Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

as

be as really and effectually taught by His entrance upon the honour of His Him in the mysteries of His kingdom, mediatorial kingdom. It is a case as the two sorrowing wanderers on therefore substantially similar, in point their way to Emmaus.

of the promised teaching of the Church, And then be it remembered that and to all other real and effectual after all, this is not a matter of specu- teaching in the knowledge of Christ. lation and theory as to the degree of It is the risen Jesus opening to the probability that Christ, though risen weak understanding, and the slow to His glory, will so teach His people. and unbelieving heart, the mysteries It is not a mere presumption of the of His own written Word, to the one founded upon the other, that be- awakening the christian affections, cause He so taught these two dis- and the bringing forth the fruits of ciples therefore He will teach others; the Spirit, We are apt to shrink on the contrary, we rather bring for- from the idea of anything supernatural ward this case an example and in religion, and attach to the admisillustration of His actual teaching sion of such notions, the stigma of subsequently to His death and resur- enthusiasm and rhapsody ; but it is rection, -whilst elsewhere we have well to correct our unbelieving and ample scriptural evidence of the truth criminal ideas on these subjects by that He will so teach His people con- the Scripture, and to point out on the tinually. Before His departure He one hand, that the idea of the risen thus encouraged His disciples,—“I Saviour teaching His disciples in will not leave you comfortless : I will scripture truth, is not without scripcome to you. Yet a little while, and ture precedent; and on the other, the world seeth me no more ; but ye that the case of the disciples at Emsee me : because I live, ye shall live maus has nothing in it more miracualso. He that hath my command- lous or extraordinary than we are all ments, and keepeth them, he it is that taught to expect by the promises, exloveth me: and he that loveth me cepting that the bodily presence of shall be loved of my Father, and I Jesus was nearer to them, in consewill love him, and will manifest my- quence of His not having yet ascended self to him.” And again, “My Father to His glory. But this was a mere acwill love him, and we will come unto cidental circumstance. The substantial him, and make our abode with him." and characteristic features of the case Here is a direct authoritative state- were, that their understandings were ment of the fact that Christ will teach enlightened, their faith confirmed, and the minds of His disciples subse- their affection kindled, with respect quently to His withdrawal from the to the scriptural testimony to Jesus world. On passages like this our Christ, by the teaching of the Saviour confidence rests. And we bring for- Himself. ward this specific case therefore as an And now, in the third place, let us illustration of the practicability of the refer to the actual experience of such

It is a fulfilment of this teaching. As far as we have been very assertion. It is a part of His really and savingly taught in christian ministration as the great Prophet and truth, it is by this same blessed Teacher. Teacher of His Church, subsequently Granted, that He is risen to His glory, to the close of His humiliation and that He is on the throne of universal dominion, and that He upholdeth all they are taught of God who are not: things by the word of His power,-yet but the fruits and graces of the chrisHe actually, in the fulfilment of His tian character are the true test. The promises, teaches by His Spirit, and teaching of Christ leads to the desguides into saving truth. These two troying of all ungodliness and worldly disciples said, “Did not our heart lusts. But where the Scriptures are burn within us?” and may we not in so opened to the understanding that the same way refer to the experience the mystery of Christ is apprehended of many who now love God and His and believed, and the religious affecWord? Can they not remember, in tions are awakened, and the conduct the time of awakening inquiry,—when corresponds; there the soul is as really they were mourning over discovered taught by the Lord Jesus, as were the evil and groping after yet undisco- two disciples at Emmaus, though their vered light-how they were gradually "eyes were holden that they should led to apprehend the Gospel, and to

measure.

know him ;" ard as really as they see how it behoved Christ to suffer would have still been, even if it had “and to enter into his glory?” Can not pleased the Lord at last to open they not tell how the Scriptures were their eyes to know Him; and if, till opened to them, and their own hearts their dying day, they had remained to receive them? and, either in read- ignorant of His peculiar bodily nearing or hearing, or in conversation ness to them on that occasion. with other Christians, they were gra- All who are really Christians are dually led to such comforting and more or less thus taught of God. It animating views of God's redeeming is a sadly unscriptural notion to suplove, that their hearts burned within pose that we are to be merely drilled them?

by human agency in the knowledge Or if, subsequently, in times of af- of the Scripture system; that we Aliction and distress, they have turned form opinions, and that these opinions to the written word for comfort; or merely are our guides. This were inin times of languor and coldness of deed a cold and insufficient view of affection, they have sought in that Scripture ; and if this were all that book for greater animation, and a we might expect, such are the diffimore entire devotion of soul to God; culties that our own hearts present, -have they not occasionally found

and such the dangers of the way, that all and more than they had sought ? we might sit down in despair. But The deadness removed, or the affliction we are warranted to regard the leadsanctified, and the soul led to rejoice ing features of this case as the standin the faithfulness and care of a cove

ard of that instruction on which we nant God. As the Psalmist says,

may yet calculate ; that the blessed “While I was thus musing, the fire Jesus will open the Scriptures to the burned ;” or, in another place, “Or inquiring mind; that His Spirit will ever I was aware, my soul was as the guide us into all truth; that in the chariot of Aminadab.” All this, where blessed ordinance of His commemoit issues in real christian fruit, is the rative supper, He will manifest Himteaching of the great Head of the self to those who seek Him; and that Church. There is much that is self

