Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

although by the dint of study, many of the causes and effects by which we are encircled, have been traced up to their mighty Author, and eagle-eyed genius has let in a world of wonders to our view; yet much, very much, both in the heavens, the earth, and mighty deep, remains enwrapt in clouds, or thick darkness. Even in the formation of a blade of grass, there are operations which man cannot define. We enjoy the genial rays of heaven's bright luminary, but who can prove to demonstration, the sources from whence he has derived such a constant supply of matter, as to furnish our system of worlds, with light and heat for nearly six thousand years? In short who can discover or fully explain the mysterious link which unites mind to matter ? But surely we do not allow ourselves to disbelieve the reality of their existence, because we cannot enter into the minutiæ of their nature. If there was nothing revealed, in the New Testament, of the nature and person of Christ, but what we could fully comprehend, we should then have some cause to refuse our assent to its truth, and might confess it to be a cunningly devised fable. But while great is the mystery of godliness, remember it is God manifest in the flesh; not God putting off his Deity to take the human nature, but it is the second person in

с

tion: he says he had acquired such credit and authority amongst the people by the holiness of his life, and his disciples were so numerous, that Herod, dreading a revolt, confined John in the castle of Macharas, and afterwards beheaded hin, for no other crime than his honest faithfulness.* Herod's army was soon after totally routed by the troops of Aretas, and the Jews considered it as a mark of Divine vengeance for his cruel treatment of the Holy Baptist.

[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors]

Therefore, the Lord himself shall give you a sign, behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.-Isaiah vii. 14.

[ocr errors]

The portion of scripture now before us is highly interesting, and demands serious attention. About seven hundred and eight years before the birth of Jesus, the prophet Isaiah was commissioned to tell the church, a virgin should conceive and bear a son, and should call his name Immanuel. For proofs of the fulfilment of this prophecy, we would refer to Matthew and Luke,t and request their testimony may be read with the

* Matt. xiv. 3–10. + Matt. i. 18—25. Luke i. 26-38.

The un

serious attention the subject demands. blushing infidel may treat it with scorn and ridicule; but let not one bearing the name of Christ, venture to speak with lightness, on this so highly momentous an article of the christian faith. We cannot suppose the Lord, after giving this promise, would be unmindful of its accomplishment: if the birth of Christ had been the result of natural causes, there would have been nothing to excite surprise, nor would it have been a sign, as the Lord himself declared it should be. If he had been born after the manner of the children of men, no doubt he must have partaken of their evil nature. Or if his body had been formed of the dust, as was Adam's, how could the promise given at the fall of man, have been fulfilled ? And what relationship would there then have existed between Christ and his church? But now he is “bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh.” For in the fulness of time, “ God sent forth his son, made of a woman, made under the law, that he might redeem them which are under the law,” “ Lo! in the volume of the book, it is written of him," " sacrifice and offerings for sin, thou wouldest not; but a body hast thou prepared for him.” A body subject to all the infirmities of our nature, yet wholly free from the

race.

perish!”

sinful principles, and evil propensities of the human

His name shall be called “Immanuel, which, being interpreted, is, God with us,” God in our nature.* Yes, the uncreated word was “made flesh and dwelt amongst us and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” “In him dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” The Socinian may smile with contempt when the Deity of Jesus is attested, but is it not written? “Behold ye despisers, and wonder and Shall not

66 he that sitteth upon the circle of the heavens, laugh?—the Lord shall have them in utter derision.” We would candidly confess, there are mysteries in this doctrine above the powers of a finite mind fully to comprehend. But are we, for that cause, to refuse our belief of its truth? We should indeed be reduced to a most distressing dilemma, if we were to disbelieve every thing we cannot fully comprehend. Who can discover or fully explain the nature, order, and beauteous economy, displayed in the animate and inanimate creation? They are so many problems unsolvable by man,

Cor. xv.

5. 1 Tim. üi. 16.

• Col. ii. 9. John i. 1., i. 14.

although by the dint of study, many of the causes and effects by which we are encircled, have been traced up to their mighty Author, and eagle-eyed genius has let in a world of wonders to our view; yet much, very much, both in the heavens, the earth, and mighty deep, remains enwrapt in clouds, or thick darkness. Even in the formation of a blade of grass, there are operations which man cannot define. We enjoy the genial rays of heaven's bright luminary, but who can prove to demonstration, the sources from whence he has derived such a constant supply of matter, as to furnish our system of worlds, with light and heat for nearly six thousand years? In short who can discover or fully explain the mysterious link which unites mind to matter ? But surely we do not allow ourselves to disbelieve the reality of their existence, because we cannot enter into the minutiæ of their nature. If there was nothing revealed, in the New Testament, of the nature and person of Christ, but what we could fully comprehend, we should then have some cause to refuse our assent to its truth, and might confess it to be a cunningly devised fable. But while great is the mystery of godliness, remember it God manifest in the flesh; not God putting off his Deity to take the human nature, but it is the second person in

с

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »