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has, all along its course, had to struggle against opposition, visible and latent, artful and violent. It has had to contend with the prevalence of error, the tyranny of passion, and the cruelty of persecution. Numerous foe have risen up against it-Pagans who have aimed to destroy it, and Papists who have striven to monopolize it, and ungodly men who have hated it for its purity and penalties.

But from all these assaults it has been preserved. Though cast into the fire, it has risen triumphantly from its ashes; through crushed, yet, like the diamond, every part of which, when broken, exhibits the beauty and perfection of the whole, it has proved its indestructibility; and though sunk in the waters, it has come up again studded with the costliest pearls. It has survived the shock of all its enemies, and withstood the ravages of time. Like the fabled pillars of Seth, which are said to have bid defiance to the deluge, it has stood unmoved in the midst of that flood which sweeps away men with their labours into oblivion.

Oh, what wreck and ruin meet the eye as it glances at the past ! Thrones have crumbled, empires have fallen, and philosophers and their systems have vanished away. The very monuments of man's power have been converted into a mockery of his weakness. His eternal cities moulder in their ruins, and the serpent hisses in the cabinet where he planned his empire, and echo itself is startled by the foot which breaks the silence that has reigned for ages in his hall of

feast and song. Yet, notwithstanding all this desolation, the stream which first bubbled up at the foot of the eternal throne, has continued to roll on with silent majesty and might, bearing down each oppressive barrier, and declaring perishing multitudes on its brink, that while “all flesh is grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass, the word of God endureth for ever.

No weapon that has ever been formed against the Bible has prospered. It has survived the power of secret treachery and open violence. The time has been when to read it was death. Infidelity has fought against it with relentless malignity, but it has successfully resisted all its potency, passing unhurt through the hands of Julians, and Celsuses, and Porphyries, and defying all the sophistries of Hume, and the eloquence of Gibbon, and the inuendoes of Rousseau, and the blasphemy of Paine, and the vituperations of Voltaire. The identical press, indeed, which was employed by Voltaire and the French Institute to disseminate their attacks upon the Bible, has since been used to print the very volume they so vainly sought to destroy.

Nor is this all. Not only has the Bible not been destroyed, but it has not been diluted by the lapse of ages. It has not been ruined by the sapping of its foundations, nor by the incorporation of any new element with it, which has marred its integrity, or vitiated its purity. With it, like God, its author, there has been no variableness or shadow of a change. The world has suffered its boasted classics to be contami

nated and blurred, but the church can rejoice over the fair page of her precious books, assured that the far descent of these venerable treasures has neither altered their character, nor changed their identity.

“Those oracles, written amidst such strange diversity of time, place, and condition-among the sands and cliffs of Arabia, the fields and hills of Palestine, in the palaces of Babylon, and in the dungeons of Rome, have come down to us in such unimpaired fulness and accuracy, that we are placed as advantageously towards them as the generation which gazed upon that book of the law, to which Moses had been adding chronicles and statutes for forty years; or those crowds which hung on the lips of Jesus, as he recited a parable on the shore of the Galilean lake; or those churches which received from Paul or Peter one of their epistles of warning or exposition.” R.

point to which this telescope has reached.”

Any one who will multiply the above figures will find the utterly inconceivable number of one hundred and sixty millions of millions of millions of miles; that is, 160,000,000,000,000,000,000.

All this space, with the millions of suns

and systems scattered through this vast immensity, with the space yet unexplored, is the work of God: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” Gen. i.

The psalmist looked at the starry host, and at the same time thought of the feeble tenant of the atom of this earth, and exclaimed, “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars which thou hast ordained, what is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him ?” Psa. viii. 3, 4. How infinite, then, is our God!

Again, when we read the words of Jesus Christ, there is much more cause of astonishment; “ Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and not one of them shall fall to the ground without your Father. Even the very hairs of your head are all numbered,” Matt. x. 29, 30.

" This awful God is onrs,

Our Father and our love."

