Gambar halaman

loyalty of the heart is the desirable thing. Above all, beware of scepticism on this subject. Though the diadem of your Lord has been often handled as a very familiar thing — though not unfrequently it has been cast about as a bauble, amidst the throes and tosses of ecclesiastical men- -let not infidelity touch your hearts regarding it. It is a crown still, and blessed be He who wears it; he did not leave it on earth, to perish like a wreath in the convulsive grasp of contending parties; or transfer it from his head to any Church, or to any Pope upon earth. It is matter of gratulation to all who know the frailty of their own frame, that we are not vested with the lofty privilege of excluding others from the kingdom of heaven ; and that they, on the other hand, are not permitted to exclude us — that this is the prerogative of Him who holds the keys of life and of death. And it will be seen at last-when he shall come, and shall not keep silence—when a fire devours before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him—then shall he sit on the throne of his glory. Before him shall be gathered all flesh; and while the prayer echoes through the skies, “Father I will that they whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory" — then shall be verified the saying of the King, uttered in the day of his humiliation : -“ Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the king. dom of heaven.” O may this thought, all solemn and important as it is, keep our hearts and lips — that seeking through faith an alliance with Christ now, he may take us for his companions and friends, for his joy and for his praise in the day of his glory. Amen.







HEB. V. 9. Being made perfect, he became the author of eternal

salvation unto all them that obey hiin.


may be laid down as a principle in reference to the operations of the Almighty, that he ever accomplishes his purposes at the least expense of means. Consideration of the divine wisdom would previously lead us to expect that such should be the case. And when the student of nature reports, that in no department into which he carries his inquiries does he find the fact to be otherwise, and so often calls us to remark the poverty of the means compared with the magnificence of the results effected, all, we feel, is but in ac

cordance with what we should have looked for in His ways, who is wise in counsel and excellent in working.

It follows from the principle stated, that in every instance in which we find means to have been instituted by God, possessing in themselves a character of great magnitude and importance, we must, in such case, refuse to acknowledge as the first and chief purpose of their institution, any end actually served by them, which, however, either is manifestly of disproportionate grandeur and importance, or clearly might have been accomplished by an instrumentality of inferior magnitude. For example ;-consider what a character of importance, viewed as called into being to serve some purpose or other contemplated by the Creator, the discoveries of modern science have imparted to that sublime scene which night discloses to us in the starry heavens. Can we for a moment suppose, that the end in chief for which these shining worlds were hung out on high, was nothing more or better than to serve for times and seasons to us, -or to send down upon the gloom of our winter nights the imperfect illumination they impartor to regale the contemplative eye of man with so wonderful a display of creating power - or to be of use in any of those ways in which human science and ingenuity have made them of avail ? Do we hesitate to confess, that we see in each and all of these uses, such an insignificance compared with the overpowering grandeur of the means contemplated, as renders utterly absurd the idea, that for such ends alone the Almighty gave these countless worlds, or rather systems of worlds, existence ? Propose the idea, that in each of those bright spheres to which we lift our

view, we behold a theatre of life and enjoyment to a population of living, sentient beings, throng and diversified as that with which we find our own abode to be peopled ; and then we have presented to our minds a use and purpose for these hosts of the firmament of such dignity and importance, that we are conscious of no manner of incongruity while we say, that here was the Almighty's great end in their creation. But, assuredly, until this idea has been started, and while we look only at such other uses of the stars as have been adverted to, we want wholly such a harmony betwixt end and means as, in view of the divine wisdom, we require to find in the Creator's purpose, in so stupendous a system of means as these stars become, in our view, when science exalts them, from being merely the bright spots in the over-canopying sky which they seem to the vulgar gaze, to the station each of a vast world far in the depths of infinite space.

Assuming the Author of the system of creation and of the economy of grace to be one, the same principles will hold in regard to the divine operations in both. And no less, therefore, in contemplating the provisions of the scheme of grace, than in contemplating those of the system of nature, are we forbid, where an instrumentality possessing a character of high magnificence is found to have been instituted, to acknowledge as the prime purpose of God in its institution, what either is a purpose of unsuitable importance, or one which, we can plainly see, might have been accomplished by means of a less magnificent character.

The application of this principle in corroboration of the doctrine of the text, namely, that Jesus Christ was

“made perfect,” by suffering made perfect, that is, fitted and qualified, in order that he might become the author of eternal salvation,” is direct and obvious. Nor

may it be uninteresting or unprofitable to pursue it. It will conduct to the confession of Christ Jesus in the character of Redeemer of men, by a path less familiar. It may serve to present the distinguishing doctrine of the Gospel in a light, commending it in a peculiar manner to the reason. And it will serve, also, to bring out in a striking point of view, the harmony and dependence subsisting among the great doctrines of our holy faith.

What we say then, is, that contemplating the sufferings, or, generally speaking, the humiliation, of the Lord Jesus Christ, in the light of means instituted by Heaven for the accomplishment of some special end, there is a character of grandeur and magnificence attaching to his manifestation in the flesh in a suffering condition, which forbids our acknowledging any thing as the purpose primarily in the view of God in appointing it, excepting alone the effecting of an eternal salvation for men; inasmuch as every one other purpose actually served by Christ's coming in the flesh, and to which his sufferings contributed, either falls short of a suitable importance in itself, or is such as did not require so stupendous an instrumentality to be adopted.

1.-1. Who, let me ask, first of all, was He, in respect of original and proper nature, who did so humble himself and was thus made perfect through suffering? He wears, in our view, the form of man.

And while we observe his growth from infancy to manhood—see him weary with the toils of the way, or faint under the wants of nature-behold him shedding the tears of hu

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »