« AnteriorContinuar »
predicted. Listen to his own divine declaration. Luke iv. 18, 19, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised. To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. Are there any who pretend to believe, that the Bible is the
word of God, who will dare to say, that Christ Jesus will not con
tinue the same ; that he will not, at his second coming, descend to save the people from their sins, and to bless them : Are there any, calling themselves christians, who will dare to say, that when the seed of Abraham shall again be manifested to his brethren, he will be manifested to prove, that what he communicated to Abraham, and what that Friend of God believed, was not true? God forbid. To such glaring infidelity, we would not, we could not say—Amen.
Fourthly, “Amen”—This comprehensive word, we are told, is, literally, so be it ; and hence it is added, “Even so come, Lord Jesus.” Surely the voice of every genuine christian, is in unison with this supplication—Even so come, Lord Jesus; come thou philanthropic Saviour of all men; come, Lond Jesus, purge thy floor, and gather thy wheat into thy garner; come, thou glorious Redeemer, and separate between the precious and the vile; come, thou God-man, that the top-stone may be brought forth with shouting, crying grace, grace unto it. Thus closeth the Book of God:—The grace of our LoRD Jesus Christ be with " ou all, Amen. It is remarkable, that the last verse of the Old Testament, terminates with the word curse ; and the last verse of the New Testament, speaking better things, concludes with the GRAcE of our Lord Jesus CHR1st. |John i. 17, “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” The one is a dispensation of cursing, the other of blessing. The one a ministration of death, unto death, the other of life unto life. Therefore, the prophet Malachi, in the close of the Old Testament saith, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse. Therefore, the evangelist concludeth the sacred Oracles with this declaration, with this blessing. He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly: Amen. Even so come, Lord Jesus. The GR Acf. of our Lo R D Jesus Christ be with you Ali. Amen.
Salvarios, destruction, justification, condemnation; these are the themes of the christian theologician, and the numbers saved, and the numbers lost, employ their most profound research. Those, in whose paths are misery and destruction, rejoice when they discover in the book of God, any passages, which they imagine, establish those opinions, to which they are wedded. The apostle Paul in the twenty-seventh verse of the ninth chapter of his epistle to the Romans, particularly the latter clause of the verse, is frequently pressed into their service, “..A remnant shall be saved; though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved.” The inference drawn by the advocates of destruction, is that only, a remnant shall be saved. We are not solicitous to deprive them of whatever enjoyment they may derive from reading the scriptures; but we wish they would give such attention to the sacred writings, as might enable them to rest thereon, at least for their own support, that they would receive their own salvation from the hands of the bountiful, as genuine believers. A diligent investigation of the spirit's teaching, through the instrumentality of the man of Tarsus, would place them beyond a doubt, and give them to draw consolation from the only true source of comfort. It is very astonishing, that as the two salvations pointed out in the book of God, are so clearly and so unequivocally delineated, they are so often confounded, blended, misrepresented, and wrested to the destruction of that blessed peace, which passeth understanding. It is impossible to preserve the consistency of the sacred writings, without taking these two salvations into view, and if there be no consistency, if there be contradiction, it is equally impossible to obtain and preserve an unwavering faith. I have wondered much, that men, honest and sincere men, do not more accurately search the sacred writings. I have passed a large proportion of my life in searching the scriptures, and I appeal to God as a voucher of my truth, that I lic not, when I say those
two salvations appear to me clearly, indubitably and most emphat-
he said also in Osee, I will tall them my fleofile, which were not my fleofile; and her beloved, which was not beloved. And it shall come to fiass, that in the filace where it was said unto them, Ye are not my heafile; there shall they be called the children of the living God.” Then follows the passage in question, Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved. What is this, but in other words, delivering his sentiments precisely as he afterwards delivered them in the eleventh chapter of this Epistle. “And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes; but as touching the election they are beloved for the fathers' sakes. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. For as ye in times past, have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief. Even so, have these also not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy usion all.” The Apostle hath selected these passages from the prophet Isaiah. I love to trace, to investigate scripture; and, as far as I am permitted, I am fond of tracing every thing to its source. Listen, O my soul, listen to the prophet as he himself speaketh. Isaiah x. 21, 22, “ The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob unto the mighty God. For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return, the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness.” I confess the words even a remnant and yet a remnant, sound better to my ears, are more delightful to my soul, than only a remnant, and I have two reasons for my preference; first, I prefer the divine to human authority, and, secondly, if even a remnant are saved, it includes the whole piece, not a thread to be lost. Our evangelical prophet was of this opinion. “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again a second time, to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from, Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the Islands of the sea. And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. Two or three berries in the top of the uppermost bough, four or five in the outmost fruitful branches, saith the Lord God of Israel; these also, when our God sets his hand a second time, shall be gathered in.” That the human family were and are very precious to the God who created them, is evinced by the astonishing price he hath paid for their redemption, and if he be able to preserve this dear bought purchase, can it obtain credit in any rational mind, that he will destroy the whole piece, reserving to himself only a remnant of that, for which he hath paid the price all price beyond. I repeat, that I am sensible there are two salvations described in that book, which was dictated by the spirit of God. The one salvation is sfiritual and eternal, the other is temporal and immediate. Those are very little acquainted with scripture, who have not ascertained this fact; and it is the ignorance thereof, which is the principal cause of that perversion of sacred writ, which obtains among mankind; and it is hence, that so many disconsolate beings remain in a state of unbelief and consequent condemnation. Instances of this temporal salvation are frequent. Noah and his house, Rahab and her house, &c. &c. It is a delightful employment to search the scriptures, to draw
water from these wells of salvation, to select those passages
from the sacred volume, which proclaim the redemption of the betrayed, ensnared, and captivated nature; to bring from these mines of rich treasure, things new and old, both enlarges and elevates the spirit of the believer. The sacred volume is replete with testimonies of salvation, both for the body and the soul, both for time and eternity. . Yet, in the present scene, the election only obtains the knowledge of salvation, and the rest, for wise reasons are blinded ; in this sense a remnant are saved, but the time hastens, when all animated earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, and to know God is life eternal. The prophecies were given by divine inspiration to the people of the Jews, and some have been ready to conclude, that the grace therein contained was confined to that people. Thus thought the Jews themselves, but they had no right thus to think, for even the prophets themselves assured them, that the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, was in deed and in truth, the God of the whole earth. The writings of the royal prophet are full to this purpose. Yet as the veil was upon the heart of the Vol. III. 4 l