THE OMNIPOTENT GOD OUR

FATHER. What conception have we of the immensity of the universe ? Let any one endeavour to form an idea of the following estimate:

“Dr. Nichol, in his work describing the magnitude of Lord Rosse's telescope, says that Lord Rosse has looked into space a distance so inconceivable, that light, which travels at the rate of 200,000 miles in one second, would require a period of 250,000,000 of solar years, each year containing about 32,000,000 of seconds, to pass the intervening gulf between this earth and the remotest

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The thought of the infinite greatness of God is a source of comfort to the Christian, and of terror to the wicked. The power of God is engaged to save or to punish. The child of God may well say, “I am safe, and I am happy,

While in His strong arms I lie;"

and the sinner should seriously and earnestly ask, “How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation!”

Thus the invention of men leads to enlarged views of our Maker, Preserver, Saviour, and God. We should fear to sin, and endeavour to “ love Him with all the heart, soul, mind, and strength.” Eternity will unfold the wonders that now bewilder our limited understanding.

HOW SHOULD THE HEART

BE KEPT? As a choice garden. Let all the weeds of vice and error be eradicated. If allowed to grow in unchecked luxuriance, they will overrun the heart, and forestall the growth of the fruits and flowers of virtue. If thoroughly kept down at first, the luxuriance of virtues may prevent their later growth. Selection in seeding, and thoroughness in culture, will be rewarded. Let not your heart, then, be like the garden or field of the sluggard, with the enclosure broken down and its area trampled by the swine of the world, or overgrown by noxious weeds of vice.

It should be kept as a treasure. How carefully is wealth invested, and money deposited, or precious jewels guarded. They are placed beyond the reach of the thief, and the danger of fire. So should the heart be guarded. Let it not be open to the profane incursions of sin, the defiling footsteps of the selfish world, the withering blasts of temptation.

Let it be kept from the touch of

sin, as the sensitive plant from any foreign contact; from the wary approach of the world, to despoil it of its truth and purity.

It should be kept as a citadel, guarding the royal family, treasure, and sceptre; the entrance to a city, and the approach to a kingdom. If the citadel is taken, the kingdom is ravaged, and the dynasty overthrown. If it is guarded, the throne and empire are secure.

From the heart are the issues of character, history, and destiny. If this be right, a course and destiny of virtue are sure. If this be wrong, a career and end of shame are in. evitable. All pride, with its train of ruin, springs from the heart. All apostacy from virtue begins with the heart; and sins of thought and purpose grow to sins of deed. All careers of profligacy and crime begin with harbouring iniquity in the heart. Here, then, let every one battle in the name of God for his virtue and immortal destiny. While the heart is kept all is secure. When that is carried by the assaults of sin and the storming of the world, all is lost.

RELIGIOUS PROGRESS, It is some hope of goodness not to grow worse; it is a part of badness not to grow better. I will take heed of quenching the spark, and strive to kindle a fire. If I have the goodness I should, it is not too much; why should I make it less ? If I keep the goodness I have, it is not enough; why do I not make it more?

He never was so good as he should be, that doth not strive to be better than he is; he never will be better than he is, that doth not fear to be worse than he was. Selden.

Theology for the people.

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THE PROPHETIC CHARACTER OF CHRIST. The Prophets were a most wonderful order of men. They were the mouth of God to the people. The office was not confined to the priesthood; they were found among all the tribes, and occasionally among the Gentiles. The business of a prophet was not limited to the prediction of future events ; they were employed to teach the people, and to explain the Divine law. From Moses to Malachi we find a line of prophets, extending through a period of more than a thousand years, all governed by one spirit, delivering the same doctrine, and predicting the same events. The Divine will was communicated in three ways : by audible voiceby Urim and Thummim-and by visions, dreams, or direct inspiration ; and finally, by Him who “spake as never man spake,”"God manifest in the flesh.” The following questions elicit the main facts of the case :

