the kingly office, which shall presently be exhibited in our great Melchisedec : of whom it is said,
and he shall be a priest upon his throne.”b And the circumstance of the king having the crown placed upon his head by the hands of the chief priest, (even as it is among us,) was further intended to remind him, as I apprehend, that he could have no power except it were given him from above; and that he was consequently responsible for the exercise of that power to a greater King.
2. The next thing mentioned is, that the priest gave him the Testimony, or Book of God's Law. This was conformable to the precept previously given to them by Moses, as described in Deut. xvii, 18-20. And it shall be when he (the king 'whom they might choose) sitteth
* It is remarkable that all these transactions, including that adverted to in the text, took place under circumstances of great excitement or hurry. See 1 Sam. x, 24, 25; 1 Kings i, 38-40; 2 Kings ix, 13.
a Exodus xxix, 6.
b Zech, vi, 13.
upon the throne of his kingdom, ' that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book, out of that which is before the priests the Levites; and it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life; that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, to keep 'all the words of this law and these statutes to do them; that his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, ́ and that he turn not aside from the ' commandment to the right hand or to the left; to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children, in the 'midst of Israel." The handing over the testimony to the King, was therefore doubtless intended to remind him of his obligation to promote the cause of religion, and to govern his subjects according to its laws.
3. After this acknowledgement on the part of the king, then, in the order of the text, the people acknowledged him; that is to say, they made him king, and anointed him.' The oil used upon these occasions was typical of the Holy Spirit; and at the ordination of prophets, priests, and kings, was poured upon the head. It was in a limited sense a sacrament: for it was an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace; and a pledge on the part of God, that, if approached with faith, he would communicate the gifts necessary for the discharge of the high functions connected with the respective offices. It signified likewise, that the person anointed was consecrated, or set apart in a solemn manner, for his office; and that his authority was to be esteemed sacred among the people. Thus it is prophetically said of Christ, With my holy oil have I anointed him ;"c in reference to
his being set apart and ordained of God, a prophet, priest, and king: and hence the abhorrence so frequently expressed at the thought of violence being offered to "the
4. After this important part of the ceremony, the ceremony, those who stood round about the king gave a testimony of their joy, and put up an ejaculatory prayer to God for him : i. e. "They clapped their hands and said, God save the king."
Such was the ceremony in those days; and it is, I believe, in substance observed at the coronation of our own kings. I understand that, according to our laws, the ceremony is not considered essential, as needful to establish the authority of a king; and there are some who consequently think it might as well be dispensed with altogether: in my own humble opinion however such a conclusion appears inconsiderate. I speak not of the tinsel and parade— of what may be called the trappings of the ceremony: I speak of it as a religious ordinance; in which view it certainly appears to me both scriptural and useful. It serves to remind the king, "whose minister he is :"-it serves to remind the subject, "whose authority the king hath." Every circumstance which may tend to bring to the recollection, whether of sovereign or people, their mutual dependance upon God, must be important. I cannot therefore but consider the coronation as a means of grace; grace; and, like any other means, it would be improper to neglect it, and must be productive of a blessing if seriously and devoutly exercised.
II. I now wish to draw your attention to a coronation, which to a believing christian must be of more
c Psalm lxxxix, 20.
importance than the coronation of his earthly king! Perhaps some now before me may have pictured in their imagination the proceedings of this week in London. They may have fancied, that they beheld our gracious Sovereign surrounded by all the pomp and pageantry of state, and greeted with the shouts and acclamations of his people; and whilst they followed him, in their mind's eye, from the temple to the banquet, they may have secretly wished,
O, that I were a king!' brethren, do but wait with patience for a little while, and, if you are really in Christ, you shall be kings! It is written of them who are washed in his blood, that they also are made kings and priests unto God." d In one part of Scripture there is promised to them "a crown of life;"e in another part, a crown of glory;" and Jesus himself is the High Priest, after the order of Melchisedec, who shall place it on the heads of all them that love his appearing. Yea, the saints are to sit on the throne with Jesus himself! g and, as respects power, they are to have cities to rule and judge over, in proportion to their faithfulness here; they are to inherit the earth, and to reign over the nations with a rod of iron. h
joyed-greater far than that of William the Fourth!
These are not idle words: no, they are the words of soberness and truth:'-they are exceeding great and precious promises; and not one jot or tittle of them, shall fall to the ground. They may astound such as want faith ;—yea, -yea, they are calculated to astonish those who have faith for it is indeed marvellous to consider, that even the meanest of my hearers, the Co poorest, the most neglected and despised, may be raised to to a dignity higher than human being has ever yet en
And, what is more, it will be a lasting dignity. We have many
proofs in the history of the world, and even in the history of this country, that human glory is perishable and uncertain. The same voices which have shouted, 'Long live the king,' on one day, have been foremost to cry, 'Away with him,' on another: and thrones and empires, which have appeared firmly established, have either been swept violently away, or have tumbled and mouldered in the dust. But not so the dignity which is offered to us. The throne on which the faithful shall sit, is “for ever and ever ;"i the crown which they shall receive is "incorruptible;" j-their kingdom is "everlasting;" k—and the weight of their glory "eternal!" 1 Their title, likewise, shall be undisputed. As a champion rides forth on the day of coronation and bids defiance to all who may attempt to oppose the claims of the king of England; so there will be a champion stand up for the sons and daughters of God,-the same who sitteth on the white horse, who is called faithful and true, mand he will cry, "Who will lay any thing to the charge of God's elect?” n Of the banquet, which will be prepared for the sons of God, I shall say nothing. Let it suffice, that it is "the marriage supper of the Lamb but so far above our present faculties or experience to comprehend, that Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, "neither have entered into the "heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." 1 Cor. ii, 9.
III. Perhaps some may now be anxious to inquire, how they may
d Rev. i, 16. e Jas. i, 12; Rev. ii, 10; 21. h Matt. v, 5; Rev. ii, 27. i Psalm xlv, 6. 1 2 Cor. iv, 17. m Rev. xix, 11. n Rom. viii, 33.
1 Pet. v, 4. f 2 Tim. iv, 8. g Rev. iii, j 1 Cor. ix, 25. k Dan. vii, 27.