-—though not by His bodily presence, delusion in this matter : many think but by the gracious assurances of His

love and

care,

He will be made God, and the love of our crucified known in the breaking of bread; and Saviour, that our souls may evermore His nearness, and ability, and willing rejoice in His holy comfort. And with ness to save, will be abundantly shewn this view, we need more assured conto the distressed spirit, in proportion

victions that such teaching is open to to the pressure of its needs, till it kin us now, and that such blessed results dles with holy love and devotion. are actually attainable. Why should

And now, to bring this subject home not a sorrowing disciple go now to to own case. If such is the nature of Jesus? Why should not the Scripchristian teaching, that the Divine tures be now effectually opened to Emmanuel Himself opens to us the us? Why should this fathomless founScriptures ;-if such be the nature of tain lie sealed and useless at our feet, comfort in the ordinance of the Lord's and we, though thirsty, refrain from supper, that Jesus is manifested to us drinking, and tremble to ask, and as He is not to the world;—if such deny ourselves in the midst of plenty, should be the state of our affections, and remain perishing for thirst, and from scriptural knowledge, commu- complaining of our drought and our nion with Jesus, that our hearts burn leanness, when we might have this as within us ; – then how dissatisfied a well of water springing up within many of us ought to be. Yes, we us unto everlasting life? Why should ought to be dissatisfied. This is no this gracious Mediator be seated on light or trifling matter. It is of un the throne, and the assurance given speakable importance. There is an to us that we may come boldly to the inspired volume before us, which con throne of grace, that we may obtain tains all things necessary to salvation; mercy, and yet we remain listless and it is “ able to make us wise unto sal- indifferent, as if salvation from eternal vation.” There is a crucified, risen, death were to us a matter of no moexalted Saviour, the eternal Son of ment? It is melancholy indeed that God, who is the teacher of the souls such a wonderful, supernatural, Diof men in the mysteries of that blessed vine mode of teaching the human book. If we seek His teaching in heart, should be placed before us, and simplicity and sincerity, there is a re we continue either totally estranged ality in it, which, while it saves the from it, or sadly neglectful of the prisoul, will make " our hearts burn vilege. The Almighty Saviour, from within us." The omnipotent Spirit His throne in heaven, offers, by His of our God and Saviour cheers and Word and by His Spirit, to renew and animates the believing and forgiven sanctify our hearts, and yet many y who soul, and bids it “rejoice with joy un

call themselves Christians are without speakable and full of glory.”

scriptural knowledge, without any Now what we want is more of this clear religious belief, and without any heavenly teaching, real in its influ- religious affections. Do not let us ence and visible in its effects. We continue so: especially do not let our need the cloud to be taken

away

from coldness and indifference sanction in our foolish and darkened understand- others this dangerous state of ignoings, and the evil from our hearts. rance. Let us seek for grace to believe We need to have such bright and the truth of this spiritual teaching; convincing displays of the grace of let us open our bosoms believingly to

its influence; let us calculate upon will follow. And while we gradually the opening of the heart by the same obtain brighter and more powerful mighty power; let us expect a spiri- views of this dispensation of mercy, tual unction to accompany the written we shall find our hearts warm with Word ; let us look for the encouraging love to this yet invisible Saviour, and manifestation of the love of Christ, in our conduct more worthy of our high the Lord's supper; and thus, waiting vocation as inheritors of the kingdom in sincerity on the means of grace, we of heaven. may rest assured that a blessed effect

Φωνη τεθνηκότος. .

PRESENT POSITION OF CHRISTENDOM.-THE THREE FROGS.

IN THREE Parts.

A Gleaning from Elliott's Hora Apocalypticæ.
PART 2ND.—The SPIRIT FROM THE MOUTH OF THE Beast.

