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lively sacrifice unto him." Let us adore with the lowest prostration of body and soul, the Incarnate mystery, this day made known to a lost world. And joining the chorus of the skies, the innumerable multitude of the heavenly host, let us continually praise him and say, “Blessing and honor, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever and ever.”
THE SPIRIT OF ADOPTION.
ROMANS viii. 15.
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear;
but ye have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry Abba, Father.
THERE is no enquiry of such deep interest to the mind of man as this; In what relation do I stand to God, the great author of my being, the rewarder or punisher of my actions ? Can I look up to Him with filial love? Can I. with comfort address Him as my Father?' Or in contemplating the great first cause, do I see all that is awful, vast and incomprehensible in thought, arrayed against me, under his august titles, his incommunicable attributes ?
A reference to our state by nature and grace,
must determine this question. Our natural condition is a fallen one. “ Having the understanding darkened," we are by nature “ alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in us, because of the blindness of our hearts: being past feeling, we have given ourselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.” Hence, our natural apprehensions of the great author of our being, cannot but be mingled with fear. “ Enemies in our minds by wicked works,” it is plain, that in no way can our fears be allayed, and love and affiance succeed to their place, but by our being reconciled unto God. The scriptures set forth the means of reconciliation. Christ is there displayed as “the way, and the truth, and the life.” No man cometh to the father but by him. “Thou art a God," observes the prophet, “ that hidest thyself.” The light of nature makes but our darkness visible. Revelation discovers to us our blindness, and our corruption, together with our consequent inability to know God, except as a being justly incensed against his guilty creatures. From this state, as man can alone be delivered by Jesus Christ, so it follows, that without him, he is cut off from all communication with God as a reconciled Father; since He is the only appointed mediator between God and man. “ No man knoweth the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.”
Some there are who, notwithstanding the scripturally revealed God, that is, a God in Christ reconciling the world to himself, and the scripturally revealed way to the Father, that is, his son Jesus Christ, (fondly clinging to their darling reason, and rejecting the doctrine of a mediator, as unworthy of their apprehensions of a God of love,) frame to themselves a method of communicating with the Supreme Being without the intervention of a mediator ; as if, all such medium of communication being removed, they were capable of knowing, and loving Him.
But, for my own part, my brethren, did I think myself at liberty, (by putting either reason, or my own adopted fancies, however plausible or agreeable, into the place of revelation,) to explain away, and so reject as unnecessary or even false, the doctrine of a divine mediator, I should feel utterly at a loss, having done away with this stepping-stone, if I may so speak, between God and man, earth and heaven, in what possible way to approach, or in what light to regard, a “jealous God.” If the heavens are not pure in his sight, and he charges his angels with folly, can I look up to heaven with no feeling of apprehension ? Conscious to myself of so much sin,