« VorigeDoorgaan »
eous, they shall inherit the land forever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified. The Apostle, who is ever abundant in consolation, in his epistle to the Hebrews expresses himself in words, calculated to point out that great fundamental truth, which is the grand basis of our brightest hopes, the union of the divine and human nature ; for, both he that sanctifieth, and they who are sanctified, are all of one ; for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren.
And we echo, and re-echo this glorious truth, when this our brother shall come in the clouds of heaven, we, his people, shall assume his likeness ; yea, even these vile bodies shall be like unto the glorious body of the Son of God, according to the mighty working, whereby he is able to subdue all things unto himself.
JOHN xviii. 38.
Pilate said unto Jesus what is truth?
First, It is remarkable that while Pilate questioned the Redeemer, he waited not for an answer. But the salvation of Pilate, as a descendant of Adam, as a member of the sacred body of Emmanuel, was based upon the incontrovertible truth contained in an observation made by the Redeemer, chapter xiv. 6, “ I am the way, and the truth, and the life.”
Secondly, All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth. God shall send forth his mercy, and his truth. Mercy and truth are met together. Psalm 1xxxvi, “ Thou, O LORD, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, long-suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth."
Thirdly, God is in word and in deed a God of truth. Micah vii. 20, “ Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our Fathers from the days of old.” To this end, saith Jesus, was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice—Then follows
our text. Pilate said unto him what is truth? Had Pilate waited for an answer, he might have heard the lip of truth repeat, I ain the truth. He might, with the beloved disciple, John i. 14, have beheld his glory, the glory of the only begotten Son of the Father, full of grace and truth. Grace is connected with truth. Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. Truth and peace are connected, and in Christ Jesus they are abundant. Isaiah xxv. 1, “O LORD, thou art my God, I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old were faithfulness and truth." Isaiah xxxix. 8, “Good is the word of the LORD which thou hast spoken. He said, moreover, for there shall be peace and truth in my days.” Zechariah viii. 16, 19, • These are the things that ye strall do, Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour; execute the judgment of peace and truth in your gates; Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the fast of the fourth month, and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth, shall be to the house of Judah joy and gladness, and cheerful feasts; therefore love the truth and peace.”
Fourthly, Jesus says, I am the truth. The knowledge of this truth makes men free. Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. If the Son make you free, you shall be free indeed. The Spirit of God is the Spirit of truth. Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they be of God. The Spirit of God is called the Comforter. This Spirit witnesseth with our spirits. And, says the Evangelist John, first Epistle, v. 6, “It is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one."
Fifthly, Jesus is the truth, Jesus is salvation, Jesus is life, Jesus is peace, Jesus is full of grace, full of mercy; he is our faithful and unchangeable Friend. Truth is not called wrath, nor death, nor damnation; and if it were the believing it would not give peace, nor joy, nor make the captive free.
Sixthly, Truth should be the constant theme of our public and private labours. I am determined, said the Apostle Paul, to know nothing among you, save Jesus Christ and him crucified. A preached gospel may be known, and when known, it will be believed ; and the believer will find peace, and joy, and rest; will pass from death unto life, will love God, and will increase in good will unto man.
Acts i. 8, 9, 10, 11.
First, The disciples were never invested with power until the Holy Ghost was given unto them, and then they had power to become the sons of God. John i. 12, “When thus empowered, they preach the word with holy and uniform energy." Corinthians, ü. 4, “And my speech, and my preaching, was not with enticing words of man's wisclom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” But the power which was bestowed upon them, was the power of God the Saviour, which was manifested in the working of miracles.
Secondly, Those who had received the Holy Ghost with power, were ordained witnesses unto God, unto the uttermost parts of the earth. These were the last words the Redeemer spake unto his disciples, either for their direction or comfort; he closed these instructions by blessing them, Luke xxiv. 50, 51, “ And he lifted up his hands and blessed them. And it came to pass, wbile he blessed them, he was parted from thein and carried up into heaven.” The Redeemer was parted from them, in the act of blessing them. The sacred volume has registered three remarkable periods, when the blessing was, and is to be pronounced. First, in the garden of Eden, Genesis i. 28, “And God blessed them; and God said unto them, Be fruithful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it.” Acts iii. 26, “God having raised up his Son, Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.” And the coming of Christ, thus to bless the human family, was said to be glad tidings to all people. The thirty-fourth verse, of the twenty-fifth of Matthew, is a confirmation of the universality of this blessing. “Then shall the king say to them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Faiher, inherit the kingdom prepared for you, from the foundation of the world.” The second luminous record preserved in the volume of inspiration is, when God himself preached the gospel to Abraham, saying, In thee, and in thy seed, shall all 19e families of
the earth be blcssed, this divinely consoling blessing was confirmed,
RomẠNS ii. 4, 5.
appears, that unbelievers despise the riches of God's goodness, although they profess to admire their own excellence.
Secondly, Unbelievers do not know, that the goodness of God leadeth them to repentance. The sentiments embraced by unbelievers are the reverse of this truth; they proclaim cvery where,
that the grace of God prevents them from repenting, that the grace of God is a licentious doctrine, calculated to pervert the souls of men, to render them bad members of society, and to consign them to a place of never-ending misery in a future world! But, agreeably to our usual custom, we will enquire at the fountain of wisdom, the fountain of light. Isaiah xxx. “ Now go write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come, forever and evcr. That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD'; which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits. Wherefore, thus saith the Holy One of Israel, because ye despise this word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and stay thereon: therefore, this iniquity shall be to you a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall, whose breaking cometh suddenly, in an instant; for, thus saith the LORD God, the Holy One of Israel, In returning and rest shall ye be saved in quietness, and in confidence shall be your strength : and ye would not. But ye said, No; for we will flee upon horses; therefore shall ye flee: and we will ride upon the swift; therefore, shall they that pursue you be swift. And, therefore, will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you: and therefore, will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the Lord is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for hiin. And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left."
Thirdly, But to those that despised the goodness of God not knowing that it led 10 repentance, the apostle Peter informs us, Acts v. 32, Jesus Christ is, by the right hand of God, exalted to be a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance, and forgiveness of sins.
Those who despise the goodness of God are represented as having hard and impenitent hearts. Indeed, this is the character given to the people of God throughout the sacred volume, Witness Exodus xxxii. 3, “For I will not go up in the midst of thec; for thou art a stiff-necked people ; lest I consume thee in the way.” Exodus xxxiv. 9, "And he said, if now I have found grace in thy sight, O Lord, let my Lord, I pray thee, go among us; for it is a stiff-necked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for thine inheritance." Deuteronomy ix. 6, * Understand, therefore, that the LORD thy God giveth thce not