When Christ appeared, did the Yes: he is “the Lord God of the Jews look for a prophet?—Yes; holy prophets,” Rev. xxii. 6. and after the miracle of feeding the And were they his agents ?-Yes: five thousand, they said, “This is it was " the spirit of Christ in them of a truth that prophet that should that testified," 1 Pet. i. 11. come into the world,” John vi. 14. In what respect was Moses the

What prophet did they refer to ? type of Christ as a prophet?-He - The prophet mentioned by Moses, was the head of a people whom he who said, “A prophet shall the had emancipated from bondage, Lord your God raise up unto you whom he taught and ruled, by of your brethren, like unto me,” giving them laws. Deut. xviii, 15.

Was Christ greater than Moses? Did the Jews receive him as a -Yes : for “Moses was faithful as prophet?-Some did: “We know a servant, but Christ as a son," that thou art a teacher come from Heb, iii, 5, 6. God," John iii. 2.

Is the doctrine of Christ better Does God speak to us, then, by than that of Moses ? - Yes: for "the him?-Yes : “He hath in these last law was given by Moses, but grace days spoken unto us by his Son," and truth came by Jesus Christ," Heb. i. 1.

John i. 17. Were there prophets under the Old Was Christ completely qualified Testament ?-Yes: “God sent his to be a prophet ?-Yes: for “ in him servants the prophets,” Jer. xxv. 4. are hid all the treasures of wisdom Was Christ above them all ? and knowledge,” Col. ii. 3.

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Was ever any other so well qualified ?-No: for “no man knows the Father but the Son,” Matt. xi. 27.

Has Christ, as a prophet, revealed God's will to us ?-Yes : for he said, “My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me," John vii. 16; xii. 49, 50.

Has he revealed God's will concerning our duty ?-Yes: for he "did not come to destroy the law, but to fulfil,” Matt. v. 17.

And concerning our happiness ? -Yes; for he was “appointed to preach the acceptable year of the Lord,” Luke iv. 18.

Did Christ execute this office when he was on earth ?-Yes : for “he taught them as one having authority,” Matt. vii. 29.

Did he introduce his doctrine with “ Thus saith the Lord,” like the Old Testament prophets ?-No: but, “ Verily, verily, I say unto you," John iji. 3.

Did he confirm his doctrine by miracles ?-Yes: “ Believe me for the very works' sake," John xiv. 11.

Were his miracles many ?-Yes : “Many signs did Jesus in the presence of his disciples," John xx. 30.

Were they profitable? –Yes: he " went about doing good,” Acts x. 38.

Did Christ teach by the example

of his life ?-Yes: “ that we might follow his steps,” 1 Pet. ii. 21.

Does he still execute this office ? -Yes: for he said, “I have declared thy name unto them, and will declare it,” John xvii. 26.

Does he reveal God's will to us by his word ?- Yes: for “these things are written that we may believe,” John xx. 31.

And by his Spirit ?-Yes: “The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, he shall teach you all things,” John xiv. 26.

Does Jesus Christ still teach his people ?-Yes: “All thy children shall be taught of the Lord,” Isa. liv, 13.

And does he teach effectually ?Yes : for “the Son of man is come, and hath given us an understanding," I John v. 20.

And does he teach compassionately -Yes: for “he can have compassion on the ignorant,” Heb.

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v. 2.

Must we learn of this Teacher? Yes: “Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart,” Matt. xi. 29.

Are we to receive his doctrine?Yes: "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly,” Col. iii. 16.

And must we abide in it?-Yes : “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed,” John viii. 31.

From all this, then, it appears, that as Christ was the Great Shepherd, so he was the Great Prophet, the Prince and the Lord of all the prophets who had gone befo

and who were to come after. All spoke as they were taught by his Spirit, and hence their unanimity, harmony, and power. They shared, in some measure, of their Master's peculiarity—they “spoke with authority.” They, too, spoke as no other men ever spoke. Their

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