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but Christ Jesus the LORD." The Redeemer of men was anointed to preach good tidings. Isaiah Ixi. 1. And the fulfilment of this prophecy is recorded, Luke iv. 18. Listen to the apostle Paul, Romans x. 8, "The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart; that is, the word of faith which we preach.” | Let us not say, we cannot tell who are the false, and who are the true prophets; since they are designated by incontestible signs. Let us take care that in rejecting the prophet, we do not reject the man; that we do not preach false doctrine to the false prophet. but let us always remember, that he will be saved, although his works will be burned.
MATTHEW Vii. 21.
First, WHAT are we to understand by the kingdom of heaven? Sometimes the kingdom of heaven intends the Redeemer of men. Matthew iii. 2, "Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Sometimes the people. Daniel vii. 14, "And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people and nations should serve him." Again, the kingdom of heaven intends the state and condition of the people. Romans xiv. 17, "For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." It is into this last community, as we presume that no man can enter, that doth not do the will of the Father which is in heaven.
Secondly, Who are entitled to enter into the kingdom of heaven, by a performance of the will of the Father? Surely, no mere man. Was Israel of old? Ask the prophet Hosea, viii. 1, "Set the trumpet to thy mouth. He shall come as an eagle against the house of the LORD, because they have transgressed my covenant, and trespassed against my law." Ask the apostle Paul, Romans ii. 13, "For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law." Nay, let us make application to our blessed Master himself. Luke vi. 46, "And why call ye me LORD, LORD, and do not the things which I say." VOL. III.
Thirdly, Who then has done the will of God? Hebrews x. 7, "Then, said I, Lo I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me) to do thy will, O God." And was the will of the Father done? did the Father declare himself well pleased? Matthew iii. 17, "And lo, a voice from heaven, saying, this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased." Matthew xii. 18, "Behold, my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles." Matthew xvii. 5, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased, hear ye him."
Fourthly, How then can we, who have broken the law of God, "who have left undone the things which we ought to have done, and done the things which we ought not to have done, enter into the kingdom of heaven?" I answer, Ephesians i. 6, “Because to the praise of the glory of God's grace, we are accepted in the beloved." 1 Corinthians i. 30, "But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption." It is evident that it is not saying but doing which procures an entrance into the kingdom of heaven. It is evident that no human being, save the God-man, ever performed what God required; and it is as evident, the God-man, the head of every man, being made under the law, fulfilled the law in behalf of all those who had broken it. It is apparent that the righteousness of the Redeemer is as much the property of the sinner, as if he had performed it in his own individual person. And it is thus that the kingdom, the power, and the glory, all belongeth unto the LORD. If you should ask why did not Jesus Christ give us this information in his memorable sermon on the mount? I answer, he left this for his spirit to make manifest after his departure. John xvi. 26, " But the Comforter which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." Chapter xv. 16, He shall testify of me. Jesus Christ informed his disciples, that he had many things to say unto them, which they were not then able to bear. The Apostle speaks of growing in grace, and the knowledge and love of God. There are among the disciples of our LORD, children, young men, and fathers. Our Saviour, after his resurrection, explained to his disciples going to Emmaus, the things concerning himself. He made known to Peter in the vision of the sheet, what Peter nev
er knew before, and thus taught him not to call unclean, what God had cleansed. The Redeemer left his desciples so ignorant, that when bursting the barriers of the grave, he appeared before them, they did not believe the testimony of their senses. They gave no credit to those with whom they had been accustomed to associate. And shall we dare to ask, why he did not teach them every thing at once? He directed them to search the scriptures, and he assured them that they testified of him. We have this day heard the testimony of these scriptures rehearsed in our ears. Beloved, believest thou the scriptures; I know that thou believest them.
MATTHEW vii. 22, 23.
First, To what day does the Redeemer advert? 2 Peter iii. 10, "But the day of the LORD will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up."
Secondly, Who does the Saviour intend by the many who shall appear before him with a LORD, LORD, have we not prophesied in thy name, and in thy name cast out devils? 1 Corinthians xiii. 1, "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, and a tinkling cymbal." Jesus said of those who believed, that in his name they should cast out devils. It is therefore that these boasters interrogate; have we not in thy name done many wonderous works? It is of such characters, the Apostle writes, 2 Thessalonians ii. 9, "Whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power, and signs, and lying wonders.
Thirdly, Then will I profess unto them, I never knew you. What is it to know? It is to approve, to acknowledge; in every other sense, the Redeemer knew these people, for he had made them, and he knew them as workers of iniquity. Psalm i. 6, " For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the un
godly shall perish." Habakkuk i. 13, "Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity." I never knew you in the characters you assume.
Fourthly, He shall say, depart from me ye that work iniquity. Isaiah lix. 2," But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you." But, says God, Jeremiah xxxiii. 8, " I will pardon all their iniquties.” Again, chapter xxxi. 34, "I will forgive their iniquities, and I will remember their sin no more." Hebrews viii. 12, "For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins, and their iniquities will I remember no more." Isaiah liv. 8, "In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer." Yet all those who exalt themselves shall be debased, every high and lofty imagination shall be brought low; every self righteous boaster shall be ashamed and confounded; all their wonderful works shall be burned, they shall be judged and condemned; they shall call upon the rocks and mountains to fall upon them; they shall look on him whom they have pierced and mourn; upon him, the blood of whose covenant, they have trampled under foot, counting it an unholy thing. After all these things, the Redeemer of men shall manifest himself, and the word of Jehovah shall be accomplished: they shall all know him from the least unto the greatest. It is in this divinely consistent view, that the truth of God bursts forth with resplendent beauty. The deity appears faithful to himself; there is no yea and nay, mercy and truth hath met, and will meet together; righteousness and Reace embrace each other.
MATTHEW Xii. 31, 32.
Wherefore I say unto you, all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men; but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men; and whosoever speaketh a word against the son of man, it shall be forgiven him; but whosoever speaketh a word against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.
THESE words spake Jesus, the faithful and the true witness, and this same Jesus assures us, he spake nothing but that which he received of the Father, and do we not know that the words which the Redeemer spake are eternal life.
First, Let us enquire of the sacred oracles what is God? God hath condescended to give us some idea of himself in the complex formation of the creature, man. Let us make man in our image; the plural in the singular. Let us, in the plural, make man in the singular, in our image in the plural, and it is self eviident that we can never lose this image of God. To know thee, the only true God is life eternal. As man was made in the image of God, we have only to analize the figure, and we shall be able to catch a glimpse of the substance. What is a man separated from his spirit? When the body of a man is committed to the dust, the spirit returns to God who gave it. The character of God is given, Revelations i. 7, 8, "Behold he cometh with clouds and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the LORD, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty."
"God," saith a learned commentator, "is one of the names which we give to the eternal, infinite and incomprehensible Being, the Creator of all things, who preserves and governs every