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LXXVII. We may observe, that, when an animal is about to be slaughtered, its drivers will sometimes lay aside all shew of compassion towards it, urge it roughly forward, strike it with sticks, and beat it about the head, with shouts and aggravated violence: as if their thought was,
“ What matter? It will soon be killed.”—This may help to explain the nature of our Lord's last sufferings. Surrounded by fierce looks and ferocious cries, deserted, bound, dragged a prisoner, rejected, mocked, smitten, scourged, crowned with thorns, bleeding, spitten upon, exhausted, silent, blindfolded, and buffeted, truly he is led—“as a lamb to the slaughter !”
In these last sufferings of Christ, previous to his crucifixion, let the Christian find a defence against the last assaults of terror, pain, distress, and anguish, previous to his decease.
LXXVIII. “And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison ; but Rebekah loved Jacob" (Gen. xxv. 28).
Isaac's reason for loving Esau is here expressly stated; “ because he did eat of his venison.” Rebekah's reason for loving Jacob will be found in the first clause of the verse.
So, again, “ Isaac spake to Esau his son ;” and “Rebekah spake unto Jacob her son ” (xxvii. 5, 6).
LXXIX. “ He knew that for envy they had delivered him." If we act from spiritual and religious motives, we must not expect to have them acknowledged or appreciated by the world. “ He that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man." " But if, on the contrary, we act from worldly motives, use what disguise we will, the world sees through it with ease. Thus the enemies of Christ alleged plausible reasons for wishing Pilate to crucify him; but Pilate saw through them all, “He knew that for envy they had delivered him."-Too often an envious, a selfish, a covetous, a sordid, a treacherous, a vindictive motive, for dealing harshly with a brother, when duty is the plea. And when so, the world is sure to find it out. “He knew that for envy they had delivered him.”
LXXX. We may consider the subject of repentance under twenty-seven heads, each head containing three particulars : and if a man fail in any one of the three, under any one of the twenty-seven, he is lost. Ah, my dear brethren, this, after all, is not preaching the Gospel.
LXXXI. It is of faith, that it might be by grace.
LXXXII. The true secret of evangelical religion is, to see the Son, as he is seen by the Father. In other words; there is in Christ all excellency, beauty, loveliness, and perfection : He is the brightness of God's glory, and the express image of his
person; the expression, transcript, manifestation, counterpart, fellow, and equivalent, of all that constitutes the Divinity of the unseen Father. Christ therefore is the object on which the Father has looked and will look, from eternity to eternity, with infinite satisfaction, as the image of his own perfections. Such is Christ in all his characters : in his Godhead, in his incarnation, in his eternity, in his life on earth, in his performances, in his sufferings. As to all these, he is excellent, perfect, and entirely satisfactory and well-pleasing, in the Father's sight. The invisible Godhead, which is the Father, sees in the manifested Godhead, which is the Son, where alone he can see it, what is perfectly satisfactory to himself. The Father, then, tells us this. He
“ This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
It is for us, then, to believe what the Father says, and to take the same view which he takes : in other words, to see the Son as he is seen of the Father. This is the Holy Spirit's work. It can only be effected by a perfect change of heart in
For naturally we discern no beauty, no excellence, in Christ : naturally we are not disposed to discern any: naturally we have not that in us, which can discern any. But when the Holy Ghost takes of the things of Christ and shews them to us, by the twofold work of presenting the view, and disposing our hearts to receive it in joy and faith and love, then is it that our minds are brought, as to this matter, into conformity to the mind of God : we take the same view of this only good and glorious Object which he takes : we feel, in our measure, that which with infinite complacency He feels; namely, that in the Eternal Son is all beauty, loveliness, and perfection : and, beholding, we are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. This is salvation.
LXXXIII. There are many troubles in life that we must pass through : there are many others, that we might pass over, To be able to do this, however, and to know when, is a fruit of Divine grace and wisdom which is not always attained to. Certain it is, that our great deliverance from trouble lies in the trouble which the Lord Jesus Christ endured for our sakes. And great occasion have we to believe, that his care carries us clear of many ills and sorrows, without our being conscious of it at the time. He leads us, as it were, at times, by a highway, a raised path, which carries us over the troubles which otherwise we should have to pass through. He appoints our course through a higher element, which trouble cannot reach.
LXXXIV, St. Mark seems to intimate to us a reason for
an ordained ministry; or for the appointment of certain persons, selected, commissioned, and set apart, to preach the Gospel. Many are forbidden by our Lord to declare his name, and then he appoints a certain number for this express purpose. Thus, when the man was cured of the leprosy, our Lord saith to him, " See thou say nothing to any man:” when unclean spirits fell down before him, and cried, saying, “Thou art the Son of God,” he straitly charged them that they should not make him known. Then it is added, in the next verse but one,
And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach." (Mark iii. 14.)