“ And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils working miracles, [or signs] which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty."-Rev. xvi. 13, 14. The spirit of Popery within the last first mentioned, after the symbol and twelve or fifteen years* has not been acting of the frog; that is, not as less stirring and active than the spirit once, by the dictum of its will, and of infidelity.

the sword of the subject civil power Let me first call attention to the to give it effect; but rather by agitanew association in which this spirit tion and incessant appealings, inflamwas now apparently to go forth in matory or seductive, to the ears, revived wonder-working energy, as ignorance, prejudices, and passions of compared with the times of its more the multitude. early power and rule. In those earlier What the Popes did after their restimes the dragon seems represented toration to the Romish see, before the as hidden and in the back ground; outpouring of the sixth vial, may be working indeed, and deceiving the considered as but preparatory to the so-called christian world; but doing fulfilment of their part in the prophecy this indirectly, and through the me- of the text. They forth with issued dium of the beast, his creature, which official bulls, allocutions, and indullatter was the only ostensible power gences, asserting or implying all their dominant. But here, it is in ostensible old pretensions, as those that bore conjunction with the dragon, that the the character of Christ's vicar (rather beast sends forth his spirit; as well of Antichrist.) They re-instituted as in conjunction with that of the the Inquisition and the Jesuits; the false prophet, his old ally and servant, latter such reckless agitators for the though now bearing a distinctive cha- advancement of Popery, that Vitringa racter. Indeed the dragon's spirit is thought the three frog-like spirits mentioned first, as perhaps the most might one and all be in his time dispotent of the three. It is in this com- cerned in them, but the authority bination that the spirit of Popery is they then sought to exercise was prefigured as preparing to fight its after the old model, and without the last battle. And this, like the spirit co-ordinate and associated power of

the spirit of the dragon in ostensible

• Printed 1844.

success.

alliance. Hence, though alike, in creature the beast, and accordingly France under the Bourbons, Spain planned it in characteristic subtlety; under Ferdinand, and Portugal under so the beast perceived also its adDon Miguel,—not to add in Bavaria, vantage, and accepted the alliance Austria, Sardinia, Naples,-there was offered ;-it being obvious that it was a marked revival of Popery, and in one, intended to be open or more some cases even the Inquisition was covert according to circumstances, and again brought into active operation; offering a double seduction from the yet this being contrary to the spirit truth and gospel of Jesus, according of the age, a popular re-action ensued, as either infidelity or a corrupt antiand the legitimists, its friends of the christian Christianity might best suit old regime, were driven from their the character of the country, the kingdoms. But, in the meanwhile, times, or the individual. the unclean spirit from the mouth of It was after this that the unclean the beast had been essaying its strength, spirit from the mouth of the beast, conjunctively with that of the dragon, the Papal antichrist, sped forth with in two countries under Protestant that rapidity and power over the government, viz., Ireland and Bel earth, that has of late years so astogium; and the essay had been in nished the minds of men. either case crowned with

In England (where, as before, I After the agitation of Ireland to its wish particularly to trace its movevery centre for years, chiefly by united ments) the Reform Bill having been Romish priests and revolutionary de- past in 1832, through the conjunction magogues, the Roman Catholic Eman of Romanists (now admitted into parcipation Bill was passed in 1829, as a liament) and the several sections of preferable alternative to civil war; self-styled liberals and democrats, and the next year, through the united results succeeded, such as, in a manaction of kindred spirits, the Dutch ner and measure little anticipated, to Protestant King was expelled from strengthen the cause of Popery alike Belgium, whereupon,-notwithstand in this country and abroad. At home, ing the almost cotemporary expulsion through the near balance of parties, from France of its friends the Bour the turning of the scale of political bons, by a similar but sole dominant power was found to be in the hands democracy,—the Papal court, after of the leader of the Irish Papal party; hesitating for a while what course to and thereby, substantially, very much pursue in the new conjuncture, being of the power of the Government itself brought to a conviction that demo- devolved on him. Hence in the cracy was in the ascendant in West House of Commons, the deference ern Europe, and finding that the paid to Romish principles, discourageFrench people, all democratic as they ment of all upholding of the true rewere, professed Catholicism as the ligious principles of Protestantism, religion of the great majority of the and not infrequent assertion (amidst nation, and its King of the Barricades the applause alike of the Romish and himself every way courted the Papal the democratic delegates) of the obChurch and hierarchy, -under these scurity of the Bible, the equal probacircumstances the resolution was taken bility of truth in the most contrary by it, to shape its policy conformably. views of its essential dogmas, Popish

As the dragon having learnt fronı as much as Protestant, and propriety the results of the first and great therefore of a man's following the French revolution, that he could not way of his fathers,-assertions directly let loose on Christendom his demo- insulting to Him who gave the Bible, cratic atheistic spirit, all unmodified and fitted to awaken feelings of the and alone, without the danger of a need of a surer guide to the interprere-action following in favour of order, tation of Scripture than Protestantism and perhaps even of true religion, could offer, that is, if the Bible were (for religion, in some form or other, indeed the Word of God. So, alike the human soul craves after,) saw in the Houses of Parliament, and that an alliance was needed with his throughout the country, while Infi

« VorigeDoorgaan »