LXXXV. The holiness of our Lord's sacred person communicated a purifying influence to others, and prevented his contracting defilement from them. In general, if a Jew touched any unclean thing, he himself became unclean. But the leper, whom our Lord touched, was cleansed. The general principle, under the Law, is laid down in the second chapter of the Prophet Haggai. If the skirt of a garment containing holy flesh touched any common object, no holiness was imparted. But if, on the contrary, the same object were touched by an unclean person, a communication of uncleanness took place. That is, uncleanness was imparted from the unclean, but not holiness from the holy. But with the holy garments of our great High Priest, the case was different. The afflicted sufferer said, may but touch his clothes, I shall be whole.” And so it proved. Virtue passed from the Lord to her: no defilement passed from her to him.
LXXXVI. Have you courage to proclaim a truth from the pulpit, that would make half your congregation leave you ?
LXXXVII. Answer to the above question.-" I should feel it my duty to them, to think twice before I did it. Nevertheless
LXXXVIII. The absurdity of some attempts to explain away passages of Scripture, will appear at once by extending the false principle of explanation to the context: for example, in the passage, “ The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests ; but the Son of Man hath not where to lay his head.” This, say some persons, merely means that the Son of Man had no fixed abode, but went about from place to place. But let us explain the whole sentence on the same principle. It will then stand thus : “ The fox is a stationary animal, and the birds never stir from home; but,” &c.
LXXXIX. As to our miseries, we wish to be delivered ; but as to our sins, we are too willing to keep them. It is observable, that persons afflicted with bodily maladies, such as leprosy
and blindness, cried to the Lord, besought him, earnestly desired to be healed : but persons possessed of devils never did so. They were applied for on behalf of their friends, or they even, in horror and agony, fell prostrate : but I know of no instance of their desiring for themselves to have the evil spirit cast out. Here lies a great part of the mischief. Men too often side with Satan, or at least are not honestly opposed to him, in his
power over their own hearts. XC. The wicked, unbelieving, and impenitent, are under a dispensation of temporal mercies, and eternal judgment. The mercy, patience, and long-suffering, come first, are abused and despised ; and then the judgment follows. Believers, on the contrary, are under a dispensation of temporal judgments, and eternal mercies.
XCI. “ The greatest number of our elegant writers appear to be in league with some evil spirits, to counteract the tendency of evangelical truth; to overthrow religion under pretence of raising the fabric of human happiness on its ruins; to destroy an operative belief of a future state of existence. This design they pursue with daring effrontery or subtle craft, varying their modes of procedure according to the age and the character of their unhappy victims. To remain a silent and indifferent spectator of their triumphs would be criminal.” (East.)
XCII. Though our works are a test of our_faith, we must take heed that we do not abuse this doctrine. For example : a person reason's thus.
'I am to be justified by faith; but my works are to be an evidence of this justifying faith. Well, let me begin then, and do the works : then I must have the justifying faith. But is this certain? May you not be putting on the works, assuming and creating to yourself the outward sign, to satisfy yourself of that inward faith, which produces good works ? What is this, but being justified by works ? What is it but justifying yourself? And what wonder if the Lord, in mercy, confound your works to stop the delusion? “ Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved : and, to shew the world, to shew men and angels, to shew Satan, that thou art saved, the Lord has works in store for thee, which thou shalt do; but which-mark well—are, after all, not thy good works merely, but his.
New Edition of the Dutch Bible. By Professor VAN DER
(Concluded from page 365.) AFTER such an account of the old or authorized version, commonly called “ de Staten Overzetting,” or “the States Translation, as we have been enabled to give in our preceding Number, the question will naturally arise, Whence then the necessity of a new one? How comes it to pass that there has been even such a probable appearance of the want of another version, that the proposal could meet with any thing like general encouragement or approbation ? We must suppose that some plausible ground existed, as a pretext for setting aside a work which so many circumstances combined to make venerable.'
This plausible ground was furnished by the alterations which the Dutch language, in the course of two centuries, has undergone. But for this circumstance, we do not believe that the idea of a new version, that should in any measure supersede the old, would have been entertained in the Dutch churches : nor would the opportunity have been thus given, of sending forth into the world a work conducted in such a totally different spirit from the former; so calculated to mislead, and so full of the false illumination and neology of the age.
Here, then, observe the craft of Satan, in matters wherein we are not aware that it has ever been duly observed or pointed out, at least in print. But we are persuaded that in the changes which have taken place in various languages he has been very busy-as no doubt he is with every thing wherein the interests of truth and righteousness are concerned : and it might be well to observe the working of the great enemy, in many matters connected with the order and well-being of society, the honour of God, and the progress or decline of real godliness. At present we shall confine our remarks to language. This we believe to be of Divine original, the gift of God to man; and not the invention of the creature. This is evident from the careful consideration of what is related in God's word, concerning the creation and original condition of man. And the first introduction of a variety of languages is plainly ascribed to Divine and miraculous agency. Neither can we suppose that, God having, by an act of omnipotence, introduced a multitude of languages into the world, the further progress of those languages was left entirely to blind chance, or to the will and fancy of the creature; any more than the frame of society, the revolutions of states and empires, the succession of the seasons, and